SSP Daily Digest: 9/17

AK-Sen: All signs are now pointing toward a Lisa Murkowski write-in bid, although nothing is official yet. But she’s inviting supporters to a “campaign kickoff” tonight, which are certainly not the words of someone ready to go gently into that good night. She seems undeterred by the fact that the Tea Party Express already fired a shot across her bow yesterday, warning her to be a “good team member” and saying they’ll resume spending money against her if she does. Meanwhile, hilarious and slightly damning news on the Joe Miller front, as it turns out that he, like so many other teabagger candidates this year, was a recipient of $14K in farm subsidies over the decade for a thousand acres of land he owned near Fairbanks. Y’know, subsidies from the federal government that he hates so much, in order to pay for the otherwise-unprofitable way of life that he chose. (Can you even grow anything near Fairbanks? That may be the most surprising part of the story to me.)

DE-Sen: Christine O’Donnell and Chris Coons faced off in their first appearance together, and O’Donnell seemed to be doing a lot of rhetorical distancing from the O’Donnell that had existed up until Tuesday. Meanwhile, O’Donnell is now facing the wrath of multiple ex-aides, all willing to dish to Politico on the trainwrecks that were previous O’Donnell campaigns.

IL-Sen: Illinois-based Republican-linked robo-pollster We Ask America is out with their second poll of the IL-Sen race, giving Mark Kirk a 39-36 link over Alexi Giannoulias. That’s better than their previous offering, which gave Kirk a 6-point edge.

WI-Sen: Russ Feingold’s “Cheddarbomb” sounds like it was very successful, bringing in at least $435K in one day’s worth of contributions.

AR-Gov: With yesterday’s PPP NH-Gov poll, I think it’s now safe to say that Mike Beebe is officially the nation’s safest Democratic incumbent governor this year. The gubernatorial half of yesterday’s Mason-Dixon poll on behalf of Arkansas News Service is out, and Beebe leads Republican challenger Jim Keet by 21 points, 54-33. (One other very important detail: currently, Beebe has $2.5 million CoH, while Keet has $9,000.) Given the state’s turn to the red this cycle, Dems should be glad that they aren’t defending an open seat here, though, as in the open Lt. Governor race, Dem state Sen. Shane Broadway is barely leading Some Dude (Mark Darr) 36-34.

CA-Gov: Well, my cynicism has been eased a bit, I guess: Bill Clinton will be giving Jerry Brown the full endorsee treatment and not just throwing him a bone, including stumping on his behalf (and Gavin Newsom’s behalf too) in mid-October.

HI-Gov: It feels like the primary season wrapped up on Tuesday, but there’s one last race that needs to be previewed: the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Hawaii, which will be settled in their regularly scheduled election tomorrow. The race pits ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie against former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann in what’s literally a clash of titans (the 72-year-old Abercrombie can bench-press 272 lbs., while former basketball player Hannemann is 6’7″). Hannemann seems to running a bit to Abercrombie’s right, at least on social issues, and Abercrombie seems to have the late momentum based on polling and fundraising. The linked WaPo article points to some intriguing behind the scenes drama (with Dan Inouye behind Hannemann and Ed Case behind Abercrombie) and the racial resentments stirred by the race (Abercrombie is white, Hannemann is Samoan).

NM-Gov: The DGA is keeping the pressure on in New Mexico, hitting Susana Martinez again on staff bonuses and sweetheart deals. Bill Clinton, who’s increasingly turning out to be the #1 Dem surrogate on the stump this cycle, is also now scheduled to stump on Diane Denish’s behalf on Oct. 14 in the heavily-Latino northern town of Espanola.

NY-Gov: This may be the dumbest idea in the history of political advertising: send intentionally bad-smelling mailers to people’s houses. Carl Paladino is trying to make the point that “something smells” in Albany, but there has to be a smarter way to do it than invading people’s houses to intentionally physically sicken them.

CO-04: Hot on the heels of the NRA backing John Salazar next door in the 3rd, now they’re also endorsing Democratic freshman Betsy Markey in the similarly rural, reddish 4th.

MI-09: There’s a poll out in the 9th from a previously unknown (to us) pollster (The Rossman Group/Team Telcom) giving Rocky Raczkowski a small lead over Dem freshman Gary Peters, 45-41. Thanks to Paleo in the comments, we know that the Rossman Group is a PR firm associated with state-level GOP operative Audrey Perricone, so salt this one as you see fit.

NY-23: All that hoping paid off, and now the cat is now officially in the dryer! A replay of the special election is on, as Doug Hoffman, who narrowly lost the GOP primary to Matt Doheny, is saying that he is going to stick with the Conservative Line no matter what. (More accurately, Conservative party chair Michael Long, who’s basically been Hoffman’s puppetmaster for the last year, is the one saying that.)

TN-04: Sure, we’ve all been accused of harassment, intimidation, and physical abuse, but… oh, wait. We haven’t? Well, Republican candidate Scott DesJarlais was accused by his ex-wife of all of that, in divorce filings from a decade ago. It’s unclear how much this’ll affect the direction of the race, though; buried deep in the Roll Call article is word of a late August internal poll on Lincoln Davis’s behalf (released in response to a DesJarlais internal showing him within 4 of Davis), giving Davis a 51-40 lead. (No word on who Davis’s pollster is.)

Mayors: Primary-defeated Dem incumbent Adrian Fenty somehow won the Republican mayoral primary. There wasn’t a candidate, and Fenty got more write-in votes than anyone else. It didn’t sound like Fenty was interested in turning coats and running again under the GOP aegis, and now the DC BoE is arguing that he couldn’t anyway, as he would have had to be a member of the Republican Party as of the election date.

IE Tracker:

MO-Sen: $124K from Commonsense Ten against Roy Blunt

WV-01: $439K from American Future Fund against Mike Oliverio

NC-02, VA-09: $341K from Americans for Job Security against Bob Etheridge, $431K against Rick Boucher

AL-02: $414K from AFF against Bobby Bright

SC-05: $191K from AFF against John Spratt

NJ-03: $170K from AFF against John Adler

MI-01: $304K from AFF against Gary McDowell

GA-08: $346K from AFF against Jim Marshall

MI-07: $501K from AFF against Mark Schauer


PA-Sen: The DSCC rides to Joe Sestak’s rescue with an ad tying Pat Toomey to George Bush’s deficit-swelling tax policies, while the Club for Growth tries to walk a delicate balance, thanking Sestak for his military service before laying into his voting record

AZ-Gov: Terry Goddard’s out with not one but three different ads using footage of Jan Brewer’s tongue-tied performance at last month’s debate, one of which focuses on her unproven allegations about headless bodies in the desert (and ending with the tagline “Is this the best Arizona can do?”)

KS-Gov: The Kansas Moderate Majority PAC runs an anti-Sam Brownback ad hitting him on the flat tax, while Brownback is out with two ads of his own

MI-Gov: Virg Bernero’s on the air, hitting Rick Sndyer for outsourcing jobs while he was head of Gateway

ID-01: Walt Minnick actually hits Raul Labrador for being too soft on illegal immigrants, saying it’s “good business” for Labrador’s immigration law practice

MI-01: 2 ads from Gary McDowell, one about cleaning up the Great Lakes and one hitting Dan Benishek on Social Security privatization

TX-17: Chet Edwards is doing the distancing-from-DC-Democrats game in his newest ad

WA-08: Suzan DelBene’s first TV ad starts negative against Dave Reichert, hitting him on his financial reform vote and on earmarks, of all things


IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth (D) 34%, Dan Coats (R) 50%

MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 45%, Charlie Baker (R) 42%, Tim Cahill (I) 5%

WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 44%, Ron Johnson (R) 51%

92 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 9/17”

  1. Hopefully he cuts and advertisement for him as well.  That will definitely give Brown a much needed boost.

    Still having a hard time believing that Nate Silver favors CA-Gov for Whitman, my Registered Republican/ but mainly libertarian Room mate is starting to sour on her when I told him about how much money she is spending.

  2. Best Ellsworth percentage since May. Somewhat supports what I’ve been saying – it will close. I would still like to see a poll from another firm.

  3. There’s probably 2 schools of thought on whether Lisa M. running a write-in campaign helps or hurts McAdams, but I’m sorry to say I fall into the line of thinking that it hurts him (though I really hope someone can convince me otherwise).

    I really believe that McAdams would have a decent shot of winning a two-way race, but it seems to me that the moderate, anti-Miller vote will be more likely to go to Lisa.  A lot of these voters may not like the way Lisa was appointed, but voters who would otherwise go for McAdams will feel they have to vote for the person most likely to stop Miller.

  4. apparently nobody in her camp can do math. Because Miller is a lock with Murkowski running as a write-in.

    Unrelated: If there’s any place where top 2 would make the system better, it’s Washington DC. Just list the candidates and the party on their voter registration, narrow the field to 2 for November, and go from there. Also would be nifty if that whole 2 Senators and 1 Rep thing could happen sometime in this century.

  5. http://publicpolicypolling.blo

    Apparently Obama is doing fairly well in this current environment, and is only losing to Huckabee.

    My thoughts on this is that Huckabee never got any traction outside the south during the primaries, hence no one know how DAMN CONSERVATIVE this guy is.  It’s one thing to be an Ayotte conservative, where you don’t bring out the social conservative religious fervor and focus on fiscal conservatism, but it’s another where you are open about your Far right Social Conservatism.  It may play well in the GOP primary, but I have a feeling the country as a whole won’t go for it, and give Obama another term easily if Huckabee is the Nominee.

  6. Curious to me considering Brown has run a terrible campaign and his Clinton gaffe still seems fresh, but PPP’s blog says CA Dems are in better shape than before, and that Fiorina and Whitman aren’t getting enough Dem crossover support (only 10%-11%) to win.

    Assuming they’re using a full-bore LV model now, that further heartens me.

    Their numbers won’t be out until Monday for Senate, and Guv later.

    But things are looking up for us on the West Coast.  Now I hope Kitzhaber can join the rally.

  7. What if Murkowski came out and said she would Caucus with Dems?

    Why in the world would she caucus with Republicans anyway, She already knows her top posts are gone and she won’t be getting their support or welcome hand at all.

  8. believe that Chet Edwards is running that ad. I don’t care if you want to run from the HCR, by claiming it was a trillion dollar plan (it was what… 800 billion?), but to say that Democrats want to “take our guns away” is ABSURD. Much to my disappointment, this has been the most gun-friendly, pro-NRA  Congress in decades.

    If Chet Edwards is going to blatantly lie like that, I could care less whether he gets reelected.  

  9. What few polls there have been in Hawaii have been encouraging.  I voted for Mufi Hannemann in his mayoral campaigns but now that he’s said he would have also vetoed the civil unions bill I am done with him, forever.  Polls show a majority of Americans now support marriage equality, and people like him still can’t even come around to civil unions.

    All in all, the campaign Hannemann has run this year has been nothing short of shameful.

    Abercrombie’s a proud liberal and he isn’t afraid to run on it.

    The split endorsements (reliable Dem vote Inouye backing Hannemann, and conservative Ed Case backing Abercrombie) are unusual, but that’s Hawaii politics…it’s more about the person than the issues, where aside from civil unions the two candidates have not differed on much policy-wise.

  10. the Governor race in Massachusetts becomes essentially tossup, as i predicted 2-3 month ago. It’s not clear what’s better for CAhill – continue campaign, which seems hopeless now, or – drop and thus avoid humiliation of finishing in single digits.

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