Senate: Politico takes a look at which Republican senators would likely lead committees if the party takes the majority.
IA-Sen: Bill Clinton came to campaign for Bruce Braley (D) over the weekend, but ended up getting more press for his rambling range of topics including marijuana, Woodstock, Haiti and cattle, and for calling Braley "Bruce Bailey" at the end of the speech.
CA-26: Democrats are apparently becoming increasingly worried about this seat. The DCCC is increasing their investment in the district and privately Democrats are saying Rep. Julia Brownley (D) is in a dead heat with state Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R). Although Brownley has a big cash advantage over Gorell, Democrats are concerned because a large percentage of Democratic voters in the district often stay home in non-presidential election years.
MI-11: Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R), who lost to David Trott in the Republican primary by almost 2-1, is considering filing as an official write-in candidate for the November election. Bentivolio is rejecting calls for unity saying he has no loyalty to the party and doesn't seem concerned about splitting the vote and giving Democratic candidate Bobby McKenzie a chance to win and actually sounds like he would welcome it. Considering his lackluster primary campaign though, his impact as a write-in candidate would probably be minimal.
PA-6/PA-8: Democrats' failure in these two seats is being seen as a sign of their problems nationally. They are the type of moderate, suburban seats that the party needs to be able to win to do well nationally, but their candidates in the two seats had difficult primary races, trail badly in fundraising and are fighting headwinds with President Obama's poor poll numbers. The party's chance in both seats have recently been downgraded by analysts with Charlie Cook moving PA-6 from lean to likely R and Stuart Rothenberg moving PA-8 to safe R.
NE-Gov/LG: Libertarian candidate for governor Mark Elworth is challenging in court the ruling of Secretary of State John Gale in allowing State Auditor Mike Foley to replace now ex-LG Lavon Heidemann as Pete Ricketts' running mate on the ballot. Elworth said he initially did not expect to file a challenge because he expected the Democratic Party to do so. For their part, state Democratic Party chairman Vince Powers said they didn't file a challenge "because Chuck is going to win".
NY-Gov: Political insiders are saying that New York Mayor Bill De Blasio (D) could challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) if he runs for a 3rd term in 2018 and would likely beat him. De Blasio is said to be very ambitious and expressed an interest in being governor, and his ambition is being compared to Cuomo's father Mario, who as LG in 1982 forced Gov. Hugh Carey (D) to retire by threatening to run against him in the primary.
WI-Gov: Democrats have outspent Gov. Scott Walker (R) on broadcast TV over the summer, a change from the 2012 recall campaign when Walker outspent his opponents on broadcast TV by about 2-1. Although the Walker campaign has spent more on broadcast TV than the campaign of Mary Burke (D), spending by a group funded by organized labor has allowed the combined forces to outspend Walker.
KY-Gov 2015: Unsuccessful Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin is strongly considering a run for governor next year. For now, Bevin appears to be trying to curry favor among Republican voters by attending fundraisers for Republican state House candidates. If he gets in the race, he would join state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner in the GOP primary.
Pres. 2016: Here's a name hardly anybody would have expected to hear connected to the race for the Republican presidential nomination: Bob Ehrlich. The former Maryland Governor and congressman was in New Hampshire over the weekend, appearing at several events. Ehrlich appeard at the events at the invitation of a New Hampshire businessman who says he thinks Ehrlich could be a dark horse candidate.
TN-AG: Herbert Slatery (R) has been appointed Attorney General for an 8 year term by the state Supreme Court, becoming the first Republican ever to hold the post. Slatery was chosen in a unanimous vote over 5 other candidates, including current AG Robert Cooper. Slatery was seen as a compromise choice between Cooper and another candidate favored by LG Ron Ramsey (R).
2016: Clinton leading Biden by ... 49 points. Clinton will look like a sure thing until the campaign really starts.
More 2016: Paul leading the field by 6 at only 15%. Still, it's not good for Christie to be in the middle of the second tier pack, considering his route to the nomination runs through NH.
MI-Sen: Peters 43, Land 41. Good to see this isn't out of reach yet.
GA-Sen: Nunn 46, Perdue 43. Nunn isn't going to pull this out. And fortunately GHWB is getting in the action for Perdue.
AR-Sen: Cotton 47, Pryor 43. Cotton wins this thing but it will never not be close. No Blanche Lincolns this cycle.
NC-Sen: Hagan 45, Tillis 41. Hagan has the big mo, unfortunately.
NH-Sen: Brown 48, Shaheen 48. This one's big. Brown needs to peak just at the right time to win this one though. On the other hand, in polls I trust less, Rasmussen has it 48-42. Link here. And Magellan has it at 46-44, Brown. Link here.
NM-Sen: Udall 51, Weh 38. This one isn't looking within reach, folks.
MN-Sen: Franken 49, McFadden 36. This is our "reach" state at this point. The last seat that could conceivably fall in a wave of epic proportions.
DE-Sen: Coons 49, Wade 34. Coons is below 50! But seriously, I would have liked to see the numbers on a hypothetical Castle-Coons rematch.
HI-Sen: Schatz 60, Cavasso 28. The bloody primary isn't helping the GOP here at all. Rasmussen learned it's lesson in 2010 and won't show this one close.
MI-Gov: Snyder 46, Schauer 41. Snyder still in the lead despite recent polls.
NM-Gov: Martinez 54, King 38. In my caucasion heart I knew this would never be close.
GA-Gov: Pick whichever poll you like, but for this race there's enough polling that I'd advise taking the RCP average, which has it around 45-42 Deal.
Rasmussen: Dems 41, GOP 38. A sign of Ras's Dem bias this cycle? Or are Dem attacks getting through? Bear in mind that D+3 on the generic ballot is essentially a stand-pat election in the House.
AK-Sen: Nate Silver took Alaska polling to task over the weekend, extending the CW narrative from "Alaska polls are terrible" to "Alaska polls are terrible because they always significantly underestimate Republicans." Silver's venerated model thus gives Dan Sullivan (R) a significantly larger lead than the polling average does.
LA-Sen: Sen. Mary Landrieu reimbursed taxpayers the $33,000 she used to charter a private plane to campaign events on government time. The Ethics Committee has not yet taken up the matter, and this may make them less likely to do so.
CT-05: As Gov. Dan Malloy (D) struggles statewide, he's extremely unpopular in the state's most conservative district. Republicans are now trying to tie Rep. Elizabeth Esty to Malloy in hopes of boosting businessman Mark Greenberg, who has flown under the radar for much of this cycle but could ride to an upset on Tom Foley's coattails.
MN-02: Bill Maher has decided to quixotically target Rep. John Kline (R) by dumping a lot of money into this race, apparently unaware that Democrats aren't even targeting Kline seriously.
MN-08: Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL) is showing every symptom of an aging Congressman unexpectedly facing his first competitive race in decades: ignoring talking points, refusing to fundraiser, using awkward hyperboles, and so on. But Nolan just returned to the House by winning a competitive race in 2012, so Democrats are particularly troubled by his lack of poise. Nolan admitted over the weekend that his polling is showing a tie with GOP nominee Stewart Mills.
NY-24: The NRCC is on the air surprisingly early in this light-blue district, running a spot that both attacks Rep. Dan Maffei (D) and boosts GOP nominee John Katko. You may recall that Maffei was upset in 2010 by Ann Marie Buerkle, who came out of nowhere in the closing weeks to pull off one of the night's most surprising results. The NRCC apparently has reason to believe Maffei--who has only cleared 50% once in his 4 bids for this seat--is ripe for another upset.
IN-Gov: Evan Bayh (D), who served two terms as governor and two in the Senate, confirmed that he won't run for governor again in 2016. That's hardly a surprise, as Bayh has made his home in DC since 1999, and has all his campaign funds tied up in a federal account.
OH-Gov: It's becoming hard to tell which Ed FitzGerald stories are the product of pathological lying, and which are merely general incompetence. This weekend we learned that FitzGerald once denied that he had ever received a traffic ticket while running for City Council...on the same day that he pleaded guilty in court to his third traffic ticket in 8 years. And we still have seven more weeks of FitzGerald stories before he goes away for good!
California: The "Six Californias" initiative, which would have split the Golden State into 6 and likely netted Democrats a few more Senators, has failed to make the 2016 ballot.
Scotland: The Scottish independence vote is this Thursday; four polls of the race came out this weekend with the independence measure trailing in three.
Congress KS-Sen: The Kansas Supreme Court will hold argument next week whether Democratic nominee Chad Taylor will remain on the ballot as instructed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach or not. Taylor is attempting to have his name removed from the ballot, in a move almost everyone agrees is to boost a third party candidate.
PA-1/PA-2: To give you an idea how inconsequential these races are, the Philly Daily News has buried two comical and depressing stories about the poor souls running against Congressmen Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah after a story on how Corbett's political career is more dead than a deer hit 10 times by semis on the Turnpike.
Senate: NRSC Vice Chairman for Finance Senator Rob Portman says the Republicans will be on the offensive down the home stretch as he does not see any Republican held seriously in contention. Being nearly exclusively on the offensive is great for the Republicans, but not great for the Democrats.
MI-12: Congressman John Dingell has been released from the hospital after being hospitalized a few days ago for abdominal pain. Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress ever, is retiring this year after being a member of the House since 1955.
States/Other Biden 2016: Vice President Joe Biden is making his way to Iowa right after Democratic 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Biden will be working on get out the vote efforts and in particular will be appearing with social justice focused nuns. Feel free to submit your jokes about Biden being on a bus full of nuns.
Teachout: Bold Progressives over at the Huffington Post are having a wet dream by pushing failed NY Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout to run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Basically they think Teachout's strong performance against Governor Andrew Cuomo gives her a launching pad.
Return of the Neocons: In a move that will make myself, MosheM, and Andyroo warm at heart, the American people are moving away with their flirtation with libertarianism and civil liberties and embracing their love of national security. Somewhere our Dark Lord, Dick Cheney is enjoying this as well.
Web Access and Mobile Devices: Politico has an interesting piece on how campaigns are suffering from bad mobile sites. As someone who does the bulk of his political reading on an iPhone, this is a big issue. One of the reasons we keep this site simple is because it works on mobile devices as is pretty well.
AK-Sen: In the latest of a string of unforced errors by incumbent Senators, Mark Begich has listed his D.C. address on his SEC forms and local property records. This is particularly uncomfortable for Begich, who has made Dan Sullivan’s stint in D.C. a focal point of his campaign. While things like this generally mean little in actual effects, they do help create an image of an aloof D.C. insider, which isn’t something Begich can afford in a state like Alaksa.
NY-Sen-Gilibrand: The Junior Senator from New York is out with a new book, where she refers to her former home of Arlington VA a “Souless Suburb”. While this will have little effect on her chances of re-election in urban-dominated New York State, it does suggest that she’s not watching her words. Her name has been floated as a possible future presidential contender, but she’s certainly not acting like it.
Maher-2014: Bill Maher is starting his campaign to “flip a district”, and is trying to decide on a specific Republican to target. His top 4 choices are unusual however, as NC-2 and TX-27 aren’t expected to be remotely competitive, MN-2 is Likely R at absolute worst, and CO-6 has so much outside spending that any attempt by Maher is likely to wind up as a drop in the bucket. His expanded list is also confusing, given that all of the targets are incumbents, and therefore generally harder to flip than the GOP’s more vulnerable open seats.
AK-Gov: Now facing a fusion ticket (and a suddenly competitve election), Republican Governor Sean Parnell has replaced his campaign manager with a top staffer to the Republican speaker of the state house.
ME-Gov: We have dueling lawsuits in the Pine Tree State. Republicans have charged that a recorded phone call between a number of Left-wing groups was in violation of campaign finance regulations (the groups are not allowed to actively coordinate), while Democrats have responded by saying that the recording was done illegally.
MD-Gov: The DGA is spending $750,000 here in support of Anthony Brown. This is a surprisingly large chunk of money for a governor’s race in deep-blue Maryland, and could signal that Brown’s internal polling isn’t as rosy as you would expect.
NM-Gov: Democratic nominee Gary King is refusing to apologize for his “Latino Heart” comment, where he said that Republican incumbent and Mexican-American Susana Martinez doesn’t have a “Latino Heart” because of various policy positions she holds. This is just another way of saying the usual “Candidate X isn’t really a Y because he/she is a Republican” line that (usually white) Democrats have used to refer to female or minority Republican candidates.
PA-Gov: If you wanted a good (but admittedly biased) look at the other reason Republican Governor Corbett is doing so poorly in Pennsylvania (aside from Penn State), here it is. The Republicans technically control both houses of the state legislature, but they lack the unity necessary to actually pass any of Corbett’s planned reforms. Pennsylvania is a state where “Union Republicans” are very much a thing, and as a result unified GOP control of the state government doesn’t mean that Republicans can pass their agenda.
R-in-Blue Govs: The Daily Beast looks at the surprisingly large number of places where Republicans stand good chances at winning the governor’s mansions in reliably blue states. The 2010 election turned out most of the GOP Governors in those kind of states (California, Rhode Island, Vermont, etc.), but Republicans are looking at least decent in Hawaii, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Democrats have a few of their own possible red-seat pickups, most notably in Kansas, but the edge seems to belong to the GOP here.
CA-Everything: One of the CAGOP’s most interesting potential candidates, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is rumored to be considering taking a job as commissioner of the NFL. That would likely prevent her from running for any office in the immediate future, and considering she previously expressed interest in the post as early as 2002, odds are this is serious.
GOP-unpopularity: The Washington Post looks at the Republican Party’s decidedly negative image, and points out that the raw data is generally misleading. The gap between the party's favorability ratings comes mostly from Republicans being far more down on their own party than Democrats are on theirs, and they also mention that the same poll shows that voters consider a GOP-controlled Senate a “Good thing” rather than a “Bad Thing” by a 32-25 margin. Voters may be down on the Republicans, but it doesn’t seem to be significantly hurting their electoral chances, as evidenced by the GOP lead in RCP's generic ballot poll.
Marijuana: This story is about Senator Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) attempt to close a loophole that allows welfare recipients in Washington State to purchase pot with their welfare cards. While unexciting, this is more important as a sign of how pot laws are coming into play nationally as the legalization experiments in Colorado and Washington unfold.
MN-Auditor: Randy Gilbert, the Republican candidate for this statewide office, has ducked a number of public appearances after a series of emails were released detailing his alleged affair with a married woman. Gilbert needed some big breaks to be competitive in this Likely-D-ish race, and these are exactly what he doesn’t want right now.
NE-Lt-Gov: Secretary of State John Gale has approved the replacement of embattled Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann (not Heineman, which is the last name of the current Governor) from the November ticket, to be replaced by State Auditor and previous Gov candidate Mike Foley. Heidemann received a domestic violence restraining order related to an incident with his sister, which would have almost certainly become a major drag on Republican candidate Pete Ricketts. The legality of the move is shaky at best (the deadline was September 1st).
Scandals: This is a good look at what kind of scandals incumbents can survive, and what kind usually brings them down.
AZ-1: Tobin (R) is out with an internal showing him up 7, 51-44. Its worth mentioning that this poll massively undersamples Native Americans (who are over 20% of the district and are 6% of the respondents)
In Delaware, 2012 nominee Kevin Wade (R) won the Senate nod again, hotel exec Ken Simpler (R) won the Treasurer primary, and DEDP official Brenda Mayrack won the Auditor nod. Two State House incumbents, Williams (D-LD-10) and Blakely (R-LD-34) were defeated.
In Massachusetts, veteran Seth Moulton (D) ousted Rep. John Tierney in MA-6. AG Martha Coakley (D) won a seriously unimpressive 42-37 Gov primary win, Teddy K staffer Steve Kerrigan won LG-D, prosecutor Maura Healey won AG-D, and Brookline councilwoman Deb Goldberg won Treas-D. In the State House, Rep. Wayne Matewsky (D-Everett), best known for berating a special-needs child at a local restaurant, was ousted.
In New Hampshire, ex-Sen. Scott Brown took Sen-R, Aerospace exec Walt Havenstein (R) won Governor, ex-Rep. Frank Guinta (R) got a shot to win back NH-1, and State Rep. Marilinda Garcia (R) won her primary in NH-2.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and ex-Rep. Kathy Hochul won, but Cuomo took an unimpressive 62% against Zephyr Teachout. In the State Senate, corrupt incumbent Malcolm Smith (D-SD-14) lost, and a teachers' union backed campaign ousted Mark Grisanti (R-SD-60). In the State House, LD-86 incumbent Victor Pichardo (D) was down 13 votes.
In Rhode Island, Treasurer Gina Raimondo (D) and Cranston Mayor Alan Fung (R) will square off for Governor. Moderate Cumberland mayor Dan McKee won LG-D, while liberal SoS staffer Nellie Gorbea won SoS-D. Seth Magaziner defeated Frank Caprio's comeback by a thumping margin in Treas-D. In the State House, incumbents Cimini (D, LD-7) and Martin (D, LD-75) were ousted.
Finally, in Texas, State Rep. Charles Perry (R) won SD-28 outright with 53%.
And now, the rest of today's story...
AK-Sen: Dan S. Sullivan (R) picked up a major endorsement from "The Alliance", a major energy industry trade group that hasn't endorsed a candidate in 20 years.
MS-Sen: The State Supreme Court has agreed to take up Chris McDaniel's challenge to the GOP primary results in October. They have the power to order a new primary even after Cochran wins the general election.
KS-Sen: Chad Taylor (D) is suing to overturn a ruling by SoS Kris Kobach (R) and get his name taken off the ballot. Getting Taylor off the ballot entirely would be a boon to businessman Greg Orman (I) in his race against Sen. Pat Roberts (R).
SD-Sen: Ex-Gov. Mike Rounds (R) is up with a suprisingly defensive ad attacking Daschle staffer Rick Weilland (D) on a visa program. Rounds has led every recent poll of this 4-way race by sizeable margins, but the tone of the ad may suggest that Rounds is not as strong a favorite as previously suspected.
LA-Sen: Antiestablishment veteran Rob Manness (R) is tacking left, demanding Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) apologize to Harry Reid for sayng the Majority Leader runs the Senate "like a plantation."
OR-Sen: A Koch-backed SuperPAC is traging neurosurgeon Monica Wehby (R), whose bid against Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) never really got off the ground after revelations of personal scandals in Wehby's past.
CA-Sen '16: Sources close to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) are whispering what her anemic fundraising was screaming: Boxer is unlikely to run for a fifth term. Given the number of ambitious Dems waiting to run for the seat, expect Boxer to make it official shortly after this year's election.
NE-Gov, NE-LG: After a restraining order was issued against LG Lavon Heidemann (R), who was running to keep his job as the running mate of businessman Pete Ricketts (R), Heidemann has resigned and dropped out of the race. Heidemann's sister filed for the order after being pushed out of a house during an argument with her brother over the care of their mother. Ricketts wasted no time in naming Auditor and defeated primary rival Mike Foley (R) as his new #2; however, Heidemann's name will remain on the ballot as it is past the deadline for ballot changes. Presumably Ricketts will have the authority to replace Heidemann with Foley if and when he wins the election.
KY-Gov '15: Ag Commissioner James Comer (R) officially entered this race yesterday, with suburban Cincinnati State Sen. Chris McDaniel as his running mate. Comer will face ex-Louisville councilman Hal Heiner in the GOP primary; AG Jack Conway is currently the only D running, but ex-LG Dan Mongiardo has also been considering the race.
NRCC: The NRCC has launched TV spots in 9 districts, taking on 7 D incumbents and challengers in the tough holds of FL-2 and IA-3.
State & Local:
SC-LG: State Rep. Bakari Sellers (D) is hitting his rival, ex-AG Henry McMaster (R), over McMaster's membership in a formerly white-only country club. However, the charges have fallen somewhat flat amid the revelation that Sellers's law partner belongs to the same club.
ID-Supt: We've seen plenty of website-copying cases, but as far as I know, this is the first time it's been done from someone's general election opponent. GOP nominee and Some Dude Sherri Ybarra apparently copied large sections of her website from her Democratic rival, 2006 nominee Jana Jones.
AZ-Supt: Ex-Superintendent Lisa Graham Keegan (R) has endorsed college professor David Garcia (D) over Peoria school board member Diane Douglas (R). A key sticking point is the Common Core standards; Douglas opposes them while Keegan and Garcia are in favor.
WATN: It was one of the cycle's bigger mysteries why CA SoS Debra Bowen did not run for anything this year after being termed-out, with several open statewide slots and an open congressional seat in her home district (CA-33). Now we know why. Bowen has been struggling with severe depression and is absent from her office several days each week. Bowen says that she is still running the office from her home.