SSP Daily Digest: 9/16

AR-Sen: Mason-Dixon takes another look at the Arkansas Senate race, on behalf of Arkansas News Bureau. Blanche Lincoln hasn’t gotten any deader than she was before: she trails John Boozman 51-34, with 4 for other minor candidates (no real change from the last time they polled, back in May pre-primary, where Boozman led 52-35). Lincoln’s faves have improved a smidge: now 30/47, instead of 28/53.

DE-Sen: Whooo, where even to begin? The national media is just starting to dig into Christine O’Donnell’s gigantic and eminently mineable opposition file, with NPR and ABC detailing her history of getting fired from right-wing think tanks and her suing for discrimination in response, of IRS audits that she blamed on “thug politics” and liens that she blamed on “computer errors,” of failure to pay for her college, and of using her campaign money to pay the rent on her house as it’s also her campaign headquarters. We also know about her stance on AIDS prevention, thanks to helpful tipsters in the comments. At least O’Donnell’s faring well in the fundraising department, raising $1 million since her victory (with Chris Coons raising only $125K, showing the harmful effects of a short-of-the-endzone victory dance). Not leaving things to chance, reports are coming in that Joe Biden will campaign for Coons “next week” and that the DSCC is starting to put money into Delaware, starting with an $85K buy in the Salisbury market.

The establishment isn’t budging much on her: the state’s virulently anti-O’Donnell GOP chair, Tom Ross, is staying in place (though calling for “unity”), and Karl Rove, although he sorta backed down in the face of a Rush Limbaugh broadside, is still challenging O’Donnell to be “honest” to voters about her difficulties… and again running through the list of all those difficulties in his media appearances. Meanwhile, O’Donnell strips…. her website, perhaps at the urging of the NRSC; after her nomination, all issues stuff vanished and it just became a donation ask. Still, Harry Reid seems to be doing all he can to fuck this up, issuing a strange quote that should play right into the whole “Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda!!1!” messaging, expressing enthusiasm for Chris Coons but calling him his “pet.”

NV-Sen, NV-Gov (pdf): Part of the CNN/Time onslaught yesterday was polls of Nevada (which we’re relegating to the digest, as this state, as we’ve complained before, is veering rapidly into over-polled territory). This raised some eyebrows for showing a Sharron Angle lead over Harry Reid (42-41, with 5 for Scott Ashjian) among LVs, but that’s only a point or three off from the narrow band of results that Mason-Dixon and Rasmussen have been consistently generating. (Reid leads 42-34-7 among RVs.) Many people (starting with Jon Ralston) also seemed surprised by some crosstabs weirdness, showing the race a dead heat in Democratic-favorable Clark County but giving Reid a big lead in swingy Washoe County. Brian Sandoval leads Rory Reid 58-31 in the Gov race.

CA-Gov: It’s official: Meg Whitman is now the biggest self-funder in political history, having shown that piker Michael Bloomberg how it’s done. She gave her campaign another $15 million, which brings her personal spending on the race to $118 million overall.

CO-Gov: Dan Maes just picked up Scott McInnis’s former campaign manager, George Culpepper, so it seems like the local GOP establishment isn’t totally abandoning him. The Colorado Independent has an in-depth piece, though, with a more nuanced look, based on interviews with at least a dozen county GOP chairs. Some of them fully back Maes, some grudgingly do so, some back Tom Tancredo, and some are still in a state of shock.

GA-Gov: After doing some pushback yesterday, Nathan “Let’s Make a” Deal had to admit today that, yes, he is in some personally dire financial straits, saying his debts are even bigger than the $2.3 million loan that’s outstanding… but also saying that he isn’t releasing any more financial records to the press. It also turns out that he never disclosed that loan to the state Ethics Commission on his financial disclosure form, which he’s now scrambling to update.

MI-Gov: EPIC-MRA’s out with yet another poll of the Michigan gubernatorial race; I think we can start relegating their frequent polls of this pretty-much-out-of-reach race to the digest, too. They give Rick Snyder a 53-29 lead over Virg Bernero (a slight improvement for Snyder over 51-29 three weeks ago).

UT-Gov: OK, what kind of a world is it when we’re faring better in the Utah governor’s race than we are in Michigan? Not like this is a competitive race either, but it could be a good dress rehearsal for a 2012 rematch (remember that this 2010 race is a special election). Dem Peter Corroon trails Gary Herbert by “only” 21 points, 52-31, in a poll taken by Dan Jones & Associates for the Deseret News and KSL. The numbers haven’t really changed since their previous poll in April (where Herbert led by 20).

CA-11: As with 2008, Jerry McNerney rolled out endorsements from some local elected Republicans, as part of a list of 16 county supervisors and mayors who are backing him. Maybe most notable is the backing from the mayor of Manteca (or, in Spanish, Lard), Willie Weatherford, who had previously backed GOP primary loser Brad Goehring.

CO-03: Here’s a boost for John Salazar, in a suddenly-tough race in this rural western district against Republican Scott Tipton: he got the backing of the National Rifle Association, with an “A” rating.

IA-02: Another warning sign for David Loebsack: the Mariannette Miller-Meeks campaign is out with another internal poll, showing her creeping closer than her previous one. The Tarrance Group poll has her trailing Loebsack by only 1 point: 41-40 (with 6 for a Libertarian). She could do some damage her with more money.

LA-02: Lawyer Ron Austin dropped out of the LA-02 race today, where he was an independent candidate. This is really the first I’d ever heard of him, so I can’t imagine he’d have been much of a factor here; I can’t glean whether he was running on the left or the right, but he is African-American, so that in itself may shift at least a handful of votes in Cedric Richmond’s direction in what may yet turn out to be a close race. Two other no-name indies remain.

MD-01: One other internal poll got leaked to the Fix today, too, and this one’s a pleasant surprise for the Dems. Frank Kratovil is still claiming a lead over Andy Harris, who just won the GOP nod for a rematch. Kratovil’s poll by Garin-Hart-Yang gives him a 45-39 lead. (When I say “still,” Kratovil released an earlier internal with a 5-point lead. Harris has released two internals of his own giving him a lead.)

MO-04: Here’s the good news: Ike Skelton got a shared endorsement from Missouri Right to Life, along with GOP challenger Vicky Hartzler. The bad news is: Skelton has generally had that endorsement to himself in the past.

NY-14: Give Reshma Saujani credit for one thing: she’s persistent. She’s already announced that she’ll try again in 2012 to unseat Carolyn Maloney in the NY-14 Dem primary.

NY-23: Local teabaggers (or at least one of them) sound pretty upset with Conservative nominee (and GOP primary loser) Doug Hoffman, meaning that he, rather than the GOP nominee, may find himself in the third-wheel position this time around. Mark Barie, chairman of a local Tea Party organization criticized Hoffman for a listless campaign run by outsiders with little familiarity with the district. He threw his support behind Matt Doheny, who appears to have narrowly won the GOP primary despite a late close by Hoffman in late counting.

CfG: The Club for Growth launched a five-state buy in Senate races, to a total tune of $1.5 million (no word on specific allocation). The states under assault are Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

NRCC: Two different rounds of TV ad buys came from the NRCC today. The first one was in WA-03 ($900K) and NM-01 ($300K), and a second one covers PA-10 ($595K), NH-01 ($1 mil), NH-02 ($1 mil), FL-08 ($817K), FL-24 ($817K), and VA-09 ($?).


CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer goes negative against Carly Fiorina in a new spot, hitting her on (what else?) her failed tenure at HP

MO-Sen: A new spot against Roy Blunt from Dem group Commonsense Ten (never heard of ’em, either) hits his consummate insider credentials

PA-Sen: Yet another ad from Pat Toomey, this one featuring an oppressed doctor who doesn’t like HCR (who just happens to be a big Republican activist too, not the ad says that)

WA-Sen: Dino Rossi’s first negative ad features him personally narrating an attack on Patty Murray (instead of using the off-camera voice of doom); he calls her “part of the problem”

NV-Sen: Harry Reid’s newest TV spot, by way of fighting back against Angle’s attacks on immigration issues, just goes ahead and says it: it calls Sharron Angle “crazy”

NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo doesn’t want to leave anything to chance despite his big lead (he has the money to burn, at any rate), and he’s out with a new bio ad (not that he needs much introduction)

PA-Gov: Dan Onorato tries introducing himself to Pennsylvania again, this time with a shorter 30-second ad that helpfully lets people know how to pronounce his name

TX-Gov: Even Rick Perry’s going negative: three different ads go after Bill White, two trying to tie him to Barack Obama and one attacking his handling of Hurricane Rita

VT-Gov: The RGA wades into Vermont with a negative ad against Peter Shumlin, hitting him on taxes

CT-04: Jim Himes has not one but two new ads, stressing his independence and debt hawkishness

KS-03: Stephene Moore’s first ad plays up her day job as a nurse

ND-AL: Earl Pomeroy has two different anti-Rick Berg ads, one of which focuses on his crazy plans to drill for oil in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

NH-02: Ann McLane Kuster (who’s now rebranded herself as “Annie Kuster”) goes negative on Charlie Bass in her first ad, framing him as failed retread

NY-20: Scott Murphy’s newest spot focuses on his own personal record of job creation as businessman before entering Congress

TX-17: Chet Edwards is out with a positive ad, touting his work on veteran’s issues like VA health care

WA-02: John Koster tries to cram both a negative ad and a positive ad into a discordant 30 seconds

WI-07: Sean Duffy plays up his lumberjack credentials, saying he’ll “take an ax” to Washington (I’ll admit, that’s kinda clever)


CO-Sen: Michael Bennet (D-inc) 45%, Ken Buck (R) 49%

DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 53%, Christine O’Donnell (R) 42%

NH-Sen: Paul Hodes (D) 44%, Kelly Ayotte (R) 51%

NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 39%, Brian Sandoval (R) 52%

PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 39%, Tom Corbett (R) 49%

WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 51%, Dino Rossi (R) 46%

251 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 9/16”

  1. It would be nice if Bernero could work some of that late surge to victory magic in the general too, but I’m not terribly optimistic about it at this point.  Other than ducking debates (which for most voters is a minor-to-non-issue), Snyder just isn’t doing anything that endangers his chances of winning.  Blast…

  2. Even I have to admit that’s pretty premature, much as I have held that this race will be a major thorn in Democrats’ sides right up until election day.

    This race has been all over the map: started at Likely D (Dodd’s too entrenched to lose) then crept its way to tossup (AIG, Dodd’s part of the problem) and to Lean R (national blowback against Democrats in late ’09.) Dodd gets out and the unflappable Blumenthal enters, and we’re back to Likely D. Then the NYT report, the sky is falling, Tossup again. But Blumenthal does a nice bit of damage control, McMahon forces Simmons out of the race, and everything quiets down as we move to Likely D yet again. Finally, McMahon’s money allows her to slowly erode Blumenthal’s standing, and according to Cook, tossup once more.

    This race, and McMahon’s movement, is really all about money. She has it and is willing to spend it in a very expensive state, and so far Blumenthal has shown no interest in putting his personal fortune on the line as well. He needs money–either from his bank account or from the DSCC–to put McMahon away before she can make this any closer.

  3. Cook changed his CT-Sen rating today to “toss-up.”

    Where I lose respect is in reading the write-up explaining why.  It’s head-scratching because nothing in it actually justifies calling the race a toss-up.  All the information in the write-up itself justifies “lean D.”

    Cook argues McMahon has slowly closed over the past few months.  Yup, that’s correct.

    The write-up points to McMahon’s money and ads.  Yup, that’s correct.

    But the write-up explains the polling as follows:  the new Q-poll shows a 6-point race; Democrats answered with a poll showing Blumenthal up 15 by a pollster Cook writes he respects and doesn’t actually question; and private Republican polling has Blumenthal up in the “high single digits.”

    You read the Cook write-up, and it’s effectively an argument for moving the race from “likely D” to “lean D.”  But no, he moves it all the way to toss-up.

    I really don’t know if I can trust his ratings with this kind of silliness.  It’s fine if Cook has information to justify a rating that surprises me, but when the very information he cites doesn’t support his rating, that’s pretty bad analysis.

  4. From a keyed-in guy from my original home state (Massachusetts).

    Good News – The new three pronged strategy of hitting Republicans 1) SS privatization 2) tax cuts for the wealthy, and 3) outsourcing is REALLY working already. It resonates with voters who WILL vote in midterms.

    Bad News – In MA10 he watched closely the vote totals because it had two competitive primaries, and it was 56k for Dems and 51k for GOP. That’s not what internal polling was showing on either side. He thinks there’s a “hidden” Republican vote, and the internals (on both sides) are still too conservative in projecting Republican enthusiasm.

  5. What are people’s thoughts of Reid being able to stay on as Majority/Minority Leader in the Senate if he is re-elected this year? I mean he has been a horrible leader of the chamber, a disaster as spokesman for the caucus, and has provided plenty of gaffes like today’s “pet” comment about Coons. Would the Democratic caucus in the Senate actually retain him as leader after seeing their ranks severely reduced with him at the helm? If so why?  

  6. I don’t know what it is about me, but I get polled all the time.

    Last year I got polled twice in June by the RNC for VA-Gov.  The first was a short robopoll right before the Dem primary, the second a live caller poll later in June.

    Earlier this year I got polled, live caller, by a firm with an undisclosed client who I took to be Jeff Barnett, the Democratic nominee in VA-10.  The tip-off was that the last set of questions were negative message-testing against Frank Wolf, and there were no similar negative message-testing questions against Barnett.

    Now I got a robpolled by the DNC for the midterm.  No named candidates, it just asked “Democratic” or Republican” House candidate in “your district.”  It asked Obama job approval, my partisan ID, and demographic questions that conspicuously went into surprisingly great detail in pegging race.  After I initially picked “Asian-American” from a list of choices, the questions kept coming to narrow it down all the way to the exact country of ancestry (in my case “India,” and yes Pakistan and Bangladesh each was a separate choice).  The poll then asked very specific questions about immigrant households, asking not just if I was born in the United States or was an immigrant, but in my case, after I said born in the U.S., it asked if both my parents were born in the U.S. or if at least one parent was born in another country (the latter in my case).  And if all that wasn’t enough, the poll asked a detailed question about religion, with a ton of choices (I pressed “4” for “Hindu”).

    Fascinating stuff, I’ve never received an election poll like that.  I’m curious what results the DNC gets, but I’m sure I’ll never know.  Since it’s a robopoll, a low-cost option, I bet they have a huge sample.  I’m very happy they did this detailed a poll, because they need to stay ahead of the curve in learning as much as possible about the politics of every racial and ethnic and religious group in America.  Having this kind of information helps microtarget groups that are all varying degrees of liberal and Democratic.

  7. tweets Nate Silver.

    His current Senate forecast is: 52.1 D, 47.5 R, 0.4 other.  (Sept 7th)

    Any guesses on the new numbers?

    Surely that “other” number will be moving down closer to zero.

    Also, I hope Murkowski goes for the write-in campaign. That’ll be a challenge for his modelling.

  8. Actually, I would think for the general election it would be an asset — she is the daughter of two well-known (moderate) Republican politicians in the state — her mother Susan McLane (a state Senator) and father (mayor of Concord and NH Executive Council member). Both were revered figures among NH Republican moderates – both had heated battles with former wingnut governor Meldrim Thomsen.

    Going up against Charlie Bass and needing to win over independent and moderate voters, you would think that campaigning with the family name would be somewhat of a positive thing?

    Any idea what’s up with that?  

  9. Been reading alot over the years at SSP but decided to finally register and join the community with the others. Look forward to engaging in good debates with the regulars like Conspiracy and Cyclone and Republicans like Ryan and co.

    IA-2 What do you think. I for one don’t trust internals from any party for the obvious reasons which is why I don’t believe Loebsack is only up by 1 over MMM espically when 13 days ago a poll conducted by a GOP polling firm showed Loebsack (along with Boswell and Braley) up by more. I donated $50 (alomg with $100 to Patrick Murphy) for the hell of it but I have a feeling he won’t need it because according to Open Secrets he has about 3x more money than MMM but I wanted thoughts since no one here brought it up and i’m suprised.

  10. That Boxer ad hits REALLY hard.  If that gets significant air play, I see Fiorina as dead meat.  How the hell did she think she would win in this state with that record.

    The CA-GOP really failed at candidate recruitment there, they should have tried to clear the field for Tom Campbell.

  11. (don’t blame me for not posting this yesterday; blame the lack of wi-fi on greyhound buses on the nyc/ohio corridor)

    1) GOTV is… wow. I don’t believe I have ever gotten less sleep in a 3-day span in my life. Seeing the results is a great reward, though.

    2) Carolyn Maloney ought to have the pizzeria vote locked up, with the amount the campaign ordered.

    3) Random (happy) woman at Schneiderman victory party, paraphrased: “Do you know how much money NARAL is going to be able to raise off Paladino winning?” (Has he said extremist-y things on the abortion issue?)

    4) Our opponent (Saujani) underperformed generic Some Dude, I think. (Of course, we wouldn’t be running contrast mailers against Some Dude.)

    5) O’Donnell winning = awesome. Attractive and absolutely, utterly insane – what more could we ask for in a Republican Senate candidate in Delaware?

    6) Sheldon Silver does not answer his door (I got his apartment on my canvass list twice).

  12. I forgot to post about this on Tuesday in the midst of all the DE/NH excitement, but that evening a live interviewer phoned me about the Ninth District race.

    Unfortunately, I don’t remember the polling group for certain. I would’ve written it down, but I was working in the barn at the time (had the handset with me just in case), and didn’t have pen and paper handy. I’m fairly sure the interviewer identified the company as Global Strategy Group, but I could easily be wrong. Given the questions, though, I’m pretty sure it was an internal poll either for the DCCC or Baron Hill’s campaign.

    Having never participated in a poll, despite reading about them on a daily basis, it was interesting to have this come up. Beyond the usual partisan ID, demographic, and information level questions, there was a significant amount of message testing for the Dems, specifically focusing on Young’s waffling on Social Security privatization (it’s everywhere, nowdays!), as well as his background, the whole ‘rich lawyer from Carmel that doesn’t understand rural folks’ thing.

    Something that stuck me as odd was a couple of fav/unfav questions about Rand Paul. Peculiar, considering he’s not actually a candidate in Indiana, but then again a significant proportion of this district (including where I live) is in the Louisville media market, which might partially explain that.

    Goes without saying I’d like to see the results from that poll, but I doubt they’re going to be released, if it was an internal.  

  13. The Michigan-based Rossman Group is out with a poll showing former State Rep. Rocky Raczkowski leading Dem Gary Peters in Michigan’s 9th district.

    Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski (R) – 45%

    Gary Peters (D) – 40.7%

    Undecided – 10.3%

    300 LV, MoE 5.6%

    Kind of a small sample (300 is about the bare minimum for a credible poll), but I can definitely believe it. The 9th isn’t as liberal as Peters is. Still, unless Rocky picks up his fundraising, I don’t think he’ll be able to win.

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