AK-Sen: An AFL-CIO Poll has Begich up by 4, but with high undecideds.
CO-Sen: A new group, Project New America, is out with a poll showing Incumbent Senator Udall up 2 points on his challenger Cory Gardner. The group looks like a Left-wing advocacy group, so we can probably treat their polls as D internals.
CO-Sen-2: Suffolk is out with a poll showing Republican Cory Gardner up by 1.
LA-Sen: Gravis has 43-30-14 Landrieu-Cassidy-Maness.
WI-Gov: Marquette is out with a poll that shows Walker and Burke tied amoung RVs, with Walker nabbing a narrow 3-point lead amoung LVs. This makes more sense than their last poll, with Walker leading RVs but losing LVs.
WI-Gov-2: Ras is also out with a poll showing Walker up 2 with Likely Voters.
IL-12: Republican Mike Bost (Of Springfield Rant fame) has decided to embrace the label the Democrats are trying to put on him in his latest ad. He’s angry—he’s angry about what Pat Quinn has done, what Obama has done, and what National Democrats have done. All in all this is a pretty good ad for this sort of district.
NC-Sen-2016: Burr has officially denied all the rumors of a potential retirement, and has said that he’s planning on running for re-election in 2016. That’s good for us, as we want to lock down as many 2016 Senate seats as we can early, and Burr is decently popular in the state. Also, the Democrat’s top potential recruit, former Charlotte mayor and current Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, has privately and publicly denied interest in running for the seat, citing Burr’s support of his nomination.
NY-11: Well, I have to admit I didn’t see this coming. Michael Grimm, the Staten Island congressman currently indicted for fraud, is leading his opponent, New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia 44-40. Grimm was considered the most vulnerable Republican incumbent of the cycle (and second to only CA-31 in likelihood of a Democratic pickup), so this is a rather remarkable comeback for the Congressman. It’s also the latest in a string of good congressional news for us from New York State (R’s on the offensive in NY-24, great polling from NY-21 and NY-19). Here’s to hoping that continues in the Siena NY-1 poll that will be released today.
MI-1: The NRCC is spending $1 Million here defending Republican Dan Benishek. Benishek had a surprisingly close race in 2012, but this seems unusual as I figured we put away this district when the generic ballot swung 5 points or so our way. The in-house polling here must be bad for us for the NRCC to drop that much on it.
Money: Democrats are outspending Republicans in almost every competitive Congressional and Senate race lately. The map in the link does a pretty good job showing the extent of the gap, with Republicans only up in New Hampshire and some of the states the Democrats have all but conceded.
WV-3: Nick Rahall has (well, now "had") a staffer with a very anti-Israel facebook page. This goes beyond the normal pro-Palestine boilerplate stuff and includes a picture of him posing with an AK-47 wearing a keffiyeh that he claims identifies him as an “enemy of Zionism”. This is latest in a new kind of scandal, the “Staffer doing something stupid on social media” category that has popped up over the last few cycles.
IL-Gov: In case you were wondering why Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) was polling so terribly, this is a good example. Quinn’s 2010 anti-violence program is under federal investigation for inappropriate use of funds, and Republican candidate Bruce Rauner has accused the Governor of using it as a political slush fund to pay backers to boost turnout in downtown Chicago in his initial 2010 re-election. This hits particularly hard since a big part of Quinn’s 2010 platform was to fight corruption in Illinois after the Blago fiasco.
MA-Gov: The only way Republicans can win in Massachusetts is by peeling away parts of the D base, and it looks like Baker is doing just that. He’s gotten an endorsement from the D mayor of Quincy, along with a non-non-endorsement from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, which are the sort of things Republicans need to win statewide. Combine that with Coakley’s unimpressive primary win and her 2010 loss weighing down her expectations, and you have the making of a winnable race for the Republicans.
Early Voting: This is a great site to keep track of each state’s early voting returns and data.
CA-Sos: Well this was unexpected. The LA Times has endorsed the Republican running for this office, Pete Peterson. Peterson is up against Democrat Alex Padilla, who the paper thinks is more interested in using the office as a stepping stone to something else. The LA Times mentions Peterson's past efforts to increase voter engagement in their endorsement, and claims that he’s got the better non-partisan credentials for the office.
Republican Branding: Stu Rothenberg takes a look at how the Republican Party’s national image has improved since last year’s shutdown.
Oakland-Mayor: Jean Quan, the incumbent mayor, is down 39-61 to challenger Rebecca Kaplan in a head-to-head election. Quan is most famous for taking a hard line against the Occupy Oakland protesters back in 2011, which made her a persona non grata in a city that’s even more Liberal than San Francisco. The city uses a ranked system, so the field of 14 candidates will eventually get thinned down to 2, though Kaplan isn't necessarily guarenteed the 2nd spot.
Pres-2016: John Hunstman is rumored to be considering an Indy bid for president.
Senate: Politico takes a look at which Republican senators would likely lead committees if the party takes the majority.
IA-Sen: Bill Clinton came to campaign for Bruce Braley (D) over the weekend, but ended up getting more press for his rambling range of topics including marijuana, Woodstock, Haiti and cattle, and for calling Braley "Bruce Bailey" at the end of the speech.
CA-26: Democrats are apparently becoming increasingly worried about this seat. The DCCC is increasing their investment in the district and privately Democrats are saying Rep. Julia Brownley (D) is in a dead heat with state Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R). Although Brownley has a big cash advantage over Gorell, Democrats are concerned because a large percentage of Democratic voters in the district often stay home in non-presidential election years.
MI-11: Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R), who lost to David Trott in the Republican primary by almost 2-1, is considering filing as an official write-in candidate for the November election. Bentivolio is rejecting calls for unity saying he has no loyalty to the party and doesn't seem concerned about splitting the vote and giving Democratic candidate Bobby McKenzie a chance to win and actually sounds like he would welcome it. Considering his lackluster primary campaign though, his impact as a write-in candidate would probably be minimal.
PA-6/PA-8: Democrats' failure in these two seats is being seen as a sign of their problems nationally. They are the type of moderate, suburban seats that the party needs to be able to win to do well nationally, but their candidates in the two seats had difficult primary races, trail badly in fundraising and are fighting headwinds with President Obama's poor poll numbers. The party's chance in both seats have recently been downgraded by analysts with Charlie Cook moving PA-6 from lean to likely R and Stuart Rothenberg moving PA-8 to safe R.
NE-Gov/LG: Libertarian candidate for governor Mark Elworth is challenging in court the ruling of Secretary of State John Gale in allowing State Auditor Mike Foley to replace now ex-LG Lavon Heidemann as Pete Ricketts' running mate on the ballot. Elworth said he initially did not expect to file a challenge because he expected the Democratic Party to do so. For their part, state Democratic Party chairman Vince Powers said they didn't file a challenge "because Chuck is going to win".
NY-Gov: Political insiders are saying that New York Mayor Bill De Blasio (D) could challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) if he runs for a 3rd term in 2018 and would likely beat him. De Blasio is said to be very ambitious and expressed an interest in being governor, and his ambition is being compared to Cuomo's father Mario, who as LG in 1982 forced Gov. Hugh Carey (D) to retire by threatening to run against him in the primary.
WI-Gov: Democrats have outspent Gov. Scott Walker (R) on broadcast TV over the summer, a change from the 2012 recall campaign when Walker outspent his opponents on broadcast TV by about 2-1. Although the Walker campaign has spent more on broadcast TV than the campaign of Mary Burke (D), spending by a group funded by organized labor has allowed the combined forces to outspend Walker.
KY-Gov 2015: Unsuccessful Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin is strongly considering a run for governor next year. For now, Bevin appears to be trying to curry favor among Republican voters by attending fundraisers for Republican state House candidates. If he gets in the race, he would join state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner in the GOP primary.
Pres. 2016: Here's a name hardly anybody would have expected to hear connected to the race for the Republican presidential nomination: Bob Ehrlich. The former Maryland Governor and congressman was in New Hampshire over the weekend, appearing at several events. Ehrlich appeard at the events at the invitation of a New Hampshire businessman who says he thinks Ehrlich could be a dark horse candidate.
TN-AG: Herbert Slatery (R) has been appointed Attorney General for an 8 year term by the state Supreme Court, becoming the first Republican ever to hold the post. Slatery was chosen in a unanimous vote over 5 other candidates, including current AG Robert Cooper. Slatery was seen as a compromise choice between Cooper and another candidate favored by LG Ron Ramsey (R).
2016: Clinton leading Biden by ... 49 points. Clinton will look like a sure thing until the campaign really starts.
More 2016: Paul leading the field by 6 at only 15%. Still, it's not good for Christie to be in the middle of the second tier pack, considering his route to the nomination runs through NH.
MI-Sen: Peters 43, Land 41. Good to see this isn't out of reach yet.
GA-Sen: Nunn 46, Perdue 43. Nunn isn't going to pull this out. And fortunately GHWB is getting in the action for Perdue.
AR-Sen: Cotton 47, Pryor 43. Cotton wins this thing but it will never not be close. No Blanche Lincolns this cycle.
NC-Sen: Hagan 45, Tillis 41. Hagan has the big mo, unfortunately.
NH-Sen: Brown 48, Shaheen 48. This one's big. Brown needs to peak just at the right time to win this one though. On the other hand, in polls I trust less, Rasmussen has it 48-42. Link here. And Magellan has it at 46-44, Brown. Link here.
NM-Sen: Udall 51, Weh 38. This one isn't looking within reach, folks.
MN-Sen: Franken 49, McFadden 36. This is our "reach" state at this point. The last seat that could conceivably fall in a wave of epic proportions.
DE-Sen: Coons 49, Wade 34. Coons is below 50! But seriously, I would have liked to see the numbers on a hypothetical Castle-Coons rematch.
HI-Sen: Schatz 60, Cavasso 28. The bloody primary isn't helping the GOP here at all. Rasmussen learned it's lesson in 2010 and won't show this one close.
MI-Gov: Snyder 46, Schauer 41. Snyder still in the lead despite recent polls.
NM-Gov: Martinez 54, King 38. In my caucasion heart I knew this would never be close.
GA-Gov: Pick whichever poll you like, but for this race there's enough polling that I'd advise taking the RCP average, which has it around 45-42 Deal.
Rasmussen: Dems 41, GOP 38. A sign of Ras's Dem bias this cycle? Or are Dem attacks getting through? Bear in mind that D+3 on the generic ballot is essentially a stand-pat election in the House.
AK-Sen: Nate Silver took Alaska polling to task over the weekend, extending the CW narrative from "Alaska polls are terrible" to "Alaska polls are terrible because they always significantly underestimate Republicans." Silver's venerated model thus gives Dan Sullivan (R) a significantly larger lead than the polling average does.
LA-Sen: Sen. Mary Landrieu reimbursed taxpayers the $33,000 she used to charter a private plane to campaign events on government time. The Ethics Committee has not yet taken up the matter, and this may make them less likely to do so.
CT-05: As Gov. Dan Malloy (D) struggles statewide, he's extremely unpopular in the state's most conservative district. Republicans are now trying to tie Rep. Elizabeth Esty to Malloy in hopes of boosting businessman Mark Greenberg, who has flown under the radar for much of this cycle but could ride to an upset on Tom Foley's coattails.
MN-02: Bill Maher has decided to quixotically target Rep. John Kline (R) by dumping a lot of money into this race, apparently unaware that Democrats aren't even targeting Kline seriously.
MN-08: Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL) is showing every symptom of an aging Congressman unexpectedly facing his first competitive race in decades: ignoring talking points, refusing to fundraiser, using awkward hyperboles, and so on. But Nolan just returned to the House by winning a competitive race in 2012, so Democrats are particularly troubled by his lack of poise. Nolan admitted over the weekend that his polling is showing a tie with GOP nominee Stewart Mills.
NY-24: The NRCC is on the air surprisingly early in this light-blue district, running a spot that both attacks Rep. Dan Maffei (D) and boosts GOP nominee John Katko. You may recall that Maffei was upset in 2010 by Ann Marie Buerkle, who came out of nowhere in the closing weeks to pull off one of the night's most surprising results. The NRCC apparently has reason to believe Maffei--who has only cleared 50% once in his 4 bids for this seat--is ripe for another upset.
IN-Gov: Evan Bayh (D), who served two terms as governor and two in the Senate, confirmed that he won't run for governor again in 2016. That's hardly a surprise, as Bayh has made his home in DC since 1999, and has all his campaign funds tied up in a federal account.
OH-Gov: It's becoming hard to tell which Ed FitzGerald stories are the product of pathological lying, and which are merely general incompetence. This weekend we learned that FitzGerald once denied that he had ever received a traffic ticket while running for City Council...on the same day that he pleaded guilty in court to his third traffic ticket in 8 years. And we still have seven more weeks of FitzGerald stories before he goes away for good!
California: The "Six Californias" initiative, which would have split the Golden State into 6 and likely netted Democrats a few more Senators, has failed to make the 2016 ballot.
Scotland: The Scottish independence vote is this Thursday; four polls of the race came out this weekend with the independence measure trailing in three.
Congress KS-Sen: The Kansas Supreme Court will hold argument next week whether Democratic nominee Chad Taylor will remain on the ballot as instructed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach or not. Taylor is attempting to have his name removed from the ballot, in a move almost everyone agrees is to boost a third party candidate.
PA-1/PA-2: To give you an idea how inconsequential these races are, the Philly Daily News has buried two comical and depressing stories about the poor souls running against Congressmen Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah after a story on how Corbett's political career is more dead than a deer hit 10 times by semis on the Turnpike.
Senate: NRSC Vice Chairman for Finance Senator Rob Portman says the Republicans will be on the offensive down the home stretch as he does not see any Republican held seriously in contention. Being nearly exclusively on the offensive is great for the Republicans, but not great for the Democrats.
MI-12: Congressman John Dingell has been released from the hospital after being hospitalized a few days ago for abdominal pain. Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress ever, is retiring this year after being a member of the House since 1955.
States/Other Biden 2016: Vice President Joe Biden is making his way to Iowa right after Democratic 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Biden will be working on get out the vote efforts and in particular will be appearing with social justice focused nuns. Feel free to submit your jokes about Biden being on a bus full of nuns.
Teachout: Bold Progressives over at the Huffington Post are having a wet dream by pushing failed NY Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout to run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Basically they think Teachout's strong performance against Governor Andrew Cuomo gives her a launching pad.
Return of the Neocons: In a move that will make myself, MosheM, and Andyroo warm at heart, the American people are moving away with their flirtation with libertarianism and civil liberties and embracing their love of national security. Somewhere our Dark Lord, Dick Cheney is enjoying this as well.
Web Access and Mobile Devices: Politico has an interesting piece on how campaigns are suffering from bad mobile sites. As someone who does the bulk of his political reading on an iPhone, this is a big issue. One of the reasons we keep this site simple is because it works on mobile devices as is pretty well.