SSP Daily Digest: 10/25 (Afternoon Edition)

AK-Sen: I hope the Alaska journalist corps is fueled up on coffee and is ready to go on a week-long dumpster diving binge, because the mother lode just got opened up. A state superior court judge just ordered that Joe Miller’s Fairbanks borough personnel records get released, saying the people’s right to know trumps Miller’s privacy concerns. The release won’t happen until tomorrow, though, to allow time for an Alaska Supreme Court decision if necessary.

CA-Sen: The polls can’t seem to decide whether the California Senate race is tightening, loosening, or staying basically the same, but it was enough to finally get Carly Fiorina to do what the NRSC had probably hoped she would have done months ago: she put $1 million of her own money into the race. (She’d spent $5 mil of her own on the primary, but nothing since then.) On top of that, the NRSC is throwing an additional $3 million into the race for the last week, while Barbara Boxer is calling the bluff with $4 million from her account for ads of her own.

NV-Sen: As we expected, Harry Reid’s been keeping up a steady drip-drip of endorsements from prominent Republicans around Nevada. The most recent one: term-limited state Sen. Dean Rhoads, who represents almost all of the state (geographically) except Clark and Washoe Counties. (H/t LookingOver.)

FL-Gov: Wow, Bill McCollum actually ate his own cat fud. With little time left on the clock, he swallowed any remnants of his pride and endorsed primary rival Rick Scott, the guy he swore he’d never endorse.

RI-Gov: Interesting approach from a blue state Dem: Frank Caprio just told the President to “shove it,” in reaction to Barack Obama’s apparent decision not to endorse him when he was in Rhode Island today. Payback for Lincoln Chafee’s Obama endorsement in ’08? Or reverse payback for Caprio’s reported flirting with a party switch? Or elaborate theater staged for Caprio’s benefit, to help distance himself from the White House?

OH-Gov: Obama and Biden alert! The Dynamic Duo are adding yet another campaign stop in Ohio, where saving Ted Strickland seems to be one of the White House’s top priorities. On Sunday, both will appear with Strickland, and then there’ll be a Biden/Strickland stop later in Toledo.

CA-47: Um, maybe someone should tell Van Tran that taking a page from the Carl Paladino playbook isn’t really a good idea right now… Tran’s out with foul-smelling scratch-and-sniff mailers in the district, hitting Loretta Sanchez for the “stench of Washington.”

CO-04: Add one more body on the plague wagon: the DCCC brought out Betsy Markey on Friday. They announced that they won’t be spending any more on the 4th this cycle. They’d previously drawn down their efforts here, but now they’re fully pulling out. (If there’s a bright spot, this is probably their last triage move… with one week left, there’s really no time left to cut anyone else off.)

FL-12: Is there a growing sense of Republican worry in this district? They shouldn’t lose an R+5 district in this climate, but they have probably the most credible 3rd party Tea Party challenger anywhere here, in the form of an actual county commissioner, Randy Wilkinson, who internals polls have seen taking gobbling up double-digit vote shares. They’re taking the problem seriously enough to have Newt Gingrich doing robocalling on behalf of GOP nominee Dennis Ross, suggesting that Wilkinson is a plant from next door’s Alan Grayson.

IN-02: Oooops. Jackie Walorski ran footage in a web video of a South Bend neighborhood as an example of a neighborhood “in ruin” from Democratic policies. The residents of the neighborhood are now deeply offended, saying their neighborhood is hardly ruined at all, and are demanding an apology.

KS-03: In a more normal year, this might be enough to do some serious damage in a close race: just-released police records show that Kevin Yoder (the GOP’s nominee here) refused to take a breath test during a 2009 traffic stop. He pled guilty to speeding, also received a citation for not taking the test, and it was left at that.

MS-04: Look who’s in a bit of a panic, and revealing his true stripes: Gene Taylor just let his district’s voters know that he isn’t one of those Demmycrats at all! Why, he even voted for John McCain in 2008, he says.

PA-11: Bill Clinton’s traveling schedule takes him to three blue-collar districts that were, in the ’08 Dem primaries, some of the most die-hard Clinton districts anywhere, now all home to pitched battles. He’s appearing in the 11th tomorrow in support of Paul Kanjorski (who we’d expected, a few months ago, to be the first Dem incumbent we wrote off, but who seems to still be in the thick of things). On Thursday, he also visits PA-03 and PA-15.

VA-05: If you weren’t already sold on Tom Perriello’s particular brand of awesome, check out the highlight reel of some of the best clips from his most recent debate with Rob Hurt.

WA-06: Here’s an internal poll that’s a real head-scratcher, that requires a bit of explanation. Rob Cloud, the same doofus who runs against Norm Dicks every cycle (four times in a row now) and gets crushed, claims to have an internal poll out giving him a four-point lead over the long-time Dem. (Well, four if you do your own math. For some reason, the poll gave actual respondent totals only, 609 to 558 with 95 undecided. If that strange method doesn’t by itself set off alarm bells, the polling firm is someone called Wenzel (out of Ohio), a company I’d only heard of once, when they polled OH-Gov and OH-Sen last year on behalf of Ohio Right to Life… but (h/t to quiller) it turns out have a regular gig as WorldNetDaily’s pollster and have been responsible for extremely leading-question-rife polls about Barack Obama’s citizenship. And on top of all that, Dicks won the Top 2 primary (the most reliable poll possible) with 57% of the vote, with a combined GOP vote share of 43% (of which Cloud got a pathetic 29%),which shouldn’t imply much vulnerability. On the other hand, Dicks’ district is “only” D+5, one of the least-blue districts that isn’t home to an on-the-radar race… and moreover, Dicks has seemed pretty invisible as far as I can tell, compared with next-door neighbor Adam Smith who’s in a similarly D+5 district but got a polling-related wake-up call and has been working his butt off lately. So, uh… who knows?  

NRCC: Eager to maximize last-minute take-over opportunities, the party of fiscal responsibility is throwing some more debt on the pile. The NRCC just took out a $20 million line of credit to fund some more late-in-the-game advertising.

Dark Money: Just as the actual universe’s mass is mostly composed of dark energy and dark matter, so too the political universe is apparently mostly composed of dark money these days. Hotline’s Jeremy Jacobs has an excellent piece that pulls together all the GOP spending by shadowy third-party groups, fleshing out the IE picture greatly, and also showing a remarkable amount of avoidance of duplication of efforts in the districts. They couldn’t actually be coordinating their efforts behind-the-scenes, you think? (Not that that’s illegal, as far as I know.)

IEs: Speaking of IEs, if you haven’t been following spiderdem’s weekly series over in the diaries regarding the back-and-forth battle of the independent expenditures between the DCCC and NRCC, you absolutely should. It rounds all the numbers up in one handy place, and puts them in the context of the probable lay of the land.


AK-Sen: Here’s that NRSC ad mentioned late last week, where they hit Scott McAdams in a preemptive attack to keep him from shooting the gap (and here’s the SOTB: $75K)

CA-Sen: No more giddy Carlyfornia Dreaming here, with a dour ad from the Fiorina camp hitting Barbara Boxer for California’s dire economic straits

FL-Sen: Marco Rubio’s closing statement is a plain talk-to-the-camera spot saying “Reclaim America!”

WI-Sen: Russ Feingold’s out with the ad that he should have run about two months ago, making fun of Ron Johnson’s whiteboard and platitudes

NM-Gov: Susana Martinez makes the Diane Denish/Bill Richardson connection about as explicit as humanly possible in her new spot

FL-22: Ron Klein seems to have finally moved away from Allen West’s homeowners association liens, with the Outlaws gang connections too juicy even for him to ignore

ID-01: Walt Minnick cites his independence and rags on Raul Labrador for getting his own last ad pulled for its bogusness

MN-06: Taryl Clark hits Michele Bachmann for, well, being a “celebrity”

VA-05: Robert Hurt goes after Tom Perriello for being a Washington insider


CA-Gov: Jerry Brown (D) 48%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%

CA-Sen: Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 48%, Carly Fiorina (R) 46%

CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 56%, Linda McMahon (R) 43%

IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth (D) 34%, Dan Coats (R) 52%

MD-Gov: Martin O’Malley (D-inc) 52%, Bob Ehrlich (R) 42%

ND-Sen: Tracy Potter (D) 25%, John Hoeven (R) 72%

PA-Gov: Dan Onorato (D) 45%, Tom Corbett (R) 50%

PA-Sen: Joe Sestak (D) 44%, Pat Toomey (R) 48%

RI-Gov: Frank Caprio (D) 28%, John Robitaille (R) 25%, Lincoln Chafee (I) 35%

SD-Gov: Scott Heidepriem (D) 36%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 55%

TX-Gov: Bill White (D) 42%, Rick Perry (R-inc) 51%

261 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 10/25 (Afternoon Edition)”

  1. From this afternoon’s post about Prop 19, it sounds as though Brown and Boxer have upwards of 10 point leads in their respective races:

    Here’s the particularly relevant passage:

    “There is no way of knowing for sure whether the voters who say Prop 19 is what they’re most interested in would vote this year if it wasn’t on the ballot. But we do know that group favors Barbara Boxer by a 34 point margin and Jerry Brown by a 36 point margin. At 10% of the electorate that means the marijuana question could be worth as much as 3.4% for Boxer and 3.6% for Brown. We find both of them ahead by a good deal more than that but if California ends up being closer than we expect Prop 19 could really end up being a difference maker for the Democrats at the top of the ticket.”

  2. But mid-to-high single digits sounds pretty realistic. With the governor’s race seemingly moving in Brown’s direction, I have a hard time seeing any real chance of Fiorina winning even with a massive money dump.

  3. Is there really any fear that Gene Taylor could lose? I mean, the latest poll is pretty positive for him. It’s the internal Tarrance Group poll from his Republican challenger, Steven Palazzo, conducted Oct. 18-19.


    Palazzo (R) 43%

    Taylor (D) 41%

    Adjusting for the partisan bias of the poll, it more closely resembles…

    Taylor (D) 43%

    Palazzo (R) 38%

    A five point lead for Taylor is pretty good for him, no?

  4. I was sorry you guys were not able to do your I.E. charts this cycle, so I have tried to fill the void and track I.E.’s in my own way.  I really appreciate the positive feedback from the community, as spending as much time as I have on it has not done me any favors with my wife!

  5. To me this is stunning.  I still feel he will lose but I never thought we’d see him at 45 one week out.  Both he and Sestak are closing fast.  Hopefully Clinton cam put some of the Dem reps over the top also.

    I just wonder if Onorato is really at 45.  Makes no sense Ras would favor the Dem but who knows.

  6. A so so day in early voting on Sunday. Democrats actually led in turnout in Washoe County for the 1st time, although by only 10 votes and on a day with light turnout due to only about half the EV polling sites being open on Sunday. In Clark County turnout and the Dem advantage over Republicans were both slightly below the average so far. The Good news is in CD-03 Dems had their best margin percentage wise yet.

    Clark County


    Dems 6,905 (45.92%)

    Reps 5,653 (37.59%)

    Other 2,479 (16.49%)


    Dems 63,629 (46.43%)

    Reps 51,801 (37.8%)

    Other 21,622 (15.78%)

    Washoe County


    Dems 993 (43.1%)

    Reps 983 (42.66%)

    Other 328 (14.24%)


    Dems 15,085 (40.16%)

    Reps 17,281 (46.0%)

    Other 5,200 (13.84%)



    Dems 3,783 (44.66%)

    Reps 3,266 (38.56%)

    Other 1,422 (16.79%)


    Dems 35,267 (43.71%)

    Reps 32,332 (40.07%)

    Other 13,087 (16.22%)

  7. After she defended her ad showing three stone-faced Mexican guys as “illegal aliens” by saying that they could be from anywhere, she then puts out another ad just like it.  It also repeats the thrice-debunked statement that Reid voted for social security and tax breaks for illegal immigrants.

    Again, it shows the illegal immigrants as being clearly Latino and shows the American families and schoolchildren as all Caucasian.  She seriously has some racial issues or something.

    I won’t even embed it here, it burns me so much.  Also, wtf is with all the green?

  8. a new scandal? A few weeks ago we had Whitman’s Nannygate, then Ashjian’s Angle tape, and the Iott Nazi recreation flap, and Scott Miller’s many mishaps, etc.

    But there hasn’t been much new material for a while. Are we due for a new one, or has early voting just moved them all up a couple weeks?

  9. Periello was one of FOUR candidates I donated too. I’m in Texas, what else can I do? CAUSE THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!!

  10. you kidding Wish TV? They polled the second and seventh but not ninth. Geez, the SEVENTH. Results should be released soon. I’m sure they also polled SoS.  

  11. So says the Culver campaign:

    Culver Momentum Continues: Now a 6-Point Race

    DES MOINES – Culver/Judge Campaign Manager Donn Stanley announced today that a new internal poll shows the Governor’s race has tightened even further to a six-point race. A poll of 600 general election Iowa voters conducted by Global Strategies Group found that 40 percent of Iowans support Governor Culver versus 46 percent for Terry Branstad.  

    Five percent of voters favor minor-party candidates, and 9 percent are undecided. The poll also found that more than a quarter, 26 percent, of voters are either undecided or are still willing change who they will vote for on November 2.

    “With one week to go, this poll shows that Chet Culver clearly has the momentum in this race,” Stanley said. “While Terry Branstad is hiding out to avoid scrutiny of his record and positions, Governor Culver has been crisscrossing the state, talking to Iowans about his vision for the future of our great state. Make no mistake, Chet Culver and Patty Judge are going to win this race. They have the commitment, the drive, and the vision to move our state forward.”

    The poll was conducted from Oct. 22-25, and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

    I don’t know about a poll taken over the weekend, but I have heard that various campaigns’ internal polls have shown Culver gaining on Branstad. I still doubt he has enough time to take a lead, but it should be better for our down-ticket candidates if Culver loses narrowly rather than getting blown out. Supposedly Dem internals now show Culver ahead in IA-02, for instance–that would be good news for Loebsack.

  12. watching a rerun of the MN Gov debate on CSPAN. Yawn, Yawn, Yawn. I love watching CSPAN but all three of these guys are uninspiring as heck. They look and sound the same. Politics fascinates me but this is SO boring. No one is winning or losing.    


    Roughly 42% Republican, 36% Democrat.

    Which brings up an interesting point, I think… PPP and SurveyUSA are seeing small early voting leads for Bennet (49/46 in PPP and 51/45 in SUSA).  Yet the turnout so far is fairly hostile looking.  Either their early vote numbers are off, and Bennet is in bad shape (which I don’t really believe since they both reached the same finding there), or Bennet is getting pretty good numbers among independents and crossover votes.

  14. I know it’s amazing we have a Democrat in an R+20 district at all and he’s the only Democrat who could occupy it, but this is getting a little ridiculous. How long before Jim Marshall starts saying he voted for McCain in 2008 too?

    Why is Taylor even a Democrat if it’s such a drag? He voted for three of the articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton!

  15. I agree this poll seems highly dubious.  As indicated above, Dicks did get 57% in the primary, where presumably the highly motivated Tea Partiers would have more of an impact than in the general election.

    That being said, I could see some potential trouble for Dicks.  This district, while it leans Democratic, isn’t THAT Democratic.  Dicks really hasn’t had a competitive race in decades, hasn’t felt the need to run ads on tv, etc.  So, he could potentially have some difficulties. But I think the weakness of his opponent means he’ll be fine. Perhaps he’ll run a few percentage points below his #s from prior races, but I still see a comfortable win.


    NRCC is pulling out of the district after spending $400K.  DCCC is going up on air at full steam ahead, fulfilling the $550K of buys they had reserved for the week before the election.

    both sides spin it their way.  NRCC says they’re pulling out because Flores is solidly ahead.  DCCC says NRCC is pulling out because Flores is a gaffe factory.

    seems impossible to know for sure.  DCCC hasn’t been shy about cutting off underperformers, so it seems like Edwards is still in it.  if he’s still in it, why is the NRCC bailing?

  17.    Sestak down 5 in last night’s tracking poll.  All of the crosstabs seem plausible except for the age breakdown.  Only 11% of voters under 40 is ridiculous.  In 2006 voters 18-29 made up 11% of the electorate by themselves.  So, yeah.  They also assume a D+2 electorate.  2006 had a D+5 electorate.  Not a big deal.

     One overlooked finding is that the generic ballot advantage in the tracking poll is R+3.  Not as catastrophic as earlier polls had it.

  18. With its typical questionable partisan profile.

    Costa notes 40% of those surveyed were Republicans, while actually on 33% of the district’s voters are Republicans. He also notes only 44% of those surveyed are Democrats, while 56% of the voters in the district are Democrats.

    “They’ve over-sampled Republicans and they’ve under sampled Democrats and it doesn’t reflect the ethnic breakdown of the district.” Costa said.

    52 percent of those surveyed were identified as white, while only 21 percent of the district is considered to be non-Hispanic white. 36 percent of those surveyed are Hispanic, while 63 percent of the district is Hispanic. But SurveyUSA Pollster Jay Leve defends the methodology saying Hispanic voter turnout is expected to be low. “I don’t think it’s likely Hispanic turnout will grow to 40% but if it does Mr. Costa definitely is the beneficiary of that.

  19. Jackie’s internals are accurate. Donnelly leads by 5 points, 48-43. Three weeks ago he led 48-39. I don’t remember seeing that poll, I can’t believe it wasn’t reported on SSP. 5 points a week before the election means a narrow win I think.

    Carson leads 50 to 37. Three weeks ago he lead 50-33, I don’ t remember seeing that poll either.

  20. Our local cable news station, Bay News 9, ran an unscientific internet snap poll asking who won the debate.  I voted for Rick Scott and expected to see a lopsided result for him.  To my surprise, it was actually 59-41 for Sink.  Probably says more about the demographics of the self-selected sample of users of Bay News 9’s web-site than anything.  But maybe my perception of a disaster for Sink is wrong.

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