SSP Daily Digest: 10/13 (Afternoon Edition)

AK-Sen: In the avalanche of various other acts of hypocrisy and self-dealing that have come out about Joe Miller in the last few weeks, somehow I missed this one: not only did he avail himself of low-income hunting and fishing licenses, but his family has received assistance from Medicaid and similar state-level Denali Kidcare. Somewhere, his most ardent supporters are hurling their copies of Atlas Shrugged into the fireplace in disgust, learning that their mighty Producer is nothing more than a parasite, weakly availing himself of every program under the sun designed to enslave man. (And somewhere, either heaven or Rick Barber’s fevered imagination, James Madison is hurling his copy of the Federalist Papers into the fireplace, upset that this ostensible patriot is availing himself of such a plainly unconstitutional program.)

DE-Sen: I think this had been made pretty clear few weeks ago, but Mike Castle reiterated it in as official terms as possible on CNN yesterday: he’s not endorsing anybody in the Senate race.

FL-Sen: Very-tanned centrist GOPer governors gotta stick together, and Arnold Schwarzenegger just gave his probably-not-worth-much backing to Charlie Crist yesterday. The Marco Rubio camp may have gotten the last laugh here, though:

“When it comes to inflicting ‘Collateral Damage’ on the economy, Charlie Crist and Arnold Schwarzenegger are definitely ‘Twins.’  Charlie’s flip-flops have made him a master at telling ‘True Lies.’ We all know the only thing Charlie cares about is the next election. But this year, Florida will take an ‘Eraser’ to ‘The Running Man.'” – Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Burgos, responding to Schwarzenegger’s endorsement of Crist.

PA-Sen: I wouldn’t start popping the champagne cork (or even buy a bottle of champagne) yet, but the DSCC seems to be seeing some negative-ad-driven progress in Pennsylvania. They’ve released an internal poll, via Garin Hart Yang, that actually gives Joe Sestak the lead. He’s up 44-42 over Pat Toomey, in a poll taken Oct. 8-10. With leaners pushed, Sestak expands to a 47-44 lead. No public pollster has seen anything like that (at least yet).

WA-Sen: If you’re wondering what’s up with the huge disparities in Washington Senate numbers between the live-caller and auto-dialed polls, you’re not alone. Nate Silver doesn’t exactly have answers, pointing to unique Washington variables that confound pollsters, like its (almost entirely) vote-by-mail status and its large number of cellphone-only users. But he does have some interesting charts showing that Rasmussen and SurveyUSA have consistently overestimated GOP performance all decade long in Washington (while, at the same time, Elway has overestimated Dem performance).

WV-Sen: Hot on the heels of PPP’s poll showing Joe Manchin back in the lead, the DSCC is out with an internal poll showing similar numbers. The GQR poll from Oct. 7-12, the height of “hicky” mania, gives Manchin a 49-44 lead over John Raese, whose 40/38 faves lag Manchin’s 63/28.

CA-Gov: All previous political self-funding records are quickly receding in Meg Whitman’s rearview mirror, as she just plowed another $20 million into her gubernatorial bid, bringing her all-cycle total to over $141 million.

WV-Gov: I don’t know what West Virginians’ aversion to comprehensible succession laws is, but after emerging from the morass of how to replace Robert Byrd, now the legislature is grappling with what to do with the Governor position if Joe Manchin manages to win the Senate special election. Legislative lawyers say that unless the legislature takes some sort of action, Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin would take over as “acting governor” for the entire remainder of Manchin’s term, until the regularly scheduled Nov. 2012 election… but that there would be two elections that day, one for the full four years and one for the lame-duck period.

FL-25: I look forward to seeing David Rivera’s explanation:

Over the past seven years, Republican state Rep. David Rivera repeatedly said in sworn documents that his main source of income, outside of his salary from the Legislature, came from consulting work he did for the U.S. Agency for International Development. But USAID has no record of ever hiring Rivera — now a candidate for Congress — or his company.

KS-04: SurveyUSA has shown an unexpectedly close race (for an open seat in a dark-red district in this climate), with several polls in high single digits, so GOP nominee Mike Pompeo is offering some pushback with an internal from Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates from Oct. 10-11. His poll gives him a 48-31 lead over Raj Goyle. (You may recall that this pollster works with the Club for Growth, and is responsible for highlights like this one. Senator Dick Zimmer vouches for their accuracy!)

NY-24: Richard Hanna’s out with an internal poll, courtesy of  McLaughlin (no dates given by Politico, and with a big fat MoE of 5.6%). Hanna leads, but only by 46-43. Considering that Hanna is trying to push back against not a Mike Arcuri internal but an honest-to-gosh public poll (from Siena) with an Arcuri lead of 8, that seems like kind of weak sauce.

MN-06: Today’s fundraising highlight is that Michele Bachmann pulled in $5.4 million in the third quarter. Interestingly, it looks like she’ll report “only” $3.4 million cash on hand, suggesting a similar phenomenon as Sharron Angle (for whom there weren’t any CoH numbers at all), where there’s a lot of churn going on not just for a TV blitz but also for widespread nationwide direct-mail marketing, which is expensive. (Just ask Joe Cao.) While these numbers certainly don’t bode well as far as unseating Bachmann this year, the bright side is that’s money that low-information voters might otherwise have given to GOP House challengers in tight races who could have actually leveraged that money a lot more effectively.

TX-27: Even if you’re a political junkie like us, yesterday’s internal poll was probably the first you’ve ever heard of Blake Farenthold. The DCCC fills in some blanks, suggesting that you’re probably not likely to hear too much about him in the future, either. He’s somehow sitting on a negative $5K in cash, and… I’m not quite sure how this happened, but he appears on the front of what appears to be some sort of local tea party-oriented publication, in pajamas, in the company of what appears to be some sort of sex-industry professional (and not as an example of what not to do, but apparently because said publication is endorsing him). Yeah, I’m just as confused as you; you’ll have to check out the link.

WA-08: Ordinarily, we don’t report on newspaper endorsements, since they don’t seem to move many votes and are usually pretty predictable based on each paper’s e-board leanings. We’ll make an exception in this case, since Dave Reichert largely owes his continued existence to the Seattle Times, who’ve clung to him as, in their eyes, the last remaining exemplar of the old-style moderate Republicanism they fetishize. So it’s a strange and wondrous thing to see them turning their back on him in favor of Suzan DelBene.

Blue Dogs: CQ has an interesting piece about the yawning leadership gap at the Blue Dogs, where two of its key members, John Tanner and Dennis Moore, are skedaddling. It cites a number of possible new heads (most notably Allen Boyd and Jim Matheson), but there’s a certain amount of cart-before-horse here, because the Blue Dogs are disproportionately in the crosshairs this cycle and it’s unclear how many of the key ones (Boyd, especially, as well as Stephanie Herseth Sandlin) will even be back.

DLCC: The DLCC is out with its third and probably final installment in its “Essential Races” series, pointing you (and your contribution dollars) toward 15 more legislators in key races that might determine chamber control in some of the most important state legislatures.

Money: More evidence that the advantage by the Democratic committees and individual members was pretty illusory, given the myriad ways (527s and 501(c)(4)s, oh my) that the wealthy have to plow nearly-unlimited money into political races: an alliance of groups (Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Norm Coleman’s American Action Network, as well as a new one, Commission on Hope, Growth, and Opportunity) is planning a $50 million ad blitz focused on some relatively underserved House races. This includes IN-02, CO-07, and even Maurice Hinchey’s NY-22. (H/t Nathan Gonzales.)


IL-Sen: Mark Kirk revisits the Broadway Bank yet again with his newest ad

LA-Sen: A solid ad from Charlie Melancon, hitting David Vitter on outsourcing and cozying up to BP

MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan tries some anti-Washington (including congressional pay raises) shots at Roy Blunt

PA-Sen: VoteVets boosts Joe Sestak with a hit on Pat Toomey for voting against veterans’ benefits

CT-Gov: The RGA has a boilerplate attack ad on Dan Malloy as tax-raising career politician

HI-Gov: It’s not your imagination, this race is looking competitive, at least if the DGA is advertising here: they’re out with an anti-Duke Aiona ad

IL-Gov: Pat Quinn’s new ad actually comes close to saying that Bill Brady will kill your dog if you vote for him.

OH-Gov: Ted Strickland’s ad goes back to the basics: hitting John Kasich on his outsourcing Wall Street ways

SC-Gov: The RGA is having to advertise and staff up in SC-Gov, probably much to their chagrin, as this looks like it’s turning into a real race: their new spot calls Vincent Sheheen liberal, morphs him into Obama, and does all the usual

IL-17: The SEIU backs up one of labor’s biggest backers in the House, Phil Hare, with a 10-day buy for $317K in the Quad Cities, for an ad hitting Bobby Schilling on free trade and outsourcing

PA-06: Manan Trivedi’s new ad goes after Jim Gerlach and ‘special interests’

PA-08: VoteVets is also out with a spot in the 8th, hitting Mike Fitzpatrick on veterans’ benefits votes during his brief stay in Congress

WI-03: The National Federation of Independent Business is out with a slew of new ads that includes softening up not-quite-top-tier Dem districts, with 10-day ad buys including not just WI-03 but also CA-11, CO-03, MO-03, NY-19, NY-23, PA-10, OH-16, and SC-05.


ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 32%, Paul LePage (R) 35%, Eliot Cutler (I) 21%

NH-Gov: John Lynch (D-inc) 53%, John Stephen (R) 43%

NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 48%, Sharron Angle (R) 49%

OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 45%, John Kasich (R) 48%

OR-Sen: Ron Wyden (D) 52%, Jim Huffman (R) 36%

WV-Sen: Joe Manchin (D) 46%, John Raese (R) 49%

131 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 10/13 (Afternoon Edition)”

  1. Behavior Research Center had more polling results.

    AZ SEN: Rocky Mountain Poll (10/1-10, Registered Voters):

    John McCain (R-i) 49%

    Rodney Glassman (D) 21%

    David Nolan (L) 3%

    Jerry Joslyn (G) 2%

    Undecided 25%

    (MoE: ±4.2%)

    The BRC argues that this was a bit of a missed opportunity for Democrats, noting that McCain’s tack to the right for the primary appears to have severely damaged his popularity among groups with which he was more popular, such as Moderates, Women and Hispanics. I think this year is probably too Republican either way, but it’s nice to see the myth of the “Maverick” is finally dead.

    They also use their “Most Likely Voter” model and while they still don’t explain whether it’s just a normal Likely Voter model or something more specific, we have a MoE this time.

    AZ SEN: Rocky Mountain Poll (10/1-10, “Most Likely Voters”):

    John McCain (R-i) 56%

    Rodney Glassman (D) 22%

    David Nolan (L) 2%

    Jerry Joslyn (G) 1%

    Undecided 19%

    (MoE: ±4.7%)

    Finally, if anyone’s interested in downballot races, the pollster also looked at the open Arizona Attorney General race, which is currently the only statewide office held by a Democrat. In the RV model, Democrat Felecia Rotellini and Republic Tom Horne are tied at 34% a piece. Among MLVs, Horne leads 40-36. The fact that Tom Horne, the current two-term Superintendent of Public Instruction, get’s such a low share of the vote should be a huge warning sign for him, as he’s likely much better known than Rotellini.

  2. Washington: Patty Murray 51-43

    Delaware: Don’t remember #s, but Coons up big. No House numbers.

    Wisconsin: Johnson 52-44

    West Virginia: a tie at 44-44

  3. I know it is a Rasmussen poll, but did you catch that new number for Eliot Cutler at 21%?

    That is a huge step up from the 11%-ish range he’s been running in most polls.

    Given that Maine has a history of strong support for independents & 3rd party candidates for Governor (think not just Angus King and James Longley, but Barbara Merrill’s 21% and Pat Lamarche’s 10% in 2006, Jonathan Carter’s 10% in 2002), his numbers are definitely worth paying attention to.

    I think Libby Mitchell is great – she’s a progressive leader with a solid legislative record of achievement, so I can’t figure out why she seem stuck in the low 30’s. Paul LePage is  crazy/angry tea-bagger (who, sadly, doesn’t give Paladino enough competition to make the national news…) – his numbers have been falling after peaking post-primary.

    It will bear watching to see if Cutler’s vote will go up in the closing weeks as he markets himself as an alternative to the two major party candidates (who are both having problems expanding their bases), or if he fades like Chris Daggett did in New Jersey?

  4. I was like to keep an eye on these things. Not really note worthy but I really like how the total reloads automatically after every donation rather than periodically.

    She’s at 100K currently, aiming for 150K. Not really impressive considering it’s in CA.  

  5. I think we might have seen the Republicans’ high-water mark last week. Polling this week has not been terribly kind, and it seems like every October surprise (except for the story about the New Jersey Democratic Party propping up a Tea Party candidate in Rep. Adler’s district) has come at the expense of Republican candidates.

    Miller is looking increasingly nonviable in Alaska; I’m starting to suspect that, depending on how the Alaska Elections Board handles the write-ins, he could even end up placing third.

    Rumors of the political demise of Rep. Sestak, Gov. Strickland, and Rep. Arcuri seem to have been exaggerated, as they appear to be running close in their respective races.

    Not a bad day for the Democratic Party.

  6. I love, love, LOVE you DLCC for selecting Dan “Death Threat” Manning as one of your Essential Races! Gays, especially, if you’re looking to boost a very deserving candidate’s coffers, do it here:

    Even $10 makes a HUGE difference in Kansas. I don’t work for him or anything, I just really want to see Kansas elect its first openly-gay member of the Legislature. Preferably one who is a West Point grad, military vet, and Knights Out founder with balls of steel.  


    LaFonta got 21% in the primary.  He’s using “corruption” as his reason to reject Richmond (a theme Cao’s been hammering very heavily over the last few weeks, usually based on pretty flimsy proof).  

    Cao also has the support of two two other prominent New Orleans Democrats: Councilwoman Stacy Head and Assessor Erroll Williams.

    I really doubt they move that many votes, but it does speak to the idea that Cao may be a tougher-than-expected opponent because of his local image as a good guy.  

  8. AL-02, AZ-01, AZ-05, CA-11, CO-03, FL-25, HI-01, IA-03, IL-10, IL-14, IL-17, IN-02, IN-09, KY-06, MA-10, MD-01, MI-01, MI-07, MO-04, NC-08, ND-01, NH-02, NV-03, NY-20, NY-23, NY-24, OH-01, OR-05, PA-10, PA-11, PA-12, TX-23, VA-02, VA-05, WA-03, WI-07, WI-08, WV-01

    FL-25, CA-11, OH-01 buys seem pretty negligible though

    mostly chasing NRCC expenditures around, except in NC-08, PA-12, NY-23, and TX-23

  9. Rep. John Boehner is leading his Democratic opponent Justin Coussoule 30.4 percent to 19.6 percent. It also found that three quarters of congressional district residents have never heard of Coussoule.

    The Alexandria, Va.-based group – which supports “Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Promises from 2008,” touted this result:

    Question 1: How would you rate John Boehner’s job in Congress?

    A. Great-11.6%

    B. Satisfactory-24.4%

    C. Unsatisfactory-59.6%

    D. No Opinion-4.4%

    Also Boehner donated to Rich Lott.

  10. I drove through that district pretty extensively last month and saw Kapanke signs outnumbering Ron Kind signs by about 5-1 in counties where Obama got 62% of the vote.  I’m betting Ron Kind will be another under-the-radar defeat for Democrats.

  11. in IA-03. Boilerplate stuff: unemployment, spending, debt, Nancy Pelosi big government health care, Medicare cuts. Tell Leonard Boswell to stop hurting Iowa families.

    I liked how they juxtaposed government-run health care (boo!) with Medicare cuts (boo!).  

  12. Apparently, they’re taking preliminary action just in case Angle decides to dump whatever’s left of her $14 million raised into ad buys. I just hope their ads are better than what the DCCC has been doing for Dina Titus. It’s not horrible, but IMHO it’s weak sauce…

    Compared to what Dina’s own campaign has been putting out…

  13. Spending small in NH-01, WI-07, huge in CO-04, OH-13.

    They’re dropping $520k versus Ganley in OH-13.  Not sure that’s really necessary.  They’re dropping $375k versus Gardner in CO-04.  More necessary, even though DCCC seems to have cut this race loose.

  14. trots out the Marxist attack….

    A feisty, aggressive Ms. O’Donnell called Mr. Coons a Marxist whose beliefs came from a socialist professor and said he would “rubber stamp” the policies of the Democrats in Washington. Mr. Coons raised questions about whether Ms. O’Donnell’s faith would drive her positions on social issues like abortion, prayer and evolution.


  15. Brave New Films’ new contribution to the campaign…

    I guess they’re just hoping this will “go viral”. We’ll see… But I have a feeling Boxer’s own campaign will keep coming back to this theme in these final weeks…

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