• AK-Sen: Congrats to Scott McAdams, who just cleared the McMillion hurdle with $1 million in fundraising so far. The majority of contributions were from Alaska, with 88% contributions of $200 or less.
• KY-Sen: Matt Taibbi's new Rolling Stone article as he works the Rand Paul beat is a must-read even if it doesn't have any revelations as freaky as the "Aqua Buddha" story, although there's some vague and anonymous racism from the newsletter that his snarky secret society put out. The prize-winning quote, though, deals with the Tea Partiers don't seem terribly phased by any of this:
("Well, I used to use that cologne myself," was the response of one Tea Partier to a question I posed about "Aqua Buddha")
• MO-Sen: American Crossroads has declared victory in Missouri, and is pulling out of advertising there, where Roy Blunt has a consistent but single-digit lead. (As for the actual party committees... well, it's probably not relevant, seeing as how Crossroads and its ilk have made them basically irrelevant this year.)
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid racked up a couple endorsements from the big-in-Nevada gaming industry, including PokerPAC. He also got the endorsement of the former chair of the RNC, Frank Fahrenkopf, who warned of the threat Sharron Angle (with her ties to anti-gambling Gary Bauer) might pose to the state's gaming industry.
• PA-Sen: Ah, sweet Schadenfreude. The Club for Growth is having to plug $1 million into the Pennsylvania Senate race in order to bail out their former boss, Pat Toomey.
• WI-Sen: Yet another story with Ron Johnson with his hand in the trough he so regularly decries: he says he's not quite sure how five of his employees (and 10 dependents) at his plastics firm Pacur wound up on BadgerCare, the state's health insurance program for the poor. That would seem to contradict previous statements from the Johnson camp that all Pacur full-time employees are covered by the company's plan.
• AZ-07, AZ-08: I know John McCain has refudiated all his old mavericky ways, but did he actually have to go so far as to violate his signature piece of mavericky legislation, the McCain-Feingold Act? He recently cut spots for GOP candidates in the 7th and 8th, in which he and Jon Kyl appeared, and paid for them out of Friends of John McCain (his campaign committee). Dems have filed FEC complaints against McCain, saying that if he coordinated with the Ruth McClung and Jesse Kelly campaigns, he would've been limited to $4,800 contributions to each (they'd be legal independent expenditures if there was truly no coordination).
• CO-03, CO-04: The gang-that-couldn't-shoot-straight strikes twice, in two different neighboring Old West districts. In the 3rd, an anti-abortion group has been hitting the airwaves attacking Ken Salazar. That's fine, but Ken Salazar is the Secretary of Interior. His brother (the one with the mustache) is John Salazar, the Rep. from the 3rd. OK, understandable, since they're brothers... but how do you explain the confusion in the 4th, where not just some outside group but the Cory Gardner campaign mixed up Betsy Markey with Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey? They accused her of voting for the Obama budget, which she didn't; that was the other Markey.
• FL-25: I don't know how far this will get, but give local Dems in south Florida credit for audaciousness. A Joe Garcia backer filed a lawsuit trying to get David Rivera removed from the ballot. The suit alleges that Rivera should be removed because of state election finance disclosure irregularities, concerning Rivera's mysterious claims of being a contractor to USAID despite USAID saying he wasn't. While they cite a comparable case where a state senate candidate was recently stricken from the ballot from similar problems, I'm wondering if it may be too late to do anything about that even if it succeeds on the merits (although if it only serves to move the USAID deception into the spotlight, that's good too).
• MO-04: More triage news... on the Republican side? Despite news of a Vicky Hartzler internal poll yesterday that showed a tied race, the NRCC is packing up, at least from the Kansas City market. I wonder if that has more to do with feeling neighboring KS-03 is locked down, as there are other smaller media markets in the 4th where they might still spend, but I think this has to count as at least a partial pullout.
• SD-AL: This is an interesting counterpoint to the anti-Pelosi (or at least Pelosi-skeptical) tide that seems to be rising among threatened Blue Dogs, including Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (who's in the skeptic camp): GOP challenger Kristi Noem is saying that if she wins her race, she's not sold yet on John Boehner as Republican leader, but would like to see who else might run. Recall that Noem previously politely told Sarah Palin to stay far away from her race, so this isn't the first time she's pantomimed independence.
• Early voting: There's been some buzz today about a CBS News story that says that Dems are doing better than expected in early voting, although it's kind of shy on actual numbers. It mentions that Dems have outpaced GOPers in early voting in Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, and Clark Co., Nevada, while there's a Republican edge in Florida and Colorado. Jon Ralston, of course, has more data on Nevada, while Politico has some Iowa tidbits, involving early ballot requests in IA-03 (where 50% of requests are from Dems, but where Dems are 36% of the electorate) and IA-02 (51% of the requests, 38% of the electorate).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund is out with a "high six-figure" buy in Colorado, with the first TV ad to take on Ken Buck's failure to prosecute that 2005 rape case (the "buyer's remorse" incident)
• KY-Sen: The DSCC hits Rand Paul on his support for the 23% sales (aka "fair") tax
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle wonders how Harry Reid made all that money in her new ad (helpful fact from Jon Ralston: he was a millionaire even before he was in the House)
• WV-Sen: Outsourcing seems to be the hot button issue coming out of focus groups that works for the Dems these days, as the DSCC keeps hitting John Raese on it with their new spot
• AZ-03: Jon Hulburd has another TV ad against Ben Quayle, poking at his values and overall maturity
• HI-01: Colleen Hanabusa's new ad has a special guest star in the form of Barack Obama
• IN-09: The SEIU goes after Todd Young on Social Security privatization
• NH-01: Carol Shea-Porter, in her own ad, also works the SSP angle against Frank Guinta
• VA-05: Is the DCCC trying to drive up indie teabagger Jeffrey Clark's numbers? They're out with a spot hitting Robert Hurt for all the tax-raising he did in the state legislature
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 37%, Bill Brady (R) 45%, Rich Whit(n)ey (G) 2%, Scott Lee Cohen (I) 6%
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 52%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 42%, Rick Berg (R) 52%
• NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-inc) 54%, Joe DioGuardi (R) 33%
• SC-Gov: Vincent Sheheen (D) 38%, Nikki Haley (R) 47%
• AK-Sen: The elections officials in Alaska are out with some further guidance on just how stringent they'll be about misspellings of Lisa Murkowski's name: "Murkowsky," for instance, will probably be OK, but misspellings of "Lisa" (hard to misspell, but anything's possible in a state that elected Sarah Palin, I guess) won't. Also, are MurkStrong bracelets on the horizon? They've said it's acceptable for voters to wear wristbands with Murkowski's name printed on them into the ballot booth, as long as they don't show them to other people.
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias offers up an internal poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, taken Oct. 10-12, giving him a 44-41 lead over Mark Kirk (with 4 for LeAlan Jones and 3 for Mike Labno). I don't know how much confidence to get filled with here (especially in view of Nate Silver's seeming ratification of the +5 rule on internal polls, in fact saying it's more like a +6)... but with most public pollsters, even Rasmussen, showing this race to be a game of inches, maybe this is truly worth something.
• NV-Sen: Here's a clear illustration of burn rate, especially when your fundraising strategy is centered around direct mail appeals to small donors (including me... I just got another Sharron Angle snail-mail pitch yesterday). Despite her $14 million 3Q haul, her CoH is $4.1 million. That's almost exactly the CoH that Harry Reid just announced ($4 mil, based on raising $2.3 mil in 3Q).
• FL-Gov: Wow, the next Alex Sink attack ad writes itself. It turns out that Rick Scott was actually sued by the state of Florida (the same state, of course, that he's vying to lead) in the late 90s for insider trading at the same time that the FBI was investigating assorted malfeasance at Columbia/HCA. (The case never went to trial, getting subsumed into the larger federal case.)
• RI-Gov: This is pretty late in the game to fall into this state of disarray: Lincoln Chafee's campaign manager, J.R. Pagliarini just resigned. It wasn't over any sort of disagreement (or, Tim Cahill-style, over the candidate's hopelessness), though, but rather because of the impropriety of having received unemployment benefits at the same time as working on the Chafee campaign (which he attributes to a payroll snafu). With or without Pagliarini, though, there's already a cloud of disarray hanging overhead, as seen by how little attention the Chafee camp seems to have drummed up surrounding their own internal poll giving them a 34-30 lead over Frank Caprio (with John Robitaille at 15).
• CA-11: It was just yesterday that I was pointing out how clownish OR-04 candidate Art Robinson was a big proponent of eliminating public education altogether. Well, now it's turned out that David Harmer, certainly a "serious" candidate by standard media definitions, is of essentially the same mind, having made the same argument in a 2000 op-ed article in the widely-read San Francisco Chronicle.
• FL-02: At this point I don't expect to see Allen Boyd back in Congress next year, but this poll seems weird even if you feel the same. It's from someone called P.M.I. Inc., only mentioned in a rather sketchily-reported article from the right-leaning Sunshine State News site (complete with a tasteless headline that sounds like something I would write) that doesn't make it clear whether this is an independent poll or taken on someone's behalf (and doesn't include dates or MoE). It shows Steve Southerland leading Allen Boyd 56-30, with two independent conservative candidates pulling in an additional 14 percent of the vote.
• GA-02: With Mike Keown having released a poll showing him trailing Sanford Bishop by only 1, Bishop is rather predictably out with a poll of his own today. The Oct. 7-10 poll from Lester & Assocs. gives Bishop a 50-40 lead. (Keown's poll was taken several weeks earlier, before the DCCC started running ads here.)
• MN-07: Here's one more race where there were "rumors" (without an actual piece of paper) about a competitive race, where the incumbent Dem whipped out an internal to quash that. This is one of the more lopsided polls we've seen lately: Collin Peterson leads Lee Byberg 54-20 in the Sept. 28 poll from Global Strategy Group.
• NY-17: And here's one more mystery poll (expect to see lots more of these bubble up in the coming weeks): it shows Eliot Engel at 31 but leading his split opponents: Conservative York Kleinhandler at 25 and Republican Tony Mele at 23. The poll is from somebody called "YGSBS." Considering that "YG" is the initials of the proprietor of the blog where this poll first emerged (yossigestetner.com), and the "forthcoming" crosstabs still don't seem to have arrived, color me a little suspicious.
• WV-03: Yet another internal poll in the why-are-we-still-talking-about-it WV-03 race: Dem Nick Rahall leads Spike Maynard by 19, in an Anzalone-Liszt poll from Oct. 10-12.
• Fundraising: Here are some fundraising tidbits: via e-mail press release, Taryl Clark just announced $1.8 million last quarter, giving her $1 million CoH. (In any other House race, that'd be huge, but she's up against Michele Bachmann.) Two other fundraising machines who are sort of the polarizing ideological bookends of Florida also reported: Alan Grayson reports $967K last quarter while Allen West reports $1.6 mil (although no CoH numbers, important as his campaign relies heavily on direct-mail churn). Finally, CQ has some assorted other numbers, including $626K for Rick Boucher in VA-09, $700K for Dan Debicella in super-expensive CT-04, and $507K for Andy Harris in MD-01.
• RGA: And here's the biggest number of all: yesterday the RGA reported $31 million in the 3rd quarter, which gives them a lot of leverage in the closing weeks in the tight races. (Bear in mind, of course, that a lot of that would have gone to the RNC instead in a more competent year.)
• Polltopia: Nate Silver adds some thoughts on the cellphone debate, reignited by new Pew findings that we discussed yesterday. His main takeaway, one that I agree with whole-heartedly, is don't just go start adding 5 points in the Dem direction on every poll you see, simply because the cellphone effect isn't likely to apply uniformly in every population and in every pollster's method.
• SSP TV:
• AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski finally, as promised, rolls out Ted Stevens dancing with a vacuum cleaner endorsing her from beyond the grave, in a one-minute ad
• KY-Sen: The NRSC is still pouring money into Kentucky (consider that good news), with another boilerplate Conway = Obama ad
• NV-Sen: The Harry Reid team must have spent all last night in the editing suite, as they're already using Sharron Angle's words from last night's debate, on health insurance coverage exemptions, against her
• PA-Sen: If internal polling and press release content are any indication, they've finally something that works against Pat Toomey: China, and outsourcing more in general (which explains why the DSCC is out with another ad on the topic, and also pointing out that in Toomey's last ad that, during the period where he was being a "small businessman" by owning a restaurant, he was really an absentee owner while being a large businessman in Hong Kong)
• WA-Sen: Ditto the DSCC's new ad in Washington, up against Dino Rossi (which, I'll admit, is a strange tack in Washington, one of the most pro-trade states you'll see, and where Patty Murray is a regular vote in favor of trade agreements)
• MO-04: Vicky Hartzler's ace in the hole? She has an ad up with footage of Ike Skelton telling fellow Rep. Todd Akin where to stick it, with repeated obscenities bleeped out (hmmm, that would just make me want to vote for Skelton more)
• NRA: The NRA is out with a planned $6.75 million buy in a number of statewide races, including a few of their Dem friends, but mostly on behalf of GOPers; you can see a variety of their TV ad offerings at the link
• CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 44%
• CO-Gov: John Hickelooper (D) 42%, Dan Maes (R) 12%, Tom Tancredo (C) 38%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 51%, Linda McMahon (R) 46%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 51%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 40%
• HI-Gov: Neil Abercrombie (D) 49%, Duke Aiona (R) 47%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 55%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 40%, Tom Corbett (R) 54%
DE-Sen: Christine O'Donnell has decided to go the J.D. Salinger route: She told Sean Hannity that she's doing no more interviews, ever. Okay, well, at least as far as the national media are concerned. But it's nothing to get upset over, sports fans: Thanks to the advent of the Internet, we will hear about all her gaffes and insanities even if she's only talking to the Kent County Evening Bugle-Reporter-Sentinel. In that same interview with Hannity, she also managed to tell some nice lies about Chris Coons, claiming that he "made some very anti-American statements, apologizing for America and calling himself a bearded Marxist." Of course, the "bearded Marxist" line was a joke, though undoubtedly O'Donnell is too dense to grasp that.
CO-Gov: You know, as we were getting to know Christine O'Donnell, I had a feeling that she was so low-rent, she'd make even Dan Maes look good. Well, that appears to be all but fucking impossible, even for O'Donnell. Maes raised just $14K in the first two weeks of September and currently has $24K in the bank. Not sure there's a sack big enough fit that much sad.
MI-Gov: WLNS-TV could have saved themselves some money by just reading the Swing State Project, but they went ahead and commissioned a poll of the gubernatorial race anyway. Anyhow, the Marketing Resource Group shows exactly what you'd expect: Rick Snyder beating Virg Bernero 49-31.
AL-02: The NRA's infiltration of the Democratic Party continues apace, this time with an endorsement for Bobby Bright.
AZ-07: This smells fishy to me. A Republican operative is saying he's seen internal polls showing Some Dude Ruth McClung in a dead heat with Rep. Raul Grijalva in this 57% Obama district. But local Dem and GOP pols say they've seen nothing of the kind. McClung has only $15K on hand, but this ain't good: Grijalva, after spending half a mil so far this cycle, has just $77K in the bank.
IA-02: Evidently Mariannette Miller-Meeks did not get the Club For Growth's memo: She's now saying she opposes privatizing Social Security, ostensibly because she thinks its finances are rickety. But isn't the whole reason conservative douchewads want to private Social Security is because that's how they think they can "save" it? I'm confused!
ID-01: Heh - fucker couldn't buy a break even if Ron Popiel was selling `em. Even though the NRA gave Raul Labrador a better grade than Walt Minnick, they declined to endorse either candidate. Suckaaaaa.
WATN?: Remember this story? Last cycle, Chris Shays' former campaign manager, Michael Sohn, stole a quarter million dollars from his boss's election accounts. Now, Sohn has been sentenced to 37 months in prison. Shays must go to sleep every night wondering if that extra $250K would have meant the difference between winning and losing....
SSP TV (by James L.):
FL-Sen: Charlie Crist's new ad hits Rubio for all the pork-laden bills that he sent to the Governor's desk while serving as Speaker of the Florida House
KY-Sen: Conservative group American Crossroads spending $235K against Jack Conway (D) - no copy of ad yet
NH-Sen: Paul Hodes' new ad is a folksy spot on fiscal conservatism, including chiding Kelly Ayotte for supporting tax cuts for the rich
CO-07: Ryan Frazier wields some kind of laser pen while reciting a bunch of B.S. GOP boilerplate
FL-22: Allen West says that Ron Klein is no moderate
FL-24: Suzanne Kosmas would like you to know that she's never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down
MO-04: Ike Skelton issues a fierce but vague attack on GOPer Vicky Hartzler's support for veterans, from the mouths of veterans
NY-20: Chris Gibson says that we have to let market forces drive healthcare costs down. Yeah, like that worked the first time, moron.
PA-03: Mike Kelly and the NRCC team up to hit Kathy Dahlkemper on SPENDING OUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE INTO OBLIVION!!!!11!
PA-04: Keith Rothfus' new ad takes the ice cream sandwich approach: two layers of delicious cookie crunch surrounding a mid-section of negative ice cream. I realize that makes no sense, but... God, I'm hungry.
PA-10: Tom Marino's first ad plays defense against Chris Carney's hard-hitting ads against his sleazy record
Independent Expenditures (all from the DCCC today):
• AR-Sen: Mason-Dixon takes another look at the Arkansas Senate race, on behalf of Arkansas News Bureau. Blanche Lincoln hasn't gotten any deader than she was before: she trails John Boozman 51-34, with 4 for other minor candidates (no real change from the last time they polled, back in May pre-primary, where Boozman led 52-35). Lincoln's faves have improved a smidge: now 30/47, instead of 28/53.
• DE-Sen: Whooo, where even to begin? The national media is just starting to dig into Christine O'Donnell's gigantic and eminently mineable opposition file, with NPR and ABC detailing her history of getting fired from right-wing think tanks and her suing for discrimination in response, of IRS audits that she blamed on "thug politics" and liens that she blamed on "computer errors," of failure to pay for her college, and of using her campaign money to pay the rent on her house as it's also her campaign headquarters. We also know about her stance on AIDS prevention, thanks to helpful tipsters in the comments. At least O'Donnell's faring well in the fundraising department, raising $1 million since her victory (with Chris Coons raising only $125K, showing the harmful effects of a short-of-the-endzone victory dance). Not leaving things to chance, reports are coming in that Joe Biden will campaign for Coons "next week" and that the DSCC is starting to put money into Delaware, starting with an $85K buy in the Salisbury market.
The establishment isn't budging much on her: the state's virulently anti-O'Donnell GOP chair, Tom Ross, is staying in place (though calling for "unity"), and Karl Rove, although he sorta backed down in the face of a Rush Limbaugh broadside, is still challenging O'Donnell to be "honest" to voters about her difficulties... and again running through the list of all those difficulties in his media appearances. Meanwhile, O'Donnell strips.... her website, perhaps at the urging of the NRSC; after her nomination, all issues stuff vanished and it just became a donation ask. Still, Harry Reid seems to be doing all he can to fuck this up, issuing a strange quote that should play right into the whole "Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda!!1!" messaging, expressing enthusiasm for Chris Coons but calling him his "pet."
• NV-Sen, NV-Gov (pdf): Part of the CNN/Time onslaught yesterday was polls of Nevada (which we're relegating to the digest, as this state, as we've complained before, is veering rapidly into over-polled territory). This raised some eyebrows for showing a Sharron Angle lead over Harry Reid (42-41, with 5 for Scott Ashjian) among LVs, but that's only a point or three off from the narrow band of results that Mason-Dixon and Rasmussen have been consistently generating. (Reid leads 42-34-7 among RVs.) Many people (starting with Jon Ralston) also seemed surprised by some crosstabs weirdness, showing the race a dead heat in Democratic-favorable Clark County but giving Reid a big lead in swingy Washoe County. Brian Sandoval leads Rory Reid 58-31 in the Gov race.
• CA-Gov: It's official: Meg Whitman is now the biggest self-funder in political history, having shown that piker Michael Bloomberg how it's done. She gave her campaign another $15 million, which brings her personal spending on the race to $118 million overall.
• CO-Gov: Dan Maes just picked up Scott McInnis's former campaign manager, George Culpepper, so it seems like the local GOP establishment isn't totally abandoning him. The Colorado Independent has an in-depth piece, though, with a more nuanced look, based on interviews with at least a dozen county GOP chairs. Some of them fully back Maes, some grudgingly do so, some back Tom Tancredo, and some are still in a state of shock.
• GA-Gov: After doing some pushback yesterday, Nathan "Let's Make a" Deal had to admit today that, yes, he is in some personally dire financial straits, saying his debts are even bigger than the $2.3 million loan that's outstanding... but also saying that he isn't releasing any more financial records to the press. It also turns out that he never disclosed that loan to the state Ethics Commission on his financial disclosure form, which he's now scrambling to update.
• MI-Gov: EPIC-MRA's out with yet another poll of the Michigan gubernatorial race; I think we can start relegating their frequent polls of this pretty-much-out-of-reach race to the digest, too. They give Rick Snyder a 53-29 lead over Virg Bernero (a slight improvement for Snyder over 51-29 three weeks ago).
• UT-Gov: OK, what kind of a world is it when we're faring better in the Utah governor's race than we are in Michigan? Not like this is a competitive race either, but it could be a good dress rehearsal for a 2012 rematch (remember that this 2010 race is a special election). Dem Peter Corroon trails Gary Herbert by "only" 21 points, 52-31, in a poll taken by Dan Jones & Associates for the Deseret News and KSL. The numbers haven't really changed since their previous poll in April (where Herbert led by 20).
• CA-11: As with 2008, Jerry McNerney rolled out endorsements from some local elected Republicans, as part of a list of 16 county supervisors and mayors who are backing him. Maybe most notable is the backing from the mayor of Manteca (or, in Spanish, Lard), Willie Weatherford, who had previously backed GOP primary loser Brad Goehring.
• CO-03: Here's a boost for John Salazar, in a suddenly-tough race in this rural western district against Republican Scott Tipton: he got the backing of the National Rifle Association, with an "A" rating.
• IA-02: Another warning sign for David Loebsack: the Mariannette Miller-Meeks campaign is out with another internal poll, showing her creeping closer than her previous one. The Tarrance Group poll has her trailing Loebsack by only 1 point: 41-40 (with 6 for a Libertarian). She could do some damage her with more money.
• LA-02: Lawyer Ron Austin dropped out of the LA-02 race today, where he was an independent candidate. This is really the first I'd ever heard of him, so I can't imagine he'd have been much of a factor here; I can't glean whether he was running on the left or the right, but he is African-American, so that in itself may shift at least a handful of votes in Cedric Richmond's direction in what may yet turn out to be a close race. Two other no-name indies remain.
• MD-01: One other internal poll got leaked to the Fix today, too, and this one's a pleasant surprise for the Dems. Frank Kratovil is still claiming a lead over Andy Harris, who just won the GOP nod for a rematch. Kratovil's poll by Garin-Hart-Yang gives him a 45-39 lead. (When I say "still," Kratovil released an earlier internal with a 5-point lead. Harris has released two internals of his own giving him a lead.)
• MO-04: Here's the good news: Ike Skelton got a shared endorsement from Missouri Right to Life, along with GOP challenger Vicky Hartzler. The bad news is: Skelton has generally had that endorsement to himself in the past.
• NY-14: Give Reshma Saujani credit for one thing: she's persistent. She's already announced that she'll try again in 2012 to unseat Carolyn Maloney in the NY-14 Dem primary.
• NY-23: Local teabaggers (or at least one of them) sound pretty upset with Conservative nominee (and GOP primary loser) Doug Hoffman, meaning that he, rather than the GOP nominee, may find himself in the third-wheel position this time around. Mark Barie, chairman of a local Tea Party organization criticized Hoffman for a listless campaign run by outsiders with little familiarity with the district. He threw his support behind Matt Doheny, who appears to have narrowly won the GOP primary despite a late close by Hoffman in late counting.
• CfG: The Club for Growth launched a five-state buy in Senate races, to a total tune of $1.5 million (no word on specific allocation). The states under assault are Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
• NRCC: Two different rounds of TV ad buys came from the NRCC today. The first one was in WA-03 ($900K) and NM-01 ($300K), and a second one covers PA-10 ($595K), NH-01 ($1 mil), NH-02 ($1 mil), FL-08 ($817K), FL-24 ($817K), and VA-09 ($?).
• SSP TV:
• CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer goes negative against Carly Fiorina in a new spot, hitting her on (what else?) her failed tenure at HP
• MO-Sen: A new spot against Roy Blunt from Dem group Commonsense Ten (never heard of 'em, either) hits his consummate insider credentials
• PA-Sen: Yet another ad from Pat Toomey, this one featuring an oppressed doctor who doesn't like HCR (who just happens to be a big Republican activist too, not the ad says that)
• WA-Sen: Dino Rossi's first negative ad features him personally narrating an attack on Patty Murray (instead of using the off-camera voice of doom); he calls her "part of the problem"
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid's newest TV spot, by way of fighting back against Angle's attacks on immigration issues, just goes ahead and says it: it calls Sharron Angle "crazy"
• NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo doesn't want to leave anything to chance despite his big lead (he has the money to burn, at any rate), and he's out with a new bio ad (not that he needs much introduction)
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato tries introducing himself to Pennsylvania again, this time with a shorter 30-second ad that helpfully lets people know how to pronounce his name
• TX-Gov: Even Rick Perry's going negative: three different ads go after Bill White, two trying to tie him to Barack Obama and one attacking his handling of Hurricane Rita
• VT-Gov: The RGA wades into Vermont with a negative ad against Peter Shumlin, hitting him on taxes
• CT-04: Jim Himes has not one but two new ads, stressing his independence and debt hawkishness
• KS-03: Stephene Moore's first ad plays up her day job as a nurse
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy has two different anti-Rick Berg ads, one of which focuses on his crazy plans to drill for oil in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
• NH-02: Ann McLane Kuster (who's now rebranded herself as "Annie Kuster") goes negative on Charlie Bass in her first ad, framing him as failed retread
• NY-20: Scott Murphy's newest spot focuses on his own personal record of job creation as businessman before entering Congress
• TX-17: Chet Edwards is out with a positive ad, touting his work on veteran's issues like VA health care
• WA-02: John Koster tries to cram both a negative ad and a positive ad into a discordant 30 seconds
• WI-07: Sean Duffy plays up his lumberjack credentials, saying he'll "take an ax" to Washington (I'll admit, that's kinda clever)
• CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 49%
• DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 53%, Christine O'Donnell (R) 42%
• NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 44%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 51%
• NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 39%, Brian Sandoval (R) 52%
• PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 39%, Tom Corbett (R) 49%
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 51%, Dino Rossi (R) 46%
• WI-Sen: Know how you can tell that this hypocrisy-on-government-aid problem (see the last couple digests for backstory... Ron Johnson's company Pacur has been repeatedly expanded with the help of government loans, y'know, the kind that of meddling in the free market that we have to get rid of) is putting a scare into the Johnson camp? Now he's been rewriting history on Pacur's website to adjust the founding date of his company, from 1977 to 1979. Johnson had previously claimed that the railroad spur built (with federal help, natch) to his company was in early '79, before Pacur was founded. (Pacur's predecessor company was founded in '77; it changed names in '79.)
• CO-Gov (pdf): Republican pollster Magellan is out with a new look at the Colorado gubernatorial race; they find the combined Dan Maes + Tom Tancredo vote still less than the John Hickenlooper vote. It's Hickenlooper 46, Maes 27, Tancredo 17. (That's a lot fewer undecideds than today's Rasmussen poll; see below.)
• FL-Gov: Ah, the sweet smell of unity. Well, sort of... the state party finally got around to having its fete for newly-minted gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott, the one canceled last week for lack of, well, unity. Insiders like state House speaker Dean Cannon and next state Senate president Mike Haridopolos toasted Scott, despite the fact that up until last Tuesday they were working hard to defeat him. There was someone important missing, though, that kind of defeats that whole "unity" thing... it was Bill McCollum, who confirmed yet again today that he's "staying out of" the governor's race. Meanwhile, DGA head Nathan Daschle (here's a guy who knows how the game is played) is out with a bit of concern trolling of his own, offering unsolicited advice to RGA head Haley Barbour and other interested Republicans that they probably don't want to be seen campaigning next to Scott.
• NM-Gov: Biden alert! The Veep will be bringing his patented comedic stylings to the Land of Enchantment to host a fundraiser for Diane Denish, whose once slam-dunk gubernatorial bid has deteriorated into a jump-ball.
• NY-Gov: State GOP party chair Ed Cox is having a helping heaping of crow from breakfast, having to get behind Rick Lazio for the GOP gubernatorial nod... out of fear of the possibility of the even more objectionable Carl Paladino winding up with the nomination. (Remember, Cox recruiting Suffolk Co. Exec Steve Levy to not only get in the race but switch parties to do so, only to watch him crash and burn.) Cox issued a letter urging local party leaders to get behind Cox, filled with magnanimous praise, perhaps none more so than when he calls Lazio "credible."
• AR-04: Rounding out their tour of the state, Talk Business Journal/Hendrix College take a look at the 4th, the only non-open seat in all of Arkansas. Despite the rough poll numbers that they found for the Dem candidates in the 1st and 2nd, they find Mike Ross in solid shape, probably thanks to an underwhelming opponent in the form of Beth Anne Rankin. Ross leads 49-31, with 4 going to Green candidate Joshua Drake.
• FL-08: In yet another example of Alan Grayson zigging when other Dems zag, he's out with an internal poll, and it puts him in surprisingly strong shape against Daniel Webster, thanks in large part to a strong performance by "other" (presumably the Tea Party candidate). The PPP poll gives Grayson a 40-27 lead over Webster, with 23 for "Other" and 11 undecided. That's all in the face of a new ad campaign from Americans for Prosperity, who are out with ads in the Orlando market attacking both Grayson and FL-24's Suzanne Kosmas. (AFP, of course, is the front group for the right-wing billionaire Koch family, and the DCCC has recently filed IRS complaints against AFP for engaging in political advocacy despite its tax-exempt status.)
• FL-22: Allen West is out with a second TV ad focusing on economic issues, like that burdensome debt. (He's talking about national debt, not his own debts.) Still, most of the buzz in this race right now seems to be about his latest round of unhinged remarks on his campaign website's blog, in which he called opponent Ron Klein, calling him, among other things, a "cretin," "little Lord Ron," a "pathetic liberal," "little Ronnie," and "a mama's boy" to Nancy Pelosi.
• IA-05: Rep. Steve King declined to debate opponent Matt Campbell in about the douchiest way possible: when Campbell showed up at a King town hall to ask King why he wasn't willing to debate, King said that Campbell had "not earned it."
• MI-01, MI-07: Well, it looks like the fake Tea Party is truly finished in Michigan. The Michigan Court of Appeals today upheld the Board of Canvassers' decision them off the ballot because of irregularities in submitted signatures. There were Tea Party candidates ready to go in the 1st and the 7th, both competitive districts where Dems would be glad to have some right-wing votes siphoned off from the GOP candidates.
• MO-04: Rep. Ike Skelton is the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, and he wants you to know it. Instead of focusing on the endless jobs-jobs-jobs mantra like many Dems, he's focusing on military issues and his commitment to veterans. His first two ads featured testimonials from a Marine mother and an Army veteran, and his third ad attacked GOP opponent Vicky Hartzler over her apparently insufficient support of the military.
• NC-11: Two Democratic House members out with internals? Let's hope this is actually a trend. Buried in a CQ article about his new TV ad (with a buy in the "high five digits"), there are also some details about Heath Shuler's most recent internal poll. The poll, taken by Anzalone-Liszt, gives Shuler a 51-34 lead over Jeff Miller. More ads are likely to follow, as Shuler leads Miller in the cash department, $1.4 million to $70K.
• NY-13: Rep. Mike McMahon's getting some big name help on the stump. Bill Clinton will join McMahon for a Friday rally on Staten Island.
• NY-20: Scott Murphy's dipping into his big war chest with another TV spot, this one focusing on his job-preserving efforts. Murphy opponent Chris Gibson, meantime, dropped a bombshell in his first debate against Murphy last week: that government intervention exacerbated the Great Depression rather than mitigated it (a theory advanced by Amity Schlaes and approximately, oh, zero other respected economists).
• PA-10: What's up with former US Attorneys in Pennsylvania turning out to be thin-skinned, poor campaigners? There's the Mary Beth Buchanan implosion, of course, but now video has turned up of Tom Marino's recent encounter with protesters at a Williamsport appearance. Marino yells back to protestors "What do you do for a job?" and "What kind of welfare are you on?" (No word on whether these questions were punctuated with "You hippies!")
• VA-05: Here's a guy we haven't thought about in a long time: Ross Perot. Yet, Tom Perriello is dusting off Perot and holding him up as a guy he liked, especially in terms of his deficit hawkishness. He did so in the context of meeting with the local Tea Partiers (where he also reiterated his support for canning the Geithner/Summers economic team), probably in an effort to find some common ground with them.
• State legislatures: The DLCC has a memorandum out that lays out where they'll be focusing their efforts this year (and thus what they consider to be the most competitive state legislative chambers). The 10 chambers they're emphasizing on defense are the Alabama Senate, Colorado Senate, Indiana House, Nevada Senate, New Hampshire Senate, New York Senate, Ohio House, Pennsylvania House, Wisconsin Assembly, and Wisconsin House. They're also going on the offense in the Michigan Senate, Kentucky Senate, Tennessee House, and Texas House..
• WA-Init: SurveyUSA has polls of a handful of initiatives that'll be on the ballot in November. Most significantly, they find continued (although reduced, from their previous poll) support for I-1098, which would create a state income tax for high earners. It's currently passing, 41-33. Meanwhile, Washingtonians quite literally want to have their cake and eat it too: they're favoring I-1107, by a 42-34 margin, which would end sales taxes on candy and end temporary taxes on bottled water and soft drinks.
• Dave's App: Just in time for the school year, here's a new time-wasting opportunity: Dave's Redistricting Application now has partisan data for Pennsylvania. (There's also partisan data for CA, MD, NC, NM, NY, and TX.)
• Polltopia: PPP wants to know where you think they should poll next. Interesting options include Maine and West Virginia (where there's the tantalizing prospect of House races being polled, too).
• MO-Sen: Anti-Roy Blunt ad from Robin Carnahan
• NH-Gov: Positive jobs-jobs-jobs spot from John Lynch
• FL-02: Allen Boyd hits Steve Southerland on Social Security privatization, 17th Amendment
• IN-09: Anti-Baron Hill from Todd Young
• IN-09: Anti-Todd Young ad from Baron Hill (Social Security privatization... sensing a theme here?)
• MN-06: Bio ad from Tarryl Clark
• MN-06: Michele Bachmann wants you to know that she hates taxes
• NJ-12: Emergency Committee for Israel ad against Rush Holt ("modest but real" buy)
• OH-15: Positive bio ad about Steve Stivers' military service
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski's first TV ad, hitting Lou Barletta over what a shithole Hazleton is
• SC-05: Bio ad from Mick Mulvaney (his first ad)
• WI-07: DCCC ad attacking Sean Duffy over Social Security privatization (their first independent expenditure ad anywhere)
• CO-Gov: John Hickenlooper (D) 36%, Dan Maes (R) 24%, Tom Tancredo (C) 14%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 39%, Rob Portman (R) 44%
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 39%, Pat Toomey (R) 45%
• FL-Sen: Well, so much for the secret ballot. The Palm Beach Post deduced that Jeff Greene voted for himself... inasmuch as his vote was the only vote for himself in his entire precinct. It was a 2-to-1 vote (literally... Kendrick Meek got 2). Even his wife didn't vote for him, although that's because she isn't registered to vote in the county. (Marco Rubio got 26 votes in the same precinct.) Meanwhile, Charlie Crist seems to have lost some of his footing after a convincing Meek victory in the Dem primary; he flip-flopped on health care reform in the space of one day, saying in a TV interview that he would have voted for health care reform, then, after the Rubio camp started flagging that, saying later in the day that he actually wouldn't have voted for it. I get that he wants to appeal to both Dems and moderate GOPers, but he has to be less transparent than that.
• IL-Sen: Bad news for Alexi Giannoulias: the Constitution Party slate just got struck from the ballot, so Randy Stufflebeam won't be there to siphon right-wing votes from Mark Kirk. Libertarian candidate Mark Labno will be on the ballot, though, as a Kirk alternative (as will Green LeAlan Jones).
• IN-Sen: This is sort of pushing the outer limit of when it's a good idea to release an internal, but it looks like the Brad Ellsworth camp needed to let people know that he's still in this race. His own poll, via Garin Hart Yang, finds him trailing Dan Coats 49-38. The race is closer among those who actually know Ellsworth, but his six-week-long ad buy is about to end, so his name rec problems may persist.
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway is joining Elaine Marshall on the Alan Simpson-pile-on, seconding calls for the firing of Simpson from the Social Security commission in the wake of his "milk cow" comments. Meanwhile, Rand Paul has apparently brushed up on his elementary math skills recently, as he's now backtracking on previous pledges to erase the nation's federal budget deficit in one year.
• MO-Sen, MO-04: Although this poll from Missouri State University (on behalf of TV station KY3) looks good for Robin Carnahan, it's got some methodological issues that we just aren't comfortable with. It was taken over the period of Aug. 7-22, is of registered (not likely) voters, and it also wound up with a sample that was 63% female, although they say they weighted for various demographic factors. At any rate, it shows the race a dead heat, with Roy Blunt leading Robin Carnahan 49-48. It also took looks at three House races in the Show Me State, although with MoEs in the 7% ballpark. In the 4th, Ike Skelton has a 47-35 lead over Vicki Hartzler. Two GOP-held seats look to be pretty uneventful: in the open 7th, Billy Long leads Scott Eckersley 51-23, and in the 8th, Jo Ann Emerson leads fundraising maven Tommy Sowers 64-17.
• WI-Sen: Seems like it was just this morning we were discussing the second instance of Ron Johnson's flagrant hypocrisy when it comes to railing against government involvement in the market, except when it comes to government aid for his own business... and now we're up to a third instance before the day's even out. On Wednesday it came out that in 1985 he'd gotten $2.5 million in government loans to expand his plastics business, and now it's come out that in 1983, two years earlier, he'd gotten a separate $1.5 million loan for a $4 mil total.
• NM-Gov: The DGA is out with a new ad against Susana Martinez in the gubernatorial race, hitting her for $350K in bonuses handed out in her prosecutor's office. NWOTSOTB, but we're told it's a statewide saturation buy.
• VT-Gov: The final count from the SoS office in the Dem gubernatorial primary seemed to get finished ahead of schedule, as numbers today gave Peter Shumlin a 197-vote win over Doug Racine. Racine said that he would go ahead and request a recount; state law provides for a taxpayer-funded recount for a candidate trailing by less than 2% (seems like a pretty generous recount policy compared with most states). In keeping with the primary's very civil tone, both candidates continued to praise each other and say they understood the recount choices.
• CO-07: Republican pollster Magellan (which put out an internal for Scott Tipton in CO-03 last week) is out with a poll in the 7th as well now, although this appears to be on their own, not as an internal for Ryan Frazier. At any rate, their poll gives a 40-39 lead to Republican Frazier, over incumbent Dem Ed Perlmutter. (10% opt for "some other candidate.")
• MS-04: Thanks to Haley Barbour, the previously low-dollar campaign of state Rep. Steven Palazzo just kicked into higher gear (or into gear, period). Barbour held a fundraiser for Palazzo that raised $177K, which will help his uphill campaign against Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor.
• SC-05: Another POS poll in the 5th on behalf of GOP state Sen. Mick Mulvaney has him making up ground on Rep. John Spratt; the two are now tied at 46-46. Spratt led by 2 in a previous POS poll in May. Spratt retorted to CQ that in his own polling he was ahead with "breathing room," but declined to provide specific numbers.
• Ads: Other ads for your consideration today include not one but two new ads from Roy Barnes, going negative against Nathan Deal (on the ethics issue, but also general Washington-bashing). In OH-Gov, Ted Strickland is also out with a double-shot of ads, hitting John Kasich for his free-trading past. Chet Edwards is out with an anti-Bill Flores ad in TX-17 accusing Flores of lying about having voted for GOPer Rob Curnock in 2008 (he didn't vote at all that day), while the Club for Growth is out with a PA-Sen ad that calls Joe Sestak "liberal" several hundred times in the space of 30 seconds.
• AZ-Sen: Rodney Glassman (D) 31%, John McCain (R-inc) 53%
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 36%, Rick Scott (R) 41%, Bud Chiles (I) 8%
• NM-Gov: Diane Denish (D) 43%, Susana Martinez (R) 48%
• SC-Gov: Vincent Sheheen (D) 36%, Nikki Haley (R) 52%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 44%, Scott Walker (R) 47%
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett (D) 44%, Mark Neumann (R) 48%
MO-Sen: AFSCME just threw down another hefty hunk of cash, pouring $700K into radio ads attacking Roy Blunt for voting against minimum wage hikes. According to The Hill, the union says that the ad is airing "statewide on over 200 radio stations outside the St. Louis and Kansas City media markets."
NH-Sen: Despite leading in the polls, AG Kelly Ayotte is joining third-party groups and launching a TV ad of her own attacking rival Bill Binnie as a "liberal." This comes in response to Binnie's new ad attacking Ayotte for her handling of the FRM scandal. NWOTSOTB, though Binnie's latest purchase is reportedly for some $430K.
WI-Sen: It's hard to keep up with Rand Paul and Sharron Angle, but really, the lamestream media is being unfair to Ron Johnson, who definitely deserves a starting spot on the Wingnut 9. Watch him bash this stand-up double into deep right field:
There's a reason Greenland was called Greenland. It was actually green at one point in time. And it's been, since, it's a whole lot whiter now.
FL-22: Absolute fucking maniac - and absolute fucking whiner - Allen West has been decrying the "Gestapo-like intimidation tactics" he fantasizes have been deployed by Ron Klein, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama. What are his dark Orwellian warnings about? The fact that the Klein campaign has been sending a video tracker to West's events. Yep, exactly like the Holocaust. Good comparison to be making in Palm Beach.
IA-01: The American Future Fund, a conservative 501(c)4, claims it's preparing to spend "six figures" against Rep. Bruce Braley (D), not a guy generally considered to be vulnerable. Part of that is because Braley leads his opponent, lawyer and former congressional staffer Ben Lange, $630K to $110K in cash-on-hand. Let's see if they actually follow through, though.
MO-04: For the first time since the mid-90s, the Missouri Farm Bureau's political arm, FARM-PAC, is not endorsing Ike Skelton - and in fact, they're supporting Republican Vicky Hartzler. FARM-PAC cited Skelton's vote in favor of cap-and-trade as the main reason for their change of heart. The Skelton campaign did, however, announce they received the backing from another agricultural group, the Missouri Corn Growers Association.
ND-AL: Rep. Earl Pomeroy is out with a new ad attacking Republican Rick Berg for his long (28-year) tenure in the North Dakota state lege, as well as his support for privatizing Social Security. NWOTSOTB.
NM-02: Defenders of Wildlife has re-upped its ad buy against Steve Pearce, who is attempting a comeback bid against Rep. Harry Teague, throwing down another $125K. It's not clear whether this is the same ad from a couple of weeks ago, which one station refused to air.
NJ-03: Props to Jane Roh of the Courier-Post, a paper which serves southern New Jersey. She exposes Republican Jon Runyan's first television ad for the video press release that it is, reporting that it's a mere $8,400 (on FOX News and CNN), but notes - do I detect a touch of mockery here? - that it's "expected to swell to $12,500 this week." This is pretty much a joke buy anywhere, but in the NYC media market, this doesn't even rate with late-night infomercials.
NY-13: Rudy Giuliani's lent all kinds of support to Mike Grimm in his primary against Michael Allegretti, and now he's cut an ad for him as well, touting Grimm's experience with terrorism as a "9/11 first responder." I wonder if that's the tie that binds these two men, or if Rudy is making some long-term play against the entrenched GOP interests on Staten Island which, for whatever reason, have been backing Allegretti. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB, and incidentally, the FBI (and the Marines) have expressed displeasure with similar Grimm ads in the past.
NY-29: Teabagger Janice Volk failed to collect the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot as an independent... but now says she'll run as a write-in. Whatever. Anyhow, has anyone heard anything - anything at all - about Dem Matthew Zeller?
OH-18: The Ohio Elections Commission ruled late last week that Rep. Zack Space made false statements about Republican opponent Bob Gibbs in an attack ad, but is issuing no penalty - not even a letter of reprimand. Sort of makes you wonder why this commission exists in the first place. I also find it weird that Ohio even has some body that tries to act as a referee for political campaigns. Isn't that what voting is for?
Redistricting: Redistricting geeks, rejoice! Thanks to some key volunteer help, Dave's Redistricting App now has partisan data for North Carolina and New Mexico. But more help is needed to get the remaining states online. Check out Dave's diary to see how you can help.
• LA-Sen: That ginned-up internal poll that Chet Traylor released a few days ago (showing him within 12 of David Vitter) seems to have served its intended purpose, for what its worth: the contributions have started coming in at a much greater pace over the last few days. He pulled in $30K in three days, almost doubling up on the $42K he raised over the previous duration of his campaign (and most of which he blew on his new anti-Vitter radio ad). And this can't please Vitter, either: a local paper is reporting to Vitter's troublesome ex-aide, Brent Furer, traveled back from DC to Louisiana several times on the public's dime, at points that just happened to coincide with his various trials on charges of drunk driving.
• NV-Sen: Sharron Angle seems to be wandering all over the map in search of a position on Social Security privatization, one that's extreme enough to satisfy her teabagging core supporters but not so extreme that it scares off, y'know, old people. She's removed the words "transitioned out" from her website (regarding Social Security) but, when pushed yesterday, said that she hasn't changed her view that that's how she feels about it (despite running ads claiming that she wants to "save" Social Security).
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak, meet Raul Labrador? As you probably know, there's a common-sense rule of thumb that you don't release your internal polls unless they show you, y'know, ahead of your opponent. Nevertheless, somebody (unclear whether it was the DSCC or the Sestak camp) leaked NBC a Peter Yang internal of the race giving Pat Toomey a 2-point lead over Sestak, 46-44. Obviously, that's not designed to create a sense of Sestak's inevitable victory as most internals are designed to do, but it's pushback against this week's PPP poll, where the switch to LVs hurt Sestak's numbers, probably oriented toward letting contributors know that this race is still in play. The DSCC has also been nailing Toomey on the rather arcane issue of derivatives, which had a key role in inflating the asset bubble that popped and left all our faces covered in pink sticky goo in 2008. Somehow I doubt more than 1% of the nation can offer a cogent explanation of what derivatives (especially credit default swaps) do, but at any rate, they've tracked down three separate times when Toomey as Congressman, on the House floor, praised the use of derivatives, something he's lately tried to distance himself from.
• WA-Sen: We're up to 67% reporting in Washington, with the numbers not really having budged from Tuesday night (still 46 Patty Murray, 34 Dino Rossi, 12 Clint Didier), but more than three-quarters of the remaining precincts are in the Dem-friendly King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, so look for some future budging. Meanwhile, here's a comparison that only true politics junkies will get... remember Fred Heineman? (The one-term Republican House member from NC-04 swept in in 1994, who then said that his $183,000 salary made him "lower-middle-class" and that the middle class extended up to $750K, and promptly got swept out in 1996.) Dino Rossi has apparently decided that he should be Washington's answer to Heineman, as he essentially said that one-third of Washingtonians make over $200K per year. More specifically, he said 2.5 million Washingtonians would benefit from keeping the Bush-era tax cuts for those making more than $200K/yr. (In reality, 105K households, or 1.6% of the state's population, fit that profile.)
• CA-Gov: Here's an iceberg in the way for the serene cruise of the Queen Meg: activists at a convention of state conservatives this weekend plan a rude welcome for her. They plan to lambaste her on her non-extreme positions on an Arizona-style immigration law in California, and her support for greenhouse gas-limiting Proposition 19 23. Also, here's some quantitative evidence for something that I've long suspected: Whitman has so oversaturated the airwaves with advertising that it went well past the point of having its desired effect and is now just getting people pissed off at her. A Jerry Brown staffer leaked that nugget from internal polling, finding that her own advertising has helped Whitman with 8% of voters and hurt her with 27% of voters.
• IA-03: Hot on the heels of the David Rivera story in FL-25, here's another uncomfortable blast from the past for another Republican House candidate: records reveal that Brad Zaun, the GOP's nominee against Leonard Boswell, had to be told by West Des Moines police to stay away from his ex-girlfriend after a late night visit to her house to pound on her windows and call her names.
• MO-03, MO-04: Odd little pollster We Ask America seems to be entering another period of being prolific, as now they're out with a couple House polls from the underserved state of Missouri. They find Russ Carnahan fairly comfortable against Republican challenger Ed Martin in the 3rd, leading 48-39, but find veteran Dem Ike Skelton in a tighter race in the 4th, leading Vicky Hartzler 45-42. Skelton still draws the support of 27% of Republicans and 37% of indies, crucial to surviving this dark-red district.
• CfG: The Club for Growth is starting to switch gears from primaries (where they seem to have had a more productive run this year than in previous cyles) to the general. They've endorsed four Republican challengers who all cleared the primary bar: Stephen Fincher in TN-08, Todd Young in IN-09, Mick Mulvaney in SC-05, and Tim Griffin in AR-02.
• Ads: The most attention-grabbing ad today seems to be from Indiana Dem Joe Donnelly, who already tried to distanced himself from "the Washington crowd" in his previous ad. Now he's basically thrown in the towel on trying to fight the messaging war and just start running with Republican memes, touting his opposition in his newest ad to "Nancy Pelosi's energy tax." Other ads worth checking out today include an RGA ad for Duke Aiona in HI-Gov, a Joyce Elliott ad in AR-02, a Michelle Rollins spot in DE-AL, and a Mike McIntyre ad in NC-07.
• AZ-Sen (pdf): John McCain is probably safe for re-election in 2010. PPP released the second half of their Arizona sample, and find McCain beating two strong opponents who seem to have no intention of running anyway: Sec. of Homeland Security and ex-Gov. Janet Napolitano (53-40) and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (57-30). He also leads Tucson city councilor Rodney Glassman, who is at least a rumored candidate, 55-25. McCain only has 48/42 approvals, but with kind of a bipartisan spin: an unusually low 65% of Republicans approve, while an unusually high 32% of Democrats approve.
• IL-Sen: Facing some unrest on the right flank, the RNC's Michael Steele has withdrawn sole support from Rep. Mark Kirk in the Illinois Senate GOP primary, according to the Chicago Observer. He's back to a neutral position, which certainly counts as a victory for Patrick Hughes, who's been gaining some momentum at coalescing the party's right-wing. Considering how Kirk acted when Andy McKenna was going to run, is another temper tantrum in the offing? On the Dem side, Alexi Giannoulias got the endorsement of the SEIU, which led his new rival, former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman, to "go there," invoking the specter of Rod Blagojevich, who was elected via SEIU support.
• NH-Sen: This isn't going at all according to plan for Kelly Ayotte (or the NRSC). Yet another random rich GOPer is showing up to scope out the Senate race, the third in a week. Today it's Jim Bender, an investor who used to be the CEO of Logicraft in the 1990s.
• OH-Sen: Everyone forgets about wealthy auto dealer Tom Ganley in the GOP primary in Ohio against establishment pick Rob Portman, probably because he doesn't have a built-in constituency. Looks like he's trying to hook up with the teabaggers as a result, positioning himself as a populist alternative to the free-trading Portman. Ganley is also getting some help from a Republican insider: an endorsement from Bay Buchanan (sister of Pat), pleased by Ganley's anti-immigrant rhetoric.
• WV-Sen: Looks like Robert Byrd's stay in the hospital was a lot shorter than his stint this spring; he was released today.
• GA-Gov: Strategic Vision looks at the primary fields in the Georgia governor's race, and finds not much has changed since last time. For the Dems, ex-Gov. Roy Barnes is at 45%, with Thurbert Baker at 30, David Poythress at 5, and Dubose Porter at 2. (It was 45-29 last month.) For the GOP, Insurance Comm. John Oxendine leads at 38, with Karen Handel at 15, Nathan Deal at 10, and four other guys in single digits. (Oxendine was at 39 last month, although Deal was in 2nd last month at 13, so maybe he took a minor hit from that corruption probe.) No head-to-heads yet, unfortunately.
• MI-Gov: Here's another poll of a potentially exciting gubernatorial race, but primaries only. An Inside Michigan Politics finds a tight GOP primary, with AG Mike Cox in the lead at 27, followed by Rep. Pete Hoekstra at 23 and Oakland Co. Sheriff Mike Bouchard at 15 (with businessman Rick Snyder and state Sen. Tom George each at 2). Lt. Gov. John Cherry is at 40 in the Dem primary with only light opposition from state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith (9) and former state Rep. John Freeman (8). A March poll from the same pollster had Cox at 17 and Hoekstra at 15 (but both losing to Oakland Co. Exec L. Brooks Patterson, who isn't running).
• NJ-Gov: Two very different pictures from partisan pollsters of the New Jersey governor's race out there. First comes one from Democracy Corps, who have the race as close as anyone has had it since early spring: Chris Christie leads Jon Corzine and Chris Daggett 40-39-11, and Christie has net negative favorables for the first time, at 32/34. (Their poll two weeks ago had Christie up 41-38-10.) The other is Strategic Vision, who see Christie up 46-38-8. Still an improvement from their last poll in July: 53-38-5... like most pollsters, they see Corzine essentially unable to move up, but succeeding in dragging Christie's numbers down. One more bucket of mud for Corzine to throw at Christie arrived yesterday: news that Christie owned stock in Cendant Corp. at the same time as he was investigating them through the US Attorney's office.
• NY-Gov, NY-Sen-B (pdf): Marist has a poll out that finds New Yorkers thinking that Barack Obama should butt out of New York governor's race, by a 62-27 margin. Nevertheless, only 25% think David Paterson should run next year (63% say no); they just want him to arrive at that decision on his own. While the poll doesn't contain gubernatorial matchups (not that we need any more of them), it does have some Senate numbers, confirming other local pollsters, finding the not-running Rudy Giuliani beating Kirsten Gillibrand 51-40 and the probably-not-running George Pataki beating Gillibrand 45-41.
Meanwhile, the NYT has a profile of a rather melancholy Paterson, saying "I didn't sign up for this." They also have a quote that could be seen as hopeful that he may still bail out on seeking another term: "if I got to a point where I thought that my candidacy was hurting my party, obviously it would be rather self-absorbed to go forward." (Unless he's made peace with just being self-absorbed.) If you're wondering what's taking him so long to make a decision, though, Josh Goodman has a nice pithy summary of the decisionmaking process, not just for Paterson, but all the race's players:
Paterson thinks he can beat Lazio, but not Giuliani, so he doesn't want to decide whether he's running until Giuliani makes up his mind. Giuliani thinks he can beat Paterson, but not Cuomo, so he doesn't want to decide whether he's running until Cuomo makes up his mind. Cuomo thinks he can beat anyone, but doesn't want the messiness of a primary battle, so he doesn't want to decide whether he's running until Paterson makes up his mind.
• VA-Gov: It looked briefly like ex-Gov. Doug Wilder might endorse Creigh Deeds after all, but today he backed down and said he won't endorse. Wilder also leveled some criticism at Deeds for proposing tax increases to fix northern Virginia's increasingly dire transportation problems. It's a wtf? moment from the mercurial Wilder, whose endorsement would do a lot to move African-American turnout for Deeds, where he hasn't generated much excitement yet.
• MO-04: No surprise here, but state Sen. Bill Stouffer made it official that he'll be taking on 17-term Dem incumbent Ike Skelton in the dark-red 4th. Christian Right former state Rep. Vicky Hartzler is already in the race; Stouffer, however, seems to be working more of a fiscal discipline angle.
• PA-07: While state Rep. Bryan Lentz seems to have the inside track on the Dem nomination (despite no formal announcement), another Democrat is getting in the race: Teresa Touey, a political consultant who has worked for Joe Sestak and Ted Kennedy. One problem for her, though: although she is a native of the 7th, she's been living in Massachusetts since the early 1990s.
• NYC-Mayor: Quinnipiac finds mayoral results in line with just about everybody else: incumbent Michael Bloomberg leads Dem comptroller William Thompson 52-36, with Conservative Party candidate Stephen Christopher pulling in 2.
• Redistricting: Roll Call has a detailed piece on how the parties are ramping up financially for the post-2010 redistricting fights. A new 501(c)(4), euphemistically titled Making America's Promise Secure, with Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott among its founders, will be coordinating the effort (since campaign reform passed since 2002 prevents the RNC from using soft money to spearhead the effort now). The DCCC's counterpart is the National Democratic Redistricting Trust, although a 527, the equally euphemistic Foundation for the Future, looks like it'll do the financial heavy lifting.
A very special morning edition of the Daily Digest!
• IA-Sen: The Des Moines Register's Marc Hansen teases that "a well-known mystery candidate" with "name recognition and money" is "about 75 percent ready to join the race" against deather douchebag GOPer Chuck Grassley. The Politico's Charles Mahtesian speculates that the mystery candidate could be none other than Dem Rep. Bruce Braley. Color me skeptical.
• IL-10: NRCC recruitment wiz kid Kevin McCarthy parachuted himself into the Chicagoland area on Saturday in order to survey the recruitment progress in race to defend GOP Rep. Mark Kirk's open seat. He met with a small batch of prospects, including stock market analyst Dick Green, attorney Bill Cadigan (a former staffer for ex-Rep. Jon Porter, who held the 10th District for two decades prior to Kirk), and businessman Bob Dold. Interestingly, that list didn't include any of the district's deep bench of Republican state legislators. I'm not sure if we should read that as a tea leaf that state Rep. Beth Coulson may not be serious about running, but it appears that the GOP is preparing for the prospect of defending this seat with a political newcomer.
• IN-03: Talk about taking one for the team. Former Fort Wayne city councilman Tom Hayhurst, an M.D. who gave GOP Rep. Mark Souder the closest shave of his political life in 2006, has filed papers for a rematch in 2010. Hayhurst lost to Souder by a 54-46 margin that year -- a pretty impressive showing given the district's horrid R+14 bent. But after Souder pasted well-funded attorney Mike Montagano in 2008 by 15 points, it's hard to see how the good doctor has a shot in hell here. Godspeed, sir.
• FL-08: Here's some good news for frosh Dem Rep. Alan Grayson. Larry Cretul, the Republican Speaker of the Florida House, has decided against challenging the former beardo next year. The GOP still has a number of options here, including state Rep. Stephen Precourt and Orlando Mayor Rich Crotty.
Precourt, for his part, told the St. Petersburg Times that he may be interested in a bid, but sounds supportive of state Sen. Dan Webster, should he choose to run. More from Precourt:
"I am a big fan of Senator Dan Webster, but am keeping my powder dry for now. It seems best to stand back and let Congressman Grayson self destruct for the time being, as he is doing quite a good job of it."
Precourt may have been referring to Grayson's legislative priorities, but he could have just as easily been alluding to the congressman's, uh, relaxed style of speech. During a Netroots Nation panel in Pittsburgh on Friday, Grayson decided to yuk it up by saying his 2008 opponent, GOP Rep. Ric Keller, "did all his hiring at Hooters". He went on to relate an anecdote about how one of his "more resourceful" supporters posed as a volunteer at his opponent's campaign headquarters for several days, and reported back that "they spent all their time flying paper clips at each other and watching porn on their computers."
• MN-Gov: It's no surprise, but Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, a Democrat, formally threw her hat into the extremely crowded gubernatorial race on Thursday.
• MO-04: It looks like longtime Dem Rep. Ike Skelton, who's been manning the fort for us in this R+14 district since Baby Jesus was riding dinosaurs to school, is going to have an honest-to-God race on his hands in 2010. GOP state Sen. Bill Stouffer, whose district overlaps some of the 4th's northern counties, filed his statement of candidacy with the FEC last week. Stouffer will face a primary from fundie-flavored ex-state Rep. Vicky Hartzler.
• NC-Sen: With NC SoS Elaine Marshall officially still on the fence, the DSCC isn't sitting idly by to wait for her decision. Former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker, who lost the 2000 Democratic gubernatorial primary to Mike Easley, says that he's had conversations with the DSCC and ex-Gov. Jim Hunt about challenging GOP Sen. Richard Burr, and will consider his options. I'd say that Democrats had better lock up either Marshall or Wicker before they realize how ugly 2010 is going to be for Team Blue.
• NV-Sen: Wanna run against Harry Reid (and win)? It really doesn't appear to be that daunting of a task if you believe the spurt of Republican polls in the past few days. Hot on the heels of a poll showing NV GOP Chair Susan Lowden smacking Reid by an six-point margin, two-time political loser Danny Tarkanian is out with a poll from Chariot, LLC (never heard of 'em) showing him beating Reid by a 50-42 spread.
But before we leave it at that, I just want to briefly touch on this howler from Reno Gazette-Journal reporter Anjeanette Damon:
It was an automated poll, meaning a recorded voice asked respondents to express their preference by pushing a number on their phone. These polls, while inexpensive to run, are not regarded as the most accurate method of obtaining survey results.
Maybe this poll is bunk, but I'm getting pretty tired of journalists who can't bother to, at the bare minimum, take five minutes to review Nate's pollster ratings. Or as Tom Jensen recently lamented:
I think there should be a required J School course for all aspiring political journalists on how to truly understand polling, the different methodologies, and the different organizations. I'd put pretty high up on the list that they should learn to look up and analyze the track records of various organizations instead of judging them on hearsay and other subjective criteria.
• NY-Gov: The Q&Q Polling Factory is out with the n-thousandth poll showing Democratic Gov. David Paterson in comically bad shape. Pitted in a primary against AG Andrew Cuomo, Paterson now loses by a 61-15 margin, down from a 57-20 loss in June. In a general election against Rudy Giuliani, Paterson loses 53-33, while Cuomo leads by 48-39. The numbers scream for themselves.
• PA-05: SSP extends our condolences to the family and friends of Bill Cahir, who was killed while on duty in Afghanistan late last week. Cahir, as you may remember, ran a very respectable campaign for the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania's 5th District last year, losing a three-way race to Mark McCracken.
• TX-Gov: In a bit of a let-down for Texas activists, Austin-area state Sen. Kirk Watson, seen as a rising star in the TX Democratic Party, announced on Friday that he'll be seeking re-election to the state senate rather than entering the gubernatorial primary, which is already populated by the likes of Tom Schieffer and Kinky Friedman.