GA-Gov: The WRBL poll has Jason Carter and Nathan Deal tied in the Governor's race.
IL-Gov: Southern Illinois University has Bruce Rauner up 1 point.
MA-Gov: Buried in this Boston Globe poll about current Governor Deval Patrick is a poll of the upcoming Governor election, where Charlie Baker is tied with Martha Coakley 41-41.
MN-Gov: SUSA has Dayton up by 10 points for re-election.
PA-Gov: Magellan has this election much closer than anybody else, with Tom Wolf leading by only 7 points.
TX-Gov: Wendy Davis is up -15 points in a KHOU poll.
WY-Gov: Republican Governor Matt Mead is up 25 points on his challenger, Pete Gosar, according to a local newspaper poll.
AR-1: Talkbuisness has Rick Crawford up 22 points for re-election
AR-2: Talkbuisness also has Democrat Henry Hays up 5 points on Republican French Hill in the Little-Rock based 2nd district.
MI-11: Dave Trott (R) is up 12 points in a Fox/Mitchell poll.
MN-8: SUSA has R challenger Stewart Mills up 8 points over Rick Nolan.
MT-AL: That MSU-Billings poll also has Republican Ryan Zinke up 7 points for the open at-large seat.
NY-19: A Gibson internal poll has him up 26 points over challenger Sean Eldridge.
VA-10: A Citizens United Political Victory Fund (R Group) poll has Barbara Comstock up 51-35 in this NOVA district.
Oakland-Mayor: A poll from the Oakland Chamber of Commerce has incumbent Jean Quan polling terribly (57% Unfavorable rating), and down for re-election. Quan polls decently for the first vote, but her support trails off significantly for the 2nd and 3rd votes, which puts here in 3rd place behind city council members Rebecca Kapaln and Libby Schaaf, with Schaaf getting a recent boost from the endorsement of Governor (and former Oakland Mayor) Jerry Brown. The poll is on page 36/50.
UK-2015: A You Gov poll of the British electorate has Labor up 33-31 over the Tories, with the UKIP taking 19 % of the vote. The Tories are actually holding up quite nicely given that the UKIP was expected to be drawing most of its support from their ranks. With that topline and a significant rise in support for the SNP in Scotland, it's highly likely that the country is heading towards another hung parliament.
AR-Sen, Gov: Bill Clinton wrapped up a three-day campaign tour of his home state yesterday. Early voting starts today.
IA-Sen: "Some farmer from Iowa who never went to law school" has officially become the "legitimate rape" of 2014, as Bruce Braley's remarks from March continue to play on the airwaves in Iowa, this time in a spot narrated by two farmers who do not appear to have law degrees.
MI-Sen: The list of candidates who want Obama on the campaign trail with them this year is very short, and on the Senate side, it's only one: Gary Peters. The rest of Obama's very light campaign schedule is dominated by gubernatorial nominees in blue states (like Anthony Brown in Maryland, who appeared with Obama yesterday).
NC-Sen: A good attack ad from Thom Tillis calls out Kay Hagan for voting for the 2009 stimulus, which just so happened to include a $396K grant to her husband's business. In Hagan's defense she probably would have had to read the bill to find out what's in it.
Ebola Panic: Several candidates--including Scott Brown, Michelle Nunn, and Pat Roberts--made or reiterated calls for travel bans over the weekend. Most notably, Kay Hagan flipped her position from no to yes. Thom Tillis had a nice little strategic win with his very early call for a travel ban, which forced Hagan to get on the record as a "no" at a time when Democrats weren't yet giving the idea any credence.
CA-52: The staff of Scott Peters (D) admitted to having a campaign playbook very, very similar to one that was stolen from the office of Carl DeMaio (R) back in May...but denies ever looking at the book of secrets that apparently collected dust for 5 months. Something smells here.
NE-02: Is Rep. Lee Terry, in an R+5 district, really the GOP incumbent most likely to lose? Internals for both parties have him down, which we haven't heard about Michael Grimm. The NRCC is spending heavily on TV here and just made a carbon copy of H.W.'s famous Willie Horton ad, painting Brad Ashford (D) as soft on crime.
NV-04: Early voting suggests this may be a late-developing race to keep an eye on. Democratic turnout in Clark County, which is 80% of the district, has been abysmal, and a big in-state wave could sink freshman Rep. Steven Horsford. The GOP targeted this seat in 2012 and held Horsford to 50%, and is running an underfunded but credible candidate this year in State Rep. Cresent Hardy.
SuperPACs: AAN and the Congressional Leadership Fund, both well-funded GOP SuperPACs, are playing offense in the final weeks, investing $3 million on a group of mostly second-tier targets: IA-1, HI-1, MA-6, IL-12, FL-26, NY-18, and MN-7. Previously, no GOP groups were targeting the first three of those seats.
IL-Gov: The Chicago Sun-Times, traditionally the more liberal of the city's two major papers, broke its policy no-endorsements policy to back Bruce Rauner. That's a nice get for Rauner after a run of bad polling that has seen him fall a couple points behind odious Gov. Pat Quinn (D).
Texas: SCOTUS upheld the state's new Voter ID law (which includes a strict photo ID requirement). Early voting starts today, which explains why the court quickly churned out this opinion on Saturday morning.
This will be our last regular ratings post before the big pre-election extravaganza in two weeks. We have moved 17 races since we published our September ratings three weeks ago. This month, RRH is projecting a net shift between R+0 and R+12.
15 of our changes are in the GOP's favor:
CA-10 Safe R from Likely R || CO-6 Lean R from Tossup || IA-1 Lean D from Likely D || IL-12 Lean R from Tossup || MA-9 Likely D from Safe D || ME-2 Lean D from Likely D || MI-1 Likely R from Lean R || MI-7 Safe R from Likely R || MI-8 Safe R from Likely R || ND-AL Safe R from Likely R || NV-3 Safe R from Likely R || NY-23 Safe R from Likely R || VA-10 Likely R from Lean R || WI-6 Safe R from Likely R || WV-3 Lean R from Tossup
And just 2 are in Dems' favor:
GA-12 Lean D from Tossup || NE-2 Tossup from Lean R
Congress House Leadership: The Republican House leadership is spreading the cash around to ensure the party expands its majority in the House and expand the good will the leadership has among members and future members.
AR-Sen: RRH favorite Congressman Tom Cotton outraised Senator Mark Pryor by a near 2 to 1 margin. Cotton also has a 3 to 1 margin in the last month.
Crystal Ball: Larry Sabato has made many rankings changes in his latest update. All but one of the rankings, GA-Sen, favors the Republicans and are very similar to our ranking changes.
Ebola/Wall Street/Gloom: The sense that the world is falling apart cannot be good for the Democrats. With the public hysteria over Ebola and the markets reacting to a general sense of gloom and economic fears, things are not shaping up well for the Democrats.
More Ebola: While the issue is fueling the sense of doom around the President, it is also filtering its way down to the individual races with candidates trying to position themselves as taking harder lines against the virus. I am waiting for a candidate on the fringe to say something stupid like ordering the nuking of Liberia to kill the virus.
Campaign Cash: The Hill has a breakdown of the campaign cash winners and losers for the 3rd quarter and how it could impact races down the stretch.
Hispanics: A continuing mantra that I am not sure will play out, but it appears more likely to play out is Hispanics souring on the President and Democrats for not being able to deliver anything over the last 6 years.
IA-Sen: Senator Tom Harkin continues to sit on $2.4 million of campaign funds and will not transfer them to the DSCC to aid in the defense of his former Senate seat as Congressman Bruce Braley (D) continues to flail in the wind. Instead Harkin is giving the money to charity.
States CO-Gov: Unaffiliated candidate for Governor, Mike Dunafon, is receiving support for his pot loving campaign from Bill O'Reilly's favorite rapper of all time, Snopp Dog. Dunafon is the only candidate running who supports the voters decision to legalize pot in Colorado. I am surprised Snopp Dog has not relocated to Colorado yet!
PA-HD-158: The Commonwealth Court has upheld its own initial plan for permitting Chester County Republicans to substitute current State Rep Chris Ross for Republican nominee Cuyler Walker on the November ballot. Democrats have challenged the initial Commonwealth Court ruling permitting Ross to be placed on the ballot after the deadline. Not surprising as the Commonwealth Court has pretty much taken the loosest interpretation of ballot access rules as of late. FYI this is my legislative district.
PA-Supremes: State Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCafferty has admitted to sending pornographic emails and has said sorry, but he took his apology as a chance to further his feud with Chief Justice Ronald Castille. In case you did not now, Castille and McCafferty will not be sharing Christmas cards and probably have never shared such warm pleasantries.
Very slow polling day today... but we have a big announcment: RRH will be poling AZ-2 next week. Results will be out a week from this Monday, on October 27.
CO-Sen: Quinnipiac has Cory Gardner (R) up 49-44 on Mark Udall (D), or 47-41-8 when the third party candidate is included. Gardner has clearly pulled into a lead here.
CA-52: A weird SUSA poll does not test the horserace but finds Carl DeMaio's (R) favorables slipping to 34/38 with "adults" (not even RV's) in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations.
MN-07: An internal for Torrey Westrom (R) has him up 44-43. Dem internals have Collin Peterson (D) well ahead, but both parties are spending like this is a tight race.
NJ-02: Monmouth has longtime Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R) up 56-35. There had been some weird rumors that perennial overperformer LoBo was vulnerable in his swing district, but it looks to be more of the same this fall.
MA-Gov: Rasmussen has Baker (R) up 48-46. Polling continues to be all over the place on this race.
AR-Sen: Rasmussen has Cotton up 47-44, though they don't have it as a seperate page yet (Their "read more" link takes you to their Septemeber poll of the race) They now have the correct page up.
Congress Ebola: The Hill does not use the dramatic language I have been using, but the Ebola crisis has the ability to be President Obama's Iraq and Katrina wrapped up into one vicious package that forever undermines his presidency.
NY-24: Republicans have turned their attention to a race that was largely off the radar a month or two ago, NY-24. National Republicans are touting the chances of John Katko and are infusing cash into his effort to unseat Congressman Dan Maffei.
PA-6: Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello raised over $500k in the 3rd quarter and has $725k cash on hand heading down the home stretch. Soon to be 3 time PA-6 loser Manan Trivedi has not released his report. RRH ranks this race Safe R.
PA-8: Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick has $2.1 million COH going into next month's election. His opponent, Kevin Strouse, has not released his numbers yet, but Fitzpatrick had a significant advantage going into the 3rd quarter already. RRH rates this race Safe R.
POTUS/States Warren-2016: The Hill gives 5 reasons that Senator Elizabeth Warren might run for President in 2016. I expect her not to run unless Hillary runs. If Hillary does not run, every Democrat available will be running.
FL-Gov: Former Governor Charlie Crist and Governor Rick Scott almost did not debate last night as Scott refused to take the stage initially as Crist had a fan at his feet. Scott eventually took the stage though. These guys are just not the most likable people.
MA-Gov: Former Democratic Attorney General Tom Reilly has came to the defense of Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker on claims he outsourced work to India as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim. Reilly says Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley is taking cheap shots against Baker, who Reilly worked to save Harvard Pilgrim a decade ago. Martha is just not a bright person when it comes to angering fellow Democrats.
PA-House Mugging: Typically our coverage of the PA House of Representatives is limited to crimes committed by members, but today we have crimes committed against members. Two members of the Democratic caucus were attacked by a pack of muggers in Harrisburg with one getting into a gunfight with the pack. State Reps Marty Flynn and Rep. Ryan Bizzarro excaped without injury as Flynn returned fire.
PA-Supreme Court: Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCafferty sent over 200 pornographic emails and had over 1500 pornographic emails in his account. McCafferty is now under investigation by the Supreme Court and the Judicial Conduct Board, which have the power to suspend him.
AR-Sen: Mark Pryor called Tom Cotton entitled again in the debate on Monday. Pryor claimed that Cotton’s quick jump from his House seat to the Senate race showed that the congressman is ambitious and interested only in personal power. Cotton shot back that Arkansas deserves a Senator who will stand up to Obama, and hit Pryor for supporting Obamacare.
GA-Sen: Both the Republicans and the Democrats are funneling late money into Georgia, which could mean one of two things. Either both sides are seeing this election as being closer than we expect it to be, or they simply think that their $ will go farther here than in some of the other, far more ad-saturated states. Either way, this race could very well head to a runoff election in January. Nunn is clearly hoping that Perdue’s recent statement supporting outsourcing will help swing this race towards her.
IA-Sen: I don’t normally put much stock in early ballot returns, but the numbers in Iowa look promising. Democrats as usual have a lead on ballots requested and returned, but their lead is considerably smaller than it was in 2012 or even 2010. At the very least, this makes me think the Ernst campaign is fielding a solid ground game, which is good to know heading into the final stretch of election season. In other Iowa news, the Iowa Libertarian candidate was killed in a plane crash Monday night.
KY-Sen: Unlike Georgia, the DSCC is pulling its ads here. Kentucky seems to have become the political equivalent of Verdun, with sides spending massive amounts of resources for what is effectively no change, though it seems like McConnell has climbed into a small but solid polling lead. Part of the money heading to Georgia is coming from here.
NC-Sen: In your daily dose of polling nerdyness, we have a good example of why you don’t trust sub-sample data in public polls without significant respondents, especially when it’s from SUSA. The SUSA poll that gave Tillis his first lead in weeks had the Republican up double-digits with North Carolina Hispanic voters. However, they consisted of only 6% of respondents, which comes out to about 33 people total. That means his double-digit lead comes from getting only a few more “Hispanic” votes than Hagan, with a massive margin of error on the result.
SD-Sen: Some of the reasons this race has gotten closer in recent days are Rounds’ EB-5 scandal and the unique 3-way race in the state, but it seems a key part of it is Rounds’ lackluster campaign. Rounds has rasied paltry sums for a competitive Senate race, assembled a campaign team of loyalists and holdovers from his easy elections as governor, and ran poorly designed and received ads. Now facing down millions in outside D spending, he is playing catchup in what was supposed to be a walk-in election, and is up against a very lop-sided set of ad buys against him. Rule #1 of politics people—Run unopposed, or Run Scared.
AR-Gov: Reports are in that the DGA is cutting bait here. This is probably our best shot at a pickup this cycle, and the fact that the DGA is backing out seems to confirm that. This can’t be good news for Pryor, who could have used to help for his Senate bid.
MA-Gov: In what is becoming an unfortunate trend for her, Martha Coakley can’t seem to seal the deal against a Republican in the Bay State. Specifically, she’s having trouble winning over usually reliable D voters in her bid to become Massachusetts’ first Female Governor. The holdouts are likely Grossman supporters still sour about the primary and open to voting for the relatively inoffensive Republican Charlie Baker instead. If Coakley wants to avoid the distinction of blowing two easy statewide wins, she needs to convince the holdouts that she’d be an effective governor, something she has yet to do.
OR-Gov: Kitzhaber’s Fiancée’s scandals continue to mount, as it was revealed that she purchased land in 1997 in order to grow pot. It’s still up in the air whether or not this will rub off on the Governor, who’s sitting on a comfortable but not insurmountable polling lead, but so far it doesn’t seem to be portraying him as anything worse than a poor judge of character.
DCCC: The DCCC is out with their latest ad buys, which are focused mostly on playing defense. 75% of their targets are D-held seats, and of the R-held ones only AR-2, FL-2, and IA-3 are seeing more than $200,000. It seems like the Democrats are resigning themselves towards minimizing their potential losses ahead of 2016 rather than going after Republicans.
NY-11: If you wanted to see what a bar fight looks like in political form, look no further than Staten Island. Embattled Republican Michael Grimm is being viciously attacked by the Democrats over his indictment, to the point where it’s becoming the only thing they’re talking about. The article suggests that it’s gotten so bad that it might be creating sympathy for Grimm, who hasn’t been convicted of anything and deserves a fair trial first. No matter who wins this seat, it will almost certainly be competitive in 2016 as well.
Chicago-Mayor: Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teacher’s Union, is reportedly suffering from brain cancer and won’t run for mayor next year. This probably isn't good news for unpopular Mayor Rahm Emanuel however, as Lewis was polarizing enough to give him an avenue to victory despite his terrible poll numbers. We’ll have to see who decides to take the plunge now.
Providence-Mayor: In one of the more interesting local races this cycle, former mayor Buddy Cianci’s comeback attempt is being opposed by a number of Rhode Island’s top attorneys. The prosecutors are trying to raise the profile on Cicanci’s multiple convictions, claiming that he ran the city hall as his own criminal enterprise. The fact that he’s leading in the polls despite that fact points to just how fondly Providence remembers his two tenures as mayor, corruption or not.
TX-Voter-ID: Texas’s voter ID law is back on the books, as a higher court has stayed the decision to declare it invalid. Expect more appealing and counter-appealing on this issue until it hits either the Texas Supreme court or the US Supreme court.