SSP Daily Digest: 10/16

NV-Sen: John Ensign’s once potent fundraising has gone decidedly flaccid in the wake of the Hampton affair, dwindling approval ratings, and a likelihood of not coming back in 2012. He raised less than $33K in the third quarter (and managed to spend more than that, on various legal fees and consultants).

PA-Sen: Joe Sestak’s fundraising for the third quarter was half of what Arlen Specter raised: $758K for Sestak (also less than half of his 2Q number), vs. $1.8 million for Specter. Take out the money that Obama raised for Specter at their fundraiser, though, and they’re close to parity on last quarter’s numbers. Meanwhile, the allegedly fiscally-disciplined Pat Toomey raised $1.6 million in 3Q, but has been burning through cash quickly, spending $861K and ending up with $1.8 million CoH.

IL-Gov: This is good news for John McCain… ‘s former media guy. State GOP chair Andy McKenna made clear he’s going to, if nothing else, spend a lot of money on his gubernatorial campaign. He just hired ad guru Fred Davis, creator of the infamous “Celebrity” ad last summer. President McCain, of course, will confirm how well that one worked out for him.

PA-Gov: Rasmussen polled the Democratic and Republican fields in the gubernatorial race, finding what most other pollsters have seen: AG Tom Corbett is mopping up on the GOP side, while nobody has a clue who the Democratic candidates are. Corbett leads Rep. Jim Gerlach 54-10 (with 6 for some other and 30 not sure). For the Dems, “not sure” is kicking ass at 37, followed by Allegheny Co. Exec Dan Onorato at 19, state Auditor Jack Wagner at 14, ex-Rep. Joe Hoeffel at 11, Scranton mayor Chris Doherty at 6, rich guy Tom Knox at 4, and “some other” at 10.

VA-Gov: One last look at how the candidates are faring financially in the Virginia governor’s race. Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds raised about the same amount in September ($3.8 mil for McD, $3.5 mil for Deeds), but McDonnell enters the home stretch with a lot more cash on hand ($4.5 mil for McD, $2.8 mil for Deeds).

FL-08: Among the contributors to liberal firebrand Rep. Alan Grayson’s one-day haul of $60K at the end of the fundraising quarter (and after his “die quickly” speech) were two prominent Blue Dogs: Reps. Bart Gordon and Collin Peterson.

FL-19: State Sen. Ted Deutch wasted no time. The leading contender to take over FL-19 in the wake of Rob Wexler’s departure officially entered the race yesterday.

IN-01: Nobody has really regarded long-time Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky as vulnerable in his bluish district, but he’s laboring under an ethical cloud from his role in the PMA lobbying firm scandal, and now out $100,000 in legal fees resulting from subpoenas in the matter. He’s sitting on $916K CoH, down from $1.47 mil at this point in the 2007-08 cycle.

NY-15: Rep. Charlie Rangel, facing some ethical problems of his own, may face another primary challenger with a famous family name: Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV (who previously ran against Rangel in 1994). With a former staffer already in the race, though, this could fracture the anti-Rangel vote and inadvertently let Rangel slip through again.

NY-19: Looks like the free-spending Ophthalmologists’ PAC has one sure target for their largesse this cycle: Nan Hayworth, a Westchester County eye doctor, says that she’ll run for the GOP nomination. This is despite the presence of a high-profile (if somewhat questionable and controversial) recruit in the field already, Assemblyman Greg Ball. Hayworth starts with $318K CoH, half from her own wallet and half apparently from her eye doctors friends, giving her a sizable edge over Ball’s $213K CoH. The winner will face off against incumbent Dem Rep. John Hall.

NY-20: Thursday was the official Last Day of Tedisco. Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, the loser of this year’s special election filed a notice of termination of his exploratory committee, seemingly ending any plans for a re-run in 2010.

NY-23: Dinged by reports that the RNC wasn’t getting adequately involved in the 23rd (or involved, period), Michael Steele announced that the RNC will be making an unspecified “six-figure” contribution to the NRCC in support of efforts in the 23rd, as well as $85K to the state party. Also seeking to quell reports of civil war, Newt Gingrich — who passes for the GOP’s voice of sanity these days — went ahead and endorsed Dede Scozzafava, which may not move many votes on the ground but may move some Beltway dollars into her kitty.

OH-16, 18: Biden alert (again)! The VP will be heading to Ohio to host a joint fundraiser for sorta-vulnerable Democratic Reps. John Boccieri and Zack Space in several weeks.

SC-02: Rob Miller got a huge boost in his fundraising in the wake of “You lie!” and pulled in $1.7 million. Unfortunately, he seemed to peak early after an initial outpouring of support, with little follow-up with the netroots; contrast that with Rep. Joe Wilson, who continued to push his newfound celebrity with the GOP base and, despite being initially outraised, wound up the quarter with $2.7 million.

NY-St. Sen: State Senator Hiram Monserrate was convicted yesterday of assault, but instead of the felony charge that was sought, he was only convicted of a misdemeanor — which means that he isn’t automatically out of the Senate. That means Dems are stuck with the coup-joining convict until next year’s primary… unless he resigns, something that fellow Sen. Liz Krueger is already pushing, or is expelled.

Mayors: In not much of a surprise, Shelby County mayor A.C. Wharton won the special election to take over as Memphis mayor. His 60% share (against 24 other opponents) is pretty impressive, though. Wharton argues his margin is a mandate for his pet project, uniting Memphis and Shelby County governments into one entity.

Polling: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner has a fascinating polling memo titled “The Very Separate World of Conservative Republicans” out, based on focus groups of GOP base voters in Georgia that look at what’s driving the accelerating freakout among the hard right. The diagnosis seems to be acute paranoia with persecution complex: while few couched their viewpoint in an explicitly racist way (which may surprise some), there is a sense among them of being a “mocked minority” and a overarching sense of an Obama administration “secret agenda” to bankrupt the country and exert government control over all aspects of our lives. I don’t know if Ed Kilgore had advance knowledge of this study, but it dovetails exactly with his remarkable piece earlier this week focusing on how the roots of the screamers and teabaggers isn’t so much overtly racist as motivated by a growing out-of-control sense of loss of the ‘old ways’ (i.e. replacement of small-town, homogeneous, traditional America with a multiracial, globalized future).

SSP Daily Digest: 7/16

FL-Sen: Although Rep. Corrine Brown, who’s expressed interest in running in the Democratic Senate primary, has been pretty inactive on the fundraising front, she did get at least one prominent donor to her Senate exploratory account: Rep. Donna Edwards, who gave her $1,000. (Edwards also gave to Rep. Kendrick Meek’s account on the same day — but only $250 to him.)

KY-Sen: Jim Bunning finally released his fundraising numbers, and they’re still “lousy.” He raised $285K for the quarter, with $595K CoH, which is less than half of the amount raised by the guy who says he won’t run against Bunning in the primary, SoS Trey Grayson (who raised $603K). Both, of course, are dwarfed by Democratic AG Jack Conway, who raised $1.32 million for the quarter and is increasingly looking like the man to beat. (Conway’s primary rival, Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, pulled in a lukewarm $303K.) Meanwhile, in another indication of Bunning’s dwindling power, lots of elected GOP officials seem willing to out themselves as Grayson supporters: Grayson got contributions from three state Reps., city councilors from Louisville and Lexington, and executives from three large counties.

NH-Sen: One more indicator that there’s still going to be a contested GOP primary in New Hampshire: local political insider and long-time friend of AG Kelly Ayotte Mike Dennehy isn’t going to be working for Ayotte. He’s been working with businessman Fred Tausch on his anti-tax STEWARD organization since last fall, and will continue to do so.

NC-Sen: Kenneth Lewis, a Durham corporate attorney who’s planning to run for the Democratic Senate nomination in 2010, made a big hire: Joe Trippi. It suggests, if nothing else, Lewis plans to spend a lot of money on the race, and maybe also that he’s interested in reaching out the netroots (although he may have some competition on that front, if he runs, from former state Sen. Cal Cunningham).

NM-Gov: If ex-Rep. Heather Wilson doesn’t get in, the New Mexico GOP is left with a bunch of third-stringers for the governor’s race. Here’s a newly interested potential candidate, though, who’s at least interesting from a demographic perspective: Susana Martinez. She’s the DA of Dona Ana County, location of Las Cruces and New Mexico St. Univ., the state’s second-most populous county and one of its Democratic anchors. Running a Latina against an Anglo (likely Dem nominee Lt. Gov. Diane Denish) might also help the GOP peel off some ordinarily-Dem votes.

NY-14: Roll Call previews the many possible Democratic replacements for Carolyn Maloney, if she follows through on her planned Senate race. On the Manhattan side of the East River, state Sen. Liz Krueger is at the top of the list. Younger up-and-comers, though, include city councilor Dan Garodnick, state Assemblyman Jonathan Bing (both of whom are Maloney allies and unlikely to run against each other), and city councilor Jessica Lappin. On the Queens side, there’s also city councilors Eric Gioia and Peter Vallone Jr. (son of the former council speaker), and Assemblyman Michael Gianaris. Karenna Gore Schiff (Al Gore’s daughter) has also been rumored, although she told TPM today she won’t run.

PA-06: With Rep. Jim Gerlach gone, the primary opponents are descending on this open seat… but contrary to what I would have expected a few months ago, it’s happening on the GOP side. While state Rep. Curt Schroder got in, as expected, he didn’t clear the field: Chester County Recorder of Deeds Ryan Costello also said he’s likely to get in. Also, Guy Ciarrocchi, Gerlach’s former chief of staff, is interested, and Chester County Commissioner Carol Aichele’s name has been floated, although she’s already exploring a Lt. Gov. race. On the Dem side, Doug Pike’s early fundraising dominance may have locked things down for him, although the Hill says potential heavyweight state Sen. Andy Dinniman is still “eyeing” the race, as well as Manan Trivedi (a former health care policy advisor to the Obama campaign).

VA-05: One last fundraising tidbit, that apparently couldn’t fit in James’s fundraising wrap-up because it rounds off to $0. Ex-Rep. Virgil Goode raised sub-Roland Burris totals last quarter: $154. Not the kind of money that suggests a rematch against Rep. Tom Perriello.

Demographics: Two interesting reads you’ll want to check out: one from Ruy Teixeira, on how the rise of the millennial generation, more “seculars,” and more Latinos all point to an imminent end to the “culture wars.” And also an important 538 piece from Nate Silver, where he somehow got his hands on polling data on uninsured voters broken down by CD, finding that — unlike voting against cap-and-trade, where their districts tend to be more carbon-reliant and voting against the measure might seem short-term rational — Blue Dogs are disproportionately from districts that are heavy on uninsured voters and voting for the bill would, if framed correctly, be a big boon for their districts’ voters. With the public option still hanging in the balance, if you’re represented by a Blue Dog (although, if you’re reading SSP, chances are that you aren’t), this would be a great piece to forward to them.

SSP Daily Digest: 7/7

MN-Sen: Our long national nightmare is finally over: Senator Al Franken was sworn in today, without any weird last minute gambits by Norm Coleman. Harry Reid announced he’ll be on the HELP, Judiciary, Aging, and Indian Affairs Committees.

KY-Sen: Jim Bunning, via his regular teleconference with reporters, reminds us that he’s still running for Senate. Bunning also thinks that he won’t outraise SoS Trey Grayson (who raised $600,000 in the 2nd quarter) for the quarter, but it doesn’t matter because Grayson won’t stay in the race if Bunning stays in too.

OR-Gov: Here’s a surprise: Democratic rising star state Rep. Brian Clem suddenly made his presence known in the Oregon governor’s race, launching an exploratory committee and filling up his coffers with a $500,000 loan from his mother-in-law. The 37-year-old Clem, who has represented part of Salem since 2006, implied that he wouldn’t pull the trigger on a run, though, if former Gov. John Kitzhaber got into the race.

SC-Gov: Mark Sanford may get to keep his job after all (thanks in part to Sarah Palin creating a distraction). The state GOP voted yesterday to censure Sanford over his doomed tango, rather than call for his resignation.

HI-01: Roll Call takes a quick look at who might run for the seat being left behind by Rep. Neil Abercrombie. Top of the list is Ed Case, a Blue Dog who used to represent HI-02 but gave up his seat for an ill-fated primary run against Sen. Dan Akaka and pissed off a lot of the Democratic base along the way. They also cite state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, former state House majority leader Kirk Caldwell, state Democratic Party chair Brian Schatz, and also Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who’s currently exploring the governor’s race but conceivably could switch races if he doesn’t get any traction in the primary against Abercrombie. Also, we can’t rule out Republican Honolulu city councilor Charles Djou, who seems well-thought-of but faces a steep climb given the state’s lean.

IL-07: CQ provides a similar laundry list of potential candidates in IL-07, assuming Rep. Danny Davis leaves an open seat to run for President of the Cook County Board instead. Davis’s former Chief of Staff Richard Boykin tops the list, but there’s also state Reps. LaShawn Ford and Karen Yarbrough, state Sen. Rickey Hendon, and Aldermen Dorothy Tillman and Ed Smith. (No mention of any Republicans here, unsurprising since it’s D+35.)

NY-03: Here are some folks who’d especially like Rep. Peter King to Beat It, following his Off the Wall remarks disparaging the nonstop coverage of Michael Jackson. They’ve started “Michael Jackson Fans Against Peter King” on ActBlue and have already raised several thousand dollars for whoever steps up to run in the 3rd.

NY-14: With Rep. Carolyn Maloney looking more likely to follow through on her Senate primary challenge, state Sen. Liz Krueger, whose turf closely overlaps the 14th, has been getting a lot of encouragement to run for the open seat. Krueger sounds politely interested, saying “I’ve never been in Congress so I don’t know if it’s less frustrating. But I suspect pretty much any job in the United States of America would be less frustrating than Albany in the last three weeks.”

NY-23: A potentially strong candidate for the GOP nomination in the upcoming NY-23 special election has taken himself out of consideration: Assemblyman Will Barclay. Unfortunately for us, this may make the primary path easier for moderate GOP Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, who would be a tougher general election foe; the more conservative Barclay, remember, was the loser of the state Senate special election to Darrel Aubertine last year. Two other minor GOPers added their names to the list as well: YMCA director Andrew Bisselle and businessman Bart Bonner.

OH-15: His candidacy was already well in the works, but GOP former state Senator Steve Stivers made it official today that he’s seeking a rematch against Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, who barely won the open seat in 2008. Stivers may have an opening in 2010 if there’s less Obama-driven college turnout in this district dominated by Ohio St., and no pro-life independent candidate siphoning votes from his right flank.

TN-09: Burned-out Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton seems to have a pattern and practice of delaying his planned resignations whenever things don’t quite go right for him. Herenton, who’d planned to resign in order to devote himself full-time to his primary challenge to Rep. Steve Cohen, pushed back his resignation date (planned for July 11) to July 30, citing some unfinished items of business.

House: The Hill throws together an interesting catch-all of ten “dark horse” House races, one of which is already threatening to be top tier (TX-10), one of which features an intriguing Dem primary (FL-02), and some of which are interesting because of changing demographics (TX-32) or changing political tides (all three Dem seats in Arkansas).

DGA/RGA: In keeping with the sense that the real battlegrounds in 2010 are going to be the gubernatorial races, the DGA and RGA are both raising like gangbusters. The DGA raised $11.6 million in the first half of the year, a record for them, but the RGA nosed ahead of them, raising $12.2 million.

Census: A coalition of Colorado local governments joins New York’s legislature in laying out its own funds to help assist the Census Bureau in putting together an accurate count by reducing undercounting. While Colorado isn’t likely to gain or lose a House seat in 2010, it’s still important in terms of securing federal funds, and with much of the state’s growth coming among Latinos, the risk of undercounting is high.

Campaign Finance: Florida’s Republican SoS, Kurt Browning, has decided not to appeal a federal court’s ruling that found a state law regulating 527s was unconstitutional. With major implications for the Florida governor’s race, now 527s can operate without disclosure requirements on who they are and who funds them. (Florida has strict $500 limits on individual contributions, so 527s are especially important there.)

Trivia: Wondering who the last Governor to resign in mid-term to focus on a presidential run was? New York’s Nelson Rockefeller, in 1973. He never made it to the presidential run, although he did wind up briefly serving as Gerald Ford’s fill-in vice-president.

DSCC: Friend of SSP and once-and-future DKos editor Arjun Jaikumar (f/k/a brownsox) is not just the DSCC’s new media guru – he’s also up for The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful in DC. Vote for the good-looking bastard by sending an email. (D)