• AZ-Sen: After some rumors yesterday that she wasn't getting much traction with her phoning around, DHS Sec./ex-Gov. Janet Napolitano confirmed today that she wasn't going to run for the open Senate seat in Arizona, preferring to remain in the Obama administration. (Roll Call has a list of some of the weedier Dem possibilities, beyond the top tier of Rep. Gabby Giffords and Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon: Rep. Ed Pastor, Board of Regents vice chair Fred DuVal, former state party chair Don Bivens, 2010 AG candidate Felicia Rotellini, and current state party chair/2010 Treasurer candidate Andrei Cherny.) On the GOP side, Rep. Jeff Flake seems already positioning himself for the general while opening himself up for a challenge from the nutty right, telling the birthers to "accept reality." Flake also just picked up an endorsement from a similar budget-focused, social-issues-downplaying prominent House member, Paul Ryan.
• IN-Sen: State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who plans to soon announce his GOP primary challenge to Richard Lugar (with next Tuesday the more-or-less official launch date), leaked a few poll numbers from an internal. He says that "just over half" of GOP primary voters are inclined to re-elect Lugar, while Lugar pulls in only 27% support among self-described tea-partiers. The poll didn't "include" a head-to-head between Mourdock and Lugar, which I'll assume means they aren't reporting results that were pretty heavily in Lugar's favor, rather than that they just accidentally forgot to poll that particular question. Here's new one piece of ammo that tea partiers can use against Lugar to make their point that he's gone Washington, though: a revelation that Lugar stays in a hotel when he visits Indiana (Lugar owns a farm in-state, but conditions there are "rustic").
• PA-Sen: Quinnipiac is out with another Pennsylvania poll, one that finds Bob Casey Jr. in better shape than their previous poll, where he was in decent shape too. He beats a Generic R 45-35 (up from 43-35 in December), and his approvals are up to 44/24 (from 39/29). Voters approve of Barack Obama (51/44) and Pat Toomey (41/21) as well, in another indication of ebbing anger.
• VA-Sen: Tell the ground crew to break out the tarps, because we've got a Kaine delay. Ex-Gov. Tim Kaine, at the top of the Dem establishment's wish list for the open Senate seat, is announcing that he won't have anything to announce when he addresses tomorrow's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. He still sounds genuinely conflicted; expect an announcement "later in the month or early next month."
• VT-Sen: He stopped well short of actually announcing anything, but Dem-turned-Republican state Auditor Tom Salmon seems to be moving apace toward an uphill challenge against Bernie Sanders, saying he'll announce his decision on March 4 or 5. He's looking more committed in that he's leaving his day job: he also just announced he won't run for another term as Auditor.
• WV-Gov: The overcrowded (and likely low-turnout) Democratic primary in West Virginia may be decided by a few thousand votes, so any possible advantage counts here. And here's one for SoS Natalie Tenannt, the only Dem woman running: she just got the endorsement of EMILY's List.
• CA-36: The Republicans have managed to scrape up at least one credible candidate for the special election in the dark-blue 36th, where the main battle in the top 2 primary will be fought between Democrats Janice Hahn and Debra Bowen but conceivably he could sneak into the final round if he consolidates all the district's GOP votes. Mike Webb is City Attorney for Redondo Beach (popu. 63K).
• MN-06, MN-08: This is an interesting possibility for ex-state Sen. Tarryl Clark, who lost last year to Michele Bachmann in the GOP-leaning 6th... although it's entirely dependent on the redistricting pen. There's the possibility that her town of St. Cloud (to the west of the Twin Cities) may get appended to the 8th, which starts in the metro area's northern exurbs and heads up to Duluth. A run against vulnerable GOP frosh Chip Cravaack in a Dem-leaning district in a presidential year would be a much better bet for her. The question would be, though, whether Clark would have much luck in the DFL primary if she has to run against someone from the Iron Range, which tends to be insular-minded and would still be the bulk of the district's population.
• SD-AL, FL-02: I don't know how many of you were pining for a 2012 rematch from Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (about which there were some rumors this week), and I really can't imagine that any of you were hoping for a return engagement from ur-Blue Dog Allen Boyd, but it's looking like neither one is on track to happen. Both are rumored to be about to take on K Street lobbying jobs instead, which is, of course, not the usual comeback path.
• AZ-Sen: There have been vague rumblings that maybe Jon Kyl, the GOP's 68-year-old #2 in the Senate, may not be running for another term... but that seems to be coming into sharper relief all of a sudden. Kyl has refused to publicly discuss his plans, the GOP's state chair is saying Kyl is not likely to run again, and people are starting to notice that he's sitting on only $620K CoH and hasn't engaged in any fundraising yet. (Although it's likely, once he decides, that he could quickly do whatever fundraising was needed to win.)
• CT-Sen: Ex-Rep. Rob Simmons sounds torn about another Senate run in 2012, and refuses to rule it out. However, he sounds unenthused, not so much because of his odds in the general as the likelihood of butting heads with the NRSC in the primary, whom he thinks has a fixation on Linda McMahon and her self-funding ability. Meanwhile, Rep. Chris Murphy is busy framing his "no" vote on the tax compromise in populist terms, clearly trying to set up some contrasts with Joe Lieberman.
• NE-Sen: I'd thought AG Jon Bruning was supposed to be some sort of killer-app for the local GOP to go against Ben Nelson, but you wouldn't know it by the way they've kept casting about for more talent. Local insiders are still publicly airing their wish list, adding a couple more prominent names to it: Rep. Jeff Fortenberry and state Auditor Mike Foley. One lower-tier option is also floating her own name: state Sen. Deb Fischer, who represents that big empty north-central part of the state and says she'll decide on a run once the legislative session is over.
• OR-Sen: Best wishes for a quick recovery to Ron Wyden, who will be undergoing surgery on Monday for prostate cancer. While it sounds like he'll be back on his feet soon, he'll be unable to vote for anything next week, which could complicate the final rush to wrap up stuff in the lame duck.
• TN-Sen: Bob Corker occasionally gets mentioned, at least in the rightosphere, as the possible recipient of a tea party primary challenge in 2012. The Hill finds that this may be fizzling on the launching pad, for the very simple reason that no one seems to be stepping forward to consider the race.
• WI-Sen: PPP is out with its poll of the 2012 GOP Senate primary, with another one of those let's-test-everyone-and-their-dog fields, but unlike some of the other states they've looked at in the last few weeks, a U.S. Rep. wins, rather than a statewide figure. Paul Ryan (who probably gets enough Fox News attention to trump the disadvantage of representing only 1/8th of the state) is far in the lead at 52. Ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson (who if he didn't run this year surely isn't going to in 2012) is at 14, ex-Rep. Mark Green is at 9, AG JB Van Hollen and new Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch are at 6, new Rep. Sean Duffy is at 5, and already-forgotten 2010 contender Dave Westlake is at 1.
• IN-Gov, IN-09: Baron Hill says he most likely isn't going to be running for anything in 2012, not Governor, and not his old seat in the 9th, saying he's looking into private sector jobs for now, though also leaving the gubernatorial door "slightly open." Interestingly, he seemed more enthused about a run for Governor in 2016 (which may be a tougher road to hoe, if there's an entrenched GOP incumbent then instead of an open seat like 2012), although he also commented that "I don't know if I'll be alive in 2016."
• MO-Gov: In case there was any doubt, Democratic incumbent Jay Nixon confirmed that he'll run for re-election as Governor in 2012. Nixon also said that he's raised $1 million for that race just since November; he'll need it.
• WV-Gov: For what it's worth, two of the state's largest unions would like to see an expedited special election to replace Joe Manchin. Democratic House Speaker (and likely gubernatorial candidate) Rick Thompson agrees with them, saying there's a constitutional conflict of interest in acting Gov./Senate president Earl Ray Tomblin's dual position. In what may not be a surprise, Tomblin disagrees, saying that the law is clear that the special will be held in 2012.
• CA-06: Rep. Lynn Woolsey is seeming like she may be one of the first retirements of the cycle, if the flurry of activity among lower-level Marin County politicos jockeying for position is any indication. The 73-year-old is publicly weighing retirement, and state Assemblyman Jared Huffman has already formed an exploratory committee to run in her stead. State Sen. Noreen Evans, Sonoma Co. Commissioner Shirlee Zane, and Petaluma mayor Pam Torliatt are also listed as possible replacements.
• FL-25: It certainly didn't take newly-elected Rep. David Rivera to get in legal trouble, and it's something completely new, instead of anything having to do with that whole let's-run-that-truck-off-the-road incident. He's under investigation for an alleged $500,000 in secret payments from a greyhound track that he helped out to a marketing firm that's "run" by his septuagenarian mother.
• ID-01: Don't count on a rematch from Walt Minnick (or a run for higher office in Idaho, either): he says he's done with elective politics. An oft-overlooked fact about Minnick: he's a little older than your average freshman, at 68. He wasn't going to be in the seat for much longer or look to move up anyway.
• NY-14: Remember Reshma Saujani, after losing the Dem primary in the 14th, said "I'm definitely running again" and "There's no way I'm going to be ones of those folks who runs, loses, and you never see them again." Well, fast forward a few months, and now she's definitely not running again, although she may be looking toward a run for something in 2013 at the municipal level.
• DCCC: The DCCC held its first real strategy session of the cycle yesterday, and the list of top-tier targets that emerged is pretty predictable (Dan Lungren, Charlie Bass, Charlie Dent, Bob Dold!) except for one: Leonard Lance, who's proved pretty durable so far. They may be counting on Lance's NJ-07, which occupies roughly the middle of the state, to get tossed into the blender in the redistricting process.
• Votes: Here's the vote tally from yesterday's vote in the House on the tax compromise. It was a very unusual breakdown, with Dems breaking 139 yes/112 no and the GOP breaking 138 yes/36 no, with the "no"s coming generally from each party's hard-liners, in a manner vaguely reminiscent of how the TARP vote broke down. (Also, some defeated or retiring Blue Dogs still voted "no," like Allen Boyd, Gene Taylor, and Earl Pomeroy... while Dennis Kucinich was a "yes.")
• History: Here's an interesting story about the end of a little-known but important era in North Dakota politics: the effective end of the Non-Partisan League, a vaguely-socialist/populist farmers' party that cross-endorsed Democrats for many decades, and had an outsized influence on the state (as seen in their state-owned bank and similar enterprises). With Byron Dorgan retired, most NPL stalwarts dead or aging, and agribusiness having replaced the family farm, it looks like the end of the NPL's line.
• Redistricting: Dave Wasserman is out with a preview of next week's reapportionment, and he's rightly treating it like the NCAA playoffs draw, in that there a bunch of states on the bubble of getting or losing seats. Here's how that plays out:
Georgia, Nevada, and Utah are all but certain to gain an additional seat in the House, while Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are all but certain to lose a seat and Ohio is all but certain to lose two seats.... the ten states in contention for the "last five" seats in the House (in order of likelihood to make the cut) are South Carolina, Florida, Minnesota, Washington, Texas, New York, California, Arizona, North Carolina, and Illinois.
He's also been tinkering around with Dave's Redistricting App, and has some maps that you'll want to check out. Maybe most interestingly, there's a solution to the IL-17 problem that actually makes it more Democratic while letting Aaron Schock and Bobby Schilling get much better acquainted with each other (the Fix also takes a look at Illinois today, coming up with similar ideas). Also worth a look: a good 10-district Washington map that gives Dave Reichert a heaping helping of eastern Washington.
• Site news: Due to holiday travel, other time commitments, and hopefully what will be a very slow news week, the Daily Digest will be on hiatus all next week. Don't worry, though: I'll make sure to be around on the 21st for the Census reapportionment data release (hell, maybe I'll even liveblog the news conference), and if there's any important breaking news, someone will get it up on the front page. In the meantime, happy holidays from the whole SSP team!
• AK-Sen: There's yet another lawsuit coming out of the Joe Miller camp, this one filed in state court. It essentially rehashes claims he's already made at the federal level, but adds two new allegations: voters without identification were allowed to take ballots in some precincts, and that in a few precincts handwriting samples suggest that the same person completed multiple ballots. Miller's ultimate goal is a hand count of the entire race, which could delay Lisa Murkowski's swearing-in past January. The question, however, is starting to arise: who's paying for all this? None of Miller's former friends seem interested any more: the NRSC has gone silent, and the Tea Party Express still offers verbal support but isn't ponying up any money. Only Jim DeMint continues to offer any financial support (with a Joe Miller fundraising button on his Senate Conservatives website).
• MT-Sen: This could complicates matters for Denny Rehberg, turning this primary into an establishment vs. teabagger duel. Two right-wing groups, Concerned Women PAC and Gun Owners of America, have already lent their support to businessman Steve Daines, who has already announced his bid for the GOP nod here.
• NY-Sen: Kirsten Gillibrand has to do it all over again in 2012 (this one was just a special election), and rumors are that former Bush administration official Dan Senor, who spurned a run this time, is interested in a run next time. It's hard to imagine, if Gillibrand could top 60% in a year as bad as this, that Senor could somehow overperform that in a presidential year.
• MN-Gov: The recount is officially on. The State Canvassing Board, whom you all got to know really well in early 2009, ruled that the 8,770 vote lead for Mark Dayton is less than one-half of a percentage point and that an automatic recount is triggered. The count starts on Monday and should end in mid-December, allowing time for swearing in on Jan. 3 (unless things really go haywire). This comes after a variety of legal maneuvering from both sides, including a fast Minnesota Supreme Court ruling against Tom Emmer, in response to his desire to force counties to comb through voter rolls and eliminate votes that were "excessively cast." No word yet on whether the Board will honor Dayton's request for ways to streamline the process (and minimize Emmer's chances for challenges).
• MT-Gov: There had been rumors that Democratic ex-Rep. Pat Williams would seek the Dem gubernatorial nomination (potentially setting up a match with his successor, ex-Rep. Rick Hill), despite being 72 years old. He's now saying that he won't. Williams is so old-school that he used to represent MT-01, before the state got smooshed together into one at-large district.
• CT-05: Random rich guy Mark Greenberg, who finished third in the GOP primary in the 5th this year (although with nearly 30% of the vote), says he'll be running again in 2012. Added incentive: he says he expects this to be an open seat as Chris Murphy runs for Senate.
• FL-17: Newly elected Frederica Wilson is already challenging the old ways of the House... going after the long-standing prohibition against wearing hats on the House floor. She says it's "sexist," saying that women's indoor hat use is different from men's. Wilson owns at least 300 hats, she says. (If Regina Thomas ever makes it to the House, maybe the Hat Caucus can gain some momentum.)
• MD-01: Recently-defeated Frank Kratovil seems like one of the likeliest losses to run again in 2012, especially since the Dem-controlled Maryland legislature is likely to serve him up a much Dem-friendlier district (as many of our in-house mapmakers have suggested). He isn't saying yes yet, but says he will "consider" it.
• NH-02: Another possible re-run is Ann McLane Kuster, who performed pretty well in a narrow loss to Charlie Bass in the open 2nd. There have been lots of Beltway rumors that her run is imminent, and some are pointing to encouragement straight from the White House for her to try again.
• NY-01: We've essentially finished the absentee ballot count, and the news is very good here: Tim Bishop, after leading by only 15 last night, is now leading by a comparatively-gargantuan 235 with all absentees counted. However, we're nowhere near a resolution, as attention now turns to the court battle over 2,000 challenged ballots (Randy Altschuler has challenged 1,261, while Bishop has challenged 790). Still, Bishop's spokesperson is saying they're "very confident" that they've won this one.
• NY-23: Yeesh, Bill Owens is actually saying he might vote for John Boehner for Speaker or abstain instead of Nancy Pelosi when it comes to a floor vote, saying Pelosi is too liberal. (This despite saying he voted for her, rather than Heath Shuler, in the caucus vote.) Also, not that it matters at this point, but this race wound up being closer than the Election Day count indicated: Matt Doheny picked up 1,982 previously-unknown votes in the recanvass of Fulton County, taking Owens' margin down to 1,795 overall, and making it all the clearer that we owe this victory entirely to 3rd-party bearer-of-cat-fud Doug Hoffman.
• Odds and ends: The Fix has a massive list of people considering rematches in 2012, most of which we've already dealt with before (including Kuster and Kratovil, above). Other names that we haven't listed include Brad Ellsworth (either for Gov, Senate, or his old IN-08), Christine O'Donnell in Delaware (not unexpected, since she runs every 2 years anyway), Glenn Nye, and Allen Boyd (despite his losing very thoroughly to Steve Southerland).
• AL-St. House: The inevitable realignment at the legislative level in Alabama finally happened, and happened all at once instead of slow drips. Four conservative Democrats in the state House changed to the GOP, bringing the GOP numbers up to not just a majority but a supermajority in one fell swoop. The Madison County (Huntsville) Clerk also announced her switch, too.
• CA-AG: At this point, it's all over but the shouting in the AG race, as Kamala Harris now leads Steve Cooley by 43,000 votes (with 500K votes still left to count). While the AP hasn't called it, LA Weekly has decided it's a done deal.
• Chicago mayor: Roland Burris has aparently thrown his well-traveled hat into the ring for the Chicago mayoral race, as he'll need a new job in a week or so. Supporters filed his candidate paperwork yesterday, the deadline for filing (although he has yet to officially say that he's running). Somehow, I can only see this helping Rahm Emanuel, by further splitting the African-American vote (already divided between Danny Davis and another ex-Senator, Carol Mosely Braun).
• Redistricting: There's been some sudden buzz about switching North Carolina to an independent redistricting commission (which, of course, has to do with the GOP seizing control of the state legislature). In what is not a surprise, though, the GOP has no interest in giving up its newfound power, saying that (despite a recent PPP poll showing wide support for such a commission) there isn't any time to move on the constitutional amendment that would create a commission (something that they generally supported up until, y'know, this month). Also on the redistricting front, check out the Fix's latest installment in its state-by-state series, focusing today on Indiana, where GOP control over the trifecta is likely to make things worse for IN-02's Joe Donnelly (just how much worse, we have yet to find out)... and, if they wanted to experiment with dummymanders, possibly IN-07's Andre Carson, too.
• Demographics: Here's some interesting demographic slice-and-dice from the Washington Post: Dems increased their vote share in big counties (500K+) from 49% in 1994 to 54% this year, but lost even further in smaller counties, from 43% in 1994 to 39% this year. The districts the GOP won were disproportionately older, whiter, and less educated. And on a related note, check out these maps and the interesting ways they represent population density around the U.S. Note any similarities between these maps and where Democratic votes are concentrated?
Here's the last batch of 10 of the Hill House polls by Penn Schoen Berland. The sample periods were a mix of Oct. 16-19 and Oct. 19-21, with each sample with a 4.9% MoE. With previous rounds focusing on freshmen, open seats, and sophomores, this one deals with some of the most endangered veterans:
• CO-03: John Salazar (D-inc) 43%, Scott Tipton (R) 47%
• FL-02: Allen Boyd (D-inc) 38%, Steve Southerland 50%
• GA-08: Jim Marshall (D-inc) 37%, Austin Scott 50%
• IN-09: Baron Hill (D-inc) 46%, Todd Young (R) 44%
• IA-03: Leonard Boswell (D-inc) 49%, Brad Zaun (R) 37%
• ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy (D-inc) 45%, Rick Berg (R) 44%
• PA-11: Paul Kanjorski (D-inc) 43%, Lou Barletta (R) 48%
• SC-05: John Spratt (D-inc) 39%, Mick Mulvaney (R) 49%
• TX-17: Chet Edwards (D-inc) 40%, Bill Flores (R) 52%
So, 4 out of 10 isn't bad, considering the crowd we're looking at here (including the DOA-for-months Chet Edwards and Allen Boyd). Especially noteworthy is IA-03... who would have thought, even a few months ago, that chronically underperforming Leonard Boswell would be well on his way to re-election and possibly even not the most endangered Iowa Dem?
What's the overall damage? 31 of the total 42 Hill polls had Republicans in the lead, 4 ties, and 7 Dem leads. (Remember, 2 of those were GOP-held seats.) Mark Penn's take on what that means overall (remember, we're talking Mark Penn here, so take with salt as necessary):
"We didn't even poll in about 15 districts that are already too far gone for Democrats. So that, along with our entire series of polls, points to something in the range of a 50-seat gain for Republicans."
(I'm wondering what 15 he's talking about? Considering that they polled NH-01, TN-08, WA-03, WI-07, MI-01, AR-01, CO-04, IL-11, MD-01, NM-02, OH-15, PA-03, VA-02, and VA-05 earlier, that means I can count only AR-02, IN-08, LA-03, TN-06, NY-29, KS-03, and OH-01 in the "too far gone" category. Either he knows something about eight other races that nobody else does, or his math is a little fuzzy. Maybe he's counting FL-08 and WI-08, but even then he'd still owe us six more.)
• 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%
• AK-Sen: In the avalanche of various other acts of hypocrisy and self-dealing that have come out about Joe Miller in the last few weeks, somehow I missed this one: not only did he avail himself of low-income hunting and fishing licenses, but his family has received assistance from Medicaid and similar state-level Denali Kidcare. Somewhere, his most ardent supporters are hurling their copies of Atlas Shrugged into the fireplace in disgust, learning that their mighty Producer is nothing more than a parasite, weakly availing himself of every program under the sun designed to enslave man. (And somewhere, either heaven or Rick Barber's fevered imagination, James Madison is hurling his copy of the Federalist Papers into the fireplace, upset that this ostensible patriot is availing himself of such a plainly unconstitutional program.)
• DE-Sen: I think this had been made pretty clear few weeks ago, but Mike Castle reiterated it in as official terms as possible on CNN yesterday: he's not endorsing anybody in the Senate race.
• FL-Sen: Very-tanned centrist GOPer governors gotta stick together, and Arnold Schwarzenegger just gave his probably-not-worth-much backing to Charlie Crist yesterday. The Marco Rubio camp may have gotten the last laugh here, though:
"When it comes to inflicting 'Collateral Damage' on the economy, Charlie Crist and Arnold Schwarzenegger are definitely 'Twins.' Charlie's flip-flops have made him a master at telling 'True Lies.' We all know the only thing Charlie cares about is the next election. But this year, Florida will take an 'Eraser' to 'The Running Man.'" - Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Burgos, responding to Schwarzenegger's endorsement of Crist.
• PA-Sen: I wouldn't start popping the champagne cork (or even buy a bottle of champagne) yet, but the DSCC seems to be seeing some negative-ad-driven progress in Pennsylvania. They've released an internal poll, via Garin Hart Yang, that actually gives Joe Sestak the lead. He's up 44-42 over Pat Toomey, in a poll taken Oct. 8-10. With leaners pushed, Sestak expands to a 47-44 lead. No public pollster has seen anything like that (at least yet).
• WA-Sen: If you're wondering what's up with the huge disparities in Washington Senate numbers between the live-caller and auto-dialed polls, you're not alone. Nate Silver doesn't exactly have answers, pointing to unique Washington variables that confound pollsters, like its (almost entirely) vote-by-mail status and its large number of cellphone-only users. But he does have some interesting charts showing that Rasmussen and SurveyUSA have consistently overestimated GOP performance all decade long in Washington (while, at the same time, Elway has overestimated Dem performance).
• WV-Sen: Hot on the heels of PPP's poll showing Joe Manchin back in the lead, the DSCC is out with an internal poll showing similar numbers. The GQR poll from Oct. 7-12, the height of "hicky" mania, gives Manchin a 49-44 lead over John Raese, whose 40/38 faves lag Manchin's 63/28.
• CA-Gov: All previous political self-funding records are quickly receding in Meg Whitman's rearview mirror, as she just plowed another $20 million into her gubernatorial bid, bringing her all-cycle total to over $141 million.
• WV-Gov: I don't know what West Virginians' aversion to comprehensible succession laws is, but after emerging from the morass of how to replace Robert Byrd, now the legislature is grappling with what to do with the Governor position if Joe Manchin manages to win the Senate special election. Legislative lawyers say that unless the legislature takes some sort of action, Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin would take over as "acting governor" for the entire remainder of Manchin's term, until the regularly scheduled Nov. 2012 election... but that there would be two elections that day, one for the full four years and one for the lame-duck period.
• FL-25: I look forward to seeing David Rivera's explanation:
Over the past seven years, Republican state Rep. David Rivera repeatedly said in sworn documents that his main source of income, outside of his salary from the Legislature, came from consulting work he did for the U.S. Agency for International Development. But USAID has no record of ever hiring Rivera -- now a candidate for Congress -- or his company.
• KS-04: SurveyUSA has shown an unexpectedly close race (for an open seat in a dark-red district in this climate), with several polls in high single digits, so GOP nominee Mike Pompeo is offering some pushback with an internal from Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates from Oct. 10-11. His poll gives him a 48-31 lead over Raj Goyle. (You may recall that this pollster works with the Club for Growth, and is responsible for highlights like this one. Senator Dick Zimmer vouches for their accuracy!)
• NY-24: Richard Hanna's out with an internal poll, courtesy of McLaughlin (no dates given by Politico, and with a big fat MoE of 5.6%). Hanna leads, but only by 46-43. Considering that Hanna is trying to push back against not a Mike Arcuri internal but an honest-to-gosh public poll (from Siena) with an Arcuri lead of 8, that seems like kind of weak sauce.
• MN-06: Today's fundraising highlight is that Michele Bachmann pulled in $5.4 million in the third quarter. Interestingly, it looks like she'll report "only" $3.4 million cash on hand, suggesting a similar phenomenon as Sharron Angle (for whom there weren't any CoH numbers at all), where there's a lot of churn going on not just for a TV blitz but also for widespread nationwide direct-mail marketing, which is expensive. (Just ask Joe Cao.) While these numbers certainly don't bode well as far as unseating Bachmann this year, the bright side is that's money that low-information voters might otherwise have given to GOP House challengers in tight races who could have actually leveraged that money a lot more effectively.
• TX-27: Even if you're a political junkie like us, yesterday's internal poll was probably the first you've ever heard of Blake Farenthold. The DCCC fills in some blanks, suggesting that you're probably not likely to hear too much about him in the future, either. He's somehow sitting on a negative $5K in cash, and... I'm not quite sure how this happened, but he appears on the front of what appears to be some sort of local tea party-oriented publication, in pajamas, in the company of what appears to be some sort of sex-industry professional (and not as an example of what not to do, but apparently because said publication is endorsing him). Yeah, I'm just as confused as you; you'll have to check out the link.
• WA-08: Ordinarily, we don't report on newspaper endorsements, since they don't seem to move many votes and are usually pretty predictable based on each paper's e-board leanings. We'll make an exception in this case, since Dave Reichert largely owes his continued existence to the Seattle Times, who've clung to him as, in their eyes, the last remaining exemplar of the old-style moderate Republicanism they fetishize. So it's a strange and wondrous thing to see them turning their back on him in favor of Suzan DelBene.
• Blue Dogs: CQ has an interesting piece about the yawning leadership gap at the Blue Dogs, where two of its key members, John Tanner and Dennis Moore, are skedaddling. It cites a number of possible new heads (most notably Allen Boyd and Jim Matheson), but there's a certain amount of cart-before-horse here, because the Blue Dogs are disproportionately in the crosshairs this cycle and it's unclear how many of the key ones (Boyd, especially, as well as Stephanie Herseth Sandlin) will even be back.
• DLCC: The DLCC is out with its third and probably final installment in its "Essential Races" series, pointing you (and your contribution dollars) toward 15 more legislators in key races that might determine chamber control in some of the most important state legislatures.
• Money: More evidence that the advantage by the Democratic committees and individual members was pretty illusory, given the myriad ways (527s and 501(c)(4)s, oh my) that the wealthy have to plow nearly-unlimited money into political races: an alliance of groups (Karl Rove's American Crossroads and Norm Coleman's American Action Network, as well as a new one, Commission on Hope, Growth, and Opportunity) is planning a $50 million ad blitz focused on some relatively underserved House races. This includes IN-02, CO-07, and even Maurice Hinchey's NY-22. (H/t Nathan Gonzales.)
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Mark Kirk revisits the Broadway Bank yet again with his newest ad
• LA-Sen: A solid ad from Charlie Melancon, hitting David Vitter on outsourcing and cozying up to BP
• MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan tries some anti-Washington (including congressional pay raises) shots at Roy Blunt
• PA-Sen: VoteVets boosts Joe Sestak with a hit on Pat Toomey for voting against veterans' benefits
• CT-Gov: The RGA has a boilerplate attack ad on Dan Malloy as tax-raising career politician
• HI-Gov: It's not your imagination, this race is looking competitive, at least if the DGA is advertising here: they're out with an anti-Duke Aiona ad
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn's new ad actually comes close to saying that Bill Brady will kill your dog if you vote for him.
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland's ad goes back to the basics: hitting John Kasich on his outsourcing Wall Street ways
• SC-Gov: The RGA is having to advertise and staff up in SC-Gov, probably much to their chagrin, as this looks like it's turning into a real race: their new spot calls Vincent Sheheen liberal, morphs him into Obama, and does all the usual
• IL-17: The SEIU backs up one of labor's biggest backers in the House, Phil Hare, with a 10-day buy for $317K in the Quad Cities, for an ad hitting Bobby Schilling on free trade and outsourcing
• PA-06: Manan Trivedi's new ad goes after Jim Gerlach and 'special interests'
• PA-08: VoteVets is also out with a spot in the 8th, hitting Mike Fitzpatrick on veterans' benefits votes during his brief stay in Congress
• WI-03: The National Federation of Independent Business is out with a slew of new ads that includes softening up not-quite-top-tier Dem districts, with 10-day ad buys including not just WI-03 but also CA-11, CO-03, MO-03, NY-19, NY-23, PA-10, OH-16, and SC-05.
• ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 32%, Paul LePage (R) 35%, Eliot Cutler (I) 21%
• NH-Gov: John Lynch (D-inc) 53%, John Stephen (R) 43%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 48%, Sharron Angle (R) 49%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 45%, John Kasich (R) 48%
• OR-Sen: Ron Wyden (D) 52%, Jim Huffman (R) 36%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 46%, John Raese (R) 49%
• CA-Gov: Another few weeks go by, and Meg Whitman keeps smashing the barriers on over-the-top self-funding: she's spent $140 million out of pocket over the entire cycle now. Here's the number that's gotta suck for her, though: Jerry Brown, having spent all of $10 million so far this cycle, is sitting on $22 million in reserves for the remaining month, allowing him to compete on perhaps an even financial footing for the last month. Whitman's cash reserves are $9 million, but even if she cuts herself the biggest check of all to re-up, there's only a finite amount of TV time left for her to buy. Truly the story of the ant and the grasshopper.
• NM-Gov: The Diane Denish camp keeps up the onslaught of internal polls showing her behind but within arm's length of Susana Martinez. This time, the poll is from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, and gives Martinez a 49-46 lead. That still feels kind of "meh" to me, but there's an interesting kernel in the fine print: Martinez has fallen into net negative favorables for the first time (39/42, down from 42/31 in August), suggesting the ad war is having its effect.
• OH-Gov: I'm going to wait until I start seeing these kind of numbers in public polls before I start getting too optimistic about whether Ted Strickland's comeback really has legs, but here's another strong internal from his camp. The Feldman Group poll taken 10/3-5 gives Strickland a 46-42 lead over John Kasich, and finds Strickland with 47/40 favorables.
• CA-03: Ami Bera continues to be a fundraising force among Democratic challengers (not that he has much high-profile competition on that front); he raised $550K in 3Q, and $2.1 million raised over the cycle. He beat incumbent Dan Lungren yet again, who raised $480K for a $1.7 mil total.
• FL-02: We still haven't seen any public polling of this race, but here's a second GOP poll for challenger Steve Southerland giving him a double digit lead over Allen Boyd (the first one was an NRCC poll from the Tarrance Group way back in May, giving Southerland a 52-37 lead). This one's from National Research (presumably on Southerland's behalf?), taken 9/29-30, giving Southerland a 46-30 lead.
• VA-05: The US Chamber of Commerce gave its backing to Robert Hurt, not much of a surprise as he's the kind of non-threatening establishment conservative that wing of the GOP tends to like. Tom Perriello picked that up and is using it as a cudgel that seems to combine various elements that have apparently polled well for Dems (outsourcing and Citizens United), saying that the endorsement means "foreign money" is pouring into the race now, citing companies in Bahrain, Russia, and China that give money to the US Chamber.
• DCCC: Here's some more detail on the various ways in which the DCCC is, um, advancing in other directions (we told you about their pullout in AZ-08 last night, which probably has to do with Gabby Giffords having enough money to pull her own weight). They've also reduced buys for one week in a few other districts: a mix of ones where they seem genuinely hosed (CO-04, TX-17, FL-24, and the KS-03 and IN-08 open seats), one that seems a true tossup but where our guy has money (Harry Teague in NM-02), and one that's looking like a pickup (LA-02). The DCCC will be using at least some of that money putting out a new brushfire that popped up in NY-23, where Doug Hoffman's ceasing and desisting makes the race a tossup, and where they're spending $500K.
• NRCC: Speaking of CO-04 and being hosed, here's some additional evidence: the NRCC is taking $700K out of the 4th, and moving it next door to another race that's looking decidedly tossup-ish: John Salazar's CO-03.
• Redistricting: This may be the single best use of money anywhere by Dems this cycle: they're finally putting some money into Florida's redistricting amendments that purport to make the process less subject to gerrymandering. Over $1 million has flowed from Democratic groups to Fair Districts Florida, who are behind the measures. Fair Districts is ostensibly nonpartisan, but obviously the net effect of a less partisan map would be to dismantle one of the most effective Republican gerrymanders anywhere.
• Polltopia: With dramatically different results (especially in the generic ballot tests, but also in head-to-head polls) popping up that often seem to have very different definitions of "likely voter," Mark Blumenthal looks at the various ways pollsters cobble together their LV models. There's a marked difference between the way academic pollsters and partisan pollsters do it, revealing major disparities. If you haven't seen it already, this should be required reading.
• Independent expenditures: The folks at Zata|3 have put together a very useful table, adding up and comparing DCCC and NRCC independent expenditures in all the districts where they've weighed in. (The NRCC has spent a lot more so far, despite their cash shortfall vs. the DCCC. The D-Trip seems to be saving up for a massive blast in the final weeks. Or maybe just saving up for 2012.) They also have charts for the DCCC and NRCC that break down each district's expenditures by category (media buys, production, internet, etc.).
• SSP TV:
• CO-Sen: The DSCC hits Ken Buck for his enthusiasm for privatizing everything he can get his hands on
• CT-Sen: The Chamber of Commerce has a fairly boilerplate ad against Richard Blumenthal for being too anti-(big) business
• KY-Sen: There are six different ads embedded in this Inquirer article, several of which you've already seen (including the DSCC ad on Medicare deductibles), but including a new Rand Paul campaign ad on the "Conway = Obama" theme; separately, the NRSC has a new ad here on Conway waffling on extending Bush tax cuts
• MO-Sen: The DSCC has yet another ad about Roy Blunt and his lobbyist friends
• NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand's out with a second bio ad that seems specifically aimed at the upstate market, pointing out her roots in that part of the state
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's new ad points to what we junkies have long known, that Pat Toomey's free market fundamentalism has given him aggregator ratings even more conservative than Rick Santorum
• WI-Sen: A second cookie-cutter ad from the Chamber of Commerce, this one targeting Russ Feingold
• KS-Gov: Tom Holland's out with his first ad of the cycle, a comparison spot that's half negative against Sam Brownback, half positive intro of Holland
• TX-Gov: Bill White's newest ad rebuts some of Rick Perry's claims about his mayoral leadership and lists his various commendations
• AZ-05: The National Education Association gets into the ad war in a big way, hitting David Schweikert for being anti-public education (this buy is part of a $15 million initiative on the NEA's part, also including TV in OH-13 and mailers in NC-08)
• CO-04: EMILY's List is still sticking around in the 4th, bolstering Betsy Markey with an anti-Cory Gardener spot that's a mother of a child with autism addressing Gardener not wanting to require insurers to cover that
• AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard (D) 39%, Jan Brewer (R-inc) 55%
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 54%, Linda McMahon (R) 43%
• IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 38%, Bill Brady (R) 46%, Rich Whitney (G) 4%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 41%, Mark Kirk (R) 45%, LeAlan Jones (G) 4%
• MD-Gov: Martin O'Malley (D-inc) 49%, Bob Ehrlich (R) 41%
• RI-Gov: Frank Caprio (D) 30%, John Robitaille (R) 22%, Lincoln Chafee (I) 33%
• WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 44%, John Raese (R) 50%
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
AK-Sen: The NRSC is coughing up money for Joe Miller; they just cut him a $42,600 check and say they'll be spending $170,000 in coordinated expenditures on his behalf, which CQ reports represents "the maximum allowed under the law". I'm not sure how that's possible, though, as the FEC has a $87,000 limit on coordinated party expenditures for Senate races in Alaska. What I do know is that Democrat Scott McAdams is already making the GOP sweat (although, Joe Miller's balls-out insanity may have a little something to do with that). You see that thermometer on the top right corner of this page? You know what you have to do.
FL-Sen: Libertarian Alex Snitker has popped up to remind the world that he's actually in this race... by announcing that he won't be dropping out of the race, despite pressure in the form of "numerous e-mails and Facebook messages" from Republicans urging him to get out of Marco Rubio's way.
NC-Sen: Normally, I'd bunch this bullet down in the ad section, but Richard Burr's latest spot deserves some special attention. The ad, entitled "Front Porch", resurrects the highly-acclaimed "rocking chair" actors employed by the DSCC in their extremely effective ads against Elizabeth Dole in 2008. Only this time, they're singing Richard Burr's praises and railing against the national debt. At least, I think those are the same actors; if not, they're dead ringers for the originals. (To see what I mean, click here.) I've gotta say - pretty damned clever move on Burr's part.
WA-Sen: The DSCC has reserved $2 million worth of ad time to help protect Patty Murray against Dino Rossi. The DSCC's ads will begin on October 5th.
CO-Gov: Democrat John Hickenlooper doubled up on American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo in August fundraising, bringing in just over $400K to Tancredo's $200K. Tancredo, in turn, quadrupled up on Republican flag-bearer Dan Maes, who raised $50K, nearly half of which was spent on legal fees and campaign finance penalties. Meanwhile, downballot Republicans are doing their best to rally around Tancredo, the only guy with the money and semblance of cred to run a real campaign. More than 20 elected GOPers in Colorado came out in support of Tanc. RGA chair Haley Barbour sounds about ready to throw in the towel, though.
AZ-01, AZ-05: Here's a pair of fresh GOP internal polls from Arizona for your consumption: In AZ-01, rogue dentist Paul Gosar is tied with Dem Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick at 43-43 in a Moore Information poll conducted at the end of August. In AZ-05, National Research, Inc. has David Schweikert up on Dem Harry Mitchell by 46-38.
FL-02: Blue Dog Allen Boyd rolled out the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce yesterday.
KS-04: By all indications, Republicans are set to have a very good year at the polls, but they would be foolish to consider a race like the open seat battle to replace Todd Tiahrt in the bag. Not only has Democratic state Rep. Raj Goyle been fundraising strongly and pollingcompetitively in this GOP-friendly district against dickbag Republican Mike Pompeo, it looks like there's a very real chance that there could be some serious vote-splitting on the right. Mega-wealthy businessman Wink Hartman, who lost to Pompeo in the Republican primary, is interested in running as a Libertarian, and Kansas Libertarian Party Chairman Andrew Gray said the chances of that happening are "very favorable". Hartman, who spent over $1.5 million on Republican campaign, had a phone interview with the Libertarians on Tuesday, and they apparently loved what they had to hear. Hartman would be taking the place of David Moffett on the Libertarian ballot, who pulled his name last week after citing personal health reasons. Republicans, of course, are crying foul, but the KS SoS has already denied one objection to the withdrawal.
D-bags: Add NRCC tool Andy Sere to the list. Just click the link.
DE-Sen: Chris Coons is out with his first ad, a spot touting his record as New Castle County Executive. NWOTSOTB, but it's a statewide cable buy that the campaign decided to roll out earlier than planned in order to take advantage of the cat fud fight between Christine O'Donnell and Mike Castle.
AR-01: Chad Causey's first ad of the general election is a spot that's mostly biographical, but one that ends with a left hook on Republican Rick Crawford for his support for the bad kind of SSP.
AZ-08: Gabrielle Giffords is out with a solid hit on tea-flavored douchebag Jesse Kelly, hitting him with his own words on his plan to "privatize" and "phase out" Social Security, which, along with Medicare, are apparently the "biggest Ponzi schemes in history". Hey, Jesse: thank you for being a moron.
CA-45: Mary Bono Mack's first ad touts her efforts to support the "magic" of the doctor-patient relationship. Or something.
IL-11: Republican Adam Kinzinger is up with his first ad, an autobiographical piece which touts his Air Force service and his intervention in a knife attack on a woman back home.
IL-17: Phil Hare is out with his first ad in four years, hitting Republican Bobby Schilling on his support of "a bad trade deal with Korea".
IN-02: GOPer Jackie Walorski has the right issue (the economy), but the wrong remedy (trickle down nonsense).
IN-08: Republican Larry Buschon's first spot hits Democrats on, you guessed it, spending - and also on the curious notion that food grows in grocery stores.
MD-01: Frank Kratovil Reads The Bills. (The ad will run "on broadcast stations in the Baltimore and Salisbury markets".)
NE-02: Dem Tom White hits Lee Terry on the national debt, citing his vote for TARP.
NJ-12: Rush Holt's first ad is half-negative, hitting hedge fund kingpin Scott Sipprelle for his supply-side economics, and half-positive, touting Holt's support of the middle class.
TN-08: Dem Roy Herron comes out against drug dealers, predatory lenders, and Wall Street. This one seems like it could use more of an emotional punch, though.
SSP IE Tracker:
Longtime fans of SSP will remember the House Independent Expenditure tracker that we updated on a regular basis two years ago. As much as I'd like to resurrect that project this year, the time constraints of law school prevent me from investing that kind of time. However, we'll still try to keep you in the loop on noteworthy independent expenditure reports here in the Daily Digest.
NH-Sen: CULAC the PAC files a $66K radio ad buy on behalf of conservative Republican Ovide Lamontagne
IN-02: The NRCC files $95K in ads and polls against Joe Donnelly
MA-09: The SEIU is spending $190K on phonebanks and radio ads in support of Mac D'Alessandro in his primary fight against Stephen Lynch
MI-01: The DCCC buys $48K in ads against Dan Benishek
WI-07: The DCCC has re-upped their ad buy against Sean Duffy by another $50K.
• 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%