(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%.
• AR-Sen: Bill Halter is “mulling” an endorsement of Blanche Lincoln, and wants a sit-down with her before doing so. Frankly, it’d be a big surprise if he didn’t endorse her: it didn’t seem like any more negative a race than usual by today’s standards; labor made its point and is probably eager to move on; and Halter would probably like to run for something else at some point.
• LA-Sen: Charlie Melancon has, well, a crisitunity on his hands with the oil spill in the Gulf. It gives him the chance to go on the offensive against David Vitter (who’s been trying to limit BP’s liabilities, and who’s also taken to Twitter to tout Louisiana seafood (now pre-blackened) as safe). But he has the tricky task of keep his district’s oil-and-gas dependency in mind; he’s aggressively calling Vitter a “liar” now… but only because Vitter has been saying that Melancon supports the Obama administration offshore drilling moratorium.
• NC-Sen: Bob Menendez continues to play favorites in the NC-Sen runoff, although it wasn’t with a large sum of money: Menendez’s PAC (not the DSCC) gave $5,000 to Cal Cunningham last week, as well as the same amount to Blanche Lincoln.
• SC-Sen: The slow-motion trainwreck of Alvin Greene’s media rollout continues apace in South Carolina, with last night’s go-nowhere interview with Keith Olbermann taking the cake. (Gawker concludes he may actually be, instead of a plant, just “some random dude.” Glad to see our phrasing’s catching on.) Jim DeMint is, for his part, denying that he put Greene up to this, while other Republicans are helpfully suggesting that Democrats may have put Greene up to it instead, in order to give Vic Rawl a visibility boost (because unopposed candidates don’t appear on the ballot). The Rawl campaign has had elections experts look over the voting patterns to try to figure out what happened, and they’ve already raised one odd red flag: the strange shift from the early absentee votes (where Rawl dominated) to votes cast on Election Day (which Greene won).
• UT-Sen: Bob Bennett, after hinting at it several weeks ago, went ahead and endorsed Tim Bridgewater today. Bridgewater is one of the two quasi-insurgents who finished ahead of Bennett at the state GOP convention, and will be competing in the primary against Mike Lee.
• CA-Gov: I think Godwin’s Law might not yet have been enacted when Jerry Brown was Governor the first time, but he might want to familiarize himself with it, after he was caught referring (apparently in jest) to Goebbels in reference to Meg Whitman’s saturation advertising. Speaking of which, Whitman just launched her first TV ad post-primary, in which (big surprise) she hates on taxes.
• FL-Gov: Looking for something that’ll stick against moneybags Rick Scott, Bill McCollum is now trying to attack him on his pro-life credentials, saying that Columbia/HCA hospitals performed abortions while Scott was CEO.
• OR-Gov, OR-Sen: SurveyUSA is out with a poll in Oregon that has a whiff of outlier to it (as any poll that’s about six points to the right of Rasmussen tends to): they find Republican candidate Chris Dudley leading Democratic ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber 47-40. Part of the problem for Dems might be that the poll has third-party Progressive candidate Jerry Wilson racking up 6%, which is assumedly coming out of Kitzhaber’s column. But the crosstabs have Dudley winning 44-43 in the Portland area, which, given that area’s sheer blueness, seems very odd (as counterpoint, Gordon Smith won the Portland area (Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties) 50-46 in 2002 en route to a 56-40 victory statewide, the Republicans’ high-water mark for about the last 25 or so years). They also have Ron Wyden leading Jim Huffman 51-38 in the Senate race (with 4 for a Libertarian and 2 for a Green), which also seems strange.
• SC-Gov: Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who crashed and burned his car/plane in 4th place in the GOP gubernatorial primary, threw his support to 2nd place finisher Gresham Barrett for the runoff. He said Barrett was the only one he “could trust.”
• TX-Gov: The Green Party has agreed that it temporarily won’t put forth any candidates until there’s been a hearing in the lawsuit filed by the state Democrats. The lawsuit concerns whether the Greens unlawfully accepted a corporation’s help in obtaining the signatures it needed to (surprisingly) qualify for a ballot line in Texas.
• AL-02: The Tea Party Express weighed in with an endorsement in the Republican runoff in the 2nd, and they aren’t supporting the NRCC-backed establishment candidate, Montgomery city councilor Martha Roby. Instead, they’re backing billiards entrepreneur Rick Barber. Their beef with Roby seems to be that she backed a budget pushed by then-Montgomery mayor, now-Rep. Bobby Bright.
• KS-02: You may remember Sean Tevis, who became a netroots fave based on his clever cartoon depictions of his campaign and raised a surprising amount of money that almost let him knock off an incumbent in a red legislative district. Well, he’s moving up a level this year; he’s decided to run in the 2nd, against Lynn Jenkins (or Dennis Pyle, if he successfully teabags Jenkins). He still faces two other Dems, Cheryl Hudspeth and Thomas Koch, in the primary.
• NC-08: The SEIU looks like it’s going through with its strange plan to launch a third-party bid against Larry Kissell in the 8th; they submitted 34K signatures to qualify Wendell Fant for the ballot, much more than the necessary 17K. (The SEIU had previously tried to get a whole third party a ballot line, but that signature drive came up short.) Perhaps even stranger, Fant hasn’t agreed to run, at least not yet; he didn’t show up at the ballot-submitting press conference. Fant, it turns out, is an ex-Kissell aide who may have an axe to grind after getting dismissed for using a work computer to work on his own VA case.
• NJ-06: Diane Gooch, the self-funder who was expected to easily win the GOP nomination in the bluish 6th to go against Rep. Frank Pallone, is instead finding herself having to request a recount. Anna Little has declared victory, based on the 78-vote margin, after spending $22K to Gooch’s $430K.
• NV-03: Americans for Prosperity has Dina Titus in its sights; they’re taking out a $100K ad buy on network and cable (thanks, LVRJ, for actually reporting the details!), still harping on Titus for her vote in favor of health care reform.
• NY-13: Because the Republican/Conservative field in the 13th had some wiggle room to get even more messed-up, now another guy is trying to get in on the action. It’s Lou Wein, who’s going to try to petition his way onto the ballot against Michael Grimm and Michael Allegretti, each of whom have their own clique of powerful backers. Wein is more of a loose cannon — he’s best-known for winning 4% statewide in a 1990 gubernatorial bid on the Right-to-Life line, as well as an unsuccessful 1977 mayoral bid — but if he can pick up the teabagger banner, he might make some waves here.
• VA-05: Jim McKelvey’s up to something weird here; we just don’t know what yet. He says he’s going to make up his mind this weekend whether or not to endorse Rob Hurt, to whom he finished 2nd in the GOP primary. His latest action is a head-scratcher: he’s starting his own PAC, the Take Our Country Back PAC, in order to “seek out, support, educate, train and elect conservative candidates on the local and state level in the fifth district and throughout Virginia.”
• Arizona: Here’s an interesting piece of data that should hearten Terry Goddard and Rodney Glassman: there’s been a surge in Latinos registering as Democrats since the passage of Arizona’s new immigration law. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as it closely mirrors what happened in the wake of California’s Prop 187 in the 1990s. The surge is also demographics-driven, given the fast Latino growth in Arizona, and in fact nationwide: the Census Bureau reports that, for the 2009 estimate, minorities will make up 35% of the nation, way up from 21% of the nation in the 2000 census. While much of that comes from increases in Latino births, a lot of it also has to do with more Americans self-identifying as multiracial.
• Governors: Josh Goodman does some number crunching and guesses that, with all the open seats and expected turnover this year, we’re on track to have 28 new Governors. That would be an all-time record for gubernatorial turnover (the previous record, 27, goes back to 1920).
• When Animals Attack: Best wishes for a quick recovery to Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose photo op went awry yesterday, ending with him getting stabbed in the hand by the horn of a large mohair goat. Apparently the most dangerous place to be is not between Weiner and a camera… so long as you’re a goat.
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.
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.
• AR-Sen: Here’s one way in which Blanche Lincoln can breathe a little easier: she’s not getting a primary challenge from the right (as if there were any room on the right of her within the Democratic electorate). State Sen. President Bob Johnson, who floated the idea in August, said he won’t run against her. However, she’s drawing heat on her left from African-American groups; the state’s NAACP is upset that she hasn’t done more to appoint African-American federal judges. With Lincoln already on environmentalists’ hit list and organized labor unenthused about her, there isn’t much left of the Democratic base she can afford to tick off. A primary from the left from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter is still possible – although if there’s one guy whose support Halter can’t count on, it’s retiring Blue Dog Rep. Marion Berry (saying it was a fluke Halter got elected LG in the first place, and that Halter “is only of consequence in his own mind”).
• CO-Sen: Former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff is counting on labor backing in the Democratic primary, but Michael Bennet got a key boost; he got the endorsement of the SEIU. (That public option letter is already paying dividends.) Meanwhile, Romanoff seems to be staking his hopes on a strong showing in Colorado’s party insider-dominated caucus and convention process that begins next month, in order to catapult him into contention. (It’s non-binding, and candidates can still win the primary without winning at the convention, with Ken Salazar as Exhibit A.) On the GOP side, former LG Jane Norton is getting slammed from the right by former state Sen. Tom Wiens for her support (following the lead of Republican Gov. Bill Owens) of Referendum C, which passed and lifted certain spending limits imposed by a previous TABOR initiative.
• FL-Sen: We’ll have to see if this does anything to tarnish that conservative halo that’s gleaming over Marco Rubio’s head. Revelations came out (via Jim Greer, the Charlie Crist ally who recently got bounced out his place as state GOP chair) that Rubio charged $13,900 in personal expenses to a party-issued credit card over the course of several years. I don’t see this as a game-changer, but it’s the first hard blow the Crist camp has been able to land in a while.
• GA-Sen: Rasmussen finds that the anti-incumbent blues are even weighing down super-safe Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson a bit, as he’s below 50%. Too bad the Democrats don’t have a top-tier candidate to go against him (although it seems like they have a few spares in the gubernatorial race who might consider making the jump). Isakson beats Generic Dem by 49-36.
• NY-Sen-B: Harold Ford Jr.’s big night out at the Stonewall Dems didn’t quite go according to plan. He was repeatedly heckled and shouted down as he attempted to explain his convenient road-to-Damascus conversion on matters such as gay marriage. It also turns out that Ford’s former House colleagues from the New York delegation aren’t much more enthused about his run, either. The majority of the delegation has already endorsed Kirsten Gillibrand, and no one has backed down from that, with Ed Towns, Greg Meeks, Jerry Nadler, Tim Bishop, and Carolyn McCarthy all offering public statements discouraging his run.
• UT-Sen: Wow, yet another Republican is going to get into the primary against Bob Bennett, who has a bullseye on his back because of occasional acts of cooperation instead of lockstep obstructionism. This one is actually a step above the rest of the field… or maybe not. Ex-Rep. Merrill Cook says he’s going to get in the race. An ex-Rep. is nothing to sneeze at (especially when none of the other contestants have gotten elected to anything before), but on the other hand, Cook was kind of an eccentric who frequently ran for office until lucking out in 1996. His hotheadedness got him primaried out in 2000 (and Jim Matheson went on to pick up the seat for the Dems that year).
• NY-Gov: The blowback from yesterday’s NYT article is already hitting David Paterson’s inner circle, suggesting he isn’t going to be able to shrug this off. Paterson’s Criminal Justice Coordinator, Denise O’Donnell, resigned in protest over having been lied to by the state police.
• OR-Gov: Local Republican pollster Moore Insight takes a look at the gubernatorial race — and they find ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber doing a lot better than Rasmussen did. They find Kitzhaber has identical 45-33 leads over the two GOPers they judged the strongest, Allen Alley and Chris Dudley. (Rasmussen actually found long-forgotten ex-state Sen. John Lim fared the best against Kitzhaber of the four GOPers, but apparently Moore didn’t think Lim was worth polling; Rasmussen had Dudley within 6 of Kitzhaber and Alley trailing by 8.) Moore didn’t poll the primaries, or how Democratic ex-SoS Bill Bradbury would fare.
• SC-Gov: Winthrop University polled South Carolina without doing gubernatorial head-to-heads, but that may not matter as they also found that few people know anything about anybody who’s running; only LG Andre Bauer came close to 50% name rec. They did find 43
61% approval for Jim DeMint, 39 45% approval for Lindsey Graham, and a surprisingly high (for SC) 48% approval for Barack Obama.
• AK-AL: Businessman, blogger, and gadfly Andrew Halcro (who ran as an indie in the 2006 gubernatorial race) sounds like he’s backing down from his planned Republican primary challenge to Rep. Don Young. He cited other developments (all positive) in his business and family life.
• HI-01: It looks like Hawaii’s election officials found enough change under the couch cushions to throw together a special election to replace retiring Rep. Neil Abercrombie, after all. They’ve tentatively set a May 22 date for the all-party winner-take-all election. All three candidates plan to run again in the September primary for the regularly-scheduled election.
• NJ-03: It looks like NFL player and gentleman farmer Jon Runyan may have a less tortuous path to the GOP nomination than Chris Myers did in 2008 (which helped contribute to Rep. John Adler’s victory that year). Toms River Committeeman Maurice Hill (the dreaded rear admiral who was the favorite of the Ocean County GOP) decided that he won’t run, meaning that all of the county organizations are likely to coalesce around Runyan. Runyan already has the support of the Burlington County party.
• PA-12: After recently deciding not to run, Joyce Murtha weighed in with an endorsement in the battle to replace her deceased husband. She endorsed Murtha’s former district director, Mark Critz. The state party will choose a replacement candidate on March 8. On the GOP side, they’ve pretty much struck out on finding an upgrade from the two guys who were already running, businessman Tim Burns and Bill Russell. And now there’s growing worry that Russell — who claims to be the choice of the conservative grassroots, although mostly that’s because he’s been able to churn and burn through millions in direct mail fundraising through BaseConnect (the company known until recently as BMW Direct) — may pull a Doug Hoffman and get on the ballot as an indie if he doesn’t get chosen by the party poohbahs. Even RedState has had to weigh in, praising establishment fave Burns and warning Russell not to bolt — the total opposite of their NY-23 stance, of course, although Burns, who’s tried to reach out to the teabaggers, is no Scozzafava-style moderate.
• SD-AL: This is encouraging; even Rasmussen can’t find a way to show Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in grave peril. Herseth Sandlin, who has three different credible GOP candidates fighting it out in the primary to take her on, leads all three, two of them by double digits. Herseth Sandlin beats SoS Chris Nelson 45-38, state House assistant majority leader Kristi Noem 49-34, and self-funding state Rep. Blake Curd 51-33. In fact, these numbers are extremely close to the ones put up by PPP back in December.
• IL-LG: Well, here’s a nice solution to the Dems’ woes in trying to find a Lt. Governor candidate in Illinois: just eliminate the position. State House speaker Michael Madigan is bringing to the House floor a plan to altogether eliminate the non-job that is Lt. Governor in 2015 (and save millions). Unfortunately, that still means the Dems need to find someone to fill that slot (vacated by Scott Lee Cohen’s implosion) for one term.
• Polltopia: Nate Silver performs a nice deconstruction of the myth that won’t die: that incumbents polling below 50% in early polling are going to lose. He finds there is no consistent tendency for challengers to pick up the bulk of the undecideds. Moreover, a majority of incumbents polling below 50% in the 2006-09 cycles went on to win anyway. (It’d be interesting to extent this study, though, beyond the 06 and 08 wave years to see if it holds true in more neutral cycles.)
• Site News: SSP is instituting a one-week waiting period for new users to post diaries. New accounts can still post comments right away.
• AL-Sen: This race has to rank somewhere around 32 or 33 in order of likelihood to change hands among Senate races this November, but at least we’re showing up to compete: Birmingham-area attorney William Barnes announced that he’ll run against Richard Shelby for Team Blue. It’s his first run for office, and he says it’ll be a “total grassroots” effort (which I think is code for “can’t self-finance”).
• AZ-Sen: J.D. Hayworth and Dana Rohrabacher always seemed like kindred spirits in their particularly loudmouthed version of ultra-conservatism. That seems to continue today, as the Orange County Congressman gave his former colleague his first big-name endorsement in his newly-minted primary challenge to John McCain.
• MA-Sen (pdf): There’s a wealth of data in the Washington Post’s post-game poll of the Massachusetts special election; it’s well-worth looking through the whole memo. As with other polls, it points to a confluence of Republican enthusiasm and a Democratic failure to define the opposition (or themselves). Interestingly, only 60% of Brown voters say they favor Republican policies in Congress, and only 19% of them want him to work mostly to oppose Democratic policies instead of working to get Republican ideas into Democratic policy.
• NY-Sen-B: His helicopter’s warming up on the launch pad: Harold Ford Jr. seems to be moving closer to a Senate primary run. An ally says he’s “80 percent” likely to run, and various steps he’s taking suggest he’s getting his ducks in a row – reserving web domains, and even crisscrossing the state, visiting that previously unknown sixth borough of New York City known as “Buffalo.”
• WA-Sen: Republican insiders seem to be wondering if they can use the Massachusetts results to coax a top-tier (or any-tier, really) Republican to get into the race against Patty Murray. The problem for them is that there are really only two GOPers who are appealing and moderate enough to play at the statewide level, and AG Rob McKenna already seems to have his ticket booked for a 2012 gubernatorial run. That leaves Rep. Dave Reichert, whose spokesperson made a run sound unlikely, while still saying he “is not one to shut doors on any opportunity.”
• IL-Gov: It may be news to you that someone named Bob Schillerstrom was running for Governor. Apparently it was news to the people of Illinois, too, as he dropped out at a strangely late stage (after consistently polling in the low single digits) and endorsed ex-AG Jim Ryan for the Republican nod. Schillerstrom’s lack of traction is kind of strange, since, as DuPage County Board Chairman, he has nearly a million constituents. His name will remain on the ballots, which have already been printed.
• MD-Gov: The one elected Republican who seemed to be following through on running for Maryland governor decided against it and opted for a different course instead. State Del. Patrick McDonough is now running for Baltimore County Executive. McDonough had previously said he wouldn’t run if ex-Gov. Bob Ehrlich tried for a rematch, and while Ehrlich hasn’t done anything public on that end, McDonough said he thinks Ehrlich is planning to do it.
• OH-Gov: More polling bad news for incumbent Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland: he’s trailing ex-Rep. John Kasich 51-45 in the new poll from the Univ. of Cincinnati. (Strickland led 49-46 in their previous poll in October.) One bit of the poll gives Strickland a potential way forward, though, if he can get his messaging to work: “When asked who’s to blame for Ohio’s economic misery, Bush ranked first, at 24 percent, followed by Wall Street and financial institutions at 23 percent and the U.S. Congress, 19 percent. President Barack Obama got the blame from 13 percent while just 3 percent blamed Strickland.”
• PA-Gov: Another poorly-kept rumor panned out to be true: that wealthy Philadelphia businessman Tom Knox was going to drop out of the race and endorse Allegheny Co. Exec Dan Onorato, which happened over the weekend. Knox said he could have funded a big ad blitz to get competitive (he’d been polling in single digits) but didn’t want to hand ammunition to the Republicans. It’s unclear whether the big beneficiary here is Onorato, though, or ex-Rep. Joe Hoeffel, who benefits from being the only Philadelphia-area candidate left.
• SC-Gov: Looks like Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer isn’t going to lay claim to the mantle of “compassionate conservatism” any time soon. The would-be successor to Mark Sanford compared poor people to stray animals over the weekend, saying: “You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that.” He tried walking that back today, regretting his choice of words and also adding that he’s “not against animals,” either.
• UT-Gov: Enthusiasm about our chances in the Utah governor’s race, thanks to the entry of Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and a recent Deseret News poll showing a competitive race, has to be tempered by the new Mason-Dixon poll of the race on behalf of the Salt Lake Tribune. They find incumbent GOP Gov. Gary Herbert with a more substantial lead over Corroon, 55-30.
• WY-Gov: Former US Attorney Matt Mead made his widely-anticipated entry into the race official, as the backlog of top-tier Republicans running for the state house continues to grow. There’s still no word from incumbent Dem Dave Freudenthal on what his plans are, regarding the possibility of challenging the state’s term limits law and running for another term.
• PA-08: Ex-Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick had only a short exploratory period before an official launch of his campaign to get back his seat from Rep. Patrick Murphy; he announced his candidacy at a public appearance on Saturday.
• PA-10: Some Dude named Ted Yale announced his candidacy on the Republican side in the 10th. Considering that the news story doesn’t even note his occupation, I’m not convinced Yale poses much of a threat, but there is something more interesting buried in the article… former US Attorney Thomas Marino is now “expected” to announce his candidacy next week.
• Retread watch: Can you believe that more than 20 former House Republicans are running again this year, either for Senate, governor, their old seat or, in the case of Richard Pombo, some completely other seat? The Hill runs down the full list.
• Redistricting: Republicans have realized that the way back to power lies in the state legislatures, via their control over the post-2010 redistricting process in most states, and they’re budgeting accordingly. A new enterprise, the American Majority Project, and an old one, the Republican State Leadership Committee, are looking to get more involved in closely-controlled legislatures, and they have some big-name backers involved.
• AR-Sen: We’re up to eight Republicans packed into the GOP Senate field in Arkansas, none of whom are exactly top-tier but many of whom seem to have the capability to win both the primary and the general against Blanche Lincoln. The new guy is Stanley Reed, and although he hasn’t held elective office before, he seems to have the insider connections to make a serious go of it: he is former president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau, and before that was chair of the Univ. of Arkansas Board of Trustees.
• CA-Sen/Gov: Here’s an interesting rumor, courtesy of Chris Cillizza: moderate ex-Rep. Tom Campbell, probably the GOP’s greatest threat in the general but an underfunded third-wheel in the gubernatorial primary, is considering moving over to the Senate race. Perhaps the news that Insurance Comm. Steve Poizner was planning to spend $15 million of his own moolah on his stalled gubernatorial bid was the last straw? It vaguely makes sense for Campbell (who has already run for Senate twice before, most recently in 2000), as he’d face off against underwhelming Carly Fiorina (who has lots of her own money, but no inclination to use it) and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, who has nothing but the wrath of the teabaggers powering him.
• IL-Sen: The Chicago Tribune has released polls of the primary fields in the Illinois Senate race, revealing no surprises but also still a lot of people left to make up their minds. The Democratic field finds Alexi Giannoulias in the lead at 31, with Cheryle Jackson within kind-of striking distance at 17, David Hoffman at 9, and free-spending attorney Jacob Meister at 1 (with 38% undecided). For the GOP, the most notable number may be that Patrick Hughes, who’s gotten all the buzz as the guy behind whom all the right-wingers are coalescing, is actually getting nowhere at all. Hughes is at 3, tied with virtually unknown Kathleen Thomas (a former school board member from Springfield). Mark Kirk is at 41, but with 47% undecided, he still has a lot of selling to do. Speaking of which, the DSCC has a new website devoted solely to the man and his nonstop campaign-trail flip-flops: Two-Faced Kirk.
• IL-Gov: The same Chicago Tribune sample also looked at the gubernatorial primary fields. Incumbent Pat Quinn seems to be having little trouble on his path to the Dem nomination, beating Comptroller Dan Hynes 49-23. (Hynes may be second-guessing himself for getting into this race instead of the Senate field.) On the GOP side, it looks like former AG Jim Ryan (and 2002 loser) is in pole position despite his late entry to the race, thanks to being the only figure with statewide name rec. He’s at 26, with state party chair Andy McKenna at 12, downstate state Sen. Bill Brady at 10, suburban state Sen. Kirk Dillard at 9, businessman Adam Andrzejewski at 6, and DuPage Co. Board President Bob Schillerstrom at 2.
• PA-Gov: Rasmussen’s poll from last week of PA-Sen had a governor question too, and it shows all of the Dems getting thumped by Republican AG Tom Corbett. That probably has a lot to do with name recognition (Corbett gets his face in the news every day with Bonusgate, which is good for a bizarrely-high favorable of 59/18, while Auditor Jack Wagner is the only Dem with a statewide profile), but the Dems are starting out in a hole here once campaigning starts in earnest. Wagner fares best against Corbett, losing 43-30, while Corbett beats Allegheny Co. Exec Dan Onorato 44-28, ex-Rep. Joe Hoeffel 48-26, and Scranton mayor Chris Doherty 46-23.
• NY-Gov (pdf): Breaking! David Paterson is still in deep trouble. He’s at 23/76 approval, and 19/65 re-elects. He loses the Democratic primary to Andrew Cuomo 67-23 (and opinion is certainly solidifying behind Cuomo: 50% want him to run for Governor, while 31% want him to run again for AG). The good news is that Paterson still beats hapless ex-Rep. Rick Lazio in the general, 42-40, while Cuomo beats Lazio 68-22. Siena doesn’t look at Rudy Giuliani at all, making his disappearance from the governor’s race pretty apparent. Siena also takes a look at the Comptroller’s race (although without any William Thompson or Eliot Spitzer permutations), and find Dem Thomas DiNapoli beating GOPer John Faso, 40-24.
• RI-Gov: One state where the gubernatorial race looks less and less likely to go the Republicans’ way is Rhode Island, where their only announced candidate, businessman Rory Smith, quietly backed out of the race on Friday afternoon, citing his “limited political experience and political network.” Maybe state Rep. Joe Trillo could get coaxed back into the race for the GOP — or they could just throw their backing behind former Sen. and former Republican Lincoln Chafee‘s independent bid (although based on his recent comments about the state party, it doesn’t sound like he’d want anything to do with their backing).
• SC-Gov (pdf): One more gubernatorial poll, leftover from last week. PPP polled South Carolina, and found numbers very similar to Rasmussen‘s numbers from last week. Basically, Democrats need to hope for a matchup between Jim Rex (the Superintendent of Education, and only statewide Dem officeholder) and hard-partying, car-racing, plane-crashing Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer; Rex wins that matchup, 37-36. Dems lose every other permutation. Bauer manages to beat state Sen. Vincent Sheheen 38-33, and Robert Ford 37-33. AG Henry McMaster beats Rex 40-31, Sheheen 41-27, and Ford 42-27. And Rep. Gresham Barrett beats Rex 40-33, Sheheen 41-26, and Ford 42-28. (By way of comparison, Rasmussen finds Rex beating Bauer 36-35 and losing his other matchups.) PPP didn’t poll the primaries, but based on favorables, McMaster may be the likeliest GOP nominee, at 30/20, compared with Barrett, little-known outside his district at 14/17, and Bauer, toxic at 22/43. PPP also ran a generic D ballot against GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, who has no-name opposition so far, finding DeMint winning 47-38.
• TX-Gov: As expected, Kinky Friedman ended his Democratic gubernatorial primary bid today. Friedman declined to endorse either Bill White (whose entry probably precipitated Friedman’s exit) or Farouk Shami, despite some connections to Shami. What may not have been expected was that Friedman dropped down to the Agriculture Commissioner race, where he’ll join fellow gubernatorial race refugee Hank Gilbert. While Friedman doesn’t seem to have an agricultural background, he does have as an advisor and backer former Ag Comm. and populist pundit Jim Hightower.
• ID-01: I hadn’t heard any rumblings about this happening, but in case anyone was wondering, Larry Grant (the former software exec who barely lost the 2006 ID-01 race to Bill Sali) said he wouldn’t primary Democratic freshman Rep. Walt Minnick in 2010. Minnick has raised some hackles for being the most conservative member of the Democratic caucus (not that that shouldn’t be a surprise in an R+18 district, but he’s been taking that to extremes lately, leading the way to scrap the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency). Grant also denied that he’d be running in 2010 as a moderate Republican (conceivably to Minnick’s left?), although he seemed to suggest that he could prevail against that field of wannabes, accusing Vaughn Ward of being a “Sarah Palin Republican” and Raul Labrador a “Bill Sali Republican.” (I wonder what that would make Bill Sali, if he decided to jump in?)
• IL-10: In the Democratic primary clash in the open 10th, state Rep. Julie Hamos scored a big labor endorsement today, from the AFSCME.
• IL-14: Ethan Hastert a moderate? Either the apple falls far from the tree, or the Main Street Partnership is having to greatly expand their definition of “moderate” is order to stay relevant in a GOP intent on purging itself into oblivion. At any rate, the Main Streeters’ PAC gave to Hastert (making clear where the ideological fault lines lie in his primary against state Sen. Randy Hultgren), along with OH-15’s Steve Stivers, OH-16’s Jim Renacci, and NH-02’s Charlie Bass.
• KS-03: The specter of Republican civil war in the open seat race in Kansas’s 3rd is abating, as state Sen. (and 2008 loser) Nick Jordan has the respect of both the moderate and conservative wings of the state’s party. Maybe most significantly, state Sen. Jeff Colyer, from the fire-breathing camp, said today that he won’t challenge Jordan in the primary. Moderate state Rep. Kevin Yoder is still exploring the race, though.
• PA-10: Sophomore Democratic Rep. Chris Carney has been one of the juiciest targets with only token Republican opposition, but the GOP may have found an elected official willing to take him on: state Rep. Michael Peifer, who represents a rural portion of the district.
• SC-01: Another Dem is in the hunt in the 1st, for the right to go up against Rep. Henry Brown (assuming he survives his primary). Retired Navy officer and accountant Dick Withington is getting in; his only political experience is losing a state Rep. race in 2004.
• TN-03: The open seat in the 3rd should be attracting at least some Democratic interest, but following the withdrawal of establishment candidate Paula Flowers last month, now even the race’s Some Dude bailed out: businessman (and 2006 loser) Brent Benedict got out, citing family health concerns. A few other potentially-credible Democrats are now looking at the race, though, including Chattanooga city councilor Andrae McGary and Hamilton County Democratic party chair Jeff Brown.
• TX-10: Democratic businessman Jack McDonald has gotten lots of buzz for solid fundraising for a potential run against GOP Rep. Michael McCaul, who looks increasingly shaky in the demographically-changing 10th. Last week, he removed the “exploratory” part of his campaign account, making it official, although clearly he’s been acting like a candidate all year.
• VA-05: The Virginia GOP decided on a primary, rather than a convention, to pick the person who takes on endangered freshman Rep. Tom Perriello in the 5th. In a weird way, the primary is better news for the party’s establishment, as the conventions tend to be dominated by the extremists who pick pure but unelectable candidates (recall last year’s Senate flap, where the decision to have a convention drove out moderate Rep. Tom Davis and left them with ex-Gov. Jim Gilmore). With their top contender, state Sen. Rob Hurt, coming from the sane wing of the party, that increases his odds of getting through to the general — but the downside is that this may drive dissatisfied teabaggers to the third-party right-wing candidacy of Bradley Rees in the general.
• WA-03: A journeyman Democrat is considering the open seat race in the 3rd, potentially setting up a primary with early entrant state Rep. Deb Wallace. Denny Heck was a state Rep. in the 80s, lost a Superintendent of Education race, became Gov. Booth Gardner’s chief of staff, and then founded TVW, the state’s local equivalent of C-SPAN. The article also mentions a couple other Dems interested in the race not previously mentioned, including state Sen. Brian Hatfield.
• Mayors: In a runoff election that had an undercurrent of homophobia thanks to the involvement of outside groups, city controller Annise Parker won on Saturday, making Houston by far the largest city to ever elect an openly LGBT mayor. She defeated former city attorney Gene Locke 53-47.
• Redistricting: The Texas Tribune takes a look at the many moving parts in legislative redistricting post-2010 in Texas. Factors include whether the Dems will be able to pick up the state House next year (sounding less likely), and which state officials are on the Legislative Redistricting Board (which takes over if the legislature can’t agree, which seems likely anyway since there’s a 2/3s requirement for the maps to clear the Senate and the GOP is short of 2/3s there).
• Demographics: Governing Magazine has an interesting piece on Gwinnett County, Georgia, which is as good an example as any of how suburbs, even in some of the reddest states, are becoming bluer as they become more diverse thanks to immigration. Gwinnett County has fallen below 50% non-Hispanic white, and it gave Obama 44% of the vote last year.
• Polltopia: PPP is asking for help yet again on which congressional district to poll next. This time, it’ll be a GOP-held district: Michele Bachmann’s MN-06, Lee Terry’s NE-02, or Pat Tiberi’s OH-12.