Elections have consequences, from the race for President to the race for one seat on a city council. Those elections are the products of fascinating interactions between campaigns, party affiliations, voter turnout, and the media spotlight. Red Racing Horses analyzes and discusses elections from a Republican-leaning perspective. Thank you for visiting, and we hope you'll enjoy the blog.
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Excuse me for the somewhat delayed roundup today. I am a bit under the weather and fighting a keyboard with a R key that occasionally sticks.
Senate GA-Sen: Red State warlord Erick Erickson has endorsed Karen Handel for US Senate. Erickson endorsed her in 2010 for Governor as well. His endorsement is more a sign that the anti-establishment establishment is rallying behind Handel.
SC-Sen: Politico examines how Senator Lindsey Graham has ran circles around his tea party foes and solidified support among the various factions of the South Carolina Republican Party and will likely avoid a runoff.
Southern Democrats: Despite a few polls showing improving numbers, southern Democrats running for reelection face a daunting set of challenges that make their return to the Senate far from certain.
Governors PA-Gov: Republican Governor Tom Corbett is enjoying his role throwing gasoline on the simmering Democratic primary field hoping to weaken them. Corbett is daring his opponents, especially Democratic frontrunner Tom Wolf, to release 10 years worth of tax returns.
More PA-Gov: While Governor Corbett is attacking Wolf for his tax returns, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz is attacking Wolf for being soft on Obamacare. Schwartz, like Wolf, has stayed pretty close to the center on most issues, but she seems hell bent on embracing Obamacare. While I think this is a great strategy in the primary, she is running the risk of making the general about Obamacare if she wins the primary.
WI-Gov: Democratic candidate State Representative Brett Hulsey has made a bold challenge to his primary opponent Mary Burke. He wants to debate Burke in every county before the primary. If she refuses, he plans to pull out the good old chicken suit stunt.
House CA-25: Mitt Romney has endorsed former legislator Tony Strickland for Congress. Strickland is running to replace retiring Congressman Buck McKeon.
FL-13: Beverly Young, widow of late Congressman Bill Young, is blasting his successor, David Jolly, for his handling of Young's former staffers. It sounds like Beverly thinks she is entitled to hold Holly's feet to the fire because of her status as a widow.
PA-8: DCCC parachute candidate and Delaware County native Kevin Strouse released one really weird aid in his primary race to be the Democratic nominee in the Bucks County dominated PA-8. Seriously this is the best the DCCC could do? Seriously!
WI-6: Former Dodge County Sheriff and National Guard Colonel Todd Nehls is exploring a run for Congress. Nehls is a decorated veteran who commanded troops in Afghanistan.
States/Other NY-AG: Republican John Cahill, former top aide to former Governor George Pataki, is forming an exploratory committee to run for Attorney General. Cahill will be facing Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose polled poorly as of late.
PA-AG: After goading Philadelphia District Attorney Anthony Williams to take over the legislative bribery case, Attorney General Kathleen Kane is throwing up roadblocks to the transfer of the case to Williams. The rising star of the PA Democrats continues to dig herself a deeper hole.
Black Voters: The Washington Post has an excellent article on the importance of African American voters in the mid-term elections. They have some interesting maps showing how African American turnout shifts from election to election.
H/t to Shamlet; today's roundup was a team effort.
AR-Sen '16: Our thoughts are with Sen. John Boozman, as the 63-year old underwent emergency heart surgery yesterday.
NC-Sen: Of all the things to be in politics, some rank worse than others. 9/11 Trutherism is one of the worst, so bad that even hinting at being open to it can be career-ending (see Debra Medina, who just lost another statewide race in Texas). So c'mon Greg Brannon, you can't say "things like this have to be asked," even when ambushed in a radio program. Get with the program and cut this stuff out.
KY-Sen: Businessman Matt Bevin (R), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's primary challenger, recently lost his spokeswoman and two field staffers.
OR-Sen: With surprisingly decent Republican recruits for this seat, incumbent Jeff Merkley (D) is looking to squelch any potential problems early with the release of this internal poll from the Benenson Group. The poll shows Merkley leading neurosurgeon Monica Wehby 52%-34% and state Rep. Jason Conger 50%-32%.
NY-Gov: A new Siena poll shows major discontent with Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on the left. A generic Working Families Party candidate takes 24% on the left-wing minor party's line, tieing Westchester CE Rob Astorino (R) and cutting Cuomo's performance down to a 39% plurality. A three-way race is the only way this contest could be competitive; the same poll shows Cuomo stomping Astorino 58-28 in a two-way affair.
MD-Gov: A poll from St. Mary's College finds unsettled primaries on both sides in the gubernatorial race. 54% remain undecided in the Dem primary, with LG Anthony Brown at 27%, AG Doug Gansler at 11%, and 8% for State Rep. Heather Mizeur. On the Republican side, things are even more unsettled with Ehrlich aide Larry Hogan at 16% and Harford CE David Craig at 8%. One problem though: the primary questions were buried behind six policy questions on issues ranging from marijuana to gun control.
WI-6: Two candidates entered this open-seat race yesterday: State Sen. Joe Liebham (R) and Winnebago CE Mark Harris (D). Harris will likely be the D nominee, as he is probably the strongest possible recruit for them, while Leibham will face State Sen. Glenn Grothman and State Rep. Duey Stroebel, and potentially others, in the GOP primary.
MI-4: At the filing deadline, Dems appear to have found their candidate here, physician Jeff Holmes; he seems to be basically a Some Dude. The major Republican candidates are State Sen. John Moolenaar and MIGOP official Paul Mitchell.
MI-14: In a surprise last-minute filing. ex-Rep. Hansen Clarke (D) has entered the race to get back the seat he lost to Gary Peters in a redistricting-induced 2012 primary. Clarke will face Southfield mayor Brenda Lawrence and State Rep. Rudy Hobbs in the D primary for the ultra-safe D seat.
FL-13: Pastor and NAACP official Manuel Sykes (D) is running against newly-elected Rep. David Jolly (R). Sykes, who says he is running to support the president on healthcare and immigration, doesn't seem like the best fit for a swingy suburban district.
MN-6: Stick a fork in this race, it's done. Former state Rep. Tom Emmer's campaign released an internal from POS. He leads his Republican primary with former state Rep. Phil Krinkie and Anoka County Commisioner Rhonda Sivarajah 73%-4%-5% and has 71%-10% favorable ratings. This is an internal though, and 300 is a pretty darn small sample.
NY-13: Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (D), facing a tough primary challenge from State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, picked up Bill Clinton's endorsement. Another reward for past support from a Clinton.
CA-4: The New York Times digs into Rep. Tom McClintock's contest with Republican moderate Art Moore, a military intelligence consultant. The Times fails to really provide any reason why Moore's campaign will go anywhere, despite the logistics of top two allowing Moore to pull Democrats in a general election.
WV-3: House Majority PAC (D) has released a poll by Garin-Hart-Yang that claims Rep. Nick Rahall leads his Republican challenger, party-switching state Senator Evan Jenkins, 52%-40%. Salt to taste.
AL-6: An internal from JMC Analytics for surgeon Chad Mathis' Republican primary found this this open seat race wide open. Mathis 'leads' with 16% over a crowd: state Rep. Paul DeMarco with 15%, Will Brooke with 10%, and state Senator Scott Beason with 9%. I guess it's good to know that voters haven't really thought about this race.
State & Local:
DE-LG: With LG Matt Denn's (D) decision to run for AG and high prospects of victory, attention has turned to his possible successor as LG... nobody. Delaware mandates that the LG post stay vacant for the remainder of the term of a resigned officeholder; the appointed Secretary of State becomes first in the line of succession. The legislature is looking to remedy this: a bill has been introduced to allow for a special LG election (probably sometime in 2015) and it is said to have bipartisan support.
NY-AG, NY-Comp: The NYGOP is still searching for a candidate to take on Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (D), but may have a sacrificial lamb ready to lose to AG Eric Schneiderman (D) in Pataki aide John Cahill (R).
MN-AG: The MNGOP has moved its endorsement for Attorney General after its votes for Governor and Senate, a move designed to attract an also-ran from one of the up-ballot races to run for the post after they lose the first nomination. Hennepin Commissioner Jeff Johnson may be a strong choice for this position; his gubernatorial campaign has struggled after a disappointing third-place finish in the state party's statewide straw poll in February (Johnson is expected to back state Senator Dave Thompson if he loses the gubernatorial endorsement). Thus far no Republicans have entered the uphill race against incumbent Lori Swanson (D).
TX-Ag. Comm: Democrats have a bit of a dillema for this runoff race: Do they go with the guy the know and hate (musical comedian Kinky Friedman) or the other guy, Some Dude Jim Hogan - who has raised no money, done no campaigning, and does not intend to do either? Many prominent TX Dems are actively advocating cutting off their nose to spite their face by backing Hogan.
TX-SD-10: A dive into the runoff between Ted Cruz-endorsed Konni Burton and ex-state Rep. Mark Shelton for Wendy Davis' open and swingy seat. Burton emphasizes her fiscal conservatism, while Shelton stresses experience. If Republicans pick up this seat, they will be one vote short of two-thirds in the upper chamber.
NV-GOP: Here is a rundown of all of last week's endorsements at the state party convention, with some helpful commentary.
MI-Leg: Here are some of the highlights of Legislative candidate filing in Michigan. A full list of candidates is here.
7:57 ET- And Clawson gets the check with 38% compared to 26 for Benacquisto and 25 for Kreegel, and Dreikorn bringing up the rear with 11. Kudos to PPP for getting this one right, with the exception of overestimating Dreikorn's vote share.
7:27 ET- Bless the hearts of Florida's zippity-quick elections departments. We have a huge dump from Lee County, covering the early vote and 3/4 of the election day vote. We're now at Clawson 36 Benacquisto 27 Kreegel 25 Dreikorn 11, and I'm calling it for Clawson. (precincts out are in Collier, where his lead is even bigger). Now it's just a question of margin.
7:15 ET- Early vote in from Collier County (Naples, about 1/4 of the district): Clawson 44 Kreegel 33 Benacquisto 17.
For those suffering primary withdrawal from the large gap between the super-early IL and TX primaries and the bona-fide start of primary season in May, we have succor. Today we have a four-way Republican primary for the Safe R seat of Trey "everything goes better with Coke" Radel. There are little to no ideological fault lines: all three well-funded Republicans are mainstream chamber-of-commerce conservatives. As a result, the race has been fought on biography and sheer magnitude of spending (about $5M in total by most estimates). Thus, as you can expect, the race has been unusually expensive, personal, and nasty, with each candidate doing little but relentlessly pounding their rivals.
The front-runner is Curt Clawson, a self-funding first-time candidate and former basketball player who has spent twice that of his rivals combined. Clawson has seen success from branding himself as the outsider in the race. However, he has recieved some attacks due to his connections to a conviced pedophile and donations to Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Clawson recieved a late endorsement from Rand Paul and finished up his campaign by airing a non-ad of silence and waves, suggesting he is confident about his position. The two publicly-released polls of the race both show Clawson in the lead, but one shows him ahead by 19 and another shows him up by just 4. While Clawson is definitely the most likely victor tonight, an upset can't be counted out.
Clawson's main competition is thought to be State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, who carpetbagged from Palm Beach County in 2012 to keep her Senate seat but now represents a large portion of the district. Due to her office and connections, Benacquisto started out as the presumed front-runner. and has gotten some significant help from the state-level establishment. However, that support has opened her up to being painted as an insider in attack ads, and she runs second to Clawson in both polls. Benacquisto started advertising early and has recieved endorsements from Palin and Huckabee, but she is still an underdog due to Clawson's self-funding.
The first candiate into the special election race was ex-State Rep.and 2012 candidate Paige Kreegel. Originally planning to run in his native FL-17 before getting bumped over to FL-19 by the West-Rooney chain-reaction carpetbagging, Kreegel scored a relatively unimpressive third-place peformance last year. However, he has been a factor this time around thanks to a $1M infusion from a SuperPAC supporting his candidacy. Kreegel has been hurt by a bizarre voicemail he left for Clawson, suggesting Kreegel (illegally) knew about his SuperPAC's attack ads before they became public. Kreegel has been targeting SoCons marginally more than the other two, and if they turn out for him is possible for him to pull off the upset.
The fourth candidate in the Republican primary race, Some Dude Michael Dreikorn, is not expected to win; however, his non-factor fundraising total of just $25K belies his surprising impact on the race. As both the only bona-fide Tea Party candidate in the race and the only one left out of the three-way negative ad brawl, he has managed to draw serious vote totals. It's unclear who Dreikorn is hurting; my guess is that his votes are coming relatively equally from all three major candidates as they all drive up each others' negatives. While he is still likely to finish fourth, coming as high as second on a protest vote is not out of the question.
Across the aisle, Democratic Some Dude April Freeman faces no primary opposition and should pose little threat to any of the Republicans in the June general. Polls close at 7 and we'll liveblog it.
AR-Sen: Tom Cotton, who has slipped in the polls lately, incorporated Mark Pryor's horrific "sense of entitlement" gaffe into a fun new ad that features his drill sergeant from his time in the Army.
CO-Sen: Stu Rothenberg, known as the most small-c conservative of the Big Three forecasters (he keeps more races at "Safe" than the others do), predicted that Cory Gardner (R) would win this seat in November. Does Rothenberg know something we don't? Gardner has yet to lead in a public poll of the race.
GA-Sen: Again, a mysterious SuperPAC is supporting one Republican candidate by attacking another. Last week it was Ending Spending against Phil Gingrey, and this time, it's "Citizens for a Working America" (which backs David Perdue) against Jack Kingston. This five-way primary is highly fluid but recent polling suggests that Kingston and Perdue are fighting with the equally electable Karen Handel for two runoff spots.
KY-Sen: Mitch McConnell cut an ad highlighting Kentucky-specific conservative policies he has pushed, with about a month to go before his primary. Though aimed at shoring up his right flank, McConnell could conceivably re-run this for the general campaign.
NE-Sen: Guberatorial candidate and incumbent Auditor Mike Foley came very close to endorsing Shane Osborn, stopping just short while defending Osborn's record after the latest wave of Club for Growth attack ads.
AZ-01: State House Speaker Adam Tobin picked up an endorsement from Mitt Romney in a district Mitt won in 2012. Tobin, who lives just outside the gerrymandered lines of the big rural seat, faces State Rep. Adam Kwasman (from the wrong end of the district) and rancher Gary Kiehne (from the "sweet spot") in a late August primary.
CA-33: The race for Henry Waxman's seat has looked like a titanic clash from the start, and if you were to guess which of the well funded candidates would be on TV first, you might have gone with Wendy Greuel, Ted Lieu, or progressive darling Marianne Williamson. But nope, it's Republican Elan Carr, who has raised over $300K and is looking to claim a Top Two spot (which, under absolutely perfect long-shot circumstances, could be alongside another Republican).
GA-11: A new poll has ex-Rep. Bob Barr set to make the GOP runoff in his bid to return to Congress. Barr trails State Sen. Barry Loudermilk 25-23, with former state party executive Tricia Pridemore at 11 and State Rep. Ed Lindsey at 8. The surprise here is that Loudermilk, who has raised peanuts, is in position to claim a runoff slot many thought would go to Pridemore.
Michigan: It's filing deadline day in the Wolverine State, and there may be some surprises, as several expected candidates had not yet filed by COB yesterday--most notably Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, who doesn't look like a retirement candidate, but isn't the easiest guy on the Hill to predict.
OH-14: State Rep. Matt Lynch (R) hasn't gotten much traction in his primary challenge to freshman Rep. David Joyce, who like Rodney Davis was selected as a replacement by party leaders and has never faced a primary. But the Chamber of Commerce is taking Lynch seriously, and has bought $350,000 of advertising in support of Joyce.
OR-05: The first of a trio of well-written race profiles on a slow news day. A local public radio station examines this evenly divided seat, Rep. Kurt Schrader's (D) quirky ConservaDem tendencies, and the two intriguing yet severely underfunded Republicans running against him, Tootie Smith and Ben Pollack.
PA-08: The district's newspaper of record dropped in on a debate between the two Democratic candidates (carpetbagging veteran Kevin Strouse and businesswoman Shaugnessey Naughton) and was thoroughly unimpressed, declaring both Dems "doomed."
WI-07: In another non-competitive swing seat, the State Journal profiles Kelly Westlund, the EMILY-endorsed, self-ascribed "progressive champion" that Dems are putting up against Sean Duffy.
IA-Gov: Gov. Terry Branstad (R) leads a PPP internal poll for a liberal interest group, 43-38 over Jack Hatch. Even after PPP asks 4 questions about a minor scandal involving fired state workers, Branstad still leads an infamous "informed ballot" test.
KS-Gov: Polling continues to show Gov. Sam Brownback (R) in a tight race with Paul Davis, although Rasmussen has him with a somewhat comfortable 47-40 lead. Rassy has historically leaned Republican, but their numbers have been all over the place so far this cycle.
MD-Gov: If you're looking for the worst campaign (and perhaps worst career decision) of the cycle, this may be it. Doug Gansler began his campaign for governor as a respected attorney general, but has simply imploded as a candidate, whether misusing state vehicles, chilling with drunk teenagers, or most recently, referring to his opponent's military service as "not a real job." Gansler, who never really had a shot against establishment-backed LG Anthony Brown, has effectively buried his political career in 12 months.
WI-Gov: Madison State Rep. Brett Hulsey (D) is making a late entrance into the race. Hulsey, who has more than a few screws loose and has made several odd decisions while in office, looks to be nothing more than a speedbump for presumptive Dem nominee Mary Burke.
State and Local
DE-AG: In a continuance of the state's proud tradition of shuttling milquetoast white guys between various offices, LG Matt Denn (D) will run in the now-open AG race. Incumbent AG Beau Biden is passing on re-election this year to run for governor in 2016 (perhaps against ex-LG and now-Rep. John Carney). When Denn wins, the state will need to appoint a new LG, giving one lucky bland white guy an opportunity to jump into the game of musical offices.
WI-SD-19: Republicans scored a crucial recruit in this Obama district (vacated by retiring Senate President Mike Ellis) in the form of former State Rep. Roger Roth, last seen as the runner-up to Reid Ribble in the 2010 WI-08 primary. Roth will face State Rep. Penny Schaber in a district Democrats need to win to retake the Senate.
AK-Sen: Joe Miller (R), the 2010 Republican nominee, has gotten the endorsement of the Alaska Right-to-Life association.
AK-Sen, OR-Sen, ID-Sen: Remember that story a while back about the man running for congress in 4 separate districts at the same time? Well, we now have a Senate version of that, as Brooklyn Attorney William Bryk (D) is apparently running for ID-Sen, AK-Sen, and OR-Sen (yes, against 2 sitting Democrats). To give you an idea of how serious the man is, he says the closest he's ever gotten to Idaho is Buffalo, and in his statement he confused Iowa with Idaho. His original intent seems to have been a statement against letting Senators run unopposed.
KS-Sen: To the surprise of nobody who follows politics, former Kansas Governor and HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius (D) has announced she is not interested in running for Senate from her home state.
KY-Sen-2014: Matt Bevin (R), the primary challenger to incumbent Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), has cut an ad explaining that he never claimed to have been an MIT graduate on his resume, only that he had attended a seminar on its campus. I'd have to put "Running an ad saying that you didn't lie, everyone else just misinterpreted it that way" near the top of the list of "ways to know you're campaign is flailing".
KY-Sen, Pres-2016: The Kentucky bill that would have allowed Senator Rand Paul (R) to run for both Senate and President at the same time has stalled in the Democrat-controlled state house. Proponents argue that the law prohibiting double-candidacy was only intended to cover state offices and not federal ones, while opponents say that allowing double-candidacy is ridiculous and that the Senator should pick one office he's comitted to running for.
FL-19: Two new polls here: One from StPetePolls has Buisnessman Curt Clawson up 30-25 over State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, with former State Rep. Paige Kreegel coming in 3rd with 21% and Michael Dreikorn in 4th place with 11%. On the other hand, PPP (D) shows Clawson way out in front with 39 and the other three essentially tied in the high teens. The primary is tomorrow (4/22), and we will have a preview up at 3PM EDT.
IA-4: Mark Zuckerberg's PAC FWD.us are running ads against Iowa Republican Steve King, specifically his opposition to a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to join the US military to earn citizenship.
NY-All: The filings are now all in, and we have our candidate lists. Notable is that Democrats have not filed a candidate in Richard Hanna's NY-22 district, and that no Republicans have filed in a host of mostly uncompetitve VRA districts inside New York City. The most painful miss is NY-6, the Asian-heavy Northeastern Queens district that was only ~67% Obama in 2012.
PA-13: Former representative Marjorie Margolies (D), who is probably the highest-profile candidate for this suburban Philly district, apparently only has $5,000 left in her campagin account. It doesn't seem like her campagin has a problem raising money (she reportedly raised $845,000 over the last year), but rather she is spending at a break-neck pace, with 77% of her funds going to consultants and pollsters. It should be noted that the Big Clinton fundraiser for her on April 9 was not included in the quartlerlly report.
WI-6: State Senator Joe Leibham (R) will annouce his intentions about running for this open congressional district on Tuesday. If he does decide to run, he'll enter into what is becoming a crowded primary for the East-Central Wisconsin House district, and will face off against fellow State Senator Glenn Grothman, State Representative Duey Stroebel, and Walker Advisor John Hill. On the D side, Manitowoc mayor Justin Nickels and former Manitowoc mayor Rick Crawford are both considering the race.
NM-Treasurer: Bernalillo County (Albuquerque) Treasurer Patrick Padilla (D), has been forced out of the Democratic Primary after a judge ruled he lacked enough qualified signatures. Padilla submitted 4,524 signatures and needed 4,373 to make the ballot, but had 244 invalidated after a challenge by his primary opponent John Werthiem. Padilla is looking for ways to appeal the ruling.
PA-AG: The sting investigation into corruption in Philadelphia that Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) refused to move forward with apparently goes much deeper than the 5 originally reported targets, and includes over 50 people, including state lawmakers, lobbyists, and Philadelphia officials. This is a huge problem for Kane, as she said her reason not to go forward with the case was that it unfairly targeted Black officials (the original 5 were all Black), but this new group contains 23 Whites and 3 Latinos. Also, you know you're in the Mid-Atlantic when you have a sting operation that involves 32 state lawmakers. That's more than 12% of the entire state legislature.
MI-Wayne-CE: Robert Ficano (D), the current county executive of Wayne County (Detroit), has announced he is planning on running again. Ficano, who was coming in last place in recent polls against his many challengers, is more or less counting on a massively divided field pulling him through, as he is being investigated by the FBI for corruption.
India-Corruption: An electoral watchdog group in India has announced that 17% of the candidates running for India's lower house of Parliament have declared that there are currently criminal cases against them. Even worse, over half of that number were cases related to serious crimes like murder or rape. Amazingly, this seems to be an improvement over the previous elections, which had a whopping 30% of candidates facing some manner of criminal charges.
GA-Sen: A new poll taken by Insider Advantage on behalf of Fox 5 TV in Atlanta and the Morris News Service show businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston in the top two spots for an almost certain GOP Senate runoff. Perdue takes 19% and Kingston takes 15% in the poll, with former Secretary of State Karen Handel not far behind at 13%. Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun trail with 11% and 9% respectively. 32% are still undecided, which means the race still is unsettled.
More GA-Sen: Rep. Jack Kingston (R) received the endorsement of the US Chamber of Commerce. As Kingston is considered an establishment favorite, the endorsement should come as no surprise. The endorsement could also be an important one for Kingston if they decide to run ads in support of him, particularly in the expensive Atlanta media market.
KS-Sen: If ex-HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is thinking about coming back to Kansas to run for Senate, it's news to state Democratic leaders. Kansas Democratic Party Executive Director Jason Perkey says the news was "completely" out of left field calling it "pure speculation and incredibly poor reporting". This sounds more like some overzealous national Democratic operative that got ahead of things and didn't think through just how unpopular she is in her home state.
MN-Sen: Republican Senate candidate Mike McFadden is the first to go on TV in this year's race, with an ad criticizing some of Sen. Al Franken (D)'s votes, calling them "miss after miss after miss" while a hockey player misfires slap shots. The ad buy is for $9,800 and runs for 10 days on cable in the Twin Cities media market. State Sen. Julianne Ortman, St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg and state Rep. Jim Abeler are also vying for the Republican nomination to take on Franken.
CO-Gov: Former Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) has made it onto the Republican primary ballot, but only barely. Beauprez chose to get on the ballot via getting signatures instead of getting on by receiving at least 30% of the delegate vote at the state Republican Party assembly last weekend. He needed to get 1,500 signatures of Republican voters in each of the state's 7 congressional districts and made it with only 24 signatures to spare in District 1 and 95 to spare in District 5. Former Rep. Tom Tancredo also went the signatures route and made it onto the ballot. Former state Sen. Mike Kopp and Secretary of State Scott Gessler got the required 30% of the vote at the Republican assembly and will also be on the primary ballot.
DE-Gov. 2016/AG 2014: AG Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, will not run for a 3rd term as Attorney General this year, but says he plans to run for governor in 2016. The decision could have ripple effects on other Democrats who may plan to run for governor in 2016(Gov. Jack Markell (D) will be term-limited). LG Matt Denn, a possible candidate, says he may run for AG this year instead, but also did not rule out challenging Biden in the Democratic primary in 2016.
CA-22: Rep. Devin Nunes (R) has no serious opposition this year, so he is instead running a campaign ad calling attention to the water crisis in the San Joaquin Valley and getting the Senate to act on the bill that passed the House which is designed to help alleviate the problem. The ads ask people to join the "Nunes network" and to "work together to fix this injustice once and for all". The ad ran 319 times from February 15 to April 13 in the Fresno market.
IA-3: State Sen. Brad Zaun leads a new poll of the IA-3 GOP primary. Zaun leads with 17% in the poll taken by Loras College with Secretary of State Matt Schultz in 2nd with 8% and 4 other candidates trailing. 58% are still undecided, which means the race has yet to really develop. Zaun's fundraising has been weak compared to the other candidates, and he may be leading now mostly on name recognition from his unsuccessful 2010 run against then-Rep. Leonard Boswell (D).
LA-5: A new poll indicates the recent "Smoochgate" scandal involving Rep. Vance McAllister (R) could be hurting his chances for re-election. A poll by the Glascock Group shows that 51% say they would not vote to re-elect him and he would lose in a rematch with state Sen. Neil Riser (R) by 56%-44%. State Rep. Chris Hazel (R) of Pineville was also tested in a head-to-head with McAllister with Hazel winning 52%-48%.
WV-3: The battle between Rep. Nick Rahall (D) and state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R) has hit the airwaves. Jenkins is running an ad tying Rahall to an ad run by the House Majority Project(a Democratic super PAC) that suggested Jenkins wanted to cut black lung benefits for miners and survivors because he wanted to repeal Obamacare. Factcheck.org called the ad "bogus" and faulted Rahall for the inaccuracy of the ad, although Rahall's campaign legally cannot coordinate with the PAC. The Rahall campaign is up with its own ad featuring the United Mine Workers Association President accusing "billionaires" of "telling lies" about Rahall.
WI-6: An update on who's in and who's out in this seat being left open by retiring Rep. Tom Petri (R). State Sen. Glenn Grothman and state Rep. Duey Strobel are in for the Republicans. State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is out. State Sen. Joe Leibham is still considering the race as is John Hiller, an adviser to Gov. Scott Walker (R). Leibham is considered a possible frontrunner as much of his Senate district coincides with the 6th CD. On the Democratic side, no candidates have yet announced, but potential candidates include Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels, Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris and former state Sen. Jessica King. Democrats will have an uphill battle though in this district that gave Romney 53% of the vote in 2012.
Pres. 2016: Okay, this isn't a real presidential poll. The Washington Free Beacon took a poll pitting billionaire Charles Koch against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Iowa. Koch beats Reid 42%-30% in a hypothetical matchup. Even though the poll is just for fun, it is some indication that Reid's attacks against the Koch brothers are falling flat and not gaining any traction.
Senate Kansas: The DSCC has a crazy idea that outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would be a good candidate for US Senate. Sebelius, who served two terms as Governor of Kansas, is being pushed by national Democrats even though she has awful approval ratings in her home state according to PPP(D).
Oklahoma: Senator Ted Cruz has endorsed former Oklahoma State House Speaker T W Shannon in the Republican primary for US Senate. This is great news for Shannon as he has been busy consolidating establishment and tea party support in Oklahoma.
House NY-??: Bill and Hillary's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, has usually denied an interest in running for elected office, but she has started to move away from this blanket no. Should we have a poll this weekend on where Chelsea should run in 2016?
PA-6: Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello has opened up a near 3 to 1 money advantage on RRR's favorite Democratic candidate, Manan Trivedi. While I can promise my tank has nothing to do with Trivedi's terrible financing numbers, one must wonder if it is really more appropriate to start discussing who replaces Costello on the County Board of Commissioners.
PA-13: Valerie Arkoosh has bought $400,000 of ad space in the week leading up to the late May primary on local TV in the Philadelphia market. This should get Arkoosh, a Allyson Schwartz clone, a nice push before election day.
MI-8: Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing (D) is running to replace retiring Rep. Mike Rogers (R), giving the Democrats a "B" list candidate in this competitive but Republican-leaning district.
Other GOP Primary - Bundy: Republican presidential hopefuls have stayed away from the Cliven Bundy standoff with the Feds. Bundy seems to be too extreme for most Republicans to touch.
Trumka-Warren: AFL-CIO Warlord Richard Trumka likes the idea of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren running for President. He sees her as a prototype of a good president. Warren so far has declined an interest in running, but I think it indicates certain factions of the Democratic Party are not happy with the idea of Hillary getting this by default.
PA-Political Corruption: It sounds like the corruption probe that was obstructed by Attorney General Kane goes far deeper than publicly known at this point. The probe might have implications for a significant number of members of the General Assembly. Hopefully Philly DA Seth Williams keeps up the good work and gets to the bottom of this mess Kane has left him.
Asian Americans: Members of the Obama Coalition are having a hard time getting along regarding Affirmative Action in California. It appears the Asian-American faction of the Coalition has just killed an attempt to amend the California Constitution to permit Affirmative Action. It should not be surprising the biggest misfit in the Obama Coalition would feel this way as it has the most to lose from Affirmative Action.
KY-Sen: Allison Lundergan Grimes (D) has raised an impressive $2.7 Million in the 1st Quarter of 2014, which is more than Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) raised ($2.4 Million). It's clear at this point that neither candidate will hurt for money in what is the Democrats' best offensive shot this cycle.
LA-Sen: Mary Landrieu (D) is out with a new ad, showing footage from what appears to be a comittee hearing on energy and natural gas drilling. However, it's been revealed that it's a mockup, with the Senator repeating the same ideas from a real hearing, but with different wording (she messed up her phrasing in the original). Aside from opening her up to charges of fraud and staging, it makes me wonder why her campaign just couldn't find a different clip from her long Senate Tenure.
MS-Sen: Thad Cochran (R) announced a haul of $1.7 Million this quarter, which is a big step up from his sleepy $340,000 in 4th Quarter 2013. This is a good sign that Cochran is taking his primary challenger, State Senator Chris McDaniel (R) more seriously, as McDaniel outraised him last quarter.
VA-Sen: Ed Gillespie (R) has announced a relatively impressive $2.2 Million haul. Incumbent Senator Mark Warner (D) isn't really in danger (he was an immensely popular former governor and has millions of his own money he can spend), and its unclear whether or not this money would have been better spent in other states.
WV-Sen-2018: Buried in this article about how the Senate might be run if Republicans win this November, is a tidbit where current Senator Joe Manchin (D) says he might run for Governor in 2016 midterm. This would likely make it easier for us to win his Senate seat in 2018, but would probably cost us the Governor race, as Manchin is exactly the sort of Democrat who can win statewide in West Virginia.
CO-Gov: An ethics complaint about incumbent Governor John Hickenlooper (D) has been dismissed. The charges were over an event in Aspen Hickenlooper attended, and his hotel tab was picked up by the DGA. The charge was that this violated the state's influence peddling laws on financial gifts.
HI-Gov: Neil Abercrombie (D) has officially apologized for questioning the words of the late Senator Daniel Inouye (D). Abercrombie however maintains that Inouye left the decision of his successor to the Governor, who picked his own political ally Brain Schatz over the expected and Inouye-backed Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa.
PA-Gov: A Pennsylvania Judge has ruled that Bob Guzzardi (R) has enough signatures to make the ballot for the May 20th primary election. Guzzardi is running against incumbent Tom Corbett (R) from the right, and the petioners (the ones trying to get him off the ballot) are backed by the Pennsylvania Republican Party. They have also vowed to file an appeal to the State Supreme Court to overturn the decision.
FL-13: Alex Sink (D), the former 2010 D Florida Governor candidate and the 2014 FL-13 special election candidate, has announced that she won't run for the Pinellas-county based district this fall. Her announcement has left the Democrats without an obvious candidate for this competitive seat, and has probably increased David Jolly's (R) chances at winning a full term this fall.
NC-12: James Mitchell (D), a Charlotte City Councilman, has announced he's dropping out of the crowded D primary for this Black VRA distrct. Michell has cited his poor fundraising as a reason for dropping out.
WI-6: Wisconsin State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) has announced he's not running for this open seat. Fitzgerald is likely angling for State Senate President as current president Mike Ellis (R) is retiring this year.
NY-Politics: In case you thought Pennsylvania was alone in its signature-challenging ways, you obviously don't know New York Politics. Various state politicans are challenging their opponent's ballot access, particularly in the Staten-Island NY-11 congressional district, along with some various primary challengers. This is all a natural part of the NY political process, which has always been a contact sport.
NY-Mayor/Sen/Congress: Chelsea Clinton has declared that she's potentially interested in running for office one day. I'm not sure the Clinton name is strong enough to catapult her into a Senate seat or Mayor's office as a political newbie, but if Hillary makes a 2016 presidential run, Chelsea will likely have a solid campagin infrastructure ready to go for whatever office she does decide to seek.