SSP Daily Digest: 10/15

AK-Sen: The elections officials in Alaska are out with some further guidance on just how stringent they’ll be about misspellings of Lisa Murkowski’s name: “Murkowsky,” for instance, will probably be OK, but misspellings of “Lisa” (hard to misspell, but anything’s possible in a state that elected Sarah Palin, I guess) won’t. Also, are MurkStrong bracelets on the horizon? They’ve said it’s acceptable for voters to wear wristbands with Murkowski’s name printed on them into the ballot booth, as long as they don’t show them to other people.

IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias offers up an internal poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, taken Oct. 10-12, giving him a 44-41 lead over Mark Kirk (with 4 for LeAlan Jones and 3 for Mike Labno). I don’t know how much confidence to get filled with here (especially in view of Nate Silver’s seeming ratification of the +5 rule on internal polls, in fact saying it’s more like a +6)… but with most public pollsters, even Rasmussen, showing this race to be a game of inches, maybe this is truly worth something.

NV-Sen: Here’s a clear illustration of burn rate, especially when your fundraising strategy is centered around direct mail appeals to small donors (including me… I just got another Sharron Angle snail-mail pitch yesterday). Despite her $14 million 3Q haul, her CoH is $4.1 million. That’s almost exactly the CoH that Harry Reid just announced ($4 mil, based on raising $2.3 mil in 3Q).

FL-Gov: Wow, the next Alex Sink attack ad writes itself. It turns out that Rick Scott was actually sued by the state of Florida (the same state, of course, that he’s vying to lead) in the late 90s for insider trading at the same time that the FBI was investigating assorted malfeasance at Columbia/HCA. (The case never went to trial, getting subsumed into the larger federal case.)

RI-Gov: This is pretty late in the game to fall into this state of disarray: Lincoln Chafee’s campaign manager, J.R. Pagliarini just resigned. It wasn’t over any sort of disagreement (or, Tim Cahill-style, over the candidate’s hopelessness), though, but rather because of the impropriety of having received unemployment benefits at the same time as working on the Chafee campaign (which he attributes to a payroll snafu). With or without Pagliarini, though, there’s already a cloud of disarray hanging overhead, as seen by how little attention the Chafee camp seems to have drummed up surrounding their own internal poll giving them a 34-30 lead over Frank Caprio (with John Robitaille at 15).

CA-11: It was just yesterday that I was pointing out how clownish OR-04 candidate Art Robinson was a big proponent of eliminating public education altogether. Well, now it’s turned out that David Harmer, certainly a “serious” candidate by standard media definitions, is of essentially the same mind, having made the same argument in a 2000 op-ed article in the widely-read San Francisco Chronicle.

FL-02: At this point I don’t expect to see Allen Boyd back in Congress next year, but this poll seems weird even if you feel the same. It’s from someone called P.M.I. Inc., only mentioned in a rather sketchily-reported article from the right-leaning Sunshine State News site (complete with a tasteless headline that sounds like something I would write) that doesn’t make it clear whether this is an independent poll or taken on someone’s behalf (and doesn’t include dates or MoE). It shows Steve Southerland leading Allen Boyd 56-30, with two independent conservative candidates pulling in an additional 14 percent of the vote.

GA-02: With Mike Keown having released a poll showing him trailing Sanford Bishop by only 1, Bishop is rather predictably out with a poll of his own today. The Oct. 7-10 poll from Lester & Assocs. gives Bishop a 50-40 lead. (Keown’s poll was taken several weeks earlier, before the DCCC started running ads here.)

MN-07: Here’s one more race where there were “rumors” (without an actual piece of paper) about a competitive race, where the incumbent Dem whipped out an internal to quash that. This is one of the more lopsided polls we’ve seen lately: Collin Peterson leads Lee Byberg 54-20 in the Sept. 28 poll from Global Strategy Group.

NY-17: And here’s one more mystery poll (expect to see lots more of these bubble up in the coming weeks): it shows Eliot Engel at 31 but leading his split opponents: Conservative York Kleinhandler at 25 and Republican Tony Mele at 23. The poll is from somebody called “YGSBS.” Considering that “YG” is the initials of the proprietor of the blog where this poll first emerged (, and the “forthcoming” crosstabs still don’t seem to have arrived, color me a little suspicious.

WV-03: Yet another internal poll in the why-are-we-still-talking-about-it WV-03 race: Dem Nick Rahall leads Spike Maynard by 19, in an Anzalone-Liszt poll from Oct. 10-12.

Fundraising: Here are some fundraising tidbits: via e-mail press release, Taryl Clark just announced $1.8 million last quarter, giving her $1 million CoH. (In any other House race, that’d be huge, but she’s up against Michele Bachmann.) Two other fundraising machines who are sort of the polarizing ideological bookends of Florida also reported: Alan Grayson reports $967K last quarter while Allen West reports $1.6 mil (although no CoH numbers, important as his campaign relies heavily on direct-mail churn). Finally, CQ has some assorted other numbers, including $626K for Rick Boucher in VA-09, $700K for Dan Debicella in super-expensive CT-04, and $507K for Andy Harris in MD-01.

RGA: And here’s the biggest number of all: yesterday the RGA reported $31 million in the 3rd quarter, which gives them a lot of leverage in the closing weeks in the tight races. (Bear in mind, of course, that a lot of that would have gone to the RNC instead in a more competent year.)

Polltopia: Nate Silver adds some thoughts on the cellphone debate, reignited by new Pew findings that we discussed yesterday. His main takeaway, one that I agree with whole-heartedly, is don’t just go start adding 5 points in the Dem direction on every poll you see, simply because the cellphone effect isn’t likely to apply uniformly in every population and in every pollster’s method.


AK-Sen: Lisa Murkowski finally, as promised, rolls out Ted Stevens dancing with a vacuum cleaner endorsing her from beyond the grave, in a one-minute ad

KY-Sen: The NRSC is still pouring money into Kentucky (consider that good news), with another boilerplate Conway = Obama ad

NV-Sen: The Harry Reid team must have spent all last night in the editing suite, as they’re already using Sharron Angle’s words from last night’s debate, on health insurance coverage exemptions, against her

PA-Sen: If internal polling and press release content are any indication, they’ve finally something that works against Pat Toomey: China, and outsourcing more in general (which explains why the DSCC is out with another ad on the topic, and also pointing out that in Toomey’s last ad that, during the period where he was being a “small businessman” by owning a restaurant, he was really an absentee owner while being a large businessman in Hong Kong)

WA-Sen: Ditto the DSCC’s new ad in Washington, up against Dino Rossi (which, I’ll admit, is a strange tack in Washington, one of the most pro-trade states you’ll see, and where Patty Murray is a regular vote in favor of trade agreements)

MO-04: Vicky Hartzler’s ace in the hole? She has an ad up with footage of Ike Skelton telling fellow Rep. Todd Akin where to stick it, with repeated obscenities bleeped out (hmmm, that would just make me want to vote for Skelton more)

NRA: The NRA is out with a planned $6.75 million buy in a number of statewide races, including a few of their Dem friends, but mostly on behalf of GOPers; you can see a variety of their TV ad offerings at the link


CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 44%

CO-Gov: John Hickelooper (D) 42%, Dan Maes (R) 12%, Tom Tancredo (C) 38%

CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 51%, Linda McMahon (R) 46%

DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 51%, Christine O’Donnell (R) 40%

HI-Gov: Neil Abercrombie (D) 49%, Duke Aiona (R) 47%

NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 40%, Brian Sandoval (R) 55%

PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 40%, Tom Corbett (R) 54%

196 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 10/15”

  1. This one should be a crowd pleaser here:

    With the stipulation that SurveyUSA – which, unlike Pew, does not ordinarily include cellphones in their samples – has spent considerably less time studying the issue, here’s what I think might be going on. Firms like SurveyUSA – and certainly Rasmussen Reports, which takes every imaginable shortcut to produce polling as cheaply as possible – are the equivalent of junk-ball pitchers in baseball.

    and then there’s Nate’s opinion of Pew:

    Pew, by contrast, is like the classic fastball/curveball pitcher with perfect mechanics. They do everything by the book, and they do it very well.Pew, by contrast, is like the classic fastball/curveball pitcher with perfect mechanics. They do everything by the book, and they do it very well.

    Nevertheless, I object to Nate’s description of Jamie Moyer as a junk ball pitcher. (He’s the one guy left in the majors who is older than I.)

  2. so absurd with Rasmussen’s Colorado polls. He shows the underfunded gadfly Maes and the incredibly toxic Tom Tancredo getting FIFTY PERCENT of the vote in Colorado, which is insane. Particularly when outside groups have written this race off and Hickenlooper is a very popular, and generally respected mayor of Denver whose popularity extends into its suburbs and when he has outspent these two by big margins and has huge institutional edges on them. I mean come on, Tancredo within the margin of error, even with Maes on the ballot? That’s crazy.

  3. Now that is disturbing.

    Rasmussen has consistently shown MUCH better results for Tancredo than other pollsters of all stripes, but the fact that a “credible” independent poll now shows Tancredo within four points is downright frightening.

  4. CO Gov.WTF? I swear if John Hickenlooper screws this up then wow, just wow. Let’s hope it’s an outlier and it probably is but you never know ras has been right on some things I was sure he was wrong on before so I can’t say for sure.

    Why is Alexi releasing an internal poll like that? What good can that possibly do? All it does is make us doubt public polling. If he was trailing in polling or what not then it would be ok but how incredibly stupid of him.

    NV Senate debate. I watched some of it, sadly I would say Angle won. I think this race is a true tossup but I think she has the edge and will probably eek out a win. Unrelated to the diary but I have been thinking it for awhile now and felt like posting.  

  5. had a good week here in Oxford. First, earlier this week he debated Alan Nunnlee. The result? I think I’ll let a here unnamed College Republican Officer say it: “That was rape in debate form.” The anarchistic, pro-tea party, libertarian friend I had concurred, saying, “Childress brutally dominated that debate.”

    I will toss in my two cents and say that neither of those even come close to doing Childress justice. I finally figured out why this race is still close in a conservative district like this in this environment and why it’s no better than 50/50 for Republicans: Childress is one awesome-ass politician. Really, this doesn’t look like a guy who until two years ago had been running uncompetitive elections for a county courthouse position in a county with a population of less than 25,000. Childress’s introductory speech is a perfect example, he was calm, composed, and fluid. It was a bam bam bam BAM speech hitting on issues of independence. Basically it went, “I was given awards by the National Federation of Independent Business, the chamber of Commerce, I’m proud to accept the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee and the NRA,” and it ended with a fantastic barb, “Some people have been trying to make this race about people a thousand miles away. It’s not, it’s about the people of north Mississippi and bringing jobs to this area and that remains my main concern.”

    It was great. And then of course yesterday Bill Clinton came by, (epic miss by the SSP people, haha), and held a big rally for Travis Childress with some two thousand people, maybe more, in the grove. His speech to was a zinger. He got a good response for a joke that, I believe, was criticizing an ad that apparently had Childress morph into Nancy Pelosi, saying, “Now lets get out there and elect the first transgender member of congress.”

    Not only that, but, to return to the debate, Nunnlee was flat and lifeless. He stuttered, shifted around a lot, spoke with awkward pauses, and lectured about vague ideas such as preserving liberty for future generations of Americans and rallying against big gub’ment liberalism and he really helped Childress come across as the one of the two who was independent minded and pragmatic, as well as the one better prepared to deal with the actual issues facing the district.

    I really can’t believe how bad a campaign, (I was talking to some Childress people), Nunnlee has run. I would have thought that after seeing the utter ineffectiveness of painting Childress as a Pelosi-Obama liberal back in 2008, they wouldn’t keep running ads about it. As it is I’m feeling better about it. There was a huge crowd of Childress supporters from Ole Miss there, (and his daughter Lauren was elected Miss Ole Miss a week or two ago), and that makes me think he’ll be able to preserve his healthy margin here, which he’ll need now that he can no longer depend on Tupelo to go his way quite as much.

  6. Hill got the courier journal endorsement. Not really surprising but still good. Here’s what they have to say:

    “Mr. Hill has grown in stature and effectiveness in Washington. He sponsored pay-as-you-go legislation that implements fiscal discipline by requiring Congress to offset new spending. He bravely voted for a cap-and-trade bill to reduce dependence on foreign oil and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but only after winning concessions to protect Indiana interests.

    His Republican opponent, Bloomington attorney Todd Young, wouldn’t have supported any of those actions. Mr. Young, who in addition to a private practice serves as a part-time deputy prosecutor in Orange County, views Social Security and Medicare as “sacred compacts” that must be protected. But Mr. Hill correctly points out that the policies that Mr. Young espouses – on avoiding government intervention in a financial crisis, on tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, on reducing government regulations on business and banking practices – would return the United States to the economic agenda and anything-goes regulatory climate of President George W. Bush’s tenure.

    Remarkably, Mr. Young even opposes the federal lifeline to the auto industry, which kept General Motors and Chrysler from certain collapse and saved thousands of Indiana jobs. The notion that private markets, in this economic climate, would have provided alternative employment and revenue is simply bizarre.”

  7. I had not heard of this outfit before today when I read an Alan Abramowitz piece on that linked to it.

    Since LordMike likes to talk about his mythical notion of Hispanics abandoning Team Blue for the GOP, here’s a data point in addition to the recent Pew survey to debunk his myth.


    The Republicans can’t break out of the 20s in any state in the bar graph toward the bottom, and the graph in the middle shows Dems up to 59-20 in the generic ballot.

  8. Hopefully you didn’t fall for that bogus NY-17 poll! I know this guy Yossi Gestetner, he’s an arogant stupid dreamer from dreamland, he also happens to work for Joe DioGuardi. Don’t take it seriously, it’s 100% bogus.

  9. Not often you get polling numbers from an Independent candidate but are some from Tom Horner that were in an E-mail to supporters. No word on the polling firm, dates, sample size so take with several thousand grains of salt.

    Dayton 38

    Emmer 27

    Horner 19

    A couple interesting tidbits in the E-mail

    There are also Horner supporters worried about wasting their vote. They too would consider another candidate. But contrary to the fearful narrative being put forth by the Republican party, those supporters would not help the GOP defeat Mark Dayton. Those Horner supporters, our polling found, would break to Dayton by more than a two-to-one ratio. The Star Tribune also found that more votes would break to Dayton than Emmer.

    Our poll showed what we suspected. Either Dayton wins or Horner wins. Rep. Emmer has not been able to hold on to Republicans, has not been able to win over independents, and is simply not an electable statewide candidate.

  10. Ellsworth's campaign is putting this ad on the air tonight, apparently. No idea how much money they're putting behind it. It's hard to say whether it'll have any effectiveness, frankly. As I've mentioned before, this is pretty much the same route of attack Ellsworth's campaign has been using ever since he entered the race; at the same time, Ellsworth's ran so few ads that it's hard to say whether this message has been distributed broadly enough to have been proved or disproved as a good attack. I think the variation of attacking Coats on abortion is new, though.

    One other thing: Coats has absolutely dominated Ellsworth in the last fundraising quarter. I have to say that doesn't really come as a surprise, given that Coats likely has quite a lot of old friends to call in favors from, while even the most partisan Dems would probably see a donation to Ellsworth as a waste of money at this point. 

  11. The local ABC affiliate, KAAL, is teasing a poll that shows a tight race in MN-01 for their 6pm newscast

    I have not seen any public or leaked internals for this race so it will be interesting the results even if it is from my least favorite pollster, Survey USA.  

  12. ….about polls indicating unexpectedly close races in 2006 or 2008.  Was our team simply not savvy enough to circulate this “buzz” in the last two cycles?  Or is 2010 simply that much more toxic of an election cycle for Democrats than either 2006 or 2008 was for Republicans?

  13. As many issues as I have with the guy, he has turned the RGA into a pretty potent weapon this cycle. The RGA completely destroyed Tim Cahill and Chris Daggett’s Independent gubernatorial campaigns and helped salvage Nathan Deal from what should have destroyed him in Georgia.

  14. Just $2.8m raised but incredibly they have roughly the same $4m CoH. Fiscal conservatism is easier said than done.

  15. “especially when your fundraising strategy is centered around direct mail appeals to small donors (including me… I just got another Sharron Angle snail-mail pitch yesterday).”

    I got on her snail-mail list too. Direct mail is expensive enough; I wonder how much of it is going to people who are obviously on the other side of the aisle. If it’s significant, no wonder she’s got only $4.1 million left despite raising $14 million.

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