• NH-Sen, NH-Gov (pdf): As PPP’s Tom Jensen hinted yesterday, Kelly Ayotte may have lost some ground in the general election, but isn’t suffering in the GOP primary. Ayotte has a 53/23 favorable among GOPers, and they also say that by a 38/28 margin, a Sarah Palin endorsement makes it more likely that they’d vote for the endorsee. Ayotte is polling at 47%, with Bill Binnie at 14, Ovide Lamontagne at 8, Jim Bender at 6, and a handful of Some Dudes in low single-digits. (Lamontagne’s personal unpopularity seems to be keeping him from catching fire among the right wing; he’s at 23/31.) They also looked at the gubernatorial primary, where establishment frontrunner John Stephen hasn’t quite sealed the deal against teabagging businessman Jack Kimball and social conservative activist Karen Testerman. Stephen leads Kimball and Testerman 26-15-5.
• NY-Sen-B, NY-Gov: Quinnipiac offers up polls of the major races in New York state today, and, try as they may, they just can’t find anything interesting going on here, any more so than any other pollster. The main point of interest may be the GOP primaries; they find Rick Lazio leading Carl Paladino 39-23 in the gubernatorial primary, and Bruce Blakeman leading David Malpass 19-12 in the Senate primary (although Joe DioGuardi, who has submitted his petitions, really should be polled in that race too). In the general, they find Kirsten Gillibrand beating Blakeman 48-27 and Malpass 49-24. Andrew Cuomo defeats Lazio 56-26 and Paladino 55-25.
• WA-Sen: Having been on the receiving end of one of Fred Davis’s abstract-expressionist attack ads, Patty Murray’s out with her own
first second TV spot of the election cycle, one that’s relentlessly job-o-centric and focuses on her close links to the region’s largest employer: Boeing. It’s a panorama of Boeing workers thanking her for saving their jobs.
• FL-Gov: Bill McCollum’s trailing in the polls of the GOP primary, but he got a boost from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which is endorsing him. The Chamber also gave the cash-starved McCollum a $500K transfusion, although it went to McCollum-supporting 527 Florida First Initiative rather than directly to McCollum.
• GA-Gov: Nathan Deal got two presents, one good, one very bad. He got the endorsement for the runoff from fellow House member Jack Kingston, who had previously endorsed fellow Savannah resident Eric Johnson in the GOP primary. However, he also got news that a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas of Georgia’s Revenue Commissioner, in its investigation of whether Deal personally intervened with him to protect a state auto inspection program that was particularly beneficial to the Deal family’s auto salvage business. At least Deal isn’t lagging on the fundraising front; both he and rival Karen Handel have raised about $500K each in the week since the primary.
• MI-Gov: Rumors keep on resurfacing regarding Republican AG Mike Cox’s presence at an out-of-control mayoral mansion party hosted by now-disgraced former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and they’re back in the news again, inconveniently timed for him with the primary next week. An eyewitness has just signed an affidavit placing the religious-right Cox at the stripper-laden party. Meanwhile, Rick Snyder, who’s actively trying to court Dems and indies to cross over to the GOP primary to vote for him, has rolled out an endorsement from a highly respected but long-ago GOP governor: William Milliken.
• MN-Gov: Alliance for a Better Minnesota is out with a new TV ad that’s hitting Republican nominee Tom Emmer on one of his weakest spots (of which it turns out he has many). It criticizes him for voting to weaken drunk driving laws, and oh, just happening to point out that Emmer himself has twice been convicted of drunk driving. (The Alliance name is a little oblique, probably intentionally so, but they’re a labor-backed 501(c)(4).)
• CO-04: Could Scott McInnis’s implosion and Tom Tancredo’s gubernatorial run actually help Democratic fortunes downballot, especially in the hotly-contested 4th? That’s what Politico is wondering, with a piece looking at how reduced GOP turnout and/or increased interest in Constitution Party candidate Doug Aden might ultimately benefit Democratic freshman Rep. Betsy Markey.
• NH-02: If there’s one competitive Democratic primary left where there’s a pretty clear ideological contrast, it’s in the 2nd. While Ann McLane Kuster is a netroots fave, Katrina Swett is on record as having supported the Bush-era tax cuts in 2002 (the decision of whether or not to extend said cuts is about to become an issue in Congress). Swett says she’s being misrepresented, to the extent that only supported the middle-class parts of the tax cuts, although she didn’t clarify whether or not she would have voted for the whole shebang.
• PA-06: Buried in a story about how Rep. Jim Gerlach has actually been giving money to the NRCC (to the tune of $44K just now, for a total of $100K all cycle) is news of an internal poll from a few weeks ago, which suggests he’s not in the sort of imminent danger that would require him to horde cash. He’s pointing to a Wilson Research poll from mid-July that gives him a 54-29 lead over Dem nominee Manan Trivedi.
• MI-Legislature: One state where we aren’t hurting for details on the state of the state legislatures, thanks to Michigan Liberal’s pbratt, is Michigan. He’s out with pre-primary filing fundraising databases for both the Senate (Republican-controlled, but one of our best offensive opportunities) and the House (reliably Democratic-controlled).
• Meta: I’ve always wondered, if this is such an anti-incumbent year, where the losing incumbents actually are. The Fix’s Aaron Blake is taking notice of the same thing, as we’re on track to have not really any more of an anti-incumbent year than 2008. With really only one more House member who seems on track to lose a primary (Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick), that puts us on track for 4 primary losses for both parties in the House… exactly the same number as 2008. Winning a primary, of course, takes loads of money, and the thing that sets the successful challengers (Mike Oliverio or Mo Brooks, or Joe Sestak at the Senate level) apart from the vast array of the rabble attacking from both left and right is $$. It is worth observing, though, that the average incumbent winning percentage seems to be down this year from last cycle, with many incumbents winning ugly, in the 60-70% range. We’d need to investigate how much that average percentage has changed since 2008, though, before declaring a trend to be underway.
• AL-Gov: Ron Sparks (D) 35%, Robert Bentley (R) 55%
• IL-Sen: Alexi Giannoulias (D) 43%, Mark Kirk (R) 41%
• NV-Sen: Harry Reid (D-inc) 45%, Sharron Angle (R) 43%
• OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 44%, Chris Dudley (R) 47%
If you’d told me back in, say, January, that in late July Rasmussen would be finding Harry Reid winning and John Kitzhaber losing, I wouldn’t have even laughed at you, I would have just picked up the phone and called for assistance from men in white suits with big butterfly nets.