SSP Daily Digest: 9/3

  • AK-Sen: Joe Miller sure sounds like he’s measuring the drapes here, doesn’t he, with his talk about how much he’d “love” to serve on the Judiciary and Armed Services committees? Donate to Scott McAdams and help make sure we force Joe Miller to make a humiliating, droopy-dog run back to Neiman Marcus to return those curtains.
  • DE-Sen: Oh, I’m afraid the Tea Party Express will be QUITE operational by the time Mike Castle arrives! The NYT reports that the TPX is going up with five different ads (two TV and three radio) on behalf of Christine O’Donnell, and they have a rough cut of one of the TV spots (check the link). As for how big a buy we’re talking, the TPX just filed its first independent expenditure report, for $46K. Their usual practice is to dribble things out in smallish reports one at a time – but don’t worry, it’ll snowball.
  • FL-Sen: Charlie Crist is spending over half a million on a new TV buy. We don’t know what ads he’ll be running, but the St. Petersburg Times has some pretty good info on where they’ll appear (notably in Dem-leaning markets). Check the link for full details.
  • WI-Sen: GOPer Ron Johnson raised $1.2 million between July 1 and Aug. 25th, while Sen. Russ Feingold took in $920K. Johnson also loaned his campaign another $2.9 million out of his own coffers (which of course have been greatly bolstered over the years by government loans and grants to his plastics company). RonJo has been outspending Feingold, though, and has $1.6 mil in the bank compared to the senator’s $3.1 mil.
  • FL-Gov: Alex Sink has a new ad, touching on the oil spill and calling for a diversification of Florida’s economy. NWOTSOTB, but the spot is apparently airing in Florida’s panhandle.
  • GA-Gov: Nathan Deal just performed a classic document dump – and not one that’s likely to help him. He made public 28 years of his personal income tax returns, but none of this has anything to do with his auto salvage business which was the focus of a probe by the Office of Congressional Ethics.
  • CO-04: The House Race Hotline reports that the NRCC has reserved over $1 million in air time in the 4th CD. Let’s see if they actually come through with all that scrilla, though.
  • FL-08: Put away your can openers – no cat fud here. All six of Dan Webster’s Republican primary rivals have endorsed him, including teabagger Patricia Sullivan. However, Peg Dunmire is still in the race, on the actual Tea Party line.
  • IN-02: Joe Donnelly has a new spot out (NWOTSOTB), hitting Jackie Walorski for her support of a 23% national sales tax (as well as her desire to eliminate the home mortgage interest deduction). This issue is one that helped sink GOPer Tim Burns in the PA-12 special, so it has potency. I know that sometimes when Dems sink their teeth into this one, weenie liberals like to whine that what Republicans really mean is that they want to replace other taxes with this one. You know what? Let them make that argument. You don’t need to make it for them.
  • IN-09: Republican Todd Young has a new ad out, featuring footage of Baron Hill imperiously telling a journalism student that she couldn’t videotape a town hall. NWOTSOTB, but CQ notes that the spot is “currently airing only in the Louisville, Ky. market.”
  • LA-02: With Al Franken acting, you know, senatorial, it looks like Joe Cao has decided to take up the mantle of Stuart Smalley. Sayeth Cao: “I love the president, and I believe he truly likes me.” What a wiener.
  • MA-09: Labor activist Mac D’Alessandro scored the endorsement of NARAL in his primary bid against anti-choice incumbent Rep. Stephen Lynch. D’Alessandro raised $178K in the pre-primary period (7/1-8/25) and had $158K on hand for the stretch run. Lynch took in only $66K but had a million bucks in the bank.
  • NJ-03: Dem Rep. John Adler received the endorsement of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which did not back anyone in the race two years ago. They also say they’ll provide financial help. (The Courier Post notes that the district includes Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.) Adler’s also got a second negative spot out, hitting Republican Jon Runyan for his minimalist voting record. NWOTSOTB, and get a load of this stonewalling: “Campaign manager Geoff Mackler would not disclose the size of the buy, where the ads were committed to air or for how long they would air, saying he does not discuss strategy with reporters.” But I don’t think that should be the end of the story for a journalist. Hell, one of my jobs on a campaign I worked on in the 90s was to track down enemy ad buys. Reporters can do it, too. (And BTW, if you haven’t seen Adler’s first ad, I highly recommend you do so.)
  • NH-01, NH-02: John DiStaso has an asburd wealth of updates on New Hampshire’s two House races, including word that Charlie Bass is set to release his first ad (watch it here), a $40,000 buy on New Hampshire TV. There’s also news of a GOP primary poll in the 1st CD, taken by Cross Target on behalf of the right-wing group Americans for Prosperity. Sean Mahoney is at 33, Frank Guinta at 26, Rich Ashooh at 10, and Bob Bestani at 5. Mahoney’s been out with a positive/negative ad comparing his record to Guinta’s, making it clear that he thinks this poll is right about who the real contenders are. Guinta apparently has a new response ad coming this week.
  • NY-24: Mike Arcuri is up with a new ad, a positive bio spot. NWOTSOTB, though he has two slightly different versions, one of which is airing in Utica, the other Syracuse (see both here).
  • PA-07: A nice break for Dem Bryan Lentz: After a series of adverse rulings, Pat Meehan’s campaign withdrew its legal challenge to the candidacy of Jim Schneller, a teabagger who petitioned his way on to the ballot… thanks to a lot of help from Lentz supporters.
  • PA-10: Interesting: Back when he was a US Attorney, Tom Marino served as a reference for a casino application for a man his office was investigating. In fact, the news was so explosive it led to the DOJ transferring the investigation to another office – and to Marino’s resignation as USA. Back in May, though, Marino told a radio host that the DOJ had given him written permission to provide that reference, but he hasn’t produced it (yet). Dem Chris Carney is hitting him for this, asking, “Where’s the letter?”
  • WI-08: Steve Kagen is up with his first ad, and it’s a good one. Among other things, he touts the fact that he has refused congressional health coverage until everyone in America has health insurance. He also refers to himself as “Dr. Steve Kagen,” which is probably a helpful alternative to “Congressman” these days.
  • Enthusiasm Gap: Tom Jensen takes a look at a painful “what if” – as in, what if there were no enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans this year? Among other things, he thinks Alex Sink would have a double-digit lead and that Elaine Marshall would be running slightly ahead of Richard Burr. But check out his full chart.
  • Dumping Ground: We’ve brought up some serious methodological issues in the past that we have with those zone-flooding American Action Fund House race polls, so it’s best if we just confine the following to their own quarantine zone. (Those issues, by the way, included extremely aged samples and the fact that the GOP pollster, Ayres McHenry, asked respondents about their opinion of the healthcare bill right before diving into the topline match-ups.)
  • AZ-01: Ann Kirkpatrick (D-inc) 41%, Paul Gosar (R) 47%

  • AZ-05: Harry Mitchell (D-inc) 44%, David Schweikert (R) 50%

  • AZ-08: Gabby Giffords (D-inc) 46%, Jesse Kelly (R) 46%

  • CA-11: Jerry McNerney (D-inc) 44%, David Harmer (R) 45%

  • CA-47: Loretta Sanchez (D-inc) 45%, Van Tran (R) 43%

  • CO-03: John Salazar (D-inc) 43%, Scott Tipton 51%

  • CO-04: Betsy Markey (D-inc) 39%, Cory Gardner (R) 50%

  • NM-01: Martin Heinrich (D-inc) 49%, Jon Barela (R) 41%

  • NV-03: Dina Titus (D-inc) 45%, Joe Heck (R) 48%

  • OR-05: Kurt Schrader (D-inc) 44%, Scott Bruun (R) 36%
  • 100% Chance of Pain For House Democrats: GOP Pollster

    The American Action Forum is back with a new batch of House polls. (They released their first dozen last week.) One major caveat, though: as pointed out in the comments section (!) of Hotline on Call, the ballot head-to-head questions in each poll were buried under several thermometer-style questions on Obama, Pelosi, and healthcare reform:

    Those American Action Forum polls are designed to prime respondents into selecting Republican candidates. Instead of starting off with the ballot-test question, they start by asking if people think the country is on the right or wrong track, do they support/oppose health care reform, and their fav/unfav opinion of Obama & Pelosi (not Boehner and Bush, of course). Look, the Democrats are going to lose a lot of seats, and they will lose some of these seats in this poll, but the most credible way to conduct a general election poll is to start by asking who the respondent is voting for, because that is the one question that will actually be on a ballot. At least I give credit to these Republicans for showing the questions they asked.

    That’s absolutely right. For any poll to maintain its credibility, the toplines need to be asked at the start (or at least, no later than right after the favorables, as PPP does it).

    That said, we can still take a look at the toplines with a grain of salt.

    Ayres, McHenry & Associates (R) for the American Action Forum (8/16-21, likely voters, MoE: ±4.9%):


    Leonard Boswell (D-inc): 41

    Brad Zaun (R): 51


    Joe Donnelly (D-inc): 46

    Jackie Walorski (R): 44


    Mark Schauer (D-inc): 40

    Tim Walberg (R): 50


    Russ Carnahan (D-inc): 54

    Ed Martin (R): 38


    Steve Driehaus (D-inc): 45

    Steve Chabot (R): 47


    Betty Sutton (D-inc): 43

    Tom Ganley (R): 41


    Mary Jo Kilroy (D-inc): 44

    Steve Stivers (R): 49


    John Boccieri (D-inc): 35

    Jim Renacci (R): 49

    Note: Check out the downright geriatric sample for the OH-16 poll — 4% of the voters are between the ages of 18 and 34, 22% are between 35 and 49, and 74% are 50 and up. SUSA’s crosstabs from 2008 had a sample breakdown among those age brackets of 20-28-52. Other polls in this batch have similar shifts, but this one is the most glaring.


    Steve Kagen (D-inc): 39

    Reid Ribble (R): 49

    Major Pain Ahead for Dem House Incumbents: GOP Pollster

    Ayres, McHenry & Associates (R) for the American Action Fund (7/28-8/1, likely voters, MoE: ±4%):


    Jim Himes (D-inc): 46

    Dan Debicella (R): 42


    Chris Murphy (D-inc): 49

    Mark Greenberg (R): 39

    One complication, though: Greenberg lost his primary to state Sen. Sam Caligiuri.


    Suzanne Kosmas (D-inc): 41

    Craig Miller (R): 44


    Scott Murphy (D-inc): 45

    Chris Gibson (R): 40


    Bill Owens (D-inc): 41

    Matt Doheny (R): 39


    Dan Maffei (D-inc): 44

    Ann Marie Buerkle (R): 41


    Kathy Dahlkemper (D-inc): 38

    Mike Kelly (R): 52


    Chris Carney (D-inc): 37

    Tom Marino (R): 52


    Paul Kanjorski (D-inc): 41

    Lou Barletta (R): 52


    Mark Critz (D-inc): 40

    Tim Burns (R): 44


    Tom Perriello (D-inc): 43

    Rob Hurt (R): 49


    Nick Rahall (D-inc): 53

    “Spike” Maynard (R): 37