GA-Sen: Georgia is on the minds of everyone watching the quickly evolving Senate picture as Democrat Michelle Nunn has some momentum against Republican David Perdue for this open senate seat. Some polling has shown Nunn in the lead, but it is getting more interesting as she is approaching 50%, which would allow her to avoid a runoff.
Millennials: My whining, risk adverse afraid to judge anything generation is souring on the Democrats. I have to say I think the Democrats really get what is coming to them if the millennials don't show up as millennials are a pretty fickle bunch who get their hopes up and smashed pretty easily.
Women and the Dems: The War on Women mantra that has helped the Democrats the last several cycles might be running out of gas and backfiring now. There are some troubling trends afoot regarding their strategy. That said, I don't think they should abandon it from a political perspective. It has worked fine for Gary Peters in Michigan.
State of Democratic Party: Democrats are worried that President Obama will leave the Democratic Party in worst shape than he found it. I am not sure it is common for presidents to leave their party in a better position than they found it. Why else would we see the White House flip so often?
Sleeper Races: Roll Call has a list of 5 races they consider sleepers going into the second to last weekend of the campaign. MA-9 and IA-1/IA-2 are the big sleepers I am watching right now.
Blacks: President Obama brought hope to the African American community in 2008, but things have not went so well since and it appears to be creating a sense of disappointment in the African American community. I think that this is really just a case of sour grapes due to making vague promises that people could read however they wanted to make them feel good. Lesson 1 in politics is to keep expectations low so when you have mild success it looks better.
MI-SEN/MI-GOV: Speaking of fears of depressed African American turnout, President Obama will be making a visit to Detroit on November 1 to rally Democrats for the statewide races the following Tuesday. It seems like there is a sense of worry in Michigan for Democrats regarding African American turnout. This move reinforces it.
NH-Sen: On the other hand, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D) does not want Obama anywhere near New Hampshire campaigning. She wants him to stay in Washington. I would feel the same way if I was her.
Blame Game: The blame game has already begun regarding Democratic retirements causing the Democrats to potentially lose the Senate. While the Democrats still have a chance to hold on to the Senate, it appears it is time to start to throw the retiring under the bus just to get the blame game under the bus throwing activities started.
Programming update: Please look for our House preview for the Northeast and South this afternoon.
Congress CO-Sen: Our friends over at 538 have a look at whether Senator Mark Udall (D) is down and come to the conclusion that the polling is not skewed and that Udall is certainly down.
IA-Sen: State Senator Joni Ernst (R) has brought back the hogs in her latest campaign ad comparing hogs to politicians in DC. Her comparison is really not fair for the hogs.
LA-Sen: It appears both parties are preparing for a December runoff in Louisiana as both have given up the hope of winning outright on the first ballot in November.
States/POTUS Legislative Ratings: Governing Magazine has its final legislative rankings of the cycle. Governing sees the Democrats more at risk this cycle than the Republicans simply because they have more chambers at risk nationally.
AK-Sen: Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has endorsed Republican turned Independent Bill Walker over Governor Sean Parnell (R), whom served as Lt. Governor for Palin. While this has broken down into a race between two Republicans essentially, this might give Parnell some more momentum among those who despise Palin in Alaska.
PA-Lt. Gov/PA-Senate: Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Mike Stack is publicly weighing keeping his state Senate seat if elected Lt. Governor. Stack's logic here is highly problematic as he is comparing himself to two very different occurrences when a vacancy happened during the Lt. Governor's term and a Senator was elevated to the position as a matter of law. Yet again another example of the intellectual deficit you frequently see in the PA General Assembly.
PA-SD-26: The Delaware County Republicans are known for treating every race no matter how close as the defining battle of World War III, the Philly media is going nastier on their opponent union leader John Kane (D). The daughter Kane abandoned has taken to Facebook bashing him and the Kane campaign has handled this all the wrong way, essentially blaming the DelCo Republicans. This is yet another example of why parties backing candidates aggressively should do through background investigations. If you could, I would strap them up to polygraphs if they wanted party money!
Huckabee: Former Arkansas Governor and the most despised Republican in the eyes of the Club for Growth, Mike Huckabee, is making rounds in Iowa in what some see as him building up for a presidential campaign. Like my favorite Rudy Giuliani, he is old news.
Polarization and Strong Parties: Thomas Edsall looks at whether ideological polarization is a function of having weak parties which in term are caused by good government reforms on both sides. Edsall does have a point as the existence of the Prize Patrol in New York keeps the ideological gulf narrower.
We will be previewing competitive House Races in the Midwest and West today at Noon, with previews for House Races in the Northeast and South coming Thursday.
AR-Sen: Memo to all aspiring pols: be careful what you write in your college PoliSci thesis. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) is under fire for his 1985 college writings in which he called the 1957 desegregation of schools in his state "an unwilling invasion."
NJ-1, NJ-3: Rule #1 at La Cosa Norcross: You don't ever go against the family. The Democratic House Majority PAC has triaged Aimee Belgard (D) in the competitive NJ-3 to shift the funds to the bid of Donald Norcross (D), brother of all-powerful local Boss George, in the noncompetetitive deep-blue NJ-1. This is assuredly good news for ex-Randolph Mayor Tom McArthur (R), who now looks like an even more solid favorite to keep the seat in GOP hands.
CA-52: The FBI is investigating a convoluted story involving ex-SD City Councilman Carl DeMaio (R) and a former campaign aide who accused DeMaio of harassment. The aide alleges he was offered $50K in hush money, while DeMaio's camp believes he was behind a break-in at a campaign office that led to a campaign strategy book being turned over to Rep. Scott Peters's (D) camp.
IL-10: Though Michael Bloomberg usually supports Dems, he does have a soft spot for moderate Rs, and he is dropping nearly $2M in ads for ex-Rep. Bob Dold's comeback bid. Dold is thought to be in a very close race with Rep. Brad Schneider (D).
WV-3: Here's a weird one. Rep. Nick Rahall (D) is insinuating that his opponent, D-turned-R State Sen. Evan Jenkins, may not stay a Republican in the House. Why on earth Jenkins would switch to the minority in the House while sitting in a district and state that are stampeding to the right is probably unknown to anyone but Rahall.
NRSC: You'd think that in the 2014 cycle, with the prospect of major GOP gains in the Senate afoot, there would have bene intense competition for the NRSC Chair job. And you'd think in 2016, with oodles of seats to defend and the possibility of major losses, it would not be a hot gig. But yet the job that nobody wanted last cycle is now set to be the subject of a fierce showdown between Sens. Roger Wicker of MS and Dean Heller of NV.
Governor & States:
OH-Gov: Gov. John Kasich (R) is under fire from the right after he appeared to suggest that he would not support a repeal of Obamacare. Kasich has qualified that he supports a repeal of the law except its Medicaid Expansion provision. This answer may not hold water with the 2016 primary electorate though, potentially causing Kasich problems in a presidential run.
DE-Treas: The open-seat race between hotel exec Ken Simpler (R) and Markell aide Sean Barney (D) has turned nasty and personal on both sides, with the two sides trading barbs over Barney's recent attack ad barrage. Internal polling of the race on both sides shows Simpler up.
IA-SoS: Brad Anderson (D), an Obama campaign operative who is now in a tight race against ex-SoS Paul Pate (R) for the open seat, is adding a disclaimer to his YouTube videos. A GOP operative had filed a complaint with the state ethics commission that Anderson's YouTube videos did not include a "this ad paid for by" disclaimer.
NY-Comp: In the only debate between Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (D) and Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci (R), Antonacci attacked DiNapoli for signing off on a $103K secret settlement with victims of perverted ex-State Rep. Vito "Gropez" Lopez (D). DiNapoli is still the overwhelming favorite.
RI-LG: Here's an interesting CW recap of this race, which may be the only competitive one in the country with the Democrat running unambiguously to the right of the Republican on a major issue. Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee (D) is strongly pro-charter schools, and that position has caused most unions to back 2010 SoS nominee and Chaffee admin official Catherine Terry Taylor (R), who is known as a moderate.
NC-SoS '16: SoS Elaine Marshall (D) is appealing a $10K fine from the elections commission for not filing her campaign finance paperwork on time.
AL-State House: State House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) has been indicted on 23 felony corruption counts.