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.
~The RRH Moderators: BostonPatriot, Daniel Surman, GoBigRedState, Greyhound, James_Nola, Right Reformer, Ryan_in_SEPA, and Shamlet.
Problems logging into your account? Inside information? Complaints? Compliments? E-Mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We check it often!
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.
Statewide row officers often get short shrift in the national political media due to their parochial nature, but they are highly important races. Even discounting LGs elected on a ticket, 17 current Governors previously served as row officers, as did 21 sitting Senators. The offices are extraodinarily diverse, from easily-recognizable posts like Attorney General to ones as strange and obscure as State Mine Inspector. In power they range from offices more powerful than many Governors (TX-LG) to sinecures with no duties (WI-SoS and WI-Treas). And this year's races range from unopposed incumbents to red-hot races that are top priorities for state and even national parties.
Today we look at them all - our first look at downballot statewide executive officer ratings for LG, AG, SoS, Treasurer, Comptroller, Auditor, and more. These are a little rougher than our usual ratings because many of these races don't get much press outside their home states. But we'll do the best we can. Flip over for the full ratings post...
Georgia: As the quarterly hauls really start dropping today, many of the largest fundraising warchests are leaked early. Democratic US Senate candidate Michele Nunn has one of the best, with $2.4 million raised in the first quarter of the year. Of course leaked numbers do not give us CoH, so keep an eye out for that when we round up quarterly fundraisng results.
Virginia: Many statewide office-holders in Virginia were born out of state, so does it matter Ed Gillespie (R) is from New Jersey. Even his opponent, incumbent Mark Warner, hails from Indiana. More importantly, Gillespie is running against Warner and still faces huge odds for that reason alone.
Colorado: We did not note it last week, but the state convention also cleared the Republican primary ballot for Rep. Cory Gardner, eliminating state Senator Randy Baumgarner from the ballot.
Minnesota: A KSTP/SurveyUSA poll has Senator Al Franken's approval ratings at 46%-42%. Oddly, this survey covers adults and registered voters.
Arkansas: An Anzalone Liszt (read: DSCC internal) poll has incumbent Mark Pryor (D) leading Rep. Tom Cotton (R) 48%-45%. But with no crosstabs, be wary.
Hawaii: Conspiracy theories about deceased political rivals are touchy, right? Pull out the popcorn for when this makes its way into one of Aiona's attack ads against Governor Neal Abercrombie (D).
Minnesota: The SurveyUSA poll also has Governor Dayton's approval ratings at 49%-40%, a slight downtick from the last SurveyUSA poll.
VA-10: Another big haul for a candidate is Barbara Comstock (R), whose NoVa distict helped cough up $750k in one quarter.
MN-6: Concerning bit here. As expected, former state Rep. Tom Emmer (R) clinched the party endorsement Saturay against Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah. He faces a primary with Sivarajah still in office, but it's the third candidate we need to watch: former state Rep. Phil Krinkie. Krinkie is now floating a possible third party run on either the Constitution or Independence Party lines. If Krinkie throws more of his own money into the pot and runs third party, it could give us needless headaches about this seat through November.
MT-AL: Democrat John Lewis pulled in $300k with $511k CoH for his uphill congressional race, which we have rated at Likely Republican.
FL-19: Are there focus groups or internal polling that shows this works? Pulling a page from Richard Tisei's playbook in 2012, businessman Curt Clawson has a 30-second af showing a tranquil beach, backed by $110k.
MI-14: State Senator Bert Johnson is out of the Democratic primary to succeed Rep. Gary Peters, who is running for US Senate, and is instead running for re-election. The seat is safe Democrat.
LA-5: Ex-Grant Parish DA Ed Tarpley is in the race against kissing congressman Vance McAllister (R). Meanwhile, former Rep. Rodney Alexander is out and staying put at his new job with veterans affairs in Governor Jindal's administration.
LA-6: The lizard probably won't make it back to Congress. Edwin Edwards (D) trails Republican Paul Dietzel 48%-39% in an internal poll by JMC Analytics. 52% say they don't want Edwards- which is a problem in a race destined for a runoff. Live by the jungle primary, die by the jungle primary.
State & Local
Iowa: Oofta. Even if Iowa Republicans overperform in November, they only have so much upside with bad legislative recruiting. Iowa Republicans failed to field a candidate in a party record 32 districts in 2014. The article notes that this beats the past record of empty seats by 40%.
While many of the empty seats are safe Democrat, others were competitive last cycle. A convention can provide a candidate later, but realistically many of these races are now lost opportunities.
Texas: With several races and the Lt. Governor's race making it certain the two-thirds rule (which helped Democrats) will be eliminated in the Texas Senate, House Speaker Joe Straus is likely the last chokepoint left to kill conservative legislation in the state.
Nevada: I'm not sure what to make of this state convention, which looks like a mixed bag that took way too long. I'm also skeptical of endorsements with overractive nominating committees and too low of thresholds to endorse (50% here), but at least they endorsed Governor Sandoval by secret ballot (which almost didn't happen). The party also eliminated gay marriage and abortion opposition from its platform.
WA-Senate: Republicans maintain a tenuous majority backed by two Democratic legislators here. However, one of those Democrats, Majority Leader Rodny Tom, is retiring with concerns for him and his father's health. While Democrats have a solid recruit they now have the chance to upgrade, while Republicans need to find a candidate.
OK-Sen-C: Right at the filing deadline, Dems got a candidate for this race in OKC State Sen. Connie Johnson. Johnson, a staunch liberal, should pose little threat in the general to any of the three Republcians running, Rep. James Lankford, State House Speaker TW Shannon, and ex-State Sen. Randy Brogdon.
MS-Sen: State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), challenging Sen. Thad Cochran in the GOP primary, is under fire for some insensitive (and just plain stupid) comments he made on talk radio in 2006.
AR-Sen: Rep. Tom Cotton (R) is calling for five Lincoln-Douglas style (without moderators) debates with Sen. Mark Pryor (D).
CO-Gov, CO-AG: The GOP field for Colorado Governor shrunk by one this weekend, as State Sen. Greg Brophy was not able to get enough support at the GOP convention to make the primary ballot. Two other Republican candidates, SoS Scott Gessler and ex-State Sen. Mike Kopp, were allowed onto the ballot at the convention, while two more, ex-Reps. Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo, chose the alternate route of filing petitions. In the race for AG, prosecutor Cynthia Coffman fell just short of clinching the GOP nomination and will face a primary with State Rep. Mark Waller.
SC-Gov: Ex-Democratic State Rep. Tom Ervin has switched from challenging Gov. Nikki Haley in the GOP primary to running as an Indie in the general election against Haley and State Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D). Ervin could pull GOP votes from anti-Haley Republicans in the general and potentially spoil a very close race.
PA-Gov: State Treasurer Rob McCord (D)'s stepbrother is blasting the candidate for downplaying the role McCord's stepfather played in his adolescence, in order to play up his "humble roots" as the child of a single mother. While McCord was raised by a single mom for several years in his early childhood, he had a strong father figure in his stepfather from age 11 on.
WATN: Ex-CT Gov. John Rowland apparently missed being locked up, because after serving 10 months in the pokey for malfeasance in office after his 2004 resignation, he has been indicted again. Rowland allegedly did work for the CT-5 campaign of 2012 candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley, who lost in the GOP primary. However, Rowland and Wilson-Foley attempted to conceal the former's involvement with the campaign in violation of FEC rules.
WI-6: As expected, State Rep. Duey Strobel (R) is jumping into this race after GOP Rep. Tom Petri's retirement. Strobel will face at least State Sen. Glenn Grothman, and likely many others, in the GOP primary. State Sen. Joe Liebham (R) and Walker aide John Hiller (R) are also on record as considering the race.
CO-4: There was more GOP convention fun in the 4th district, where State Sen. Scott Renfroe scored a momentum boost by narrowly besting heavily favored Weld DA Ken Buck in delegate support (both will be allowed onto the ballot). The Renfroe surge came after a last-minute infusion from delegates supporting Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer, who petitioned her way onto the ballot instead. Kirkmeyer and Renfroe are vocal supporters of fetal personhood, which was a key issue at the convention. Four candidates, Buck, Kirkmeyer, Renfroe, and 2006 RI-Sen candidate Steve Laffey (who also petitioned his way onto the ballot), will meet in the GOP primary for the Safe R seat.
IL-1: Rep. Bobby Rush (D) is under an ethics investigation concerning the whereabouts of a $1M grant given to his nonprofit organization a decade ago to build a community center (which was never completed).
MA-6: An Emmerson College Poll shows Rep. John Tierney (D) with a large lead in his Dem primary, but tied at 44 with 2012 opponent Richard Tisei (R).
NY-4: Nassau DA Kathleen Rice (D) hauled in a mammoth $1.5M for her congressional campaign, suggesting the Nassau GOP machine's decision to punt this theoretically-winnable seat may have been well-advised. The good news is that money going to Rice isn't going to many other Dems who probably need it more.
NY-13: A second Hispanic candidate, Some Dude Yolonda Garcia, has entered this D primary. Adding another Hispanic name on the ballot in a de facto two-way race between Rep. Charlie Rangel and Dominican-American State Sen. Adriano Espaillat likely only helps Rangel try to hang onto his seat. Meanwhile, in a bizarre statement, Rangel now says he does not want the race to be decided on qualifications.
NY-21: Bush 43 aide Elise Stefanik (R) has secured the nomination of the Conservative Party for this race. As her primary opponent, 2010/12 nominee Matt Doheny, has himself scored a third-party nomination (that of the Independence Party) someone is going to have to play nice to avoid a three-way general election after the primary.
NY-22, etc: Filing closed for federal races last week in NYS, and Dems did not field a candidate against Rep. Richard Hanna (R). As party officials can gift the line to whomever they choose if no one files, it's not inconcievable to think that Hanna may run on the Dem line if he loses his primary to the more conservative State Rep. Claudia Tenney (R). A full list of candidate filings from districts spanning more than one county is at the link.
State & Local:
OK-everything: Four years removed from holding the offices, Dems did not even bother to field candidates for Oklahoma AG, Treasurer, Auditor, and Insurance Commissioner. The only OK Statewide race that looks even mildly competitive is for Superintendent, where a competitive GOP primary could give Dems a slight opening. Click the link for all filed candidates.
PA-AG, etc: Philly DA Seth Williams (D) will take up the legislative sting investigation that AG Kathleen Kane (D) torpedoed as allegedly unfair to African-American legislators. Williams, who is black, has been sharply critical of Kane's handling of the case.
CT-LD-61: The GOP picked up this R+4 State Rep. seat on Friday, as Tami Zawistowski (R) picked up the seat by a 58-42 margin after losing in 2012.
Here's a late retirement that doesn't come as a huge surprise, as insiders had been murmuring recently that Petri was only 50/50 to run again. Via Petri's office:
U.S. Representative Tom Petri (R-WI) will make a statement on Monday, April 14, at his town hall meeting in Neenah, Wisconsin, announcing that he will not be a candidate for re-election to Congress.
In addition to his age (soon to be 74) and length of service (36 years), Petri had a pair of reasons to call it quits. First, despite a generally clean record, he was facing a potential ethics investigation over his financial stake in a defense contractor. Second--perhaps in part due to that pending investigation--he had already drawn a serious primary challenge from State Sen. Glenn Grothman, after years of being left alone in his moderately red district.
WI-06 is another seat in the CA-25, PA-06, etc. mold in that it's not an open seat that we can take entirely for granted, but Petri is doing us a nice favor by retiring in a climate that should make his seat an easy hold. The R+4 district that reaches from the northern Milwaukee 'burbs to the Fox Valley went narrowly for Obama in 2008, but gave 53% to both Romney and Tommy Thompson in 2012. Scott Walker has twice carried it by double-digits and should do so again this fall, giving our nominee a nice leg up.
Great Mentioner time: Grothman, the only Republican currently in the race, lives outside the district in Washington County, part of the WOW band (Washington is in WI-05; only the "O", Ozaukee, is in WI-06). He's 58 years old and somewhat of a firebrand. Legislators who live in the distict include State Sens. Joe Leibham and Rick Gudex, along with about a dozen State Reps. Former House Speaker and 2012 Senate candidate Jeff Fitzgerald lives here, and his brother, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, lives just outside the borders.
AK-Sen: GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan raised $1.3 million in the first quarter of the year, an impressive haul that even outdid incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D)'s $1 million. Sullivan's challengers for the Republican nomination, LG Mead Treadwell and 2010 US Senate nominee Joe Miller have yet to release their Q1 fundraising numbers, but both had unimpressive numbers in previous quarters.
MT-Sen: A new poll by Magellan Strategies shows Rep. Steve Daines (R) with a comfortable lead over appointed Sen. John Walsh (D). Daines takes 49% to 36% for Walsh in the poll. Although the poll is by a Republican firm, it matches up with previous polling results in the race.
NH-Sen: A WMUR/UNH poll has former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown closing in on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D). Shaheen leads Brown 46% to 39%. This represents a gain for Brown from their previous poll in January that showed Shaheen up by 10 points.
LA-5: Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has joined Louisiana Republian Party Chairman Roger Villere among others calling for Rep. Vance McAllister (R) to resign over the scandal prompted by the release of a video showing him kissing a staffer.
More LA-5: Former Rep. Rodney Alexander is not ruling out a bid for his old job. Alexander says he "would never say anything is off the table", in being asked whether he would run for his old seat. Alexander resigned from the seat last year to take a job as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veteran's Affairs in Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, prompting the special election last November which McAllister won.
MI-8: State Sen. Joe Hune (R) of Livingston County will not run for the seat of retiring Rep. Mike Rogers. Also, Rep. Tom McMillin (R) of Rochester Hills is joining the race, with the endorsement of Rep. Justin Amash (R). This leaves 3 candidates from Oakland County battling it out for the Republican nomination so far, with McMillin joining former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop and Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett in the race.
NY-21: This article give a good summary on the battle between Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik to secure the Conservative and Independence Party lines along with their battle for the Republican nomination for the open seat.
Governor & State Offices:
RI-Gov: Primaries for both parties' nominations are close according to a new poll. The poll by Brown University shows State Treasurer Gina Raimondo leading the Democratic field with 29%, with Providence Mayor Angel Tavares getting 26% and Clay Pell trailing far behind with 10%. On the Republican side, former Moderate Party gubernatorial candidate Ken Block leads with 36%, with 31% for Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.
Lieutenant Governors: Women are popular picks for Lieutenant Governors in states where gubernatorial candidates pick their running mates, but few of them ever make it to the top job, as this article points out. Of the 35 women that have served as governors, 11 were formerly lieutenant governors, but only 2 of those were picked as running mates-the rest were from states in which they had to face competitive elections in their own right.
DE-Treasurer: State Sen. Colin Bonini (R) will not run for State Treasurer, forgoing a second run for the office he lost narrowly in 2010 to now State Treasurer Chip Flowers. Bonini instead endorsed Republican Ken Simpler, a former hedge fund manager who has filed for the job. Flowers is running for re-election, but faces a primary himself with Sean Barney, a former policy director for Gov. Jack Markell (D).
NE-AG: Attorney Brian Buescher has received the endorsement of Omaha's Republican Mayor Jean Stothert in the Republican primary for Attorney General. Buescher faces fellow Omahan state Sen. Pete Pirsch and Lincoln attorneys Mike Hilgers and Doug Peterson in the primary.
Congress LA-5: On camera adulterer Congressman Vance McAllister is now receiving pressure from Louisiana Republicans to do the right thing and resign. The problem is McAllister has went underground and cannot be reached.
More LA-5: McAllister's chief of staff says the Congressman will not resign over the adultery/paid staffer scandal. I think his is meaningless as a staffer would not tell us their boss is considering a resignation.
Even More LA-5: Another lesson from the McAllster scandal is that you should never punish your staffers for your misdeeds. Firing your mistress from her job is not a good move. Not having a mistress is not a good idea either.
LA-6: Talking about Louisiana kinkiness, former Congressman, Governor, convicted felon, and sugar daddy Edwin Edwards is running for Congress at the age of 86. Politico profiles his life story and how Louisiana has coped with this authentic, corrupt kook.
ME-Sen '18: The King of Maine, Senator Angus King, currently sits as an independent caucusing with the Democrats, but has opened the possibility of caucusing with the Republicans. The fact King is openly musing about such an arrangement might be a sign he feels the winds of change coming and wants to stay in the majority.
Obama House Democrats: President Obama is giving a boost to a number of allies facing primary challenges. Obama has endorsed Representatives Honda, Swalwell, Edwards and Senator Schatz over primary challengers.
WI-1: Congressman Paul Ryan brought in $1.4 million last quarter, which is quite impressive for even the House Budget Committee Chairman and a former vice presidential candidate.
POTUS Christie invades NH: It looks like Governor Chris Christie has planted to very important operatives from his reelection campaign and government operations in New Hampshire. One is serving as the Executive Director of New Hampshire GOP and the other is serving as Scott Brown's campaign manager.
Obama and LBJ: I recently made the comparison of Obama with LBJ and the New York Times is also going down that road.
States PA-Gov: The Democratic candidates for Governor have finally taken the aim at each other in a debate. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz launched a strong attack against businessman (or business loan receiver) Tom Wolf over his receipt of a $4 million loan to fund his campaign. Wolf has given partial answers as the Philly Inquirer recently exposed his receipt of a large loan as part of a financing deal that involved the state employees pension fund losing cash dating back to 2004.
More PA-Gov: State Treasurer Rob McCord is walking a fine line when it comes to his involvement in encouraging outsourcing tech functions in southeastern Pennsylvania. Considering McCord has become a labor favorite in this race (not sure how this happened?!?!?), this is an interesting spot for him.
PA-Senate: Democratic State Senator Lisa Boscola has a history of not handling her alcohol well, but that was largely out of the headlines since her DUI arrest on I-78 in 2000. Now it appears she was in a bar fight with the guest of a lobbyist. The commentary on the link is priceless.
PA-Lt Gov: State Senator Mike Stack leads the Democratic primary field in fundraising. Stack brought in roughly $700,000 in the first quarter.
I'm not sure if it meets shamlet's "Mega" standard, but here's a nice, long roundup to celebrate what is hopefully the end of our slow news spell!
AR-Sen: Local pollster Talk Business has Mark Pryor up 46-43 on Tom Cotton. That's the first lead for Pryor since the October Talk Business poll. He hasn't led a poll from any other RCP-apprvoed firm in 8 months.
GA-Sen: Ending Spending PAC, led by Joe Ricketts, is on the air attacking both Michelle Nunn and Phil Gingrey in Georgia. It's unclear which of the other 4 Republicans Ricketts prefers, but I'll take this double-duty any day.
LA-Sen: Dr. Bill Cassidy became the second Congressman this year to treat an unconscious fellow passenger on a flight (Raul Ruiz did it a couple months ago). Naturally, the patient starting talking to Cassidy about the Senate race after regaining consciousness.
MI-Sen: There's lots of PPP fun today, including a pair of "PPP Classic" polls and a larger group of polls for MoveOn.org that we'll get to in a minute. The first of the regular polls has Gary Peters (D) up 41-36 on Terri Lynn Land, breaking up a string of small leads for Land. Both sides are already spending big on negative advertising.
MS-Sen: Harper has Thad Cochran up 52-35 on primary challenger Chris McDaniel, down from 54-31 in December. McDaniel is slowly whittling the incumbent's lead away, but needs to pick up his pace, as the primary is now only 2 months away. For reference, Richard Lugar first fell behind around this point in 2012, suggesting that Cochran is on better footing.
MT-Sen: File this one under "You know you're not in NY/NJ/PA/MA if..": State Rep. Champ Edmunds (R), the longshot primary challenger to Steve Daines, found a mysterious backpack stuffed with $12,000 in cash right outside his campaign office...and promptly turned it over to the police (after briefly thinking it may have been intended for a nearby church). At least we know Edmunds is ethically sound.
NC-Sen: This is the other PPP poll, and it's essentially identical to last week's SUSA poll, with every Republican in the field running in a statistical tie with Kay Hagan in the low 40's. PPP has the GOP primary as a three-way race between Thom Tillis (18), Greg Brannon (14), and Mark Harris (11) for the two runoff slots. Other pollsters have had Tillis higher.
NH-Sen: An RGA internal from March 20, obtained by the Weekly Standard, has Scott Brown truckin' over Jeanne Shaheen 49-44. That's contrary to all the other polls we've seen. Notably, there are no NH-Gov numbers despite the RGA's sponsorship, which tells us that Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) is pretty comfortably ahead.
FL-19: It's the sleepiest corner of Florida, but this primary has been anything but. Three Republican candidates--Lizbeth Benacquisto, Paige Kreegel, and Michael Dreikorn--teamed up yesterday and went absolutely nuclear on the fourth, self-funder Curt Clawson, demanding he answer questions about his "relationship with a violent child rapist" and financial irregularities. Clawson, if you'll remember, ran an ad calling both Benacquisto and Kreegel criminals. Thank goodness this district is Safe R, because this nastiness is far beyond good old-fashioned hate.
LA-05: Yesterday on As Ouachita Turns: Rep. Vance McAllister fired his scheduler/mistress a day after the two were caught making out on camera. We also learned that that the mistress was reimbursed $300 for "cleaning McAllister's headquarters" (insert joke about leaving the three C-notes on the nightstand here). Meanwhile, the mistress' husband had a few choice words for McAllister:
"I know his beliefs. When he ran one of his commercials, he said 'I need your prayers,' and I asked, 'When did you get religious?' He said, 'When I needed votes,'" Peacock recalled. "He broke out the religious card and he's about the most non-religious person I know."
As David Vitter might say, that's just crass Louisiana politics! On the next episode: We learn that it was McAllister's evil twin on the video all along!
ME-02: State Sen. Troy Jackson, one of two Democratic candidates for this open seat, is in some ethical hot water after introducing a bill that would have served one purpose: allowing a local contractor to avoid $109,000 in state fees.
MI-08: Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum is out, leaving Dems without a credible candidate for this open seat and only 2 weeks to find one. On the GOP side, ex-Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop looks favored for now, with Sen. Joe Hune still mulling his options.
NY-19: Poor Sean Eldridge! Those meanies at the right-wing rag Politico had the nerve to travel to his homeadopted rented district and ask to speak with him in person for a story on his campaign! And then when Eldrige backed out because they dared ask about his residency, the bullies ran the story anyway and published a video about their futile attempts to interview him! Some people are just the worst.
VA-10: A Citizens United internal has their preferred candidate, State Del. Barbara Comstock, leading fellow Del. Bob Marshall 44-10 in the upcoming GOP firehouse primary. That's great news, as a Comstock win in April could effectively take the race off the table in November.
IL-Gov: Bruce Rauner (R) scored a pretty big cross-party endorsement from megachurch pastor James Meeks, one of the South Side's most powerful black community leaders, who blasted the Democrats for broken promises. Any votes Meeks can move will allow Rauner to play with house money elsewhere in the state.
MI-Gov: The other half of PPP's Michigan poll has Gov. Rick Snyder up 43-39 on Mark Schauer. I guess we can pretty definitively say that Schauer is stuck on 39, as the last 4 polls of the state have had him there, with Snyder's number bouncing around in the 40's.
PPP/MoveOn.org Polls: Our friends in Raleigh also dropped 7 polls commissioned by MoveOn.org, all of which (surprise!) are good news for Democrats. Whether they pass the sniff test depends on your perception of PPP as a client pollster, but a couple things to consider: the polls were done to test a Medicaid narrative, PPP did not label candidates by party (which they almost always do), and this was almost certainly a selective release of a larger batch of polls. The numbers: