• FL-Sen: George LeMieux is unsurprisingly trying to distance himself from the label "Charlie Crist Republican," but all I can say is... good luck with that. The Miami Herald has a lengthy look at just how close the two men were, and while Crist himself won't say a word against LeMieux, other former staffers are more than happy to detail just how tight their working relationship was.
• MA-Sen: Hey, Richie Neal: Shut the fuck up. Seriously. What is it with Democratic congressmen from Massachusetts who love to crack out of turn? First Barney Frank, and now this crap. And yeah, you'll have to click the link if you want to know what I'm worked up about.
• TX-Sen: Over at Burnt Orange Report, Karl-Thomas Musselman, a long-time friend of SSP, has a good piece about Democrats' flawed strategies in Texas statewide races over the last decade, and how Team Blue should approach things differently going forward.
• IA-Gov: In a way, this might be the roughest "do-over" poll of all. Former Dem Gov. Chet Culver lost by double digits last fall, the worst performance of any incumbent governor, yet even he now beats Terry Branstad 48-46 in a hypothetical PPP rematch.
• PA-Gov: GOP Gov. Tom Corbett's disapproval rating has soared in the past couple of months. He was at 39-11 in February, and is now at 39-37, according to Quinnipiac. I guess this means not a single new person in the state of PA grew to approve of Corbett in two months!
• AZ-06, AZ-Sen: It's getting hard to keep track of what Republican Russell Pearce's plans are. The author of Arizona's notorious immigration law supposedly was out of the running for the open Senate seat, was heavily talked up for the open 6th CD, then was talked down for it, and is now saying he's leaving both doors open. He says he wants to stay on through the end of the 2012 legislative session, though, and Arizona has a resign-to-run law, so who knows.
On the other hand, House Speaker Kirk Adams just announced that he will resign from the legislature, which can only mean he's gearing up for a run in the 6th. (We've mentioned his name a couple of times before as a possibility.) It's going to be a crowded GOP primary, as the field already includes ex-Rep. Matt Salmon (who used to hold this seat, more or less) and former state Senate majority leader Chuck Gray.
• IA-04: These are statewide numbers, but still interesting: Steve King is the least-popular member of Iowa's congressional delegation, with 27-34 favorables. Christie Vilsack, meanwhile, is at 38-23. Certainly these scores within the new fourth district would look different, but unless there is some wild base of support for King in northwest Iowa, I can't see how you wouldn't prefer to have Vilsack's numbers.
• NC-11: Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell says he'll challenge Rep. Health Shuler in the Democratic primary next year. Shuler, thanks to his vote against healthcare reform, took just 61% in a primary last year against Aixa Wilson, who did not even file any FEC reports.
• ND-AL: With a Rick Berg run for Senate looking likely, people are starting to look at filling his at-large House seat. On the Republican side, state House Majority Leader Al Carlson said he's considering a race. Other possible names, according to the linked piece, are state Sen. Tony Grindberg and Tax Commissioner Cory Fong. I wonder if PSC Commish Brian Kalk might slide down from the Senate race, too.
• NV-02: Oh well, I can't always be right! Sharron Angle shot down an unsourced rumor in the LVRJ that she'd run as an independent in the special election to replace Dean Heller if she isn't chosen as the GOP nominee. (She won't be.)
• NY-13: Now it's Mike Grimm's turn to tell his side of the story about his instantly notorious nightclub incident from 1999. Meanwhile, NYC Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio is calling on the NYPD and DoJ to release their records from their investigations of the matter. Not really sure why DeBlas, of all people, is inserting himself into this one, except perhaps to try to take a GOP scalp as he eyes the 2013 mayoral race.
• OR-01: Here's another interesting bit of sub-text to the whole David Wu saga: Nike. The sneaker company has apparently never forgiven Wu for his vote against a bill that would have expanded trade with China back in 2000, and Nike's chairman endorsed Republican Rob Cornilles last year. (The company also donated to him via their PAC.) It'll probably be easier to get rid of Wu in the Democratic primary, though, so Nike may decide to get involved yet again.
• AL-Gov (Univ. of S. Alabama): Ron Sparks (D) 35%, Robert Bentley (R) 48%
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (Suffolk): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 52%, Carly Fiorina (R) 43%; Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%
(Bonus: Kamala Harris leads Steve Cooley 35-34 in the AG race, and "no" leads "yes" on Prop 19 55-40)
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (SurveyUSA for KABC): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 45%, Carly Fiorina (R) 40%; Jerry Brown (D) 46%, Meg Whitman (R) 38%
(Bonus: Gavin Newsom leads Abel Maldonado 42-34 for LG, and "no" leads "yes" on Prop 19 46-44)
• CA-Sen, CA-Gov (PPP): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 52%, Carly Fiorina (R) 43%; Jerry Brown (D) 53%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%
(Bonus: "no" leads "yes" on Prop 19 45-48)
• CA-20 (SurveyUSA for KFSN): Jim Costa (D-inc) 42%, Andy Vidak (R) 52%
(note: this poll population is 37% Hispanic, compared with 67% in reality) (also, the DCCC responded with a poll giving Costa a 47-41 lead, although they neglected to leak the pollster's name) (UPDATE: The pollster is Bennet Petts & Normington, with the sample over the same 10/21-24 period as SurveyUSA)
• CT-Sen, CT-Gov (Quinnipiac): Richard Blumenthal (D) 54% (54), Linda McMahon (R) 42% (43); Dan Malloy (D) 48% (49), Tom Foley (R) 43% (42)
• FL-08 (Susquehanna for Sunshine State News): Alan Grayson (D-inc) 41% (36), Daniel Webster (R) 48% (43), Peg Dunmire (T) 4%
• GA-Gov (InsiderAdvantage): Roy Barnes (D) 41%, Nathan Deal (R) 47%, John Monds (L) 5%
• ID-Gov, ID-Sen, ID-01, ID-02 (Mason-Dixon for Idaho newspapers): Keith Allred (D) 30%, Butch Otter (R-inc) 52%; Tom Sullivan (D) 20%, Mike Crapo (R-inc) 64%; Walt Minnick (D-inc) 44%, Raul Labrador (R) 41%; Mike Crawford (D) 17%, Mike Simpson (R-inc) 67%
• IA-Gov (Global Strategy Group for Chet Culver): Chet Culver (D-inc) 40%, Terry Branstad (R) 46%
• IL-Gov (MarketShares for Chicago Tribune): Pat Quinn (D-inc) 39% (39), Bill Brady (R) 43% (38), Scott Lee Cohen (I) 5%, Rich Whitney (G) 4%, Lex Green (L) 2%
• IL-Sen (Anzalone-Liszt for DSCC): Alexi Giannoulias (D) 38%, Mark Kirk (R) 36%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%, Mike Labno (L) 4%
• KY-Sen (PPP): Jack Conway (D) 40%, Rand Paul (R) 53%
• KY-03 (RiverCity for Todd Lally): John Yarmuth (D-inc) 41%, Todd Lally (R) 37% (note: n = only 239, yet they claim MoE of 4.5%)
• LA-02 (Anzalone-Liszt): Cedric Richmond (D) 49%, Joe Cao (R-inc) 32%
• NY-20 (Siena): Scott Murphy (D-inc) 42% (54), Chris Gibson (R) 51% (37)
(The Murphy camp leaked an internal from Global Strategy Group today, although only saying a 3-point lead without specific toplines)
• OH-Gov, OH-Sen (Quinnipiac): Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43% (41), John Kasich (R) 49% (51); Lee Fisher (D) 36% (34), Rob Portman (R) 53% (55)
• OH-Sen (Wilson Research, not apparently on anyone's behalf): Lee Fisher (D) 38%, Rob Portman (R) 49%
• OH-Sen (Univ. of Cincinnati for Ohio newspapers): Lee Fisher (D) 39%, Rob Portman 58%
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (Ipsos for Reuters): Joe Sestak (D) 46%, Pat Toomey (R) 46%; Dan Onorato (D) 43%, Tom Corbett (R) 49%
(Sestak leads 46-42 among RVs, and even Onorato leads 46-43 among RVs)
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (Muhlenberg): Joe Sestak (D) 40% (42), Pat Toomey (R) 48% (47); Dan Onorato (D) 39% (41), Tom Corbett (R) 50% (49)
• PA-08 (POS for Mike Fitzpatrick): Patrick Murphy (D-inc) 40%, Mike Fitzpatrick (R) 50%
• PA-10 (Lycoming): Chris Carney (D-inc) 45%, Tom Marino (R) 39%
• SD-Gov (Neilson Brothers): Scott Heidepriem (D) 40%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 43%
• VA-09 (SurveyUSA for WDBJ): Rick Boucher (D-inc) 46%, Morgan Griffith (R) 47%
• WI-Gov (Mellman Group, not apparently on anyone's behalf): Tom Barrett (D) 45%, Scott Walker (R) 47%
Not much to see here other than the remarkable consistency over the almost one year's period since the previous Selzer poll of this race. (I just learned a new word today, while searching for how to describe this race, linked to the Chet Culver vortex: "syntropy." It's synergy + entropy.)
• NH-Sen, NH-Gov: American Research Group (9/22-26, likely voters, Dec. 2009 in parentheses):
Paul Hodes (D): 32 (36)
Kelly Ayotte (R): 46 (43)
Undecided: 20 (21)
John Lynch (D-inc): 42
John Stephen (R): 40
ARG, mateys! Here be a mighty treasure trove of undecided scallywags! (And here be the gubernatorial link.)
• OH-Sen, OH-Gov: Univ. of Cincinnati for various Ohio newspapers (9/16-20, likely voters, 5/11-20 in parentheses):
Lee Fisher (D): 40 (47)
Rob Portman (R): 55 (46)
Undecided: 5 (6)
University of Cincinnati hasn't been in the field for a while, so they missed the very steady decline of the Dems in Ohio, making it look like more of a sudden collapse. At any rate, this is actually Ted Strickland's best non-internal showing since early August.
• WA-Sen: Commonsense Ten is out with a $412K independent expenditure in the Washington Senate race, on Patty Murray's behalf. (Wondering who they are? This Hotline article from July explains how they're something of a Dem answer to groups like American Crossroads, as well as giving some legal background on just how it came to be that the super-wealthy can give endless money to 527s to spend endlessly on IEs.) Meanwhile, there are dueling ads in Washington. As one might expect, Patty Murray lets Dino Rossi hang himself with his own anti-Boeing words, while Rossi hits Murray on her support of tarps. (Since most Washingtonians own several tarps -- they only thing that allows them to go camping during the ten rainy months of the year -- I don't see what the big deal is.)
• WV-Sen: The Dems are definitely getting active in here: the AFL-CIO is out with a huge direct mail blitz in West Virginia, and the DSCC is placing a major ad buy there starting tomorrow. In the meantime, John Raese, Tweeter and Facepage aficionado, is sticking to the GOP party line on global warming: it's all volcanoes' fault! (Wait... I thought it was sunspots. They'd better get their stories straight.)
• AK-Gov: Bill Walker, after weeks of dithering in the wake of losing the GOP gubernatorial primary, has formally decided against a write-in bid (despite having an easier-to-spell name than Murkowski). No word on an endorsement of either Sean Parnell or Ethan Berkowitz, although Berkowitz has been steadily reaching out to Walker.
• GA-Gov: With Nathan Deal not really having done much to deflect the attention being paid to his family's imminent financial collapse, now he's having to run damage control on another issue: his campaign is accused of having spent $135K to lease aircraft from a company where Deal himself is a part-owner. State ethics law bars candidates from using campaign funds for personal benefit, although the open legal question here is whether this turns into "personal benefit."
• NM-Gov: Third Eye Strategies for Diane Denish (9/21-23, likely voters, no trendlines):
This is kind of odd... we just got a Diane Denish internal poll from a totally different pollster (GQR) in the middle of last week. Does she have two different pollsters working for her? At any rate, the news is decidedly better in this one, showing a tie where last week's poll had her down by 5.
• TX-Gov: Blum & Weprin for Texas newspapers (9/15-22, likely voters, 2/2-10 in parentheses):
Bill White (D): 39 (37)
Rick Perry (R-inc): 46 (43)
Kathie Glass (L): 4 (-)
Deb Shafto (G): 1 (-)
Undecided: 8 (13)
The Texas race is extremely stable (check out the flatness in Pollster's regression lines, with a mid-single-digits spread). While I'd like to think that Bill White can get over 50% on his own, his best hope at this point might be for Libertarian candidate Kathie Glass to start taking a bigger share (presumably out of Rick Perry's hide, via the same crowd who went for Debra Medina in the primary).
• FL-24: Hamilton Campaigns for Suzanne Kosmas (9/22-23, likely voters, 8/25-29 in parentheses):
This is the first internal we've seen from Team Kosmas, and while it's not the kind of numbers that fill you with great confidence (up 2 in one's own internal), it is an indicator that we're still looking at a Tossup here instead of Lean R (which is where some of the other prognosticators have been sticking this one). The movement in Kosmas's direction suggests that voters have found out more about the crazier side of Adams in the wake of her surprise primary victory.
• MS-04: Tarrance Group for Steven Palazzo (9/21-22, likely voters, December 2009 Tarrance Grop poll for NRCC in parentheses):
Gene Taylor (D-inc): 45 (68)
Steven Palazzo (R): 41 (24)
(MoE: ± ?%)
There were reports last week that the NRCC was starting to smell smoke in this race (despite having an underfunded, low-name-rec candidate in Palazzo), and was going to try out a round of polling. Seems like their hunch may be right, as long-time Rep. Gene Taylor (who hasn't given Dems much reason to take interest in him lately... well, ever, really) is up only by single-digits in a new poll from the Palazzo camp.
• PA-10: Momentum Analysis for Chris Carney (9/23-25, likely voters, no trendlines):
Chris Carney (D-inc): 46
Tom Marino (R): 38
Chris Carney, having been slightly on the wrong end of a public poll from the Times-Leader (and on the very wrong end of that sketchy AFF poll last month), rolls out an internal giving him an 8-point lead over Tom Marino. Marino (who's pretty underfunded, although the NRCC is starting to get involved) is little-known (only 26/24 faves), so this is going to be one of many races where the Dem's survival is based on localizing in order to fend off Generic R.
• PA-16: I'm not sure what to make of this: the uphill campaign of Lois Herr (going against Joe Pitts in the 16th, which is solidly Republican but moved a lot in the Dems' direction in 2008) is out with a second internal poll from PPP that has her within single digits of the GOP incumbent. Pitts leads 41-34, which seems kind of bizarre considering that we're seeing polls in Pennsylvania with incumbent Dems losing by larger margins than that in much friendlier districts.
• SD-AL: Bennett Petts and Normington for Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (9/22-23, likely voters, no trendlines):
Here's one race that seems to be becoming a little more comfortable for the Democrats. (Recall that Herseth Sandlin led in the last Rasmussen poll of this race, after months of trailing.) I wonder how much of that has to do with the reveal of Noem's atrocious driving record, given voters' memories of leadfooted ex-Rep. Bill Janklow?
• DLCC: If you're looking to really micro-target your financial contributions to where your dollars get stretched the furthest and the leverage is the greatest (given the knife-edges on which many state legislatures, and the entire 2012 redistricting process, rest) the DLCC has rolled out its "Essential Races" program. This points to some of the tightest races in the tightest chambers; the link details their first wave of 20.
• CA-Init: There are some Field Poll leftovers to look at, concerning three of the biggest initiatives on the ballot this year. The news is good all around, although the margins aren't decisive: Proposition 19 (marijuana legalization) is passing 49-42 (it was failing 44-48 in the July Field Poll). Proposition 23 (undoing greenhouse gases limiting legislation) is failing 34-45. And maybe most importantly, Proposition 25 (allowing budget passage with a simple majority) is passing 46-30.
• Florida: Mason-Dixon's latest Florida poll (we gave you Sen and Gov numbers over the weekend) has a lot of miscellany in the fine print that's worth checking out. They find the GOP leading narrowly in three major downballot races: Pam Bondi leads Dan Gelber in the AG race 38-34, Jeff Atwater leads Loranne Ausley in the CFO race 29-27, and Adam Putnam leads Scott Maddox in the Ag Comm race 36-32. They also find that Amendment 4 has a shot at passing; it's up 53-26, although bear in mind that you need to clear 60% for a Florida initiative. Amendment 4 would require localities to put changes to comprehensive zoning plans up to a public vote; Josh Goodman has a good discussion of it today along with several other initiatives in other states that may pass despite having both sides of the entire political establishment lined up against them.
• SSP TV:
• FL-Sen: Marco Rubio rolls out his first ad en espanol, a biographical spot
• PA-Sen: How many freakin' ads has Pat Toomey come out with? Anyway, here's another one
• CT-02: Joe Courtney stresses his independence, especially regarding TARP
• CT-05: Chris Murphy's new ad focuses on stopping outsourcing
• PA-03, PA-11: The DCCC is out with new ads in the 3rd and 11th, continuing the trends of hitting Mike Kelly as out-of-touch millionaire and hitting Lou Barletta for sucking as Hazleton mayor
• AL-Sen: William Barnes (D) 30%, Richard Shelby (R-inc) 58%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 50%, Linda McMahon (R) 45%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 49%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 40%, Mike Castle (I) 5%
• GA-Sen: Michael Thurmond (D) 36%, Johnny Isakson (R-inc) 52%
• IA-Gov: Chet Culver (D-inc) 37%, Terry Branstad (R) 55%
• ND-Sen: Tracy Potter (D) 25%, John Hoeven (R) 68%
• SC-Sen: Alvin Greene (D) 21%, Jim DeMint (R-inc) 64%
AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski is seeking clarification on just how expansively the state elections board will view misspellings or variants of her name. Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who's in charge of all this, previously said he leans "toward a liberal view" of how to count Murkowski ballots, but now he's refusing to get more specific. See you in court?
O'DONNELL: You know what, evolution is a myth. And even Darwin himself -
MAHER: Evolution is a myth?!? Have you ever looked at a monkey!
O'DONNELL: Well then, why they - why aren't monkeys still evolving into humans?
FL-Sen: Former Rep. Robert Wexler became one of the most prominent Democrats to break ranks and endorse Charlie Crist. Wexler, who has long had a close relationship with Crist, famously abandoned his party earlier this year by resigning his seat in the middle of the term, before the final votes on healthcare reform.
FL-Gov: Douchebag zillionaire Rick Scott really just out-did himself with only three words. When asked if he had forked over another million bucks to his campaign (he had), Scott responded: "I don't know." I guess it's easy to forget writing seven-figure checks when you're Rick Scott!
IA-Gov: This race has been depressing for a long while now, and the latest news is no different. A Selzer poll for the Des Moines Register shows GOPer Terry Branstad crushing Gov. Chet Culver 52-33. Just ugh.
ME-Gov: Greenberg Quinlan Rossner (D) for Libby Mitchell (9/22-24, likely voters, July in parens):
Libby Michell (D): 34 (32)
Paul LePage (R): 38 (44)
Eliot Cutler (I): 10 (8)
Shawn Moody (I): 8 (5)
Kevin Scott (I): 2 (2)
Undecided: 7 (10)
Mitchell also says her internal shows LePage's favorability weakening from 33-19 to 38-36 over the same timespan.
AZ-01: CQ got ahold of a month-old internal poll for Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick by Lake Research Partners, which shows the race to be very tight. Kirkpatrick had a 43-39 lead over Republican Paul Gosar. But of course, we're talking about late August. Who knows what's changed since then.
CO-03: Nice catch by Colorado Pols. Check out Republican Scott Tipton trying to backpedal away from his earlier statements that he'd eliminate the Department of Education:
Tipton said his plan for that department is the same as his plan for the entire federal government, to cut it in half. He said he plans to do that without cutting government services....
That is some seriously lulzy shit right there, my friends. Even better is the fact, as CO Pols points out, that Tipton already tried to back away from this plan ("slice the gov't in half") a few days ago, but he's already re-un-flip-pivot-flopping back to it. Man.
CT-05: Smaller, fun-size cat fud: Mark Greenberg, who lost in the GOP primary to Sam Caligiuri, showed up on Caligiuri's hometown to make an endorsement... of the Republican running in Rosa DeLauro's district. A Caliguri endorsement sounds unlikely.
FL-22: I'm not a big fan of Politifact for a variety of reasons, but they sink their teeth into a good one here. At a recent candidate forum, Allen West claimed, "If you look at the application for a security clearance, I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background." This is obviously insane, points out Politifact, because security clearances exist because of a presidential executive order... which is signed by, uh, the president. The other possible way of viewing this (which is what West's campaign proudly says is their view) is as a birther-esque claim that grew out of right-wing email forwards. This "school of thought" holds that Obama's shaaady personal background means that he'd never have gotten security clearance by normal means (if he hadn't been elected). Yeah, okay.
MS-04: Remember when, a few weeks ago, Heath Shuler suggested that he might run for Speaker of the House? Well now Rep. Gene Taylor is the latest ConservaDem to take up residence in fantasy-land, saying that he'd prefer 78-year-old Ike Skelton for Speaker, rather than answer a question about whether he'd vote for Nancy Pelosi again. Taylor also refused to answer how he'd react if Republicans approached him about a party switch.
NV-03: In response to a claim by the Smart Media Group that the DCCC was cancelling a week-long buy on behalf of Rep. Dina Titus, the D-Trip announced that three panzer divisions were reconsolidating on the Eastern front the cancellation was actually a sign of strength. Later that same day, perhaps realizing that sounded like bullshit, the same Dem spokesman said that the party was still committed to a million-dollar ad buy.
PA-10: After an AP report cited an anonymous Dept. of Justice source on this story, the Scranton Times Tribune obtained an on-the-record statement from the DoJ confirming that the department has no record of having given approval for then-US Attorney Tom Marino to serve as a reference on a casino license application for his buddy Louis DeNaples. If you've been following this story, you know that DeNaples was a possibly-mobbed-up "businessman" who was under investigation by Marino's own office - and when Marino got busted for providing the reference, he resigned in disgrace, and then took a sinecure with DeNaples. Marino claimed back in the spring that he had received permission from the DoJ to give a reference for DeNaples, but this has clearly turned out to be bullshit. Dem Chris Carney has gotten a lot of mileage out of this so far.
While we're on the subject, Maine-based pollster Critical Insights tested this race for the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. They found Marino ahead of Carney 40-36. But the n on this poll was extremely low - just 196 LVs.
PA-11: The Times Leader also polled the 11th CD. Again, with a very small sample (211 LVs), they found Republican Lou Barletta leading Rep. Paul Kanjorski by a 43-32 margin. The Kanjorski campaign blistered the poll, offering some slightly dumber lines of attack ("Makes you wonder if The Times Leader didn't cook the numbers") and some sharper ones (noting that the TL doesn't seem to be very adept at polling, given that last week they tested the Lt. Gov. race, even though Pennsylvanians don't elect the LG separately). They also questioned the partisan makeup of the sample, and its small size.
NRCC: The NRCC just made $3.2 million in expenditures on a ton of different races - too many to list here. It looks like it's mostly for paid media, as well as a bunch of polls in a number of districts. Be interesting to see if any see the light of day.
SSP TV (by James L.):
DE-Sen: Chris Coons' latest ad touts reform and fiscal conservatism
KY-Sen: Jack Conway's out with a great ad that personalizes Rand Paul's nagging hostility to federal anti-drug funding
FL-Gov: Alex Sink attacks chrome-domed creep Rick Scott for attacking her over the Florida state pension fund
CO-04: Dem Rep. Betsy Markey paints Cory Gardner as a career politician with his hand in the trough
FL-08: Dem Rep. Alan Grayson takes off the gloves... and straps on a set of brass knuckles. In his latest ad, he paints his Republican opponent as a radical religious fundamentalist, going so far as to call him "Taliban Dan Webster". In another ad, Grayson hits Webster for his Vietnam deferrals. Also worth mentioning is this ad, which came out two weeks ago but went unmentioned here, where Grayson resurrects his famous "briefcase" theme from last cycle.
HI-01: GOP Rep. Charles Djou responds to the DCCC's latest attack ad
IA-03: Dem Rep. Leonard Boswell unleashes a decent ad hitting Brad Zaun on "personal responsibility" hypocrisy
IL-14: Dem Rep. Bill Foster goes after GOP state Sen. Randy Hultgren for his company's role in fueling the mortgage crisis (and profiting from it)
NY-13: Frosh Dem Rep. Mike McMahon's first ad touts his accomplishments and votes, including his vote against healthcare reform
OH-15: Dem Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy touts her votes, while, in another ad, smacks Steve Stivers over his support of a national sales tax.
OR-05: A six-pack of seniors form a chorus to sing Dem Rep. Kurt Schrader's praises, and wave their hickory walking sticks in Republican Scott Bruun's direction
PA-11: GOPer Lou Barletta responds to Paul Kanjorski's attacks
• DE-Sen: Looks like New York mayor Michael Bloomberg had to show some of that patented post-partisanship, having endorsed Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania yesterday. He offered a counterpoint in the form of an endorsement of Mike Castle in Delaware as well, and is doing a New York-based fundraiser for him tonight.
• IN-Sen: That grinding sound you hear is old-school Republican Dan Coats shifting gears, trying to fit into the Tea Party template. Having won the Republican Senate nomination in Indiana probably with big help from the split among teabagger votes between Marlin Stutzman and John Hostettler, he's now working on outreach to that set, trying to keep the focus on financial issues.
• LA-Sen: Chet Traylor (who's been seen polling in the single digits in polls we've seen so far of the Republican Senate primary) is out with an internal poll that purports to have him within striking distance of incumbent David Vitter. The poll by Verne Kennedy gives Vitter a 46-34 lead, keeping Vitter down in runoff territory. However, there's a huge caveat: that number comes after voters were informed about Vitter's use of prostitutes and employment of sociopathic aides, and there's no word of what the non-informed toplines were. Meanwhile, Traylor seems to be gaining little momentum on the fundraising front: he's filed a fundraising report showing he's raised $42K since announcing his bid last month, and has $41K on hand.
• NH-Sen: Bill Binnie, with little time left to catch up to Kelly Ayotte in the GOP primary, is defying orders from state party boss John Sununu to keep everything positive, and is rolling out two negative ads against Ayotte. Both ads focus on her time as Attorney General and her failure to pick up on anything wrong at Financial Resources Mortgage, which engaged in large-scale fraud and then collapsed.
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin hasn't wasted any time on the fundraising front. He's raised $410K already since declaring his candidacy last month, which may not initially seem like much but will go a long way in the cheap markets in West Virginia. Likely GOP opponent John Raese has raised only $30K, although he's also poured $320K of his own money into the race.
• IA-Gov, IA-Sen: Local GOP blog The Iowa Republican commissioned some polls of Iowa through Voter/Consumer Research. In a non-surprise, the Republicans are leading. Terry Branstad leads Chet Culver 53-35 in the gubernatorial race and Chuck Grassley leads Roxanne Conlin 59-33 in the Senate race. (Down the ballot, though, things look OK for Dems in the AG, Treasurer, and Supreme Court races.)
• OH-Gov: This goes in the "nice work if you can get it" file. In further evidence of the high-dollar revolving door between politics and academia, there are more details out on John Kasich's rich-guy sinecure at Ohio State University over the last decade. For instance, during 2008 he made $50K from OSU, but worked about four hours a month there, essentially making $4,000 for each visit to campus.
• PA-Gov: While the Dems got good news yesterday in the Senate race in Pennsylvania with the dropout of the Green Party candidate, they got bad news in the gubernatorial race today with the dropout of John Krupa. Krupa was running as the Tea Party candidate, but had to pull the plug after a GOP petition challenge left him with too few signatures.
• AZ-03: It looks like Ben Quayle's week or two in the sun is pretty much over after a one-two punch of salacious website revelations and his own incompetent TV ad; conventional wisdom is treating him as having plunged out of front-runner status in the GOP primary in the open seat 3rd. Self-funding businessman Steve Moak seems to have that role now, followed by underfunded but better-known state Sen. Jim Waring. (The article alludes to polling, but irritatingly doesn't offer any specifics.)
• FL-17: The Miami Herald offers interesting profiles of all nine Democrats competing in the primary to replace retiring Rep. Kendrick Meek. This dark-blue seat may be, of all the nation's open seats, the one we're most starved for information about, so it remains to be seen whether we can get an upgrade from Meek (who voted with an eye always toward his next promotion) in this seat.
• New York: Wow, there's a serious race to the bottom going on among the New York House delegation, with regards to Cordoba House: Mike McMahon, Tim Bishop, and even non-endangered Steve Israel all offered statements saying they should look elsewhere to build. This is playing out most interestingly in NY-24, where Richard Hanna -- one of the few conspicuously moderate Republicans on the front lines this year -- offered support for the project last week. Then Dem Mike Arcuri came out in opposition... and Hanna, realized he was getting outflanked on the right, did a 180 and is now against it too. While it's nice to see a GOPer getting caught in such a transparent and ad-worthy flip-flop, is this the kind of high-ground-ceding way we want to do it?
• NRCC: Everyone seems abuzz that the NRCC is out with its list of 40 targeted districts today and its plan to spend $22 million (more than their current $17 mil CoH). It's worth noting, though, that unlike the DCCC's $49 mil list of60 districts from July, these aren't even reservations (which require deposits - or a willingness to seriously piss off television stations if you try to cancel), only a telegraphing of their plans, so things may change. (They may also roll out more in two steps, as did the DCCC.) Most of the buzzing is about what got left out. (Where are the defenses in LA-02 and HI-01? There's a grand total of one defensive buy: the open seat in IL-10.) National Journal also has an interesting analysis of the method behind the NRCC's madness, noticing that they're playing Moneyball, focusing on the cheaper media markets and letting some of the more expensive East Coast markets slide.
• Ads: Lots of ad miscellany today, starting with big buys from Karl Rove-linked GOP group American Crossroads, which is spending $425K on an anti-Michael Bennet piece in CO-Sen, and $500K on a pro-Rob Portman (doesn't he have his own money?) spot in OH-Sen. Dina Titus and Betsy Markey, freshman Dems in tough defenses in NV-03 and CO-04, are both on the air with new spots with a similar strategy: go negative on TARP (they're inoculated from it, not having been in Congress in the previous cycle). Finally, Scott Murphy is dipping into his huge cash stash with his first ad in NY-20, a feel-good piece featuring his enormous family that (like Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's ad) traffics in the metaphor that Washington sometimes eats too much (although luckily this ad doesn't show anyone pooping).
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 37%, Rob Portman (R) 45%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 37%, Pat Toomey (R) 46%
• CO-Sen: Ken Buck twisted himself into a knot that's unlikely to satisfy anyone. After it came out that, about a year ago, he'd announced his support for the repeal of the 17th Amendment (which allows for direct election of Senators, and should alarm any non-teabagger), on Friday he clarified that, no, he's changed his mind and supports the 17th now (which should piss off any teabagger). While several House GOP candidates have touted the idea, Buck is the first Senate candidate to discuss why it's a good idea for people to vote for him so he can go to Washington and take away their right to vote... for him.
• FL-Sen: There's one more Florida poll to add to the growing pile; it's only of the Democratic Senate primary, though, and it's from Republican pollster Susquehanna on behalf of online media outlet Sunshine State News. They join in the chorus seeing Kendrick Meek pulling away from Jeff Greene, 45-30.
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's getting some support from an unexpected place: Michael Bloomberg, the loudly post-partisan New York mayor. Bloomberg, who'll stump on Sestak's behalf in Pennsylvania tomorrow, seems to like Sestak's efforts on better lending for small businesses. Another bright spot for Sestak: Green Party candidate Mel Packer is dropping out of the Senate race, not seeming able to withstand the pending court challenge to his petitions from the Sestak camp.
• AL-Gov: With friends like Artur Davis, who needs enemies? The ostensibly Democratic Rep., who seems to have gotten consumed with bile after his surprising yet thorough loss to Ron Sparks in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, published an op-ed in the Montgomery Advertiser yesterday titled "A lack of vision" that said that Sparks is "no champion of real change." The key quote: "In a break with tradition, I did not attend that [unity] event and will not be campaigning for the Democratic gubernatorial nominee." But really: read the whole thing, especially if you still had any shreds of respect left for Davis.
• CA-Gov: You know that saying about how if you want to experience the sense of yachting, just go stand in the shower with your clothes on and keep continuously flushing money down the toilet? I wonder if Meg Whitman is starting to get that sense about her own campaign and its nine figures worth of out-of-pocket sunk costs. She just wrote herself another $13 million check, saying that she had to throw down more because of the nerve of those unions and their insistence on using independent expenditures.
• IA-Gov: You might remember the gadflyish Jonathan Narcisse, a former Des Moines school board member and alternative newspaper publisher who'd made some motions about challenging Chet Culver in the Dem primary. Well, now he's back, and he's planning to mount an independent bid instead. He claims to have enough signatures to qualify, and despite his ostensibly left-of-center orientation claims to be getting a lot of interest from disgruntled Bob Vander Plaats supporters looking for an option to Terry Branstad.
• LA-Gov: In case there was any doubt, Bobby Jindal confirmed that he'll be running for re-election for Governor in 2011. That makes a 2012 presidential run seem less likely, given the quick turnaround, but he's young enough that he needn't hurry.
• MS-01: Travis Childers is out with his second ad in as many weeks, this one a negative spot against Alan Nunnelee (although self-narrated by Childers, rather than using the usual grainy black-and-white photos and angry-sounding voice of doom like most negative ads). Childers hits Nunnelee for raising various taxes while in the state legislature.
• NH-01: Frank Guinta, the presumed frontrunner in the GOP primary for the right to face Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, has some good news and bad news. The good news: he seems to have discovered an extra bank account in his name that had somewhere between $250K and $500K in it, which hadn't been on previous disclosure forms because of "an inadvertent oversight." The bad news: now he has to explain where all that money came from, which isn't exactly clear, as Guinta has partially self-funded his run but also done a lot of outside fundraising. This looks serious enough that ex-Rep. Jeb Bradley is calling for Guinta to drop out if he can't provide a credible explanation (although it should be noted that, although Bradley hasn't officially endorsed, he was already informally backing GOP primary rival Sean Mahoney).
• NY-06, NY-13: The New York AFL-CIO endorsed all but four New York House incumbents over the weekend: the two Republicans, naturally, but also Reps. Mike McMahon and... Greg Meeks? Turns out they've had a beef with Meeks (who's a bit of a mismatch with his dark-blue district) for a while, going back to his CAFTA vote. So this means they did endorse Mike Arcuri in NY-24, despite his HCR vote and subsequent antipathy from the Working Families Party.
• Ohio: We Ask America, an auto-dialing pollster with Republican connections that occasionally pops up with flurries of polls, rolled out three polls of different House races in Ohio last week. They add one more poll to the heap of doom for Rep. Steve Driehaus in OH-01, finding him losing to ex-Rep. Steve Chabot 51-39. They also find Paula Brooks unlikely to prevail in her right-candidate-wrong-year challenge to GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi in OH-12; she trails 51-34. Perhaps most interesting is OH-15, which I believe is the first poll released of this race, which many Dems have mentally written off already. While they have freshman Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy trailing, it's not that bad, in comeback-able range with a 46-41 lead for GOP rematch candidate Steve Stivers.
• Stumping: Barack Obama is making a three-state road swing over the next few days, appearing on behalf of three vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbents: Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Barbara Boxer in California, and Patty Murray in Washington. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton is making three appearances around Florida today on behalf of Hillary-endorsing Kendrick Meek in his Senate primary.
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 48%, Tom Foley (R) 33%
• GA-Sen: Michael Thurmond (D) 41%, Johnny Isakson (R-inc) 55%
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 30%, Paul LePage (R) 38%, Eliot Cutler (I) 16%
• ND-Sen: Tracy Potter (D) 25%, John Hoeven (R) 69%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 44%, Rick Berg (R) 53%
• AK-Sen: Wow, now we've got Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin working in harmony in at least one place: Huckabee just endorsed Joe Miller, the little-known right-wing challenger to Lisa Murkowski in the GOP Senate primary.
• AZ-Sen: J.D. Hayworth is out with a new ad in a last-ditch effort to make up some ground on John McCain, and he's relying on time-honored tradition of pulling a few of his opponents' words out of context. In this case, he swipes the passage "I chose lying" from McCain's 2002 audiobook, although in the book it was talking about the South Carolina confederate flag controversy, and Hayworth just slaps it down in an ad about immigration. The ad buy is for $365K.
• CA-Sen: This isn't a surprise in terms of which of the candidates they endorsed, but it might be interesting that the Chamber of Commerce decided there was enough of a shot in this race for them to weigh in. They're backing Carly Fiorina in the California Senate race, based on, y'know, her long track record of success at Hewlett-Packard.
• FL-Sen: A Mason-Dixon poll released late last week gives some hope to Kendrick Meek, who other polls had shown had fallen behind billionaire weirdo Jeff Greene in the Democratic primary. Their poll (conducted for "Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association") gives Meek a 33-29 lead. Greene's main problem seems to be that the press keeps on doing stories about, well, all those things that Greene has been doing for the last couple decades; yesterday the St. Petersburg Times looked at Greene's involvement in a California condo deal that belies his claims that he was a high-level investor and not involved in any of the myriad ground-level predatory lending transactions that, when all added together, helped create the real estate asset bubble. Greene's defense? "I don't follow what happens after the sale.... All I care about is that I get my money." Finally, whether Greene or Meek wins the primary, one more problem they'll have to deal with is the movement of prominent Democratic money to indie Charlie Crist. Pollster Mark Penn hasn't been anyone's image of a reliable or useful Democrat lately, but he is at least a prominent Democrat; he's now raising for Crist.
• KY-Sen: Will "I worship you, Aqua Buddha" become the newest political catchphrase that sweeps the nation? GQ has a hilarious (if somewhat disturbing) look back at Rand Paul's hellraising days at an undergrad at Baylor (a school from which, by the way, he doesn't have a bachelor's degree). It'll be interesting to see if this actually creates any blowback for Paul.
• WA-Sen: Interesting: another endorsement for the once-moderate Dino Rossi from another celebrity on the right in the Senate. Unlike Jim DeMint (whose backing he got last week), who has something of a fundraising network that comes with his endorsement, Tom Coburn (who just announced his support) just has cachet with right-wing fanboys. More evidence that Rossi, while publicly pretending to be focused only on the general, is scrambling to shore up his right flank before the Top 2 primary where he faces competition from various teabaggers, most significantly Sarah Palin-backed Clint Didier.
• FL-Gov: That Mason-Dixon poll had a Republican gubernatorial portion as well, and they do provide some confirmation for the sense that Bill McCollum is worming his way back into this thing, with not much time left on the clock. Rick Scott leads McCollum only 37-31. Worth noting: it doesn't seem to have anything to do with people taking notice of Scott's legacy of Medicare fraud at Columbia/HCA, but rather, McCollum consolidating the Republican Hispanic vote (where he leads 3-1), probably thanks to Scott's demagoguery on the immigration issue and McCollum's more even-handed stance. Meanwhile, not that Bud Chiles was gaining much momentum, but explaining this could be a big distraction: his former leadership of innocuous-sounding charity HOPE Worldwide, which it turns out is an arm of the cultish International Churches of Christ.
• IA-Gov: Social conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats ran a surprisingly close race against Terry Branstad in the GOP gubernatorial primary and then threatened an independent run when he didn't receive the proper amount of fealty post-primary. However, he announced last Friday that he won't attempt a third-party bid (which would probably give the advantage in the race back to Chet Culver). He'll focus his energies on defeating members of the Iowa Supreme Court, in retaliation for its gay marriage ruling.
• MN-Gov: If there's one campaign out there in need of a shakeup, it's Tom Emmer's, as polls have made clear that the GOP gubernatorial nominee's trajectory post-nomination has been aimed almost straight down. Old campaign manager Tom Mason departed for a farm upstate, replaced by former '08 Norm Coleman CM Cullen Sheehan.
• PA-Gov: Remember Sam Rohrer, the socially conservative state Rep. who persisted in the GOP primary against AG Tom Corbett (and lost big)? His supporters still haven't given up hope, and, although Pennsylvania law prohibits him from a ballot line in November, are now launching an independent write-in campaign for Rohrer. (Rohrer hasn't endorsed the idea, but isn't dissuading them either.) The write-in campaign is a particularly difficult beast, though, meaning that it's likely that Rohrer wouldn't pick up more than a couple percent, and the race would have to get closer than it currently is for that to harm Corbett's odds against Dem Dan Onorato.
• RI-Gov: Brown University is out with a poll on the Rhode Island gubernatorial race, and one thing is clear: no current Republican is going to win the race. Democratic state Treasurer Frank Caprio leads independent ex-Republican ex-Sen. Lincoln Chafee, by a bare 28-27 margin. For some reason, they seemed to poll the two Republicans jungle-style, but it really doesn't matter as both are non-factors: former Don Carcieri communications director John Robitaille is at 7 and ex-state Rep. Victor Moffitt is at 2.
• FL-08: Jeb! backs Web! Ex-gov. Jeb Bush cut an ad in support of ex-state Sen. Daniel Webster, who, with his dithering, managed to blow his early shot at consolidating GOP establishment support in the primary. Instead, he's one of many guys stuffed in the clown car, fighting for the right to oppose Rep. Alan Grayson.
• ID-01: The omission of Raul Labrador from the NRCC's Young Guns, which seems to admit any Republican who has enough opposable digits to successfully operate a telephone and call donors, seemed like it was becoming too embarrassing for even the NRCC's skilled writers to spin away. Labrador says he "changed his mind" and is now willing to join the entourage. Labrador, who has $69K, is only entering at the "On the Radar" level, though, the bottom of the pyramid.
• IL-14: State Sen. Randy Hultgren thought he struck some electoral gold when he found a contribution to Rep. Bill Foster from fellow Dem Maxine Waters for $1,000, which then demanded Foster give back. Unfortunately, there's something to be said for basic reading skills: the contribution wasn't to Bill Foster, but rather to former music industry exec Gary Foster, who's now head of a charitable org called Upliftment Jamaica. Naturally, the Hultgren camp blamed the FEC for forcing them to screw up.
• LA-02: Sen. Mary Landrieu announced her backing for state Rep. Cedric Richmond in the Dem primary in the 2nd, more evidence that the Dem establishment is trying to unite behind Richmond and put the squeeze on primary rival state Rep. Juan LaFonta.
• MI-09: As part of the transition from primary to general election, one item that's high on GOP nominee Rocky Raczkowski's to-do list is to walk back his previous birtherism. After telling Politico in a post-primary interview that he'd "love" to see Obama's birth certificate, he's now out with a statement that Politico took his out of context... without, of course, explaining what context such a comment should be taken in.
• OH-18: Stop the presses! (And hide the women!) Bill Clinton adviser turned Fox News talking head Dick Morris has announced he'll be making appearances on behalf of at least 40 Republican candidates this year. That includes a fundraiser for Rep. Zack Space's opponent, state Sen. Bob Gibbs, later this month.
• RI-01, RI-02: That Brown gubernatorial poll also looked at the Democratic primaries in the 1st and 2nd, although the margin of error is terribly high (7.4% in RI-01). In the 1st, Providence mayor David Cicilline is in command of the Dem field, leading former state party chair William Lynch 32-11 15, with 11 for businessman Anthony Gemma and 5 for state Rep. David Segal (who just got the local SEIU's backing, by the way). In the 2nd, Rep. Jim Langevin looks likely to weather his primary challenge with ease; he leads state Rep. Elizabeth Dennigan 55-12.
• SBA List: Anti-abortion group the Susan B. Anthony List has come out with polls of one open Senate race and three House races featuring Dem incumbents (where the common thread seems that all the Dems are anti-abortion), courtesy of that Republican pollster with the oh-so-creative name, The Polling Company. They find Dan Coats leading Brad Ellsworth 50-35 in the Indiana Senate race. The House races are an interesting mix of the good, the bad, and the so-so. For the good, Rep. Joe Donnelly seems to start on solid ground in IN-02, where he leads state Rep. Jackie Walorski 52-35. For the bad, Rep. Steve Driehaus may just be the most DOA of any House Democrat, as this is one more poll giving him a double-digit deficit against ex-Rep. Steve Chabot (51-41). And for the so-so, Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (last seen losing in a too-good-to-be-true internal from GOP opponent Mike Kelly) is leading Kelly by a pretty plausible 46-42.
• Blue Dogs: The Blue Dogs handed out a load of endorsements to Dem candidates, looking to replenish their soon-to-be-depleted ranks (thanks to a number of retirements, as well as many of their members being in many of the nation's most competitive races). Endorsees are Steve Raby in AL-05, Chad Causey in AR-01, Roy Herron in TN-08, Trent van Haaften in IN-08, and Stephene Moore in KS-03.
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 37%, Mike Castle (R) 49%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 46%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 36%
• IA-Gov: Chet Culver (D-inc) 36%, Terry Branstad (R) 52%
• KS-Gov: Tom Holland (D) 34%, Sam Brownback (R) 57%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 38%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 51%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 40%, Bill Binnie (R) 46%
• SD-Gov: Scott Heidepriem (D) 27%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 59%
• SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-inc) 42%, Kristi Noem (R) 51%
CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff has launched a new TV ad (a Joe Trippi Production), accusing Sen. Michael Bennet of "pushing companies into bankruptcy" while working for corporate raider (and right-wing zillionaire) Phil Anschutz. Bennet claims that his work for Anschutz Investments actually saved foundering movie theater chains from going out of business. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB.
CT-Sen: Politico's Shira Toeplitz talked to a bunch of bigtime Rob Simmons supporters (including ex-Rep. and all-time SSP enemy Nancy Johnson), all of whom seem to be fairly down on his chances at pulling off his weird comeback attempt against Linda McMahon. Simmons also told Politico that his internal polling matching a recent Quinnipiac survey, which had him down 52-25 in the primary, but wouldn't release any further details. So really, what's he doing? P.S. Linda McMahon's personal spending on the race is already up to $23 million.
FL-Gov: Obama alert! The POTUS will be doing a fundraiser with gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink in Miami Beach on August 18th. No word on whether he'll also help out Kendrick Meek. (Extremely eagle-eyed digesters of the digest will note that the Sink event is planned for the same day as a Ted Strickland fundraiser. Busy guy!)
IA-Gov: Heh. Former Gov. Terry Branstad's campaign is in trubba because it purchased two vehicles, including a $52K Winnebago - something that isn't kosher, on account of a state law which requires that campaigns lease, not buy. This is an amusing bust, because the law in question was passed when Branstad was governor - on account of a previous campaign of his purchasing a van for less than half its market value. This reminds me of when Chicken Lady (seems like so long ago!) received an improper donation of a $100,000 RV from a supporter. Ah, good times!
KY-Gov: Businessman Phil Moffett, managing partner of the telecommunications management company CCS Partners, is the first Republican candidate to enter the race against Dem Gov. Steve Beshear. Moffett says he's going after the teabagger vote, but he's been a big proponent of the stimulus-funded "Race to the Top" education bill, which makes me think he'll be anathema to the tribalist wing of the Republican Party. Anyhow, plenty more candidates wait in the wings for this race, which is not until 2011.
NV-Gov: Nevada Republican gubernatorial candidate is now claiming to have had an out-of-body experience, claiming he doesn't remember telling Univision that he wasn't worried about his kids getting profiled in Arizona because they "don't look Hispanic." Sandoval's exact, uh, apology: "If I did say those words, it was wrong and I sincerely regret it." So deeply weird.
NC-11: Memo to media: Message-testing polls are totally normal and fair game in any campaign. So Heath Shuler is testing out attacks on Republican Jeff Miller - he'd be negligent if he didn't do so. Not news. (At least no one called it a "push poll.")
NH-01, NH-02: Dean Barker at Blue Hampshire is one of my favorite state bloggers, so you should just go read what he has to say about UNH's new poll of NH-01 and NH-02. As for the toplines (PDF), in NH-01, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter leads all comers (April trendlines in parens): Frank Guinta 44-39 (38-42); Rich Ashooh 43-35 (36-39); Sean Mahoney 45-36 (37-40); and Bob Bestani 44-33 (37-38). In NH-02, it's Ann McLane Kuster 29, Charlie Bass 47 (30-42); Kuster 32, Jennifer Horn 34 (32-33); Katrina Swett 30, Bass 47; Swett 31, Horn 35 (31-35).
NY-15: Alright, the whip count is definitely winding down. Paul Hodes is now the latest to call on Charlie Rangel to resign, in the wake of formal ethics charges being announced against the veteran New York congressman. And Joe Sestak has returned Rangel's campaign contributions. At this point, I think pretty much everyone is gonna have to do that, so it's going to get pretty boring. Anyhow, of more direct relevance, CQ points out that it's now probably too late for Rangel to take his name off the September primary ballot, even if he wanted to. I wonder if he can still win re-election, somehow.
TN-08: It sounds like the NRCC is trying to game expectations with regard to Steve Fincher, their golden boy in the race to replace John Tanner. Fincher's been caught in a mega-multi-million dollar three-way fight, with Ron Kirkland and George Flinn beating up on him and each other. An NRCC flack says that Fincher "probably has the edge," but then immediately contradicts himself by saying a Fincher victory would be "against all odds" and that "anything can happen in primaries." I wouldn't be surprised at all if he lost in the primary next week (which, please note, is on a Thursday). Also important: Tennessee is the rare Southern state which does not feature runoffs.
DSCC/DCCC: God, pieces like this are just too depressing for me at this point. The Hill rounds up a pretty large list of retiring lawmakers who are still sitting on monster cash hoards. I mean, what the fuck is up with guys like Bill Delahunt? Says The Hill: "But Delahunt said there are competing political interests that need the money, and he'll decide how to spend it when the time is right." Shit, do I even need to say that the time is right... right now? Sigh.
Moose Lady: Heh again. The Washington Post has a special page devoted to tracking the Mama Grizzly-in-Chief's endorsements. It even has helpful logos for each candidate denoting whether they are "Establishment" or teabaggers. Anyhow, so far, Palin has 10 wins to 4 losses, with a bunch more races in the works.
I've been posting less often at Swing State Project lately because Iowa campaign news is keeping me busy at my home blog, Bleeding Heartland. From time to time I will keep SSPers up to date on our highest-profile races: Roxanne Conlin's bid against five-term Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Democratic Governor Chet Culver's re-election campaign against four-term former Governor Terry Branstad.
After the jump you'll find lots of links on the Iowa governor's race since Branstad won the June 8 primary with about 50 percent of the vote to 41 percent for Bob Vander Plaats and 9 percent for Rod Roberts.
NV-Sen: An interesting tidbit from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which Jon Ralston rightly knocks them for burying: Former Rep. Barbara Vucanovich, the first and only Republican woman to hold federal office in Nevada, says she isn't sure whether she can support Sharron Angle, and might just vote "none of the above."
WI-Sen: Former GOP candidate Terrence Wall is claiming that teabagging richie rich Ron Johnson engaged in "bribery" to win the state Republican convention in May - where "bribery" is characterized as, apparently, paying for some delegate hotel rooms. Johnson denies the allegations, and even his remaining opponent, Dave Westlake, isn't buying them either.
WV-Sen: Sen. Robert Byrd, age 92, was admitted to the hospital over the weekend and is said to be "seriously ill" by his staff. We of course extend our wishes for his recovery.
AZ-Gov: While she has some distance to go before she reaches Sharron Angle or Rand Paul levels of foot-in-mouth disease, I think Jan Brewer is going to be one of those Republicans who really helps us by not knowing how to shut up. Case in point: She said on CNN this weekend that "the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now becoming drug mules."
CT-Gov: Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley is busy explaining two arrests in his past, both involving vehicular incidents. (Click the link for full details.) No charges were filed in either incident.
FL-Gov: Florida Republicans are drafting a new immigration law for their own state modeled after Arizona's. We're slotting this under the FL-Gov header because AG Bill McCollum's office is helping to write this new bill. (Florida has one of the largest Hispanic populations in the country, with 21% of the state claiming Hispanic origin.) Meanwhile, the St. Pete Times takes a lengthy look at Rick Scott's tenure at Columbia/HCA, the healthcare giant which engaged in massive fraud and eventually paid a record-setting $1.7 billion fine. Scott is trying to tout his experience as a CEO, but of course keeps attempting to distance himself from his former company. Ah, but what's a little two-faced bullshit on the campaign trail?
IA-Gov: Ah, the Republican Party never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. As desmoines dem chronicles at her blog, Bleeding Heartland (bookmark it), Terry Branstad was dealt a pretty ugly vote-of-not-a-lot-of-confidence at the GOP state convention this past Saturday. Even though Branstad nominated his own Lt. Gov. candidate (the largely unknown Kim Reynolds), a state rep. put Bob Vander Plaats' name into the hopper for the nod - and Branstad's pick squeaked by with just 56% of the delegate vote. (Vander Plaats, of course, ran against Branstad for the gubernatorial nomination, losing by only about 10 points despite huge disparities in name rec and money.) And just the day before, BVP said he still wasn't planning to support Brandsad, nor would he rule out an independent bid. Smell the cat fud, baby!
AR-02: I'm not really getting Joyce Elliott's messaging here. On the one hand, she's trying to tie former AG Tim Griffin to his one-time mentor, Karl Rove. On the other hand, she says she won't run a campaign against Washington, DC. So not only is her message muddled, but she's also unilaterally disarming. I hope she sees the error of her ways on this one.
MA-10: State Rep. Jeffrey Perry is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies showing him with a 41-25 lead in the GOP primary over ex-state Treasurer Joe Malone. Perry also claims to have favorables of 44% and unfavorables of just 1%....
VA-02: Sarah Palin is going to be in town for a wingnut event called the "Freedom Fest." But GOP nominee Scott Rigell won't attend - and his campaign is offering some made-up sounding b.s. about FEC regulations preventing him from going. Unsurprisingly, teabagger Kenny Golden is hitting Rigell for his failure to appear. Ironically, Rigell is claiming the fact that Golden wasn't offered equal time at the event is a reason he (Rigell) isn't going!