SSP Daily Digest: 5/17 (Morning Edition)

  • AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln refuses to say whether she’d want Barack Obama to campaign with her – and for once, I can’t blame her for being wishy-washy. She still managed to get in a dig at “the far left” in an interview with The Hill, which should really help her consolidate the base if she wins the primary. And graciously, she said that she wouldn’t run as an independent if she were to lose the primary – which is good to know, since she only filed as a Dem. Meanwhile, the SEIU just threw down another $330K on TV ads and phonebanking to support Bill Halter.
  • DE-Sen: A good get for the Democrat: The Delaware State Education Association, a big teacher’s union, has switched their endorsement from GOPer Mike Castle to Chris Coons. Though the DSEA has supported Castle in the past, they cited unhappiness over his votes against the stimulus (which had a lot of education money) and healthcare reform. Meanwhile, Castle secured his party’s nomination with 70% of the vote at the GOP convention, but teabagger Christine O’Donnell pledged to fight on through the primary.
  • IN-Sen: Not that anyone expected otherwise, but Dem Rep. Brad Ellsworth was officially nominated by the state party, over joke candidate Bob Kern.
  • KY-Sen: A shadowy 527 organized by Lexington, Ky. “media specialist” Tim Isaac is running ads linking Rand Paul to absolutely batshit fucking insane radio host Alex Jones. (Paul appeared on the show a few times and kissed Jones’s ass.) Probably too little, too late – and in this case, Isaac’s refusal to announce the size of the buy is pretty glaring, since it seems like a blatant attempt to play local media. On the flipside, Paul said on Friday that he’s pulling his attack ads from the air – which, given how little time there is before election day, again seems like a way to gin up some press coverage. I guess that’s politics.
  • PA-Sen: An ugly late hit from Arlen Specter, which he prays doesn’t make it back east: He’s running web ads attacking Joe Sestak for his “F” rating from the NRA. Sestak doesn’t have much time to raise hell about this, but this is obviously not a winning issue for Specter in Philly. Anyhow, Tuesday should be a barn-burner, with Specter and Sestak now tied at 44 apiece (with 11% undecided) in Muhlenberg’s final tracking poll. (Kudos to Muhlenberg, btw, for what turned out to be a genius marketing move in providing this tracker.)
  • UT-Sen: Game on? Orrin Hatch is vowing to run for re-election in 2012, when, as the world is engulfed in flames foretold by a Mayan end-times prophecy, he’ll be a spry 78. Will Jason Chaffetz seize the day, or let opportunity pass him by a second time? I also have to wonder if nervous incumbents will try to change the law regarding convention nominations before the next cycle rolls around, lest they become Bob Bennett Vol. II.
  • AL-Gov: Ron Sparks, as expected, just scored the endorsement of the Alabama Democratic Conference, the state’s old black political organization. This means that he, and not African American primary opponent Artur Davis, has secured the backing of all four of Alabama’s major black political groups. Pushing back against this unusual narrative, Davis announced endorsements from two fellow members of Congress: Jesse Jackson, Jr. and John Lewis, neither of whom represent Alabama (though Lewis was born there). Not sure this really helps Davis’s “D.C.” image.
  • CA-Gov: Steve Poizner, who has been making late headway in the polls, is finally airing some broadcast TV ads in the Bay Area, painting Meg Whitman as an apostate to the conservative movement. If I were a mouth-breather, I’d vote for him. As ever, no word on the size of the buy, but given how rich Poizner is, I’d guess it’s substantial.
  • FL-Gov: Lawton Chiles III, son of the late governor of the same name, apparently wants to challenge Alex Sink in the gubernatorial primary this year, according to people close to him. The filing deadline for state races is not until June 18th, though even if he gets in right now, Chiles would have a major financial gap to make up with Sink. Maybe the young he-coon thinks he got some walk in him?
  • NV-Gov: Man, this is just an absolutely brutal profile of GOP Gov. Jim Gibbons, who regularly disappeared Mark Sanford-like during the meltdown of 2008, when his state needed leadership most. Just read it.
  • AL-07: EMILY’s List made a small independent expenditure (sub-$30K) for mailers and phonebanking on behalf of Terri Sewell. Someone from EMILY really needs to explain why they endorsed Wall Street attorney Sewell over the well-known progressive (and equally pro-choice) Shelia Smoot.
  • CA-19: God bless KFSN-TV! Without them, we wouldn’t have yet another poll of the fascinating CA-19 primaries. Even the pollster notes: “Compared to identical SurveyUSA polls released one and two months ago, the contest is unchanged.” I guess the good news is that Dick Pombo looks slated to lose.
  • DE-AL: As expected, wealthy heiress Michele Rollins won the GOP’s nomination for Delaware’s at-large House seat, though it took her two rounds of balloting at the state convention. However, opponent Glen Urquhart has pledged to stay in through the primary.
  • FL-22: Your liberal media: A local TV reporter, Angela Sachitano, has been covering the FL-22 race for WPTV… and has also been serving as an informal media advisor to whacked-out Republican Allen West. Her employer, of course, is saying there’s no harm done, and that they’ve taken unspecified “appropriate action.” Typical liberals!
  • HI-01: Sue Lowden would be proud: Charles Djou is busy spending time with his chickens, so he can count them before they hatch. Said Djou to Sean Miller of The Hill: “This election is pretty much over.” Djou was later seen hanging out with a bunch of lazy grasshoppers who were scoffing at hard-working ants preparing for winter. You’ve also got to wonder why he’s spending $88K on TV ads attacking (for the first time) Ed Case if this thing is “over.”
  • ID-01: Hoo boy this is good! Republican Vaughn Ward, the supposed establishment favorite in the race, has fired his campaign manager just a week-and-a-half before the primary. (Though CQ’s Greg Giroux tweets that Ward is now supposedly saying his CM quit.) Read the Politico’s piece for a full account Ward’s long string of failures – it’s like he’s been touched by the ghost of Bill Sali.
  • Still, Ward might yet win. An independent poll last week from Greg Smith & Associates showed Ward leading Raul Labrador in the primary, 34-16, but with 50% undecided. The general election numbers (PDF) are really weird, though – Smith tested Rep. Walt Minnick “jungle-style” against both Labrador and Ward together. Yeah, Idaho doesn’t do their elections that way, so I don’t get the choice, but in any event, Minnick was at 50% with both Republicans combining for 20%.

  • MA-05: Rep. Niki Tsongas, in a diary on Blue Mass Group, says that her quote in the NYT last week has been “misinterpreted” and that she “will always welcome President Obama to Massachusetts and the Fifth District.” Good.
  • PA-06: Doug Pike sure must enjoy being in the apology business. For the zillionth time this campaign, he’s had to walk something back. In this case, it’s a misleading mailer he sent out claiming he’d been awarded a “100% pro-choice rating” by NARAL. Not so fast, says the group – we haven’t endorsed anyone in this race. Egg, face, repeat.
  • PA-12: A Pittsburgh TV station yanked a Democratic ad attacking Tim Burns for supporting a national sales tax instead of income taxes. A conservative victory over rascally Dems? Not quite – the station, WPGH, is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, who you might remember from 2004, when they forced their member stations to air a “documentary” swiftboating John Kerry just two weeks before election day.
  • Undeterred, the DCCC just chipped in another $40K for ads. Also, we mentioned the SEIU’s big ad buy here last week – click this link if you want to see the ad itself.

  • SC-02: A sign of life from Dem Rob Miller’s otherwise somnolent campaign? Miller has a poll out from Anzalone-Liszt showing Rep. Joe Wilson up 49-34. That might not seem like much to brag about, but Miller’s making hay of the fact that he only has 34% name ID, and says that Wilson’s incumbency is hurting him.
  • VT-AL: Retired 71-year-old businessman John Mitchell says he’s joining the GOP field to take on Rep. Peter Welch. He joins conservative radio show host Paul Beaudry and businessman Keith Stern. It looks like none of these Republicans have yet raised a dime.
  • British Elections: I don’t know about you, but the political spectrum across the pond always felt like Anarchy in the UK to me. Fortunately, SSP’s EnglishLefty surfs to the rescue with a detailed explanation of the fault lines between the Labour Party (which just got turfed) and the Liberal Democrats (who’ve joined a coalition with the Tories). The ensuing comments are enlightening as well.
  • 146 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 5/17 (Morning Edition)”

    1. Ugh, I hated typing that subject line.

      But seriously, it’s a situation where at this point probably a LOT of ballots have been mailed back, and all sides probably have been tracking who they’re coming from.  So it might very well NOT be THAT premature, even though he would’ve been smarter to zip his lips until next Saturday.

      And believing he’s got the win isn’t necessarily inconsistent with a new attack ad against Case.  Djou might be airing it for insurance, to avoid any late surprise in the late ballots.

      If Critz pulls it out on Tuesday, I’ll breathe a huge sigh of relief and not worry too much about Saturday.  The Republicans know they’re renting HI-01 for only a few months.

      Did Hanabusa ever explicitly attack Case for having primaried favored Democrats in the past?  If not, would that have helped her?  I can see it fitting a narrative of “Case is out for himself.”  Too late now, but I haven’t followed her line of attack on her intraparty rival.

    2. 1) Castle’s biggest hurdle was trumping O’Donnell at the state GOP convention. With that out of the way, sailing should be smooth.

      2) Specter running an NRA ad tells me his camp believes they have Philly locked-down enough for them to begin targeting the Pittsburgh area. This is risky, esp. in the Philly suburbs, but it could surely hurt Sestak among SW conservaDems who aren’t fond of Specter. On a related note, I’ve heard turnout is actually projected to be rather low on Tuesday here, and my suspicion is that helps Specter.

    3. PA-SEN – Sestak 52, Specter 48 – Undecideds break 2-1 for Sestak.

      AR-SEN – Lincoln 50, Halter 46 – Undecideds break 2-1 for Halter, but Lincoln narrowly avoids runoff.

      KY-SEN – Conway 48, Mongiardo 46 – Undecideds break 60-40 for Conway, just enough to flip Mongiardo’s narrow polling advantage.

    4. I think Sestak will pull out a narrow win here.More telling

      Is reports the white House Is prepared for a Spector loss.Both Obama and Biden are not doing any last minute campaigning for Spector.

      Take any RAS polls till the fall with a grain fo salt.Untill general election time(and even them RAS can be wrong rememebr In fall 2008 they had Mccain gaining on Obama In PA)

      Sestak can beat Toomey.Polls already are showing he Is stronger than Spector against Toomey.

    5. Incumbent Republican Kathy Cox is calling it quits.

      Interestingly, this leaves only three statewide, partisan offices with incumbents running: U.S. Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of State.  Compare that to the open seats for Governor, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Labor Commissioner, Agriculture Commissioner, a seat on the Public Service Commission, and now School Superintendent.

    6. Mail-in ballots have been at our house for a couple of weeks, and I’m about to go drop ours off for the primary tomorrow. But the ad volume suggests that most campaigns believe that there are a lot of votes still yet to be submitted.

      Just saw the first John Lim ad – coming out for the Arizona anti-Hispanic law. Odd to hear someone with a Korean accent talking like an Uncle Tom. ref

      But that will take votes away from Chirs Dudley. Since the most recent poll that I noted in the Weekend open thread makes sense to me, I could definitely see that race ending up 40/30/20/10 (Alley/Dudley/Lim/Others).

    7. Wasn’t there a poll cited in a Digest yesterday that showed a much closer contest between the likely Democratic and presumed likely Republican candidates for Governor of Pennsylvania than any other poll, or is this a false memory?

    8. Find it strange that despite the deluge of polling Rasmussen seems to have stopped making a final call on races? No final poll in MA or in anything since from what I recall. Certainly not on the Monday before election day as was so often the case before. Or am I imagining things?

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