SSP Daily Digest: 9/7 (Afternoon Edition)

AK-Sen: Once again, the Swing State Project is proud to issue one of its once-in-a-blue-moon endorsements, and to do it for Scott McAdams, the Democratic nominee in Alaska. We’re two-thirds of the way to our $2,400 goal, and we’ve just hit 50 contributors, so please join in!

CO-Sen, CO-Gov: This is a real head-scratcher: Ken Buck’s camp is out with an internal poll by POS… showing him losing (despite what a number of public polls have said)?!? The poll gives a 43-40 edge to Michael Bennet, with 5 going to the Libertarian candidate. Either this is an odd attempt to mess with Dems’ heads, or, more likely, a message to his supporters to stop taking the race for granted and to keep the contributions flowing. UPDATE: OK, this isn’t a Buck internal; it’s a joint POS/Fairbank Maslin collaboration, and it’s not said on whose behalf this poll was performed. One other bit of news from the poll: it also includes gubernatorial numbers, and John Hickenlooper is closing in on the 50% mark. He’s at 48, to 25 for Dan Maes and 15 for Tom Tancredo.

DE-Sen: Tax liens and penalties are sort of the common cold of political scandals, but this isn’t timed well for Mike Castle, who’s trying to stave off a last-minute zone-flooding from Tea Party Express on behalf of Christine O’Donnell. Castle had to make interest and penalty payments three times on his Capitol Hill pad in 2005 and 2006, although of course that pales in comparison to O’Donnell’s long track record of ducking her bills. Meanwhile, we have a sense of what the Tea Party Express‘s fully operational battle station looks like: they’ve spent only $60K on O’Donnell’s behalf so far, but plan to have spent $250K by the primary (including more airing of their TV spot and radio ad, as well as direct mail and out-of-state phone banking).

KY-Sen: The moneybomb shoe’s on the other foot: Jack Conway’s doing an online one-day fundraising scramble today. As of 1 pm ET, the day’s total was up to $130K. Meanwhile, against that moneybomb backdrop, is an instance of a paid Rand Paul staffer having gotten caught sockpuppeting over at Daily Kos, concern-trolling against Conway from the left.

NH-Sen: A lot of money ($10K from various officers and employees) has flowed into Kelly Ayotte’s campaign from a decidedly sketchy company in Texas: Tax Masters, one of those companies that relies heavily on late-night advertising to generate business for helping resolve debts owed to the IRS. The company and its CEO were charged with multiple violations of Texas’s consumer protection laws, in the wake of hundreds of consumer complaints.

OH-Sen, OH-Gov: The Columbus Dispatch offers up some truly bad numbers for the Democratic candidates in Ohio, finding Rob Portman leading Lee Fisher 50-37 in the Senate race and John Kasich leading Ted Strickland 49-37 in the governor’s race (and the GOP winning all lower statewide races too), among registered voters. One important caveat, though: the Dispatch’s poll are notoriously an all-mail-in survey (why not just poll subscribers to Literary Digest?!?), and have consistently ranked dead last in most of 538’s pollster ratings (until the most recent installment, when they managed to leap ahead of a few other members of the rogues’ gallery, including Research 2000, ARG, and Zogby Interactive).

WA-Sen: Patty Murray leaked an internal poll today to Politico, showing that the needle has barely budged in this race between two ubiquitously-known, well-defined candidates. The Fairbank Maslin poll gives Murray a 50-45 lead, and 53/42 approval. An April internal by the same pollster, back when Dino Rossi was only considering entering the race, gave Murray an 8-point lead.

MA-Gov: A poll from local wire service State House News Service gives a decent lead to Deval Patrick, thanks to an assist from Tim Cahill. Their first poll of the gubernatorial race has Patrick leading Republican Charlie Baker, independent Cahill, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein 34-28-18-4, among registered voters.

MD-Gov: For every Joe Miller, there’s, well, a Brian Murphy. The Washington Post takes a quick look at the upstart GOP gubernatorial candidate, whose Sarah Palin endorsement hasn’t turned into much of anything (other than a way for Bob Ehrlich to burnish his moderate credentials). In the pre-primary reporting period (all of which covers the post-Palin period), he’s raised only $35K, including $14K from himself, leaving him with $31K CoH. Ehrlich raised $725K over the 18-day period, taking him to $2.5 million CoH, while Dem Martin O’Malley raised $267K and has $6.5 million CoH.

MI-Gov: While organized labor is the biggest force propelling Dem Virg Bernero in Michigan, there’s one union that isn’t falling in line. The state’s largest construction union, the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, is backing Rick Snyder instead. More alarmingly for Bernero, the much-larger Teamsters haven’t endorsed yet and could conceivably go for Snyder too.

MS-Gov: The 2011 election is only fourteen months away, and things are taking shape in Mississippi. Phil Bryant, the first-term Republican Lt. Governor, is taking steps to prepare for a bid. Businessman Dave Dennis also seems likely to run, while the state’s great-named SoS, Delbert Hosemann, also sounds like he’s interested.

TX-Gov: We have two wildly divergent polls in Texas, both from GOP pollsters. Hill Research, on behalf of the Texas Watch Foundation (in a poll that seems primarily about homeowners’ insurance reform, but where the gube race seems to have gotten thrown-in as an attention-getter), finds Rick Perry leading Bill White by only a 42-41 margin. On the other hand, GOPAC (perhaps having gotten an advance heads-up about the Texas Watch numbers) rolled out numbers showing Perry in better shape. Their poll, via Wilson Research Strategies, gives Perry a 50-38 lead over White.

KS-04: With polling now pretty consistently showing Mike Pompeo leading Raj Goyle by single digits in the open seat race in the 4th, the last thing the Republicans can afford here is a high-profile third-party challenge on the right. That’s what they might get, though, if businessman (and former Tic-Tac-Dough host) Wink Hartman follows through on threats to pick up the just-abandoned Libertarian ballot line. The state party has started scrambling to lean on Hartman to get him to stand down.

NY-various: There’s a bonanza of pre-primary fundraising reports in New York (where the primary is next week). The biggest raiser among the various Republican House challengers was Chris Cox in the 1st, who raised $103K to Randy Altschuler’s $59K (although Altschuler still has a big CoH advantage). In the 23rd, the numbers were much smaller: Matt Doheny raised $41K and Doug Hoffman raised $37K, although Doheny has about three times Hoffman’s CoH.

WV-01: On the back of the DCCC’s wave of internal polls today, here’s one more poll that probably has to go in the “good news” file: an internal poll, from POS, has Republican David McKinley trailing Dem Mike Oliverio in the open seat race in the 1st. Oliverio leads McKinley 41-36. The only other poll of this race was an Oliverio internal last month that gave him a seemingly too-good-to-be-true 52-36 lead over McKinley, but at the very least, it seems like everyone’s in agreement that Oliverio’s in pole position for now.


CO-Sen: The DSCC is out with an ad in Colorado, letting Ken Buck go after himself with his own words on Social Security and the 17th Amendment

DE-Sen: Mike Castle’s new ad is out; predictably, it goes after Christine O’Donnell for her crazy finances

FL-Sen: First TV ad from Charlie Crist, stressing his (what else?) independence; also Kendrick Meek’s first TV ad, which is him on a swamp boat and stressing his (what else?) Dem credentials

MO-Sen: Roy Blunt ad about how much he loves small business

OH-Sen: Lee Fisher’s first TV ad out of the gate is negative, going after Rob Portman for being George Bush’s job-exporting trade representative

CA-Gov: Strangely sepia-toned ad is Jerry Brown’s first, seemingly to remind older Californians about how much things sucked less when he was Governor the first time (SOTB: $1.2 million for one week… that’s California for you)

FL-Gov: Rick Scott’s first post-primary TV ad is an attack ad against… Barack Obama? (and Alex Sink, too, I guess)

GA-Gov: Roy Barnes goes negative against Nathan Deal on the issues of his recently-released tax returns, calling him “too corrupt even for Congress”

SC-Gov: Nikki Haley’s first TV spot, outsider-themed with a jab at Mark Sanford

FL-22: The new Ron Klein spot is another anti-Allen West spot, but still hammering on the tax liens instead of, well, West’s non-stop stream-of-consciousness crazy

ID-01: Walt Minnick’s first TV spot: please disregard the “D” next to his name, because he’s independent

IN-02: The NRCC’s first television IE of the cycle, hitting Joe Donnelly for, well, being a Democrat

IN-08: Trent van Haaften’s first TV ad is a basic introductory spot

PA-03: Kathy Dahlkemper’s second ad tries to cram “jobs” in there as many times as possible

PA-06: Manan Trivedi’s first TV ad also works the outsider angle

PA-11: Paul Kanjorski’s second ad works the Social Security privatization angle, smart in such an aged district

PA-15: Interestingly, Charlie Dent’s first ad is a negative shot against John Callahan (on local property taxes), indicating he may be feeling some heat here

WI-07: Julie Lassa’s second ad goes after Sean Duffy for saying that he can’t do anything to create jobs

AFSCME: Here’s the big buy of the day: the AFSCME is shelling out $1.5 million in four states (Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) for an ad attacking Republicans for voting against the state aid package in August)


DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 37%, Mike Castle (R) 48%

DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 47%, Christine O’Donnell (R) 36%

ID-Gov: Keith Allred (D) 36%, Butch Otter (R-inc) 52%

ID-Sen: Tom Sullivan (D) 24%, Mike Crapo (R-inc) 63%

MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 39%, Charlie Baker (R) 34%, Tim Cahill (I) 18%

NE-Gov: Mike Meister (D) 28%, Dave Heineman (R-inc) 61%

NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 33%, Brian Sandoval (R) 58%

NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 45%, Sharron Angle (R) 45%

83 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 9/7 (Afternoon Edition)”

  1. In another potentially stunning twist in the Alaska Senate race, the campaign manager for defeated incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski indicated to RealClearPolitics on Tuesday that Murkowski may run as a third-party or write-in candidate in the general election.


  2. Wonder if the favorable poll primed with homeowner’s insruance before asking about the Gov’s race. Homeowner’s insurance has been a high profile Dem issue in state politics for several cycles. I would almost be as pleased to see that it has legs as I would to see a tied Gov’s race. Lot of dem candidates trying to tide that issue up and down the ballot.

    34, M, TX-5, Democrat


    Between this and the NY Post endorsement, I expect Malpass to surge over the coming week. DioGuardi’s been riding name recognition thus far, and it’s only gotten him to about 20%. Blakeman’s gone nowhere, and, besides an early Al D’Amato backing, he hasn’t netted many endorsements either. My hunch is state Republicans are attracted to Malpass’s ability to self-fund – supposedly, he could spend upwards of $10M in the general. He’s also more moderate than DioGuardi on social issues.

    Current predix here…

    Malpass – 40%

    DioGuardi – 34%

    Blakeman – 26%

  4. According to the email I got he’s over his goal of 260K now and is raising the goal to 300K. He’ll probably get it. Nice to see a dem doing a money bomb for a change.  

  5. I don’t know if it was one of these two polls though.

    (I am undecided in the race between White or voting Libertarian/skipping the race.  I reject Perry due since he suggested secession as an option, completely irresponsible for a Governor.  And his performance hasn’t been so good anyway.)

  6. Ayotte is ripe for the picking with Ovide Lamontagne.  Ayotte paid off Planned Parenthood to the tune of $300K for a case Palin trumpeted as Ayotte winning when she endorsed her.  This is a sore spot for anti-choicers who feel Ayotte should have took the case all the way to the Supreme Court and fought the good fight rather than giving up and paying Planned Parenthood with their tax dollars.  

    I wonder if TPE is sitting out because Palin endorsed Ayotte.  

  7. 600 LV from Mitchell Research (R)

    Snyder (R) – 53

    Bernero (D) – 27

    MoE – 4.0%

    Also, from a separate but related article (gated, unfortunately), the Michigan Republican Party has between $20 and $25 million to spend this cycle(!) Both Snyder and Bernero are expected to go on the air this week; Snyder tomorrow and Bernero Friday.

  8.  What do you think of the ads? I found CO and OH-Sen pretty effective in defining the Republicans. GA-GOV did not really strike me though.  

  9. It plays the outsider angle, yeah, but cutting Congressional pay to reduce the deficit/debt is, in fact, gimmicky, and I suspect it will come off as gimmicky to many viewers.

    The opening shot of Trivedi in Iraq is great, but he glosses over his service which is a lot more compelling than anything that comes later in the ad.  The “doing more with less” narrative is a smart lead-in, but it would be smarter if followed by a better idea than cutting Congressional pay.

    Trivedi’s personal story itself is compelling enough that I wish he’d have done (assuming he hasn’t) a soft bio ad to introduce himself.  A doctor who served in combat in Iraq is gripping stuff in its own right.

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