That's the difficulty of a campaign. I mean, it's easy to just say, "Seal the border and enforce the law." What does that really mean? What does that entail? And when you're able to explain it, then they're alright. And I think for those who don't agree with my position-think that it ought to be something different-at least I think they give me a little credit for sticking with my position because I've always believed this is what we need and I continue to believe regardless of the political environment.
In the past I have supported a broad approach to immigration reform - increased border security coupled with a temporary worker program. I no longer do. I've been down that road, and it is a dead end. The political realities in Washington are such that a comprehensive solution is not possible, or even desirable, given the current leadership.
In other AZ news, the subscription-only Arizona Guardian says that ex-Rep. Matt Salmon may endorse Rep. Trent Franks, rather than his old buddy Flake (who succeeded him in Congress when he unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2002), something they characterize as a "snub" on their home page. Franks of course hasn't announced a run yet, but Dave Catanese claims he'll do so this Saturday. Just hope whoever told Dave this is more truthful than the dipshit who dissembled about Connie Mack last week. (And I still maintain that Dave had every right-if not an obligation-to burn that source.)
• FL-Sen: Adam Hasner has to be feeling pretty good about himself these days. Rep. Connie Mack inartfully bowed out of the race, and Mike Haridopolos has already scored a few own-goals. So the former state House Majority Leader took to his Facebook to declare that "this election still needs a proven limited government leader, who is solid across the board on the conservative principles." Why golly, that sounds just like Hasner, doesn't it?
• IN-Sen, IN-02: Rep. Joe Donnelly sure sounds like he's interested in running for Senate. He told Robert Annis, a reporter for the Indianapolis Star, that he thinks his "experience is best served in the Senate." Annis also characterized Donnelly as "leaning toward" a run. A different reporter at the same event characterized him as "leaning strongly toward" a Senate bid if the GOP makes his current district redder.
• MI-Sen: PPP has the remainders from their Michigan poll last week, a kitchen sink GOP primary:
Pete Hoekstra is the clear first choice of Republicans in the state for who they'd like as their nominee to take on Debbie Stabenow next year. 38% say he'd be their pick compared to 18% for Terri Lynn Land. No one else cracks double digits, with Saul Anuzis at 5%, Justin Amash, Randy Hekman, and Tim Walberg at 4%, Chad Dewey at 3%, and Tim Leuliette with the big egg at 0%.
Speaking of The Hook, he said he'll decide whether to challenge Stabenow in two weeks. In an amusing side note, Hoekstra admitted he got all butthurt when MI GOP chair Bobby Schostak said in a recent interview that he expects a candidate to emerge who is " head and shoulders" above the current crop of potentials-a group which obviously includes Hoekstra. Of course, Schostak also said of this mystery candidates: "I don't know who it is. They haven't met with me yet, if they're out there." We don't know who they are either!
• NV-Sen: Rep. Dean Heller, presumably trying to scare off would-be primary opponents, raised a pretty massive $125K in a single event in Vegas on Monday night.
• OH-Sen, OH-12: This is... getting strange. Top-tier Ohio Republicans have all pretty much taken a pass on challenging Sherrod Brown, or at least seem to be leaning against a run. But one guy all of a sudden put his name into the hopper: Rep. Pat Tiberi, who sits in the very swingish 12th CD. Tiberi's spokesman made sure to remind Dave Catanese that he's on Ways & Means, though, so that's a pretty tasty perch to give up. Catanese also notes that state Sen. Kevin Coughlin is preparing a run.
• RI-Sen: I guess rich guy Barry Hinckley is running against Sheldon Whitehouse? The founder of a software company called Bullhorn ("the global leader in On Demand, integrated front office software for the staffing and recruiting industry"), Hinckley is apparently trying to burnish his Republican credentials by holding some fundraisers at California yacht clubs. (Not joking about that.)
• LA-Gov: 2010 Lt. Gov. nominee Caroline Fayard is starting to sound very much like a gubernatorial candidate... that is, if you can hear her over her foot-stuffed-in-mouth. She didn't do much to help her cause by declaring at a recent even that she "hates Republicans" because they are "cruel" and "eat their young." (Uh, I talk a lot of shit about the GOP, but what does "eat their young" even mean?) Fayard later tried to wiggle her way out of this by claiming "I'm against the president, but I don't need to see his birth certificate." So she's managed to kill her crossover vote and her support among African Americans in one fell swoop. Well, uh, she sure is getting some free media out of this. (Hat tip: Daily Kingfish)
• CT-05: I guess I thought that former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D) had already announced she was running for Chris Murphy's seat, but apparently she's only just formed an exploratory committee.
• MN-06: It's not particularly meaningful, since the funds can be transferred to another federal account, but Michele Bachmann did just file to run for re-election yesterday.
• NY-25, VA-02: Dan Maffei apparently says he'll decide on a rematch "in the next two months," while Glenn Nye (I'd forgotten he was still considering) will wait until "sometime in the summer." (That's how The Hill phrased it in both cases.)
• RI-01: With the city of Providence's finances imploding, freshman Rep. David Cicilline is taking a beating over his stewardship of the city he used to be mayor of. Among other things, a new Brown University poll finds him with a statewide approval rating of just 17-49. Could Cicilline be vulnerable in the general election? I doubt it, but he could underperform annoyingly and require help that could best be expended elsewhere, like a Paul Kanjorski. I think he might be more at risk in a primary.
• Wisconsin Recall: In just the last two months, the Wisconsin Democratic Party reports raising $1.4 million-or, a quarter million more than it did in all of 2010. In other news, a coordinator of the petition drive against Randy Hopper seems to have gone off-message with his intimation that volunteers would have "closer to 30,000 than 15,000" signatures by Tuesday (a month before the deadline). 15,269 sigs are needed for the recall to happen, but a spokesperson for the Democratic Party told the Journal Sentinel that these figures (such as they are) "are not accurate" and wouldn't say more. Quite understandably, t's pretty much been the policy of the party not to talk about where things stand.
• Wisconsin Sup. Ct.: JoAnne Kloppenburg is out with TV and radio ads that tout her independence.
• WATN?: Artur Davis, douchebag from beyond the grave. This is actually the same link as the NY-25/VA-02 item above; Davis did an event with Maffei and Nye at which he said that President Obama would bear the brunt of the blame for any government shutdown. Davis's claim: "I think that voters always focus on the executive as the responsible officer." That's why Bill Clinton lost so badly in 1996, right?
In other WATN? news, I'm guessing that ex-Rep. Bart Gordon (D) is probably ruling out a run for the seat he voluntarily gave up last year (TN-06), or a Senate bid - he just took a job at the law firm of K&L Gates. (The "Gates" is Bill Gates, Sr., the Microsoft founder's dad, who is now retired.)
• Indiana: Have an idea for an Indiana state Senate map? Sen. Tim Lane (D) wants to hear from you! (Seriously!) Contact information is at the link.
• Louisiana: Even though he had said he'd stay out of it, Gov. Bobby Jindal's been weighing in on the redistricting process-and Dems, as you might guess, aren't happy about it. Click through the article to learn more about the exact nature of the dispute. Ultimately, though, it sounds as though Jindal will get his way, which more or less preserves the status quo.
• Funnymanders: What happens when a very careful redistricting job blows up in your face because the state Senate Majority Leader's son being groomed for the new seat tells the media he can't even remember being arrested for getting into a dispute over chicken fingers at Applebee's? Well, I'm calling that a funnymander. Nathan Gonzales has the details on that story, and a few other anecdotes as well, about redistricting gone awry.
• Dark Money: On the darker side of redistricting is all the unregulated cash flooding into various coffers, which Politico takes a look at. A big reason is an FEC decision last year which allowed members of Congress to raise unlimited soft money for redistricting groups, and both Dems and Republicans are, of course, going at it full bore.
The Republicans controlled the redistricting process in 2000, shifting the map from a 9-7 Democratic advantage to a 9-6 Republican one. (Michigan lost a seat in reapportionment.) They did this by redistricting three seperate pairs of Democratic incumbents into the same districts, thereby creating two new open Republican seats elsewhere. Architect of this plan? None other than then-state-senator Thaddeus McCotter, who oh-so-thoughtfully created one of those new open districts around his home base.
The GOP plan had turned into a little bit of a dummymander, since by 2008 the Democrats had flipped two districts to get an 8-7 advantage. This week's election, however, has restored the Republican's 9-6 edge. The 1st and 9th districts are in opposite hands from the 2002 elections; all other districts are controlled by the same party that won them eight years ago. (Wikipedia's version of the pre-Tuesday districts is above for reference.)
The Genesis of this Plan: Failed Attempts
One of my consolations on election night was the idea that even with control over redistricting again, the Republicans couldn't really make it any worse. At the time, it looked the the Democrats were going to be down to five districts: Dearborn-Ann Arbor, Flint-Saginaw, Southfield-Warren, and the two Detroit districts. That seemed like pretty much the rock bottom base of support for the Democrats in Michigan. But then Gary Peters pulled out a narrow victory, and I started to look to see whether the Republicans could get the Democrats down to five after all. Michigan is almost certainly losing another district, so let's see if it can be made a Democratic one.
Four of the six Democratic seats seemed pretty much untouchable. The VRA-protected Detroit-based 13th and 14th districts are, of course, ridiculously Democratic. Sander Levin's 12th district pulls together an only somewhat less-ridiculously-Democratic set of inner suburbs on Detroit's north side. And despite Dale Kildee's narrower-than-expected win on Tuesday, Flint is big enough to dominate pretty much any district you could conceivably put it in. That leaves Gary Peter's 9th district and John Dingell's 15th district as the remaining targets.
My first attempt actually took on John Dingell's district. Stretching from blue collar Dearborn to the university town of Ann Arbor, it was created as one of the three "pairing" districts, setting up then-Representive Lynn Rivers against Dean of the House Dingell. Dearborn was easy to move into John Conyer's 14th district. Ann Arbor has to end up in Democratic district, so I swung Gary Peter's 9th district around to pick it up. Thad McCotter's 11th then mostly gives up its claim on Oakland county to pick up the rest of the dismembered 15th.
The problem with this plan from a GOP perspective is what it does to McCotter. The distict is probably about 60% - 70% new to him, and it's not nearly as Republican as his old district. I haven't run the numbers, but just from eyeballing it, I would be surprised if this version of the 11th district didn't have a Democratic PVI.
My second attempt left Dingell's district more-or-less alone. (As pictured, all of Dingell's hometown of Dearborn ends up in Conyer's district, but this could possibly be played with.) Instead I merged McCotter's 11th district with Peter's 9th district. The resulting district has about half of its population come from each district. (Old Peters in blue; old McCotter in green.) It cuts out the most Democratic parts of each district (Wayne, Westland, and Garden City for the 11th; Pontiac, Auburn Hills, and Royal Oak for the 9th). Again, I haven't run the numbers for PVI; I suspect it's a Bush '04-Obama '08 district.
McCotter probably isn't the best candidate for an incumbent vs incumbent race, but this district -- in isolation -- would probably suit the state GOP fine.
The problem is what the rest of the state looks like.
Merging the 9th and 11th pulls Mike Roger's 8th district further east and north. This saddles the already swingy 7th district just won by Tim Walberg with heavily Democratic Lansing. The 7th, in turn, now donates Democratic-leaning Battle Creek to Fred Upton's already even-PVI 6th district.
So if I couldn't dismantle Dingell's district without giving McCotter too much hostile territory, and if merging McCotter's district and Peter's district resulted in weaker districts for Walberg and Upton, then what?
I was stumped for about a day, when the answer occured to me: attack Sander Levin's 12th district instead.
By bringing the Detroit-based 13th district north across Eight Mile into Macomb county, I could merge the Oakland portion of the 12th district into the 9th. (The old 12th is roughly outlined in white.)
Brief District-by-District Rundown
I'm considering working through the data to get firm PVIs for the proposed districts. For now, you have eyeballing-it. I did refer to the 2004 and 2008 numbers while drafting; I just never actually ran the calculations.
1st District (Blue)
This district is newly captured by Republican Dan Benishek. In the 2000 redistricting, this district was pulled down the Lake Huron coast towards Bay City as part of the dismantling of then-Representative Jim Barcia's district (he got paired with Dale Kildee in the 5th). Without such concerns, I pulled it down the Lake Michigan shoreline instead. Adding the Traverse City area instead of the upper Saginaw Bay area should make this district just slightly more Republican. Traverse is also a better cultural fit for the district. (Note that everything not pictured in the north of the state is in this district.)
2nd District (Green)
This district is currently Michigan's most Republican district by PVI. I don't think my alterations will change that. It gives up its northern reaches to the new 1st and stretches inland, taking in Grand Rapids' northern suburbs and exurbs.
3rd District (Purple)
The primary Republican concern with this district is making sure it has enough suburban/exurban territory to overwhelm the Democratic urban core in Grand Rapids. It gives up some territory north of the city and gains Eaton county to the east. I think this will be slightly more Republican than the existing 3rd.
4th District (Red)
As currently configured, this district is something of a left-overs district, taking in the northern counties not in the Upper Peninsula-based 1st or the Lake-Michigan-coast-based 2nd. Under my proposal, it becomes a somewhat more focused Central Michigan district. Largest city (and hometown of incumbent David Camp) Midland is now in the center of the district instead of on its eastern fringe. It takes in all of Democratic Bay county, but I think the rest of the territory is Republican enough to handle it.
5th District (Yellow)
The proposed 5th district is much like its 1990s-district-plan predecessor, taking in much of the Thumb instead of Bay City. This is because eliminating Levin's 12th district pulled Candice Miller's 10th district out of the Thumb. Since it's over that way anyway, it runs a tendril down the St Clair River to relieve Miller of smallish-but-heavily-Democratic Port Huron.
6th District (Teal)
Not much changes for the 6th. It exchanges a few townships in Calhoun county for a few in Branch, and takes in the rest of Allegan county. That last change should make it slightly more Republican. Incumbent Fred Upton should remain fine here.
7th District (Grey)
This proposal's greatest weakness. Newly re-elected Tim Walberg has a district with a PVI of R+2. Getting Monroe county from the dismantled-by-reapportionment 15th in exchange for giving the new 3rd Eaton county is essentially a wash. I just don't think that there's much the Republicans can really do to shore this district up.
8th District (Slate Blue)
Still subsumes Lansing in a sea of Republican-heavy exurbs. This configuration gives up somewhat-Republican Clinton county to gain very-Republican Lapeer county, so Mike Rogers should be happy.
9th District (Cyan)
The new 9th is one of the center-pieces of the plan. It combines most of Gary Peter's current 9th with about half of Sander Levin's current 12th. If it came to a primary, I'm not sure what would happen. Where the current 9th was designed as a Republican seat that's just slipped away, this 9th would be a Democratic safe seat, anchored by Southfield, Royal Oak, and Pontiac.
10th District (Deep Pink)
Candice Miller's 10th is pulled south by the elimination of the old 12th. Losing most its rural hinterland, the new 10th is definitely more Democratic than the old one, but I don't think it's that much more. I think Miller should still be fine. In one of the rare set of calculations I did do, the portions of Macomb county not in the district (ie, in the new 13th) voted for 63% for Obama. The portions of Macomb in the district voted only 52% for Obama. That probably means that Bush won the new 10ths portion of the county in 2004 (here, we're back to no calculations.)
11th District (Lime Green)
In order to shore up McCotter, the district loses three of its inner surburbs and snakes around the north side of the new 9th to pick up some more heavily Republican territory. McCotter should put up much better numbers in this reconfigured district.
12th District (Cornflower Blue)
With the dismantling of the old 12th, I reused the district designation for the reinvention of Dingell's dismantled-by-reapportionment 15th. The new 12th loses Monroe county to pick up the southern portions of Downriver. I'm pretty sure this will push its PVI in an even-more Democratic direction, and Dingell (and/or his successors) should be safe here all decade.
13th District (Salmon?)
The other centerpiece of this plan. It takes in roughly similar portions of Detroit as its predecessor (along with the Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods.) Instead of stretching into Downriver, though, it crosses over into southern Macomb, snatching away the eastern half of Levin's district and saving Miller from having to take on the most Democratic parts of the county. VRA: 53% black, 42% white.
14th District (Olive Drab)
Conyers' new district takes in basically the same portions of Detroit as his old one. The primary difference are the addition of Redford township, the subtraction of any part of Dearborn, and the taking in of the northern half of the Downriver communities instead of the western half. VRA: 53% black, 34% white.
I was originally concerned about whether this was too much county-splitting in the Detroit area, but it's actually less than currently exists. Currently, the tri-county Detroit metro area has the following configuration:
Wayne: 2 full districts (13th, 14th), 2 partial districts (11th, 15th) Oakland: 1 full district (9th), 3 partial districts (8th, 11th, 12th) Macomb: 2 partial districts (10th, 12th) for 10 total county-fragments.
Under this new configuration, the tri-county Detroit metro area looks like this:
Wayne: 1 full district (14th), 3 partial districts (11th, 12th, 13th) Oakland: 1 full district (9th), 2 partial districts (8th, 11th) Macomb: 2 partial districts (10th, 13th) for 9 total county-fragments.
Conclusion (TL;DR version)
By eliminating Levin's 12th district, I created four packed super-safe districts for the Democrats in the metro Detroit area, with one other safe Democratic district in the Flint-Saginaw area. Republican incumbents in the 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 11th districts are shored up. Republican incumbents in the 4th and 10th districts take minor hits. The Republican incumbent in the 2nd district needed no help; and the one in the 7th district is unhelpable. This plan would more or less lock in an 8 GOP - 5 Dem - 1 swing district pattern for the rest of the decade.
• AK-Sen: Daily Kos just added Scott McAdams to its Orange to Blue list, so if you're still looking to throw some money in his direction, you can do so via Big Orange. Meanwhile, Lisa Murkowski is trying to gear up her write-in campaign, and with Ted Stevens having been laid to rest this week, she's mulling whether to roll out those ads featuring Stevens that she had ready to go pre-primary but pulled because of his death. This can't be good news for Murkowski, though: Rep. Don Young, more from the Murkowski/Stevens wing of the local GOP than the teabagger wing, is having a bout of self-preservation and is staying neutral, not endorsing anyone in the race. Finally, here's one more page in Joe Miller's ongoing saga of milking the system that he hates so darn much: when new to Alaska (but after he'd bought his expensive house and started working as an attorney), he obtained an indigent hunting/fishing license that required an income of less than $8,200/yr.
• DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell says she attended Oxford. Oh, no, wait, she took a course from something called the Phoenix Institute that "rented space from" Oxford. Why am I not surprised?
• FL-Sen: I always figured that the early love affair between the local teabaggery and Marco Rubio wouldn't last; he seemed more from the mainstream Jeb Bush camp and it seemed more a marriage of convenience based on his charisma but mostly on the fact that he wasn't Charlie Crist. Anyway, he's pretty much severed the relationship and making a break for the establishment with his latest revelation, that he decided several months ago against privatizing Social Security after concluding the idea "doesn't work." (If Ken Buck gets elected, I wonder how long it'll take him to make the same move?)
• IL-Sen: The DSCC is keeping on pouring money into the Land of Lincoln, bolstering Alexi Giannoulias. They're adding another $400K to the pile, for another week on the air.
• KY-Sen: The NRSC is taking the opposite tack, engaging in a little advertisus interruptus and pulling out for a week from Kentucky. (They claim they're doing so from a position of strength, naturally.) Meanwhile, this is kind of small ball ($1,400 in contributions from three guys), but it's still the kind of headline you probably don't want to see if you're Rand Paul, especially once you've made your feelings on the Civil Rights Act clear:
Conway camp calls on Paul to return money from white separatists
• NY-Sen-B: Marist (9/19-22, likely voters, 5/3-5 in parentheses):
Marist gives you a buffet of different numbers of choose from, as it's 54-42 for Gillibrand when leaners are pushed, or it's 55-36 when polling just registered voters (meaning there's an enthusiasm gap worth 8 points here). They also find Chuck Schumer having no problems in the other Senate race, leading Jay Townsend 58-37 among LVs (and 63-32 among RVs).
• WI-Sen: Ron Johnson's one act of political participation prior to this year -- testifying before the state legislature in opposition to the bipartisan-supported Wisconsin Child Victims Act -- is getting a second look in the press. His main interest in opposing the bill was that it could lead to corporations or other business entities being held liable for acts of employees, worried about the "economic havoc" it would create (and worried that those meddling "trial lawyers" would benefit). Think Progress has video of the testimony.
• WV-Sen: This seems like a new one to me... John Raese is actually paying people to write letters to the editor on his behalf. Not just offering them McCain Bucks that can't be redeemed for anything in the real world, but running an actual contest giving money to people who get the most letters published. Also, I'll give John Raese credit for being himself even when he's being followed around by reporters. Here's his reaction to finding out that the NRA endorsement went to Joe Manchin:
Raese speaks angrily into the phone, his words full of threat: "Tell them that I have an A plus rating with them, and that if they are fair they should include that. Tell them about the polling. Tell them I'm riding an elephant." Raese pulls the cell phone away from his ear, hands it back to Patrick the driver, and says "That has made it a lot harder."
• CT-Gov: Little known fact: did you know that Jodi Rell still hasn't endorsed Tom Foley yet, despite only weeks to go? Foley's camp is saying it's imminent, but it looks like Rell has summoned up even less enthusiasm in the general as she did for her Lt. Gov., Michael Fedele, in the GOP primary.
• FL-Gov: Here's an interesting endorsement for Alex Sink: she got the backing of term-limited Republican state Sen. Alex Villalobos. Villalobos is also backing Charlie Crist (and even Dan Gelber in the AG race), so this exactly a sign of the Republican edifice collapsing, though.
• IA-Gov, SD-AL: Add one more to the long list of Dems who are getting a nice NRA endorsement as their box-of-Rice-a-Roni-and-can-of-Turtle-Wax-style parting gift on their way out the studio door. Chet Culver just got the backing of the gun lobby. (One state to the north, they also just backed Stephanie Herseth Sandlin today.)
• CA-44: PPP for Democrats.com (9/24-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Bill Hedrick (D): 38
Ken Calvert (R-inc): 49
Despite being woefully underfunded, Bill Hedrick's keeping the race competitive in his rematch against Ken Calvert (recall that he almost won, out of nowhere, in 2008). How he makes up that last 12 points in this climate, though, I'm not sure.
• FL-22: Harstad Research Group for Project New West (9/20-22, likely voters, no trendlines):
Ron Klein (D): 48
Allen West (R): 43
There's lots of back-and-forth in the polling of the 22nd, with each side sporting their own internal with a lead in the last week. Dem pollster Harstad weighs in with another one going in Ron Klein's column.
• KS-03: Moore money, Moore problems? Retiring Rep. Dennis Moore is still busy emptying out his campaign coffers, transferring $100K more to the Kansas Democratic party (on top of a previous $100K in June). That's probably with the understanding that the money will be used to pay for their newest mailer in support of Stephene Moore, running to succeed her husband.
• NH-01, NH-02: American Research Group (9/22-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Carol Shea-Porter (D-inc): 40
Frank Guinta (R): 50
Ann McLane Kuster (D): 36
Charlie Bass (R): 38
Here are some unusual results from ARG! (although should we expect anything else?): they find Carol Shea-Porter getting keelhauled in the 1st, while the open seat battle in the 2nd is a swashbuckling battle (contrary to other polls we've seem of these races, where the 1st has been a tossup or a narrow CSP advantage while the 2nd has looked bad).
• PA-08: I've been patiently waiting here for actual toplines for more than a day, but it seems like they aren't forthcoming... so I'll just let you know there's a Harstad Research Group poll (on behalf of SEIU and VoteVets, not the Patrick Murphy campaign) out in the 8th that gives Murphy a 3-point lead over Mike Fitzpatrick and an 8-point lead among voters who voted in 2006. It was taken Sept. 20-22.
• WI-07: Garin Hart Yang for Julie Lassa (9/26-27, likely voters, in parentheses):
Julie Lassa (D): 41
Sean Duffy (R): 42
Gary Kauther (I): 7
I don't know how good a sign this is, releasing an internal where you're still trailing in a Democratic-leaning district. Lassa needs to let the donors know she's still in this, I suppose.
• WV-03: Global Strategy Group for DCCC (9/23-26, likely voters, no trendlines):
Well, here's one district where all the polls (even the one from AFF) are consistent in showing a nearly-20 point edge for long-time Dem Nick Rahall.
• NY-St. Sen.: Four polls from Siena of key New York State Senate races have, on the balance, bad news for the Democrats: Darrell Aubertine, the first Democrat in several geological epochs to hold SD-48 in the North Country, is trailing GOP opponent Pattie Ritchie for re-election, 48-45. Brian Foley, in Long Island-based SD-4, is also in a tough race, leading Lee Zeldin 44-43. Meanwhile, two Republican incumbents are looking fairly safe: Frank Padavan, who barely survived 2008 in Dem-leaning Queens-based SD-11, leads ex-city councilor Tony Avella 56-32, while in SD-44, Hugh Farley leads Susan Savage 55-37. (I'd rather see them poll the open seat races; that's where the Republicans are at more risk.)
• Mayors: There aren't a lot of big-city mayoral races where the decisive vote is in November (most were wrapped up in the primaries), but one interesting one is Louisville, where the longtime Dem incumbent Jerry Abramson is leaving in order to run for LG next year. Dem Greg Fischer (who you may remember from the 2008 Senate primary) is beating Republican city councilor Hal Heiner 48-42, according to SurveyUSA.
• DLCC: You probably saw yesterday that the DLCC is out with a first round of 20 "essential races" for controlling key state legislative chambers. Well, over in diaries, now they're soliciting suggestions for further additions to the list, so please add some suggestions from races that are near and dear to your own hearts.
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: The Chamber of Commerce, trying to salvage this dwindling race, tries to hang the "career politician" tag on Barbara Boxer
• CO-Sen: The DSCC goes after Ken Buck on Social Security again
• CO-Sen: The NRSC runs an anti-Michael Bennet ad, hitting him on his support for health care reform
• DE-Sen: The DSCC crams as much Christine O'Donnell insanity as it can into 30 seconds
• IL-Sen: Mark Kirk goes back to where he began, with another bio spot of small town boy made good
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's newest ad keeps on trying to tie Pat Toomey to Wall Street
• WV-Sen: The DSCC goes after John Raese for supporting eliminating the minimum wage and his own ooopses at his own company
• CT-Gov: The DGA hits Tom Foley on outsourcing in his former career as textile magnate
• MI-Gov: The RGA hits Virg Bernero on spending as mayor (OMG! he spent $1,277 on pencils!)
• NM-Gov: Another Susana Martinez attack ad hits Diane Denish for some bungled solar power thingamajig
• TX-Gov: Here's a mindblowing stat: the DGA has never paid for advertising in Texas... until now. They're out with an attack on Rick Perry, calling him what nobody wants to be called this cycle ("career politican")
• KY-03: Todd Lally's out with two ads, one a bio spot, the other a pretty funny attack on John Yarmuth using the K-Tel greatest hits album motif
• MI-07: Tim Walberg has to call on his mom for help: not to do any polling on his behalf, just to appear in an ad about Social Security
• NC-02: This was probably inevitable... AJS weighs into the 2nd with an ad using Bob Etheridge going apeshit on a poor innocent little tracker
• NC-11: Repent now or Jeff Miller will forever cast you into the fiery pits of Nancy Pelosi's hell!
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy touts how well he cooperated with George W. Bush! (on Medicare Part D, though, which probably plays well among North Dakota's aging population)
• PA-08: Outsourcing must be polling well for the Dems these days, as Patrick Murphy hits Mike Fitzpatrick on that
• VA-05: Indie candidate Jeff Clark scrounged up enough money to advertise? And he's attacking GOPer Robert Hurt? That's good enough for me
• CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 50%, Tom Foley (R) 40%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 46%, John Raese (R) 48%
• Fox/Pulse (aka Rasmussen):
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 44%, Dan Maes (R) 15%, Tom Tancredo (C) 34%
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 43%, Ken Buck (R) 47%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 36%, Bill Brady (R) 46%, Rich Whitney (G) 8%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 40%, Mark Kirk (R) 42%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43%, John Kasich (R) 45%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 37%, Rob Portman (R) 50%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 48%, Dino Rossi (R) 47%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 45%, Scott Walker (R) 49%
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 44%, Ron Johnson (R) 52%
• DE-Sen: One more Real World alum in the political news: that's first-season vet Eric Neis debating Christine O'Donnell in this new 90s video that's surfaced. Ooops, I'm burying the lede: the point of the video is that O'Donnell answers in the affirmative when asked if she wants to stop the whole country from having sex.
• KY-Sen: Benenson Strategy Group for DSCC (9/14-19, likely voters, early Sept. in parentheses):
Jack Conway (D): 42 (45)
Rand Paul (R): 45 (47)
Undecided: 13 (8)
The newest Benenson poll from the DSCC shows things pretty stable in the Kentucky race, with Jack Conway hanging back within striking distance of Rand Paul. They also find Conway leading 48-45 among those who actually know both candidates (and find Paul with greater name recognition: 84%, to 72% for Conway).
• MO-Sen: The DSCC is also out with an internal poll in Missouri, one of the other races where they'd like you to know they're still playing offense, courtesy of Garin Hart Yang (no mention of the dates, MoE, or any of that useful stuff, though... just a leak to the Fix). The poll has Robin Carnahan trailing Roy Blunt 45-41 (and only 41-40 without leaners). Roy Blunt, meanwhile, is engaging in typical frontrunner behavior, trying to limit debates (to avoid any grist for the negative ad mill); there will only be two debates, neither in a network TV setting.
• NC-Sen: National Research for Civitas (9/15-17, likely voters, 7/19-21 in parentheses):
Elaine Marshall (D): 29 (37)
Richard Burr (R-inc): 49 (44)
Mike Beitler (L): 3 (3)
Undecided: 17 (15)
Thanks to a big lead with unaffiliateds (48-21), Richard Burr has a big lead in North Carolina. With a big financial disparity, unless there's some outside assistance, that lead's probably going to continue (although I'd be surprised if it's actually a full 20 points). One other interesting note: Civitas hires out third-party pollsters, and this is their first poll since they switched to Republican internal pollster National Research.
• NV-Sen, NV-Gov: The only evidence we have of this poll is a Jon Ralston tweet, but apparently there's a poll rumbling around behind the scenes from a reputable Republican pollster that gives a 5-point lead to Harry Reid, 42-37 (among RVs). That's quite plausible; the real shock here, though, is that it also finds Rory Reid trailing only by 6 in the governor's race.
• WV-Sen: The big news here is probably that the NRSC is plowing $1.2 million into this race, hoping for the upset (as this race seems to be increasingly taking the place of Washington and California) or at least to pull DSCC fire away from elsewhere. That's just to run one new ad, tying Joe Manchin to Barack Obama; part of the expense is that the ad is running in the DC market, so it can reach the Panhandle. (You can see the IE filing here.)
One more plus, though, for Joe Manchin, is that he's getting the NRA's endorsement (one more in a seemingly endless parade of ConservaDems getting backed this week). Also, some details about John Raese are surfacing that may lead to ads that write themselves: photos of his marble-driveway Florida mansion, where it turns out his family lives full-time (presumably because of Florida's big juicy homestead exemption, but also because of the schools, as he wants a school system he "believes in")... and Raese's own description, in a radio interview yesterday, of how hard he worked for his riches:
RAESE: I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it. I think that's a great thing to do. I hope more people in this country have that opportunity as soon as we abolish inheritance tax in this country, which is a key part of my program.
• AZ-Gov: Here's a look at the financial situation in Arizona, where both gubernatorial candidates are relying on clean elections public financing in their bids. Dem Terry Goddard has about $1 million left to spend, while Jan Brewer has $860K left. Goddard also spent more in the last reporting period, spending $477K to Brewer's $291K.
• MA-Gov: If you're shedding your main campaign strategist with 40 days to go, that's probably a sign that you're not going to win. That's what happened with the Tim Cahill camp, who said goodbye to John Weaver. Having seen Cahill's share plunge into the single digits, Weaver said (in a parting shot) at this point, Cahill's candidacy is just hurting Charlie Baker's chances.
• NY-Gov: Marist (9/14-19, likely voters, no trendlines):
Andrew Cuomo (D): 53 (67)
Carl Paladino (R): 34 (22)
Rick Lazio (C) : 9 (NA)
Undecided: 6 (11)
I don't know if the Marist poll exactly qualifies as a tie-breaker in the New York gubernatorial race, but it's a likely voter poll (instead of an RV poll, like Siena), and it doesn't have that outlier-ish whiff that Quinnipiac had. Also adding to its potential credibility: it's about halfway between the two, if erring somewhat on the side of Andrew Cuomo's safety. (It looks like they'll release Senate numbers later, separately.)
• CA-47: This is the first time I've ever used the scary all-caps to put words in the mouth of a Democratic candidate, but Loretta Sanchez just sent up the alarm that THE VIETNAMESE ARE COMING FOR HER SEAT!!!1!! Not just Van Tran, but apparently all of them!!! I suppose that's a dog-whistle of sorts to her Latino base in this seat that has a Latino majority (though not a lot of actual voters among them) and a politically active Asian minority, where her Republican challenger is Vietnamese. Kind of a faceplant moment for Sanchez, who has had good outreach to the Vietnamese community in the past (up until now, I'd imagine) and has relied on their votes to stay in office.
• MI-01: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Gary McDowell (9/21-22, likely voters, no trendlines):
Gary McDowell (D): 38
Dan Benishek (R): 41
Glenn Wilson (I): 12
Here are some not-bad numbers from an internal for Gary McDowell, showing this is one of the few Republican-leaning open seats where we're still in fighting shape right now. McDowell's offering some pushback against a Dan Benishek internal that gave Benishek a 39-25 lead in a race that also includes wealthy independent Glenn Wilson.
• MI-07: It's a little late in the game for ex-Rep. Tim Walberg to be jumping on the birther train (that's so 2009...) but he just said that he doesn't know if Obama was born in the U.S. Meanwhile, his incumbent Dem opponent, Mark Schauer, is out with an internal poll in response to the Rossman Group poll that gave a 4-point lead to Walberg. Schauer's poll, taken 9/21-22 by Myers Research, finds a mirror-image 4-point lead for Schauer, 49-45 (or if you'd prefer inclusion of all third-party candidates, he's up 45-43).
• NRCC: The NRCC is wading into six more districts that they haven't been in before, with IE ad buys. Most (except for WA-03) of these districts feel like "Lean Dem" districts right now, but where the GOP thinks it can make some inroads: Ike Skelton's MO-04, Chris Carney's PA-10, Steve Kagen's WI-08, Martin Heinrich's NM-01, and the open seats in MA-10 and WA-03.
• AFF: The financially-disadvantaged NRCC can't win this all on its own, so AFF is keeping up its IEs, too. They're going on the air in four new districts, two of which overlap the above list. They're hitting SD-AL ($360K), TX-17 ($117K), NM-01 ($290K), and WA-03 ($875K).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The softer side of Ken Buck? He's out with a positive ad with testimonials from senior citizens
• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist simultaneously hits both his opponents on corruption issues in one ad, hitting Kendrick Meek's real estate dealing and Marco Rubio's enthusiastic use of RPOF credit cards
• NC-Sen: It seemed to work well the first time for Richard Burr, so the rocking chair guys are back for another round
• NV-Sen: The newest ad from Harry Reid hits Sharron Angle for not supporting requiring health insurers to cover mammograms and colonoscopies
• NY-Sen-A: Chuck Schumer's running his first ad of the cycle, a bio spot, on local cable
• PA-Sen: Pat Toomey's newest ad is a hard negative one linking Joe Sestak to Barack Obama; interestingly, it's not running in the Philadelphia market
• WA-Sen: Dem group Commonsense Ten is out with an anti-Dino Rossi ad throwing the kitchen sink at him, including the foreclosure seminars
• CA-Gov: The latest Meg Whitman opus attacks Jerry Brown over Oakland schools during his tenure as mayor
• CA-47: Loretta Sanchez launches a negative ad against Van Tran, featuring him asleep on the job (during an Assembly budget all-nighter)
• LA-03: Bet you'd forgotten there's still one race where the field isn't set? (There's still a GOP runoff here.) Anyway, Hunt Downer is out with an ad full of adorable babies... to make the point that Jeff Landry is insufficiently pro-life
• PA-03: Kathy Dahlkemper engages in some fat-cat bashing, tying Mike Kelly to Wall Street
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 44%, Rick Scott (R) 50%
• FL-Sen: Kendrick Meek (D) 21%, Marco Rubio (R) 40%, Charlie Crist (I) 31%
• MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 41%, Tom Emmer (R) 42%, Tom Horner (I) 9%
• OK-Gov: Jari Askins (D) 34%, Mary Fallin (R) 60%
• SC-Gov: Vincent Sheheen (D) 33%, Nikki Haley (R) 50%
• TX-Gov: Bill White (D) 42%, Rick Perry (R-inc) 48%
CT-Sen: It feels as thought we've been partying like it's 1994 in more ways that one this cycle. One major throwback has been Republicans who can't control teh crazy and insist, Newt Gingrich-style, on calling for the abolition of the Department of Education. In fact, Linda McMahon did `em one better, telling some teabaggers that she would also consider getting rid of the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. I don't understand whatever cultural bug Republicans have up their ass about the Dept. of Education, but suffice it to say that when you say you want to get rid of it, it sounds like you want to cut education funding, period. So please, keep saying that.
DE-Sen: A GOP source tells Politico that Mike Castle is fielding a poll to test his chances as a write-in. Castle has until Sept. 30th to file a statement with the elections board, something a spokesman said is an "under 5%" chance.
AL-Gov: We've seen all kinds of unexpected touting of seemingly sucky internal polls this cycle, but this may be one of the roughest. Dem Ron Sparks is saying that a poll by Capital Survey Research Center showing him down 52-39 to Republican Robert Bentley is "good news," because a July survey had Sparks behind by 22. (Technically this isn't an internal, but rather was produced by Dem-allied teachers union Alabama Education Association.)
FL-22: Allen West is out with what the Palm Beach Post is terming a "brushfire" poll (n=300) from Wilson Research Strategies that has him up 48-42 over Ron Klein. A recent Klein internal had almost opposite numbers, 48-40 for the Dem.
NC-04: This is a couple of weeks old, but repeat Republican candidate B.J. Lawson claims to have an internal poll from robopollster Action Solutions, purporting to show him up 47-46 over Rep. David Price. But, cautions Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report: "This isn't your standard polling outfit. This is an outfit that most in Washington would not consider reputable." Lawson only has $50K on hand (though Price only has $300K), and got crushed last time out, 63-37. His fundraising also seems to be off from his 2008 pace, when he took in half a million (he's raised just $150K this cycle).
RI-01: Dem David Cicilline is out with a comforting poll from the Feldman Group, showing him up 53-38 over Republican John Loughlin.
VA-05: I'm almost getting tired of keeping track of these, but anyhow... the NRA is expected to endorse Dem Tom Perriello.
NY-AG: A couple of pollsters also took a look at the AG's race in their recent New York polling packages. Quinnipiac, unsurprisingly, finds a close race: Dem Eric Schneiderman is at 37 while Republican Dan Donovan is at 36. Siena (PDF) paints a somewhat different picture, showing Schneiderman up 45-32 over Donovan. Both men have very low name rec in both polls, and the both hold voters of their own parties equally well. Donovan has small leads among independents in both surveys.
DE-Sen: Interesting - Mike Castle isn't ruling out a write-in bid. If he does pull the trigger, let's see if the NRSC and the Senate GOP caucus have the stomach to tell Castle to fuck off. It'd be a great test of their will - and their willingness to embrace Christine O'Donnell.
FL-Sen: Al Gore Alert! In a rare sighting on the campaign trail, Al Gore (still my president!) will headline a rally for Kendrick Meek in Tampa on September 30th. Have we seen Gore do events for any other candidates this cycle?
KY-Sen: Objectively pro-methamphetamine senate candidate Rand Paul keeps running into trouble over his views on drugs. Republican Clay County Sherriff Kevin Johnson endorsed Paul after Paul told him he supported Operation UNITE, a federally-funded anti-drug task force. Paul's hostility to UNITE, though, is what's gotten him into hot water in the first place - and amazingly enough, when asked to confirm his pledge to Johnson, Paul's campaign refused to back it up! I had always hoped/prayed/expected that Rand Paul was such a hardcore libertarian that he'd rigidly - and publicly - cling to beliefs that halfway-competent politicians would be smart enough to elide, deny, or just plain hide. I just figured it would be something like the gold standard, not, you know, meth.
Surprisingly, Paul hassmelled the glove belonging to a very different interest group, the neocons. They mistrust Paul's views on Israel and probably just on the general concept of randomly invading countries and killing people.
AR-Gov: That Ipsos poll which showed Blanche Lincoln "only" 14 points into her political grave also has a gubernatorial component. Dem Gov. Mike Beebe is beating Republican Jim Keet by a 55-37 margin among LVs. You want an enthusiasm gap? Beebe wins 58-30 among RVs. (It was 57-35 among RVs back in July.)
CO-Gov: God, I love the smell of ratfucking in the morning. So, we all know about Scott McInnis's now-legendary implosion thanks to his plagiarism/theft scandal, but Democrats had a big hand in consigning him to the dustbin of history. It turns out that a group called the Colorado Freedom Fund spent half a million bucks on ads blistering McInnis during the primary, in order to help bolster Dan Maes. The DGA was a big contributor to this effort, chipping in $150K, while unions and wealthy philanthropist Pat Stryker gave the rest. Excellent fucking work, guys.
MN-Gov: The RGA is funneling $428K to a pro-Tom Emmer group, while the DGA sent a quarter mil to an org helping Dem Mark Dayton.
TX-Gov: Rick Perry may not be the suckiest suck who ever sucked, but you'll have to agree that he is pretty sucky. The Texas Farm Bureau finally agrees, too. Though they've always endorsed him in the past (and have always endorsed Republicans for governor), they're giving up on his sorry ass this year and staying neutral in the race. (They previously endorsed Kay Bailey Hutchison against him in the primary.) It probably didn't help that a Perry spokesman, in an attempt to bolster his boss's teabagger/secessionista cred, derided the bureau as "an insurance company that supported the bailout."
IL-14: We could call this the Hypocrisy State Project and still have tons to write about. The latest chapter in this never-ending saga is penned by Republican Randy Hultgren, who was responsible for marketing his investment firm's funds. One of the firm's offerings invested entirely in bailout-backed securities, which were described by one Wall Streeter as "an incredibly free lunch." This is a two-fer, because this fund was also based in the Cayman Islands, to take advantage of lax tax laws, of course.
MA-10: Massachusetts, at least, is one place where Republicans still need to run away from their own party in order to be electable. So it's no surprise to see Jeffrey Perry declare that he doesn't want Sarah Palin showing up in his district. (Don't worry, bud, I think you're safe.) Of course, Perry isn't exactly from the non-crazy wing of the Republican Party (to the extent there still is such a thing), since he has teabagger ties himself.
MI-07: Rossman Group/Team Telcom (9/20, likely voters, no trendlines):
Mark Schauer (D-inc): 38
Tim Walberg (R): 42
NY-18: This interview with Jim Russell - remember him from yesterday? the guy whose writings have been favorably cited by the KKK? - is just brutal. He doesn't disavow anything. So we've gotta ask: Why isn't the press giving this guy the Alvin Greene treatment? After all, Greene's weirdest idea was to sell bobblehead dolls. Russell thinks there are too many Jews. Anyhow, the Westchester GOP is trying to get Russell off the ballot through legal means, and they say if they can't, they'll run a write-in candidate.
NY-19: A judge ruled against a group trying to knock Nan Hayworth off the Independence Party line for a lack of valid signatures. Hayworth gets to keep the line, while incumbent John Hall has the Working Families line.
NY-23: With the vote count all but completed, it looks like Matt Doheny is (still) the winner of the Republican primary, but Doug Hoffman ain't conceding yet. I guess he feels burned after what happened in the special election, where he tried to "un-concede" after some counting errors emerged (but still lost anyway). The vote count does not officially get certified until the 27th, but Doheny could declare victory (and/or Hoffman could concede) before then. Hoffman still hasn't said anything about how vigorously (if at all) he plans to wage war from the Conservative Party line.
PA-10: Another day, another NRA endorsement for a Dem. Chris Carney is the latest in a string of mostly-conservative Democrats to rack up the group's support, even though they labeled him a "true enemy" of guns just four years ago.
TN-09: Heh - the Memphis Flyer commissioned a poll by Yacoubian Research, which found Steve Cohen leading Charlotte Bergmann 66-23. There were only 205 respondents, and note that we previously flagged a Yacoubian poll of the primary for attempting to screen voters by asking them if they lived in the 9th CD - how many people actually know what district they live in, by number? But whatever, Steve Cohen ain't losing.
VA-09: Rick Boucher successfully got an ad by Americans for Job Security pulled off the air for making a misleading statements. The ad said "Rick Boucher supports Nancy Pelosi 96 percent of the time," but this claim was based on the Washington Post's "party voting" score, which Boucher rightly argued does not measure "support for Pelosi." (A good time to remind folks that it's much, much easier to get third-party ads yanked because stations are liable for defamation when they run these ads. Media outlets are immune from liability for candidate ads.)
SSP TV (by James L.):
LA-Sen: "Diaper" David Vitter hits Charlie Melancon for attending a fundraiser in Canada, of all places.
AR-01: Chad Causey's latest spot takes a shotgun approach to messaging, touting his heritage, his support for a balanced budget amendment and a paycut for Congress, while hitting Republican Rick Crawford over the bad kind of SSP and for his support of a 23% national sales tax
FL-22: Allen West takes on Ron Klein over a Florida Democratic Party mailer that boneheadedly revealed West's Social Security number
GA-08: Dem Rep. Jim Marshall goes heavy negative on GOP state Rep. Austin Scott on immigration - not once, but twice
MI-07: GOP douche Tim Walberg says that Dem Rep. Mark Schauer is spending America into ruin, and also makes the dubious claim that he "strongly supports" Social Security. The ad, a coordinated expenditure partially paid for by the RNC, is airing in the Lansing media market and cost $85,000.
MI-15: John Dingell goes negative on Republican Rob Steele over his support from the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is Wall Street, while Steele has gone up with an ad of his own touting his record as a physician and poking Dingell over spending
NC-02: Dem Rep. Bob Etheridge's latest ad features the testimonials of locals who say that Etheridge saved their jobs
OH-12: Dem Paula Brooks touts her record on the Franklin County Commission while spilling marbles all over her kitchen island
OR-05: GOPer Scott Bruun will stop the spending... except when it comes to restoring Medicare cuts, apparently
SC-02: Libruhl Rob Miller and libruhl Nancy Pelosi will liberally kill all your jobs; meanwhile, Joe Wilson still sounds like he uses a speech synthesizer instead of a functional set of vocal cords. Seriously, what a creepy-sounding asshole.
VA-09: Republican Morgan Griffith plays a clip of Barack Obama saying "I love Rick Boucher" - four times in thirty seconds
• AR-Sen: Move along, nothing to see here. Talk Business, via Hendrix College, is out with another poll of the Arkansas Senate race. They find John Boozman leading Blanche Lincoln 56-29, with 5 for indie Trevor Drown. (The previous Talk Business poll, taken by Zata|3, had it at 57-32.)
• DE-Sen: Trying to put his money where his mouth is, Jim DeMint, via his Senate Conservatives Funds, is going on the air with a new cable TV spot on behalf of Christine O'Donnell. The buy is for at least $250K. As I expected, it makes very obvious hay out of Harry Reid's dumb reference to Chris Coons as his "pet."
• FL-Sen: This is a long read, but worth checking out, not just from a partisan standpoint but also as insight into the constant revolving door between politics, big law, academia, and the nebulous world of "consulting." It's a thorough going-over of Marco Rubio's finances over the years, looking at some of the already-known stuff (his foreclosure problems and overuse of state party credit cards) but also at the connections that have gradually allowed him to enrich himself.
• KS-Sen, KS-Gov: SurveyUSA finds... brace yourselves... Republicans in the lead in Kansas! The Senate race appears to be out in no-man's land, with Jerry Moran leading Lisa Johnston 66-24. The Governor's race, however, remains moderately interesting, with Sam Brownback up over Tom Holland 59-32. Still not a good result, but that's a 15-point swing in Holland's favor from last time, as he now leads among self-described moderates.
• KY-Sen: This poll from last week is probably interesting enough for the front page... but it's getting more than a little stale, after our having repeatedly fumbled attempts to write it up, so we're just dropping it off here (figuring many of you have already seen it on over at Daily Kos). PPP, on behalf of Big Orange, finds that Rand Paul leads Jack Conway 49-42. On the plus side, not much of an enthusiasm gap here, thanks to Paul's polarizing nature; it's just a solidly red state.
• LA-Sen: Two different polls in Louisiana tell different stories. Dem pollster Bennett Petts & Normington, on behalf of the DSCC, sees a 10-point race, with David Vitter leading Charlie Melancon 48-38. On the other hand, Republican pollster Magellan sees it as an 18-point race: 52-34. The truth, as is often said, probably lies somewhere in between.
• UT-Sen: The Senate half of the Dan Jones poll (for the Deseret News and KSL-TV) finally showed up. In what could be called "not a surprise," the Republican is winning in Utah. Mike Lee (who turfed out Bob Bennett at the state convention) is easily beating Sam Granato, 52-25.
• WA-Sen: Here's a nice story about hypocrisy... or hypoc-Rossi, in this case. Dino Rossi made a campaign stop at a Whidbey Island shipyard last week, one that's nearly doubled its workforce from 130 to 210. Turns out, though, that the shipyard received $841K in stimulus funds, and the yard's owner says the expansion is a direct result of the stimulus. (Interestingly, Rossi, without any guidance from Admiral Ackbar, may have sailed right into A TRAP: he showed up at the invitation of the yard's owner, who has donated to Patty Murray in the past.)
• WI-Sen: If that Rossi hypocrisy story seems kind of small potatoes to you, well, don't worry, because Ron Johnson seems to have, over the last few weeks, been exposed as the absolute master of hypocrisy about engorging yourself on the government teat all the while raging against it. While he can claim that building-a-rail-spur-to-Pacur thing was in the distant past, now it comes out that in March 2009, in his role as board member of Oshkosh's Grand Opera House, he sought stimulus funds for renovations to the opera. Y'know, the stimulus bill that's KILLING US ALL AND ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS!!1!
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin has had good relations with the state-level Chamber of Commerce, who've backed him in the past. They must have put in a good word for him with the national organization, as now the US Chamber of Commerce is endorsing him too, quite the rarity for a high-profile Dem.
• FL-Gov: Rick Scott's previous defense against the massive Medicare fraud problems at his former healthcare company Columbia/HCA was that he'd have stopped them if only he'd known they were going on (which, considering his job was to run the company, should have demolished his credibility right there). But now it's been revealed that his legal team was keeping him apprised, at least on the issue of trying to skirt a federal anti-kickback law.
• FL-22: They've had to call out the biggest fundraising gun of all for Ron Klein, seeing as how he's up against a nutty opponent but one with a direct line into seemingly hundreds of thousands of teabaggers' wallets in Allen West. Barack Obama will fundraise for Klein in the Miami area on Oct. 11 (at the home of former NBA star Alonzo Mourning).
• MS-01: The Tarrance Group is out with another Alan Nunnelee internal giving him a single-digit lead over Travis Childers in the 1st: this time, he's up 48-41.
• NY-23: Would you believe the NY-23 count is still going on? Although it seems like Matt Doheny is the likely victor in the GOP primary, with a 582-vote lead right now, 1,969 military and overseas ballots remain to be counted. In Friday's count, Doug Hoffman added 207 votes while Doheny added 177.
• American Crossroads: Rove, Inc., seems to be becoming the main conduit for billionaires looking to put their thumbs on the electoral scales but skeptical of the Michael Steele-helmed RNC: they raised $14.5 million in the last 30 days, almost doubling their year-to-date total.
• NRCC: The NRCC is out with a bonanza of IEs in 23 different districts (click the FEC link for specific numbers): PA-11, VA-09, PA-08, WI-07, NJ-03, PA-03, IL-14, MI-01, MI-07, PA-07, NC-07, IL-11, AL-02, AZ-01, CA-11, FL-02, KY-06, MS-01, TN-08, TX-23, VA-05, IN-02, and IL-10.
• SEIU: So, while the CoC is endorsing the Dem in West Virginia, the SEIU is endorsing the not-Dem in Rhode Island: they've thrown their backing behind indie Lincoln Chafee. (United Nurses and Allied Professionals will also endorse Chafee today, and the AFL-CIO is currently meeting about which way to go.) The SEIU is also out with a couple IEs of their own, spending $250K against Tim Walberg in MI-07 and $435K against deep-pocketed Jim Renacci in OH-16.
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The DSCC is out with three different ads focusing on various aspects of Ken Buck's nuttery, including the 17th Amendment and opposition to common birth control methods • CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal's ad focuses on pushback against various Linda McMahon misrepresentations
• FL-22: Ron Klein calls out Allen West for his various veiled calls for armed uprising
• HI-01: Charles Djou's first ad of the general is a positive spot listing accomplishments from his short time in office
• IL-10: Bob Dold! ties Dan Seals to Nancy Pelosi in a health care-themed ad
• PA-10: Here's the winner of the day: Chris Carney quickly and effectively summarizes the nasty links between Tom Marino and Louis DeNaples
• PA-15: Charlie Dent goes after John Callahan's bookkeeping as mayor of Bethlehem
• WI-08: Steve Kagen dips into the well of 50s-era public-domain stock footage to hit Reid Ribble on his calls for Social Security phaseout
• MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley (D-inc) 50%, Bob Ehrlich 47%
• MD-Sen: Barbara Mikulski (D-inc) 54%, Eric Wargotz (R) 38%
• NH-Gov: John Lynch (D-inc) 48%, John Stephen (R) 46%
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo (D) 54%, Carl Paladino (R) 38%, Rick Lazio (C) 0% because Rasmussen didn't bother to include him
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 43%, Scott Walker (R) 51%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 50%, John Raese (R) 43%
AK-Sen: This is pretty lulzy - Lisa Murkowski is busy reassuring people that she'll still have the support of K Street as she pursued her write-in bid. In a year like this, that's the message you want to run on? It's even sadder that she probably feels like she has to reassure her corporate masters that she's still there for them.
DE-Sen: Merry meet and blessed be! Bill Maher unearths a 1999 clip of Christine O'Donnell (a frequent guest on his show), and promises there's more where this came from:
I dabbled into witchcraft - I never joined a coven. But I did, I did. ... I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I'm not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do. [...]
One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that. ... We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.
Yesterday, though, O'Donnell decided to skip visits to some other satanic altars, namely Sunday talk shows "FOX News Sunday" and CBS's "Face the Nation." Dissing Bob Schieffer I can understand - I mean, that's straight out of the Sarah Palin/Sharron Angle hide-in-a-deep-underground-bunker playbook. But the friendly confines of FOX? How will she get a job there when she moves on to her next gig in the grifter's circuit?
AK-Gov: Last week we learned the disappointing news that Republican Bill Walker, who scored 30% running against Gov. Sean Parnell, would not make a third-party gubernatorial bid. But now he's saying that Lisa Murkowski has inspired him and he might yet wage a write-in campaign. Godspeed, good buddy!
IL-Gov: GOP-affiliated robopollster We Ask America has their first survey of the race, finding Republican Bob Brady at 42, Gov. Pat Quinn at 32, and everybody's favorite, Scott Lee Cohen, at 5.
NY-Gov: Speaking of SLC, it looks like the NY GOP has a reverse Scott Lee Cohen situation on their hands. Basically, the less-crazy guy - Greg Edwards, who was supposed to be Rick Lazio's running-mate, won the Republican Lt. Gov. nomination. Revolting meat-bucket (and, dear lord, gubernatorial nominee) Carl Paladino preferred many-time loser Tom Ognibene instead. There's chatter now that Edwards may stay on the ballot but not really run, or will try to drop out (a somewhat tricky proposition in NY). If he does successfully bail, the state GOP would appoint a replacement (presumably Ognibene, if Paladino's in charge). Anyhow, I suggest you click through for Celeste Katz's full story, because there are so many layers and permutations to this story that I simply can't summarize them all.
Ognibene may be the only guy actually not running away from Paladino as fast as he can. GOP comptroller nominee Harry Wilson has refused to endorse Paladino, and attorney general nominee Dan Donovan is basically saying the same thing. Haven't seen any word yet as to whether senate nominee Joe DioGuardi feels the same way.
CO-03: Republican Scott Tipton is now saying he's no longer a Seventeenther (you know, a maniac who wants to get rid of the direct election of United States senators), despite having answered a teabagger survey on that very question in the affirmative. He's also claiming that he doesn't want to abolish the Department of Education. Live by the yes-no question, die by the yes-no question.
MO-04: Another day, another Dem gets endorsed by the NRA. This time, it's veteran Ike Skelton.
NY-15: Adam Clayton Powell, who took just 25% against Charlie Rangel's 53% in a fractured field, is saying he already has plans to run again. Of course, this district's lines (and even number) could change substantially before 2012.
NY-19: Big Dog Alert (retroactive)! Bill Clinton did a fundraiser for Rep. John Hall in Cortland Manor this past weekend. Of course, Clinton lives ("lives") just outside the 19th CD in Chappaqua (in the 18th).
PA-10: In a previous digest, we related the story of then-U.S. Attorney Tom Marino providing a personal reference for "businessman" Louis DeNaples's bid to get a casino license - while DeNaples (euphemistically described as "having possible ties to organized crime") was under investigation by Marino's office. These dealings led to Marino's resignation in 2007 (and, surprise surprise, he soon wound up with a nice sinecure as DeNaples's in-house counsel). Marino claimed in April that the Department of Justice gave him permission to serve as a reference to DeNaples (then why did you resign?), but has never provided any proof. Now the AP is saying that a DoJ source tells them that there is no evidence that Marino ever received such authorization. The heat is on.
DCCC: The D-Trip has added Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Bill Keating (MA-10) to Red to Blue.
DC-Mayor: Deposed incumbent Dem Adrian Fenty says he won't try to run in the general as a Republican. Given that there are probably 19 registered Republicans in the entire district, I'm not sure how this was even an idea in the first place.
Polltopia: Go tell Public Policy Polling where to poll next.
DE-Sen: DSCC ad says Christine O'Donnell will "fit right in in Washington," thanks to her personal fiscal irresponsibility. Uh, do they remember who is in charge in DC?
IL-Sen: CQ reports that the DSCC is set to go up here this week for a quarter mil, but no links to actual ads yet
PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's new ad compares his navy service to Pat Toomey's service on behalf of Wall Street
FL-Gov: Two Alex Sink ads, one dinging Rick Scott for harping on endlessly about Obama, the other talking about schools
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo's second spot, featuring an endorsement from a former state Republican Party chair
MA-10: Fresh off his primary win last week, Dem Bill Keating is up with an ad on a good issue: his pledge not to raise the retirement age for Social Security (contrasting with his Republican opponent's desire to do so)
MI-07: SEIU spot hitting GOPer Tim Walberg for failing to support the auto industry and wanting to eliminate Social Security (CQ says buy is for $250K)
NC-11: Two spots from Heath Shuler: the first a touching ad about his efforts to build new veterans' health clinics, the second hammering Jeff Miller for supporting the bad kind of SSP
NH-01: Carol Shea-Porter's first ad, a mostly positive spot emphasizing that "whether it's popular or not," she "always fights for what she believes in,"
NY-19: George Pataki's PAC Revere America has a spot hitting John Hall with scaaaaary music over his vote in support of healthcare reform
NY-23: Bill Owens' first ad, which redistricting geeks will appreciate, emphasizing just how big the district is physically
NY-24: Richard Hanna personally narrates a negative ad attacking Mike Arcuri for his support of the stimulus and bailouts - I think it's pretty effective
OH-13: GOPer Tom Ganley's spot touts his work with the FBI (as a civilian) to bring down some mob extortionists
NRCC: CQ rounds up ads targeting Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03), Bryan Lentz (PA-07), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11) and John Adler (NJ-03) (click here for Adler ad)
Americans for Job Security: The right-wing front group is launching some huge buys: $443K against Mike Arcuri (NY-24), $526K against Larry Kissell (NC-08), and $712K against Heath Shuler (NC-11)
NY-19: Curses! Those meddling ophthalmologists! The (non-rogue) American Academy Of Ophthalmology, Inc. Political Committee (aka OPHTHPAC) is throwing down $143K on behalf of one of their own, Republican eye doctor Nan Hayworth (NY-19)
AK-Sen: Man, we are seriously close! Just $195 away from our goal of raising $2,400 for Dem Scott McAdams in the topsy-turvy Alaska senate race. We have 64 contributors right now - I'd love to see us get to 70 before all is said and done. And if we hit our target now, you get to stop seeing nags from me!
DE-Sen: One final (?) independent expenditure report from the Tea Party Express, good for another $20K of media on Christine O'Donnell's behalf. Damn this one ought to be exciting tonight.
CA-Gov: Gah, this is just unspinnably bad. Meg Whitman releases an ad featuring footage of Bill Clinton attacking Jerry Brown in the 1992 presidential primary, so what does Brown do? He calls Clinton a liar - and manages to make a crack about Monica freakin' Lewinsky. (Talk about stuck in a time warp.) After a day, Brown finally apologized.
FL-Gov: Alex Sink secured endorsed from two top law enforcement groups: the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Benevolent Association. Her campaign says it's the first time in two decades both orgs have endorsed a Dem (the FOP hasn't does so in 16 years).
KS-Gov: Live by the bailout, die by the bailout. Dem Tom Holland smacked Republican Sam Brownback during a recent debate for supporting a $200 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - leaving Brownback to sputter that he voted against the bailout. Well, yeah, he voted against the infamous TARP. But Holland had him dead-to-rights on a separate vote, from July of 2008, which did in fact provide money to prop up the two government-sponsored mortgage enterprises.
ME-Gov: Watch GOP nominee Paul LePage get seriously testy when reporters ask him about the fact that his wife received homestead tax exemptions for properties in both Maine and Florida in 2009. (More details here.)
FL-02: Hah! This is why it pays to keep good records! Republican Steve Southerland claimed on a radio show that he had never donated money to Allen Boyd - so Boyd's campaign dug up a $100 check from 1997 (!) that Southerland had made out to Boyd. Nice work!
FL-08: Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire is out with her first TV ad of the cycle - notable, of course, because you don't often see third-party candidates on the air (especially two months out from election day), and also because Dunmire has claimed she plans to put $250,000 of her own cash into the race.
IL-14: Idiot: GOPer Randy Hultgren made two separate contributions (totaling $2,000) to his federal campaign committee... from his state campaign committee. That, my friends, is not allowed (and which is why Hultgren is returning the money).
MI-01 (PDF): Republican Dan Benishek is touting an internal poll from TargetPoint Consulting, showing him with a 54-31 lead over Dem Gary McDowell. The polling memo is written in a pretty grossly sycophantic way, and my spidey sense is twigged enough for me to wonder if the ballot test was asked up top, or after some axe-grindy "issue" questions.
TN-04: Republican Scott DesJarlais is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies, showing him four points behind Dem Rep. Lincoln Davis, 45-41. Note to TargetPoint Consulting: This is how a polling memorandum should look.
DCCC: Reid Wilson has a detailed report on the D-Trip shifting ad money around, but really, it doesn't sound very good to me. In the waning days of WWII, my dad (in Poland) would tune in to Nazi-censored radio reports about the German troops "consolidating their positions" or "shifting to more strategically advantageous territory," etc. It was all bullshit-speak code for "we're retreating." So you tell me if you think the DCCC is reducing its ad buys in Arizona because vulnerable Dems there "are running stronger than expected campaigns," or if that, too, is bullshit. Similarly, should we be happy that the Dems are cancelling buys in North Dakota? Of course, those radio broadcasts my dad listened to were in fact good news....
Chicago-Mayor: I don't know if we'll be able to keep up with what I'm sure will be an avalanche of candidacy announcements, but former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun says she's throwing her hat in the ring for the Chicago mayor's race.
SSP-TV (written by James L.):
AL-02: The DCCC, as part of its huge $1.2 million ad reservation on behalf of Dem Bobby Bright, is hitting Martha Roby for being funded by "special interests working to privatize Medicare." The ad is no longer publicly available on YouTube, though.
AZ-01: Rogue dentist Paul Gosar hits Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick over spending in irritatingly-produced ad
AZ-05: David Schweikert attacks Harry Mitchell on taxes, bailouts, the stimulus, and (ironically) negative ads
AZ-08: Republican Jesse Kelly dubiously claims that he's running to protect Social Security (despite last year saying: "I would love to eliminate the program.")
CT-04: Dan Debicella goes after sophomore Dem Rep. Jim Himes on the usual GOP complaints
FL-22: Allen West hides the crazy in his new ad, instead hitting Dem Rep. Ron Klein on the economy
HI-01: Democrat Colleen Hanabusa reintroduces herself to voters
IA-03: GOPer Brad Zaun calls fans of government shrinkage to join his campaign
IL-10: Bob Dold! points the finger at Cap and Trade and Healthcare Reform for economic malaise
NM-02: Steve Pearce says he'll create jobs somehow
MI-07: Mark Schauer gets a bunch of angry seniors to berate ex-Rep. Tim Walberg over his scary views on Social Security. I like this one.
MO-03: Republican Ed Martin airs his first ad touting his efforts to save jobs
OH-01: Dem Steve Driehaus says that Steve Chabot won't stand up to the Tea Party
SC-02: Joe Wilson, via a retired General, hits Democrat Rob Miller on receiving fundraising assistance from MoveOn.org. His second ad touts his job platform. On a related note, Joe Wilson has a startlingly robotic voice - he sounds like something a Macintosh LC 630's speech synthesizer would be spitting out in 1994.
UT-02: Republican Morgan Philpot urges change in his first spot, and says that he's gonna "wear this sucker out" in ad #2
WI-08: Roofing contractor Reid Ribble touts his record of teaching high school volleyball