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Weekend Open Thread

by: Ryan_in_SEPA

Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 16:15:43 PM EDT

Programming alert.  We will be running a policy thread on Monday.

(1)  Are you more interested in observing politics or taking part in the sport?

(2)  Labor Day is the unofficial kickoff of serious electioneering in most states.  What changes do you expect over the next few weeks in terms of polling?

Discuss :: (24 Comments)

Political Roundup for August 29, 2014

by: GoBigRedState

Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 07:00:00 AM EDT


KY-Sen: Alison Lundergan Grimes is facing more questions over her campaign bus. After it was revealed a couple of weeks ago that the campaign was paying a lower-than-market rate for the bus, owned by a company run by her father, it's now come to light that the company doesn't even have the proper permits to operate the bus as it is only certified to carry equipment and not people.

MI-Sen: Terri Lynn Land has come out with a proposal to cut federal gas taxes by over 75% over an unspecified period of years, which would eliminate most federal rules for road projects and she says, allow states to design their own funding mechanisms, which she says would allow moe money to be spent directly on roads and bridges.

MN-Sen: Sen. Al Franken (DFL) is running a very low-key re-election campaign, preferring to sit on his lead and his money and barely even acknowledging he has an opponent. So far, the strategy seems to be working as his race with Mike McFadden (R) is not high on the list of GOP takeover possibilities. It is considered a potential "sleeper" race though, and as this article suggests, does have some similarities to the 1990 Senate campaign where Sen. Rudy Boschwitz (R) was the favorite who ran a low-key campaign and Paul Wellstone was a longshot who played on the theme of Boschwitz's low-key campaign and pulled off an upset.

NV-Sen 2016: People have expected a titanic battle between Sen. Harry Reid (D) and Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) in 2016 for awhile. But some are suggesting that recent increases in gaffes by him and questions about his health mean that Reid may not run for re-election. One insider familiar with Nevada and DC politics says he doesn't think Reid will run. Reid associates though insist that he is planning on running. 


NY-Gov/LG: The New York Times has endorsed Timothy Wu for Lieutenant Governor over Gov. Andrew Cuomo's handpicked choice of former Rep. Kathy Hochul. This is probably no surprise after their non-endorsement of Cuomo for governor over longshot candidate Zephyr Teachout.

More NY-Gov: Apparently the rent is still too high. Jimmy McMillan is back, filing petitions with the State Board of Elections to run on the "Rent is 2 Damn High" ticket.

WI-Gov: President Obama will be in Milwaukee on Labor Day. He will speak at Laborfest there, where Mary Burke will also be appearing. Yet it is unclear whether the two will appear together, suggesting that the president may be a liability even in a state he won relatively easily.


CA-21: The drought in California's Central Valley is helping Rep. David Valadao (R) as he makes it and water policies favored by Democrats as issues in the race. Even Democrats concede that he's done a good job getting himself established in the district and that he's helped himself with his work on the issue.

NH-2: Roll Call looks at the NH-2 Republican primary race with a focus on Marilinda Garcia, who they call a "young Latina with star potential".

WATN?: Former Indiana SOS Charlie White (R), who was removed from office in 2012 after his conviction on theft and voter fraud charges, is starting a politcal blog called the Indy Sentinel, which will target politicians in both parties, but with a keen interest in his former colleagues in the Republican Party. He says the website will be about "pols and media who are fair and those who live to serve the elites in both parties to the public's detriment".

Discuss :: (77 Comments)

Afternoon Polling Roundup for August 28, 2014

by: shamlet

Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 15:00:00 PM EDT


NC-Sen: Civitas has a poll of only unaffiliated voters (yeah, I don't see the point either) that has Sen. Kay Hagan (D) leading Tillis 41-33.


MI-Gov: In his first polling lead in over a year, EPIC shows Rep. Mark Schauer (D) up on Gov. Rick Snyder (R) 45-43.

AR-Gov: Ras has ex-Rep. Mike Ross (R) up 46-44 on fellow ex-Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R).

SC-Gov: Ras also has Gov. Nikki Haley (R) with a 51-36 lead on State Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D).

KS-Gov: Lest you didn't think this was a competitive race, a Brownback internal shows him up just 43-42 on State Rep. Paul Davis (D).

PA-Gov: F&M, who makes our RRH Blacklist of Notoriously Unreliable Pollsters (TM), has Wolf (D) up 49-24 on Gov. Tom Corbett (R).


OH-AG: The OHGOP has released an internal showing AG Mike DeWine (R) up a whopping 60-31 over Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper (D).

Discuss :: (87 Comments)

Political Roundup for August 28, 2014

by: BostonPatriot

Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 07:00:00 AM EDT


AK-Sen: Dan Sullivan is having a lot of fun in his second ad of the general, shooting the bejeezus out of one of those old tube-style TV's as it runs a negative ad. Sullivan had previously proposed a truce with Mark Begich to keep outside money out of the race--and, as he's happy to remind us here, Begich flatly rejected him. Giving how irritating the constant beat of third-party ads can get after a couple days, I can see Sullivan scoring some points with this one.

More AK-Sen: Sullivan also caught a bit of a tough break yesterday as accidental Libertarian nominee Thom Walker dropped out, allowing the party to replace him with primary loser Mark Fish, who had been running a more credible and visible campaign. Fish may splice a few more votes off Sullivan's total than Walker would have, but then again, we're still talking about an unknown with no money who just lost a primary to a dude who didn't campaign.

IA-Sen: It's 10 PM, do you know where your nominee is? Well, if you're asking about Bruce Braley, last night he was raising money with a local trial lawyer (whose phone number, I kid you not, is 1-800-I-AM-HURT) who is most famous for defending a pedophile Catholic bishop.

ME-Sen: This has to be in the running for oddest third-party IE of the year. A group called Democracy for America (sounds non-controversial enough!) is dropping $300K, a huge sum in a cheap state, against the entirely non-vulnerable Susan Collins...and all they're getting for their money is a bunch of goofy actors reciting talking points in front of some very fake-looking footage that could have come from a Maine tourism ad.


AZ-01: Two days after the primary, we still don't know our nominee--and we won't know until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest. State House Speaker and NRCC pick Andy Tobin has a 469-vote lead on rancher Gary Kiehne with all precincts reporting, but as many as 3,000 early and provisional votes potentially uncounted. It will be nearly impossible for Kiehne to make up his deficit from 3,000 ballots alone (especially since third-place finisher Adam Kwasman should pull a significant number of those), but he could pull within 0.1% and trigger an automatic recount that would drag on through next week. Obviously, it's in the GOP's interests to resolve this as soon as possible.

CA-25: Steve Knight (R) was yesterday one of only two California Senators to vote against a bill banning Confederate flags from state property (and yes, apparently that's the biggest issue California is facing today). His November opponent, fellow R Tony Strickland, supports the ban and may use it as an issue to court Democrats and Independents.

CA-52: Rep. Scott Peters (D), who is well to the left of most swing-seat Dems on the environment, supports President Obama's proposal to enter into international treaties on his own in blatant violation of Article I "act outside of Congress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

IL-13: After winning by just over 1,000 votes in 2012, Rep. Rodney Davis entered the year as one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the House, but local sources in both parties are now conceding that Davis is firmly in control here. His opponent, former judge Ann Callis, hasn't lived up to her early hype, and is spending more time these days avoiding Pat Quinn than actively campaigning.


AZ-Gov: With the primary in the books, the RGA sent an opening salvo at Dem nominee Fred DuVal, putting up an ad hitting him for voting to double tuition at Arizona's public universities while serving on the Board of Regents.

MA-Gov: Steve Grossman (D) is making one final push, spending $200K of his own money to winnow down the 12-point gap between him and Martha Coakley.

MD-Gov: We've seen a few signs in recent days that Larry Hogan (R) may put up more of a challenge to Anthony Brown (D) than initially expected: a GOP poll showing Hogan within 3, Brown's decision to quickly go negative on TV, and now fundraising reports that show that Hogan has over three times as much CoH ($2.4M to $760K). That latter nugget does come with a big caveat--Hogan took public financing and is barred from doing any additional fundraising of his own, while Brown is going the conventional route--but it should give Hogan ample time to define himself on-air.

ME-Gov: Bill Clinton is coming to Portland next week to stump for Mike Michaud, in one of Bubba's very rare appearances on behalf of a politician who did not endorse Hillary in 2008. And nope, Michaud didn't pick Obama either. Hard to believe that it was only 7 years ago that some people thought John Edwards would make a good President.

Discuss :: (89 Comments)

Afternoon Polling Roundup for August 27, 2014

by: GoBigRedState

Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 15:00:00 PM EDT


AR-Sen: Rasmussen has Sen. Mark Pryor (D) up 44-43 on Rep. Tom Cotton (R). Not a great poll for Cotton, but not that bad either as long as Pryor remains mired below 45%.

IA-Sen: Rep. Bruce Braley (D) is up 41-40 on state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) in a PPP poll that includes 3rd party candidates; they are tied 42-42 head to head.

More IA-Sen: Suffolk also has the race tied at 40 each.

KS-Sen: Sen. Pat Roberts (R) is up 37-32 on Chad Taylor (D) with Greg Orman (I) at 20 in a Survey USA poll.

MN-Sen: A Survey USA poll has Sen. Al Franken (D) ahead of Mike McFadden (R) 51-42.

WY-Sen: Not that anybody was concerned about this one, but Rasmussen finds Sen. Mike Enzi (R) up 63-27 on his Democratic challenger.


AK-Gov: Rasmussen has Gov. Sean Parnell (R) ahead of Byron Mallott (D) 47-36. The 3 way race with Bill Walker (I) was not polled here.

IA-Gov: Gov. Terry Branstad (R) leads state Sen. Jack Hatch (D) 50-37 according to PPP.

KS-Gov: Gov. Sam Brownback (R) trails state Rep. Paul Davis (D) 48-40 according to Survey USA.

WI-Gov: Gov. Scott Walker (R) leads Mary Burke (D) 48-44 among registered voters, but in a somewhat surprising twist, trails Burke 49-47 among likely voters. 

WY-Gov: Gov. Matt Mead (R) is up on Pete Gosar (D) 55-34 according to Rasmussen.  

Discuss :: (55 Comments)

Political Roundup for August 27, 2014

by: Ryan_in_SEPA

Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 08:00:00 AM EDT

Last Night

For those of you, myself included, who did not have the chance to stay up and watch the electoral trivialities unfold, here is what happened last night in the primaries.

AZ-1 is still too close to call between Tobin and Kienhe for the Republican nomination with Tobin holding a tiny lead, Ducey has won the Republican nomination for Governor, Rodgers has won AZ-9 Republican primary, Gallego has won AZ-7 D primary, Michelle Reagan has won SoS Republican nomination, Brnovich is up by 7 for AG-R but should hold on, Jeff Dewitt is won Treasurer-R, Diane Douglas has won superintendent, and Tom Forese and Doug Little have won the top spots for Corporation Commission. Anti-Brewer forces had a good night in the State Senate, winning most of the major contests. And in the State House, incumbents Seel (R, LD-20) and Munoz (D, LD-27) were ousted.

Sheldon has won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General. Domino and Curbelo have won the Republican nominations for FL-18 and FL-26 respectively. One State House incumbent, Rangel in LD-43-D, was ousted.

Steve Russell won an upset in the OK-05 Republican primary runoff.  Connie Johnson has spared the Democrats the embarrassment of running Jim Rogers, who looks like a homeless Santa, by winning the Democratic nomination for Senate. Local superintendent John Cox won the D nod for State Superintendent, and physician Ervin Yen beat controversial pastor Steve Kern in SD-40-R.

Milne has won the Republican nomination for Governor in Vermont over the libertarian favored candidate. Three State House incumbents, Nuovo in D-Addison-1, Laroque in R-Caledonia-1, and Brissonette in D-Chittenden-7, were ousted.

And now for the rest of the news...
Democrats and Senate:  Here is a sane analysis of how the Democrats could retain control of the Senate.  Unlike the DK commentary boards reacting to DKE saying the Republicans are favored to take the Senate, this gives some good analysis even if I disagree with it.

OH-Sen: Senator Rob Portman says he will not run for two offices at the same time in 2016.  Portman has been rumored to be considering a presidential run, but is also up for reelection to the Senate in 2016.  I suspect Portman will be running for reelection to the Senate even though I think he would be a fine presidential nominee.

Paul: Senator Rand Paul claims he scares Democrats and they should be afraid of him, but should they really be afraid of him?  The Washington Post tries to shed some light on this claim.

Clinton:  What can doom former SoS and co-President Hillary Clinton in her bid to return the Clintons to the White House?  Being the third term of Obama.  The Clintons have a very difficult needle to thread here.  Obviously they want Obama's base to show up, but they need the middle and many people who have not supported him from day one.

PA Political Corruption:  Harrisburg Treasurer John Campbell has been charged with theft.  Rest assured it appears Campbell did not steal from taxpayers, but from a non-profit where he was executive director.  As Harrisburg is broke, I guess he had nothing to steal there we know of.

Switching Parties:  When and how can you switch political parties if you are a politician?  Sometimes it works.  Sometimes it does not.  Roll Call looks at when members of the political world change teams.

Discuss :: (129 Comments)

August 26th Primary Liveblog #2 -Arizona

by: Greyhound

Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 22:00:00 PM EDT

3:37 ET: One final update since my sleep has been delayed.  AZ-1-R is currently 36-35-29 Tobin-Kiehne-Kwasman, but the only places still out are 1/6th of Navajo county (Tied) and 1/2 of Apache (Strongly Kiehne).  Tobin is only up 228 votes, which less than what Kiehne should make up in Apache county assuming uniform precinct size. However, half of that county is the native reservation, where Republican voters are few and far between, and since the only other place still out is Navajo county (the other Navtive-heavy county), I'm betting the reservations are what's still left to count.  Eitherway, we're heading to recount/provisionals here.

2:06 ET: Arizona's barely budged in the last hour, so I'm going to call it a night here.  AZ-1 is still too close to call between Kienhe and Tobin, Ducey has won for Governor, Rodgers has won AZ-9-R, Michelle Reagan has won SoS-R, Brnovich is up by 7 for AG-R but should hold on, Jeff Dewitt is won Treasurer-R, Diane Douglas has won superintendent, and Tom Forese and Doug Little have won the top spots for Corporation Comissioner.

1:25 ET: Downballot little has changed since the last update.  Brnovich's lead is down a bit, but that's about it.

1:15 ET: A little more is trickling in, and it does look like Kwansman isn't going to be able to make it.  Also, Kiehne is probably favored, unless Navajo county  comes in big for Tobin.  The wild card is Pinal county, which is currently a 3-way tie with plenty of votes out.

12:46 ET: Arizona seems to be stuck counting, as after a decent dump once the reservations closed, there's been very little for the past hour.  I'll be optimisitc and hope it all drops at the top of the hour. 

12:30 ET: Naturally, the second I open my mouth the numbers get revised.  Pima is 5/26 in for both sites now.  Still completely up in the air

12:19 ET: Cross-checking a bit here, it looks like Pima county is in fact all in on the AP site but not the SOS site.  I'm inclined to believe the AP site, since the # of votes seems more reasonable for the county.  That would sink Kwasman's chances however, as that was the only part of the district he was leading in, and he's in third place now.

12:05 ET: AZ-1 update, its 35-35-30 Kiehne, Tobin, Kwasman.

11:53 ET: Moving to the legislature, Rosanna Gabaldon is up 58-42 for SD-2-D, Olivia Cajero Bedford is up 60-40 for SD-3-D, Jamescita Peshlakai is up 42-34 over incumbent Carlyle Begay in SD-7-D, Littleton is at 50% in SD-8-R, Steve Smith is blowing Scott Bartle out of the water 69-30 in SD-11-R, Don Shooter is up 2:1 in SD-13-R, Nancy Barto is up 62-38 in SD-15-R, David Christian Farnsworth is up 55-44 in SD-16-R, Jeff Dial is up 61-39 in SD-18-R, Lupe Chavira Contreras is up 52-47 in SD-19-D, John Kavangh is up 54-45 in SD-23-R, Bob Worsley is up 55-45 in SD-25-R, Catherine Miranda is up 55-45 in SD-27-D, and SD-29-D is tied 49-49 right now.  Phew.

11: 39 ET: Moving downballot, AZ-7-D has Gallego up 48-36 on Mary Rose Wilcox, Wendy Rodger is up 58-42 in AZ-9-R, Michelle Reagan is up 44-34 for SOS-R, Brnovich is up 54-46 for AG-R, Jeff Dewitt is up 44-34 for Treasurere-R, Huppenthall is losing 42-58 to Douglas for Superintendent-R while  David Garcia is up 54-45on Sharon Thomas.  Corp Comissioner is a tie between Doug Little and Tom Forse.

11:34 ET: Tobin is currently up, but his best county (Coconino) is the only one mostly counted. Kwasman is in last, but he's getting big margins from the Pima Early vote (which is bigger than the precinct #s shot).  Kiehne is up in the rural counties, which are mostly uncounted still.

11:27 ET: Still no idea where AZ-1 is going, as all 3 have led at one point tonight.  Gun to my head says that Kwasman wins it, as he's getting close to 50% in Tuscon, where the election-day vote is still all out.

11:24 ET: AOSHQDD has given Ducey the Check, and I'm inclined to agree.  He's up by 14 points with 74% in.  AZ-1 is still basically a 3-way tie right now.

11:13 ET: Also, AZ-1 is close, with Tobin up 36-35-29 on Kiehne and Kwasman, though no indication of where the votes are from in the district (which is important).

11:10 ET: With over 225,000 votes (55%) in, Ducey is winning about 80,000 to Smith's 56,000

11:08 ET: Here we go, Ducey is up 35-25 on Smith in the first big vote drop.

11:01 ET: Polls have now closed in the Reservations (which are following DST, unlike the rest of Arizona), so hopefully we'll start seeing numbers soon.

10:28 ET: Still nothing from Arizona.  Florida's spoiled us again.

10:00 ET: Arizona has now closed.

Results: Florida (AP) (SOS) | Vermont (AP) | Oklahoma (AP) (SOS) | Arizona (AP) (SOS) (AOSHQQ)

Discuss :: (31 Comments)

August 26 Primary Liveblog #1

by: BostonPatriot

Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 19:00:00 PM EDT

9:29 ET And that will do it for the first half of tonight's liveblog--we'll be back at 10:00 for Arizona, tonight's most interesting state by far. One final recap: Domino in FL-18-R, Curbelo in FL-26-R, Sheldon in FL-AG-D, Russell in OK-05-R, Johnson in OK-Sen-D, Milne in VT-Gov-R.

9:15 ET Veteran Steve Russell gets the check in OK-05, continuing a recent run of modest upsets in GOP runoffs. Johnson also got the call in OK-Sen-D.

9:02 ET Another batch of votes just dropped in OK-05, and Steve Russell is now in great shape, up 60-40 and leading in all 3 counties. FL-18 has been called for Carl Domino (and FL-26, belatedly, for Curbelo), closing out Florida. 

8:46 ET Connie Johnson is up 57-43 in OK-Sen-D, sparing Dems the embarrassment of nominating perennial candidate Jim Rogers, who resembles a homeless Santa Claus. John Cox has won OK-Supt-D in a romp. We've had nothing from OK-05 in over a half hour.

8:27 ET Sleepy Vermont is holding true to form--counting at a snail's pace as town clerks process ballots by hand and post the returns on the doors of the town hall like Luther's theses, with some going to bed before the job is done and resuming the count in the morning (yes, all of this actually happens). Scott Milne, the expected GOP nominee, is easily turning back libertarian-backed challengers in the early postings. 

8:24 ET Nice catch by Shamlet--Nan Rich, Charlie Crist's underfunded liberal primary challenger, is getting only 25% statewide but is running strongly in the northern Dixiecrat counties, even winning a couple. The most likely explanation is that these are conservative Rick Scott voters who turned out to cast a pre-emptive strike against Crist. 

8:18 ET Underdog Steve Russell has an early 56-44 in OK-05-R. Back in Florida, ex-Rep. David Rivera has conceded and endorsed Carlos Curbelo after running a bizarre off-and-on-again campaign and ending up in 4th with 8% of the vote. 

8:13 ET Carl Domino is starting to pull away from Schlesinger in FL-18, up 37-26 and leading in all 3 counties. Domino has virtually unlimited personal funds at his disposal, but has declined to put them to use thus far, and has a mediocre record in lower-level races. 

8:07 ET Oklahoma and the Florida Panhandle closed a few minutes back. In the Sooner State, we're watching the GOP runoff in OK-05, which will determine Jim Lankford's House successor, and the Dem runoff for OK-Sen, which will determine his foe this fall. 

7:53 ET Curbelo is actually losing Monroe County (the Keys) to Ed MacDougall, which makes sense as MacDougall is the only Anglo in the race and Monroe is home to the district's minority Anglo electorate. Curbelo is still up 49-25, and all but 2 of the remaining precincts are in Miami-Dade. Give that man a check! 

7:41 ET Carlos Curbelo is cruising to victory in FL-26; he's at 55% of the early vote dump and his nearest competitor is at 20%. The boleteros have done their job once again. 

7:36 ET Florida doesn't mess around with counting. (Hear that, California, New York, and Texas?) Sheldon has expanded his FL-AG-D lead to 63-37 with nearly 300K votes already counted (about 30% of the 2010 total). We can go ahead and call that race for him, so that leaves only the GOP primaries in FL-18 and FL-26 left on the board.

7:33 ET Both GOP State Senate incumbents facing serious challenges appear to have survived. Thad Altman made quick work of Monique Miller in SD-16, while Lizbeth Benacquisto is beating Michael Dreikorn for the second time this year (this time in SD-30, last time was when both lost to now-Rep. Curt Clawson in FL-19). 

7:28 ET In a primary battle that the NRCC never should have allowed to happen, Carl Domino is leading 2006 CT-Sen candidate Alan Schlesinger 34-30 in FL-18. To the south in FL-22, Andrea McGee leads the field of Some Dudes.

7:20 ET Ex-Crist administration official George Sheldon took 57% of the first big batch of votes in FL-AG-D, the only competitive statewide primary in the Sunshine State tonight.

7:16 ET Nothing to see here: Scott and Crist are pulling 88% and 77% of the early vote in their respective primaries. 

7:00 ET Hello! Polls have just closed in Florida (except the Panhandle) and Vermont.


Florida - [AP] [SoS]

Vermont - [AP] [SoS]

Oklahoma - [AP]  [SoS]

Discuss :: (52 Comments)

August 26 Primary Preview: AZ, FL, VT, and OK Runoff

by: shamlet

Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 12:00:00 PM EDT

Today is our second to last primary of the year, with three regular primaries and a runoff. Because there's so much going on in Arizona today, it has been placed over the fold for space reasons. We'll start with the three somewhat quieter states.

Poll Closing Times (Eastern): Florida and Vermont - 7 || Oklahoma - 8 || Arizona -10


The Sunshine State has less going on than usual this year below the red-hot gubernatorial race. Two downballot races do not have competitive primaries: FL-CFO incumbent Jeff Atwater (R) and businessman William Rankin (D) will advance; RRH currently rates this general election as Likely R. For FL-Ag Comm, incumbent Adam Putnam (R) faces Some Dude Thad Hamilton (D); RRH currently rates this general election as Safe R. One competitive congressional election does not have a primary, FL-2, where incumbent Steve Southerland (R) and attorney Gwen Graham (D) will head on to a general; RRH currently rates this general election as Lean R.

FL-Gov (D): In the race to take on Gov. Rick Scott (R), who faces only token primary opposition, the Democratic estabishment has united behind the Orangeman, party-switching ex-Gov. Charlie Crist. Crist is the heavy favorite to win today's primary and has long focused his attention on the general election instead of his primary opponent, ex-State Sen. Nan Rich. Rich has been running to Crist's left, casting herself as the true Dem in the race. Rich will not win, but her taking higher than about a quarter of the vote might be a sign of depressed Democratic base turnout in the general election. RRH currently rates this general election as a Tossup.

FL-18 (R): In arguably the GOP's biggest recuitment flop anywhere this cycle, first-term Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) has only drawn "C" list challengers in his light-red district. The most likely primary victor from the seven dwarves of the GOP field is ex-State Rep. Carl Domino, the only candidate who has raised any significant amount. Two other candidates are running marginally serious campaigns, Tequesta councilman Calvin Turnquest and 2006 CT-Sen GOP nominee Alan Schlessinger. Domino should be heavily favored today, but if he can't dispatch these near-Some Dudes with ease it will comment even more negatively on his campaign quality. RRH currently rates this general election as Likely D.

FL-26 (R): The primary to take on Rep. Joe Garcia (D) has a clear front-runner in Dade County school board member Carlos Curbelo. Curbelo has been one of the strongest fundraisers of any congressional challenger nationwide, and has strong support from both the national establishment and Miami's powerful local Cuban-American GOP machine. Curbelo is the strong favorite today, but he does face three opponents. The most serious of those seems to be Cutler Bay mayor Ed MacDougall, who seems to be running to Curbelo's fiscal right and social left, targeting the district's white vote (particularly in the Keys). A third candidate in the race is ex-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez, who is running as the staunchest conservative but has raised little. Finally, there is the weird little sideshow of corrupt ex-Rep. David Rivera, who abruptly announced, then dropped, a GOP primary bid - however, his name remains on the ballot and he may draw significant vote shares. RRH currently rates this general election as a Tossup.

FL-AG (D): The most competitive Florida primary seems to be this one, for the right to take on incumbent Pam Bondi (R). Two Dems are running, ex-Crist admin official George Sheldon and State House Minority Leader Perry Thurston. Sheldon has been the establishment choice, but has been dogged by questions about his residency in the state after a stint working in DC. Thurston seems to be running slightly to Sheldon's left. Neither one has aired TV ads and there is no clear favorite today. RRH currently rates this general election as Lean R.

Florida Legislature: There are just two Senate primaries of note. FL-SD-16 (R) around Melbourne is between incumbent Thad Altman and businesswoman Monique Miller, who is running to Altman's right on an antiestablishment platform, particularly on gun issues. The incumbent should be favored. In the Ft. Myers area's FL-SD-30 (R), incumbent Lizbeth Benacquisto is facing a partial rematch of the FL-19 primary with antiestablishment veteran Michael Dreikorn. The incumbent should be favored but Dreikorn is running a serious campaign. 


The Green Mountain State is probably second only to Missouri for the title of least interesting state of all this year. For VT-Gov, incumbent Peter Shumlin (D) and businessman Scott Milne (R) do not face any serious primary opponents; RRH currently rates this general election as Safe D. For VT-LG, Incumbent Phil Scott (R) has no Democratic opposition, but Progressive Party candidate Dean Corren is seeking the D nomination as a cross-filing write-in (he needs 250 write-in votes to make the nomination). RRH currently rates this general election as Likely R. The other races are total snoozers; VT-SoS Jim Condos (D) faces no major-party opposition, VT-AG Bill Sorrell (D) faces only token primary and third-party opposition, VT-Treas Elizabeth Pearce (D) faces no major party opposition, and VT-Aud Doug Hoffer (D) is totally unopposed. RRH rates all these general elections as Safe D.

Vermont Legislature: There is just one State Senate primary, for VT-SD-Windham (D). Four Dems are duking it out for two seats, but incumbent Jeanette White is likely to clinch one of those easily. For the other slot, appointed state agriculture secretary Roger Albee looks like the front-runner, but teacher Becca Balint and healthcare administrator Joan Bowman look like serious candidates. 

Oklahoma Runoff:

There are three major runoffs in the Sooner State, and strangely for the deep-red state, the only statewide ones are on the D side.

OK-Sen-C (D): Democrats aren't going to win this race, but this runoff will determine if they avoid embarassment. The serious Democratic candidate in the race is State Sen. Connie Johnson, a mainstream liberal who won't win but won't be embarassing either. Johnson, however, was forced into a runoff with 2010 nominee Jim Rogers, a non-campaigning perennial candidate. Johnson should be favored to advance and lose to Rep. James Lankford (R) in the fall. RRH currently rates this general election as Safe R.

OK-5 (R): The most important Oklahoma runoff is for Lankford's open seat covering the core of OKC. Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas has raised the most money and has strong establishment and CoC support. However, ex-State Sen. Steve Russell, who is most notable for being part of the platoon that captured Saddam, surprisingly bested Douglas for first place in June and is running on a marginally more antiestablishment platform. The runoff campaign has been quite sedate, and neither Douglas nor Russell seems to have a significant advantage. RRH currently rates this general election as Safe R.

OK-Supt (D): Two Dems are squaring off in this race, local superintendent John Cox and charter school exec Freda Deskin seem to have few differences, and both have fundraised well. The two were 3% apart in the first round and I don't see a clear favorite today. The winner will face state school board member Joy Hofmeister (R) in one of only two statewide races (the other being Governor) Dems are seriously contesting. RRH currently rates this general election as Likely R.

Oklahoma Legislature: There are three State Senate runoffs. OK-SD-8 (D) is a swing seat in rural areas south of Tulsa; Eufalua Mayor Selina Jayne-Dornan led by 10% in June and looks like the favorite over nurse Gary Clason. OK-SD-22 (R) in OKC's northwest suburbs is between businesswoman Stephanie Bice and pharmaceutical exec Mark Thomas. Bice led Thomas by 4 points in June; there is no clear favorite today.  OK-SD-40 (R) in central OKC is between physician Ervin Yen and pastor Steve Kern, whose wife, ex-State Rep. Sally, is known for calling gays worse than terrorists on the house floor several years ago. Her husband is no less passionate on that topic, but Yen led 40-20 in the first round and should be favored.

Tonight's most interesting state, Arizona, is over the fold...

There's More... :: (33 Comments, 2294 words in story)

Political Roundup for August 26th, 2014

by: Daniel Surman

Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 07:00:00 AM EDT


Georgia: This is less about Michelle Nunn than attempts to tie her to Harry Reid, where the article makes a good point that many voters won't even know who Harry Reid is. FWIW, Nunn was noncommittal in a debate about supporting Reid to lead the Senate, even if the ballot is secret.

Montana: If it wasn't already apparent, former state Rep. Amanda Curtis (D) is probably an actual socialist. Apparently she is a member of the IWW, a union known as the Wobblies, Her local chapter's mission statement notes, "We are working to organize the people of Montana into One Big Union to end wage slavery and eventually end the capitalist system." Fun stuff, and another reason why we just moved this race to safe Republican for Rep. Steve Daines.

Michigan: This could be a solid riposte for Terri Lynn Land (R) when Peters attacks her on birth control and similar women's issues.

"Whenever men tell me about a war on women, I'm suspicious," she said to a packed house at the Suburban Collection Showplace convention center in Novi. "Can you say hypocrisy? I'm not going to be lectured by a man who pays the women in his office 67 cents on the dollar."

Minnesota: It is like watching a terrible movie and being unable to look away. First, the gubernatorial candidate for the Independence Party, Hannah Nicollet, failed to qualify for the public subsidy, missing out on over $200k in state funding. Now, the party's endorsed candidate fell in his primary to perennial candidate and Tea Partier Steve Carlson. The IP may be about to lose major party status, a long fall from its glory days from 1998 to 2002.


Kansas: The Libertarian nominee for Governor, Keen Umbehr, has a surprisingly cool story here, going from a trash collector who fought local government and won a Supreme Court case to a practicing lawyer himself. He also happens to be in a similar position Robert Sarvis had in the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race, boxed between candidates that aren't necessarily the best fits for their state. Umbehr may have a neat story and be ideologically similar to Brownback at first glance, but most voters will probably only notice he isn't Brownback or a Democrat (especially with a strong Independent running for US Senate).

Illinois: A term limits measure pushed by Bruce Rauner's (R) campaign for Governor was thrown off the ballot by the Illinois Supreme Court. Also thrown off the ballot were the Green and Constitution Parties, leaving only a Libertarian candidate for Governor. Rauner is still running ads pushing term limits strongly, and it may not be the worst headline to have the powers-that-be force a populist measure off the ballot.

More Illinois: Rauner is getting fundraising help from RGA Chairman Chris Christie this week, while Governor Pat Quinn (D) is getting an assist from Vice President Joe Biden.

Texas: The actual court battle has begun for recently-indicted Governor Rick Perry.

New York: The Sierra Club endorsed Zephyr Teachout (D) for Governor in her primary challenge to Governor Andrew Cuomo.


TN-4: It's over: state Senator Jim Tracy officially conceded the primary contest to scandal-ridden Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R) today. Let's just hope this doesn't turn into a long and safe congressional tenure for the incumbent.

FL-4: This is kind of a burn for veteran Ryman Shoaf. His former boss, the antiestablishment Rep. Ted Yoho, has endorsed backbencher Rep. Ander Crenshaw for reelection in the Republican primary. Shoaf has run a traditional outsider campaign against Crenshaw, who once upon a time voted for TARP. While it's not uncommon to see US Representatives endorse each other when facing challenges, I'm a bit surprised the iconoclastic Yoho would go to bat for his colleagues.

NH-1: It's a pretty good day for Dan Innis (R). First, two outside groups announced over $750k in radio, television and mail buys in support of his primary campaign. Second, the Union-Leader (the largest newspaper in the state) endorsed Innis over former Rep. Frank Guinta, who was defeated for re-election in 2012.

IA-3: This is a nice look at former Grassley staffer David Young (R), which features hokey quotes from his boss ("If [your constituents] want you to cut their toenails, you cut their toenails.") and images of the pair handing out corn at the Iowa State Fair.

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