SSP Daily Digest: 10/27 (Morning Edition)

AL-Gov (Univ. of S. Alabama): Ron Sparks (D) 35%, Robert Bentley (R) 48%

CA-Sen, CA-Gov (Suffolk): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 52%, Carly Fiorina (R) 43%; Jerry Brown (D) 50%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%

(Bonus: Kamala Harris leads Steve Cooley 35-34 in the AG race, and “no” leads “yes” on Prop 19 55-40)

CA-Sen, CA-Gov (SurveyUSA for KABC): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 45%, Carly Fiorina (R) 40%; Jerry Brown (D) 46%, Meg Whitman (R) 38%

(Bonus: Gavin Newsom leads Abel Maldonado 42-34 for LG, and “no” leads “yes” on Prop 19 46-44)

CA-Sen, CA-Gov (PPP): Barbara Boxer (D-inc) 52%, Carly Fiorina (R) 43%; Jerry Brown (D) 53%, Meg Whitman (R) 42%

(Bonus: “no” leads “yes” on Prop 19 45-48)

CA-20 (SurveyUSA for KFSN): Jim Costa (D-inc) 42%, Andy Vidak (R) 52%

(note: this poll population is 37% Hispanic, compared with 67% in reality) (also, the DCCC responded with a poll giving Costa a 47-41 lead, although they neglected to leak the pollster’s name) (UPDATE: The pollster is Bennet Petts & Normington, with the sample over the same 10/21-24 period as SurveyUSA)

CT-Sen, CT-Gov (Quinnipiac): Richard Blumenthal (D) 54% (54), Linda McMahon (R) 42% (43); Dan Malloy (D) 48% (49), Tom Foley (R) 43% (42)

FL-08 (Susquehanna for Sunshine State News): Alan Grayson (D-inc) 41% (36), Daniel Webster (R) 48% (43), Peg Dunmire (T) 4%

GA-Gov (InsiderAdvantage): Roy Barnes (D) 41%, Nathan Deal (R) 47%, John Monds (L) 5%

ID-Gov, ID-Sen, ID-01, ID-02 (Mason-Dixon for Idaho newspapers): Keith Allred (D) 30%, Butch Otter (R-inc) 52%; Tom Sullivan (D) 20%, Mike Crapo (R-inc) 64%; Walt Minnick (D-inc) 44%, Raul Labrador (R) 41%; Mike Crawford (D) 17%, Mike Simpson (R-inc) 67%

IA-Gov (Global Strategy Group for Chet Culver): Chet Culver (D-inc) 40%, Terry Branstad (R) 46%

IL-Gov (MarketShares for Chicago Tribune): Pat Quinn (D-inc) 39% (39), Bill Brady (R) 43% (38), Scott Lee Cohen (I) 5%, Rich Whitney (G) 4%, Lex Green (L) 2%

IL-Sen (Anzalone-Liszt for DSCC): Alexi Giannoulias (D) 38%, Mark Kirk (R) 36%, LeAlan Jones (G) 7%, Mike Labno (L) 4%

KY-Sen (PPP): Jack Conway (D) 40%, Rand Paul (R) 53%

KY-03 (RiverCity for Todd Lally): John Yarmuth (D-inc) 41%, Todd Lally (R) 37% (note: n = only 239, yet they claim MoE of 4.5%)

LA-02 (Anzalone-Liszt): Cedric Richmond (D) 49%, Joe Cao (R-inc) 32%

MD-Sen (Baltimore Sun): Barb Mikulski (D-inc) 59%, Eric Wargotz (R) 32%

NC-Sen (SurveyUSA for WRAL): Elaine Marshall (D) 38%, Richard Burr (R-inc) 53%, Mike Beitler (L) 5%

NC-Sen (Tel Opinion Research for Civitas): Elaine Marshall (D) 34%, Richard Burr (R-inc) 44%, Mike Beitler (L) 4%

NJ-03 (Monmouth): John Adler (D-inc) 43% (42), Jon Runyan (R) 48% (39)

NJ-03 (Eagleton/Rutgers): John Adler (D-inc) 44%, Jon Runyan (R) 44%, Peter DeStefano (I) 4%

NJ-06 (Monmouth): Frank Pallone (D-inc) 52% (53), Anna Little (R) 45% (41)

NM-Gov (POS for Susana Martinez): Diane Denish (D) 42%, Susana Martinez (R) 50%

NM-Gov (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Diane Denish): Diane Denish (D) 45%, Susana Martinez (R) 46%

NY-20 (Siena): Scott Murphy (D-inc) 42% (54), Chris Gibson (R) 51% (37)

(The Murphy camp leaked an internal from Global Strategy Group today, although only saying a 3-point lead without specific toplines)

OH-Gov, OH-Sen (Quinnipiac): Ted Strickland (D-inc) 43% (41), John Kasich (R) 49% (51); Lee Fisher (D) 36% (34), Rob Portman (R) 53% (55)

OH-Sen (Wilson Research, not apparently on anyone’s behalf): Lee Fisher (D) 38%, Rob Portman (R) 49%

OH-Sen (Univ. of Cincinnati for Ohio newspapers): Lee Fisher (D) 39%, Rob Portman 58%

PA-Sen, PA-Gov (Ipsos for Reuters): Joe Sestak (D) 46%, Pat Toomey (R) 46%; Dan Onorato (D) 43%, Tom Corbett (R) 49%

(Sestak leads 46-42 among RVs, and even Onorato leads 46-43 among RVs)

PA-Sen, PA-Gov (Muhlenberg): Joe Sestak (D) 40% (42), Pat Toomey (R) 48% (47); Dan Onorato (D) 39% (41), Tom Corbett (R) 50% (49)

PA-08 (POS for Mike Fitzpatrick): Patrick Murphy (D-inc) 40%, Mike Fitzpatrick (R) 50%

PA-10 (Lycoming): Chris Carney (D-inc) 45%, Tom Marino (R) 39%

SD-Gov (Neilson Brothers): Scott Heidepriem (D) 40%, Dennis Daugaard (R) 43%

VA-09 (SurveyUSA for WDBJ): Rick Boucher (D-inc) 46%, Morgan Griffith (R) 47%

WI-Gov (Mellman Group, not apparently on anyone’s behalf): Tom Barrett (D) 45%, Scott Walker (R) 47%

ID-01, ID-Gov: Minnick Leads by 10, Otter by 16

Mason-Dixon for various Idaho newspapers (9/13-15, likely voters, no trend lines):

Walt Minnick (D-inc): 46

Raul Labrador (R): 36

Mike Washburn (L): 1

Dave Olson (I): 1

Undecided: 16

(MoE: ±5%)

Mason-Dixon dips its toes into the warm Idaho waters for the first time this cycle, finding frosh Democrat Walt Minnick in good, though not bulletproof, shape in this deep red district. To recap all of the polls we’ve seen of this race, Greg Smith & Associates released a poll back in June showing Labrador ahead by 36-24… which was the first and last time that Labrador led in any publicly-released polling, as his campaign followed up a month later with an internal poll showing Minnick up by 37-27. And local pollster Greg Strimple, who usually works for Republicans, pegged Minnick’s lead at an eye-popping 52-29 in August.

Minnick sports a very impressive 54-16 favorability rating, while Labrador is not hated at 31-10. (41%, though, recognize Labrador’s name but feel ambivalent about him.) Minnick wins 26% of Republicans and leads Labrador among independents by 48-27. In recent days, Minnick’s been going hard negative on Labrador, hitting him for his record as an immigration attorney. (I disagree with my ex-boss Greg Sargent’s take that Minnick is airing the ad out of desperation – I think he’s just trying to rough Labrador up as much as possible before the race has a chance to tighten, which could precipitate a flood of outside money into the district.)

Meanwhile, we have another glance at the gubernatorial numbers:

Keith Allred (D): 29

Butch Otter (R-inc): 45

Ted Dunlap (L): 3

Pro Life (I): 2

Jana Kemp (I): 1

Undecided: 20

(MoE: ±3.9%)

You bet I’m Pro Life! I didn’t realize that the most bizarrely-named dude in politics was back at it (yes, the man legally changed his name to Pro Life in order to run against Jim Risch for Senate in 2008 – backstory here), but it warms my heart to know that there’s no quit in him.

These numbers are actually pretty unspectacular all-around for Butch Otter, whose edge on Democrat Keith Allred has been cut in half over the course of the year. I’m not saying that Allred has a chance (though he’s certainly a very solid candidate), but Otter is on track to under-perform.

Meanwhile, in the Senate race, incumbent Republican Mike Crapo leads Dem Tom Sullivan by 61-17, while GOP Rep. Mike Simpson (who has at least some degree of goodwill from SSP for being so candid with his opinions on Bill Sali in past years) leads Dem Mike Crawford by 51-23.

SSP Daily Digest: 9/7 (Afternoon Edition)

AK-Sen: Once again, the Swing State Project is proud to issue one of its once-in-a-blue-moon endorsements, and to do it for Scott McAdams, the Democratic nominee in Alaska. We’re two-thirds of the way to our $2,400 goal, and we’ve just hit 50 contributors, so please join in!

CO-Sen, CO-Gov: This is a real head-scratcher: Ken Buck’s camp is out with an internal poll by POS… showing him losing (despite what a number of public polls have said)?!? The poll gives a 43-40 edge to Michael Bennet, with 5 going to the Libertarian candidate. Either this is an odd attempt to mess with Dems’ heads, or, more likely, a message to his supporters to stop taking the race for granted and to keep the contributions flowing. UPDATE: OK, this isn’t a Buck internal; it’s a joint POS/Fairbank Maslin collaboration, and it’s not said on whose behalf this poll was performed. One other bit of news from the poll: it also includes gubernatorial numbers, and John Hickenlooper is closing in on the 50% mark. He’s at 48, to 25 for Dan Maes and 15 for Tom Tancredo.

DE-Sen: Tax liens and penalties are sort of the common cold of political scandals, but this isn’t timed well for Mike Castle, who’s trying to stave off a last-minute zone-flooding from Tea Party Express on behalf of Christine O’Donnell. Castle had to make interest and penalty payments three times on his Capitol Hill pad in 2005 and 2006, although of course that pales in comparison to O’Donnell’s long track record of ducking her bills. Meanwhile, we have a sense of what the Tea Party Express‘s fully operational battle station looks like: they’ve spent only $60K on O’Donnell’s behalf so far, but plan to have spent $250K by the primary (including more airing of their TV spot and radio ad, as well as direct mail and out-of-state phone banking).

KY-Sen: The moneybomb shoe’s on the other foot: Jack Conway’s doing an online one-day fundraising scramble today. As of 1 pm ET, the day’s total was up to $130K. Meanwhile, against that moneybomb backdrop, is an instance of a paid Rand Paul staffer having gotten caught sockpuppeting over at Daily Kos, concern-trolling against Conway from the left.

NH-Sen: A lot of money ($10K from various officers and employees) has flowed into Kelly Ayotte’s campaign from a decidedly sketchy company in Texas: Tax Masters, one of those companies that relies heavily on late-night advertising to generate business for helping resolve debts owed to the IRS. The company and its CEO were charged with multiple violations of Texas’s consumer protection laws, in the wake of hundreds of consumer complaints.

OH-Sen, OH-Gov: The Columbus Dispatch offers up some truly bad numbers for the Democratic candidates in Ohio, finding Rob Portman leading Lee Fisher 50-37 in the Senate race and John Kasich leading Ted Strickland 49-37 in the governor’s race (and the GOP winning all lower statewide races too), among registered voters. One important caveat, though: the Dispatch’s poll are notoriously an all-mail-in survey (why not just poll subscribers to Literary Digest?!?), and have consistently ranked dead last in most of 538’s pollster ratings (until the most recent installment, when they managed to leap ahead of a few other members of the rogues’ gallery, including Research 2000, ARG, and Zogby Interactive).

WA-Sen: Patty Murray leaked an internal poll today to Politico, showing that the needle has barely budged in this race between two ubiquitously-known, well-defined candidates. The Fairbank Maslin poll gives Murray a 50-45 lead, and 53/42 approval. An April internal by the same pollster, back when Dino Rossi was only considering entering the race, gave Murray an 8-point lead.

MA-Gov: A poll from local wire service State House News Service gives a decent lead to Deval Patrick, thanks to an assist from Tim Cahill. Their first poll of the gubernatorial race has Patrick leading Republican Charlie Baker, independent Cahill, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein 34-28-18-4, among registered voters.

MD-Gov: For every Joe Miller, there’s, well, a Brian Murphy. The Washington Post takes a quick look at the upstart GOP gubernatorial candidate, whose Sarah Palin endorsement hasn’t turned into much of anything (other than a way for Bob Ehrlich to burnish his moderate credentials). In the pre-primary reporting period (all of which covers the post-Palin period), he’s raised only $35K, including $14K from himself, leaving him with $31K CoH. Ehrlich raised $725K over the 18-day period, taking him to $2.5 million CoH, while Dem Martin O’Malley raised $267K and has $6.5 million CoH.

MI-Gov: While organized labor is the biggest force propelling Dem Virg Bernero in Michigan, there’s one union that isn’t falling in line. The state’s largest construction union, the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, is backing Rick Snyder instead. More alarmingly for Bernero, the much-larger Teamsters haven’t endorsed yet and could conceivably go for Snyder too.

MS-Gov: The 2011 election is only fourteen months away, and things are taking shape in Mississippi. Phil Bryant, the first-term Republican Lt. Governor, is taking steps to prepare for a bid. Businessman Dave Dennis also seems likely to run, while the state’s great-named SoS, Delbert Hosemann, also sounds like he’s interested.

TX-Gov: We have two wildly divergent polls in Texas, both from GOP pollsters. Hill Research, on behalf of the Texas Watch Foundation (in a poll that seems primarily about homeowners’ insurance reform, but where the gube race seems to have gotten thrown-in as an attention-getter), finds Rick Perry leading Bill White by only a 42-41 margin. On the other hand, GOPAC (perhaps having gotten an advance heads-up about the Texas Watch numbers) rolled out numbers showing Perry in better shape. Their poll, via Wilson Research Strategies, gives Perry a 50-38 lead over White.

KS-04: With polling now pretty consistently showing Mike Pompeo leading Raj Goyle by single digits in the open seat race in the 4th, the last thing the Republicans can afford here is a high-profile third-party challenge on the right. That’s what they might get, though, if businessman (and former Tic-Tac-Dough host) Wink Hartman follows through on threats to pick up the just-abandoned Libertarian ballot line. The state party has started scrambling to lean on Hartman to get him to stand down.

NY-various: There’s a bonanza of pre-primary fundraising reports in New York (where the primary is next week). The biggest raiser among the various Republican House challengers was Chris Cox in the 1st, who raised $103K to Randy Altschuler’s $59K (although Altschuler still has a big CoH advantage). In the 23rd, the numbers were much smaller: Matt Doheny raised $41K and Doug Hoffman raised $37K, although Doheny has about three times Hoffman’s CoH.

WV-01: On the back of the DCCC’s wave of internal polls today, here’s one more poll that probably has to go in the “good news” file: an internal poll, from POS, has Republican David McKinley trailing Dem Mike Oliverio in the open seat race in the 1st. Oliverio leads McKinley 41-36. The only other poll of this race was an Oliverio internal last month that gave him a seemingly too-good-to-be-true 52-36 lead over McKinley, but at the very least, it seems like everyone’s in agreement that Oliverio’s in pole position for now.


CO-Sen: The DSCC is out with an ad in Colorado, letting Ken Buck go after himself with his own words on Social Security and the 17th Amendment

DE-Sen: Mike Castle’s new ad is out; predictably, it goes after Christine O’Donnell for her crazy finances

FL-Sen: First TV ad from Charlie Crist, stressing his (what else?) independence; also Kendrick Meek’s first TV ad, which is him on a swamp boat and stressing his (what else?) Dem credentials

MO-Sen: Roy Blunt ad about how much he loves small business

OH-Sen: Lee Fisher’s first TV ad out of the gate is negative, going after Rob Portman for being George Bush’s job-exporting trade representative

CA-Gov: Strangely sepia-toned ad is Jerry Brown’s first, seemingly to remind older Californians about how much things sucked less when he was Governor the first time (SOTB: $1.2 million for one week… that’s California for you)

FL-Gov: Rick Scott’s first post-primary TV ad is an attack ad against… Barack Obama? (and Alex Sink, too, I guess)

GA-Gov: Roy Barnes goes negative against Nathan Deal on the issues of his recently-released tax returns, calling him “too corrupt even for Congress”

SC-Gov: Nikki Haley’s first TV spot, outsider-themed with a jab at Mark Sanford

FL-22: The new Ron Klein spot is another anti-Allen West spot, but still hammering on the tax liens instead of, well, West’s non-stop stream-of-consciousness crazy

ID-01: Walt Minnick’s first TV spot: please disregard the “D” next to his name, because he’s independent

IN-02: The NRCC’s first television IE of the cycle, hitting Joe Donnelly for, well, being a Democrat

IN-08: Trent van Haaften’s first TV ad is a basic introductory spot

PA-03: Kathy Dahlkemper’s second ad tries to cram “jobs” in there as many times as possible

PA-06: Manan Trivedi’s first TV ad also works the outsider angle

PA-11: Paul Kanjorski’s second ad works the Social Security privatization angle, smart in such an aged district

PA-15: Interestingly, Charlie Dent’s first ad is a negative shot against John Callahan (on local property taxes), indicating he may be feeling some heat here

WI-07: Julie Lassa’s second ad goes after Sean Duffy for saying that he can’t do anything to create jobs

AFSCME: Here’s the big buy of the day: the AFSCME is shelling out $1.5 million in four states (Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) for an ad attacking Republicans for voting against the state aid package in August)


DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 37%, Mike Castle (R) 48%

DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 47%, Christine O’Donnell (R) 36%

ID-Gov: Keith Allred (D) 36%, Butch Otter (R-inc) 52%

ID-Sen: Tom Sullivan (D) 24%, Mike Crapo (R-inc) 63%

MA-Gov: Deval Patrick (D-inc) 39%, Charlie Baker (R) 34%, Tim Cahill (I) 18%

NE-Gov: Mike Meister (D) 28%, Dave Heineman (R-inc) 61%

NV-Gov: Rory Reid (D) 33%, Brian Sandoval (R) 58%

NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 45%, Sharron Angle (R) 45%

SSP Daily Digest: 7/20 (Afternoon Edition)

AR-Sen (pdf): One more poll added to Blanche Lincoln’s woes today. It’s from Republican pollster Magellan, and unlike a number of their polls lately that have been sua sponte, this one is on behalf of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network. It gives John Boozman a 60-29 lead over Lincoln. Lincoln decided to put a stop to the string of polls showing her DOA, by (taking a page from Raul Labrador here) releasing her own internal from Benenson showing her, well, only a little bit dead. It has her trailing Boozman “only” 45-36, with 6 going to indie Trevor Drown.

KS-Sen, KS-Gov: SurveyUSA looks at the statewide primaries in Kansas yet again, and, as usual, finds Rep. Jerry Moran with a big lead over fellow Rep. Todd Tiahrt in the GOP Senate primary, 50-36 (which is actually an improvement for Tiahrt; the last SUSA poll was 53-33). College professor Lisa Johnston continues to lead the Dem Senate primary at 23, with 14 for Charles Schollenberger and 12 for state Sen. David Haley. The GOP gubernatorial primary continues to be a non-event, with Sam Brownback leading Joan Heffington 73-19.

NE-Sen (pdf): Magellan, on behalf of JCN, is also out with a poll of the 2012 Senate race, presumably intended to scare Ben Nelson into voting against Elena Kagan. At this rate, it may not matter how he votes on Kagan or anything else: if he runs again, Nelson is losing to GOP Gov. Dave Heineman 58-28.

NH-Sen: The Paul Hodes campaign continues to hit Kelly Ayotte over her being asleep at the switch on mortgage fraud with another ad on the topic. It’s a $100K ad buy, and it’s going up in Boston, meaning that it’ll hit a lot of eyeballs (but also that that $100K gets burned through pretty quickly).

PA-Sen: Joe Sestak has been fighting with local TV stations over them airing an ad from a conservative group attacking him on Israel policy. Now he’s getting some backing from liberal Israel policy group J Street, who are running a new TV spot saying he “consistently votes for aid to Israel.” NWOTSOTB, but it is running “in major media markets.”

SC-Sen: Green, not Greene? The Columbia area AFL-CIO must not have been impressed with Alvin Greene’s first major policy speech last weekend, because now they’ve rolled out their endorsement of Green Party candidate Tom Clements instead.

WI-Sen (pdf): But wait, there’s more! With your purchase of these fine AR-Sen and NE-Sen polls, you also get a bonus WI-Sen poll, perfect for triggering one of Russ Feingold’s patented flashes of maverickiness. Magellan, on behalf, of JCN, also finds Feingold leading Ron Johnson 45-43.

CT-Gov: Dan Malloy got the endorsement of the six state affiliates of the SEIU in Connecticut, a key union endorsement. Ned Lamont isn’t hurting for union backing, though; he has the support of the Connecticut Education Association, the UAW, and the UFCW.

MI-Gov: The Detroit News poll from yesterday also had a Democratic primary component to it. They find, with only weeks to go, Undecided still in the lead at 40. Andy Dillon leads Virg Bernero 34-25. 44% of respondents haven’t heard of Bernero, while 26% don’t know Dillon. On the GOP side, this may give some more moderate cred to Rick Snyder: he got the endorsement of ex-Rep. Joe Schwarz, who had briefly considered an independent run for Governor himself.

MT-Gov: GOPers already have a candidate for Governor in 2012 in Montana, where Brian Schweitzer is termed out. Republican former state Senate minority leader Corey Stapleton just announced his bid. The article mentions some other possibilities too, including long-ago ex-Rep. Rick Hill on the GOP side. AG Steve Bullock may be the Dems’ best bet.

FL-02: Politico has a profile of Rep. Allen Boyd, who’s getting squeezed both left and right as he first faces state Sen. Al Lawson in the Dem primary and then faces funeral home owner Steve Southerland. Boyd’s response? To play “offense,” including going negative in TV ads against Lawson. Boyd’s already spent $1.9 million this cycle, and still has many times more CoH than his two opponents together.

NY-15: Buried deep in a Hill article about how Chuck Schumer is still standing up for Charles Rangel when no one else will, kicking him a $10K check for his re-election, is a noteworthy poll of the Dem primary. The poll was conducted by PPP, and was paid for by; it finds Rangel with a not-very-imposing lead of 39-21 over Adam Clayton Powell IV in the primary.

NY-23: After being the flavor of the month for, well, a month or so prior to last fall’s NY-23 special election, Doug Hoffman seems to have fallen off most people’s radars. He wants you to know he’s still around, though, and just released an internal poll from McLaughlin & Associates that gives him a sizable lead over Matt Doheny (who has most of the local GOP establishment backing) in the GOP primary. He leads Doheny 52-20. Bear in mind, of course, that Hoffman already has the Conservative line and Doheny has the IP line, meaning they’re going to meet in the general election (and spoil each other’s days) either way.

TN-09: Finally, here’s a poll of the Dem primary in the 9th. It looks like former Memphis mayor Willie Herenton is having the same trouble playing the race card that Nikki Tinker did in 2008; he’s trailing Steve Cohen by a 65-15 margin. The poll’s not an internal, taken by Yacoubian Research for WMC-TV, but there’s one reason to raise an eyebrow at it: it screens voters by asking them if they’re in the 9th District (and how many people in the real world know the number of their congressional district?).


CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 53%, Linda McMahon (R) 40%

CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 52%, Peter Schiff (R) 34%

CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 52%, Rob Simmons (R) 38%

ID-Sen: Tom Sullivan (D) 27%, Mike Crapo (R-inc) 64%

ME-Gov: Libby Mitchell (D) 31%, Paul LePage (R) 39%, Eliot Cutler (I) 15%

OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 39%, Rob Portman (R) 45%

Rasmussen Reports, You Decide, Vol. 17

AK-Gov (5/6, likely voters):

Sean Parnell (R-inc): 58

Ethan Berkowitz (D): 30

Sean Parnell (R-inc): 62

Hollis French (D): 24

Sean Parnell (R-inc): 62

Bob Poe (D): 21

Ralph Samuels (R): 43

Ethan Berkowitz (D): 36

Ralph Samuels (R): 48

Hollis French (D): 26

Ralph Samuels (R): 47

Bob Poe (D): 23

(MoE: ±4.5%)

CA-Sen (5/12, likely voters, 4/12 in parens):

Barbara Boxer (D-inc): 42 (43)

Tom Campbell (R): 41 (41)

Barbara Boxer (D-inc): 45 (42)

Carly Fiorina (R): 38 (38)

Barbara Boxer (D-inc): 46 (42)

Chuck DeVore (R): 40 (39)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

CO-Gov (5/11, likely voters, 5/14 in parens):

John Hickenlooper (D): 41 (42)

Scott McInnis (R): 47 (48)

(MoE: ±3%)

ID-Sen (5/11, likely voters):

Tom Sullivan (D): 22

Mike Crapo (R-inc): 66

(MoE: ±4.5%)

ID-Gov (5/11, likely voters, 3/23 in parens):

Keith Allred (D): 32 (28)

Butch Otter (R-inc): 54 (60)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

KS-Gov (5/11, likely voters, 2/24 in parens):

Tom Holland (D): 27 (33)

Sam Brownback (R): 58 (55)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

KS-Sen (5/11, likely voters):

David Haley (D): 25

Jerry Moran (R): 60

Lisa Johnston (D): 25

Jerry Moran (R): 61

Charles Schollenberger (D): 25

Jerry Moran (R): 59

David Haley (D): 27

Todd Tiahrt (R): 58

Lisa Johnston (D): 29

Todd Tiahrt (R): 57

Charles Schollenberger (D): 30

Todd Tiahrt (R): 55

(MoE: ±4.5%)

MA-Gov (5/10, likely voters, 4/5 in parens):

Deval Patrick (D): 45 (35)

Charlie Baker (R): 31 (27)

Tim Cahill (I): 14 (23)

Grace Ross (D): 27

Charlie Baker (R): 32

Tim Cahill (I): 16

(MoE: ±4.5%)

NH-Sen (5/11, likely voters, 4/7 parens):

Paul Hodes (D): 38 (35)

Kelly Ayotte (R): 50 (50)

Paul Hodes (D): 37 (37)

Bill Binnie (R): 49 (49)

Paul Hodes (D): 43 (39)

Ovide Lamontagne (R): 38 (44)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

Rasmussen Reports, You Decide, Vol. 13

Ever take the week off, and come back to find your inbox full of spam?

AL-Gov (3/29, likely voters):

Artur Davis (D): 33

Bradley Byrne (R): 50

Some other: 9

Not sure: 9

Artur Davis (D): 36

Kay Ivey (R): 43

Some other: 12

Not sure: 8

Artur Davis (D): 35

Tim James (R): 49

Some other: 10

Not sure: 7

Artur Davis (D): 44

Roy Moore (R): 40

Some other: 11

Not sure: 6

Ron Sparks (D): 33

Bradley Byrne (R): 43

Some other: 11

Not sure: 13

Ron Sparks (D): 33

Kay Ivey (R): 39

Some other: 15

Not sure: 13

Ron Sparks (D): 34

Tim James (R): 38

Some other: 13

Not sure: 14

Ron Sparks (D): 40

Roy Moore (R): 35

Some other: 15

Not sure: 10

(MoE: ±4.5%)

AL-Sen (3/29, likely voters):

William Barnes (D): 32

Richard Shelby (R): 59

Some other: 3

Not sure: 6

(MoE: ±4.5%)

AR-Sen (3/30, likely voters, 3/1 in parentheses):

Blanche Lincoln (D): 36 (39)

John Boozman (R): 51 (48)

Some other: 6 (6)

Not sure: 7 (7)

Blanche Lincoln (D): 36 (40)

Gilbert Baker (R): 51 (45)

Some other: 6 (6)

Not sure: 7 (8)

Blanche Lincoln (D): 35 (38)

Kim Hendren (R): 51 (43)

Some other: 5 (7)

Not sure: 8 (12)

Blanche Lincoln (D): 36 (41)

Curtis Coleman (R): 48 (43)

Some other: 7 (7)

Not sure: 8 (10)

Blanche Lincoln (D): 35 (38)

Jim Holt (R): 51 (45)

Some other: 7 (6)

Not sure: 7 (10)

Bill Halter (D): 34 (33)

John Boozman (R): 48 (55)

Some other: 8 (6)

Not sure: 11 (9)

Bill Halter (D): 36 (37)

Gilbert Baker (R): 44 (43)

Some other: 7 (5)

Not sure: 12 (13)

Bill Halter (D): 34 (35)

Kim Hendren (R): 42 (42)

Some other: 10 (7)

Not sure: 13 (15)

Bill Halter (D): 37 (35)

Curtis Coleman (R): 40 (38)

Some other: 10 (9)

Not sure: 13 (18)

Bill Halter (D): 34 (38)

Jim Holt (R): 43 (42)

Some other: 9 (8)

Not sure: 14 (12)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

FL-Gov (3/18, likely voters, 2/18 in parentheses):

Alex Sink (D): 36 (35)

Bill McCollum (R): 47 (48)

Some other: 5 (4)

Not sure: 12 (12)

(MoE: ±3%)

FL-Sen (3/18, likely voters, 2/18 in parentheses):

Kendrick Meek (D): 34 (32)

Charlie Crist (R): 45 (48)

Some other: 11 (11)

Not sure: 10 (9)

Kendrick Meek (D): 34 (31)

Marco Rubio (R): 48 (51)

Some other: 6 (7)

Not sure: 11 (11)

(MoE: ±3%)

HI-Gov (3/24, likely voters):

Neil Abercrombie (D): 54

Duke Aiona (R): 31

Some other: 6

Not sure: 9

Mufi Hannemann (D): 50

Duke Aiona (R): 29

Some other: 14

Not sure: 7

(MoE: ±4.5%)

HI-Sen (3/24, likely voters):

Dan Inouye (D): 65

Linda Lingle (R): 25

Some other: 3

Not sure: 6

(MoE: ±4.5%)

IA-Gov (3/17, likely voters, 2/18 in parentheses):

Chet Culver (D): 36 (37)

Terry Branstad (R): 52 (53)

Some other: 6 (6)

Not sure: 6 (4)

Chet Culver (D): 40 (40)

Bob Vander Plaats (R): 42 (46)

Some other: 8 (7)

Not sure: 11 (7)

Chet Culver (D): 40

Rod Roberts (R): 38

Some other: 10

Not sure: 13

(MoE: ±4.5%)

ID-Gov (3/23, likely voters):

Keith Allred (D): 28

Butch Otter (R): 60

Some other: 3

Not sure: 9

(MoE: ±4.5%)

ID-Sen (3/23, likely voters):

Generic Democrat (D): 28

Mike Crapo (R): 60

Some other: 3

Not sure: 9

(MoE: ±4.5%)

MI-Gov (D) (3/24, likely voters):

Andy Dillon (D): 12

Alma Wheeler Smith (D): 10

Virg Bernero (D): 8

Some other: 17

Not sure: 53

(MoE: ±4%)

MI-Gov (R) (3/24, likely voters):

Peter Hoekstra (R): 27

Rick Snyder (R): 18

Mike Cox (R): 13

Mike Bouchard (R): 6

Some other: 5

Not sure: 32

(MoE: ±4%)

NC-Sen (3/22, likely voters, 2/23 in parentheses):

Elaine Marshall (D): 35 (34)

Richard Burr (R): 51 (50)

Some other: 6 (4)

Not sure: 8 (12)

Cal Cunningham (D): 32 (29)

Richard Burr (R): 51 (51)

Some other: 7 (6)

Not sure: 11 (14)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

ND-AL (3/23-24, likely voters, 2/9-10 in parentheses):

Earl Pomeroy (D): 44 (40)

Rick Berg (R): 51 (46)

Some other: 1 (3)

Not sure: 4 (11)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

ND-Sen (3/23-24, likely voters, 2/9-10 in parentheses):

Tracy Potter (D): 25 (17)

John Hoeven (R): 68 (71)

Some other: 2 (4)

Not sure: 5 (8)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

NM-Gov (3/24, likely voters):

Diane Denish (D): 51

Susana Martinez (R): 32

Some other: 7

Not sure: 10

Diane Denish (D): 52

Pete Domenici Jr. (R): 35

Some other: 6

Not sure: 6

Diane Denish (D): 45

Allen Weh (R): 35

Some other: 7

Not sure: 13

Diane Denish (D): 52

Janice Arnold-Jones (R): 30

Some other: 6

Not sure: 12

Diane Denish (D): 43

Doug Turner (R): 34

Some other: 7

Not sure: 16

(MoE: ±4.5%)

NY-Gov (3/29, likely voters, 3/1 in parentheses):

Andrew Cuomo (D): 52 (55)

Rick Lazio (R): 29 (30)

Some other: 6 (5)

Not sure: 13 (10)

Andrew Cuomo (D): 51 (56)

Carl Paladino (R): 28 (27)

Some other: 6 (6)

Not sure: 15 (11)

Andrew Cuomo (D): 50

Steve Levy (R): 26

Some other: 7

Not sure: 17

(MoE: ±4.5%)

OH-Gov (3/30, likely voters, 3/4 in parentheses):

Ted Strickland (D): 45 (38)

John Kasich (R): 46 (49)

Some other: 2 (6)

Not sure: 7 (7)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

OH-Sen (3/30, likely voters, 3/4 in parentheses):

Lee Fisher (D): 38 (39)

Rob Portman (R): 43 (44)

Some other: 4 (5)

Not sure: 14 (12)

Jennifer Brunner (D): 38 (37)

Rob Portman (R): 45 (43)

Some other: 4 (6)

Not sure: 13 (15)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

RI-Gov (3/25, likely voters, 2/25 in parentheses):

Frank Caprio (D): 28 (27)

John Robitaille (R): 22 (19)

Lincoln Chafee (I): 39 (37)

Not sure: 11 (17)

Patrick Lynch (D): 22 (24)

John Robitaille (R): 26 (22)

Lincoln Chafee (I): 37 (38)

Not sure: 15 (16)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

SD-AL (3/25, likely voters, 2/23 in parentheses):

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D): 44 (45)

Chris Nelson (R): 42 (38)

Some other: 6 (6)

Not sure: 9 (11)

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D): 46 (49)

Kristi Noem (R): 35 (34)

Some other: 8 (4)

Not sure: 10 (13)

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D): 45 (51)

Blake Curd (R): 33 (33)

Some other: 8 (5)

Not sure: 14 (12)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

SD-Gov (3/25, likely voters, 2/23 in parentheses):

Scott Heidepriem (D): 32 (32)

Dennis Daugaard (R): 49 (41)

Some other: 6 (7)

Not sure: 13 (19)

Scott Heidepriem (D): 37 (34)

Dave Knudson (R): 32 (31)

Some other: 13 (13)

Not sure: 19 (22)

Scott Heidepriem (D): 39 (37)

Gordon Howie (R): 34 (29)

Some other: 9 (12)

Not sure: 17 (22)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

TN-Gov (3/22, likely voters):

Mike McWherter (D): 27

Bill Haslam (R): 45

Some other: 5

Not sure: 23

Mike McWherter (D): 29

Ron Ramsey (R): 43

Some other: 5

Not sure: 23

Mike McWherter (D): 31

Zach Wamp (R): 41

Some other: 7

Not sure: 22

Kim McMillan (D): 26

Bill Haslam (R): 46

Some other: 5

Not sure: 23

Kim McMillan (D): 25

Ron Ramsey (R): 43

Some other: 8

Not sure: 24

Kim McMillan (D): 29

Zach Wamp (R): 42

Some other: 5

Not sure: 25

(MoE: ±4.5%)

WY-Gov (3/25, likely voters):

Mike Massie (D): 25

Matt Mead (R): 43

Some other: 8

Not sure: 24

Mike Massie (D): 23

Ron Micheli (R): 45

Some other: 8

Not sure: 25

Mike Massie (D): 26

Rita Meyer (R): 43

Some other: 7

Not sure: 25

Mike Massie (D): 26

Colin Simpson (R): 41

Some other: 8

Not sure: 25

(MoE: ±4.5%)

SSP Daily Digest: 3/16 (Afternoon Edition)

CA-Sen, CA-Gov: Lots of pollsters that I’ve never heard of seem to be coming out of the woodwork to poll California lately, and here’s yet another one of them: some firm called ccAdvertising. They polled the Republican primaries, finding, on the Senate side, that Tom Campbell leads at 24, with Carly Fiorina at 12 and Chuck DeVore at 8. On the gubernatorial side, Meg Whitman leads Steve Poizner 40-15.

CO-Sen: Tonight is the first step in the Colorado caucus process, with precinct-level gatherings. The results are non-binding, really more of a straw poll than anything, but are monitored as a sign of candidates’ strength. (Of course, in 2004, neither Ken Salazar nor Pete Coors won the caucuses yet went on to win their primaries.) The bigger hurdle is in May, when candidates must clear 30% at the state assembly to make the primary ballot (although those that don’t can still get on by collecting signatures). With the Governor’s race pretty much locked down, there’s still action aplenty on both the Dem and GOP sides in the Senate. Michael Bennet comes into tonight’s caucuses with a boost: he just got the endorsement from the state’s AFSCME, which may help fight the perception that rival Andrew Romanoff is labor’s one horse in the race.

CT-Sen: Paulist economist Peter Schiff is finally dipping into the spoils from his moneybombs, running ads on Connecticut radio introducing himself to Republican primary voters and touting his having predicted the financial crisis of 2008.

ID-Sen: Democrats are already way ahead of where they were in their last race against Mike Crapo in 2004: they’re actually fielding a candidate. Two, in fact, have filed, although they’re little known: Tom Sullivan and William Bryk.

IL-Sen: Rep. Mark Kirk is up with his first TV spot for the general election campaign, calling himself an “independent-minded Republican.” Having beaten back various teabagger challengers in the primary, he’s now free to label himself as such.

MD-Sen: File this under news of the weird: Bob Ehrlich is confirming he’s interested in running for office this year, but one idea he’s floating is running for Senate against Barbara Mikulski instead of for Governor against Martin O’Malley. That’s a very strange choice, as Mikulski is more popular than O’Malley and generally considered unassailable, but maybe Ehrlich thinks he can goad the 73-year-old Mikulski into retirement.

NC-Sen: Two polls of the Democratic primary in the Senate race show fairly different pictures, with the main difference being how well Cal Cunningham is keeping pace with Elaine Marshall. PPP’s most recent poll of the primary shows Cunningham gaining four points from last month, trailing Marshall 20-16, with 11 for Kenneth Lewis (up from 5). On the GOP side, Richard Burr is at 58%, with his minor rivals all in the low single digits. Marshall, on the other hand, released her own internal yesterday, from Lake Research. The poll’s a little stale (in the field mid-February), so if the PPP poll reflects late movement to Cunningham, Marshall’s poll wouldn’t capture it. At any rate, her internal has her up 31-5 over Cunningham, with Lewis at 4.

NJ-Sen: A weird-ass ruling from a New Jersey appellate court says the Tea Party may proceed with collecting recall petitions to recall Bob Menendez. The court, however, stayed its own decision in order to allow Menendez to appeal, presumably to a federal court which will disabuse the state judges of the notion that one can recall federal officials. (Adam B. points to the crux of the case here and here).

AL-Gov, AR-Gov: Financial filings for gubernatorial candidates in Alabama and Arkansas are both available. In Alabama, Tim James ($2.6 mil) leads the GOPers, while Artur Davis ($2.1 mil) has the most cash among the Dems. In Arkansas, Mike Beebe is sitting on $1.2 million (having raised $313K in February); his opponent, Jim Keet, hasn’t been in long enough to report.

ME-Gov: It looks like there won’t be a Green Party candidate on the ballot this year; Lynne Williams suspended her campaign after failing to gather the 2,000 required signatures. That’s good news for Dems, as this could turn out to be a close race (although with this little information and the fields this cluttered, who the hell knows?) and Greens often poll well in Maine, getting 9% of the vote in the convoluted 2006 gubernatorial election.

PA-Gov (pdf): There was a gubernatorial portion to that poll from Republican pollster Susquehanna released yesterday, too. As with every poll of this race, undecideds are still very heavy, but Republican AG Tom Corbett leads Democratic state Auditor Jack Wagner 37-26, and leads Allegheny Co. Exec Dan Onorato 39-24. Wagner has been dominating in terms of getting the endorsements of county-level party apparatuses, and he picked up one more yesterday, getting the nod from Cambria County (i.e. Johnstown) Democrats.

WY-Gov: To almost no one’s surprise, Republican state House speaker Colin Simpson pulled the trigger, officially entering the gubernatorial race. (If his name sounds familiar, he’s the son of popular ex-Sen. Alan Simpson.) He faces three other high-profile GOPers, while Democrats, sorting out what to do after Dave Freudenthal’s late decision not to seek a third term, are still lining up a candidate.

AK-AL: Rep. Don Young is refusing to get with the program, as far as the GOP’s new self-imposed ban on earmarks goes. Considering that Young seems most valued by his constituents for his ability to bring home the bacon (which may have saved his bacon twice, in both the primary and general in 2008), that may actually be the politically savvy thing for him to do.

HI-01: The first debate was held in the special election in the 1st, and it may be most interesting in that ex-Rep. Ed Case was trying to stake out positions that sound pretty, well, Democratic. Case spoke out in favor of both health care reform and the stimulus package. Moderate Republican Charles Djou tried to differentiate himself by railing against both.

IA-03: I don’t know if this is just one ex-wrestling coach sticking up for another, or if there’s an establishment movement afoot to coronate Jim Gibbons in the 3rd, but ex-Speaker Dennis Hastert is showing up to host a Des Moines fundraiser for Gibbons tomorrow. They’ll be joined by ex-Rep. Greg Ganske.

PA-07: I love the smell of cat fud in the morning. While former local Fox affiliate news anchor Dawn Stensland didn’t file to run in the Republican primary as has been rumored, now she’s not ruling out an independent, teabagger-powered run instead. While she hasn’t begun gathering signatures, she is looking to move into the 7th. Even if she only garners a few percent, that could still tip the balance in what promises to be a very close race between Democrat Bryan Lentz and GOPer Pat Meehan.

House: The Hill has an interesting survey of eight different primaries where the one participant’s vote on TARP could weigh heavily on the results (as it seemed to do in the Texas gubernatorial primary). Most are on the GOP side, but one Dem race to watch is PA-11, where Paul Kanjorski, the chair of the House subcommittee on Capital Markets, was one of TARP’s architects.

NRCC: The NRCC is threatening to go on the air against Dems who change from “no” to “yes” votes on HCR, targeting them with the dread “flip-flop” label that served them so well in 2004. They have 42 Dems in mind to target, although there’s still the little wee matter of the NRCC finding the money to pay for the ads.

NY-St. Sen.: Tonight’s the special election in SD-13 in Queens, where Hiram Monserrate is trying to win back the seat he just got kicked out of after his assault conviction. Monserrate, now an indie, is running against Democratic Assemblyman Jose Peralta. Peralta had a dominant lead in the one poll of the race made public.

Ads: With the Demon Sheep and Boxer Blimp ads having established Carly Fiorina’s campaign as the new gold standard in bizarre advertising, Huffington Post has a nice wrapup of some of the other craziest political ads of the last few years, ranging from the well-known (Mike Gravel skipping rocks, Big John Cornyn) to the “huh?” (Nancy Worley on strangling cats).

TV: Obsessive-compulsive political junkies and opposition researchers alike are dancing a jig right now, as C-Span has announced that it’s releasing its entire archives onto the Web. All 160,000 hours worth. (If you don’t have a calculator handy, that’s 18 years.)

Redistricting: Eager not to get behind the redistricting 8-ball in 2012 like they were ten years ago, the DLCC has launched a $20 million push aimed at keeping control of state legislatures in key states. They point to “swing” chambers in 17 states that have the capacity to affect almost half of all House seats. Dem-held chambers they’re focusing on are the Alabama State Senate, Colorado State Senate, Indiana House, Nevada State Senate, New Hampshire State Senate, New York State Senate, Ohio House, Pennsylvania House, Wisconsin Assembly and the Wisconsin State Senate, while GOP-held chambers are the Michigan State Senate, Missouri House, Oklahoma State Senate, Tennessee House, and the Texas House.

Senate Races Without a Democratic Candidate Yet

{Originally posted at my blog Senate Guru.}

Best I can tell, there are five 2010 U.S. Senate races that still don’t have a Democratic candidate.

State Republican Incumbent Filing Deadline
Alaska Lisa Murkowski June 1
Georgia Johnny Isakson April 30
Idaho Mike Crapo March 19
Oklahoma Tom Coburn June 9
South Dakota John Thune March 30

It should be unacceptable to not run a candidate.  For Party building and grassroots organizing, for holding the Republican incumbent accountable, and for the rare occasion when we catch lightning in a bottle, there should not be a race for U.S. Senate that doesn’t feature a Democratic option on the ballot.

Of the five, the soonest deadlines are Idaho (March 19 – this Friday!) and South Dakota (March 30 – two weeks from today).  While no race should go unchallenged, these two would be among our most uphill of challenges.  In 2008, of course a very Democratic-friendly year, the Democratic nominee in Idaho, a former Congressman, could only achieve 34% on Election Day.  (Note that Idaho is, technically, not without a Democratic candidate.  Attorney William Bryk has said that he will seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Idaho.  The one hang-up: he lives in Brooklyn, New York.  He simply believes that no race should go unchallenged and doesn’t think that the Idaho Democratic Party will field a candidate.  Though Idaho law states that a candidate need only be a resident of the state by the day of the general election, obviously no out-of-state candidate will be taken seriously.)  Further, John Thune enjoys significant popularity in South Dakota, without any recent murmurs of Democratic challengers.  While seemingly unlikely at this point, I hope Democratic candidates of some substance emerge in these two states.

The next two deadlines on the list – Georgia (April 30) and Alaska (June 1) – would be the most unforgivable of the five if Democrats were unable to find credible challengers.  Georgia is a state where Democrats can surprise Republican incumbents.  Recall the 2008 election in which Democrat Jim Martin entered the race relatively late, won a crowded primary, and forced incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss to a run-off by holding him under 50% on Election Day.  On top of that, the 2010 Republican incumbent, freshman backbencher Johnny Isakson, has poor approval numbers.  Public Policy Polling recently put Isakson’s numbers at 36% approve, 38% disapprove.  Less than a year ago, a hypothetical match-up by Research 2000 between Isakson and Democratic former Governor Roy Barnes showed a statistical dead heat.  Isakson can be beaten.  Georgia has Democrats strong enough to take on and defeat Isakson.  Currently, the Democratic primary for Governor is crowded, though former Governor Barnes has comfortably led the pack.  Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker has been running second to Barnes in the primary pack.  Also in the Democratic scrum is David Poythress.  Poythress hasn’t been able to get traction with primary voters to climb out of single digits in any poll, but he brings with him an outstanding resume of service to Georgia: an Air Force veteran, a former Georgia Secretary of State, a former State Labor Commissioner, and a former Adjutant General leading Georgia’s National Guard, having been elected statewide multiple times and appointed to office by Governors of both Parties.  If either Baker or Poythress switched gears from a gubernatorial bid to a Senate bid, either could sew up the nomination and offer Isakson an extremely tough race.  Baker is running strongly enough in some primary polls that it would be unlikely that he’d switch gears; but, Poythress – again, unable to climb out of single digits in the Democratic primary against Barnes and Baker – might be more amenable to a switch from a likely-fruitless gubernatorial bid to a high profile, winnable Senate campaign.

In Alaska, incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski apparently enjoys higher approval among her constituents than Isakson does among his.  Nevertheless, Murkowski is beatable.  In recent years, the Alaska Republican Party has become synonymous with corruption.  The blowback from this Alaska GOP Culture of Corruption culminated with the 2008 dethroning of Ted Stevens.  And Murkowski herself has been touched by considerable controversy of her own.  You may recall that she started off on the wrong foot when she won her job courtesy of nepotism.  Her dad, Frank, appointed her to his old seat when he became Governor.  (Thanks in part to this nepotism, Frank was himself kicked out of office courtesy of a primary loss to small town Mayor Sarah Palin.)  Since then, Murkowski dipped her toe into the Alaska GOP Corruption pool when she took part in a sweetheart land deal, purchasing prime property at well below market value from, of all people, one of Ted Stevens’ corporate cronies – only selling back the land at the discount price for which she received it once the media caught wind of the shenanigans.  Murkowski’s shady dealings earned her a spot in the 2007 edition (in PDF) of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s annual “most corrupt members of Congress” list.  Alaska Dems have about two and a half months to secure a credible challenger.  Please share your thoughts on a potential strong recruit in the comments.

Finally, Oklahoma (June 9), like Idaho earlier on this list, had a 2008 Democratic Senate nominee who enjoyed substantial charisma and a solid message, but was unable to crack 40%.  No doubt, Oklahoma would be a similarly uphill race for any Democrat.  Even popular Democratic Governor Brad Henry trailed Republican incumbent Tom Coburn by double digits in a 2009 hypothetical match-up by Public Policy Polling.  Still, as always, not finding any Democratic candidate of substance to run is political malpractice.

Of the five U.S. Senate races still seeking a credible Democratic candidate, two are not only potentially competitive but truly winnable with the right candidate.  Your thoughts?  Do you have a preferred candidate in Georgia or Alaska (or the other three states)?  Do you have a preferred course of action – a movement to urge/persuade/beg David Poythress to switch races or a draft effort in Alaska?  Share in the comments!

Senate 2010 outlook

A whopping eight months since my last Senate roundup, I figured it was high time to survey the landscape again. Overall, things have gotten significantly better for the Republicans in the last year, though not nearly as overwhelmingly so as the drama-prone national media might have you believe.

A continued Democratic majority in the Senate is all but assured after November (and is still quite likely in the House as well). The probable range, IMO, is a Democratic caucus in the 112th Senate of between 54 seats at the low end and 58 seats at the high end.

Read a race-by-race analysis (with pretty maps) below the fold…


This is the playing field in 2010: Democratic open seats in North Dakota, Connecticut, and Delaware; Republican open seats in Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Kansas. And here is my (early) results projection:


I am fairly certain of Republican pickups in North Dakota, Arkansas, and Nevada at this time, while the true tossup races for now are in Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, Delaware, and New Hampshire. The Democrats remain very slight favorites to hold Illinois and Pennsylvania, and the Republicans retain edges in Florida, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

As always, seats are ranked by likelihood of flipping:

1. North Dakota (open) – Byron Dorgan (D) retiring after 3 terms

Outlook: Very Likely Republican pickup

Dorgan’s retirement is indeed a huge blow to the Democrats, though perhaps canceled out by Dodd’s bowing out in Connecticut. Gov. John Hoeven (R) is in and will almost certainly be the junior Senator from North Dakota.

2. Arkansas – Blanche Lincoln (D) seeking third term

Outlook: Likely Republican pickup

Lincoln’s numbers are getting uglier against all opponents (the best she does is an eight-point deficit) and show no signs of recovering. Barring an eleventh-hour miracle, her Senate career is over, it seems.

3. Nevada – Harry Reid (D) seeking fifth term

Outlook: Leans Republican pickup

Reid has such a fundraising advantage and some time left to up his approval ratings, but few longtime incumbents recover from these dismal numbers. Many Democrats are probably quietly hoping that Reid “pulls a Dodd” in the next few months.

4. Colorado – Michael Bennet (D) seeking full term

Outlook: Tossup

Bennet faces a tough challenge in the Democratic primary from former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, and neither candidate seems secure against ex-Lt. Gov. Jane Norton or any of the other Republican prospects. The Democrats definitely have a good chance to hold this seat, with neither candidate carrying much prior baggage, but I sense that this race will go however the national climate goes, and at this moment, that means it will go to the GOP.

5. Delaware (open) – Ted Kaufman (D) retiring after partial term

Outlook: Tossup

I know that most polls have shown longtime Rep. Mike Castle (R) leading state Attorney General Beau Biden (D), but I for one am fairly convinced this race will tighten and the trends go Biden’s way once he declares and the state’s Democrats start “coming home.” Interestingly, Castle will be 71 years old on election day, to Biden’s 41, so there will likely be a noticeable contrast in tone and style between these two highly familiar candidates.

6. Missouri (open) – Kit Bond (R) retiring after four terms

Outlook: Tossup

Polls here have been close but consistent, with Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) barely ahead of Rep. Roy Blunt (R), always within the margin of error. Still, considering the GOP-friendly trends elsewhere during the last several months, this seems a promising sign for the Show Me State Democrats. For now, this is the Dems’ best opportunity for a pickup.

6. Ohio (open) – George Voinovich (R) retiring after two terms

Outlook: Tossup / Leans Republican hold

Even with nationwide Republican advances of late, former Rep. Rob Portman (R) has never built a convincing lead against either Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) or Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (D). Fisher is favored to win the primary, and at the point I expect the race to become a tossup. If the election were today, Portman would win.

7. New Hampshire (open) – Judd Gregg (R) retiring after three terms

Outlook: Tossup / Leans Republican hold

Former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R) has a slight lead over Rep. Paul Hodes (D) — grain-of-salt-worthy pollster ARG has her ahead 43-36, hardly a game-ending advantage. Like Ohio, Hodes should close the gap over the spring and summer, and if he doesn’t, we should be worried.

8. Pennsylvania – Arlen Specter (D) seeking sixth term

Outlook: Leans Democratic hold

Specter is in for a close fight (if he makes it to the general election) against former Rep. Pat Toomey (R), the hardline conservative who nearly unseated him in the GOP primary back in 2004. In the meantime, Rep. Joe Sestak is giving Specter reason to watch his left flank. But Specter has been careful to compile a fairly progressive record since switching parties last spring, and my own prediction is that this gives him a clear edge for the nomination. At that point, disaffected Democrats and moderate-minded Independents will gradually line up behind the incumbent in big enough numbers to carry him to victory over Toomey, especially if the winds shift back to the Dems over the summer.

9. Illinois (open) – Roland Burris (D) retiring after partial term

Outlook: Leans Democratic hold

The polls have been unclear about who has the advantage in a race between Republican Rep. Mark Kirk and Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, while (due to name recognition) Kirk polls well ahead of lesser-known Dems David Hoffman and Cheryle Jackson. Considering the state’s recent history, it’s hard to imagine Kirk winning on any but an exceptionally fortunate night for the GOP.

10. Florida (open) – George LeMieux (R) retiring after partial term

Outlook: Leans Republican hold

Gov. Charlie Crist has long been the favorite for this seat in a general election, as his cross-partisan popularity remains high, but his biggest problem will be winning the GOP primary against conservative former state House Speaker Marco Rubio. If Rubio beats Crist, as many now expect (though his momentum could always stall), expect a competitive and expensive race between Rubio and Rep. Kendrick Meek (D).

11. North Carolina – Richard Burr (R) seeking second term

Outlook: Leans Republican hold

I’ve been surprised by the sporadic polling in this race. Burr faces a reputable challenger in Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D), even if this is a Southern state in a GOP-leaning election cycle. Burr is far from universally popular or even universally recognized, but for now the DSCC clearly has to prioritize defense.

12. Kentucky (open) – Jim Bunning (R) retiring after 2 terms

Outlook: Leans Republican hold

The Democratic primary between Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo and state Attorney General Jack Conway has been nasty, while “small government conservative” Rand Paul has by several accounts taken the upper hand in the GOP primary against Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the establishment choice. Considering Kentucky’s traditional balance of social conservatism with economic liberalism, Paul would seem an unorthodox general election choice, but polls show he would do well against the Democrats. Definitely a primary to watch, even if either Republican is clearly favored in November.

Just below competitive:

– California for the Democrats (Boxer clearly ahead of Carly Fiorina, but not quite out of the woods)

– Gillibrand (New York B) for the Democrats (against anyone but Rep. Peter King, who might keep the race competitive, Gillibrand should win easily, assuming she wins the primary)

– Louisiana for the Republicans (Vitter leads Rep. Charlie Melancon, but his personal issues make it hard for me to rate him as “safe”)

The Democrats should be fine in Connecticut (Blumenthal trouncing Simmons/McMahon/Schiff), as should the Republicans in Kansas (either Tiahrt or Moran). Meanwhile, Republican incumbents seem solid (in the general election, at least) in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah. Democratic incumbents should win without trouble in Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, New York (Schumer), Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

ID-Sen, ID-01: Risch Ahead by 12, Minnick Up by 7

Harstad Strategic Services (10/19-22, likely voters):

Larry LaRocco (D): 33

Jim Risch (R): 45

Rex Rammell (I): 5

Pro-Life (I): 2

(MoE: ±4.4%)

I don’t agree with McJoan’s assessment that the DSCC should lay down some last-minute coin to push LaRocco over the edge here — a few 30-second ads won’t be enough to make up a 12-point gap with only a few days left on the clock. And while Risch isn’t wildly popular in Idaho (his favorable rating is 41-28), LaRocco is even less loved — his favorable rating clocks in at a 34-37. Unfair? Maybe, but this is Idaho, and these numbers aren’t going to get the job done. The DSCC is correct to focus on tighter races.

But the real nugget from this poll is its 1st CD numbers:

Walt Minnick (D): 48

Bill Sali (R-inc): 41

(MoE: ±5.9%)

Keep in mind that the sample size is quite small here, but it’s the second poll in recent days showing Sali trailing Minnick (SUSA had Minnick up by six). Minnick might just pull this one off.