SSP Daily Digest: 10/12 (Afternoon Edition)

WI-Sen, WI-Gov: Russ Feingold and Tom Barrett are both out with internal polls today, both from the same pollster (Fairbanks Maslin), both showing tied races. The Senate poll (Oct. 7, and 10-11) shows Russ Feingold and Ron Johnson tied at 48-48. The gubernatorial poll was an entirely separate sample, Oct. 5-7, showing Tom Barrett and Scott Walker are at 47-47.

GA-Gov: InsiderAdvantage (10/10, likely voters, 9/27 in parens):

Roy Barnes (D): 41 (37)

Nathan Deal (R): 49 (45)

John Monds (L): 3 (5)

Undecided: 7 (13)

(MoE: ±4%)

If you’re wondering about downballot races, IA also has GOPer Casey Cagle leading Carol Porter in the LG race, 50-36, and GOPer Sam Olen leading Ken Hodges in the AG race, 50-40. Also, if you’re wondering how Nathan Deal seemed to regain his footing after a few rocky weeks where the race was seemingly tied, a lot of that seems to have to do with the RGA pouring money into this race ($3.2 million worth), as they’ve tacitly made this race one of their top priorities.

AZ-05: Although this is an internal poll that has the GOPer leading the incumbent Dem, it’s a little on the lackluster side. David Schweikert responds to the DCCC internal giving Harry Mitchell an 7-point lead with his own poll showing him up by only 2, 45-43. (The poll was taken 10/5-6 by National Research.) An incumbent at 43% is no good, of course, but averaging the two polls out (for whatever that’s worth) gives Mitchell a small edge.

NY-20, TN-08: What do these two races (one with a Blue Dog incumbent who seems in control of his race, the other an open seat with an aspiring Blue Dog not likely to win) have in common? In both races, the Dem said he wouldn’t support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. Scott Murphy’s decision (granted, he’s more of a waffle than a flat-out “no”) is much more surprising than Roy Herron‘s; we’ll have to see if this becomes more of a trend in the closing weeks.

OH-13: Tom Ganley has pulled his broadcast television advertising for the remaining weeks of the campaign, although he will be focusing on less-expensive cable and radio buys instead of going dark completely. He says that’s how he’s going to “cut through the clutter,” but somehow methinks the self-funder (savvy businessman that he is) realized that he shouldn’t throw his own money down the hole in a race that just got considerably more difficult once sex assault accusations started to fly. (H/t LookingOver.)

PA-13: Here’s an unremarkable internal from a race where we shouldn’t even have to be looking at one: Allyson Schwartz, in the D+7 NE Philly district, leads Dee Adcock 57-32 in a 10/5-6 poll from Cooper & Secrest. Apparently this was released to combat rumors of a Republican internal showing it a single-digit race.

SD-AL: This was the day’s big fundraising story until Sharron Angle showed up: the reason Kristi “Leadfoot” Noem was driving so fast was because she had to get to so many different donors’ houses. She raised $1.1 million for the quarter, compared to $550K for Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. That actually gives Noem the CoH edge, $770K to $500K.

TN-03: Here’s one more place I wouldn’t think I’d be seeing an internal, considering that this GOP-held open seat in a dark-red district should be a slam-dunk this year, but I guess Chuck Fleischmann feels like he needs to look busy. The GOP nominee is leading Dem nominee John Wolfe by a 50-20 margin, in a poll (no dates) by Wilson Research.

DCCC: More news on the triage front, on what’s apparently the last day to cancel ad reservations without taking a big financial hit. Having thrown Steve Driehaus overboard yesterday, the DCCC followed up today with Kathy Dahlkemper in PA-03 and Suzanne Kosmas in FL-24, who won’t get any more ad cover according to the NYT. Aaron Blake also tweets that open seats KS-03, IN-08, and TN-08 got the axe.

AGs: You probably know Louis Jacobson of Governing magazine for his handicapping of state legislative chambers, but he also works the state AG beat (that’s often short for “Aspiring Governor,” so it’s a key bench-building step), and is out with handicapping for all the Attorney General races up this year. As you might expect, Dems should brace for some losses, especially in open seats.

Gerrymandering: If there’s any place where people would be psyched to sit down and watch a movie about gerrymandering, it’s here at SSP. The movie’s creator is up with a diary here that lists all the theaters where it’s opening over the next month (including where he’ll be hosting Q&As). Some of them are one-night engagements, starting as early as tonight, so check out the listings ASAP!


CO-Sen: The DSCC hits Ken Buck for his craptastic tenure working for the local US Attorney’s office

KY-Sen: The DSCC goes back to the $2,000 Medicare deductible issue yet again to hit Rand Paul

WA-Sen: I’m not sure why Washington Dems always wait until the last minute to remind voters that Dino Rossi is pro-life (that’s what happened in both gube races) — maybe they figure it’s their trump card — but they’re doing it again; meanwhile, the American Action Network hits Patty Murray by whipping up a second version of that weird Fred Davis ad with the tennis shoes walking on people

WI-Sen: One of Russ Feingold’s myriad problems is that Ron Johnson actually comes up with some effective ads: this one’s a bio spot

GA-Gov: Nathan Deal’s new ad hits Roy Barnes for having once said that “Mexican workers were good for Georgia”

SC-Gov: The suddenly resurgent Vince Sheheen’s out with another spot, this one equating Nikki Haley to protégé Mark Sanford

TX-Gov: Lone Star First (a DGA-backed group) hits Rick Perry on the HPV vaccine and links to Big Pharma

OH-13: EMILY’s List steers clear of the sex assault allegations of Tom Ganley, going with a humorous spot on outsourcing and his 400 civil lawsuits at his car dealerships


IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 44%, Mark Kirk (R) 43%, LeAlan Jones (G) 4%

OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 34%, Rob Portman (R) 57%

TN-Gov: Mike McWherter (D) 31%, Bill Haslam (R) 59%

WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 45%, Ron Johnson (R) 52%

Rasmussen (as Fox/Pulse):

CT-Gov: Dan Malloy (D) 45%, Tom Foley (R) 41%

CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 49%, Linda McMahon (R) 43%

DE-Sen: Chris Coons (D) 54%, Christine O’Donnell (R) 38%

NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 47%, Sharron Angle (R) 49%

OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc) 42%, John Kasich (R) 47%

OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 35%, Rob Portman (R) 52%

WA-Sen: Patty Murray (D-inc) 46%, Dino Rossi (R) 47%

Angus-Reid: Another reason to be suspicious of Angus-Reid in addition to their Dem-friendly internet samples: they seem to have neglected to poll the actually interesting Senate race in New York…

NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo (D) 63%, Carl Paladino (R) 32%

NY-Sen: Charles Schumer (D) 67%, Jay Townsend (R) 27%

SSP Daily Digest: 4/28

FL-Sen: It’s poorly sourced, but conventional wisdom seems to be reaching some sort of critical mass on the idea that Gov. Charlie Crist will announce within the next week whether or not he will run for the open senate seat in Florida. Some say he is a “near lock” to switch over to the senate race.

IL-Sen: Chris Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, is now publicly pondering entering the Illinois senate race. Kennedy has never held elective office; he’s a developer who runs Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. On the other hand, he’s been a Chicago fixture most of his life, and has that certain last name. One source says there’s an “85% chance” he’ll do it.

CA-Sen: In case there was any doubt, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer has officially announced her plans to seek re-election. (J)

GA-Gov: State senator Eric Johnson has, with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle dropping out of the gubernatorial race, switched from running for lieutenant governor to governor. He joins SoS Karen Handel, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, and state rep. Austin Scott in the hunt for the GOP nomination.

AL-Gov: Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, Alabama’s only Democratic appellate judge, is interested in joining the already-crowded field seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. She would have to resign her position (in which case GOP governor Bob Riley would appoint a new chief justice) in order to campaign for governor, though.

NH-01: Manchester mayor Frank Guinta is the likely candidate to take on Carol Shea-Porter, and he has produced an internal poll showing him trailing Shea-Porter 43-34. Shea-Porter is well-below the danger mark of 50, but on the other hand, Guinta isn’t an unknown; he already represents nearly 20% of the district.

ID-01: Are you there, God? It’s me, Brain Fade. Ex-Rep. Bill Sali (R) sounds like he’s angling to make a comeback against Democrat Walt Minnick next year. In an email to supporters, Sali says that he’s “increasingly troubled by the direction our country is headed” and is asking his supporters to pray for him as he considers his political future. (J)

SD-AL: South Dakota’s Republican Secretary of State, Chris Nelson, has made known his interest in running for South Dakota’s at-large House seat. Nelson, who’s term-limited out, didn’t seem to make this contingent on whether or not Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin ran for higher office, like the open governor’s seat (which has been rumored, but doesn’t seem to be taking shape).

CA-47: The GOP is looking to Vietnamese-American assemblyman Van Tran as a candidate against Rep. Loretta Sanchez in this D+4 Orange County district. This very low-turnout district is about 15% Asian and 70% Hispanic.

CA-26: Businessman Russ Warner, who ran unsuccessfully against GOP Rep. David Dreier in 2008 (and attempted to do the same in 2006, but ran into a snag in the form of a primary loss), says that he plans to run for a third time next year in this Dem-trending CD. (J)

DCCC: Everybody’s favorite new villainess, Michele Bachmann, has been so prolific with the oddball fringe-right comments lately that she’s actually getting her own page at the DCCC’s website. Imagine that: from backbencher to public enemy #1 in less than half a year!

SSP Daily Digest: 4/23

NY-20 (pdf): The BoE’s official tally bumps Scott Murphy’s lead up to 365, as 250 more ballots, mostly from Murphy stronghold Warren County, were added. Counting will continue for the forseeable future, unfortunately, and on Monday a judge will set a counting schedule for the ballots contested on the basis of second home residency.

The drip-drip of GOPers publicly throwing in the towel on NY-20 continues: today star strategist Mike Murphy cried uncle, as did former NRCC chair Tom Reynolds yesterday. Campaign Diaries has a thought-provoking piece on why the GOP continues to drag this out in the courts, even though they’re in too deep a hole for “case by case” examination of the ballots to salvage the count for them: it may be to set precedent for future recounts, where picking off individual ballots may be targeted to their advantage.

NY-Sen, NY-14: Rep. Carolyn Maloney has hired a statewide finance director, Lewis Cohen. Cohen denied that Maloney (who has been rumored to be interested in a primary challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand) will be running for Senate, but his title of “statewide” is pretty telling, considering that Maloney currently represents a few square miles in Manhattan and Queens.

PA-Sen: Only eight weeks before jumping into the Senate primary, Pat Toomey told Pennsylvania GOP chair Rob Gleason that he “didn’t want to be a Senator” and “be number 100 and vote no on everything.” Now this wouldn’t exactly be the first time a politician has promised one thing and done another, but the Specter camp has begun beating Toomey over the head with his flip-flop.

MO-Sen: Ex-treasurer Sarah Steelman is “moving in [the] direction” of entering the GOP senate primary, but is in no hurry to make a formal announcement as she gets her campaign’s financial house in order first. (She’s still paying off debts from her unsuccessful gubernatorial run last year.) This comes against a backdrop of increasing public discomfort by the party concerning Roy Blunt’s candidacy, caused not only by his humdrum $542K fundraising quarter and his high burn rate, but also his lobbyist ties and long ‘establishment’ track record.

GA-Gov, GA-03: With top candidates like Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Cobb Co. Commissioner Sam Olens bailing on the race, there’s an opening for a top-tier candidate to leap into the GOP field for the Georgia governor’s race. (SoS Karen Handel and Insurance Comm. John Oxendine are still in.) Could Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, who has occasionally expressed interest in this race, be the man? Westmoreland (perhaps best known for not being able to name the 10 commandments on the Colbert Report) is “seriously considering” it. Don’t look for a pickup of his R+19 seat if it’s open, though.

AL-Gov: Republican treasurer Kay Ivey will be running for governor after all, according to party insiders. The perception was that her role in Alabama’s floundering prepaid tuition plan may have wounded her too much to run for governor, but she’s still going for it.

CA-32: More endorsements as we approach the May 19 special election. Board of Equalization chair Judy Chu got the endorsement of Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. (The district doesn’t include any of LA, but obviously he’s a big figure in the media market.) The United Farm Workers and the locals of the Southern California District Council of Laborers went for state senator Gil Cedillo.

FL-08: Republican Orlando mayor Rich Crotty was looking like a major threat to just-elected Rep. Alan Grayson, but he’s getting tarnished with some legal troubles that may preclude him from running. A grand jury accused him of pressuring vendors to contribute to his re-election campaign. There’s still a deep Republican bench eyeing the race in this R+2 district, including state senate majority whip Andy Gardiner, ex-state senator Daniel Webster, and state rep. Steve Precourt. Grayson raised only $144K in the first quarter, but he may plan to self-finance, as he partially did in 2008.

Demographics: Here’s some interesting data from the Census Bureau: fewer people moved in 2007 (35.2 million) than any year since 1962 (when the nation had 120 million fewer people). This has its roots in the housing bubble pop, as people underwater in their houses are unlikelier to relocate for work. This may show up in a big way in 2012 reapportionment, though, as more people staying in place may save a few seats in the northeast or midwest and limit growth in the south or west.

SSP Daily Digest: 4/16

NY-20 (pdf): There’s light at the end of the tunnel in the NY-20 count, and as we get closer, Scott Murphy’s numbers keep going up. This morning’s BoE tally gives him a lead of 167, following the addition of more votes from Columbia, Dutchess, and Warren Counties (all of which Murphy won on Election Day).

Apparently all Saratoga County votes are accounted for, except for 700 challenged ballots, which, thanks to yesterday’s court ruling, will be counted. (While Saratoga County in general is Jim Tedisco’s turf, the Tedisco camp’s heavy use of challenges of student votes suggests that these votes may include a lot of votes from artsy Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, which one would expect to lean Democratic.)

CO-Sen: Finally, a GOPer commits to the Colorado senate race against appointee Michael Bennet. It’s Aurora city councilor Ryan Frazier, who made his announcement while teabagging in Grand Junction. Frazier is 31 and African-American, so he brings an interesting backstory to the race, but it’s unclear whether his strength among conservative activists can overcome his otherwise low profile in the GOP primary (assuming anyone else bothers to show up).

FL-Sen: Quinnipiac takes another look at the Florida senate race; not much has changed since last time, although one noteworthy finding is that Floridians would prefer to see Charlie Crist remain as governor rather than jump to senate, by a 42-26 margin. That doesn’t stop him from crushing in the senate primary (Crist beats Marco Rubio and Vern Buchanan 54-8-8). Buchanan leads a Crist-free primary, while on the Dem side, Kendrick Meek narrowly leads Pam Iorio (16-15, with 8 for Ron Klein, 5 from Dan Gelber, and a whole lotta undecideds).

PA-Sen: John Peterson isn’t a make-or-break endorsement, but the former GOP representative from rural PA-05 said that he won’t support Arlen Specter’s re-election bid in 2010. He stopped short of endorsing Pat Toomey (Peterson supported Specter in the 2004 primary), but said it was time for Specter to retire. In other completely unsurprising endorsement news, the Club for Growth (of which Pat Toomey was president until several days ago) today endorsed Toomey’s bid. Laugh all you want, but Toomey will need all the financial help he can get; Specter hauled in $1.3 million in Q1 and is sitting on $6.7 million CoH.

TX-Sen: Our friends at Burnt Orange Report have a nice graph showing Bill White and John Sharp dominating the fundraising chase so far in the hypothetical Texas senate race. (The chart doesn’t include GOP heavyweights Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and AG Greg Abbott, who haven’t taken formal steps for the race, but whose cash stashes are state-specific, putting them back to fundraising square one if they ran for senate.)

CT-Sen: If Chris Dodd is going to win again in 2010, it’s going to be on the back of money, not popularity. Luckily, he still has lots of the former, as big-money donors aren’t being scared off by his poll numbers: he raised $1 million in the first quarter, with $1.4 million CoH.

MN-Sen (pdf): Minnesotans would like the madness to stop, and would like to have a 2nd senator. PPP finds that 63% think that Norm Coleman should concede right now, and 59% (including 54% of independents) think Tim Pawlenty should sign Al Franken’s certificate of election right now. (This should give Pawlenty some pause as to whether or not to create further delay in the name of partisan politics, as he’s about the only person left who can drag this out.)

MO-Sen: Roy Blunt raised $542K in the first quarter, only about half of what Robin Carnahan raised. Our JeremiahTheMessiah came up with the best possible headline for this story:

Carnahan Smokes Blunt… In Fundraising

GA-Gov: As reported in the diaries yesterday by fitchfan28, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle dropped out of the gubernatorial race, citing health concerns. Cagle was more-or-less front-runner, and his departure leaves SoS Karen Handel and Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine to slug it out for the GOP.

IL-10, PA-07: Two huge fundraising hauls (by House standards) from two candidates who may be looking to move up. Mark Kirk, who pulled in $696K in the first quarter, is supposed to decide soon whether or not to try for IL-Sen. (He has only $597K CoH, though, after burning through all his cash defending his seat in 2008. So he may just be raising hard in expectation of another top-tier challenge in 2010 in this blue district.)

Joe Sestak raised $550K in the first quarter, leaving him sitting on a mongo $3.3 million. Could this… plus his suddenly increased media presence, as he talks the defense budget and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell… be tea leaves that he may be the Dem who jumps into PA-Sen after all? (Sestak has previously declined, and he’s always been mentioned as an afterthought in this race after Allyson Schwartz and Patrick Murphy. But neither of them have made any moves, leaving Joe Torsella the only Dem challenger so far.)

Numbers: California’s Secretary of State office finally released its Supplement to the Statement of Vote, heaven for nerds. Now you can look up Presidential and Prop 8 votes not just by congressional district, but by state senate or assembly district or even Board of Equalization district.