SSP Daily Digest: 10/13 (Afternoon Edition)

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.)


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%

131 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 10/13 (Afternoon Edition)”

  1. Behavior Research Center had more polling results.

    AZ SEN: Rocky Mountain Poll (10/1-10, Registered Voters):

    John McCain (R-i) 49%

    Rodney Glassman (D) 21%

    David Nolan (L) 3%

    Jerry Joslyn (G) 2%

    Undecided 25%

    (MoE: ±4.2%)

    The BRC argues that this was a bit of a missed opportunity for Democrats, noting that McCain’s tack to the right for the primary appears to have severely damaged his popularity among groups with which he was more popular, such as Moderates, Women and Hispanics. I think this year is probably too Republican either way, but it’s nice to see the myth of the “Maverick” is finally dead.

    They also use their “Most Likely Voter” model and while they still don’t explain whether it’s just a normal Likely Voter model or something more specific, we have a MoE this time.

    AZ SEN: Rocky Mountain Poll (10/1-10, “Most Likely Voters”):

    John McCain (R-i) 56%

    Rodney Glassman (D) 22%

    David Nolan (L) 2%

    Jerry Joslyn (G) 1%

    Undecided 19%

    (MoE: ±4.7%)

    Finally, if anyone’s interested in downballot races, the pollster also looked at the open Arizona Attorney General race, which is currently the only statewide office held by a Democrat. In the RV model, Democrat Felecia Rotellini and Republic Tom Horne are tied at 34% a piece. Among MLVs, Horne leads 40-36. The fact that Tom Horne, the current two-term Superintendent of Public Instruction, get’s such a low share of the vote should be a huge warning sign for him, as he’s likely much better known than Rotellini.

  2. Washington: Patty Murray 51-43

    Delaware: Don’t remember #s, but Coons up big. No House numbers.

    Wisconsin: Johnson 52-44

    West Virginia: a tie at 44-44

  3. I know it is a Rasmussen poll, but did you catch that new number for Eliot Cutler at 21%?

    That is a huge step up from the 11%-ish range he’s been running in most polls.

    Given that Maine has a history of strong support for independents & 3rd party candidates for Governor (think not just Angus King and James Longley, but Barbara Merrill’s 21% and Pat Lamarche’s 10% in 2006, Jonathan Carter’s 10% in 2002), his numbers are definitely worth paying attention to.

    I think Libby Mitchell is great – she’s a progressive leader with a solid legislative record of achievement, so I can’t figure out why she seem stuck in the low 30’s. Paul LePage is  crazy/angry tea-bagger (who, sadly, doesn’t give Paladino enough competition to make the national news…) – his numbers have been falling after peaking post-primary.

    It will bear watching to see if Cutler’s vote will go up in the closing weeks as he markets himself as an alternative to the two major party candidates (who are both having problems expanding their bases), or if he fades like Chris Daggett did in New Jersey?

  4. I was like to keep an eye on these things. Not really note worthy but I really like how the total reloads automatically after every donation rather than periodically.

    She’s at 100K currently, aiming for 150K. Not really impressive considering it’s in CA.  

  5. I think we might have seen the Republicans’ high-water mark last week. Polling this week has not been terribly kind, and it seems like every October surprise (except for the story about the New Jersey Democratic Party propping up a Tea Party candidate in Rep. Adler’s district) has come at the expense of Republican candidates.

    Miller is looking increasingly nonviable in Alaska; I’m starting to suspect that, depending on how the Alaska Elections Board handles the write-ins, he could even end up placing third.

    Rumors of the political demise of Rep. Sestak, Gov. Strickland, and Rep. Arcuri seem to have been exaggerated, as they appear to be running close in their respective races.

    Not a bad day for the Democratic Party.

  6. I love, love, LOVE you DLCC for selecting Dan “Death Threat” Manning as one of your Essential Races! Gays, especially, if you’re looking to boost a very deserving candidate’s coffers, do it here:

    Even $10 makes a HUGE difference in Kansas. I don’t work for him or anything, I just really want to see Kansas elect its first openly-gay member of the Legislature. Preferably one who is a West Point grad, military vet, and Knights Out founder with balls of steel.  


    LaFonta got 21% in the primary.  He’s using “corruption” as his reason to reject Richmond (a theme Cao’s been hammering very heavily over the last few weeks, usually based on pretty flimsy proof).  

    Cao also has the support of two two other prominent New Orleans Democrats: Councilwoman Stacy Head and Assessor Erroll Williams.

    I really doubt they move that many votes, but it does speak to the idea that Cao may be a tougher-than-expected opponent because of his local image as a good guy.  

  8. AL-02, AZ-01, AZ-05, CA-11, CO-03, FL-25, HI-01, IA-03, IL-10, IL-14, IL-17, IN-02, IN-09, KY-06, MA-10, MD-01, MI-01, MI-07, MO-04, NC-08, ND-01, NH-02, NV-03, NY-20, NY-23, NY-24, OH-01, OR-05, PA-10, PA-11, PA-12, TX-23, VA-02, VA-05, WA-03, WI-07, WI-08, WV-01

    FL-25, CA-11, OH-01 buys seem pretty negligible though

    mostly chasing NRCC expenditures around, except in NC-08, PA-12, NY-23, and TX-23

  9. Rep. John Boehner is leading his Democratic opponent Justin Coussoule 30.4 percent to 19.6 percent. It also found that three quarters of congressional district residents have never heard of Coussoule.

    The Alexandria, Va.-based group – which supports “Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Promises from 2008,” touted this result:

    Question 1: How would you rate John Boehner’s job in Congress?

    A. Great-11.6%

    B. Satisfactory-24.4%

    C. Unsatisfactory-59.6%

    D. No Opinion-4.4%

    Also Boehner donated to Rich Lott.

  10. I drove through that district pretty extensively last month and saw Kapanke signs outnumbering Ron Kind signs by about 5-1 in counties where Obama got 62% of the vote.  I’m betting Ron Kind will be another under-the-radar defeat for Democrats.

  11. in IA-03. Boilerplate stuff: unemployment, spending, debt, Nancy Pelosi big government health care, Medicare cuts. Tell Leonard Boswell to stop hurting Iowa families.

    I liked how they juxtaposed government-run health care (boo!) with Medicare cuts (boo!).  

  12. Florida Public Service Commission chair quits job three months early in order to endorse Alex Sink for Governor. Probably not a big deal but considering she resigned from office just to make the endorsement is something.

  13. Apparently, they’re taking preliminary action just in case Angle decides to dump whatever’s left of her $14 million raised into ad buys. I just hope their ads are better than what the DCCC has been doing for Dina Titus. It’s not horrible, but IMHO it’s weak sauce…

    Compared to what Dina’s own campaign has been putting out…

  14. Spending small in NH-01, WI-07, huge in CO-04, OH-13.

    They’re dropping $520k versus Ganley in OH-13.  Not sure that’s really necessary.  They’re dropping $375k versus Gardner in CO-04.  More necessary, even though DCCC seems to have cut this race loose.

  15. trots out the Marxist attack….

    A feisty, aggressive Ms. O’Donnell called Mr. Coons a Marxist whose beliefs came from a socialist professor and said he would “rubber stamp” the policies of the Democrats in Washington. Mr. Coons raised questions about whether Ms. O’Donnell’s faith would drive her positions on social issues like abortion, prayer and evolution.


  16. Brave New Films’ new contribution to the campaign…

    I guess they’re just hoping this will “go viral”. We’ll see… But I have a feeling Boxer’s own campaign will keep coming back to this theme in these final weeks…

  17. And Horne is a weak campaigner and always has been.  I applaud state Republicans for choosing the halfway-sane Horne over the dangerous xenophobe Andrew Thomas, but the competence gap between Rotellini and Horne is so great that I actually expect Rotellini to win this race.  She is the real deal.

    I disagree with BRC that AZ-Sen was a missed opportunity for us.  McCain’s vulnerabilities aside, the fact remains that losing narrowly to McCain wasn’t going to be an attractive option for someone like Gabrielle Giffords, while losing more convincingly to him is a very good career move for Glassman.  He gets to raise his statewide profile by losing a race that nobody blames him for losing, and he basically emerges untarnished.  Having to resign from the Tucson City Council is an easy trade for that.  For Giffords, losing a competitive House seat you probably can’t get back would have been a weak move.

  18. Confirms Elway poll of yesterday.

    I’m just baffled by the continuing high digit margin in Wisconsin.  Caught some of the debate between Feingold and Johnson on C-span, and Feingold was far and away superior.  But I guess Wisconsin doesn’t want that this year.

  19. In all four of the polls, 18-34 age group was too small of a sample to report any data on.  In Washington, both 18-34 AND 35-49 were too small of samples to report data on.

    I realize they fix this all with weighting, but if the error within those samples is something like 10% or more, what does that mean for the polling?

  20. Surprised by the high number of undecided since both these guys are well known and ran against each other five months ago.

  21. When you factor this is in, that polling post-2008 is skewed because Republicans are overrepresented in landlines, we may have a repeat of Truman-Dewey when Republicans were overrepresented in landline polling.

    Ironic, huh?

  22. And Murray seems to be pulling away again (with CNN confirming Elway). Florida Gov is looking good, too, as measured by multiple polls. Manchin has at least stabilized at roughly a tie, if not a little ahead.

    I’m hoping we see some independent confirmation of a move by Sestak, and that he’s able to close strongly. I’d like him to win, of course, but even if he comes close, he could help a handful of endangered Dem House incumbents over the finish line – including in his old district, which hardly anyone expected to be competitive.

  23. that Cutler and Mitchell don’t split the center-left vote and allow LePage to sneak through.  I’d be happy with either of them as Governor.  Same in RI, although there I don’t think there’s any chance at all of Robitaille winning enough votes to sneak through.

  24. Mitchell is a career Augusta politician that doesn’t really excite anyone, so it’s understandable that she’s had trouble getting traction. LePage came out of the primary with great momentum and his aggressive campaigning allowed him to open up a large lead. However, people learned more about his baggage, and he made some abrasive gaffes, like saying he wanted to punch the President in the face. That drove a lot of the moderates out of his camp, and they drifted to Cutler, who is a fresher face than Mitchell.

  25. That is a major surprise, considering LaFonta ran from the left. I’m waiting for th TV ad with LaFonta, Norman (popular Jeff Parish sheriff), Williams, and Head.  

  26. I’m just saying, there’s getting pissed at your party, and there’s getting pissed at your party.  Endorsing a RINO Congressman over the guy who beat you is a bit douchey, but I can live with it.  Actually torpedoing your party’s chances of holding the seat by waging a pointless independent campaign is unacceptable.

  27. As long as the Richmond people keep doing what they’re doing they should be fine, but complacency could cause problems, which is why I’ll be canvasing for Richmond this weekend.


    This election is notable for the Literary Digest poll, which was based on 10 million questionnaires mailed to readers and potential readers; over two million were returned. The Literary Digest, which had correctly predicted the winner of the last 5 elections, announced in its October 31 issue that Landon would be the winner with 370 electoral votes. The cause of this mistake is believed to be due to improper sampling: more Republicans subscribed to the Literary Digest  than Democrats, and were thus more likely to vote for Landon than Roosevelt. This mistake by the Literary Digest proved to be devastating to the magazine’s credibility, and in fact the magazine went out of existence within a few months of the election.

  29. Richmond has the most popular Democrats endorsing him (the Landrieus, Obama, and DA Leon Cannizzaro) so he should be fine.  I’m really surprised by this too but anger often trumps ideology.  Wonder if anyone in LaFonta’s district will care in 2011…

  30. Richmond should get Steven Seagal to cut him an ad since Steven Seagal has been a sheriff in Jefferson Parish for the “past 20 years”…

  31. CO-04, FL-02, FL-08, FL-24, GA-08, IL-11, IN-08, MN-01, MS-01, NC-07, NH-01, NJ-03, NM-01, NM-02, OH-06, OH-16, OH-18, PA-03, PA-07, SD-01, TN-08, TX-17, VA-09

    take it for what you will.  some of them are probably races being abandoned by DCCC (CO-04, FL-24, IL-11, IN-08, TN-08), some are races where DCCC feels comfortable with the current lay of (NC-07, VA-09, MN-01) and others, who knows, might just have to do with when time was reserved for.

  32. is the another piece of information worth noticing.  no one else is spending here, and NRCC has no time reserved.

  33. he looks like someone who got wasted at a kegger and thought it’d be hilarious to put on ducky pajamas and run around the neighborhood.

  34. I have never seen a poll from 3 weeks out show a 30-19 race. This is as sketchy as it gets–if I were trying to knock off a Republican leader, I’d go for Cantor.

  35. ….didn’t run in the final three weeks.  Manchin’s getting a boost from it right now, but I’m betting it’s long forgotten by November 2.

  36. Does anyone know what the “Mountain Party” is and who is likely to benefit if their nominee’s support (5% according to CNN) collapses?

  37. who has never really been in a competitive campaign, will have a lot of baggage for an opponent to exploit. Note that his unfavorables, according to PPP yesterday, when up 11 points (35 to 46) – in just three weeks. That sort of volatility on a candidate’s profile can happen only when he or she is relatively unknown.

    Manchin still has a good deal of flexibility here – and in my opinion, the upper hand.

  38. Minnesota is next door and demographically similar, without any signs of the kind of right-wing insurgency taking place in the land of Cheeseheads.  The only difference is that Wisconsin has an unpopular Democratic Governor bowing out.  Still, their “outrage” is wildly disproportionate to the situation on the ground in Wisconsin.  Compared to the more dire situation in a place like Michigan or Ohio, it doesn’t make sense.

  39. I can say from being on the ground here that Rossi absolutely swamped the airwaves in the last 2 weeks of September with ads, basically all negative, while Murray had very little presence

    He has subsequently gone quiet, and the Senate ads I’ve seen in the last week or so have been mostly Murray.

    I imagine this might have something to do with the relative swings from Murray to Rossi and now, seemingly, back again.

  40. I agree this poll is very sketchy and should be taken with a very, very small grain of salt however I personally think Boehner would be easier to knock of than Cantor. Let me state without doubt neither would be remotely easy whatsoever. We put up a very credible candidate against Cantor last time and she got creamed. Neither will be close but I think Boehner will do at least slightly worse than Cantor. He is more controversial and well known. Also if you buy into the anti incumbent year thing then by theory Boehner could be facing a tough time.  

  41. I thought Leonard Boswell was gonna be toast this year.  His campaign, along with the DCCC, has very effectively defined Zaun as a complete stooge.  It would be a helluva upset for Zaun to pull this out now.

  42. So, to answer your question, I suppose Manchin, but given his stances on coal mining, I doubt that 5% is going anywhere.

  43. it has ties to the Greens:

    The Mountain Party is a political party in the state of West Virginia that on July 8, 2007 at its state convention, voted to become the West Virginia affiliate of the Green Party.[1] At the 2007 Green Party National Meeting the party was admitted to the Green Party as a state affiliate.[2] It is a progressive and environmentalist party. The party platform calls for an end to mountaintop removal coal mining. It also calls for timber regulation that reduces flooding, erosion and eliminates clear-cutting and destruction of old-growth forests. Other platform planks include an end to corporate welfare, and the establishment of small community schools, universal health care and campaign finance reform.

  44. I just want to throw my hands up over this race.  Really Wisconsin?!! The debate seemed like a (charismatic) Harvard Professor vs. a remedial 5th grader who hadn’t studied for the big exam.  It was incredible how clearly they were mismatched.  Ok, you’re tired of Feingold and all his integrity and independence…fine.  But to throw him out for an incompetent Tea Partier with no ideas, personality, or experience?  This is insanity!

  45. I think that whatever cap-and-trade supporters there are in West Virginia certainly weren’t voting for Raese, and after the last ad won’t be voting for Manchin. Five percent seems a little high for a Green in a coal state, but the Mountain guy could pull just enough votes to be a factor in a close race.

    Am I alone in thinking that either man could win, but it’s not going to be close? West Virginia looks like a pretty homogenous place, and I think that in the week before the election all the undecideds will go to either Manchin or Raese and the winner will have about 54-55% of the vote.

  46. Who received 17% of the Dem vote, Ken Hechler, has endorsed the Mountain Party candidate, Jesse Johnson.  

  47. Bush came close twice but never won here, and Obama barely outperformed Gore despite (I assume) great turnout among the black voters that make up 44% of the district. It looks like this is place where there is a big conservative base that can constantly deliver 45-48% of the vote to a Republican, but there are enough blacks and yellow-dog white Democrats to deny the GOP victory here.

    It would be neat to see Keown win (should Cao go down) so the GOP can say it can win districts with large amount of black voters, even if that’s not necessarily true.

  48. RuralDem – Democrats have the districtwide advantage because they have better party strength here, right?

  49. that may not be a guarantee…

    I was thinking Tom Benson and Rita Benson LeBlanc (Saints owner and his granddaughter, who is Executive VP of the Saints)  would be big endorsements for him, since they have both maxed out to his campaign, but the Saints gotta pick it up!  

  50. Glad to finally hear someone express this (and to see a poll of the district).   I suspect the press and many are fundamentally misreading this year’s election and missing that anti-incumbent means that it will be almost exclusively anti-Democrat…betcha there will be many surprises, and Boehner as the most high profile member of the House Republicans could be in trouble (save for the R+14 nature of his district).  Plus, it sounds as if we have a good candidate in there.  If it continues to get zero press, I’d predict this is within 10 pts. on election night.  If the DNCC sneaks some last minute ads in and some GOTV, who knows.

    All that being said: I know Boehner will still win.

  51. From the parts I saw.

    Well, Wisconsin sent Joe McCarthy to the senate, so it has its reactionary moments.

  52. I noticed that one of those polls showed Johnson’s favorables at 60/34. He should be just as easy to go negative on as other rich, ignorant, reactionary schmucks like Fiorina and Raese. Is Feingold not attacking him, or are the attacks not sticking for some reason?

  53. Anything about their fundraising this quarter? I imagine Richmond’s would have picked up since the primary, after sucking in the 2nd quarter and Cao’s should have picked up with his internal being released showing him leading and polls showing him not totally dead yet.  

  54. There are a lot of West Virginians outraged about the ecological ruin that the coal industry has befallen their state.  I could easily see 5% of the vote coming from the environmental wing of a coal state where their choices are coal shills like Manchin and Raese.

    On your second point, I completely agree.  The race will break hard for one candidate in the end and they’ll score a double-digit win.  While Raese’s baggage could yet prove insurmountable, hearing about the messy process of replacing Manchin as Governor that’s currently in the headlines is not gonna help Manchin’s cause in trying to get a promotion.  My money’s on Raese.

  55. What was disturbing about it was who the one I saw was going after: Rush Holt (NJ-12).  It was absolutely shocking to see him on ANYONE’S radar.  While I’d bet it was psyopsish stuff, it was still annoying.  He’s awesome and he’s in the list of peeps with Feingold, Hall, and a few others, about whom I would honestly be devastated to hear lost.

  56. ….are in this district.  And Obama underperformed Gore and even Kerry in several of these counties.  It’s a 50-50 bet on Bishop’s survival at this point.  If Roy Barnes can’t get any momentum between now and November 2, it’ll depress Democratic turnout, which will bode poorly for Bishop.

  57. The district is 51/44 white black.  In 2004 Bush won this 50/50, Obama won 54/46.  But then Bishop has won it in the upper 60’s.  Not too many whites voting Democrat in the Presidential, but Bishop gets a pretty large portion.

    And if yellow dogs vote Democrat always up and down the ballot, doesnt seem like too many are here.

  58. I’m glad there’s a second choice on the ballot other than Manchin/Raese.  If the race is close and Manchin ends up losing by less than Johnson gets, well, let’s just say there’s such a thing called poetic justice.

  59. if they win this seat. There are simply too many black democrats in south Georgia to create 3 safe Republican seats. And trying to pack all of the Democratic voters into one S Georgia district will likely create a VRA problem for them.

  60. Not that Bishop is any great shakes.  The district still is 45% AA, even if the election turnout is not that high.  And Thurmond is on the ballot which will guarantee that there won’t be a complete collapse in that turnout.

  61. There’s no justice in a complete tool like Raese winning a Senate seat. He epitomizes everything that’s wrong with our politics.

  62. For West Virginia having to suffer under a “Senator Raese”? I’m certainly no fan of Manchin, and I wasn’t planning to do anything for him anyway (I already have plenty on my plate here in Nevada!), but I certainly can’t root for someone who wants to get rid of the minimum wage.

  63. colorful, often animated attack ads as a counterpoint to the dark ominous negative ads that everyone does. I’m sure there has been studies on human psychology/voter behavior that these colorful often off-beat, negative ads reinforces the dark, negative attack ads that are introduced either first or subsequently. One will reinforce the other as long as the DCCC has a consistent theme to attack.  

  64. In the open primary in 2012 (we are going back to jungle primaries) Cao would win Indys and Reps, so LaFonta would not pick those up. Dems would be pissed at him for endorsing Cao and Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, who almost beat Jefferson in 2006, would mop up the floor with LaFonta with Dems.  

  65. In the open primary in 2012 (we are going back to jungle primaries) Cao would win Indys and Reps, so LaFonta would not pick those up. Dems would be pissed at him for endorsing Cao and Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, who almost beat Jefferson in 2006, would mop up the floor with LaFonta with Dems.  

  66. I’d imagine the base would be far too pissed to hand that person the nomination later, unless it was an extreme case (like a Democrat endorsing Cao over Bill Jefferson, or a Republican backing Edwin Edwards over David Duke)

  67. but Boehner would be a juicy target and really easy to paint as being part of what’s wrong in Washington.

  68. I’ve sometimes wondered just how much of a campaign effort you could run against someone without attracting notice if you did it just with ground game.  Obama’s Indiana win demonstrated how potent an unopposed ground game could be, and it’s tempting to think that if you just caught someone napping, you could poach an otherwise unwinnable race just by being the only one to (secretly) campaign.

    Realistically, this would (1) have to happen in an unlikely race, which basically means one that shouldn’t be competitive, (2) against a particularly overconfident target, (3) in a non-presidential year in a state without up-ballot races to drag turnout for the opposition, (4) with remarkably good voter targeting to ensure that the opposition didn’t hear significant buzz about what you were up to and (5) through some sort of clever financing scheme that would obscure the fact that money was even being spent.  So it’s basically impossible.

    But all that aside, it is kind of fun to game it out!

  69. Actually that ad shows why our equilibrium (if you can call it that) is for Dems to be a fractious majority and the Reeps a united minority. The Dems will run anyone who’s marginally preferable to their opponent even if they’re way off the reservation on some issues. The Reeps will purge just about anyone who doesn’t toe the party line. Sometimes they’ll even purge people who vote the party line but don’t have a sufficiently militant attitude (see Bob Inglis).  

  70. If so, now I can understand your frustration more. Thank goodness Dina’s campaign has put up her own ads, and thank goodness AFSCME and EMILY’s List went on the air first!

  71. If voters view it in the context of the other ads. And in this case, the DCCC should consider themselves lucky that Dina’s campaign, EMILY’s List, and AFSCME already put up those dark, ominous ads long before they jumped in with this ad buy. Maybe you have a point, but certainly on its own I don’t think the DCCC ad is memorable.

  72. some people will see then as campaign ads and tune them out. Some people will respond to them. Others will see this offbeat ad and not remember it but some will. You have (if you can afford it) to have different types of ads to convey your message which will appeal to different types of people. Go back on DCCClive for 2006 and 2008 on youtube. You will see a mixture of the dark ominous ads and the off-beat ones. They have been doing this for a long time and with that much money involved, I am sure they have done the research on the style and tone of an ad that people will respond to (not talking about any of the actual attacks … just the style and tone.  

  73. I like the ad. The humor of it makes the target almost an object of ridicule, but in a fairly gentle way.

  74. I can verify that Kapanke signs are quite frequent along the I-94 highway in this district, so this challenger is trying hard. That said, this district not only contains La Crosse and Eau Claire, which will go strongly for Kind, but also a fair share of rural counties that are more progressive than typical for their size. Obama won most of the counties, of course, but even Kerry and Gore won here by decent margins when they just barely won Wisconsin statewide.

    Also, Kapanke himself, even though he’s been elected to the WI legislature, his last win was by only a few percentage points. I can’t imagine him being overwhelmingly popular with the non-Republicans in his district.

    WI-7 & 8 I can see switching Red. This one, no way.

  75. I actually think every time Feingold tries to attack him, Johnson actually gets more popular. He comes out with a response that shows how he is an outsider-non-politician and how Feingold is a professional politician and lawyer who is an expert at spinning words. Johnson has had some of the best ads this cycle. Feingold’s have been pretty good too, but they just haven’t been effective enough. Regardless of what happens though, I think both of their ad men will be in high demand.  

  76. Barney Frank, Mike Beebe, Anthony Weiner, and John Dingle going down in flames, so Ron will be in good company. 😉

  77. Because he represents La Crosse, which you said is a Democratic area. The fact he has won in a Dem area twice against good candidate shows that he is a good campaigner, and also will help him because he has a good geographic base.  

  78. than Wisconsin. We are the only state in the union who never voted for HW Bush, W or Reagan for president and no matter how much the GOP likes to pretend that Minnesota is a swing state we are not. We are soldly blue. The same can’t be said of Wisconsin.

  79. Rhode Island, New York, and Vermont all voted for Reagan in 1984, and it would be a stretch to call any of those states less blue than Minnesota. Also, while not quite a swing state, Minnesota has undeniably reddened over the past decade. It once voted more Democratic than the nation by 15 points and for a stretch in the 70’s and 80’s was as blue as it got, but is now only 2-5 points more Democratic than the union as a whole.

  80. But the general consensus among respected political observers seems to be that O’Donnell looked unprepared and amateurish. Comments like that reinforce my inclination to trust that consensus.

  81. The GOP likes to pretend that is but it hasn’t been close to going GOP on the presidential years. As a Democrat in Minnesota, I do enjoy watching the GOP waste money here though.

  82. He took the tough votes and now he’s being abandoned.  Unforutnatley, we have no choice… it is a matter of survival not, but how many future dems will take the tough votes knowing that their votes will be rewarded with abandonment by the party when help is needed most.

    It is a sad shame… Dreihaus was one of the good ones.  

  83. Instead, he is being politically smart and doing what he can to try to save his seat. And I doubt the DCCC minds being criticized, if that might help Driehaus in what they believe is a long-shot reelection bid.

  84. The DCCC is propping up Dems that have voted against the Dem agenda, while abandoning Dems that voted for it. I understand their reasoning for why they’ve cut off Driehaus, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be pissed off about it.

    Incidentally, I thought Steve Chabot was the douchebag yesterday; he was on Talk of the Nation, and a caller prefaced a question with “I’ve always supported you, but not now”, and Chabot waved away his comment with “people who say they’ve always supported a candidate until now never really did in the first place”, which I thought was a really douchey thing to say.

  85. But I think the DCCC ad is not bad and makes its points. The theme of throwing all that stuff in the garbage can is a good one.

  86. Though he voted for the Stupak amendment, he has been a good moderate vote in the House on Dem policies.  He has every right to be upset and maybe his appeal to his base will get them more pro-active.  

  87. but I’m seeing no Rossi ground game. I’ve been doorbelled, lit dropped and mailed by the Murray campaign. We got one recorded phone call from American Crossroads but I didn’t stay on the line long enough to hear their message.

  88. It would be interesting if Cutler would consolidate moderates of both parties (leaving far-left Democrats to Mitchell and far-right Republicans to LePage) and really win this election. There were somewhat similar precedents in recent Maine’s history…

  89. I have no love lost for Steve Chabot. But nothing annoys me more than hearing, “I was a lifelong Democrat/Republican, until HR 3103, ….”

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