AR-Sen: Runoffs Look Possible, But Dems in Poor Shape for General

Mason-Dixon (5/3-5, likely voters, 1/18-20 in parens):

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 44 (52)

Bill Halter (D): 32 (34)

D.C. Morrison (D): 7 (n/a)

Undecided: 17

(MoE: ±5%)

John Boozman (R): 48

Jim Holt (R): 17

Gilbert Baker (R): 11

Kim Hendren (R): 5

Conrad Reynolds (R): 2

Curtis Coleman (R): 1

Other: 1

Undecided: 15

(MoE: ±5%)

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 35

John Boozman (R): 52

Undecided: 13

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 39 (39)

Gilbert Baker (R): 47 (43)

Undecided: 14 (18)

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 40 (43)

Jim Holt (R): 45 (37)

Undecided: 15 (20)

Bill Halter (D): 32

John Boozman (R): 56

Undecided: 12

Bill Halter (D): 34

Gilbert Baker (R): 42

Undecided: 24

Bill Halter (D): 36

Jim Holt (R): 42

Undecided: 22

(MoE: ±4%)

Remember, in Arkansas, if one candidate fails to get 50% on May 18, then we’ll have a run-off on June 8th. The entry of weirdo Paulist D.C. Morrison suggests that this is a possibility on the Dem side, and the fractured GOP field might also yield a run-off, unless John Boozman can seal the deal soon – which he may be close to doing. In light of this, run-off hopeful Gilbert Baker has released his own numbers (PDF) from The Political Firm showing him in second place with 22% (with Boozman at 44 and Jim Holt! in third with just 8). Research 2000 will have a new survey out this week, and I’m sure they won’t be alone.

AR-Sen: Little Change in Arkansas

Research 2000 for Daily Kos (4/12-14, likely voters, 3/22-24 in parentheses):

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 45 (44)

Bill Halter (D): 33 (31)

Other: 6 (0)

Undecided: 16 (25)

(MoE: ±5%)

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 43 (42)

John Boozman (R): 50 (49)

Undecided: 7 (9)

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 41 (41)

Gilbert Baker (R): 48 (49)

Undecided: 11 (10)

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 42 (43)

Kim Hendren (R): 49 (48)

Undecided: 9 (9)

Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 43 (44)

Curtis Coleman (R): 46 (47)

Undecided: 11 (9)

Bill Halter (D): 41 (40)

John Boozman (R): 48 (48)

Undecided: 11 (12)

Bill Halter (D): 43 (44)

Gilbert Baker (R): 45 (46)

Undecided: 12 (10)

Bill Halter (D): 43 (44)

Kim Hendren (R): 46 (45)

Undecided: 11 (11)

Bill Halter (D): 44 (45)

Curtis Coleman (R): 43 (44)

Undecided: 13 (11)

(MoE: ±4%)

There’s hardly any change here in the topline numbers from the R2K poll of Arkansas released last Friday, either in the primary, or especially in the general. (There were also Tom Cox matchups; I’m leaving them out, as he’s dropped out.) Undecideds are dropping in the primary, but the real gainer here is “other,” probably in the form of previously unknown conservadem D.C. Morrison.

The numbers to note in this poll are the approvals: Blanche Lincoln’s problem is that everyone has an opinion of her, and the majority of that is negative: 43/53. Bill Halter, by contrast, is at 47/30. 23% still haven’t formed an opinion of him, giving him room to grow. Lincoln, by contrast, has hit her ceiling and is upside down — not the conditions that get you re-elected.

AR-Sen: Boozman Up Big in GOP Primary

Zata|3 for Talk Business (4/13, likely voters, no trendlines):

John Boozman (R): 46

Gilbert Baker (R): 14

Jim Holt (R): 8

Curtis Coleman (R): 5

Randy Alexander (R): 3

Kim Hendren (R): 3

Conrad Reynolds (R): 3

Fred Ramey (R): 1

Undecided: 17

(MoE: ±3%)

Talk Business is out with the Republican half of its poll of the Arkansas Senate primaries. Surprisingly, this seems to be the first public poll anyone has taken of the primary on the GOP side… which is fast-approaching on May 18 (which is shaping up as kind of the Super Tuesday of Senate primaries). What’s not surprising: Rep. John Boozman, a late entrant but the race’s lone heavyweight, is firm control of the race.

The one possible roadblock to Boozman: Arkansas is one of the handful of southern states that uses a runoff system (the runoff would be June 8). Boozman is closing in on the 50% mark, but if he falls short, he’d be forced into a two-man race. And against state Sen. Gilbert Baker, that could be competitive if Baker consolidated all the other non-Boozman votes (which are presumably from the anti-establishment, anti-DC, religious right and/or teabagger side of things). Baker’s not counting himself out, clearly seeing that path with his switch to anti-insider rhetoric lately… and saying today that “No one gave Marco Rubio a chance when he challenged Charlie Crist.”

SSP Daily Digest: 3/16 (Morning Edition)

Our twice-daily digests are also open threads for any campaign-related news you might have. Interesting/helpful links always appreciated!

  • AR-Sen: State Sen. Gilbert Baker is jumping all over GOP primary opponent Rep. John Boozman for his extensive travels abroad on the taxpayer dime. In a statement, Baker promised that, as senator, he will be sure to visit Paris, London, and England – all towns in Arkansas.
  • CA-Sen: NOM, NOM, NOM. The haters at the National Organization for (Heterosexual-Only) Marriage have launched an ad campaign attacking Republican ex-Rep. Tom Campbell for supporting gay marriage. CQ describes it as a statewide ad buy, but at only $275,000, that doesn’t get you very much in California. Meanwhile, Carlyfornia has drunk the winger kool-aid – while she supported cap-and-trade when stumping for John McCain two years ago, now she’s against it. Of course.
  • FL-Sen: Heh – PPP asked Floridians who their favorite governors are out of the last five to hold office. Only 4% of Republicans answered Charlie Crist – fewer than the number who named either Dem Bob Graham or Dem Lawton Chiles.
  • PA-Sen: Republican pollster Susquehanna has GOPer Pat Toomey up over Arlen Specter by 42-36, in contrast to recent polls by Quinnipiac and Research 2000 showing Specter leading by that margin. Susquehanna didn’t poll the Dem primary, though, and more weirdly, they didn’t even test Joe Sestak against Toomey. Huh?
  • FL-22: Toward the bottom of an interesting, in-depth look at Base Connect (the sketchy GOP consultants formerly known as BMW Direct), Dave Weigel has a good catch. It turns out that the much-hyped vet Allen West is also a BMW client. He’s raised $1.2 million this cycle, an extraordinary sum for a challenger, but check out that burn rate – he’s spent over $500,000 so far. His opponent, Rep. Ron Klein, has only spent $95K. West still has a lot of cash on hand, but this revelation changes the picture somewhat.
  • NY-13: SEIU chief Andy Stern says that his organization will back independent candidacies against House Dems who vote against healthcare. It seems that Stern would prefer to challenge wayward Dems in primaries, but many filing deadlines have already passed. However, the one actual “nay” vote Stern cites, Rep. Mike McMahon, serves in New York, where the filing deadline does not close for quite some time. (And as per yesterday’s bullet, the Working Families Party said they won’t give their line to McMahon either.)
  • PA-06: The Pennsylvania SEIU, which just endorsed Arlen Specter, also gave their backing to Dem Doug Pike in his primary against Manan Trivedi.
  • Census: I received my 2010 Census form last night. Have you gotten yours yet?
  • Congress: takes a look at former staffers who now occupy seats of their own on the Hill and notes that their ranks have been increasing since World War II. At least six staffers are running for office this year.
  • Lulz: Hard to believe, but disgraced and discredited “pollster” Strategic Vision claims to have undertaken a survey of the Georgia governor’s race. Even sadder, a flack for outgoing Gov. Sonny Perdue actually emailed around the “results” to reporters. Still waiting for that lawsuit against Nate Silver.
  • Teabagging: Virginia Thomas, the wife of none other than Sup. Ct. Justice Clarence Thomas, has formed a new lobbying company to exploit capitalize on teabagger sentiment. The LAT notes:
  • As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, Liberty Central can raise unlimited amounts of corporate money and largely avoid disclosing its donors.

    Because of a recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, the group may also spend corporate money freely to advocate for or against candidates for office.

    Justice Thomas was part of the 5-4 majority in that case.

  • SSP: We have 287 fans on le Facebook so far. Pretty please take us to 300? I ain’t too proud to beg.
  • SSP Daily Digest: 3/2

    AR-Sen: That didn’t take long; Lt. Gov. Bill Halter is already hitting the TV airwaves in his freshly-launched primary challenge to Blanche Lincoln. Now, you may be wondering how he’s paying for that, considering that he’s starting almost from scratch. Turns out he’s coming into this with promises of huge financial backing from organized labor; three unions under the AFL-CIO umbrella are committing $3 million to independent expenditures in the race, which in the cheap Arkansas media markets will allow him to get on a solid footing against Lincoln’s $5 mil. That’s on top of $600K that poured in from the netroots (from MoveOn and the PCCC). See what happens when you piss off your base?

    Rasmussen also snapped into action, putting out some further Arkansas numbers, and oddly, they aren’t anywhere near as catastrophic for Lincoln as last month. They still don’t have her in salvageable shape, though: Lincoln loses to Rep. John Boozman 48-39 (compared with 54-35 last month), state Sen. Gilbert Baker 45-40 (compared with 52-33 last month), state Sen. Jim Holt 45-38, state Sen. Kim Hendren 43-38, and businessman Curtis Coleman 43-41. This is Rasmussen’s first time testing Bill Halter, and for now, he’s performing about the same or somewhat worse than Lincoln. Halter trails Boozman 52-33, Baker 44-37, Holt 42-38, Hendren 42-35, and Coleman 38-35.

    CA-Sen: DavidNYC’s description of this development pretty much speaks for itself: “The lord taketh away Harold Ford, but may grace us with — I know it’s hard to imagine — an even BIGGER douchebag.” Mickey Kaus, the contrarian, Conservadem blogger, is apparently considering a run for Senate in California, taking out (though not yet filing) the appropriate candidate paperwork. Interestingly, I see no discussion of whether he plans to run in the Democratic primary against Barbara Boxer, or as an indie or a GOPer — not that he’s likely to provide much more than comic relief in any of the three categories.

    GA-Sen: Democrats may be kicking themselves for dropping the recruitment ball this year on a challenger to Johnny Isakson for his first re-election bid to the Senate. Rasmussen found him leading Generic D by a not-overwhelming 49-36 last week, and now PPP finds him with a similar but even less convincing win over Generic D, 46-37. Isakson’s approvals are a rather Richard Burr-ish 36/38. However, as seen in North Carolina, Generic D overperforms Real D: in case AG Thurbert Baker was considering jumping over from the gubernatorial race (where he badly lags ex-Gov. Roy Barnes in the primary), he trails Isakson 49-31. Jim Martin, who performed fairly well in the 2008 Senate election, does a little better, losing 47-35.

    KY-Sen: As Jim Bunning keeps up his Bizzaro-world Mr. Smith Goes to Washington impression (filibustering to cut off Boy Scouts’ dads’ unemployment compensation), he’s drawing the attention of two of his would-be successors. Democratic Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo has called for a rally at Bunning’s Lexington office to protest Bunning’s crazy last stand, while Rand Paul’s campaign in now responding with its own counter-rally in support Bunning’s efforts. (Paul won’t be there himself, and it’s not clear if Mongiardo will either.)

    NY-Sen-B: There’s speculation that Harold Ford Jr.’s decision to abandon his Senate plans may have a lot to do with the likelihood of a Mort Zuckerman run on the Republican side — and that a lot of Ford’s moneybags donors were telling him they were with Zuckerman instead if he got in. Or, maybe Ford just got wind of his poll numbers in today’s Marist poll (pdf), giving him little shot at pulling the upset. In the Dem primary, Ford trailed Kirsten Gillibrand 50-19 (with 3 for Jonathan Tasini). Considering that Ford collapsed from an already-bad 44-27 in late January’s Marist poll as he gained notoriety all last month, that seems like plenty of incentive to get out. Gillibrand trails the unlikely-to-run George Pataki in the general 48-45, but demolishes Zuckerman, 59-26, as well as the already-running Bruce Blakeman, 58-28. In the other Senate race, undeclared candidate Larry Kudlow might want to save his money; Charles Schumer leads Kudlow 69-24.

    OK-Sen: Rasmussen keeps polling everything that’s pollable, and today that includes the Oklahoma Senate race. No Democrat of note has stepped up to challenge Tom Coburn, and that may be just as well, as the Dems’ best possible candidate, the state’s popular, termed-out Democratic Governor  Brad Henry, still finds himself losing a hypothetical battle to Coburn, 52-40.

    TX-Sen: Kay Bailey Hutchison is still insisting that she’s going to resign from the Senate at some point this year, despite the very very very very high likelihood of not winning the Texas gubernatorial primary which looked like hers for the taking a year ago. She still isn’t sure about a date, although it’s pegged to the legislative calendar, as before resigning she plans to, in her words, “stay and fight health care.” PPP’s Tom Jensen sees some interesting possible winners in Hutchison’s fall: Robin Carnahan and Lee Fisher. The scope of Hutchison’s loss tonight may give some insight into just how much this year’s discontent is an anti-Beltway insider, rather than anti-Democratic, bubble. The former, of course, would be a boost to statehouse vets Carnahan and Fisher (ahem, or Jennifer Brunner) as they fight DC hacks Roy Blunt and Rob Portman.

    CA-Gov: Apparently, after having spent months meditating away whatever bad vibes he may have felt about the role thrust upon his shoulders as the only man who can save California, Jerry Brown has emerged from his Fortress of Solitude and officially declared his candidacy for Governor. Unfortunately, while he was away, Ursa and Non have had uncontested months to rampage around the city destroying things… although thanks to Brown’s super-powers of bafflement and misdirection, they’ve gotten bamboozled into slugging it out viciously with each other instead. (Meanwhile, General Zod has already left town for the more interesting Senate race.)

    GA-Gov: Insider Advantage has polls of both primaries in the Georgia gubernatorial race, although no general election head-to-heads. No surprises on either side: on the Dem side, Roy Barnes is cruising at 36, followed by Thurbert Baker at 7, DuBose Porter at 3, and David Poythress at 2. On the GOP side, John Oxendine leads at 27, followed by Karen Handel at 13, Nathan Deal at 9, Eric Johnson at 7, and Other at 8. While Nathan Deal’s resignation is being spun as allowing him to focus full-time on his seemingly tractionless bid, there’s a darker side to it, too: TPM reports on how he was getting out one step ahead of the Ethics Committee, which was starting to look into allegations of Deal pressuring state officials to intervene on behalf of an auto inspection business that Deal co-owns. With Deal out of the House, the case is closed, at least at the federal level.

    MI-Gov: May the Schwarz be with us! It may be the only way we can salvage the Michigan gubernatorial race. Joe Schwarz, the ticked-off moderate ex-Rep. from MI-07 (who got teabagged by Tim Walberg in a GOP primary before getting teabagged was fashionable), is launching an exploratory committee for a gubernatorial run as an independent. This could be a big break for Dems in the gubernatorial race — especially if obnoxious Rep. Peter Hoekstra is the GOP nominee, as Schwarz seems poised to soak up a fair number of moderate votes unenthused by Hoekstra’s right-wing grandstanding. Schwarz seems more likely to be Chris Daggett than Jesse Ventura, though, and if things get really scrambled — for instance, an all-centrist three-way between Andy Dillon, Rick Snyder, and Schwarz — he could potentially harm the Dems as much as the GOP.

    NY-Gov (pdf): Marist also takes a look at the Governor’s race. Seeing as how this is their first poll after David Paterson’s announcement that he wouldn’t run for re-election, it’s also the first poll in a long time to contain any good news for Paterson: only 28% of respondents want him to resign, as opposed to 66% who say finish his term. And only 18% think Paterson has done anything illegal, as opposed to a mere 40% who think he merely did something unethical, not illegal. (The bad news: his approval is down to 23/71, which has to be a new low.) With the participants in November’s election now pretty much locked in, they find AG Andrew Cuomo beating ex-Rep. Rick Lazio 64-28. Cuomo’s halo may be shining even brighter as his office begins investigating Paterson; Cuomo’s approval is 67/28.

    RI-Gov: One more Rasmussen poll to add to the pile, and they’re seeing more or less what Brown Univ. saw last week, regarding the Rhode Island gubernatorial race. Independent ex-Sen. Lincoln Chafee is definitely in the driver’s seat, although Dem state Treasurer Frank Caprio polls better against him than does AG Patrick Lynch. Only difference here: Rasmussen sees Republican John Robitaille performing much better, although he’s still deep in third place. Chafee wins the Caprio race 37-27-19, while he wins the Lynch race 38-24-22.

    GA-07: One of the guys considered a heavyweight in the GOP field in this newly-opened-up seat in the R+16 7th has decided against a run. State Sen. David Shafer announced he’ll take a pass. Fellow state Sen. Don Balfour is already in the running, with state Rep. Clay Cox and Gwinnett Co. Commissioner Mike Beaudreau also expected to join him soon.

    MA-10: Maybe I spoke too soon in thinking that Joe Kennedy III’s decision not to run next year was an indication of another term of William Delahunt. It turns out Delahunt has been on a bit of a grotesque spending spree, burning through $560K of his campaign cash last year (including campaign staff salaries for a number of family members). This cuts his war chest in half, and he only raised $42K last year — all actions of a man eyeing the exits. If Delahunt needs something to do with his money, I can think of a certain “DCCC” that could really use help right now, probably much more so than his family members. (H/t Adam B.)

    MI-03: State Sen. Bill Hardiman (termed-out from his current job) announced that he’ll run for the open seat in the 3rd, left behind by retiring Vern Ehlers. Hardiman faces state Rep. Justin Amash, already coronated as frontrunner by western Michigan GOP power brokers Dick and Betsy DeVos. If the former Kentwood mayor survives his primary, he’s on his way to returning the Republicans back to having at least one African-American in Congress.

    NY-St. Sen.: Give Hiram Monserrate credit for persistence, I guess. Having become the first sitting New York state Senator to get expelled in decades after an assault conviction, Monserrate promptly picked himself up, dusted himself off, and began running in the special election to replace himself. This time, Monserrate is running as an independent, against Democratic Assemblyman Jose Peralta. Peralta has the advantage of the support of the entire Democratic establishment, but Monserrate has one thing on his side: name recognition (not necessarily for good PR, but still…).

    Ads: 501(c)(4) League of American Voters is running anti-health care reform TV ads against a whole slew of swing-district Democrats, hoping to sway a few wobblies in the run-up to the next House vote: Mike Arcuri, Dan Maffei, Chris Carney, Paul Kanjorski, Kathy Dahlkemper, Baron Hill, Steve Kagen, Alan Mollohan, Nick Rahall, Tom Perriello, Mark Schauer, Zach Space, and Harry Teague.

    Special elections: And you thought the Texas primary was all that was on tap tonight? No, there are two special elections for state Houses, both of which look pretty competitive. The Dems are trying to hold a seat in Virginia in HD-41 in a swingy part of Fairfax County, recently vacated by Dave Marsden’s promotion to the state Senate. The Democratic candidate, Eileen Filler-Corn, may have the edge, in that she has a 3-to-1 fundraising edge over Kerry Bolognese, and the district went for Obama with 57%. On the other hand, Bolognese came within 50-49 of Marsden last fall, and Bob McDonnell won the district with 55%. (Both candidates, unappealingly enough, are lobbyists by day.) The GOP has the edge in the House of Delegates, 59-38-2. And in Connecticut, Democrats are gunning for a pickup in the Stratford-based HD-120, which was vacated by Republican John Harkins becoming Stratford mayor. Democrat Janice Anderson lost against Republican state Sen. Dan Debicella in 2008, although she beat Debicella in the portion of that district that comprises the 120th. She faces off against GOPer Laura Hoydick; the stakes are a little lower here, as the Dems control the state House 114-36.

    AR-Sen, IL-Gov: Ratings Changes

  • AR-Sen (Lincoln): Tossup to Lean R
  • Rep. John Boozman officially entered the Arkansas Senate race this weekend. While he had telegraphed this for weeks, his official entry means that there’s finally a top-tier candidate for the Republicans. This race was a tossup even with a grab-bag of state legislators and self-funders, thanks to the Democratic brand’s decay in Arkansas and Blanche Lincoln’s play-it-down-the-middle-and-appeal-to-nobody approach. Two polls this week gave Boozman a lead over Lincoln in the 20-point ballpark, though, indicating that a stronger Republican probably pushes this one out of Lincoln’s grasp.

    Boozman will still have to fight his way out of the crowded GOP primary — state Sen. Gilbert Baker and businessman Curtis Coleman aren’t getting out of the way (although some of the lesser opposition, like Tom Cox and Buddy Rogers, have bailed out), and Boozman’s long House tenure may be a liability in an anti-incumbent, anti-establishment year. His base in the state’s dark-red northwest will probably see him through the primary, though.

  • IL-Gov (Quinn): Likely D to Tossup
  • It’s a bit of a surprise that Pat Quinn survived the primary election, as the primary campaign revealed he had something of a glass jaw, and the last few polls of the race showed him with terrible approval ratings and getting edged by challenger Dan Hynes. It’s never a good sign to have a bloody, depleted victor staggering out of a barely-won primary, and his problems are compounded by general anti-incumbent fervor and bad economic conditions in the Rust Belt, which is enough for us to move this race all the way up to Tossup.

    Still, there are a few things that Quinn has in his favor: he has an extremely long period (nine months) to rehabilitate himself, while the Republicans won’t even have a nominee for a while, and most likely it’ll be Bill Brady — while Illinois throughout the 80s and 90s was happy to elect moderate, suburban Republicans to statewide office, it remains to be seen whether a socially conservative downstate resident can get over the hump. Finally, the Scott Lee Cohen sideshow quickly and suitably resolved itself this weekend, leaving the state party to pick a more appealing running mate… although, after some initial lukewarm interest, Hynes has now taken his name out of consideration for a unity ticket.

    You can find our complete ratings here: Sen | Gov.

    RaceTracker Wiki: AR-Sen | IL-Gov

    AR-Sen: Boozman Demolishes Lincoln (If He Runs)

    PPP (pdf) (1/29-31, likely voters, 8/21-24 in parentheses)

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 33

    John Boozman (R): 56

    Undecided: 11

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 35 (40)

    Gilbert Baker (R): 50 (42)

    Undecided: 15 (18)

    Bill Halter (D): 30

    John Boozman (R): 53

    Undecided: 17

    Bill Halter (D): 34

    Gilbert Baker (R): 45

    Undecided: 21

    Wesley Clark (D): 36

    John Boozman (R): 51

    Undecided: 13

    Wesley Clark (D): 39

    Gilbert Baker (R): 45

    Undecided: 16

    Mike Ross (D): 37

    John Boozman (R): 48

    Undecided: 15

    Mike Ross (D): 39

    Gilbert Baker (R): 39

    Undecided: 22

    Mike Beebe (D): 43

    John Boozman (R): 44

    Undecided: 13

    Mike Beebe (D): 46

    Gilbert Baker (R): 38

    Undecided: 15

    (MoE: ±3.4%)

    Looks like Blanche Lincoln picked the wrong year to be a Democrat in Arkansas. Basically, Blanche Lincoln has become something of a Generic Congressional Democrat to the Arkansas electorate: 55% think that Congressional Democrats are too liberal (compared with 12% too conservative and 32% about right), and a very similar 52% think Lincoln is too liberal (with 14% too conservative and 28% about right). Clocking in at 27/62 approvals, she loses badly not only to the sort-of-known Rep. John Boozman (32/25 favorables) — who’s currently in a “I’m running but I’m not running yet” limbo — but the barely-known state Sen. Gilbert Baker (9/16, with 75% not sure).

    Substitute Democrats in the race fare little better, in case Lincoln gets the message and opts for a nice health insurance industry lobbyist job instead. The problem isn’t one of personalities (seeing as Dems have a strong bench here, including a freakin’ war hero) but the statewide brand, or more specifically, the state’s perception of the national party. This is best seen with the puzzling case of Gov. Mike Beebe, here with a 59/22 approval (not astounding, but probably still one of the best among all governors) but with a walking-on-water 82/9 in a different poll last month. Even Beebe, easily the most popular man in Arkansas, still loses to Boozman and is the only Dem to get past unknown Baker. Highly suggestive that Arkansas is happy to keep its Dems in-state, but currently very unenthused about sending them to the Senate. (See also conspiracy‘s diary.)

    Rasmussen (2-1, likely voters, 1/5 in parentheses)

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 35

    John Boozman (R): 54

    Some other: 4

    Not sure: 7

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 33 (39)

    Gilbert Baker (R): 52 (51)

    Some other: 6 (3)

    Not sure: 8 (7)

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 35 (39)

    Kim Hendren (R): 51 (47)

    Some other: 7 (4)

    Not sure: 7 (10)

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 34 (38)

    Curtis Coleman (R): 50 (48)

    Some other: 7 (4)

    Not sure: 9 (9)

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 36 (38)

    Tom Cox (R): 50 (48)

    Some other: 6 (5)

    Not sure: 9 (9)

    (MoE: ±4.5%)

    It’s not every day that you see Rasmussen having a more optimistic view of a race than PPP, although here it may simply be a less catastrophic view. Boozman here leads by a mere 19. More alarming here, perhaps, are the trendlines on the races against the miscellaneous Republican parts and pieces here: they aren’t gaining ground so much as Lincoln is further losing ground, sinking down into the mid-30s regardless of opponent.

    RaceTracker Wiki: AR-Sen

    AR-Sen: Lincoln is toast according to PPP


    Some of the others poll better but even Beebe loses to Boozman.

    Lincoln 33

    Boozman 56

    Lincoln 35

    Baker 50

    Ross 37

    Boozman 48

    Ross 39

    Baker 39

    Halter 30

    Boozman 53

    Halter 34

    Baker 45

    Clark 36

    Boozman 51

    Clark 39

    Baker 45

    Beebe 43

    Boozman 44

    Beebe 46

    Baker 38

    For all you purists Lincoln’s problems are certainly not because she isn’t liberal enough. A majority of Arkansas voters say she is too liberal.

    The only silver lining is that these other Dems all have high “don’t knows” in terms of favorability but then so do both Boozman and Baker. I think we have to face facts – the state wants a Republican senator.

    SSP Daily Digest: 1/28

    AR-Sen: Despite the seemingly imminent entry of Rep. John Boozman into the GOP field in the Arkansas Senate race, soon-to-be-former-frontrunner state Sen. Gilbert Baker says he’s staying in the race. The alternative would be to run for Baker, who represents Little Rock suburbs, to run for the open seat in AR-02 instead – but there he’d face a tough primary against Beltway GOP favorite Tim Griffin, who’s already established a solid fundraising foothold. (Some of the seven dwarves in the GOP field, who seem concentrated in the state’s right-leaning northwest, may be interested in switching to Boozman’s open seat in AR-03, though.) And unbelievably, yet another Republican is interested in getting in the Senate race: former NFL player Jim Lindsey is readying for a bid. Lindsey is a real estate developer and former University of Arkansas trustee.

    AZ-Sen: Sarah Palin is still dancin’ with the one who brung her. She announced yesterday that she’ll appear on behalf of John McCain, who plucked her from near-obscurity and is now needs a favor of his own as he’s facing a primary challenge from the right from ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth. Needless to say, this provoked a lot of disappointment from her supporters among the teabagging set, who would prefer to see her stab McCain in the back and then field dress him.

    CO-Sen: With right-wingers filled with antipathy toward establishment choice ex-Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, there’s been a lot of casting about for an alternative. Weld County DA Ken Buck seems more and more like he’ll be that guy, as he’s been making common cause with the Paulists, who are now planning to pay for a statewide advertising campaign on Buck’s behalf. Meanwhile, on the Dem side, primary challenger Andrew Romanoff is trying to energize his sleepy campaign with a big hire – pollster Celinda Lake, whose previously sterling reputation got driven off a cliff with her handling of the Martha Coakley campaign.

    CT-Sen: There’s not much left to see for the 2010 race, but everyone’s thinking ahead to 2012, with the new rumor afoot that – with the Senate Kennedy-free for the first time in more than half a century – Ted Kennedy Jr. may run against Joe Lieberman in 2012. Lieberman himself is up to his usual asshattery, speculating out loud that he could conceive of becoming a Republican, and also saying that he might support Linda McMahon in the 2010 race… seeing as how Richard Blumenthal (tepidly) supported Lamont in the 2006 general while McMahon supported Lieberman. Apparently Lieberman learned his politics from watching the Godfather: it’s not business. Just personal. (Lieberman also seems to be a believer in leaving the cannoli, and taking the guns.)

    FL-Sen: In the wake of new polling showing him falling behind Marco Rubio in the GOP Senate primary, the questions are getting louder about whether Charlie Crist might consider running as an independent instead. He said no to that idea… but people are noticing he didn’t rule out switching parties altogether. With Crist appearing side-by-side with Barack Obama today in Florida (something he wouldn’t consider doing if he saw any hope in trying to compete with Rubio – who just got the endorsement of ur-conservative Steve Forbes — on conservative bona fides alone), could that actually be a consideration? If so, he’d need to switch parties by April 30.

    MA-Sen: There are a couple more retrospectives worth reading on Massachusetts, as people try to make sense of the mixed messages sent by exit polls (with one particularly intriguing tidbit: 52% of Scott Brown voters approved of Ted Kennedy’s performance). Mark Blumenthal also looks at the shift in polling over the last few weeks, wondering again about the differing results gotten by live interviewers vs. robocallers, while also pointing to questions of how much pollsters’ views of a race can actually change the overall momentum of the race (fundraising and perception-wise) and thus become a self-fulfilling prophecy. And get ready for the teabaggers’ week-long love affair to end very soon: Scott Brown (who apparently has some self-preservation instincts) just served notice on the GOP that he won’t always vote with them.

    ND-Sen: This isn’t going to make the teabaggers any happier: Gov. John Hoeven, now running for the Senate, joined the Democratic Party in 1996 (at a time when he was head of North Dakota’s state-owned bank), ditching them in 2000 for his gubernatorial run. With Hoeven already on their naughty list for his insufficiently anti-government stances, now he’s just going to get more wrath.

    NH-Sen: Former AG Kelly Ayotte is wielding an internal poll by the Tarrance Group that gives her a big edge in the GOP primary against her challengers. She leads Ovide Lamontagne, coming at her from the right, 43-11. Random rich guys Bill Binnie and Jim Bender clock in at 5 and 3 apiece. No general election numbers were released.

    NV-Sen: One more disastrous poll for Harry Reid, which came out from Research 2000 a few days ago. This poll closely echoed one from PPP a few weeks ago that tested alternative Democrats, and finds that only Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman beats the Republicans (while Rep. Shelly Berkley and SoS Ross Miller don’t fare much better than Reid). Unfortunately, this was all rendered moot a few days ago by Goodman’s announcement that he wasn’t going to run for either Governor or Senator. Reid loses 52-41 to Danny Tarkanian and 51-42 to Sue Lowden. Berkley loses 46-40 to Tarkanian and 45-40 to Lowden, while Miller loses 44-36 to Tarkanian and 43-37 to Lowden. Goodman beats Tarkanian 44-41 and Lowden 44-40. Rep. Dina Titus, facing a tough re-election of her own, doesn’t seem to think much of Reid’s chances anymore: she publicly said “Reid is done; he’s going to lose.”

    NY-Sen-B: One other Research 2000 poll to talk about: they looked at the Democratic primary in New York, and find about what everyone else has found. Kirsten Gillibrand leads ex-Rep. Harold Ford Jr. by a 41-27 margin (with 3 for Jonathan Tasini), looking solid but still with a ton of undecideds. This also exists merely at the level of rumor, but with the potential presence of Ford scrambling things for the ever-so-briefly-thought-to-be-safe Gillibrand, sources say that Democratic Rep. Steve Israel (who got dissuaded from a primary challenge) and Republican ex-Gov. George Pataki (who hasn’t sounded interested until now) are both giving the race a little more consideration.

    PA-Sen, PA-Gov (pdf): Franklin & Marshall’s previous polls in Pennsylvania have tended to have unusually high undecideds, suggesting that they don’t do any pushing of leaners at all – but this may have reached an all-time high with their new poll. Most notably, they find Allegeheny Co. Exec Dan Onorato completely dominating the Democratic gubernatorial primary… at 10% (more than doubling up on Jack Wagner, Joe Hoeffel, and Chris Doherty, all at 4)! They also find similarly low numbers in the Senate race, where Republican ex-Rep. Pat Toomey leads incumbent Dem Arlen Specter 45-31 and Rep. Joe Sestak 41-19 (?!?), and where Specter beats Sestak in the primary 30-13. (They didn’t do a general election poll in the Governor’s race, but find Republican AG Tom Corbett leading his remaining rival, state Rep. Sam Rohrer, 23-5 in the primary.)

    UT-Sen: The Mason-Dixon poll that gave us some (not so good) gubernatorial results also threw in some vague questions about the Senate race too. Incumbent Bob Bennett leads a Generic R in the primary, 46-27, and a Generic D 53-26 in the general. Nevertheless, Bennett drew yet another primary opponent, albeit someone seemingly of the Some Dude variety: local businessman Christopher Stout.

    WI-Sen: Wherever there’s a vacillating Republican needing convincing to get into a Senate race, there’s Rasmussen. (Whaddya wanna bet they have a Patty Murray/Dave Reichert poll in the field right now?) Contrary to PPP’s view of the race, Rasmussen finds ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson leading incumbent Dem Russ Feingold, 47-43. They find Feingold with a perplexingly low 47/48 approval.

    CT-Gov: Is ex-Rep. Chris Shays looking to get into the Governor’s race? Suddenly, it sounds like he’s at least thinking about it, saying he’d like to do it but not sure if it’s feasible. He’s currently in Washington as head of the Wartime Contracting Commission, meaning he’d need to re-establish his Connecticut residency, but given his long-time popularity in his district (which eventually got too blue for him to hold) he might have a leg up on the so-so GOPers already in the field.

    FL-Gov: Quinnipiac released the gubernatorial half of its Florida poll yesterday, finding that Republican AG Bill McCollum has a somewhat bigger lead on Democratic CFO Alex Sink, 41-31 (McCollum led 36-32 in October). Sink leads state Sen. Paula Dockery 35-29, but considering that McCollum leads Dockery 44-6 in the GOP primary, that configuration doesn’t seem likely.

    MI-Gov: Two guys who had been unlikely candidates for the Democratic nomination for Governor both announced they wouldn’t run. Rep. Bart Stupak is the big name to say “no,” which is good as far as the DCCC is concerned, as he’s needed to hold down the fort in his R+3 district. The other is Detroit Pistons head of basketball operations Joe Dumars, who probably realized he’d get pretty banged up out there without Bill Laimbeer to run interference for him. One other interesting rumor of who might run, though, is ex-Rep. Joe Schwarz, the GOP moderate who got bounced out in a 2006 Club for Growth-fueled primary by Tim Walberg. And get this… he’s talking about running as an independent. Could he actually peel off enough center-right votes for the Dems to salvage this race?

    NY-Gov: Research 2000’s New York poll also looked at the Democratic gubernatorial primary, finding AG Andrew Cuomo defeating incumbent David Paterson, 63-19. Paterson is laboring under 34/54 approvals. The GOP primary to see who gets flattened by Cuomo is looking pretty uneventful: Erie Co. Exec Chris Collins, who continued to express vague interest despite having gaffed his way out of contention several months ago, finally pulled the plug on his exploratory committee. That leaves ex-Rep. Rick Lazio as the only major GOPer in the race, to few people’s enthusiasm.

    TX-Gov: Looks like Gov. Rick Perry isn’t much of a fan of the librul media, or at least he realizes that his key demographics aren’t really the newspaper-reading types. He’s decided not to sit for editorial board interviews prior to their pre-primary endorsements.  

    AR-Sen: Lincoln Still Lagging, But Says She Won’t Retire

    Mason-Dixon (1/18-20, likely voters):

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 39

    Gilbert Baker (R): 43

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 43

    Jim Holt (R): 37

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 40

    Curtis Coleman (R): 39

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 41

    Conrad Reynolds (R): 38

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 43

    Kim Hendren (R): 38

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 41

    Tom Cox (R): 38

    (MoE: ±4%)

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 52

    Bill Halter (D): 34

    Blanche Lincoln (D-inc): 63

    Bob Johnson (D): 22

    (MoE: ±6%)

    Mason-Dixon takes a first look at the Arkansas Senate race (on behalf of the Arkansas News Bureau), and while the results are still pretty ugly, they’re not as bad as some other pollsters have seen it — to the extent that there’s actually a path to victory for Lincoln. Not that it’s really in her control: she just needs to hope that the GOP manages to nominate one of the seven dwarves populating the GOP field, instead of the somewhat more appealing state Sen. Gilbert Baker (who leads her by 4)… or more ominously, that Rep. John Boozman doesn’t decide to get into the race, at which point the game would likely be over. Mason-Dixon also find her currently surviving potential Democratic primary challenges (from the left from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter or from the right from state Sen. President Bob Johnson — both of which have been rumored, but nothing tangible has happened yet).

    With Lincoln’s stock palpably sinking, there have been persistent rumors that the DSCC is telling Lincoln behind-the-scenes that she might want to consider getting out of the way, Chris Dodd-style. Unfortunately, there’s no Richard Blumenthal waiting in the wings in the Wonder State, making this rumor seem unlikely — although there was a whiff of a rumor of a Wesley Clark run in her place (or a run by Rep. Mike Ross, which would probably generate much less netroots enthusiasm than a Clark run — although that could create a New Mexico-2008 type scenario where every House seat in the state is open). Lincoln herself acted this morning to bat down these rumors, saying she’s under no pressure to retire and doesn’t plan to do so, despite consistently polling in the 40% range.

    RaceTracker Wiki: AR-Sen