Jack Conway (D): 31
Rand Paul (R): 41
Braun Research is out with another poll in Kentucky, showing a result consistent with other pollsters of a slight lead for mountain-hater Rand Paul.
Jack Conway (D): 31
Rand Paul (R): 41
Braun Research is out with another poll in Kentucky, showing a result consistent with other pollsters of a slight lead for mountain-hater Rand Paul.
• LA-Sen: Two different polls have very different pictures of the Louisiana Senate race, which is moving into the foreground with Charlie Melancon getting a lot more media exposure criticizing BP while David Vitter acts as one of their biggest defenders. PPP (in a poll leaked to Roll Call, although I’m not sure if it’s a Melancon internal or on someone else’s behalf) finds Melancon within single digits, trailing Vitter 46-37. On the other hand, Republican pollster Magellan gives Vitter a 51-31 lead. (Magellan has been doing a lot of recent public polling of Republican primaries; this is for the general, though, and I’m not sure if they’re working for Vitter, for some other GOP interest, or just acting sua sponte.) Both polls find extremely high continued support for offshore drilling, not a surprise since that’s Louisiana’s bread and butter.
• NH-Sen: Yesterday was Kelly Ayotte’s day to testify before the state legislature about what she did and didn’t know about the collapsed mortgage banker FRM; for the most part, she staked out claims of not knowing anything about them (saying that the buck stopped with her, but the buck never made it to her AG’s desk). Legislators seemed underwhelmed by her responses, and even GOP state Rep. Rip Holden criticized her, saying she needed to accept some blame for the state’s failings.
• PA-Sen: Politico, always hungry for inside-baseball campaign drama, is highlighting a story titled “Sestak silence worries Pa. officials,” detailing concerns the local establishment has with Joe Sestak not sufficiently linking up with them as he pivots toward the general election. It’s actually an interesting article, but Pa2010‘s Dan Hirschhorn captures the overarching tone of it with his own meta-piece, “The Sestak-as-crazy-campaigner meme returns.”
• SC-Sen: Today’s 538 look at the South Carolina puzzle focuses on how Census microdata suggests that the Greene/Green difference may not have been the racial dogwhistle that people think it is: nationwide, a higher percentage of Greenes are white than are Greens. (H/t to our commenter KCinDC, who pointed out this same data point over the weekend.) In fact, the first name “Alvin” may be a clearer dogwhistle instead. (And, of course, there’s the danger in extrapolating national data to the state level, where things may be much different in South Carolina.)
• WA-Sen: As I’ve opined before, attacking Dino Rossi for having made money off foreclosed properties, and teaching other people how to do it, has a whiff of “what else have you got?” But what’s really weird here is that he just keeps scheduling more appearances at more real estate seminars, as he’ll being doing today. (Today’s burning question: “Is now the time to buy a waterfront home?”) If I were the NRSC, I’d be worried about how committed he is to a race he seemed to get dragged kicking and screaming into in the first place, if he’s still doing real estate seminars instead of campaigning 24/7. Is the Senate race a way to keep his name in the spotlight so he can get more money for more real estate seminar appearances?
• AK-Gov: P’oh! Former state official Bob Poe was the first Dem to get in the gubernatorial race (back when it would have been against Sarah Palin). But not having made much progress on the fundraising front against the higher-profile Ethan Berkowitz and Hollis French in the Democratic primary, he pulled out of the race yesterday.
• CA-Gov, CA-Sen: There’s a poll of the California races out from CrossTarget research on behalf of right-wing new media outlet Pajamas Media, so you might keep the salt shaker handy (especially remembering their decidedly optimistic polling of the MA-Sen special). That said, though, the gubernatorial numbers look perfectly plausible, with Jerry Brown leading Meg Whitman 46-43. The Senate race may be a little further off the mark, pegged at a 47-47 tie between Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina. Speaking of Whitman, she just wrote herself a check for another $20 million from her seeming bottomless reserves, bringing her total self-funding investment to $91 million. The main Whitman story that’s in the news today, though, presents a different picture of her from the rather serene Queen Meg that appears in all her advertising: it turns out she settled with an eBay employee for six-figures after shoving her during an argument.
• FL-Gov (pdf): When you’re reduced to leaking your own internal poll that has you tied with your opposition, well, let’s just say you’re in a world of hurt. But that’s what Bill McCollum is doing today to prove his continued relevance in the Florida GOP gubernatorial primary. His poll by McLaughlin & Associates has McCollum tied at 40-40 with Rick Scott.
• IA-Gov: As expected, the religious right isn’t planning to do much of anything to help Terry Branstad defeat Chet Culver in November. The Iowa Family PAC, who had backed Bob Vander Plaats, confirmed (as they’d threatened months ago) that they won’t endorse Branstad.
• CO-04: Credit GOP nominee Cory Gardner with having some sense of decency (or at least knowing when it’s not expedient to hitch his wagon to the crazy train). After Iowa Rep. Steve King’s comments about Barack Obama’s racist “default mechanism,” Gardner abruptly canceled a $100/person fundraiser he had scheduled for Saturday with King. (King, for his part, is doubling down on the crazy, with his impassioned defense of racial profiling yesterday.)
• KY-06: The Andy Barr campaign is out with an internal by the Tarrance Group showing him within sorta-striking distance of Democratic Rep. Ben Chandler. Chandler leads Barr 45-38. Chandler’s spokesperson said that Chandler “has a strong double-digit lead” in his own polling, but didn’t offer a polling memo.
• NC-08: The list of GOP Beltway figures piling on to support Harold Johnson instead of Tim D’Annunzio is a veritable House GOP who’s who. John Boehner and Eric Cantor are headlining a Thursday Capitol Hill fundraiser for Johnson, with Pete Sessions and Greg Walden also atop the list. Obviously plans for this must predate today’s PPP poll showing the huge disparity in viability between Johnson and D’Annunzio, so the NRCC has clearly had their eye on this one for a while.
• OK-02: Rep. Dan Boren is out with an internal poll as he faces a tough fight in a dark-red district… but he doesn’t seem concerned enough with his minor GOP opposition to even poll on that. Instead, he’s focused on a late-breaking primary challenge from the left from state Sen. Jim Wilson. His poll from Myers Research gives him a 68-24 lead over Wilson.
• OR-01: Tis the season for internal polls, I guess: there’s also one floating around out there from Rob Cornilles, the little-known but NRCC-touted businessman running against Rep. David Wu in the Portland suburbs. The Cornilles poll, by local Republican pollster Moore Information, gives Wu a 46-40 lead over Cornilles, suggesting that Wu is at least in for a tougher-than-usual challenge even if he has the district’s D+7 lean working in his favor.
• SC-06: The strange saga of the South Carolina Democratic primary is also playing out in the 6th, where Democratic House Whip Jim Clyburn easily beat Gregory Brown. Clyburn, who’s led the charge that Senate candidate Alvin Greene was a plant, is crying “foul” here as well, though, pointing out that Brown has been linked to a Republican consulting firm. The Brown campaign paid $23K to Stonewall Strategies (run by former Joe Wilson aide Preston Grisham) for “marketing;” Brown says he worked with them because they were the only ones willing to take him on as a client. Several African-American state legislators tell TPM that they’ve talked with Brown and figure that his campaign, while quixotic, was still “on the level.”
• TN-08: Allegedly humble gospel singer Stephen Fincher has gone negative against his opposition in the GOP primary, not the usual sign of a confident frontrunner. He’s launched a new ad against physician Ron Kirkland, attacking Kirkland for allowing thousands of dollars in contributions to Democratic candidates when he was head of the American Medical Group Association. He’s also charging that the Jackson Clinic, which Kirkland ran at the time, gave $8K to state Sen. Roy Herron, who’s now running for the Democratic nod in the 8th.
• VA-05: The hope of party unity for state Sen. Robert Hurt seems to be running into quite a few hitches, in the wake of his 48% victory in the GOP primary against fractured teabagging opposition. The Lynchburg Tea Party leadership says they won’t back Hurt (although they seem to be not backing anyone rather, than supporting right-wing indie Jeffrey Clark). TPM also claims that Jim McKelvey, who courted Tea Party support en route to finishing a distant second in the GOP primary, won’t be backing Hurt either.
• NRCC: Rep. Mike Rogers has a pretty easy job this year: he’s in charge of incumbent retention for the NRCC. He says there are, at this point, only nine incumbents who are in need of continued financial support: Dan Lungren, Mary Bono Mack, Charles Djou, Joseph Cao, Pat Tiberi, Jim Gerlach, Charlie Dent, and Dave Reichert. (You’d think he’s been looking at our House Ratings page or something.) There’s one other stray bit of good news for the NRCC: they’ve finally settled their several-years-old embezzlement case, paying a $10K civil penalty for improper reporting; they’ve also received a payout from their insurance company, covering $500K of their lost $724K in funds.
Meanwhile, wags have been having some great fun at the expense of the name of the NRCC’s offense program, named, of course, “Young Guns.” Despite the fact that the average Young Gun is 50 years old. Only 7 of the 105 members of the program are women, so maybe at least the Gun part is right.
• DCCC: Roll Call looks at the DCCC’s continued outreach to K Street. An “adopt a member” strategy is being cooked up where sympathetic lobbyists will work directly with the most embattled members to shepherd them through the electoral cycle.
• WATN?: If you’re wondering whatever became of ex-Rep. John Doolittle, who retired in shame in 2008 after getting caught up in the Jack Abramoff scandal, it turns out he won’t be facing any charges. The DOJ has finally closed the case on Doolittle, who had previously been named as a co-conspirator in the case against aide-turned-lobbyist Kevin Ring.
• 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.
“Well, you know what, when you get to be 85 or 90 years old, you’re going to die. And I’m sorry, you call it, Sarah Palin, what you want, but the fact is that it is absurd for us to be spending the types of money we’re spending to extend life three months.”
Asked what he’d do as a Senator to control such costs, Ferre said: “I would absolutely say that this is the cap on how much is available for you to spend at age 90, 87, with a heart condition of this sort, with diabetes of this sort, two legs missing and, you know, this is how much is available for you to spend. And you spend it any way you want.”
There are other ways to lose races in Florida, but this is the simplest and most direct.
Throughout the ages, the finger painter, the Play-Doh sculptor, the Lincoln Logger stood alone against the daycare teacher of her time. She did not live to earn approval stamps. She lived for herself, that she might achieve things that are the glory of all humanity. These are my terms; I do not care to play by any others. And now, if the court will allow me, it’s naptime.
In one paragraph, he says Stutzman knew nothing of the affair and therefore couldn’t have tipped off the media. In another, he mentions that Stutzman or a political consulting firm leaked word of the affair to Fox News after getting information from the staffer’s husband, Brad Jackson a Kosciusko County commissioner.
Hmm, I thought it was Mike Pence who dimed out Souder?
• CO-Sen, CO-Gov: As we mentioned on the front page yesterday, Andrew Romanoff won the Democratic primary precinct-level caucuses last night; the final tally, percentage-wise, was 51-42 (with 7% uncommitted) over Michael Bennet (who, by the way, hit the airwaves with the first TV spot yesterday, a decidedly anti-Washington ad). Things were actually much closer on the GOP side, where it looks like ultra-conservative Weld County DA Ken Buck is actually leading establishment fave Jane Norton by a paper-thin margin (37.9% to 37.7%). Of course, the activist-dominated straw polls are going to be Buck’s strong suit and his strength here may not translate as well to the broader GOP electorate, but he performed well enough to show that he’s in this for the long haul. (A similar dynamic played out in the Governor’s race, where ex-Rep. Scott McInnis easily beat teabagger Dan Maes, 61-39, although Maes has polled in the single digits out in reality.)
• NC-Sen (pdf): PPP’s monthly poll of the North Carolina Senate race general election shows little change, with Richard Burr (with a 35/37 approval) still winning in very humdrum fashion. Burr leads Elaine Marshall 41-36 (a positive trend, as she was down by 10 last month, although she was also within 5 of Burr in December). He also leads both Cal Cunningham and Kenneth Lewis 43-32, and leads Generic Dem only 41-39. With low familiarity for all three Dems (Marshall’s the best-known, but even she generates 71% “not sure”s), PPP’s Tom Jensen expects the race to tighten once they actually have a nominee.
• WA-Sen: Here’s some food for thought on why Dino Rossi has retreated back to the private sector and has seemed reluctant to come back out to play, despite the NRSC’s constant entreaties: his financial links to Seattle real estate developer Michael Mastro, whose local real estate empire collapsed in late 2008, leaving hundreds of investors out to dry.
• MA-Gov: Here’s more evidence that Tim Cahill, a Democrat until a few months ago, is heading off to the right to try and claim some of Republican Charlie Baker’s turf for his independent challenge to Deval Patrick: he fessed up to having voted for John McCain and is attacking Massachusetts’s universal health care plan (which even Scott Brown didn’t have a beef with, during his campaign) and saying that if the nation took the same approach it would be bankrupt “in four years.”
• NM-Gov: Oooops. Pete Domenici Jr. got a little presumptuous prior to the state’s Republican convention, issuing fliers touting his “great success” and his getting put on the ballot. Turns out neither happened — his 5% showing was last place, not a great success, and didn’t qualify him for the ballot either (he can still do so by gathering signatures).
• NY-Gov: This may be a tea leaf that Democratic Suffolk Co. Exec Steve Levy is gearing up to challenge ex-Rep. Rick Lazio for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. He hired a Republican consultant, Michael Hook, to help with preparations. Meanwhile, will the last person left in David Paterson‘s employ please turn the lights out? Another top staffer, press secretary Marissa Shorenstein just hit the exits today.
• PA-Gov, PA-Sen: Could ex-Rep. Joe Hoeffel be knocked off the Democratic gubernatorial primary ballot? That’s what Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato is trying to make happen, as his team is challenging the validity of Hoeffel’s 7,632 ballot petitions. In order to qualify for the ballot, candidates need 2,000 valid signatures, including at least 100 from 10 different counties. (JL) Hoeffel’s not the only one; Joe Sestak‘s also challenging signatures in the Senate primary. Sestak’s target isn’t Arlen Specter, though, but rather Joseph Vodvarka, a Pittsburgh-area businessman who was a surprise last-minute filer and is the primary’s only third wheel. Sestak, no doubt, is worried that Vodvarka could peel off enough anti-Specter votes to throw a very close election.
• HI-01: Here’s a sign of life from the seemingly placid Colleen Hanabusa campaign; she just got the endorsement of the Hawaii State Teachers’ Association. (Not that it was likely they’d endorse Ed Case, but it’s still important for GOTV.)
• NY-13: Politico’s Ben Smith reported that Republican state Senator Andrew Lanza was taking a second look at the race in the 13th, now that the possibility of the Working Families Party withdrawing its support for Rep. Mike McMahon (if he votes against health care reform) could make a GOP challenge easier in the face of a divided left. The NRCC denied having reached out to Lanza; Lanza confirmed, though, that they had, but said that he was still unlikely to get in the race, preferring to focus on taking back GOP control of the state Senate. While the two GOPers in the race, Michael Grimm and Michael Allegretti, both have had some fundraising success, Lanza would be a definite upgrade for the GOP in the unlikely event he runs.
• PA-06: Another bummer for Doug Pike, who seems to be losing as many endorsements as he’s gaining these days. State Rep. Josh Shapiro, who briefly explored a bid for U.S. Senate last year, has officially switched his endorsement from Pike to “neutral”. (JL)
• SC-03: With rivals Rex Rice and Jeff Duncan (both state Reps.) having gotten the lion’s share of the endorsements and money, state Sen. Shane Massey appears ready to drop out of the GOP primary field in the 3rd. It looks like it’ll be a two-man fight between the Huckabee-backed Rice and CfG-backed Duncan.
• VA-05: I’ll repeat all the usual caveats about how straw polls reflect the most extreme and engaged activists, not the broader electorate, bla bla bla, but there’s just no good way for state Sen. Robert Hurt to spin his showing at the Franklin County
GOP Republican Womens’ straw poll. The establishment pick drew 11.6% of the vote, while self-funding teabagger Jim McKelvey grabbed 51%.
• WA-03: The Dick Army (aka FreedomWorks) has weighed in with a rare primary endorsement in a rather unexpected place: the GOP primary in the open seat in the 3rd. They endorsed David Castillo, the financial advisor and former Bush administration underling who stayed in the race despite state Rep. Jaime Herrera’s entry. Here’s the likely explanation: Castillo actually used to work for FreedomWorks’ predecessor organization, Citizens for a Sound Economy. Still, that’s a boost for Castillo, who’s been faring pretty well on the endorsements front against the establishment pick Herrera (and a boost for Dems, who’d no doubt like to see a brutal GOP primary). Meanwhile, on the Dem side, state Sen. Craig Pridemore is holding outgoing Rep. Brian Baird’s feet to the fire to get him to switch his vote to “yes” on health care reform; primary opponent Denny Heck has avoided taking much of a position on HCR.
• Census: Here’s some interesting background on how the Census protects respondents’ privacy. Not only are individual responses sealed for 72 years, but the Census intentionally adds “noise” that camouflages individuals whose particular combination of data would make them unique in some way and thus not be anonymous, at least to someone seeking them out (for instance, they cite the hypothetical only 65-year-old married woman attending college in North Dakota). (P.S.: You probably got your form in the last day or two. Please fill it out!)
PPP (pdf) (2/5-10, likely voters)
Tom Perriello (D-inc): 44
Robert Hurt (R): 44
Tom Perriello (D-inc): 41
Robert Hurt (R): 12
Virgil Goode (I): 41
Tom Perriello (D-inc): 44
Robert Hurt (R): 27
Generic Teabagger (I): 19
Tom Perriello (D-inc): 46
Ken Boyd (R): 42
Tom Perriello (D-inc): 45
Jim McKelvey (R): 37
Tom Perriello (D-inc): 45
Michael McPadden (R): 36
Tom Perriello (D-inc): 44
Lawrence Verga (R): 34
Mainstream media pundits have pretty much already left Rep. Tom Perriello for dead. Between having the narrowest margin of victory of any Democrat in 2008 (900-odd votes over then-Rep. Virgil Goode) and sitting in a rural R+5 district that went strongly for Bob McDonnell in November’s gubernatorial race, he was already viewed as endangered — and when he cast theoretically risky votes for cap and trade and health care reform instead of hiding under a pile of coats with the Blue Dogs, well, it was an open and shut case, right? Guess again: PPP finds Perriello tied with his strongest Republican opposition, state Sen. Robert Hurt, and winning rather convincingly against the assortment of other random Republicans. (As a bonus, PPP promises GOP primary numbers tomorrow, so we can see if Hurt, an establishment figure who’s had a big target painted on his back by not just the teabaggers but also the CfG/Grover Norquist set, is getting hurt by the GOP schism.) Don’t pop the bubbly yet, of course: Perriello’s still well below the 50% safety mark.
One thing I love about PPP is how willing they are to try out every possible permutation, and they do that here, with a three-way against an unnamed tea party independent (although Generic Teabagger already has a name in this race… it’s Bradley Rees), where Perriello effectively rides the split to victory over Hurt, and a three-way with ex-Rep. Virgil Goode as an independent (something he’s threatened, although hasn’t taken steps towards). There, it’s actually a Perriello/Goode tie, with Hurt getting a woeful 12%. This is interesting, as Goode is basically functioning as a non-generic teabagger; if there’s one guy out there who seems tailor-made for the Tea Party movement, it’s Goode, who briefly served as an independent in between being a Dem (when first elected) and a GOPer, and whose odd, ideologically incoherent mix of libertarianism, populism, and xenophobic crackpottery seems like the teabagger template.
Also worth noting: Goode is the only person in the whole poll who’s in positive territory (58/29). Not Barack Obama (although he’s at a surprisingly not-bad 46/50), not Perriello (42/46), not Hurt (15/15), and certainly not the other GOP odds and ends.
RaceTracker Wiki: VA-05
• AZ-Sen: CQ has an interesting tidbit about Rodney Glassman, the young Tucson city councilor who’s the top Democrat in the Senate race right now. The general sense has been that it would be good to have someone with some self-funding capacity to be able to jump in and make a race of it in case the bombastic J.D. Hayworth somehow takes out John McCain in the GOP primary… and it turns out that Glassman has been that guy all along. He’s been capping contributions to his campaign at $20 for now, but the Dems’ state chair says Glassman can step in with his own money in case things heat up.
• IA-Sen: Rasmussen takes a pretty dim view of the odds for Roxanne Conlin (or any other Democrat) against Chuck Grassley in 2010. They see Conlin, a wealthy attorney last seen losing the 1982 gubernatorial race, losing to Grassley 59-31. The other less-known Dems, both veterans of the state legislature, fare only slightly worse: Bob Krause loses 59-26, and Tom Fiegen loses 61-25.
• IL-Sen: One last component from Rasmussen’s poll of the Illinois primary fields dribbled in late yesterday: a look at the Republican Senate field. Like other pollsters, they find Rep. Mark Kirk way ahead of his nearest competitor in the GOP primary, real estate developer Patrick Hughes. Unlike others, though, they at least see Hughes in the double-digits, losing 53-18 (with 12 for “some other candidate”).
• NC-Sen: Rasmussen also examines North Carolina, and while they find Republican incumbent Richard Burr with a significant lead, he’s not quite in the safety zone. Burr leads Democratic SoS Elaine Marshall 47-37, and he leads former state Sen. Cal Cunningham 50-34. Rasmussen also finds Burr’s knowns to be much, much higher than anyone else has found them: he has an approval of 56/32, with only 12% not sure (whereas most pollsters find his unknowns to be well into the 30s).
• NY-Sen-B: After rumors of his renewed interest in challenging Kirsten Gillibrand in a Democratic Senate primary, Rep. Steve Israel sounds like he’s backing off. His chief of staff says “definitively that he’s not running,” although there’s no comment from Israel himself. Israel, however, did commission another poll in recent weeks to take the race’s temperature, so it’s clear his interest was briefly re-piqued.
• AK-Gov: Former state House speaker John Harris had been a rumored candidate to oppose appointed Gov. Sean Parnell in the GOP gubernatorial primary, but has made clear that he won’t run and will run for re-election to the House instead. Another former speaker, Ralph Samuels, was also in the race, leaving Harris little room to grab whatever anti-Parnell vote might be out there. (A PPP poll finds the uncontroversial Parnell with a 58/19 approval, so it’d be an uphill run anyway.)
• FL-Gov: Rasmussen has new numbers out for the Governor’s race in Florida, and they’re very similar to what Quinnipiac released yesterday. Republican AG Bill McCollum leads Democratic CFO Alex Sink 46-35. (Presumably, this means they’ll have Senate numbers shortly.)
• MI-Gov: We’re getting strange signals out of the Virg Bernero camp. The Lansing mayor sent out an e-mail soliciting interns for his gubernatorial run (which would be a strange way of announcing your run, which he hasn’t done so far, although he does have an exploratory committee up). It was quickly followed up with word that Bernero hasn’t decided whether or not to run, and it should have said interns sought for his exploratory committee only.
• NY-Gov: Here’s a sign of how unenthused the state GOP is with the idea of ex-Rep. Rick Lazio as their standard-bearer for the Governor’s race: they’re actually sitting down with Suffolk Co. Exec Steven Levy, who has recently expressed some interest in the race, to discuss the possibility of him running as a Republican. Levy, of course, is a Democrat, although a rather conservative one (particularly on immigration issues) and one who received a Republican cross-endorsement during his barely-contested 2007 re-election. The crux of the matter may be that Levy has a $4 million warchest available, while Lazio is sitting on $637K. State party chair Ed Cox offered this stirring endorsement of Lazio on Wednesday: “At the moment, he is the candidate.”
• WI-Gov: One final Rasmussen poll to look at today: it’s the other half of their Wisconsin sample, the one that found 68-year-old ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson leading Russ Feingold in a hypothetical match. They find Republican ex-Rep. Mark Neumann leading Democratic Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett 42-38, while Milwaukee Co. Exec Scott Walker leads Barrett 48-38 (again, a much more Republican-favorable view of the race than other pollsters have seen it).
• AR-01: Dems won’t be getting their most-desired candidate to succeed Marion Berry in the 1st: AG Dustin McDaniel already announced that he won’t run. Possible Dem candidates sniffing out the race, though, including state Rep. Keith Ingram, state Sen. Robert Thompson, and former state party chair Jason Willett. CQ also mentions former state Rep. Chris Thyer, former state Sen. Tim Woolridge, and Berry’s CoS, Chad Causey.
• AR-02: In the 2nd, Democratic state House speaker Robbie Wills seems to be getting into the race to succeed Vic Snyder. State Sen. Shane Broadway has also expressed interest, but says that he’ll head for the Lt. Governor race if LG Bill Halter gets into the field in the 2nd. State Public Service Commissioner Paul Suskie is already putting campaign infrastructure into place, and a potential wild card people are eyeing is Little Rock’s mayor, Mark Stodola.
• CA-19: Smackdown in the Central Valley! Retiring Republican Rep. George Radanovich lashed out at CA-11 ex-Rep. Richard Pombo, seeking to replace him, saying that he should have “run in his own district.” Radanovich backs state Sen. Jeff Denham in the GOP primary, and was seeking to quash Pombo claims that Radanovich wouldn’t have endorsed Denham had he known Pombo was going to run. In other news, Rep. Tom McClintock at some point endorsed Pombo, finally making it clear that McClintock, used to running for something new every two years, wasn’t going to reflexively abandon his district and run in the 19th instead.
• GA-04: A primary is the only way to dislodge Rep. Hank Johnson in this safely blue district, and it looks like Johnson is poised to keep his seat even though he’s drawn several prominent opponents (at least some of whom would be coming at him from the right), former DeKalb Co. CEO Vernon Jones and DeKalb Co. Commissioners Connie Stokes and Lee May. Johnson has an internal poll from Lake Associates out showing him with 47% of the vote, leading Jones at 19, Stokes at 12, and May at 5.
• KY-06: Just days after attorney Andy Barr was named to the bottom tier of the NRCC’s “Young Guns” program, another Republican has jumped into the fray to take on Rep. Ben Chandler in this Republican-leaning district. Mike Templeman retired last year as CEO of Energy Coal Resources, and is touting his business experience.
• NH-02: Ex-Rep. Charlie Bass is touting an internal poll that has him in commanding position, at least as far as the GOP primary is concerned. He leads the 2008 Republican candidate, talk radio host Jennifer Horn, by a 42-19 margin (with 4 for state Rep. Bob Giuda). No numbers for the general election in this Dem-leaning district, however.
• NY-01: Rep. Tim Bishop is pushing back against, well, everything: he said, as far as retirement rumors go, he’s “sure as hell” not going to back down from a fight now. He also announced strong fundraising (a $378K quarter) in the face of wealthy opposition, Randy Altschuler and George Demos. (There are also rumors that Chris Cox, the grandson of Richard Nixon and son of new state GOP chair Ed Cox, may get into the race.) Bishop’s camp also alluded to (although didn’t specifically release) an internal poll showing him over the 50% mark against his Republican opponents, in contrast to other recent polls.
• PA-03: I wouldn’t have expected freshman Kathy Dahlkemper’s 3rd to be only 4th or 5th among Pennsylvania Democratic seats in terms of vulnerability this year, but them’s the breaks. The GOP hasn’t found a top-tier recruit here yet, but another Republican got into the race: Mike Kelly, a car dealer from the suburban Pittsburgh part of the district. It sounds like he’ll be able to partly fund his own way, which will help him compete against fellow businessman Paul Huber.
• PA-10: Former US Attorney Tom Marino finally announced his long-rumored bid against Rep. Chris Carney this week. While Marino seems imposing on paper, there are a number of problems here for him: for starters, Carney quickly used the December efforts of GOPers to recruit him to party-switch to boost his own bipartisan bona fides. Marino also faces questions over his relationship with Louis DeNaples, a developer who was the target of probes over links to organized crime, and particularly a casino license granted to him (where Marino was a reference on DeNaples’ gaming application). And a number of state legislators – at least in the far western part of the district where Malcolm Derk is from – are lining up behind Derk instead of Marino in the GOP primary. With chiropractor David Madeira, who’s been reaching out to the teabaggers, also in the race, even the primary won’t be an easy ride for Marino.
• PA-15: One more internal poll, this one not looking so good for Democrats. Republican Rep. Charlie Dent, in his first competitive race, well, ever, against Bethlehem mayor John Callahan, has a big edge in his own poll conducted by the Tarrance Group. The poll gives Dent a 53-27 lead, with 8 going to teabagging independent Jack Towne. The moderate Dent pulls in one-quarter of all Democratic voters.
• TN-08: He’s in like Flinn. George Flinn, that is: the official entry of the Shelby Co. Commissioner, who’s also a radiologist and radio station owner in his spare time, expanded the Republican field in the 8th. With two money-bags candidates already in the picture, physician Ron Kirkland and most prominently farmer Stephen Fincher, Republicans look poised to bleed each other badly in an expensive primary while state Sen. Roy Herron looks to have the Democratic field mostly to himself in this open seat race.
• VA-05: Another primary that’s getting out of control for the GOP is the one in the 5th, where there’s a backlog of die-hards each claiming to be the “true conservative” as opposed to establishment fave state Sen. Robert Hurt. Real estate investor Lawrence Verga seems to have had the most success at gaining the attention of the teabaggers (although Verga‘s spotty voting record can’t help his image much), but now rival real estate developer Jim McKelvey just slammed down half a million dollars on the table to up the ante. Even more delicious in terms of cat fud: McKelvey is also making threats that he’ll run as an independent if things don’t go his way in the primary. With right-winger Bradley Rees already running as a Tea Party-powered indie, there could be enough fracturing on the right to let vulnerable Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello have a shot at survival.
• VA-09: Here’s a seat that would have been a bear to defend in the event of a retirement, but where we got the final word that the incumbent is staying put. Rep. Rick Boucher confirmed he’ll go for a 15th term in the Fightin’ 9th in southwestern Virginia. He’s still not out of the woods, as Republican state House majority leader Morgan Griffith may get in the race, although for now Boucher doesn’t have an opponent.
• WA-03: This caught me, and seemingly a lot of other people, by surprise: Gov. Chris Gregoire weighed into the Democratic primary in the 3rd with an endorsement, and she bypassed the two sitting state legislators in the field to go for ex-state Rep. Denny Heck, suggesting that rumors that he’s got a lot of behind-the-scenes establishment support are quite true. Heck, who subsequently founded a public affairs cable channel and did a lot of successful for-profit investing as well, can spend a lot of his own money on the race, which is probably why he’s getting the establishment backing despite having been out of office for decades.
• WV-01: After a rather protracted four-year investigation, the Justice Dept. ended its investigation of Rep. Alan Mollohan over earmark steering, removing the ethical cloud from over his head. Mollohan had been on retirement watch lists, in the face of several decent Republican challengers, but he recently filed for re-election and now his opponents have less ammo to use against him.
• OH-SoS: Progressives have been dismayed that socially conservative state Rep. Jennifer Garrison is the only Democratic option in the Secretary of State primary anymore, but that sounds like it’s about to change. Franklin Co. Clerk of Courts (and former Columbus city councilor) Maryellen O’Shaugnessy is rumored to be about to enter the race, and it also sounds like she’ll have the backing of the state party’s power brokers, starting at the top with Gov. Ted Strickland (who can’t afford to have progressives stay home in 2010, as he needs them to save his own bacon in what promises to be a tight gubernatorial race).
• Census: New York state Senate Democrats are proposing changes in the way that prison inmates are counted. They’d like for them to be considered residents of the district where their last known address was, not where they’re currently incarcerated. It’s actually a very important issue, considering that there are more than 58,000 state prisoners in New York, most of whom are from cities but are currently in rural Upstate, and it could tip the balance significantly in redistricting the state Senate. In other Census news, Robert Groves talked extensively to Pew about increasing participation, tracking turnout, and overcoming language barriers.
• Humor: Finally, here’s a cartoon that SSP fans are uniquely positioned to enjoy.