SSP Daily Digest: 9/24 (Morning Edition)

  • CT-Sen: It feels as thought we’ve been partying like it’s 1994 in more ways that one this cycle. One major throwback has been Republicans who can’t control teh crazy and insist, Newt Gingrich-style, on calling for the abolition of the Department of Education. In fact, Linda McMahon did `em one better, telling some teabaggers that she would also consider getting rid of the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. I don’t understand whatever cultural bug Republicans have up their ass about the Dept. of Education, but suffice it to say that when you say you want to get rid of it, it sounds like you want to cut education funding, period. So please, keep saying that.
  • DE-Sen: A GOP source tells Politico that Mike Castle is fielding a poll to test his chances as a write-in. Castle has until Sept. 30th to file a statement with the elections board, something a spokesman said is an “under 5%” chance.
  • AL-Gov: We’ve seen all kinds of unexpected touting of seemingly sucky internal polls this cycle, but this may be one of the roughest. Dem Ron Sparks is saying that a poll by Capital Survey Research Center showing him down 52-39 to Republican Robert Bentley is “good news,” because a July survey had Sparks behind by 22. (Technically this isn’t an internal, but rather was produced by Dem-allied teachers union Alabama Education Association.)
  • FL-22: Allen West is out with what the Palm Beach Post is terming a “brushfire” poll (n=300) from Wilson Research Strategies that has him up 48-42 over Ron Klein. A recent Klein internal had almost opposite numbers, 48-40 for the Dem.
  • NC-04: This is a couple of weeks old, but repeat Republican candidate B.J. Lawson claims to have an internal poll from robopollster Action Solutions, purporting to show him up 47-46 over Rep. David Price. But, cautions Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report: “This isn’t your standard polling outfit. This is an outfit that most in Washington would not consider reputable.” Lawson only has $50K on hand (though Price only has $300K), and got crushed last time out, 63-37. His fundraising also seems to be off from his 2008 pace, when he took in half a million (he’s raised just $150K this cycle).
  • RI-01: Dem David Cicilline is out with a comforting poll from the Feldman Group, showing him up 53-38 over Republican John Loughlin.
  • VA-05: I’m almost getting tired of keeping track of these, but anyhow… the NRA is expected to endorse Dem Tom Perriello.
  • NY-AG: A couple of pollsters also took a look at the AG’s race in their recent New York polling packages. Quinnipiac, unsurprisingly, finds a close race: Dem Eric Schneiderman is at 37 while Republican Dan Donovan is at 36. Siena (PDF) paints a somewhat different picture, showing Schneiderman up 45-32 over Donovan. Both men have very low name rec in both polls, and the both hold voters of their own parties equally well. Donovan has small leads among independents in both surveys.
  • SSP TV:

    • AR-02: Tim Griffin (R)
    • AZ-08: Jesse Kelly (R)
    • FL-25: Pro-Joe Garcia (D) airs ads attacking David Rivera (R) (if you find links to the actual ads, let usk know in comments)
    • IL-11: Adam Kinzinger (R)
    • IL-14: Rep. Bill Foster (D)
    • KS-04: Raj Goyle (D)
    • MI-09: Rep. Gary Peters (D)
    • NV-03: Joe Heck (R)
    • OH-01: Rep. Steve Driehaus (D)
    • VA-09: Rep. Rick Boucher (D)

    Independent Expenditures:

    • Women Vote!: Aka EMILY’s List puts in $80K (TV) against Joe Heck (R) in NV-03, $23K (mail) for Julie Lassa (D) in WI-07, and $32K (mail) against Roy Blunt (R) in MO-Sen
    • MI-07: The Communications Workers of America put in $100K (TV) against Tim Walberg (R)
    • OR-04: Conservative front group Concerned Taxpayers of America puts in $86K (TV) for Art Robinson (R)

    197 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 9/24 (Morning Edition)”

    1. the district is so polarized that it’s impossible to guess who will win there. I would only be willing to be that whoever wins doesn’t top 52% of the vote.

    2. I hope Castle doesn’t go through with this. A Castle write in would significantly increase the chances of an O’Donnell victory and Delaware would be fucked for the next 6 years.

    3. A somewhat conspiratorial thought just occurred to me…

      – The NRA gets much of its funding from gun manufactures.

      – Sales of guns and ammo went up dramatically following Obama’s election.

      – The Democratic congress has enough pro-gun dems that they aren’t going to pass any new gun control laws.

      – Keeping Pelosi in the Speaker’s seat will keep guns and ammo sales high.

      – What’s good for the gun industry is good for the NRA.

      – The NRA is going out of its way to get Dems reelected.

      Too far fetched?  Perhaps the preference of special interest groups for incumbents is enough to explain it.

    4. Looking into the camara, he blinks too much.


      It’s distracting visually.

      I’ve noticed this from time to time with some candidates.  It’s just something they do obviously without noticing, blinking their eyes more than average.

      But it’s a problem on camara, it really is distracting and also makes the candidate look nervous.

    5. Here’s the ad, and it’s a very good ad:

      And I just read the NRSC is doing a $1.2 million buy for this race.

      I think this is going to be a tossup, if it isn’t already.  It won’t get any worse than that because Manchin is too personally popular and too strong politically to ever fall behind outside the margin of error.  But I think we might just end up losing this one just like MA-Sen special.  Yes that race had special circumstances, and Coakley WOULD have won at that time had she run a competent campaign the whole way that was conscientious about the risk of losing, but the fact there was such a measurable risk at all reflects the same thing going on in WV-Sen, that antipathy toward national Democratic leadership is overriding other factors.

      I’m approaching minus-8 in my Senate math now, lately feeling pessimistic about IL-Sen, and now WV-Sen.  I do think Gillibrand wins by a comfortable margin, and I still feel OK about Harry Reid winning, and of course I feel VERY good now about Boxer and Murray.  But after those 4 there are still 8 Dem-held seats we could lose, and I increasingly think we might lose those 8.

    6. Here’s the link to Political Wire’s blurb:

      Here’s the link to the radio clip:

      Sadly, we live in a society where so many white voters are either racist or indifferent to racism that it’s hard to use this stuff against the Republicans.  It takes political surrogates to call out Walberg and others on their bigotry, I don’t know if Schauer himself can or will do it.

    7. Here is the poll……

      Now, before we breathe a sigh of relief and call the Q-poll and SUSA outliers, even though I think they ultiamtely are, it’s worth nothing that if you give Lazio’s 9% to Paladino, you have a 52-42 race that’s only MARGINALLY better for Cuomo than what Q and SUSA found without offering Lazio as an option.  And when you consider 3rd-party candidates never perform as well on election day as they poll beforehand, and also the fact that it’s questionable whether Lazio will even bother to actively campaign, you can conclude that the 33% probably does, indeed, understate Paladino’s support even in Marist’s own sample.

      All that said, this Marist poll still is better news for Cuomo than we woke up with yesterday, and I think ultimately he really has a lead that’s more comfortable than what the Q-poll suggested.

      Nothing yet from Marist on the Senate race.

    8. Not like Artur Davis would be any better, but it’s clear he has no idea how to campaign in 2010. The race, is of course, winnable, with the right candidate, but I guess we will will be waiting for the much anticipated Charles Barkley in 2014.

    9. 43 Reid, 43 Angle, and some third party action they didn’t include in the last poll. It’s kind of expected, as last week Angle focused heavily on immigration. It seems to have some strange anomalies, like Angle leading among Independents by 20. Ralston expressed some doubt in his Tweets, but again everyone expected this.

      And remember, this can pretty much be used as the baseline to judge how “Autism-gate” affects Angle’s numbers. (This poll was conducted before that news broke.)

    10. The poll of the Price-Lawson race was a push poll. I was called for it and it included questions like:

      ‘Do you support not raising taxes like Obama wants to?’ and

      ‘Do you support marriage being limited to one man and one woman?’. I wouldn’t put too much stock in it.

      I was polled again last night by a different firm for the NC-4 race. It was more of a straight up phone poll asking how often I vote, which candidate I have a favorable/unfavorable opinion of, etc.


    11. Based on a generic ballot for the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina, the Democratic Party leads the Republican Party by 6 percent, though nearly a third of respondents “don’t know” or are undecided on how they will vote in November in that race.

      In their evaluation of North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr, more respondents approve than disapprove of the way he is handling his job. However, nearly half of residents think it is time to give a new person a chance, while only 29 percent believe Burr deserves re-election.

      Obama’s approval numbers come in at 47/47 – just like the 2008 election.  Opportunity is knocking for Elaine Marshall. NC voters hate Burr.

      The DSCC needs to get busy in NC – we can win this seat.

    12. And suggests that it is more realistic to stop them from having sex rather than teaching safe sex.

      STD pandemics be damned.

    13. This is an election to fill the last 4 years of Biden’s term.

      If Castle’s poll shows that it will increase O’Donnell’s chances, then I would guess he would decline.  The last thing he wants is for that crazy person who embarrassed him to win.

      Of course, he’s such a party loyalist, he still may want to take one for the team.

      Quite frankly, I don’t think we can predict how a Castle write-in would turn out.  I hope someone polls it!

    14. The NRA has a long history of endorsing pro-gun Democrats at the state level even if the Republican has the same stance on gun issues.  

    15. I think it goes without saying that everyone the NRA endorses is strongly pro-gun.  But I’m shocked by the Perriello endorsement because while I would have guessed he’s pro-gun simply because you HAVE to be to win down there, it’s not widely publicized and it’s certainly not something he highlights except maybe quietly to selected audiences.

      I would say the NRA is doing one or both of two things.

      First, maybe it has a policy, either formal or just informal, strict or loose, of endorsing sufficiently pro-gun incumbents regardless of party.

      Second, maybe the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions have made the NRA less fearful of Democrats, since those rulings automatically provide a new firewall against gun restrictions that didn’t exist before.  Related to this point, even politically before those decisions gun control had become a lost cause for the indefinite future.  The NRA won the political battle some years ago.  I tend to think that the failure of any public movement toward gun control after the Columbine massacre may have been the fatal political blow for gun control.

      All that said, what the NRA doing this cycle really is counterproductive for their own cause in the big picture, just as we on the left rightly complain it’s counterproductive when abortion rights groups or environmental groups endorse “moderate” Republicans.  I understand very well the argument all these groups make, on the right and left, that there’s a political imperative in focusing on their cause and not a favored party, but I think all these groups really miscalculate on this point.

      I will add regarding Perriello I’m particularly shocked.  I hope he can get some mileage out of this, because the NRA really is acting like it wants to SAVE as many Democrats as possible.  They could easily endorse someone like Hurt in this contest.

    16. There is nothing new with this practice.  The NRA has had a policy for many years of endorsing any pro-gun incumbent regardless of party.  This has worked very well for them as now both parties have many pro-gun members.  

      The benefit for the NRA is obvious.  They get Democrats who receive the endorsement and want to keep it so they will do the NRA’s bidding regardless how far the NRA pushes the issue.  The NRA endorsement is probably the most important endorsement in many districts.

      As you said, gun control is six feet under.

    17. Wow, he does blink a lot in that ad.  The people who put that together should be fired – I mean, how hard is it to shoot that part again without that?  Get the guy some Visene or something.  I’m sure he didn’t notice it, but the admen sure should have.

    18. I didn’t notice that at all. Of course, now that you’ve said something, I went back and watched it and now that’s all I can see.

      While excess blinking can signal nervousness, people who don’t blink create a threatening impression in the viewer (see: Cheney, Dick and/or every movie villain ever). Blinking actually creates an impression that the person is non-threatening. I don’t have time to find a link to the psych study that found that, but maybe one of you young go-getters can.

      But seriously, the next time you watch a movie, notice how many times the villain blinks on camera. It won’t be much, if at all. So he may actually done himself a favor since appearing non-threatening will help him win over KS-04’s white voters.

      Blinking aside, that’s going to be an effective ad in that economically turbulent district, especially because a lot of the really good aerospace jobs are dependent on defense spending.

    19. Usually you can’t reason with rural white conservatives on cap-and-trade, and Boucher’s vote for it made a lot of people many months ago think he’d be at best a pure toss-up or very possibly an underdog at this stage.  But he’s held a clear if underwhelming advantage the whole way.

    20. I can’t remember anymore who it was, but I noticed in televised debates that one of the GOP candidates always blinked a lot, and it was distracting.  It might have been Romney, but I can’t remember for sure.

      It was NOT McCain, he has a good TV game face.  His crazy uncle body language and tone were a different story, but his facial image itself was smooth.

    21. It makes it impossible for a Dem controlled Congress to ever get any gun control bills passed.  Pelosi or whoever could be a future Dem Speaker simply can’t ever rely on their own members anymore to pass bills and if the GOP are battling for NRA endorsements like we are, they certainly won’t help us pass any bills.

      The NRA is essentially neutering the Dems on this issue for decades to come by making our caucus rely on them.

    22. I mean, Kirk has been barely ahead in most polls, with tons of undecideds, and PPP found that most of the undecideds were people who approved of Obama. PPP also said that if the enthusiasm gap closes just somewhat, Giannoulias should win.

      That being said, what worries me about IL is the governor’s race. Brady is a RW nut, and will bring out hard-core Republicans in droves. Can Giannoulias outpoll Quinn?

      I also think CO is quite winnable. But yes, I’m getting somewhat pessimistic about WV, just given the political climate. I count it overall as 6/7. (ND, AR, IN, PA, WI, and 1-2 between WV, IL, and CO.)

    23. For putting this race on the radar and providing the GOP with a blueprint to win in.

      Now, the DSCC is in a tough bind.  If they start advertising in the state, it will only cement the “Washington rubber stamp” thingy.

      Manchin’s got to work on the Byrd legacy angle… I wish we had some more polling on this race.  relying on a handful of robopolls is not comforting.

    24. The NRA is really in a league of its own when it comes to special interest groups.  No other interest group has pulled off such a feat so comprehensively.

      Additionally, violent crime rates are in the tank.

    25. … have also neutered gun control as an issue. And I say this as someone who personally doesn’t see why handguns need even be legal.

      Gun control always hurt Democrats in rural areas, but it was an issue that not only urban but many suburban voters supported, especially women. These days, falling crime rates have largely reduced the political salience of the issue, which means that the only people who feel passionately about gun control are those who own guns. It’s just not a winner right now.  

    26. Ron Sparks run in a difficult state in a difficult environment.

      I think they are lots of gubernatorial races more easily winnables with bad numbers at this point. Then I’m not critic with Sparks.

      This internal is at least honest. For me is much more rough the internal of the republican candidate in FL-22.

    27. I suspect, via a strong GOTV operation, Paladino will probably out-perform the polls by a few points. I also have a tough time believing Lazio can siphon-off almost 10% of the vote, even if he does actively participate in the campaign. The Marist crosstabs look believable, though, and kudos for polling both a RV and LV model. I’d label this a Likely D race.

    28. According to Wikipedia, he changed his mind about running, but the link on Wikipedia is dead, so no point linking to it.

    29. of conservaDems is possible this election.

      If they take Matheson out, I insist that they take Dan Boren as well.

    30. he predicted obama winning SC primary would doom him.  he was the campaign strategist to the mihos campaign in mass this year, where he recieved 15% of the delegates vote (it was a convention).  morris predicted that bush’s response to katrina would be the CROWN JEWEL OF DOMESTIC ACCOMPLISHMENT, EQUIVALENT TO HIS IMMEDIATE HANDLING OF 9/11 (sorry to yell, but my god morris is an idiot).

    31. I was about to post about this poll.  Has Angle always been leading by 20?  I really hope the Autism story catches on.

    32. I’ve notice they’ve done it in previous writeups.  They focus on how “unpopular” Reid is while giving short shrift to Angles fav/unfav.

    33. Here’s what Jon Ralston tweeted:

      Shocker coming in NV races: Respected national GOP pollster did survey this week for large biz group: H. Reid by 5, R. Reid trails by 6.

      If this is true, then it confirms what I’ve been trying to say here. And not just that, but Rory Reid also isn’t dead! I had figured he was down by about 10% in the Governor’s race, but this may mean he’s winning back more Democrats than I had expected.

    34. Angle was only up 9 among Indies. And in most of the other polls, Angle was only barely ahead. I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around this, especially since the two issues polled this week (DREAM Act & education) didn’t go well for her.

      I hate to say this. I’m NOT trying to be some cop-out here, but I really am finding problems with many of these new polls. Maybe it just proves the old adage that Nevada is a difficult place to poll, or maybe we just need a more reputable pollster like PPP to come in and see if they’re catching any of what these other polls are catching.  

    35. They have a cool map with ratings for all House races and Senate races on the CBS News web site, but no race-by-race explanation of any kind.

      I’ve never heard anything before about Matheson being in trouble.

      But I wouldn’t be shocked if he is, simply because so many of our incumbents in red districts are in trouble right now against underfunded Some Dudes.

    36. to me that the ad says we can’t afford Manchin “in Washington.”  I think that is a subtle reference that if you like him as Governor, keep him as Governor.

    37. It hammers Manchin on Obamacare and calls him a rubber stamp. It matches up well with the theme of the NRSC ad.

      If the GOP wins this it is by nationalizing the WV race.

      Raese and the NSRC are doing a good job of it and that’s why it is so close.

    38. The R-J is notorious for this. I hate to make it seem like I’m wearing a tin foil hat here, but I’m wondering why they changed their conduction of the poll this week. Last time, they only had Reid, Angle, NOTA, and Ashjian. But this week, they throw out all the candidates.

      Again, they can be really annoying at times. And again, I wish someone more reputable, like PPP, can come in and see what’s actually happening. With all the anomalies going on in many of these recent polls, I suspect we’re hearing a whole lot of statistical noise.

    39. believe it was the Dems who were pushing for a special election this year in WV. Someone should of told them not to risk another senate seat because almost every fucking Democratic senate seat this cycle is at play! Hell if the NRSC had the warchest the DSCC had last year you could even see the NRSC pouring money into New York.

    40. When a candidate is as popular as Manchin is, there’s only so much a guy like Raese can do to bring his personal numbers down. If the GOP is going to take over this seat, they have to make it about keeping Manchin in Charlestown and pointing out that the D next to his name is the same one that is next to Obama’s name (before you laugh, remember how much the R next to Bush’s name hurt Republicans in swing areas in ’06 and ’08.)  

    41. During the 2007 State of the Union (her first), someone I went to school with kept track of the blinks and determined that she blinked 6 or 7 times for every 1 time that Dick Cheney blinked.  

    42. The Secretary of State had already issued an advisory opinion that, under the law, no election was necessary until 2012.  But Manchin knew better.

    43. When he would share the ballot with Obama and unemployment could be higher than it is now, or not much lower after several years of high unemployment?

    44. I hate sore losers and think the Delaware GOP should take its lumps and learn its lesson, try to get Coons in 2014, but then again, this would increase Republican chances from 0% to something-more-than-zero-percent. So I’m conflicted.


      that leaves Castle and O’Donnell fighting over @62% of the vote.  Castle would have to at least hold her to about @24%, which is possible but certainly not easy considering the difficulties of write ins.

      I have also heard from good source that these rumors aren’t coming from people who work with Castle, but outsiders who want him to run (but not necessarily to win).  But hey, it is just another rumor at this point.

    46. is manchin actively campaigning?  campaigning hard?  this has the potential to be a coakley moment if he’s too cocky/complacent.  how has he been doing on the stump?

    47. He would need ALL of the independents Odonnell is getting, a good chunk of Coons’ and more democrats than castle has been getting all year.  The only way is if odonnell voters abandon her and that doesn’t seem likely.

    48. the feeling Manchin won’t let his guard down…but he’s facing some serious headwinds. In fact he has it worst that Coakley ever did. If Coakley had campaigned vigorously after the primary at worst she would of won by single digits.  

    49. doesn’t have to win. All he has to is pull enough votes to ensure Christine O’Donnell would win. Which is enough for John Cornyn.  

    50. Coons has a base number of around 35 percent, which is clearly people are aren’t moving at all. O’Donnell pulls 36% of independents. Castle would have to peel off some of O’Donnell’s support, because just peeling off support from Coons wouldn’t give him a win.

    51. I really can’t see Castle doing anything that would help O’Donnell win.  Unless the poll he commissions shows that he has at least a 10 point lead in a three-way race, I don’t think he’ll do it.

    52. Coker gets quoted every 2 weeks saying something inaccurate about his own Reid-Angle polling.

      This time it’s “movement” by independents toward Angle.

      In reality the “movement” is just statistical noise.  The subsample this time is 100 respondents, last time it was 103.  By my rough estimation the margin of error for this small a subsample is clearly over 10%.  And on top of that, the mathematical reality of random samples is that their movements contain random volatility that does not represent any real trend.  It’s just like if you flip a coin, the odds of heads each time are 50-50, but you still could get heads 5 times in a row by random chance.  So independents going from 42-33 to 51-31 from one poll to the next doesn’t necessarily mean anything, there is ZERO confidence in any conclusion that it does.

      Coker’s evaluation of his own polling is wrong.

      But alas, this is what pollsters routinely do.  They have their egos and livelihoods wrapped up in their polls, so they pretend their numbers mean more than they do.

    53. People are becoming a little too confident about this race. This poll may be flawed, but for Reid not to be at 50 percent against a candidate as weak as Angle is a huge red flag.

    54. I didn’t look at every race but it appears Matheson is the only incumbent Dem running for reelection they have rated as “edge GOP.” Driehaus, Kilroy, Childers, Kratovil, Markey, Perriello, Nye etc are all toss up. Michaud is probable Dem while Pingree is toss up. Governor ratings are strange too with states like Michigan, Kansas, and Alabama being rated toss up.  

    55. Geraghty tries to argue that O’Donnell could win a 3-way in the low 30s, but that’s flatly incorrect.  Coons was in the mid-to-high 30s against Castle one-on-one in all polling, and that 35-40 range necessarily is Coons’ floor in a 3-way as well.  People who would vote for Coons over Castle in a two-way are not going to vote for O’Donnell or write in Castle’s name in a 3-way.

      Geraghty tries to argue that a 3-way would be CT-Sen 2006 “in reverse,” but in fact it would be FL-Sen 2010 in reverse, with Coons in Rubio’s role of consolidating his party’s base while the other two fight for the same pot of voters.  The only way Castle or O’Donnell wins a 3-way is for one of them to successfully marginalize the other down into Alan Sclesinger territory, which Lieberman did, but Crist and Meek can’t.

    56. CBS doesn’t have any presence in online political reporting, it’s all NBC and ABC and non-broadcast.  So I’d never seen that map before today and didn’t study it.

    57. and I think it’s conceivable that he would get them. Castle probably gets 30-40% of Rs–at best, a majority of indys, and about 30% of Ds.

      It would make for a very volatile race.

      I hope Coons is on the horn with Castle about this.  

    58. … if he won, which makes it a moot point. And if 2012 IS bad, he’s probably better off running as an outsider and not as an incumbent senator already tied to votes for an unpopular-in-WV Obama agenda.

      You’re right that 2012 could be worse. But it could also be better. We just don’t know. What we do know is that 2010 is a TERRIBLE year to run for federal office as a Democrat in a red state. So Manchin had a choice between running in 2012, where there would be a 50% chance of things being bad and a 50% chance of things being better. Or he could run this year, when there’s a 100% chance of things being bad. Seems like an easy choice to me.

      On the larger point about whether it’s worse to run in a red state in a presidential year, that’s a more complicated question. Studies have shown that red states tend to elect Republican senators and blue states tend to elect Democratic senators in presidential years. This probably is because when voters don’t know that much about either Senate candidate, they just go with the same party they’re voting for president.

      But from what I can observe, this isn’t necessarily true of all candidates. In particular, it seems like popular local figures are often better off running in a presidential year, even if the presidential nominee for their party is unpopular in their state. That’s because with an independent profile, voters are more likely to ticket-split. By contrast, in a mid-term, voters who dislike the incumbent president will vote against even a popular Senate nominee because it’s their only way of expressing their disapproval.

      So I suspect that even with Obama almost certainly losing WV in 2012, Manchin would have been better off.  

    59. What do you make of the IA-02 race? Is there any chance of Miller-Meeks catching fire between now and election day, or is that area too blue to flip?

    60. It’s true that this race is close, nonpartisan analysts all have it as either “tossup” or “lean D.”

      But your assumption that Boswell’s and/or DCCC internal polling has Zaun is leading is unsupportable.

      In reality we have incumbents who are comfortably ahead but still airing attack ads because they don’t want a weak challenger to get a late surge as often happens in waves.  We have a bunch of people who won in 2006 or 2008 who no one saw seriously endangered until the last week.  Nancy Boyda and Harry Mitchell benefited from a late surge no one saw coming that put them over the top, and in Carol Shea-Porter’s case no one saw Jeb Bradley endangered even going into election day.

      Meanwhile, the polling trend established in polls by outside groups suggests that Zaun’s personal foibles turned the race around from a small Zaun lead to a small Boswell lead some weeks ago.  But the number of polls is small, and it’s dubious to conclude too much from them except that it’s a close race.

    61. Angle is a God-awful candidate and gets worse daily, but Reid is not putting her away, and that’s troubling for him. She has been tied or ahead (well within the MoE) in 5 of the last 6 polls after being down mid-single digits for much of August. I’ve held that Angle will win if she’s within 2 points of Reid on the final batch of polls, but that opinion has bet met with strong disagreement from Cyclone and atdleft, who know the most about the race, so I could very well be wrong.

    62. Again, Coons’ numbers one-one-one vs. Castle are his floor, and that’s in the high 30s.  And it’s actually probably in the low 40s really, because those polls all had around 10% undecided, and even a 2-to-1 break for Castle would have put Coons in the 40s.

      EVERYONE who votes for Coons over Castle 1-on-1 will vote for Coons in a 3-way.  That’s a given.

      Meanwhile, O’Donnell’s support vs. Coons also is in the high 30s or, if you believe Rasmussen, as high as 42%.  Same ballpark as Coons gets against Castle.

      Who in that 40ish% voting for O’Donnell over Coons will instead write in Castle’s name?  I bet not a lot.

      Who among the 10% or so undecideds will write in Castle’s name?  I bet quite a few, but it doesn’t add up to much.

      Who among the roughly 15% of Castle-Coons voters (i.e., Castle over Coons but Coons over O’Donnell) will write in Castle’s name in a 3-way?  Perhaps quite a few, hard to quantify, but a signficant share of them I bet.

      Out of those 2 latter just-aforementioned groups, Castle’s maximum performance is 25% if he gets ALL of them, which he won’t.  More realistically the ceiling is probably 20% of the total electorate.

      That leaves Castle having to pull at least half of O’Donnell’s current voters away from her to instead write in his name.  He got roughly half in the primary.  BUT once you lose a primary, you lose some of your primary voters in the general.  This happened with Lieberman in 2006, where he got just under half in the primary but only 33% of Dems in November.  Apply a similar rule to Castle and say that one-third of Republicans support him in November, and he probably gets into the low-to-mid-30s.  That would knock O’Donnell into 3rd.

      But that’s Castle’s best-case scenario.  He simply does not have a path to victory, period.  He can’t get to 40%, and Coons WILL no matter what.

    63. IMHO I think Castle has a better shot at winning a write in campaign than Murkoski does.

      Castle is much more popular in DE than Murkowski is in AK.

      If he does it I think he has a shot at winning or at least coming close.

    64. I am not entirely sure that this your statement that “EVERYONE who votes for Coons over Castle 1-on-1 will vote for Coons in a 3-way” is right. I do think it’s more likely right in the context of a write-in campaign, though. I would like to see some polling on that question.  

    65. Additionally, Manchin would have had a substantial period of time to build up a massive warchest for 2012.  He could have spent essentially two years fundraising for the race and been in such a strong financial situation he could have blown his opposition out of the water.

    66. …a Coons voter against Castle would write in Castle or vote for O’Donnell in a 3-way?  I don’t see any logic to support that kind of voter psychology.

      Delaware is a blue state, there is a high floor below which a mainstream Democrat cannot fall.  The Castle-Coons polling established that floor in the high 30s even with about 10% undecided.  If Castle won the primary and won the general, he wasn’t going to win by more than 15-18 points on the high end, with a best case probably about 59-41.

      And my 3-way assumptions in my comment above didn’t even consider Castle as a write-in; I pretended voters would treat him like a printed name on the ballot.  Yes, as a write-in his ceiling would be lower.

      You’re going to have to explain why you think Coons would bleed voters in a 3-way who would pick him against Castle in a 2-way.

    67. 2010 was the best year for Manchin even if it wasnt the best year for Democrats.

      Manchin got a free shot at the Democrat nomination. If he waited until 2012 there is no garauntee that he doesnt get an interparty challenge.

      Conventional wisdom dictated that a short race would work in the popular Manchin’s favor and the run for 2 offices option was thrown in to try and create GOP cat fud between Raese and Capito.

      Also keep in mind if Manchin loses in 2010 he can run again in 2012. He gets to stay Gov for 2 more years and take another shot at the seat. So he really had nothing to lose personally by pushing forward the election.

    68. He’s skated by while O’Donnell and Castle ripped each other apart. The “floor” that you give him may be too high, as his favorables could come down if both Castle and O’Donnell attack him (remember that O’Donnell has been a fundraising machine.) This could bleed some of his soft support from moderate Democrats and Independents over to Castle.

    69. that in multi-candidate races credible opponents will usually take away some votes from other candidates, even if the latter have strong–even majority–support.

      It’s like in a jungle primary, where a candidate can be pushed into a runoff, even if it’s obvious that he’ll have majority support in a two way race.

      This all very much depends on exactly how strong Coons’s base is. And you are asserting that it is essentially 100% solid. We don’t know that for sure.  

    70. ….and that’s easily measured in polling.  Coons’ floor is still in the high 30’s.  It’s a question of how many voters are left to split between the three candidates after that, and how much of a penalty would Castle endure as a write-in candidate?

    71. The “floor” I established for Coons was being generous to Castle and O’Donnell in the first place, using one-on-one polling of Coons vs. Castle as the baseline.

      A floor in the high 30s is the Democratic base.  Castle’s Democratic opponents in his reelections in 2008 and 2006 were at 38-39.  Coons’ polling average against Castle pre-primary was 37, with Castle in the high 40s and still up to 15% undecided.

      To say you can knock down Coons’ vote share any further with attack ads while Coons himself wages an active and well-funded campaign is nonsense and not remotely plausible.

      But as I said, my “floor” was being generous to Castle and O’Donnell.  Post-primary the game is changed, Coons’ starting point now is in the low 50s.  If Castle runs a write-in, no doubt some current Coons voters and fewer O’Donnell voters will flip to Castle, but Coons isn’t going to lose a full 15 points and even that much isn’t enough to get Castle close to a plurality.

    72. And, I’m sure that Ms. O’Donnell will spend a good chunk of her cash trying to knock his moderate GOP base to her.

      There could be a charlie Crist effect going on here where castle gets hit from both sides…

    73. Perhaps if this were a “standard incumbent” and “standard challenger” this year, you’d be right. However, this isn’t the case.

      – Angle’s unfavorables are as bad as Reid’s.

      – The Nevada Dems have a far superior turnout operation.

      – INSIDE the Nevada GOP, many don’t like Angle and are either sitting on their hands or crossing over to support Reid.

      – And most of these recent polls have strange internals.

      And by the way, Ralston just tweeted about a new GOP poll coming out that confirms what I’ve been suspecting. I always knew this would be close, mainly because Reid “has baggage” as the Senate leader and Karl Rove is spending millions against him here. However, Angle is a deeply flawed candidate with so many enemies here who’d rather see Reid win one more term than send her political career into the stratosphere.

    74. Either Castle of O’Donnell could win.

      You could very easily see a

      38% O’Donnell

      37% Coons

      25% Castle write-in

      or a

      38% Castle write-in

      37% Coons

      25% O’Donnell

      if she collapses.

      Bottom line is without Castle running Coons wins. With Castle I say any one of the 3 have a shot at winning.

    75. are fighting over 62% of the vote.  The 38% is what Coons had in the bank before the primary, and even if Castle had won the primary he wouldn’t have locked up ALL the remaining undecided voters.

    76. I should have made more clear I think their polls must show him at least within striking distance. I don’t think Zaun is ahead–if he is, it’s only by a small margin.

      That outside poll by the American Future Fund (which showed Boswell up by 9) had a pretty small sample, and I don’t believe Boswell is ahead by that much. If he were, the DCCC would have released their polling on IA-03 the way they’ve released polls on other districts.

    77. I’m surprised by the Reid (Jr.) numbers, though.

      Brian “My Kids Don’t Look Hispanic” Sandoval is looking over his shoulder. It’s the SB 1070 police.

      Really, though!


      Zeitgeist “My Future Won’t Look Black” 9000

    78. I’d love to win that seat because if Ensign gets indicted and has to resign, the governor gets to replace him. And I’d love nothing more than for the GOP to lose to not 1 but 2 Reids.

    79. They’re not stupid. They know who butters their bread in this state. And they know Angle has no “juice” here and would have no “juice” in DC.  

    80. that MMM could win. Loebsack is up on tv district-wide with positive ads only (so far) and she doesn’t have the money to compete. There’s also a ballot initiative in Iowa City (U of Iowa) on whether people under age 21 should be allowed in bars. That will drive up student turnout beyond the normal level for a midterm election.

      MMM also has some problems with idiots who think (wrongly) that she’s a RINO. During the 2008 campaign Iowa Right to Life published a newsletter calling her a “great pretender,” and one of her Republican primary opponents has said he won’t vote for her.

      However, the race may be closer than I believe it is, because the AFL-CIO did a mailer for Loebsack. I haven’t gotten around to posting a new IA-02 update at Bleeding Heartland–sometime in the next few days. My last one was a couple of weeks ago.

    81. This isn’t the year for dynasty candidates.  But Jason Chaffetz over in the 3rd may challenge Hatch in 2012, which would open up another seat.  Not sure how wise it is to run for congress the same time your father is running for Prez, though.  It would lend itself to some fun signs for supporters, though.  I would do up signs that said ‘Tagg, you’re it!’

    82. Just go to and look and their graph and list of polls for Coons vs. Castle.  Castle was in the high 40s, he’d actually FALLEN already and was sub-50.  Coons was in the mid-high-30s with a regression average at 37.

      And Castle’s Dem opponents got 38 and 39 in 2008 and 2006, respectively.

      It’s very safe to say Coons would finish no worse than the high 30s in a 3-way going forward.  If you think otherwise, you have to make a case for that.

      You cannot argue that Castle and O’Donnell would “take away” from that.

      What you seem to be missing is that by pegging Coons’ floor in the high 30s, I’m already being generous to Castle and O’Donnell.  In fact Coons is in the low 50s, NOT the high 30s.  So whatever Castle would “take away” from Coons would come from THAT baseline.  But we know from pre-primary polling how much of Coons’ current support is gettable, and it’s a maximum 15% of the total electorate, knocking Coons into the high 30s.  And that doesn’t even consider a drop-off in Castle’s support from being a write-in instead of a named candidate.  Nor does it consider the undecided vote, which remains around 10% in a 2-way and Coons realistically is going to get 2-5 points from there, too.

      We know more than you think about what would happen in a 3-way now.

    83. Hopefully she goes down for her comments.  If the Vietnamese were not coming before, they are probably fired up now.

    84. Are the two things that disgust me with Team Blue this campaign.  Republicans say and do this shit every week if not every day, but our side has to be better than this, always.

    85. The Vietnamese Republicans are just as bad, they keep referring to Sanchez as the “Mexican” and how they need to “have one of their own” representing them.

    86. She just went out there and made a very racial appeal in Spanish figuring only Spanish speakers will get the message.

      This will really hurt her in my opinion. Stuff like that just turns people off in swing districts.

    87. The district is over 60%, but we don’t know exactly what the electorate is made up of. You’d be surprised at what some people get away with, especially when it comes to racial identity politics.

    88. who I could give a shit less whether they win or not.  She has an extensive track record of being a horrible asshole.

    89. Funny enough, Barbara Boxer may even help carry her over the finish line. With the exception of Bush narrowly winning the district in 2004, CA-47 has rapidly trended Democratic thanks to the growing ranks of Latin@ voters here. And with the exception of 2004, CA-47 results on federal races often tend to closely resemble statewide results. So if Barbara Boxer wins statewide by 7-10%, she’ll probably carry CA-47 by a similar amount. And from what I’ve heard, CA-47 is the only area south of LA where the CDP is actually organizing.

    90. The article mentions that 20% are undecided, but that doesn’t fit in with the numbers, so I have no idea where they came up with that…

      Dems fiddling with the tax cut issue and the “pledge” did not help us at all, that’s for sure…

    91. …but, that would be inconsistent with the daily tracking from both Gallup and Rasmussen… sounds like an outlier, but in this environment, who knows about anything….

    92. When was the last time North Carolina re-elected a Senator not named Jesse Helms? Those not familiar with this political oddity (aka, those who do not read SSP) might be surprised at this answer.

    93. Trust me on this.  Equally importantly, you do not want to give young, native-born Vietnamese-Americans another reason to think the Republican party is where they belong, as they already get this message from their parents.

    94. I kind of thought attacking Raul Labrador on immigration was a sublte back handed way of reinforcing the fact that Labrador is hispanic to voters in Idaho.

    95. In 1968–the year before Woodstock and the moon landing, when LBJ was President! The state has had 11 Senators since then and only one, Helms, has served more than 1 term. Burr would be the 2nd with a win.

    96. Since I used to live there! There have been many Vietnamese-American Republicans who HATED Loretta Sanchez and her success in winning over many in their community. They were hoping Van Tran would be their “great Viet hope” in taking down “that dirty Mexican lady”.

      And no, I’m not excusing what Loretta said. I’m just saying she’s not alone in exploiting the ethnic divide in CA-47.

      And btw, this REALLY shocks me. As I said above, Loretta had a LONG history of superb Vietnamese-American outreach that helped her win handily even when other Democrats were struggling in OC. I just hope this doesn’t mean all those bridges she built are burning down. She really screwed up on this.

    97. 65% Hispanic.  Plus, it doesn’t seem to be getting much attention.

      If she said this in response to disrespect Republican partisans have shown her, then it was a bad thing to sink to their level.  Even more so if what I said above wasn’t true.

    98. But he and his “Little Saigon Mafia” have a LONG history of anti-Latino, anti-immigrant xenophobia. He’s one of those Republicans who campaigns on anti-immigrant crap, and his crew have been known to try to stir up anti-Latino hate to try to win local elections.

      Trust me, Van Tran is far from innocent on this.

    99. Reid is turning Rovian tactics on him and his candidate. The GOP thought health care was their weapon to bludgeon Reid to political death, but with “Autism-gate” and now this, Reid is using it as the final blow in making Angle “DANGEROUS!”

      Heh. I never realized we’d all live to see the day a Democrat using Rove’s own “turn the enemy’s strength into a weakness” tactic against Karl Rove himself (via Sharron Angle). 😉

    100. Shows Angle for the kook she is. Making insurance companies cover colon cancer screening is not controversial has to be pretty popular. What is her response to that ad going to be?

    101. She keeps trying to make it about immigration. She did get a bit of traction last week, but it faded this week when “Autism-gate” surfaced. It seems like in these final weeks, Angle will try to paint Reid as “pro-ILLEGAL ALIEN!!!” while Reid keeps showing Angle to be dangerous. And since everyone who’s hard-core anti-immigrant is backing Angle anyway, I don’t think she can get much more traction out of immigration… Especially if the media focus more on “Autism-gate” and this new colon cancer scandal.

    102. Something to the effect of:

      “Harry Reid is attacking me for opposing new health care regulations. Here are the facts: I voted against creating new insurance mandates because they would increase healthcare costs for millions of working Nevadans. At a time when families’ healthcare costs are exploding, expensive new regulations are the last thing we need. Meanwhile Harry Reid rammed through a new trillion-dollar healthcare entitlement against the wishes of his constituents. So next time you see one of Harry Reid’s misleading ads, ask yourself, who’s really on your side, Nevada?”

      Seriously, Reid’s ad is not that good. There are SO many better angles to attack her from. This one just reminds people obliquely of HCR, and if that’s the main topic of discussion in the race, Reid will lose.

    103. I have not heard anyone say anything about the Pledge and its electoral impact yet.  You seem to think it is a negative for the Dems.  I am curious what others think.

    104. I did not understand why Cook moved this to Lean Republican.  This seat is definitely in play and the Democrats are arguably the strongest on the ground in this seat over the other two Michigan seats in play.  Republicans really do not exist north of the Bridge.

    105. What is the point of running a ‘generic ballot test’ for the Senate when you have a real race with real candidates?  This just seems stupid.  For sure, it doesn’t prove anything.

    106. …not even registered voters much less likely, so it’s probably of little use to us.

      Although, PPP noted that Obama’s approval with his voters dropped the least in Noirth Carolina respective to other states.

    107. Loretta really shouldn’t have taken it here, but at the same time, Van Tran is part of a group of politicos in Orange County that is very prejudiced.  

    108. Mixed reviews at best from the beltway media.  The biggest buzz it has generated is Jon Stewart’s hilarious mockery of it.  But I live mostly in the liberal blogosphere.

    109. My best friend in college was from Orange County and was so ashamed of Dornan and Rohrabacher–don’t know who was worse.

    110. But, she’s gone to the immigration well so many times I am not sure how effective it is going to be this time.

    111. The NRSC wouldn’t put the money in the race if their polling didn’t show something similar.

      That’s the scary thing, the NRSC’s private polling is probably showing something similar to PPP’s numbers.

    112. Of all the politicians in California, she would be one of the worst choices to replace Feinstein.  She would make Boxer look like the least abrasive Senator from California.

    113. But her disabilities from being shot and left to die near Jonestown will probably make that hard for her to run statewide.  Also, she’s 60 now and I don’t see Feinstein retiring in 2012.

    114. …with a third party candidate taking an unusually large share of the vote.

      The poll is not comforting in the slightest.

    115. This is an internal poll for McDowell and it has him down.

      Also poll gives 12% to Wilson. I think that is way too high so I kind of agree with Cooks Lean GOP in this one.

    116. Ryan, I often agree with you, but this is one where you’re simply wrong. Outside of Marquette, pretty much everyone north of the Bridge is conservative. Perhaps not all are strictly Republicans, but they’re voters who will be swayed by a message like Benishek’s, focusing on reducing spending, promoting accountability in government and securing personal freedoms. The Tea Party factions in the UP will provide the GOTV he needs, and have already demonstrated their reach by helping him to beat an establishment state senator (using an enormous signage and door-to-door blitz. He’s winning by large margins in internal polling and has the advantage of being an outsider.

      I agree that a McDowell internal showing him down “only” 3, even when there’s a conservative independent running, can only be seen as bad news for Team Blue.

    117. If that’s actually happening, and he’s on the air, then 12% is credible, isn’t it?

      But those are a lot of “ifs” for which I don’t know “if” all the criteria are met.

      McDowell obviously is worried the CW is turning hard against him and he needs people to think/know he’s still very much in it.

    118. In DE, can you bring into the voting booth stamps/stickers to cast write-in votes?

      And how much money does he have left?

    119. She didn’t say the Vietnamese were, like, dirty boat people or something. She pointed out that Republicans and the Vietnamese (it’s pretty clear, at least to me, that she’s referring to locals) are trying to win her seat. It’s an uncouth, awkward way to say it (and it may be because her Spanish kinda sucks, no?), but it’s also true that much of the Vietnamese community in her district has been swayed by Tran, despite years and years of outreach by her.

      She called Van Tran anti-immigrant, which is ironic but totally true based on his stated political positions, and anti-Latino, which is debatable, but true in her opinion (and my opinion, and others’ opinions). Everything atdleft talks about, I have also heard anecdotally from locals (my Latin ex actually lives in this district in Garden Grove). But if this race comes down to Latinos Vs. Vietnamese, the Latinos are gonna dominate, thanks to their numbers.

      Bottom line: it’s a gaffe and she shouldn’t have said it like she did, but it’s not an indication that she’s suddenly become a racist. Plus, she’s been assiduous in courting Vietnamese voters in the past, which is a lot more than you can say for Tran and many Vietnamese politicians regarding Latino voters (this is the same district where a mass mailer was sent out to Latinos warning them they could be arrested for immigration violations if they voted).  

      Btw, her voice is SO annoying when she speaks Spanish. I never noticed it when she speaks English, but man, wow….  

    120. Reid should be continuing with his extremism ads on things where Angle really is extreme (massages for prisoners, urging armed uprising, etc.), as opposed to legitimate political positions she has taken (ones pretty easily defended, in my mind). Especially when those positions are healthcare; if this race becomes one where healthcare is one of the top two issues, Reid will lose.

    121. I fully agree here.  Delaware’s blueness makes it impossible for Coons to be painted as unelectable, and that is the only argument that could possibly win over Coons’ original (pre-COD) base.  To make matters worse for Castle, any scenario in which he is viable almost certainly makes O’Donnell viable as well, since she has a hard floor of fanatical teabaggers that he cannot touch.

    122. People have remained skeptical of the HCR law, but it’s clear there are components of reform they strongly support, and Reid’s focus on this only helps him and makes her look bad.

      That said, I don’t buy atdleft’s notion that this is somehow a silver bullet.  It’s just one more great Reid ad attacking Angle that keeps her tumbling down the hill.

    123. Touting health care reform through citizens helped by it was his main ad campaign early this year, before Angle won the primary and became an easy mark.

    124. There are plausible generic ballots that have us up a point, and equally plausible ones that have us down 10.

      The “real” generic ballot breakdown is an elusive target.  The question itself is a frame that a lot of respondents don’t necessarily consider:  “do I want to vote for the Republican candidate in my district or the Democrat?”  A lot of people don’t think at all, a lot of people say they want to know more about the candidates but still will give an answer when pushed, and so many factors like question wording and question order can affect it.  I know this is true of many polls, but my point is that when you ask questions that voters don’t think about on their own time, you get volatile poll results.

    125. That’s pretty clear to me.

      And sadly it will work.

      And even more sadly, he didn’t have to do this to win.  He’s been in the unusual position of being a “D” in Idaho who is as safe as he’d be in a neutral year.

    126. One thing you don’t want to tip off about your own internal polling is MOVEMENT in either direction.  You don’t signal to your opponent that an ad campaign is working or a scandal or other baggage is sticking; you want them to figure it out for themselves, the more they delay in reacting the better.

      If this race is trending back Boswell’s way, the DCCC and Boswell’s campaign will NOT want to reveal that.

    127. The ad distracts from the extreme narrative by actually focusing on a defensible opinion, and giving Angle the opportunity to focus on Reid’s weakness, healthcare.

      And I’m sorry, but it’s pretty clear that the people of Nevada don’t like healthcare. You can try to argue that people like this or that provision, but on the whole, people hate the legislation. The last three polls in NV that asked the question showed absolute majorities favoring full repeal. Even if you “call Rasmussen” or argue that the LVRJ hates Reid, fine, add 5 points to the law’s approval and you STILL end up with majorities or large pluralities in favor of appeal:

      And again, if Angle is able to use this ad or another like it to change the narrative away from her own extremism to healthcare, reminding people why they don’t like Reid. If the election becomes about healthcare, Reid loses

    128. And I’m sorry, but it’s pretty clear that the people of Nevada don’t like healthcare.

      Yeah! They hate healthcare! Who likes going to a waiting room, having your veins punctured, getting shots, etc.? The babies cry, but the adults don’t find it a barrel of laughs, either. But what’s worse than healthcare? I think we can all answer that.

      Let me be the first to say that I hate hospitals and have been very frustrated by the SNAFUs and lack of basic communication and coordination at the supposedly good hospital that my father has been to and in way more times than I would have liked in the past couple of years. But I think almost everyone knows what’s worse than being in the hospital: Not being able to get healthcare when they need it. You know that and I know that. And while it’s certainly true that people have a lot of problems with the particular Federal health care law that was recently passed and has partly gone into effect, at a basic level, everyone understands that when they need healthcare and get denied, that’s no good. Bring it down to that level, and anyone can campaign on it.

    129. You’re out of touch not to realize people want certain things covered and are fine with government mandating it.

      You’re letting your personal policy views impair your perspective on the effectiveness of the ad.

    130. According to Pollster, Chris Coons is at 53.3%, O’Donnell is at 37.5%, roughly 9% being either undecided or voting for someone else.

      For the first scenario to work, you’d have to assume that Coons would shed a full 16 points to Castle with O’Donnell shedding absolutely nothing to him (given that Castle is still a Republican this is a really crazy presumption). According to Pollster, Castle was at 47.3%, Coons was at 37.2% and 15.5% were undecided. If 15.5% went 2-1 for Castle (10% to Castle and 5.5% to Coons), Coons would be at 42.7% of the vote against Castle’s 57.3% (or Coons has a floor of roughly 40%).

      With the second scenario, everything with the first scenario applies here, but also consider that Write-in campaigns are inherently difficult. For one, it requires spending a lot of money on educating voters, since voters don’t start off knowing that they can vote for Castle in a write-in, this is harder when you don’t have a party apparatus to support you. Done poorly, even if he convince people that they should vote for him, it’s entirely possible that when voters don’t see his name on the ballot, they’ll vote for their second choice instead.

      I don’t know how people come to the conclusion that this race suddenly becomes anyone’s game if Castle runs as a write-in, but Coons would still be favored in that situation too, and it’s really hard to make the case otherwise.

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