(Note: The content of this post was written entirely by DavidNYC.)
Travis Childers (D-inc): 42 (51)
Alan Nunnelee (R): 50 (42)
Nunnelee favorables: 44/8. Childers favorables: 49/30. Obama approval: 36%.
(Note: The content of this post was written entirely by DavidNYC.)
Travis Childers (D-inc): 42 (51)
Alan Nunnelee (R): 50 (42)
Nunnelee favorables: 44/8. Childers favorables: 49/30. Obama approval: 36%.
Nikki Haley (R): 43 (39)
Henry McMaster (R): 16 (18)
Gresham Barrett (R): 23 (16)
Andre Bauer (R): 12 (13)
Undecided: 7 (14)
Nikki Haley (R): 51
Gresham Barrett (R): 35
Nikki Haley (R): 62
Andre Bauer (R): 26
Nikki Haley (R): 54
Henry McMaster (R): 35
It looks like Haley’s standing has not been impaired by the allegations of extramarital infidelity that have dominated the headlines this week. Her favorable rating among Republican primary voters sits at 58-23, an improvement over the 42-13 rating she had in late May. Moreover, by a 54-13 margin, Republicans don’t believe the allegations are true, and are split almost evenly on whether she should drop out of the race if the allegations are proven true.
We should also give thanks to PPP for taking a look at the 4th CD primary, where conservative GOP incumbent Bob Inglis is being teabagged to death:
Bob Inglis (R-inc): 33
Trey Gowdy (R): 37
Jim Lee (R): 9
David Thomas (R): 9
Christina Jeffrey (R): 5
Despite a thoroughly conservative voting record, Inglis has committed a long list of verbal apostasies against the Glenn Beck wing of the Republican Party, and it seems that his occasionally moderate-sounding style is costing him big time among his party’s base. I think it’s worth revisiting one of the most astute pieces of analysis I’ve ever read on SSP, from a post by DavidNYC predicting Parker Griffith’s demise back in December:
It’s important to remember that to remain a member in good standing of the conservative movement, it isn’t enough just to vote a certain way. You have to evidence a very particular tribal belonging – you need to hate the right people, be ignorant of the right facts, be fearful of the right bogeymen, and be arrogant about the whole enterprise. If you somehow fail this tribal litmus test, it doesn’t matter how right-wing you are – that’s how, for example, a wildly conservative guy like former Rep. Chris Cannon could lose a primary to another wildly conservative maniac.
• CA-Sen: For a brief shining moment there, Tom Campbell had some good news: in the April 1-May 19 reporting period, Campbell actually outraised Carly Fiorina from outside donors. Campbell pulled in $990K while Fiorina got $909K. Fiorina’s response? She wrote herself another seven-figure check.
• FL-Sen: Charlie Crist’s 7-word-long Google ad attacking Jeff Greene (almost haiku-like in its simplicity: “What has Jeff Greene done? Experience matters.”) prompted a 300-word press release from the Greene camp landing some solid hits on Crist.
• KY-Sen: In terms of rocking the political boat, this probably isn’t as eye-opening as his comments about the Civil Rights Act or the NAFTA Superhighway, but it’s one more weird, sketchy act by Rand Paul: in 1999, he created a whole new certifying body for ophthalmologists, the National Board of Ophthalmology, in order to compete with the establishment American Board of Ophthalmology. The NBO has looser certification requirements than the ABO.
• NH-Sen (pdf): Republican pollster Magellan has been really active lately in GOP primaries where they don’t have any skin in the game; they’re back to looking at the New Hampshire Senate race. They find the real race here between Kelly Ayotte, at 38, and Bill Binnie, at 29. Ovide Lamontagne is lagging at 9, with Jim Bender at 4.
• OH-Sen, OH-Gov (pdf): The Ohio Poll, conducted by the University of Cincinnati, is out today with pleasant results for Democrats (perhaps doubly so, considering they have a reputation for producing GOP-leaning results). They find Dem Lee Fisher with a one-point lead over GOPer Rob Portman in the Senate race, 47-46. They also find incumbent Dem Ted Strickland looking OK in the gubernatorial race, leading John Kasich 49-44 (and sporting a surprisingly high 55/35 approval, suggesting that whatever he’s been doing lately has been working).
• FL-Gov: Ad wars are reaching a fever pitch in the GOP primary in the Florida gubernatorial race; Rick Scott placed a sixth major media buy for another $2.9 million, taking his total to $10.9 million. We’ve also found out more about that mystery group that’s planning to spend nearly a million hitting Scott (primarily on the issue of the fraud charges against his company): it’s the Alliance for America’s Future. While it’s not clear what their interest in Bill McCollum is, the group is headed by Mary Cheney (daughter of Dick).
• HI-Gov: After many months of operating in running-but-not-running limbo, Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann made it official yesterday: he’ll run in the Democratic gubernatorial primary against ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie.
• NM-Gov: Former state GOP chair Allen Weh, who’s turned into the main GOP primary opposition to Susana Martinez by virtue of his money, just loaned himself another $600K for the home stretch, on top of $1 million he’s already contributed. Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is unopposed in the Dem primary, but watching Martinez catch up to her in polls of the general, has launched into a fundraising frenzy as of late; she’s raised $464K from donors in the last three weeks.
• SC-Gov (pdf): Two different polls are out in South Carolina: one, from Insider Advantage, continues the trend of giving an advantage to Nikki Haley (and the survey period was May 25, after the current imbroglio broke). Haley is at 31, Andre Bauer at 21, Gresham Barrett at 14, and Henry McMaster at 13. On the Dem side, Vince Sheheen leads at 26, with Jim Rex at 17 and Robert Ford at 12. SCIndex didn’t look at the primaries, but had some rather heartening numbers for November: Generic Republican leads Generic Dem only 46-44 in the gubernatorial race, while in the Senate race, Jim DeMint leads Democratic challenge Vic Rawl only 50-43.
• IN-03: Mitch Daniels made it official today, setting the date for the special election to replace resigned Mark Souder on Nov. 2, at the same time as the general election. (So the special election’s winner will only serve during the House’s lame duck session.) The state GOP will pick its candidates for both elections at a June 12 caucus; presumably, they’ll choose the same person for both.
• MO-08: Where’s the New York Times when you need them? Rep. Jo Ann Emerson just lied big-time about her Dem opponent Tommy Sowers’ military record, saying that her opposition to DADT repeal was based on talking to actual commanders, as opposed to Sowers, who “never commanded anybody.” Um, yeah… except for that platoon of combat engineers that Sowers led in Kosovo.
• MS-01: Wow, even Mississippi Dems are now taking a page from the Gray Davis playbook. A Dem 527 called “Citizens for Security and Strength” is hitting presumed Republican frontrunner state Sen. Alan Nunnelee prior to the primary as a “hypocrite on taxes.” Apparently they too are sensing some late-game momentum by Henry Ross, a teabagger whom they’d much rather Travis Childers face in the general than financially-flush establishment figure Nunnelee, and would like to facilitate a Ross victory (or at least a runoff).
• NC-08: Thinking that Barack Obama is a Kenyan secret Muslim? Check. Wanting to repeal the 17th Amendment? Great! Thinking that there’s a 1,000-foot-high pyramid in Greenland? Sorry, that’s a fridge too far even for the teabaggers of North Carolina. Six leaders among the local Tea Partiers publicly switched their allegiances to Harold Johnson in the runoff in the 8th, following revelations of just how off-the-rails their one-time fave Tim d’Annunzio is.
• NY-23: Determined to relive the NY-23 special election over and over again, the Concerned Women of America are sticking with their endorsement of Doug Hoffman, who seems on track to pick up the Conservative Party line while the GOP line goes elsewhere (like Matt Doheny, most likely).
• Votes: The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell cleared the House by a 234-194 margin yesterday, with 5 GOPers voting yes and 26 Dems voting no. The GOP ‘ayes’ were Judy Biggert, Joe Cao, Charles Djou (in his first week of work), Ron Paul, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Dem no votes were — no surprise — mostly vulnerable members in culturally conservative areas: Berry, Bishop (GA), Boucher, Bright, Carney, Childers, Costello, Critz, Davis (TN), Donnelly, Edwards (TX), Etheridge, Green (TX), Lipinski, Marshall, McIntyre, Ortiz, Peterson, Pomeroy, Rahall, Ross, Shuler, Skelton, Spratt, Tanner, and Taylor.
• Polltopia: Somebody must have slipped some Red Bull into Nate Silver’s Ovaltine lately, as he’s just landed his third hard hit on Rasmussen in as many days. Today, it’s their Wisconsin Senate race poll showing the unknown Ron Johnson competitive (and known by 68% of likely voters) that’s drawing Nate’s ire.
Tim Scott (R): 30
Carroll “Tumpy” Campbell III (R): 10
Paul Thurmond (R): 9
Clark Parker (R): 9
Larry Kobrovsky (R): 8
W. Stovall White (R): 6
Mark Lutz (R): 4
For the sake of completeness (this is Swing State Project, after all), a poll from early April that we missed showed Tumpy in the lead. The poll, commissioned by ex-Charleston County School Board member Larry Kobrovsky and taken by Victory Communications, had Tumpy with 18%, the Club for Growth-backed Scott at 16%, and Kobrovsky at 10%.
John Spratt (D-inc): 43 (48)
Mick Mulvaney (R): 41 (35)
Well, for the most part, that is.
Public Policy Polling (5/22-23, South Carolina voters):
Jim Rex (D): 36
Gresham Barrett (R): 38
Vincent Sheheen (D): 33
Gresham Barrett (R): 43
Jim Rex (D): 40
Andre Bauer (R): 38
Vincent Sheheen (D): 38
Andre Bauer (R): 38
Jim Rex (D): 36
Nikki Haley (R): 45
Vincent Sheheen (D): 34
Nikki Haley (R): 44
Jim Rex (D): 36
Henry McMaster (R): 42
Vincent Sheheen (D): 36
Henry McMaster (R): 43
Of course, the Fort McHenry-sized red flag here is that this poll was taken before the maybe-dubious revelations that state Rep. Nikki Haley, the Republican front-runner, was involved in an “inappropriate physical relationship” with an ex-Sanford aide. Who knows what kind of havoc that’s wreaking on this race, but hopefully we’ll see some kind of follow up in advance of the state’s June 8th primary. (Though keep in mind that South Carolina is a runoff state.)
More, from Jensen:
The Democratic candidates may have some room to grow. Right now neither of them is as well known as any of the Republican contenders. 67% of voters don’t know enough about Sheheen to have formed an opinion and despite a term in statewide office 62% are ambivalent toward Rex as well. The eventual nominee’s name recognition will obviously pick up by the fall and that could provide an opportunity to pick up more support.
Still, Barrett and McMaster aren’t that all well-known, either. Other than Haley, the best bet for Dems has got to be frat boy Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, whose reputation is notoriously bad in insider circles, and who nearly lost his race in 2006.
Meanwhile, here’s what the primaries looked like over the weekend:
Vincent Sheheen (D): 36
Jim Rex (D): 30
Robert Ford (D): 11
Nikki Haley (R): 39
Henry McMaster (R): 18
Gresham Barrett (R): 16
Andre Bauer (R): 13
It’s interesting to see Sheeheen, a state senator, perform so well against the only statewide elected Democrat in the race, state School Superintendent Jim Rex. As for the Republican primary… well, who knows.
• AR-Sen: Those nasty anti-Bill Halter Americans for Job Security ads just keep being an issue in the Arkansas Senate race, to the extent that the Halter camp just filed an FEC complaint against AJS. The content of the ads isn’t at issue, though, but rather that AJS spent $900K on the ads without disclosing its donors.
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov: Joe Sestak continues to hold a narrow lead over Arlen Specter in the daily Muhlenberg tracker that first opened up over the weeknd; today Sestak’s lead is up to 5, at 47-42. On the gubernatorial side, it’s Dan Onorato 35
41, Anthony Williams 15 8, Joe Hoeffel 8 6, and Jack Wagner 10 5. If there were serious doubts about the Muhlenberg poll (maybe based on the small daily sample size), that might be assuaged by Rasmussen, who also polled the primary on May 6 (Thursday) and found the exact same thing: Sestak leading Specter 47-42.
• CT-Gov: Ned Lamont is out with an internal poll via Garin Hart Yang, which has him in firm control of the Democratic gubernatorial primary. He leads former Stamford mayor Dan Malloy 53-18. There’s also one less minor candidate in the midst of the Lamont/Malloy fray; former state Rep. Juan Figueroa ended his bid after not getting out of the low single digits.
• GA-Gov: Here’s some interesting behind-the-scenes intrigue in the GOP primary that seems to have good ol’ interpersonal tension at its roots, as Rep. Tom Price (the current leader of the right-wing RSC) switched his endorsement from his former House colleague, Nathan Deal, to former SoS Karen Handel. Deal responded with a statement today that essentially questioned the Michigan-born Price’s southern cred.
• OR-Gov: Bill Bradbury is hitting the TV airwaves at the last minute, with Oregon’s primary in a week (kind of buried under the monumental Arkansas, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania elections). He’s leading off with his endorsement from ex-Gov. Barbara Roberts (which seems a little underwhelming if he has Al Gore and Howard Dean in his corner). Roberts probably is unknown to younger voters and unpopular with older voters, as she’s mostly known for proposing a sales tax, which is, quite simply, the one thing you don’t propose in Oregon. She also may have something of an axe to grind with John Kitzhaber, who basically pushed her out the door in 1994 after only one term.
• SC-Gov: The Club for Growth sure loves its lost causes; they weighed in in favor of state Rep. Nikki Haley in the Republican gubernatorial primary, who’s something of a minor player in a field that includes Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and AG Henry McMaster but known for her anti-tax zealotry. Haley is a key ally of Mark Sanford, which isn’t exactly the electoral asset that it might have been a couple years ago.
• TN-Gov: Rep. John Duncan, the occasionally iconoclastic long-time GOPer in TN-02, offered an endorsement in the GOP gubernatorial primary. He gave his nod to his fellow Knoxvillean, mayor Bill Haslam, rather than to House colleague Zach Wamp.
• ID-01: Looks like Vaughn Ward, last seen trying to out-wacky the competition in the GOP field in the 1st on the issue of repealing the 17th Amendment, may have a Democrat problem in his past. He interned for a Democratic state legislator (Jim Hansen, now the state party chair) while in college in Boise in the early 90s, and much more recently, is listed as being part of Tim Kaine’s volunteer database from his 2005 campaign.
• KS-03: State Rep. Kevin Yoder (running to succeed retiring Dennis Moore) has conventionally been regarded as something of a “moderate” by Kansas Republican standards, but in a legislature where the battle lines are often Democrats + moderate Rs vs. conservative Rs, he seems to be on the conservative side in the state’s current budget impasse. Is he moving to the right for his primary, or was he just incorrectly identified from the outset?
• MI-01: Connie Saltonstall had a few good months there as the beneficiary of NOW and NARAL support when she decided to primary Rep. Bart Stupak. With his retirement, though, the interest seems to have dried up, and today she announced she’s getting out of the primary to replace Stupak. She still decided to lob a few grenades back at the establishment on her way out the door, though, accusing them of having anointed state Rep. Gary McDowell as Stupak’s successor and saying she can’t support him because of his anti-abortion views.
• PA-12: There have been concerns about Mark Critz’s warchest dwindling (supposedly down into the $70K range) as the clock ticks down toward the May 18 special election. However, word comes from his campaign that the most recent 48-hour report has him sitting on a much more comfortable $252K. Critz also benefits from an endorsement yesterday from the Tribune-Democrat, the newspaper in the district’s population center of Johnstown.
• TX-17: Could this actually be the year Chet Edwards’ luck runs out? He survived 1994 (albeit in a much friendlier district) and the 2004 DeLay-mander, but an internal poll from Republican rival Bill Flores shows Edwards in some serious trouble this time around. The poll from OnMessage Inc. has Flores leading 53-41, quite a change from August 2009 where a Flores poll gave Edwards a 44-36 lead. That’s all despite Edwards having very positive favorables (53/38); in a district where Obama’s favorables are 33/66, Edwards needs to work his usual magic, de-nationalize the race, and make it about the two candidates.
• WA-03: More establishment backing for Denny Heck in the Dem primary in the 3rd: Heck got the endorsement from Rep. Rick Larsen, who represents a similarly swingy rural/suburban district on the other side of the Seattle area.
• NY-St. Sen.: Here’s an opportunity for a pickup in the New York state Senate, if Democrats are actually willing to play some offense. Republican Tom Morahan is not expected to seek re-election in SD-38 in the Hudson Valley, a district that was won by Barack Obama 52-47. Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski is a potential Dem contender, but he’ll face off against a strong Republican: Rockland Co. Executive Scott Vanderhoef, most recently seen turning down entreaties to get into the GOP Senate primary to go against Kirsten Gillibrand.
• SEIU: The SEIU plans to spend freely in a number of gubernatorial races this year. They’ve set aside $4 million more for governor’s races; they plan on getting involved in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Florida. (Uh, New York? Are you sure that’s necessary?)
• Redistricting: The flow of money is about to rush into one more small area of the political battlefield. The FEC issued an advisory opinion that allows members of Congress to raise soft money for legal activities concerning redistricting. The FEC allowed members to raise funds for the National Democratic Redistricting Trust. This doesn’t affect a number of other redistricting-oriented groups in either party that aren’t focused on legal issues, though — like the Dems’ Foundation for the Future, which is set up as a 527.
• Passings: One of Alaska’s legendary politicians, Walter Hickel, died over the weekend at age 91. Hickel has one thing in common with Sarah Palin: he served half a term as the state’s Republican governor… although he left to become Richard Nixon’s Interior Secretary in 1968. He then encored with another term from 1990 to 1994, as a member of the Alaskan Independence Party.
• CO-Sen: The nomination process in Colorado has worked its way up to the county-level assemblies now, and former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff still has an edge over appointed incumbent Michael Bennet in the race for Democratic Senate primary delegates. Romanoff has a 57-42 edge over Bennet, bolstered by strong numbers in the urban Denver and El Paso Counties.
• CT-Sen: This may not turn out to be much, but it’s another drip-drip hurting Linda McMahon’s credibility. It’s been revealed that in 1989, she gave advance warning to a doctor, George Zahorian, of a pending federal investigation; Zahorian was later convicted of selling steroids to WWF wrestlers. (Only Zahorian was convicted; the government’s case against the WWF fell apart.)
• IN-Sen: Take this with as much salt as you’d like, as it’s a leak of an Indiana GOP Senate primary poll to a right-wing blog and the leak doesn’t even say which candidate’s camp it came from, let alone who the pollster is. Nevertheless, it shows a tight race between Dan Coats and John Hostettler: Coats leads 29-26, with Marlin Stutzman not to be counted out either at 18.
• MA-Sen: Here’s more evidence that Scott Brown is intent on trying to have a long career as a moderate New England Senator, rather than flaming out in half a term of teabagging glory. He said thanks but not thanks to appearing with Sarah Palin at a teabagger rally on Boston Common on Wednesday.
• OH-Sen: Another big quarter for Rob Portman, who’s started to fall behind in recent polling against his Democratic opposition but who will have a huge cash advantage over whoever his opponent is. He pulled in $2.3 million last quarter, bringing his CoH total to a ridiculous $7.6 million.
• WA-Sen: Here’s what may be a tea leaf that Dino Rossi isn’t likely to run for Senate this year: state Sen. Don Benton, who’s already in the race for the GOP and is a friend of Rossi, says “I don’t believe Dino would allow me to sacrifice my family time and my business if he was going to run for the U.S. Senate,” and “If he had serious plans, I really believe he would have told me that.” Of course, this may also be a shot across Rossi’s bow, especially since Benton also points out that his fundraising ($130K last quarter) has suffered as everyone watches Rossi instead.
• PA-Sen, PA-Gov (pdf): I don’t know why so many small schools in the Northeast feel the need to have their very own polling operation, but now Muhlenberg College is getting in on the act too. Their apparently first look at the Senate race uses a likely voter model, so as you might expect, it gives a bit of a lead to Pat Toomey. Toomey leads Arlen Specter 47-40 and leads Joe Sestak 33-22 (with leaners). There’s a whole lotta undecideds in the gubernatorial race, but Tom Corbett has a clear advantage among those who’ve decided: he leads Dan Onorato 42-18, Jack Wagner 44-16, and Joe Hoffel 45-11.
• GA-Gov: Ethics questions are continuing to follow around ex-Rep. Nathan Deal even though he’s left the House now, in order to pursue his gubernatorial bid. Turns out he spent $20K from his state campaign account to pay for legal fees related to the House Ethics inquiry into his car inspection business. The state’s ethics board says it’s unclear whether or not it’s a violation, as it’s a situation they’ve never dealt with before.
• NY-Gov: With his teabag-flavored gubernatorial campaign only a few weeks old, Carl Paladino’s campaign manager is already in damage control mode, acknowledging today that, yes, his boss send out some e-mails to political and business contacts that were “off-color” and “politically incorrect.” If, by politically incorrect, you mean including an African tribal dance photo entitled “Obama Inauguration Rehearsal,” and hardcore bestiality photos.
• PA-Gov: Two House members endorsed in the Democratic governor’s primary, and given their geographical connections, neither one should be a surprise. Pittsburgh-area Rep. Mike Doyle endorsed Allegheny Co. Exec Dan Onorato, while PA-01’sBob Brady (who just happens to be chair of the Philadelphia City Democrats in his spare time) backs state Sen. Anthony Williams. Getting the Philly machine officially behind Williams, currently lagging his opponents, may help him gain a little ground on his competition.
• SC-Gov: AG Henry McMaster had a strong fundraising quarter in the race to replace Mark Sanford, pulling in $464K and sitting on $1.4 million CoH. He’s almost caught up with Rep. Gresham Barrett, who was last year’s fundraising leader; Barrett raised $427K and holds $1.5 million CoH.
• HI-01: Looks like it’s turning into the DCCC vs. everybody else in the 1st. The AFL-CIO and Longshoremen, undeterred by the D-Trip’s preferences, are both weighing into the race with mailers on behalf of Colleen Hanabusa, pointing out Ed Case’s anti-labor record.
• MI-01: More local politicians are starting to jump into the race in the 1st, with last Friday’s sudden departure of Bart Stupak. Democratic State Rep. Joel Sheltrown said he’ll get in the race (joining Connie Saltonstall, who had been challenging Stupak in the primary). One problem for Sheltrown, though, is that he’s a “troll” (i.e. from under the bridge, instead of from the Upper Peninsula, where the district’s center of gravity is). One other sorta-big-name possible contender who doesn’t quite live in the district, ex-Rep. Jim Barcia (who’s got gerrymandered out of MI-05 in 2002, dropped down to the state Senate, which he’s now term-limited out of), confirmed he wouldn’t run. Roll Call also has the names of a few other potential Dems that we haven’t mentioned yet, including state Reps. Jeff Mayes, Judy Nerat, and Steve Lindberg, and state Agriculture Director Don Koivisto. Other possible GOPers include state Sen. Jason Allen, former state Rep. Tom Casperson (who lost by a wide margin to Stupak in 2008), and former state Rep. Scott Shackleton.
• NY-24: Republican repeat challenger Richard Hanna raised $350K in the first quarter for the race against Rep. Mike Arcuri; that’s on top of the $600K he loaned himself.
• PA-04: The growing scandal surrounding the Orie family (centered on state Sen. Jane Orie, who allegedly had staff in her office working on campaign work on the state’s dime) spilled over into the 4th. Mary Beth Buchanan’s campaign manager, Kurt Acker, resigned on Friday after it came out that he was one of those Orie staffers participating in the violations.
• TN-08: Looks like we’ve got a good case of the dueling rich guys in the GOP primary in the 8th: physician Ron Kirkland is reporting $607K raised last quarter. Throw in the $250K he lent himself, and he’s already drawn almost even with Stephen Fincher, who’s already gotten the NRCC’s imprimatur based on his own fundraising.
• VA-05: Freshman Rep. Tom Perriello also put up excellent fundraising numbers this quarter, and that seems to have more to do with getting the base excited about him (with his tough vote in favor of HCR) rather than dipping into his own wallet. Perriello raised $600K in the first quarter, leaving him with $1.4 million CoH for what’s sure to be a bruising general election campaign.
• WV-01: There have been some indications that Rep. Alan Mollohan was on the outs with the West Virginia Democratic establishment (starting top-down with Gov. Bob Manchin), but here’s an interesting clue that suggests otherwise: Mollohan’s primary opponent, state Sen. Mike Oliverio, complained at a candidate forum that he’d requested registered voter files from the state committee and hadn’t received them, and he wondered if Mollohan’s influence had anything to do with that.
• Polltopia: Mark Blumenthal has some added nuance on the issue of the House generic ballot, which pundits have been pointing to lately as evidence of possible huge Republican gains in the House in November. The Gallup generic ballot poll does have some predictive value… but that’s only the final Gallup poll before the election, making it a not-terribly-reliable measure at this point in time.
• NC-Sen: The newest Elon University poll of North Carolina finds that, as with most pollsters, that Richard Burr is strangely anonymous for a Senator: he has a favorable of 34/17. His best-known Democratic competitor, SoS Elaine Marshall, is at 18/8. The poll doesn’t contain head-to-heads, and also, bear in mind that it only polls “residents,” not even registered voters, which would explain the super-low awareness.
• TX-Sen: 20 of Texas’s Republican House members wrote a letter to Kay Bailey Hutchison, asking her to reconsider and stay on as Senator. (Recall that she planned to resign once she was done “fighting health care.”) I wonder if the letter was signed by Joe Barton, who was pretty public about his desire to take over that seat back when a resignation seemed likelier.
• UT-Sen: Tonight’s the night we get our first hard impression of what degree of trouble Bob Bennett is in. Tonight are neighborhood caucuses, where delegates to the state convention are elected. A particularly ultra-conservative-skewing convention could pose some trouble to Bennett, although with so many GOP challengers, it seems likely no one will hit the 60% mark at the convention needed to avoid a primary.
• CT-Gov: You might recognize these numbers from last week; we’ve been waiting for Quinnipiac to release general election numbers in the Governor’s race but they just don’t seem to be forthcoming, so here are their primary numbers. On the Dem side, Ned Lamont is leading at 28, followed by former Stamford mayor Dan Malloy at 18, Mary Glassman at 4, Rudy Marconi at 2, and Juan Figueroa at 1. (Susan Bysiewicz has a big edge over George Jepsen, 54-10, in the AG primary, despite concerns about her eligibility for the job.) On the GOP side, Tom Foley is dominating at 30, followed by Lt. Gov Michael Fedele collapsing down to 4, Danbury mayor Mark Boughton at 4, ex-Rep. Larry DeNardis at 2, and Oz Griebel and Jeff Wright at 2.
• CA-Gov: Wondering how Meg Whitman pulled into a huge lead in the primary and a small lead in the general in California governor’s race? She’s spent a mind-boggling $27 million on her race so far this year (for a total of $46 million), compared with Steve Poizner’s $3 million and Jerry Brown’s $142K.
• OR-Gov: Former Portland Trail Blazer Chris Dudley is the first candidate to hit the TV airwaves in the Oregon governor’s race so far, touting his “outsider” credentials.
• PA-Gov: AG Tom Corbett, who oh just coincidentally happens to be running for Governor this year, finally got a conviction in the Bonusgate investigation, against former state Rep. Mike Veon and several of his staffers. The timing is certainly helpful to Corbett, for whom the investigation has been dragging out and the possibility of mistrials (or no convictions before November) was starting to loom. Trials against several other former
Democratic House leaders, including GOPer John Perzel and Dem Bill DeWeese, are still in the pipeline.
• WY-Gov: The Democrats are about to land a gubernatorial candidate: attorney Paul Hickey, who plans an announcement later this week. If the name is familiar, he’s the son of former Governor J.J. Hickey. Democratic State Sen. Mike Massie hasn’t ruled out a run yet either, although he may run for one of the statewide offices.
• IL-11: Here’s one more district that hasn’t been high on people’s watch lists but will need to be monitored, at least if a new internal poll from Republican pollster POS is to be believed. They find their patron, Adam Kinzinger, leading freshman Rep. Debbie Halvorson 44-38.
• MA-09: With primary challenges moving onto the radar against HCR “no” votes Jason Altmire and Mike Arcuri, another one may be taking shape: Needham Town Meeting member (and, well, college classmate of mine) Harmony Wu has pulled papers for the race and is gauging local sentiment for a primary run against Stephen Lynch.
• NY-01: Whoever faces off against Tim Bishop for the Republicans is going to have to fight through an arduous primary to get there. Any hopes of an easy coronation for Randy Altschuler seem to have vaporized, as now Chris Cox (Republican party insider and Nixon grandson) is setting his own Wall Street-powered fundraising operation in motion. And a 3rd option, former SEC prosecutor George Demos, has had his own fundraising success.
• NY-20: One more Republican, Queensbury town supervisor Dan Stec, bailed out of the field today, suggesting that the GOP is finally coalescing behind retired Col. Chris Gibson as a standard-bearer against freshman Dem Rep. Scott Murphy, in what’s one of their slowest races to take shape.
• OK-05: Finally, we have a Democrat on tap for the open seat race in Oklahoma’s dark-red 5th, where there’s already a half-dozen GOPers jousting. Tom Guild is secretary of the Oklahoma County Democratic Party, and was a poli sci professor at Univ. of Central Oklahoma for many years.
• PA-11: Things got easier for Lou Barletta in the race in the 11th, where his Republican primary challenger, Chris Paige dropped out, citing family concerns. Paige, an attorney, was underfunded but had delivered some surprisingly-hard hits to Barletta, especially on Barletta’s signature issue of immigration.
• SC-01: The Club for Growth weighed into another GOP primary in a reddish open seat, endorsing state Rep. Tim Scott. Scott faces off in the primary against several well-known last names: Carroll Campbell III and Paul Thurmond.
• HCR: The Republican pivot from health care reform to health care repeal has some implications in the gubernatorial races. Rep. Peter Hoekstra is going full-on repeal, stopping by Sunday’s teabagger rally to pledge to fight that battle. It’s also showing up in a number of races where the Republican AG is running for Governor and joined the multi-AG suit against HCR on easily-rebuttable 10th Amendment grounds (hint to teabaggers: read Scalia’s opinion in Raich) – many in dark-red states where it probably helps more than hurts (like Henry McMaster in South Carolina). There are a few blue state AGs involved, though, like Tom Corbett (although he probably feels like he has a safety cushion to do so, thanks to his Bonusgate-related popularity). Most puzzling, though, is Washington’s Rob McKenna, who got where he is only by acting moderate. Throwing off his well-maintained moderate mask and joining forces with the wackjob likes of Ken Cuccinelli seems like a weird gamble for his widely-expected 2012 run, where success is utterly dependent on making inroads among suburban moderates.
• CT-Sen: In an effort to calm fears that he’s facing an unwinnable path to re-election, Chris Dodd’s campaign released an internal poll that’s… well… pretty fugly. The GQR poll has ex-Rep. Chris Simmons leading by 51-46, while Dodd and former WWE CEO Linda McMahon are tied at 46% each. McMahon, for her part, released an internal poll showing her leading Simmons by two in the Republican primary. Mmmm… cat fud.
• FL-Sen: Big trouble in South Florida for Charlie Crist? GOP Reps. Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart have suddenly and unilaterally rescinded their endorsements of Crist’s senatorial campaign. The Diaz-Balarts offered no explanation as to why they’re leaving Crist to hang, but Lincoln offered this cryptic elaboration: Crist “left us no alternative and he knows why.” Is a Marco Rubio endorsement forthcoming?
• GA-Gov: Republican SoS Karen Handel, who is very much the underdog in the GOP primary, announced today that she will be resigning from her office to concentrate on her gubernatorial bid. This will allow her to raise money during the legislative session — something her opponents currently holding political office will not be able to do.
• IA-Gov: The Terry Branstad comeback express keeps chugging along — and it picked up another passenger today, as state Sen. Jerry Behn dropped out of the gubernatorial race today and handed Branstad his endorsement.
• RI-Gov: Lincoln Chafee will make a “major announcement” sometime after New Year’s Day, presumably to make his candidacy for Rhode Island Governor official.
• SC-Gov: InsiderAdvantage takes a look at the Dem and GOP primary fields, and finds some pretty wide-open contests. For the Republicans, the McCain-backed state AG Henry McMaster and Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer are tied at 22%, with Sanford protege Nikki Haley at 13%, and the House of Representative’s very own “Some Dude”, Gresham Barrett, lagging behind at 9%. For the Dems, state Superintendent Jim Rex leads with 21% to lobbyist Dwight Drake’s 15%. State Sen. Vince Sheheen has 8%.
• CA-20: Dem Rep. Jim Costa may be facing a legitimate challenger next year… but one whom he already beat. Term-limited state Sen. Roy Ashburn, who lost an open seat race to Costa in 2004 by 7%, said he’s considering running for Congress again after ruling it out earlier. Local Republicans don’t sound too thrilled, though, pointing out Ashburn’s less than completely brain-dead record on opposing tax hikes.
• PA-10: Sophomore Dem Rep. Chris Carney has had a charmed start to his second term up until this point, managing to avoid any serious Republican competition from emerging. However, that streak has ended in recent weeks with the interest of state Rep. Mike Peifer and ex-US Attorney Tom Marino in the race. On the bright side, Peifer announced yesterday that he won’t be running, after all, but can we read that as a tea leaf that Marino is pretty serious about making this candidacy happen?
• PA-19: Here’s another reason why GOP Rep. Todd Platts should hope that he lands the job as head of the GAO: he’s now facing a primary challenge from freedom-loving businessman Mike Smeltzer. Maybe Platts would rather just retire than be forced to defend his Main Street Partnership-style voting record?
• SC-05: Republicans made their list, but now they better check it twice. The office of veteran Dem Rep. John Spratt confirmed yesterday that Spratt will indeed run for another term next year in spite of Republican-fueled speculation that he was looking for the exits.
• Pollsters & Scoundrels: Pollster.com’s Mark Blumenthal offers a wrap-up of the strange, strange saga of Strategic Vision LLC.
• Approvals: Seeking approval? Don’t look at me — go talk to SUSA; they’ve just released a ton of approval ratings for Senators and Governors across the nation. On your station.