SSP Daily Digest: 2/10

CA-Sen: There’s that quote about people who can’t remember the past… what does it say again? They’re likely to be very, very successful, right? Anyway, PPP looks at the California GOP Senate primary for 2012, and finds the Republican electorate’s preferred candidate to go up against Dianne Feinstein would be… Carly Fiorina?!? She’s at 23, beating out even Meg Whitman, who in fact is tied with Darrell Issa at 16. Tom Campbell’s at 15, Arnold Schwarzenegger is at 6, Steve Poizner’s at 5, Kevin McCarthy’s at 4, and Mary Bono Mack is at 2. (As I’ve said before, I’d be surprised if any of these people find their way into primary.)

CT-Sen: State GOP party chair Chris Healy is starting to sound antsy waiting for Linda McMahon to declare her next Senate candidacy, even sounding a little snippy about it (“I think if you’re serious about doing something this big, no matter what your background, you’ve got to make some indication that you’re serious about it.”). Healy probably has a lot on the line in terms of getting McMahon to get in, considering how many former allies he had throw under the bus (starting with Rob Simmons) to get her and her millions in place the first time.

FL-Sen: This is odd: despite most people considering him a lock for a Senate run, Rep. Connie Mack IV, when asked about whether he’d run yesterday by Greta Van Sustern, laughed and said “I have no idea.” Could he be getting cold feet? This ought to have a foot-chilling effect: state Sen. President Mike Haridopolos, already declared as a candidate, seems to have the midas touch. He raised $1 million at one (1!) fundraiser in Orlando last week.

MO-Sen: Apparently there were some rumors yesterday which I didn’t hear that said that Rep. Jo Ann Emerson was ready to announce she wasn’t going to run for Senate. It’s just as well that I didn’t hear them, as now Emerson is publicly disputing that, saying she has yet to decide, and will take “a few more weeks.”

NM-Sen: If you’re thinking that that PPP poll that showed him overperforming other Republicans in next year’s Senate race may have gotten Republican ex-Gov. Gary Johnson interested in dropping his vanity presidential bid and running locally, guess again. Buried in this Politico article is a quote from Johnson confirming that the only office he’s interested in is the presidency.

VA-Sen: So, with Jim Webb’s retirement confirmed, what now? Ex-Gov. Tim Kaine is the top Dem possibility (performing just as well as Webb, if PPP’s poll of a few months ago is to be believed); his statement yesterday, however, didn’t betray any intentions to run or not run (he’d previously said he wouldn’t run if Webb retired, but somehow nobody seems to believe that, with most observers saying that Kaine could be swayed if Barack Obama leans on him to run). Rep. Rick Boucher, who’s 65 and lost VA-09 after decades in 2010, hasn’t said anything either (one advantage he has is that he still has a lot of money left in his federal account, after getting caught napping), but is getting some consideration for being able to put his red corner of the state in play. Another 2010 loser, Glenn Nye, is some Dems’ wish list, along with 2009 losing LG candidate Michael Signer, state Sen. Chap Petersen, state Sen. Donald McEachin, and state Del. David Englin. Another state Del., Kenny Alexander, is floating his name (no idea if he’s actually on anyone’s wish list, though). Terry McAuliffe, the former DNC chair who lost the 2009 gubernatorial primary, says he’s “not ruling it out,” although he’s generally expected to pursue another gubernatorial run in 2013 instead.

The potential candidate who seems to get the most netroots attention is, of course, ex-Rep. Tom Perriello. He’s currently out of the country, and a spokesperson merely says he’s “keeping his options open” at this point; a Republican consultant, however, gives Politico 10 reasons why Perriello would be a particularly formidable candidate. Two of the state’s remaining Dem house members, Gerry Connolly and Bobby Scott, also are in the “not ruling it out” stage, though Scott says it’s “unlikely.” Finally, on the GOP side, it seems like Webb’s departure is getting Prince William Co. Supervisor Corey Stewart even likelier to run, as he says the odds of a Republican winning in November are greater now.

NY-26: Chris Lee’s shirtless come-on may have been a metaphorical iceberg tip, which may have expedited his surprising resignation yesterday; recall that he was one of the several GOP Reps. particularly smacked down by John Boehner several months ago for excessive partying with female lobbyists. At any rate, let’s focus on the future here: it seems like establishment Dems already have a preferred pic here, in the form of Kathy Konst, a former Erie Co. Legislator and current county director of environment and planning who had considered the 2008 Dem primary but smartly decided not to barge into the middle of that insanity. Speaking of that primary’s murder-suicide duo, Jon Powers says on his Facebook page that he’s “definitely thinking hard about it,” while Jack Davis, three time loser in this district, is “seriously considering” another run… but this time as a Republican! (Um, good?) One other Dem name that’s unlikely but keeps bubbling up is the White House deputy press director, Bill Burton, who’s never held office but is a local.

On the GOP side, alas, it wasn’t meant to be: losing gubernatorial candidate/Acme Gaffe Machine Carl Paladino won’t run, although he is offering his support to state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (who may be emerging as the consensus candidate, since she has some self-funding capacity). The other top GOP contender, besides Corwin, seems to be former Assemblyman Jack Quinn, son of the ex-Rep. Finally, it seems state Sen. George Maziarz has decided not to run… or maybe had it decided for him by majority leader Dean Skelos, in order to avoid losing a state Senate special election if Maziarz got the promotion and seeing the body devolve into 31-31 chaos.

MD-St. House: You might have seen some stories about how a member of the Democratic party in the state House wound up joining the body’s Tea Party Caucus and in fact getting elected the caucus’s vice-chair, apparently after hearing from many of his constituents that they wanted lower taxes and joining up without doing any further research into what the teabaggers were all about. Well, after a bit of an intervention from his fellow Dems, Del. Curt Anderson quit the group and apologized.

WATN?: With John Kitzhaber returning from the mists of time to reclaim the governorship, now an even more distant figure returns: Democrat Barbara Roberts, who preceded Kitzhaber in office (1990-1994), is putting her name in consideration for an appointment to an open seat on the Portland-area Metro Council. It’s unclear whether this is a temporary fill-in for the 75-year-old Roberts, or if she’d stand for re-election at the next general election. (Metro Council is a regional entity that spans the entire Portland metropolitan area with jurisdiction over public transit and land use planning.)

Vote by mail: One more western state seems to be going down the road of all vote-by-mail elections in the future. A bill to switch Colorado to mail-in status is entering committee in the Republican-controlled state House; similar to Montana (where similar legislation is in the pipeline), the bill has bipartisan support, including a Republican as one of its two main sponsors.

Census: This week’s Census data dump is available (at least in ftp form), for Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, and Vermont. Next week’s release schedule is Illinois, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas.

SSP Daily Digest: 1/21

CT-Sen: If you think the Chris Murphy/Susan Bysiewicz primary is an open-and-shut case, guess again: Ted Kennedy Jr.’s name seems to be getting a lot of mention now too. If the 49-year-old lawyer does get elected, if would bring the Kennedy-free interregnum in Congress to a close after only two years. Meanwhile, I don’t think anybody was expecting him to give up his leadership slot for a run, but Rep. John Larson has confirmed he’s not running for Senate, and isn’t endorsing… yet. Rep. Chris Murphy seems to know that this race, with its expensive media markets, is going to cost a lot of money; he’s putting a $10 million figure out there, although that of course could go even higher if he finds himself in a general election against Linda McMahon. Luckily for Murphy, MoveOn seems to be backing him up; while they didn’t explicitly endorse, they e-mailed their donor base on his behalf today. If he can corner the “netroots candidate” niche in the primary, obviously that’ll help him go a long way toward that money goal.

MI-Sen: Could Saul Anuzis, who just lost his RNC chair bid, wind up being the Michigan Senate nominee for the GOP in 2012? Apparently that’s an option on the table for him, although he tells Dave Catanese he hasn’t “ruled it out or in.” Anuzis is a primarily behind-the-scenes player, though, who’s never won an election before. At least that gives him that much in common with Tim Leuliette, the only other person to have expressed much interest so far. Also, this isn’t exactly Senate related, but here’s another Greg Giroux special: a database showing the Michigan governor’s race breakdown by current congressional district.

MN-Sen: Marty Seifert, the state Rep. who lost the 2010 Republican nomination to the further-right Tom Emmer, has declined to run for either the 2012 or 2014 Senate races, leaving the state GOP still casting about for anyone to go up against Amy Klobuchar. They’re still laying the groundwork for a hard run, though, already launching a new website trying to tar the often-moderate Klobuchar with the dreaded “liberal.”

NV-Sen: John Ensign confirms yet again that he’s running for re-election (at least for now), though he says he expects a primary challenge and will have difficulty regaining the voters’ trust. The main thing, though, he’ll have difficulty is regaining money… he raised only $19K last quarter for his campaign account. (His legal fees are another story: he raised $550K for his legal defense fund last quarter, and spending $97K of that on lawyers. Likely rival Dean Heller, for his part, said at a press conference that he’s keeping an eye on the race, but without a specific timetable for an announcement.

RI-Sen: One well-known name (at least locally) who does seem interested in the Senate race (which so far hasn’t drawn any takers) is Alan Hassenfeld, the former CEO of locally-based toymaker Hasbro. (Does that make him the real-life inspiration for Mr. Weed on the Family Guy?) At any rate, Hassenfeld is registered independent and contributed to and voted for the Moderate Party’s gubernatorial candidate last year, so he seems like he might be running on their line, not for the GOP.

VA-Sen: The rest of the Democratic A-list in Virginia seems to be shying away from the Senate race, meaning either Jim Webb is pretty certain to run again or else we’re in a world of hurt. Terry McAuliffe, who in the end acquitted himself well in the ’09 gubernatorial race, says he won’t run if Webb doesn’t (joining Tim Kaine in the “no thanks” pile). That’s not a surprise, in that McAuliffe’s interest in another whack at the gubernatorial race in 2013 is well-known.

LA-Gov: We’ve been seeing a lot of polls with strange configurations lately, and this one from Market Research Insight (not a pollster we seem to have any track record from) may take the cake. As one might expect, they find Bobby Jindal looking pretty safe for re-election, but they test him against both Mary Mitch Landrieu (as a D) and John Kennedy (as an R) in what, I assume, is supposed to be a jungle primary format (despite no indications from either Landrieu or Kennedy that they’re interested). At any rate, it’s Jindal 51, Landrieu 25, Kennedy 10. More generically, they find Jindal with a 49/40 re-elect number.

WV-Gov: Now this is highly unusual. Faced with a court mandate to hold a special election this year, acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (the main person wanting to kick the election back to 2012), has declared that the special election won’t be in November as one might expect, but rather on Oct. 4! The primaries will be held on June 20.

KY-AG: After some last minute rumors this week that he wasn’t going to run again, Jack Conway announced today that he’s filing for re-election as Attorney General and putting together a new campaign team. Needless to say, that’s a relief for those of us who want to keep building a bench in and contesting Kentucky.

Chicago mayor: There’s a new Chicago Tribune/WGN poll out of the mayoral race, and like other recent polls, it shows Rahm Emanuel with a big lead and continuing to climb, but still short of the 50% mark at which he could avoid a runoff. The poll finds him at 44, with Carol Mosely Braun (last seen sniping at Bill Clinton, telling him he’s “turning his back” on minorities) at 21, Gery Chico at 16, and Miguel del Valle at 7. Emanuel is also announcing his financial haul, which, as you might guess, is huge (Senate-sized, really): $10.6 million raised through mid-January. With that in mind, he’s sparing no expense when it comes to advertising, rolling out a $150K ad buy during the Bears/Packers game this weekend.

SSP Daily Digest: 3/26 (Morning Edition)

  • GA-Sen: Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson was released from the hospital after being treated for a bacterial infection and dehydration. Sounds like he’s okay, but he’ll be out of commission for at least a week.
  • MI-Gov, MI-09: Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard is batting down rumors that he may switch races from Michigan’s gubernatorial race to a run against Democratic frosh Rep. Gary Peters. The NRCC apparently denies that they’re wooing Bouchard, and his campaign manager adds: “Mike is committed to running for governor. He’s not considering that congressional seat or any other race.” (JL)
  • GA-12: In yesterday’s digest, we mentioned the increasing heat that Dem Rep. John Barrow was facing from back home over his vote against healthcare reform. It looks like some of that discontent may spill over into the form of a legitimate primary challenge. (No, ex-state Sen. Regina Thomas, lover of hats, does not qualify as a serious threat.) Current state Sen. Lester Jackson, who lobbied Barrow heavily on the HCR vote, says that he finds the prospect of a primary challenge against Barrow to be “appealing”, and state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond is another name being batted around by Georgia Democrats eager to give this out-of-whack incumbent the boot. (JL)
  • MD-01: Businessman Rob Fisher, a “cyber-security firm” owner, has announced that he’ll take on state Sen. Andy Harris in the GOP primary to face Dem Rep. Frank Kratovil. (JL)
  • PA-06: Doug Pike has asked J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group, to remove his name from their list of endorsees and also says he’ll return $6,000 the group raised for him.
  • WA-08: GOP Rep. Dave Reichert is in the hospital for treatment of a chronic subdural hematoma. His office says the procedure was successful and that he’ll be discharged in a few days. Jwaalk has more here.
  • VA-05: Terry McAuliffe just did a solid for a fellow Virginian: He sent out an email blast soliciting funds for Rep. Tom Perriello, specifically citing his pro-healthcare vote (and the fact that he’s now in Sarah Palin’s “crosshairs”). I’m told that T-Mac’s list contains over 75K names, which is pretty monster.
  • Census: The good news: Several lawmakers are planning ahead – way ahead – to ensure that the 2020 Census isn’t plagued by the problems that have affected the 2010 Census. The bad news: Tom Coburn is involved. WTF?
  • Healthcare: The hullabaloo over the winger AG lawsuits against the healthcare reform bill just gets dumber and dumber. Wisconsin’s Republican attorney general, J.B. Van Hollen, apparently had to seek permission from the governor to file suit against the bill – and got smacked down hard by Dem Jim Doyle. On the flipside, moron Gov. Jim Gibbons of Nevada is berating his Democratic AG, Catherine Cortez Masto, for not jumping into the fray. Gibbons has been demanding an analysis of the constitutionality of the new law from Masto, sneering that it’s a task worthy of a “second-year law school” student. No shit, Jimbo – the answer is “shut up.”
  • White House: Again, not news – WH Press Sec’y Bob Gibbs said that the White House will treat all Dems equally in terms of helping them this fall, whether they voted in favor of healthcare reform or against it. No kidding. What else is the president’s political team supposed to say?
  • SSP Daily Digest: 11/25

    AR-Sen: Could Arkansas even handle one more Republican in its Senate field, without the entire state collapsing into a singularity? Looks like we’ll find out, as former state Sen. Tim Jim Holt says he’s considering a rematch. Holt, you’ll recall, was Lincoln’s 2004 opposition, coming within 56-44 while running a low-budget, socially conservative campaign.

    AZ-Sen, AZ-Gov: The Cronkite-Eight Poll (conducted by Arizona St. Univ.) finds that AG Terry Goddard is in great shape against incumbent Republican Gov. Jan Brewer; Goddard wins the matchup 47-28. They don’t test any other potential matchups (including the Joe Arpaio possibility, which is suddenly on people’s minds). They also have good news! for John McCain, who beats the unlikely-to-run ex-Gov. Janet Napolitano 50-41. They don’t test the potential McCain/J.D. Hayworth primary. And speaking of Hayworth, I may have been more right than I thought about that throwaway “grifting” comment yesterday. Hayworth has been soliciting donations to pay down his campaign debt, but a quick look at the FEC’s 2008 termination report for Hayworth’s campaign indicates $0 CoH and $0 debt.

    MA-Sen: Rasmussen’s newest poll of the Massachusetts Senate primary shows the closest race that anyone has seen — although AG Martha Coakley is still in pole position. She’s at 36%, followed by Rep. Michael Capuano at 21 (about where he was in the recent Globe poll) and Stephen Pagliuca at 14. The big gainer here (and where the chunk of Coakley votes may have gone) is Alan Khazei, who hasn’t broken out of single digits before but is now also at 14.

    NY-Sen-B: I see lots of weird rumors in my day-to-day work here, and this one is among the weirdest: it has ex-Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (of Tennessee) considering running against Kirsten Gillibrand in the New York senate primary. Ford has been living in New York for the last few years (and is currently an executive at Merrill Lynch — not exactly a good political launching pad these days), so his run would at least be legal, but it’s not clear whether he has the name rec among anyone but news junkies to overcome his lack of roots there. Glenn Thrush actually sources the whole thing to a comment from Democratic Underground, of all places, from a person claiming to have been polled by Ford. Also, a sort-of famous name was considering running as a Republican in the Senate race, but just decided against it: Theodore Roosevelt IV, a wealthy investment banker and environmentalist who sounds, like his great-grandpappy, like he doesn’t have much in common with today’s Republicans.

    VA-Gov: T-Mac may yet be back. Terry McAuliffe is in a high-profile effort to lure a factory to southern Virginia, suggesting to some that he’s trying to remain in Virginia politics, trying to build up chits in the rural parts of the state with an eye toward a 2013 run.

    KS-03: Roll Call highlights a powwow held by the Kansas GOP for potential candidates in the open seat race in the 3rd, and list a few more names that we haven’t heard yet. In addition to likely frontrunner ex-state Sen. Nick Jordan, also present were attorney Greg Musil, former county commission candidate Charlotte O’Hara, state Sen. Karin Brownlee, and state GOP chair Amanda Adkins. State Rep. Kevin Yoder is also running for the GOP, and state Sen. Jeff Colyer and surgeon Steve Reintjes are also listed as GOP possibilities.

    NC-04: We may have a winner for the worst-designed candidate website of all time, from Republican George Hutchins, running against Rep. David Price in the safe 4th. It looks like he ate a lot of pictures of Ronald Reagan and then vomited them all over a flag.

    NJ-03: Former Philadelphia Eagle Jon Runyan confirmed that he’ll be running against freshman Dem Rep. John Adler. Strangely, though, he doesn’t have any immediate plans to start fundraising or hitting the ground in the district; instead, he’s starting a new job. He’ll be playing for the San Diego Chargers for the rest of the season. Maybe his plan is to put all the money he earns toward his campaign, but it doesn’t seem like the right way to get off on the right foot.

    NY-23: So, maybe ACORN didn’t steal the election after all. Doug Hoffman has, by my estimation, now re-re-conceded (after two unconcessions), saying he won’t challenge the election results or ask for a recount, and that the final count of absentee ballots “reaffirm the fact that Bill Owens won.” Hoffman promises to stay active in politics; let’s hope he’s as effective in the campaign in 2010 as he was in the election’s aftermath this year.

    WV-03: Another long-time Democrat in a newly-Republican-leaning Appalachian district is facing a challenge instead of usual free path to re-election, but this time it’s a challenge from a fellow elected Dem. State Rep. Ralph Rodighiero has filed a pre-candidacy to run against Rep. Nick Rahall, who’s been in the House since the 1970s. Rodighiero sounds like he’s running at the behest of coal industry figures; although Rahall voted against cap and trade, the Natural Resources chair has tried to strike more of a balance on environmental issues than they might prefer (and with almost zero Republican bench in this district, this is their only foot in the door).

    IA-St. House: Dems held their own in a special election last night, retaining a Dem-controlled seat in Cedar Rapids. Democrat Kirsten Running-Marquardt got 75% of the vote against Republican Joshua Thurston in HD-33.

    VA-Gov: Deeds Takes Big Lead in PPP’s Final Poll

    Public Policy Polling is going to release their final VA-Gov survey very shortly. Tom Jensen teased us with this:

    Looks like a tight race in Virginia… for second place. The undecideds seem to almost all be moving in the same direction.

    I’m not going to call the race like I did the Saturday before the election for Kay Hagan based on early returns from our final poll because preferences in this race have been so fluid. But it doesn’t look like things are going to be as close on Tuesday as the polling in the last week suggested.

    What do you think the numbers will look like? For reference, their prior numbers are here. We’ll post the results just as soon as PPP makes them available.

    UPDATE (James): It’s out.

    Public Policy Polling (6/6-7, likely voters, 5/28-31 in parens):

    Creigh Deeds (D): 40 (27)

    Terry McAuliffe (D): 26 (24)

    Brian Moran (D): 24 (22)

    Undecided: 10 (26)

    (MoE: ±3.0%)

    Wow. What a huge movement for Creigh Deeds in just a few short weeks. Remember, Deeds was lagging at 14% in PPP’s 5/1-3 poll, but a well-timed endorsement from the Washington Post was clearly the catalyst for Deeds’ remarkable surge — and probably also a sign that a sizable share of Moran and McAuliffe’s support was pretty soft in the first place. Indeed, in the vote-rich DC burbs in Northern Virginia, where Deeds has been almost a non-factor for much of the race, Deeds has now pulled ahead of Moran by a 38-35 margin, with 20% going to McAuliffe.

    And speaking of McAuliffe, take a look at his horrid favorability rating; among Democratic primary voters, just as many voters have a favorable opinion of the ex-DNC chair as those who dislike him (40%-40%). That’s pretty brutal. If Deeds can hold onto his lead on Tuesday, we may be dodging a major bullet here.

    Of course, the usual caveats apply: Pegging the primary voter universe is a notoriously tough business (especially in an ultra-low turnout state like Virginia), and the ground game will be key on Tuesday. For now, though, the momentum is clearly at the back of Deeds.

    VA-Gov: Deeds Keeps Climbing in New SUSA Survey (Updated)

    SurveyUSA (5/31-6/2, likely voters, mid-May in parens):

    Terry McAuliffe (D): 35 (37)

    Brian Moran (D): 26 (22)

    Creigh Deeds (D): 29 (26)

    Other/Undecided: 11 (14)

    (MoE: ±4.4%)

    Cap’n, will you have a look a’ that!

    Deeds was also the only candidate of the three to improve in head-to-heads against Bob McDonnell – in the last poll, he trailed 46-40, but is now just a point back at 44-43. McAuliffe and Moran both treaded water. The primary is this coming Tuesday, June 9th. Once again, SSP will be here to liveblog the results.

    UPDATE (James): Suffolk has released a poll this morning showing Deeds with 29% to McAuliffe’s 26%, with Moran at 23%. And with that, Deeds takes the lead in’s graph.

    SSP Daily Digest: 6/3

    MN-Sen: Despite the seemingly increased likelihood that he’d jerk Al Franken around now that he doesn’t have to worry about re-election and how impatient Minnesotans feel about the Senate vacancy, Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he’ll certify Al Franken as winner of the Senate race if the state Supreme Court directs him to do so. Also, many are interpreting John Cornyn‘s comments about how the Senate GOP doesn’t have the votes to filibuster Sonia Sotomayor, even if they wanted to, as being a tacit admission that Franken would be seated soon.

    NC-Sen: It never quite seemed likely, but Elizabeth Edwards silenced any speculation that she might run for Senate against Richard Burr next year.

    KY-Sen: Here’s a new name sniffing out the Kentucky Senate primary. A staffer for Rep. Ed Whitfield from KY-01 just bought both domain names for “” and “” (and inexplicably paid $800 for the two names). Maybe SoS Trey Grayson may have some company in the primary if Jim Bunning truly does bail out?

    VA-Gov: Ex-Del. Brian Moran leaked an internal poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner to Political Wire. Lo and behold, it shows Moran in the lead, with 29% to 27% for Creigh Deeds and 26% for Terry McAuliffe. (Meaning that in the last week, each of the three primary candidates have led a poll.) (UPDATE: PPP points out a flaw here: this isn’t a topline, but the result from a subsample that’s disposed to do well for Moran: people who’ve participated in Democratic primaries prior to last year’s presidential race.)

    Fundraising numbers for the three candidates also just came out: McAuliffe is way ahead on the money front, with $1.8 mil raised last quarter and $1.3 mil CoH ($7 mil total). Deeds raised $676K with $521K CoH ($3.8 mil total), and Moran raised $844K with $700 CoH ($4.8 mil total).

    MN-Gov: With T-Paw getting out, a flood of second-tier Republicans has spilled out in search of the nomination. State Sen. David Hann, state Sen. Geoff Michel, state Rep. Marty Seifert, state Rep. Paul Kohls, and former legislator Charlie Weaver are “interested.” Former Auditor Pat Anderson is going so far as to say she’ll announce in a month or two. Others mentioned include state Rep. Laura Brod, national committee member Brian Sullivan, and former state House speaker and current Labor and Industry Commissioner Steve Sviggum. The Star-Tribune also mentioned former Rep. Jim Ramstad (who’d do well in the general but may be too moderate to survive the nominating convention), state Sen. minority leader David Senjem, and one very big wild card… Norm Coleman, although his dragging-out of the Senate race can’t have helped his favorables. One prominent name who apparently isn’t interested: Rep. Michele Bachmann.

    MI-Gov: The Republican field in the Michigan governor’s race got even more crowded, as Oakland Co. Sheriff Rick Bouchard got in. (Bouchard lost the 2006 Senate race to Debbie Stabenow.) Bouchard’s entry was faciliated when his boss, Oakland Co. Exec L. Brooks Patterson, declined to run — but Bouchard may do exactly what Patterson would have done, which is split the Detroit suburban vote with AG Mike Cox, making it easier for Rep. Pete Hoekstra from the state’s west to sneak through.

    CO-04: Ex-Rep. Marilyn Musgrave fired off a rather unhinged-sounding fundraising letter on behalf of her new employers in the culture war, the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List. This may actually work to Rep. Betsy Markey’s advantage; she made reference to Musgrave’s letter in her own appeal for contributions.

    FL-17: Politics1 has an interesting, if a bit unsavory, rumor coming out of south Florida: 83-year-old former Rep. Carrie Meek may get on the ballot in FL-17, essentially to act as a one-term placeholder for her son, Rep. Kendrick Meek. (If he lost the Senate race, she would re-retire in 2012 and thus let him get his old job back. Or, if Meek won the Senate race, she’d still retire and let someone new take over FL-17.) Meek denied the rumor, though, to National Journal.

    FL-25: Here’s a potentially big name to take on Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who beat Joe Garcia by a small margin in 2008. Miami Mayor Manny Diaz is reportedly taking a look at the race; his name has also been mentioned in connection with the open Lt. Gov. slot.

    NC-11: PPP’s Tom Jensen looks at possible Democratic successors in this R+6 district if Rep. Heath Shuler gives up the seat to run for Senate. He cites state Sens. John Snow and Joe Sam Queen as likeliest. (He also links to a great map from Civitas that calculates the PVI for all of North Carolina’s state Senate districts.)

    SC-01: Rep. Henry Brown threw a “thank you” party in Myrtle Beach for his supporters, and at least 11 people walked away with the best possible tokens of his gratitude: diarrhea and nausea. State health officials are investigating to see if it was the result of food poisoning or just of the Republican rhetoric. Also, 2008 challenger Linda Ketner, who came close to knocking off Brown as an openly lesbian candidate in a dark-red district, may not be looking to run again. She did a refreshingly honest interview with FireDogLake, maybe a little too refreshing vis-a-vis her future viability, in terms of referring to “the conservative, religious crazy vote” and outing several prominent South Carolina politicians.

    UT-LG: A third generation of Romneys is getting warmed up (in a third state). Mitt Romney’s 33-year-old son Josh has been in talks with soon-to-be-Gov. Gary Herbert about the open Lieutenant Governor’s position.

    AL-St. Senate: Democrats can still be a downballot force in Alabama, managing to hold a state Senate seat in a deep-red part of rural Alabama north of Mobile. State Rep. Mark Keahey (who’s only 28) narrowly defeated Republican former state Rep. Greg Albritton, in a special election triggered by the January death of Democratic Sen. Pat Lindsey. (UPDATE: Actually, it turns out that the margin wasn’t so tight. Keahey crushed Albritton by a devastating 58-42 margin.)

    NH-St. House: In another special election, Democrats held a state House seat based in Lebanon, New Hampshire, as fire captain Andy White beat Republican Randy Wagoner. It’s Democratic-leaning turf, but the GOP turned this into a proxy battle over gay marriage (White is a vote in favor of it), and out-of-district money enabled Wagoner to outspend White at least 4-to-1.

    VA-Gov: Dem Primary PPP penultimate poll – Deeds leads


    Creigh Deeds 27 (20)

    Terry McAuliffe 24 (29)

    Brian Moran 22 (20)

    “Two major developments have shaped the movement in the race over the last week and a half. The first is Deeds’ endorsement by the Washington Post. He has gone from 11% in northern Virginian to 23%. With 30% of the primary electorate coming from that region that alone accounts for more than half of his jump from 20 to 27%.”

    “The second is a decline in support for Terry McAuliffe in the areas where Brian Moran has run television ads attacking him. In the last survey McAuliffe was running at 33% in Hampton Roads and 34% in greater Richmond. He’s now declined to 25 and 23% respectively in those markets.”

    “We’ve been saying for months this was anyone’s game and it’s more true now than ever,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “All three candidates have a perfectly reasonable chance of coming out on top next Tuesday.”

    VA-Gov: McAuliffe in Charge

    Research 2000 for Daily Kos (5/18-20, likely voters,  early April in parens):

    Terry McAuliffe (D): 36 (19)

    Brian Moran (D): 22 (24)

    Creigh Deeds (D): 13 (16)

    Undecided: 29 (41)

    (MoE: 5%)

    Public Policy Polling (PDF) (5/19-21, likely voters, early May in parens):

    Terry McAuliffe (D): 29 (30)

    Brian Moran (D): 20 (20)

    Creigh Deeds (D): 20 (14)

    Undecided: 31 (36)

    (MoE: 3.9%)

    Despite what you see here, PPP and R2K actually showed similar surges for McAuliffe – it’s just that PPP has polled more frequently. If you go back to their late March survey, the numbers are very similar to R2K’s. The biggest difference between the newest polls is that PPP, like SUSA, shows Deeds – who was just endorsed by the Washington Post – moving up, while R2K has him stagnating.

    Even if Deeds does have positive momentum, will it be enough? The primary is just two weeks from today, and this is what all the recent polling looks like:

    PPP suggests that McAuliffe is benefitting from the fact that neither Moran nor Deeds has been able to consolidate the support) of people who don’t like T-Mac (they split that group 40-35 in Moran’s favor). Time is running out for either man to break that logjam.

    P.S. R2K also tested general election matchups, which you can find here.

    VA-Gov: SUSA Has McAuliffe Holding Lead, but Deeds Moves Up 4

    SurveyUSA (5/17-19, likely voters, late April in parens):

    Terry McAuliffe (D): 37 (38)

    Brian Moran (D): 22 (22)

    Creigh Deeds (D): 26 (22)

    Other/Undecided: 14 (18)

    (MoE: ±4.5%)

    Creigh Deeds (D): 40 (39)

    Bob McDonnell (R): 46 (44)

    Terry McAuliffe (D): 40 (39)

    Bob McDonnell (R): 46 (46)

    Brian Moran (D): 37 (34)

    Bob McDonnell (R): 47 (46)

    (MoE: ±2.4%)

    Reasearch 2000 will have a new primary poll out tomorrow, and PPP will have one Friday or Saturday. They note that the three candidates are evenly split among frequent primary voters, but more casual voters lean decidedly toward McAuliffe. The primary is on June 9th.