SSP Daily Digest: 3/25 (Afternoon Edition)

CA-Sen (pdf): The apparently nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California has put out another statewide poll, and the numbers look very similar to those in the Field Poll last week. Barbara Boxer is in a dead heat with Tom Campbell, down 44-43, and not faring much better against Carly Fiorina, where Boxer leads 44-43. (She led Campbell by 4 and Fiorina by 8 two months ago.) Boxer’s doing better against Chuck DeVore, with a 46-40 edge. The big change from the Field Poll is that PPIC finds Fiorina actually in the lead in the GOP primary, the first pollster to see that in a while; she’s up 24-23-8, an improvement from January’s 27-16-8 Campbell edge. Are reluctant social conservatives getting off the fence and behind Fiorina, sensing DeVore isn’t gaining traction? Or did the Demon Sheep ad actually sway some ovinophobic voters?

KY-Sen: Jack Conway’s on the air with a TV spot in the wake of the health care vote, trying to get some mileage out of Democratic primary opponent Dan Mongiardo’s stated opposition to the bill that passed.

NY-Sen-B: Wall Street exec David Malpass, fresh off his smashing success as chief economist of Bear Stearns, looks like he’s doubling down on trying to be the GOP nominee to go against Kirsten Gillibrand. He’s promising $1 million of his own money to kick-start his campaign, where he first needs to get out of a primary against Bruce Blakeman and Joe DioGuardi.

UT-Sen: It’s all still anecdotal, but the preliminary reports for how caucus night went for Bob Bennett sound pretty bad. Observers report strong anti-Bennett sentiment in general, although what might save him is that there was no coalescing behind any of his particular challengers. Turnout was maybe twice that of caucuses two years ago, suggesting a highly-motivated anti-Bennett base.

CA-Gov (pdf): PPIC also has California gubernatorial numbers, again similar to the last Field poll. Meg Whitman’s outspending of Jerry Brown by a 200:1 margin or so is definitely paying temporary dividends, as she’s leading the gubernatorial race 44-39 (up from a 41-36 Brown lead two months ago). Brown leads Steve Poizner 46-31, basically unchanged from two months ago, suggesting this change is pretty Whitman-specific and not an across-the-boards phenomenon; Whitman leads Poizner 61-11.

GA-Gov: Republican Governor Sonny Perdue is engaging in a remarkable end-run around Democratic AG Thurbert Baker, appointing a “special attorney general” to join in the suit against the health care reform brought by Republican AGs after Baker refused to do so and called it “political gamesmanship.” If nothing else, the fireworks between Perdue and Baker ought to raise Baker’s profile (who’s currently lagging in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, but might be poised to make an impact if he switched to the mostly-vacant Senate race).

MA-Gov: Here’s some trouble for independent gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill: the SEC has charged that John Kendrick, an executive with Southwest Securities, won $14 billion in bond deals after co-sponsoring a fundraiser for Cahill. That’s a violation of federal rules against contributions to officials who oversee bond sales. The SEC says that the Cahill campaign (which is returning the contributions) didn’t break any laws by accepting the money, though.

OH-Gov, TX-Sen: Two more GOPers who still seem to be charging full speed ahead on “repeal” are Ohio’s John Kasich and, more interestingly, John Cornyn, who’d been cited in Ezra Klein‘s piece yesterday, on the GOP’s rapidly dialed-down rhetoric, as supporting only piecemeal tinkering but now seems to be reversing course again.

WY-Gov: Whoops, that was a short-lived candidacy-to-be. Wyoming Democrats looking for a gubernatorial candidate are back to square one after attorney (and gubernatorial progeny) Paul Hickey reversed course and said “no” to a run.

CO-07: Tom Tancredo weighed in with an endorsement in the Republican primary field in the 7th and, guess what… he endorsed the white guy. He gave the nod to former John McCain campaign official Lang Sias, despite Tancredo’s general antipathy toward all things McCain.

HI-01: State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa is finally making some moves in the special election to replace resigned Rep. Neil Abercrombie. She’s out with her first TV ads, for the all-mail-in election with a May 22 deadline.

NY-13: More blowback for Rep. Mike McMahon for his “no” vote on HCR, which could cost him the Working Families ballot line and/or get him a primary opponent. NYC council speaker Christine Quinn has backed out of a previously planned fundraiser for McMahon, citing his vote.

SC-05: The NRCC seems to be feeling confident about state Sen. Mick Mulvaney, their challenger to Rep. John Spratt in the reddish 5th. They’ve promoted him to the 2nd level (“Contender”) in their 3-tiered fundraising pyramid scheme for challengers.

Illinois: We Ask America seems to be taking great pains to confirm that, yes, they really are a legitimate pollster. I don’t know if they’re helping their case by releasing results with two significant digits, but they have a lot of Illinois House race data; we’ll leave it to you to decide how much salt you want to apply. Perhaps weirdest, they have teabagging businessman Joe Walsh leading Melissa Bean in IL-08 by 38.33%-37.61%. They also have leads for GOPers in the 11th (Adam Kinzinger leads Debbie Halvorson 42-30, way worse than Kinzinger’s own recent internal) and the 14th (Randy Hultgren leads Bill Foster 38-36), while Dems lead in the 10th (Dan Seals beats Bob Dold 40-37) and the not-on-the-radar 17th (Phil Hare leads pizza parlor owner Bobby Schilling 39-32).

CA-Init: It’s been confirmed that the initiative to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in California has qualified for the ballot in November. A 2009 Field Poll shows such an initiative could actually pass, with 56% of Californians supporting such an initiative. Of course, it’s unclear how such a change in state law would mesh with federal law, but if nothing else, it may help motivate a lot of bong-toting slackers to get off their couches to vote in November who otherwise might not vote (and cast votes for Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer while they’re at it).

DCCC: Freshman Rep. Jared Polis has been a strong fundraiser (and has his own fortune, too), and he’s looking to spread the wealth. His joint fundraising committee, the Jared Polis Majority Fund, has already distributed $400K this spring to the DCCC, to vulnerable incumbents (Frank Kratovil, Betsy Markey, Scott Murphy, Bill Owens, Tom Perriello, Harry Teague, Dina Titus), and to four up-and-comers (Ami Bera, Steve Pougnet, John Carney, and David Cicilline).

DNC: I guess the DNC is feeling its oats these days, or just figuring that the best defense is a good offense: they’ve doubled the number of GOPers on the receiving end of pro-HCR attack ads for their “no” votes. They’ve added Pat Tiberi, Lee Terry, Dan Lungren, Mary Bono Mack, and Charlie Dent.

Census: Remember the Census? It’s back! In Pog form!

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: 3/31

    NH-Sen: The scurvy dogs at ARG! take their first reading of the 2010 New Hampshire senate race since Judd Gregg announced his retirement, finding that Rep. Paul Hodes beats ex-Sen. John Sununu 42-36. Hodes leads Sununu 38-31 among independents. (MoE ±4.2%)

    KY-Sen: In the days leading up to 1Q fundraising reports, Jim Bunning has publicly admitted that his fundraising has been “lousy,” although he says “Surprisingly, we’ve had pretty good success the last month.” He’s looking forward to some April fundraisers starring such luminaries as Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, and fellow baseball celeb Tommy Lasorda.

    GA-Gov: Roy Barnes is sounding very interested in another try at the governor’s race. Barnes got bounced by Sonny Perdue after one term in 2002, but populist anger plus demographic changes in Georgia may make a Barnes comeback feasible. (Insider Advantage found earlier this month that Barnes would defeat several of the likely GOP candidates.)

    LA-02: Joseph Cao is signaling he may actually break ranks and vote for the Obama budget this week, telling The Hill that his constituents are “split.” (In the sense that they are likely to “split” his head open if he keeps voting the party line.)

    History: Roll Call takes an interesting look back at the spate of special elections during the 1993-1994 session of Congress, and the structural reasons we aren’t likely to see a repeat of the disastrous 1994 election again.