SSP Daily Digest: 10/5 (Morning Edition)

  • AK-Sen: Hello! McFly! You ever heard of the Commerce Clause? Joe Miller evidently got quite a fine education at Yale Law, since he somehow believes that the minimum wage is “not within the scope of the powers that are given to the federal government.” Oh, yeah, “merit scholarship.” Now make like a tree and beat it!
  • P.S. Miller’s personal financial disclosures – which he promised to file last week, after ignoring the law since April – are still “going to take a little while.” Anybody home, McFly?!

  • DE-Sen: By now, you’ve probably all seen Christine O’Donnell’s new ad. If not, drop everything and watch it. It might just blow your mind. But I don’t want this other crucial item to get lost in the shuffle: In a 2006 debate, O’Donnell said that “China was plotting to take over America and claimed to have classified information about the country that she couldn’t divulge.” Reminds me of one of my all-time fave Michele Bachmann quotes.
  • KY-Sen: Rand Paul is no slouch when it comes to slagging the social safety net. At a debate this weekend, he announced that he wanted to cut Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age. And at a meeting with (who else?) the state Chamber of Commerce, he also declared that Medicaid – a program which benefits some 800,000 Kentuckians – has created “intergenerational welfare.”
  • GA-02: Those federal indictments in Alabama regarding bribery-for-bingo charges are having effects across state lines. Jay Walker was “chief strategist” for Republican Scott McKeown, who has been making some serious headway against Rep. Sanford Bishop of late. Walker, unsurprisingly, has resigned his post.
  • MN-08: Republican Chip Cravaack (yep, that’s how you spell it) is touting an internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies (n=300) showing him nipping at longtime Rep. Jim Oberstar’s heels, 45-42. Oberstar’s campaign claims that the survey was a “push poll,” but Cravaack’s campaign denies it (though they won’t release the questionnaire). I’d be surprised if a firm like POS did anything outright shady, though. Anyhow, Cravaack had just $42K on hand as of July 21 and had only raised $100K overall. Oberstar has $1.1 million in the bank.
  • WA-03: This is weird – the Lower Columbia Daily News asked GOPer Jaime Herrera for a list of campaign events she’s done since the August primary, but she refused to provide one, claiming it might be used to attack her. Denny Heck’s campaign, for their part, says they think Herrera’s all but disappeared from the campaign trail. An unofficial list shows that she supposedly did about a dozen events in this timeframe, to some 30-odd by Heck.
  • NY-State Sen: Did you know that Iona College was in the polling biz? I had no idea. Anyhow, it looks like they’ve released a couple of state Senate polls in the last few weeks (but no telling exactly how many, since I can’t seem to find a central hub for them anywhere). I’ve come across two surveys, though: In SD-35 (PDF), Dem Andrea Stewart-Cousins leads Republican Liam McLaughlin 44-37. Meanwhile, in SD-40, GOPer Greg Ball leads Dem Mike Kaplowitz 45-35. (A Siena poll yesterday of the same race had Ball up just 45-44.) The sponsor of these polls is a right-wing business group called the Westchester County Association, which also promises to poll SD-37 and NY-19.
  • Fundraising:

    • ID-01, OH-15: The Hotline has numbers for Walt Minnick and Mary Jo Kilroy
    • NY-20: Scott Murphy, $900K raised
    • NM-01: Martin Heinrich, $575K raised, >$1m on hand
    • WA-02: Rick Larsen, $500K raised

    Independent Expenditures:

    • Ophthalmologists: Those rogues are backing a rare Dem, Glenn Nye (VA-02), and a guy whose name hasn’t come up in well over a year, Erik Paulsen (MN-03), to the tune of about $65K each
    • CT-Sen: The DSCC is spending half a mil on TV for Richard Blumenthal

    SSP TV:

    • CA-Sen: Uh, is it just me, or does this ad seem like a parody of itself?
    • ND-AL: I like seeing this a lot. It’s not the greatest ad of the cycle, but here Earl Pomeroy proudly touts his support of healthcare reform (I think he was the Dem in the reddest district to vote in favor), while attacking Rick Berg for supporting the never-popular insurance companies. If you know they’re going to attack you anyway, you need to just go strong

    163 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 10/5 (Morning Edition)”

    1. I can see that ad working in a LOT of states, including neighboring Nevada where that’s exactly the kind of attack ad that gets aired against Reid.

      But CA is not joining in the anti-Democratic sentiment to which that kind of ad can appeal.  That means they need something different for a CA-centric appeal.  I have no idea what that would be, though.

      Aside from that, the ad does seem to have poor production values.  Even the music and narration don’t come off as well-done.

    2. Got a kick out of this letter to the editor in today’s Des Moines Register:

      I served on the Urbandale Parks and Recreation Commission during Brad Zaun’s time as mayor.

      He never once attended our meetings or communicated with us in any way. (The only time we had a joint meeting with the City Council, Zaun showed up late, completely unprepared, and confused about the purpose of the meeting.) He frequently put things on the council’s agenda pertaining to recreation without consulting us at all, with negative consequences.

      Under his “leadership” the council set up an ad-hoc citizens’ committee to determine where a potential Urbandale community center should be, despite the fact that the council had decided that issue six months earlier.

      The committee basically duplicated the function of the parks commission, except that it wasted $25,000 of taxpayer money. (The idiotic community center concept they eventually put forward was ultimately crushed by the voters.)

      – Greg Nepstad, Panora

    3. I believe that Pomeroy’s ad will be incredibly effective.  I know that Berg still has a decent shot to win, but this ad, at least to me, is powerful.

    4. Doug Hoffman announced this morning he’s dropping out.  No link, I saw only a couple tweets on it from political reporters.  Hoffman’s name still on ballot (on Conservative line), but he endorsed Doheny this morning.

    5. From the digest:

      the Lower Columbia Daily News asked GOPer Jaime Herrera for a list of campaign events she’s done since the August primary, but she refused to provide one, claiming it might be used to attack her

      AFAIK, most campaigns include a list of events on their web sites. So I checked Herrera’s site at

      And see a blank calendar for October. I clicked back, and saw one event she attended in September.

      I clicked back again, and saw a (fairly sparse) bunch of events ending with primary eve. Perhaps the other 11 events were affairs not open to the public.

      It’s almost as if Herrera’s an entrenched incumbent who isn’t taking Heck’s challenge seriously.

      If candidates and campaigns matter, Heck will at least make it close…


      Updated every Tuesday

      h/t desmoinesdem

      I’m fearful for everyone in the top 60, think if the election were held today, most of the top 50 would lose (including 3 Rs — with some other Ds losing too), but am hopeful, now that Ds are getting engaged, losses will be mostly limited to those in the top 30s of the list.

      Of course, everyone can pick candidates higher up that they are “confident” will win, e.g. I’m hopeful that #7 (Chet Edwards), #19 (Kagen), #20 (Dahlkemper), #21 (Childers), #28 (Heck) and many more in the #30 and above slots will pull things out, but it’s a reasonable list based on national trends.

    7. Here’s one you can hang your hat on: Buck and Bennet split white voters 46/46! It almost goes without saying, but if Bennet breaks even with white voters, he will win this race.  

    8. according to a new Morning Call/Muhlenberg College released Tuesday.

      Among likely Pennsylvania voters, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey leads by 7 percentage points, 45 percent to 38 percent, over Democrat Joe Sestak. GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Corbett leads by 11 percentage points, 47 percent to 36 percent, over his Democratic opponent, Dan Onorato.

      I get Philadelphia stations, and Sestak is being hit by a one-two puch of negative ads by Toomey and Rove’s bullshit “group.”  The latter thanks to teabagger leader Ginny Thomas’s husband.  Often one after the other.  I’m beginning to wonder whether Sestak can make up the ground while under this assault.  Corbett’s ads are just plain grating.

    9. In a very weird, “I’m still attracted to Christine O’Donnell despite her radical right wing extremist views” way. I think if you took Christine O’Donnell, made her stand for absolutely nothing, and just had her keep releasing ads like this, she’d win the race by 10 votes.

      But, given the fact that she believes in banning masterbation and all other kind of weird stuff, she looks like she’ll lose by about 15.

    10. And leave it at that.  That’s how he’s always been.  And that’s what’s gotten him elected.

      And even were he to change now, that would leave him open to charges of flip-flopping.

    11. I bet less than 5% of voters know what the DSCC/NRSC even are, and maybe 5% of those 5% of them would be more included to support you because you refused their money.  This is not a wining strategy Russ…

      On the upside, more money to spend somewhere else…

    12. …Buck was pulling away!

      It’s been 4-5 points in most polls for a couple months, a static race.

      Unfortunately, we’re at a point where voters are a lot more familiar with the choices now after more than a month of heavy advertising, and still Bennet isn’t getting over the hump.  I have this on my 2nd tier of likely losses in the Senate, sharing that tier with WI and PA.  The 1st tier, the certain losses, are ND, AR, and IN.

    13. He should have had an easy reelection in 1998 but nearly lost to Mark Neumann because he refused national party help and he didn’t raise enough money himself to match Neumann’s and allies’ spending.  He almost blew it in a good year for Dems.

      That he’s continuing with this nonsense is going to ensure his defeat this time.  Underscoring that this is NONSENSE is the fact that his own ads don’t take the high road at all, he attacks Johnson the same as the DSCC would.  So there’s no reason to demand the DSCC not do the same.

    14. Damn shame about the seat but frankly I won’t miss his totally unrealistic holier than thou attitude. But I know you profoundly disagree so best to leave it there.

    15. but where the money’s coming from.

      Look, you can bash him all you want, but that’s who he is.  If he wins the race, it won’t be because of the DSCC airing attacking ads, but because of the reservoir of respect he’s built up in Wisconsin over his two decades plus in politics.

    16. The Angle number is a bit of a surprise, but really just noise.  I still think it’s a dead even race or perhaps Reid very slightly ahead.  The rest seems more or less right.  Watching Gloria Borger on CNN last night, she was clearly astounded by the number of people in WV who like their governor but have no intentions of sending him to the Senate.  Carnahan is running in the wrong year and she’s no outsider and Fisher has been toast for some time – I think Bobby Fisher could have run a better campaign, frankly.  McMahon can’t get any higher unless she pulls Blumenthal’s positives down – I guess she’s trying, but I have my doubts about it working.

    17. for Manchin. Looks like this one could be slipping away quickly from the Dem column. Guess WVA voters just love the job Joe is doing in the Governor’s Mansion

    18. Because Ras needs to tighten it’s screen now that there is a lot more polling outfits in the field so close to the election.  He can’t be seen as ridiculously off and thus canme try and create meme’s for Fox and Rush to run with, so he created the Pulse spin-off to do that.  

    19. These races have been probably one of the bigger surprises to me. I thought that Buck/Johnson would be hard to elect in these swing/light blue states but it is clear that Bennet and Feingold are having a lot of trouble with voter enthusiasm. I would give Bennet the better chance of pulling off a win as the rust belt is likely going to be very brutal for team blue. Having Feingold lose would be a bummer. If people are really fed up with spending they should examine at his record. He has yet to ask for one solo earmark this Congress as opposed to many others on both sides of the aisle. I agree with you that WI, CO and PA are tier 2 pick-ups for team red but which if any of these are the most likely to be saved? I would probably say CO, PA, and then WI in that order.  

    20. Two weeks ago, Ras had 46-41 without leaners, 47-43 with leaners.

      Today, Ras has 47-42 without leaners, 49-45 with leaners.

      Somehow, we go from lean D to tossup.

      Um, OK.

    21. Fisher is toast under all polling by all pollsters.  Carnahan is down by a decent margin in all polling by all pollsters.  Blumenthal obviously was a false alarm.  WV isn’t a turnout issue, hell the state’s turnout in absolute numbers, not even just as a percentage of the population, was down in 2008 compared to 2004.

      Nevada is the one and only state on that list where the turnout model matters.

    22. Shocked I say that certain people thought Paladino’s style would somehow work isn’t working.

    23. doesn’t have realistic shot at winning, I think that he can hold down Cuomo’s numbers upstate to a large degree that it will hurt Dem candidates up and down the ballot. I expect Gillibrand to underperform Cuomo by a few points but still win. I think the biggest effect will be in Congressional and State Senate races upstate where it will be essentially tied between Cuomo and Paladino, thus providing no cottails to downballot Dems such as they got in 2006.

      I’d say a close race between Paladino and Cuomo, especially upstate puts at least 3 Dem-held State Senate seats in play, as well as downgrading chances for a number of CDs. I think we saw this in the Siena poll of SD-58 which showed a slight GOP lead thanks to split Dem opposition and a massive Paldino lead in the Gov race (65% I believe), even though Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1 in the SD.  

    24. I’m not surprised.  I know that I want to believe certain things to be true, and every so often (not recently) I’ll get in a state of euphoria.  So I guess that I can understand how some might believe that Paladino’s unorthodox style could work…and it might work, but only in slightly minimizing Cuomo’s victory margin.

      Cuomo will win this race by a healthy margin.

    25. That’s the problem. It’s not like Paladino will win. Its that after the primary people looked at what he was doing and what was happening upstate and saw that he could have a path to victory. Which was something no one previously thought possible.

      Until Paladino came from no where every one assumed Cuomo would have a Spitzer type blow out (Spitzer won 69% of the vote).

      Paladino showed that the natives are restless. This is what had people nervous.  

    26. and the RNSC has spent ZERO!

      McMahon is a millionaire spending $50 million of her own bucks while Blumenthal is worth over $100 million and has spent almost nothing of his own fortune.

      That $500k that the DSCC just dumped in CT could be put to a lot better use in WV, CO, NV, NH or even AK where that kind of cash could be a game changer.

      They are just flushing it down the hole in CT because Blumenthal wont pony up.

      Heck even if he LENT his campaign a couple million he could spent the next 6 years in ths Senate raising cash to pay himself back.

    27. …having more Republicans than Democrats, and more men than women.

      Actually I can see where the party ID could be relatively even based on the GOP’s natural turnout advantage this cycle.  Can Reid’s and the state Dems’ superior field make that up?  Maybe, since the GOP has no organized field at all.

      But the male-female gap is a real problem, Rassy shows men with a 53-47 edge which defies gravity.  Women outnumbered men per the exit polls in 2004 and 2008, and in the last midterm, 2006, it was 50-50.  Keep in mind Dems didn’t do well in Nevada in 2004 (Kerry lost) or 2006.(Titus lost NV-Gov, Ensign cruised to reelection, and vulnerable GOP Congressman Jon Porter survived), meaning there was no artificially inflated turnout edge among our favorable demographics.

      Also, on race, Rassy has Angle outperforming Ensign 4 years earlier with white voters.  Ensign beat Jack Carter 55-41 and exit polls had him winning the white vote 60-37.  Rassy says Angle up 2-to-1 on Reid with same racial breakdown.

      Here’s Ralston’s tweet:

      RalstonFlash    FOX poll internals: More men than women (bad), more GOPers than Dems (bad). Do they even care? As C. Cook argued, most public polls crap.

      7 minutes ago via TweetDeck

    28. Agreed, this is not the type of ad that speaks to people that aren’t already leaning Republican.  If you’re trying to win a few House races in the Central Valley that’s one thing, but statewide you have to peel off some Democrats, and the hackneyed “job-killer” label isn’t likely to change anyone’s pre-existing view of Boxer.

      Since Fiorina’s too far to the right on policy and too damaged on the resume, I think the only way she could have gained traction was by portraying Boxer as personally offensive, starting with the “Call me Senator” thing and then going through the C-Span rolls looking for similar abrasiveness.  While that still probably wouldn’t be a winning strategy, at least it would be a message Democrats and D-leaners wouldn’t automatically tune out.

    29. …ante up some of his own dough.  Especially since he’s the frontrunner and is likely to win, he will, indeed, easily recoup it over the next year or two.  You can give to your own campaign, call it a “loan,” and pay yourself back with others’ contributions; that’s perfectly legal and self-funders do it all the time.

    30. …means her perceived abrasive personality.

      Her politics really are essentially the same as Feinstein’s, but a lot of people don’t realize that because of differences in rhetoric and tone.

      Fiorina should be digging for material on Boxer’s rhetoric and tone, things that really do rub some swing voters the wrong way.

    31. If that were the reason, he could have just tightened his own screen.  No, the reason he created it was so that he could flood the zone and drive the narrative even more.

    32. …it will be a great comeback.

      I have no idea if this ad will work.  The frontpage comment that you can’t run away from an attack, you have to engage head-on, is a valid one.  But the competing school of thought is that you don’t want to get baited into talking about the very things your opponent WANTS you talk about, since those by nature are things that hurt you.

      In this case, I think Pomeroy’s engagement is correct.  Health care was too big an issue during this Congress to run away from a “yes” vote.  So in this case, if this kind of engagement doesn’t work, well running away only would have been worse.

      A Congressional staffer posted a comment here a few weeks back that Pomeroy at that time looked dead in the water.  I would love to know how things look now.  The only tea leaf I’ve seen since that commenter posted here was a Rasmussen poll that showed tightening that could have been real or could have been mere statistical noise.

    33. Keep in mind Dems didn’t do well in Nevada in 2004 (Kerry lost) or 2006.(Titus lost NV-Gov, Ensign cruised to reelection, and vulnerable GOP Congressman Jon Porter survived),

      While Kerry didn’t win Nevada, he did come closer than many folks expected. He actually cut Bush’s Washoe win margin in half, which was why Bush’s 2004 margin was less than his 2000 margin.

      And in 2006, the party simply didn’t care for Jack Carter, so they let him ruin his own campaign. The field organizing was just starting, but I think it’s why Titus came close to Gibbons, Hafen came super close to Porter (who wasn’t expecting a close race), and Dems picked up seats in the Legislature. And btw, in 2006 turnout was about even among Dems and Reeps.

      So NV Dems have been working on their field plan since Kerry’s team packed their bags and left in 2004. And conversely, ever since Bush’s 2004 win, NV GOPers have let their field operation disintegrate. There’s no way in hell men will outnumber women at the polls, and there’s definitely no way in hell we’ll see that kind of “enthusiasm gap”.

    34. Was mostly based on the fact that Ras has been polling this race, and, in late September, showed Berg with a 3% lead (as compared to a 9% lead in early August).  I always fight the urge to adjust Ras’s numbers, and I feel I’m not alone.  If Ras shows Berg up by 3%, I feel that Pomeroy is knocking on the door of tying this race up.  But you are right…Berg has been leading this race for quite awhile.  However, I have a feel that this race is very much in Tossup-land.  

      As far as the ad goes, I think at this time it’s the right thing to do.  Of course, hindsight is 20/20…  I’m wondering how Berg will respond.

    35. …I made the point that there was no Democratic advantage in Nevada in 2006.  Dems couldn’t beat Gibbons for the open Governorship.  Ensign cruised over Jack Carter.  Jon Porter survived (for one more term before losing to Titus in 2008).

      The 2006 exit poll showed a party ID breakdown of 40R-33D-27I, a 7-point Republican advantage.  Today Dems have a 5-point registration advantage on the GOP, and Republicans HOPE to get close to break-even with Dems in actual turnout.

      There are going to be more women than men voting in Nevada this fall.

    36. That’s my real basis for pessimism regarding Pomeroy.  That staffer made the point that Pomeroy had been campaigning hard for a long time with no movement in numbers.

      And there have been other sporadic tea leaves I’ve seen online from political reporters indicating Pomeroy has been in deep trouble.

      I looked at Rasmussen as a tertiary tea leaf, behind those things.

      Maybe it’s changed since then, I don’t know.  I hope so.

    37. …with a few tiny tweaks…against Schwarzenegger. Or, say, someone who bears any significant responsibility for California’s current economic woes, like the Legislature, maybe a local mayor or something.

      FAILorina strikes again.

      And yes, the ad struck me as a parody of an attack ad, but then again, Carly Fiorina’s entire run has reminded me of a parody of a campaign.

    38. And keep in mind, Rass’s final Nevada presidential poll had Obama up by 4 and he ended up winning the state by 12.

    39. As I noted in my other comment in this thread, the 2006 exit poll showed Republicans with a 7-point advantage over the Dems, 40-33.

      Is there hard data that contradicts that?

      I won’t be shocked if so, because exit polls are sometimes provably wrong.  But absent contradictory data or any other reason to doubt the exit polling, I would trust the exit poll numbers in this case.

    40. came so close.  I was bummed when she didn’t make it.  I wonder what happened to her.

      Right now Arizona is getting the treatment Nevada did then- the national party isn’t willing to go in big and put up a fight, even though it’s within the partisan fuzz zone and should tip one of these elections.

    41. On a different note, I’ve also noticed that the SD-AL race has shown a decent uptick for Herseth-Sandlin.  Do you have any feelings regarding our chances with this race?

    42. I’m surprised, actually, but glad.  Hope this is the last we hear of this guy.  I do think it will make a difference.  I’d now rate this straight toss-up whereas before I had it lean Dem.

    43. For about fifteen minutes (okay, a week or so), Gillibrand’s biggest problem was, well, Cuomo. If Cuomo only prevailed by single-digits, Gillibrand would be in enormous trouble, given Joe DioGuardi will surely out-perform Paladino. Alas, if Cuomo’s winning by a beefy 20-point margin, Gillibrand should coast to Safe D victory. I think Cuomo will win about 60%, given or take 3%, and Gillibrand will do the same around 55%.

      Still, let’s see what PPP has to say. For all we know, they’ll find Cuomo up mid-double digits and Gillibrand up low double-digits, meaning Dems can’t take either race for granted.

    44. I am just like you but I have to think that SSH hangs on here as her opponent is damaged goods. Turns out that Noem has over 20 speeding and other traffic related citations. The big deal is that SSH succeed a Representative that who resigned due to manslaughter charges that stemmed from his speeding. These charges bring back bad memories in SD so I have a really hard time seeing Noem being able to get around that. As a result, I don’t see SSH losing this cycle.  

    45. …Noem’s horrific driving record.

      Rasmussen showed SHS winning, for the first time all year, in its last poll of the race, and SHS released an internal just a week or 2 ago showing a commanding 52-39 lead.

      SD-AL looks like a major “save” for us.

      The problem is there is not a “silver bullet” like that in most of our vulnerable races to use against the Republican.

    46. New York’s deep blue tilt will be what carries Gillibrand, I don’t think she’d win without it.  And there’s nothing wrong with her at all, that’s just the kind of year it is.

    47. The “silver bullet” is going to be upticks in democratic enthusiasm which is much harder said than done. That said there are enough races that upticks in voter enthusiasm can save that incumbent. For some that path is much easier than others. For example, Democrats if Kuster/Shea-Porter can get their base voters to turn out against questionable opponents they can turn their close races to their advantage. Same for Harry Teague in New Mexico. If he can get Latinos out to the polls to vote against Steve Pearce he can be saved as he already has about 20% of McCain voters which is about what he will need to survive. Team blue is going to have to get these voters to the polls and its going to take a lot of doors knocked, calls made and telling people how “easy” it is to vote in order to make this happen.  

    48. Buck leading doesn’t really surprise me. He’s an elected DA in a straight purple state, and Bennet is a short-term unelected incumbent. I think he’ll need big coattails to win in 2016, though.

      Johnson surprises me. He has no political background and comes across as ignorant, and seems to be much too conservative for a state that has gone Democratic in 6 straight presidential elections. Feingold is a polarizing figure and never wins big, but you’d think he could beat Johnson even in a bad year.

    49. …more I can foresee happening is outsized turnout by black voters that pollsters and political reporters miss.

      I’m not saying there’s going to be any such thing, as odds are there won’t be.

      But there is a possibility that if anything is “different” this time from what models and experts and analysts would expect, it is that black voters looking to get Obama’s back will show up in larger numbers than anyone imagines.

      This, of course, would help us only in districts and states with large percentages of black voters voting in some of the closest races.  It certainly won’t help Pomeroy or Boswell or so many others!

      I have a fantasy in my head that people of color across the board, not just black voters, will show up in unprecedented numbers for a midterm to get Obama’s back, but that’s not so realistic.

    50. Candidates seemingly out of their league outperform, and seemingly strong incumbents are extremely weak.

      It just happens.

      We beat GOP political icon Liddy Dole in conservative NC with unknown state legislator Kay Hagan, and Hagan didn’t just beat her, she CRUSHED her!  That wouldn’t happen in a normal year, just as Feingold losing to lowly Ron Johnson wouldn’t happen in a normal year.

      Wisconsin’s run of voting for Democrats for President is slightly misleading in that some of those wins were pretty close.  The 2000 and 2004 wins were VERY close, both less than one-half of one percent margins, and Dukakis won 51-48 in 1988.  And for 4 straight from 1992 through 2004, we won without getting to 50 percent.

    51. … not an icon. Her 2000 Presidential run proved that.  

      Her whole life she got by on her name.  If her 2002 opponent wasn’t king of the nerds, she would never have won that seat in the first place.

      I agree about Wisconsin though. Feingold better find a way to change the trajectory and soon, or his luck will be out too.    

    52. This is not a principle anyone but Russ cares about. Here’s a principle I care about: not seeing Ron Johnson in the Senate. That’s less likely to happen now.  

    53. Wasn’t expecting that. I trust them more than anybody but this flies in the face of every other poll. I suppose they did get the primaries wrong in CO but those were so close I think they can be forgiven. Maybe we should take a similar view from these numbers. Close race.

    54. I looked back at PPP with CO-sen, Bennet has not been trailing to Buck at all according to PPP.

      I trust PPP, and put it as the gold standard of polling, but I’m skeptical, I think Buck may have been up at least two months ago, but it looks as if Bennet’s lead is shrinking.  He was up 45-39, now its 46-45.

      Still have this as the most tossy if tossups, but I still believe we will pull it out with Hickenlooper at the top of the ticket.

    55. So that is, in fact, the single digit race. Only surprise is that the margin leans the other way.

      That means that all the other CO, NY, and CT races will be big Dem leads. I was a little worried Malloy might be under +10.

      PS. Doesn’t Colorado have more liberal early voting or vote by mail this year? If so, that could help overcome the enthusiasm gap.

    56. He has very little money right? She has lots and has only recently started to spend it. Poll after poll said to me her biggest problem was anonymity.

    57. Kasich lead than everybody else. It remains to be seen how accurate their LV model is. They are in clear outlier territory in CT and NY for instance.

    58. I have a fantasy where a huge AA/young voter turnout will help save Tom Perriello but I agree with you it is in the category of “don’t hold your breath on it saving you but it may be greater than other mid-terms”.  

    59. ..the range has been Bennet+3 to Buck+8.

      The outliers have been Rasmussen showing Buck up 8, or even 9 once in July although that’s very dated, with Marist also recently showing an 8-point race.

      On the other extreme, PPP showed Bennet up 3 in early August, and a Bennet or DSCC internal (can’t remember which of the two) had Bennet up 48-46 as I recall.

      This new PPP poll is definitely among the outliers.  I’m not THAT excited when considering the totatliy of polling.  But I’m excited in the sense that I figured PPP would give Buck a mid-single-digit lead, and actually having Bennet still up a point is way beyond my expectations.

      But “totality of polling” rule still applies in my book, and I would bet Buck would win by 2-6 points were the election held today.

    60. They’re showing a 3-point CT Senate race, for instance, when the nearest other poll is D+8. That does mean that they’re wrong, of course, but it does provide a clue as to how tight their LV model is.

    61. The headline for this poll should be that Q is seeing a +8 Strickland movement.

      They’ve been very GOP friendly as of late and the anti-Obama number above also seems a bit out of whack, as if they aren’t polling any minorities/young voters.  

    62. Some of their rankings are just strange.  WI-7 and WI-8 are little too high.  CT-4 is way too high, and their observation that things in CT are moving to the Republicans are belied by the lastest polls.  Also, MA-10 and, especially, CA-47 and CO-7 are way too high.

      OTOH, I think MS-1, VA-2, MD-1, AR-1 and OH-16 are far too low.  Have they seen the overall polling numbers in the south?  And I would have included PA-10, IL-14, FL-22 and GA-8.

    63. Himes at #42 with Boccieri, Baron Hill, etc. safer? Hawaii 01 not even in the Top 60? Allen Boyd at #12?

    64. They did a Top 60 most likely to flip then, too, and the top 28 and 39 of the top 40 on election eve were Republican-held.  Keep in mind we took 30 GOP-held seats, and lost none of our own.

      The interesting part is the list of survivors, in order of likelihood they’d be defeated:

      13. OH-15:  Deborah Pryce (Kilroy blew it)

      15. CT-04:  Chris Shays (Farrell blew it)

      17. PA-06:  Jim Gerlach (Lois Murphy blew it)

      18. NM-01:  Heather Wilson (Madrid blew it)

      19. FL-13:  OPEN: Buchanan beat Jennings

      23. IL-06:  OPEN: Roskam beat Duckworth

      26. WA-08:  Dave Reichert held off Burner

      27. OH-01:  Steve Chabot held off Cranley

      32: OH-02:  Jean Schimdt held off Wulsin

      35: VA-02:  Thelma Drake survived

      37. KY-04:  Geoff Davis easily beat Ken Lewis

      38. CO-04:  Marilyn Musgrave wins w/help of 3-way

      39. NV-03:  Jon Porter survives

      40. MN-06:  OPEN:  Paulsen beat Madia

      Outside the top 40 there were only 5 flips.  Those were:

      55. TX-23:  Bonilla loses to Rodriguez in a Dec. runoff

      56. NY-19:  Kelly loses to Hall

      59. IA-02:  Leach loses to Loebsack

      60. KS-02:  Ryun loses to Boyda

      And the last flip, NOT on Nat’l Journal’s radar, was Carol Shea-Porter knocking off Jeb Bradley in NH-01.

      Finally, only 3 Democrats were on the list, and all 3–John Barrow at no. 29; Melissa Bean at no. 41; and Jim Marshall at no. 42–all survived, albeit the 2 Georgians just barely.

      My takeaway from this is that it’s startling that fully ONE-THIRD of National Journal’s MOST vulnerable GOP-held seats, or 14 of the top 39, did NOT flip.  And equally amazing is that ONE-QUARTER of the Top 20 actually survived.

      Now, 7 of those 14 DID finally flip in 2008.  And 4 of the next 20 also flipped in 2008.

      But when House control was hanging in the balance, a bunch of HUGELY vulnerable Republicans still survived.

      So it’s not crazy to think SOME of our most vulnerable incumbents will make it.

      But alas, I think the top 10 clearly are toast.

    65. I have to agree with you here. If that is their path to a majority then it is an uphill climb. I have a really hard time seeing how Charles Djou survives. Maybe he isn’t extremely disliked but he won because the Democratic vote was split 2 ways and he still only managed 40% of the vote. It is also hard to see how Joe Garcia wouldn’t be on the top 60 at least. That said, team blue still needs to firewall several more seats in order to save their majority as right now the majority is clearly in doubt. If there could be more news like Kristi Noem’s driving record exposed that would save a seat at a time. If team blue can clearly save a few more seats I think that the majority is clearly safe. So far I have been pretty pleased with the DCCC’s ads. They hit challengers with some pretty good stuff such as hitting Scott Ringell (challenging Glenn Nye) as a hypocrite for being opposed to the stimulus but taking $400K in cash-for-clunkers taxpayers money via his car dealership.  

    66. In other words, campaigns who share private internals with insiders such as Hotline, Sabato, Cook, etc. don’t share with every insider.

      So assuming a reasonable amount of intelligence from these insiders (I know, a shaky assumption), it’s reasonable to expect different rankings from each.

      And seriously, beyond say the top 15, I think a datapoint or two makes all the difference between being considered a “sure loss” and staying off the list completely.

    67. People want to be asked for their votes. If you get out there and ask people to vote for you, many more of them will give you their votes than if you don’t ask. Simple as that.

      Tell Herrera to keep up the good work!

    68. The idea they see data we don’t. Reading between the lines almost all of that list is based on publically released internal polling. They are setting themselves up for a fall by taking Republican numbers as gospel IMO.

    69. Was nearly even. And Nonpartisan registration was at about 14%. So while I can believe there were perhaps 2-3% more Republicans than Democrats voting in 2006, a 7% edge may have been too much IMHO (as well as those Indy numbers!).

    70. the private info that I do get (on computing) influences the public info that I do use. In that way, I don’t have to cite “unnamed sources” and can stick with the public info that I choose.

      Anyone on the “inside” gets private information. It’s the nature of politics (and even the software industry).

      However, as I think you’re implying (with your ref to R numbers), campaigns just as easily feed private “misinformation” to said insiders.

      But even if it’s misinformation, what is fed to different insiders will vary.

    71. Pomeroy, Kirkpatrick, Mitchell, Schauer, Teague, Kratovil, Pat Murphy, Space, Hall, Marshall, Spratt, Salazar, Himes, Kuster, Hare, Tim Bishop. Shows we are on the cusp of losing control but things could be far worse than having to rely on winning those seats.

    72. Has changed my view about a likely turnout model. On average a six point move to Republicans from 2008. In Nevada that would mean a D+2 electorate.

    73. But forcing the GOP to win each and every one of those seats in order to take control of the House I would take my chances with that.  I think that our chances are no worse than 40% for Teague, Schauer (apparently Wahlberg is a birther), Space, Salazar, Himes, Kuster and Bishop to individually survive. That said there are other seats that could easily pop up that are ranked lower but I would like to think that most Dem incumbents got the message early and have raised more money than usual, campaigned harder and worked to define their opponent like they never have done before that any of the late breaking races will be due to a late developing scandal and not a surging challenger.

    74. It’s tougher this time because Dems have more to defend than the Republicans did.  Between November 2006 and November 2009 they gained 54 seats, many in districts they had no busines winning.  Republicans had about 25 less seats to defend in ’06.

    75. Paulsen beat Madia in 2008 not 2006, and it’s MN-03 not MN-06. (MN-06 is Bachmann’s seat, which she won for the first time in 2006 against Patty Wetterling.)

    76. Between 55 and 60 plus another. Doesn’t seem much different than the number of truly competitive races this year. For example 59 and 60 this year are Adler and Heinrich. I’d take that bet.

    77. That is true but in 2006 the Dems needed 15 seats to take back the House and got 30. In 2010 the GOP needs 39 seats to take back the House which is nearly 3 times what the Dems needed. Given where numbers 30-45 are as noted above I like team blue’s chances of winning at a few of those races.  

    78. …make this comparison apples-to-apples to use as a guide for guessing what this election will be like.

      You’re right that it’s a lot more seats at risk, and so the math is different.

      But it’s got to be worth something that strong defensive campaigns allowed the GOP to save one-third of their top 40 most vulnerable seats.

      If, say, we’re looking at a top 60 instead of a top 40, then saving one-third means 40 losses, in the same ballpark of being right on the cusp.

      The GOP in 2006 also lost 5 seats outside their top 40, and we probably will do something similar, but that’s offset by picking off 3-6 GOP-held seats compared to the GOP failing to get any takeaways in 2006.

    79. In general, but not always, Democratic polling is much closer to independent polling than released Republican data. And Nate found that historically the former was more accurate. Just sayin’.

    80. I think Paladino cost the Dems SD-58. The Dems have a split field here. GOP has a good candidate in Quinn and Paladino will drive the GOP/Indy turnout in Erie.

    81. Hispanic turnout always is poor compared to the rest of the population.

      California has something like a 36% Hispanic population, but Hispanic vote share is only half that.  Of course a substantial minority of that 36% are legal and undocumented aliens, ineligible to vote, but even subtracting them out of the math, eiigible Hispanics vote at a lower rate than whites or blacks.

      This is true perhaps everywhere in America.

    82. Unless the Latino communities of the various states want to see lots of legislators across the US try to follow Arizona’s lead while too many of their colleagues are too afraid to resist them, they need to step it up and show that there’s an upside to taking a stand against this sort of stuff.

      Of course, it’s everyone’s responsibility, but you’d think and hope the folks with the most at stake would stand up for themselves.

      I’m paying close attention locally to Maryland and Virginia. Republicans in MD have made various noises about a clone bill of SB 1070. It’s not likely to prevail, but you never know what’s going to happen in Annapolis especially if Ehrlich wins and Dem legislators in the B’more area get scared. Meanwhile the Hispanic vote in northern Virginia could make sure that VA-11 stays safely in Dem hands.  

    83. WaPo had O’Malley up 52-41 in their recent poll.

      Today Rasmussen has O’Malley up 49-41.

      Democrats are snapping back to their senses in Maryland.

      You’re not going to see SB 1070.

      I, on the other hand, live in Virginia and have to worry about such things.  I’m actually surprised a serious legislative effort hasn’t already taken place, but I imagine it could next year when the state legislative and local elections return to front and center.

    84. Those are the best numbers I’ve seen for Kirk since his military scandal broke. I was holding off on any optimism in this race because Jones was always in the high-single digits, but Kirk in the lead with Jones at 4 is a very good sign for the GOP. 45% must just, just barely be enough to win this year.

    85. I figured she’d be further ahead than that.  Also shocked to see Duke Aiona doing that well.  I know the GOP Gov group spend some early money on him; it must have paid off.

    86. I remember the rationale being that Japanese-American women were hard to reach because, for cultural reasons, they usually declined to be polled. Being Japanese-American herself, we assumed that Hanabusa would do well with this group of voters.

    87. …if she is polling the same as Abercrombie in this district, she will win comfortably.

      That is, unless something is going on in HI-Gov that we don’t realize.

      But it’s hard to believe.

    88. Well, this confirms the WaPo’s poll that had O’Malley with a clear advantage some.

      In other news, Ehrlich’s been blanketing the airwaves with an ad slamming O’Malley for fudging a jobs report this summer. I thought it was pretty devastating considering O’Malley has also gotten flak for allegedly fudging around with crime numbers in Baltimore during his tenure as mayor.  

      I’m sure this subject will come up in the October 11 debate.

    89. PPP hasn’t polled the matchup since before the primary. They may have missed a Buck bump, and could now be catching it on the way down.

    90. This is more similar to Marist but then I’d usually put more weight on numbers from Siena. It hardly matters either way. 60-40 looks nailed on to me. I know you really want this to be competitive but it just isn’t.

    91. …not the most professionally done work.

      Still, not out of whack with the tossup rating the pundits give it!

    92. …Kirk up 39-36 without leaners, and 44-41 with leaners.

      This one has a 40-40 tie without leaners, and Kirk 45-41 with leaners.

      So Alexi firmed up some of his soft support and Kirk gained one measley point in soft support.

      Or, more realistically, all this is just statisical noise.

      The winner here isn’t going to get 45, the Green and Libertarian have no money and will fade somewhat.  The winner will end up in the high 40s.  And it’s still a pure tossup who that will be.

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