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National: Is a Republican wave coming? Some of that depends on semantics. Some recent analyses suggest that there isn't one because there are only a few opportunities for Republicans to pick up Senate seats beyond their red-state base. But even then, that could net the GOP 7 more seats, which is a significant shift no matter where they come from. Some of the "no wave" talk also stems from the fact that waves are usually defined by how many House seats a party picks up and Republicans aren't likely to pick up a lot of House seats. But that's mostly due to the decreasing number of competitive seats and Republicans being near their ceiling in seats they can reasonably win anyway.
National-Senate: The Senate appears to be headed to a record number of ex-House members in the body next year. Currently, 51 Senators formerly served in the House, just one short of the record of 52 set in 2006. With at least 8 House members on the ballot this year, that number is likely to increase, including Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, and West Virginia where a current House member could replace a Senator who didn't serve in the House. Georgia and South Dakota are places were a new Senator who did not serve in the House is guaranteed to replace one who did, and Iowa is a possibility too, with a couple of longshots in New Mexico and Oregon.
IA-Sen: The drip, drip, drip of unfavorable stories about Rep. Bruce Braley (D) continues. The newest problem involves the fact that Braley missed 75% of meetings of the House Veteran's Affairs Committee in 2011 and 2012, including one in 2012 that he missed to attend fundraisers for his campaign.
NE-Sen: Independent candidate Jim Jenkins has released a poll taken for his campaign which says that 65% of respondents in the state say the two-party system is broken and 56% say they would consider voting for an independent candidate. Of course, independent and 3rd party candidates often cite statistics like this to bolster their candidacies, but as is usually the case, people like the idea of independent and 3rd party candidacies more than they actually end up voting for them. It would be surprising if Jenkins got higher than single digits, and as an ex-Democrat, what votes he takes are likely to come from Democrat David Domina(not that Ben Sasse needs the help anyway).
NC-Sen: The Koch brothers affiliated Freedom Partners has bought airtime totaling $3.4 million from August 6 through Sept. 2 for issue ads to use against Sen. Kay Hagan (D). The outside spending should help state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) as he has been hampered in recent weeks by budget battles in the Legislature and has far trailed in Hagan in fundraising.
KS-4: SUSA shows a tightening primary race between Rep. Mike Pompeo (R) and ex-Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R). Pompeo leads 46-39 in the poll, down from a 51-34 lead last month.
NY-12: How does a candidate in an unwinnable race make the news without doing something really bad? By signing to star in a reality show about candidates in unwinnable races. Republican candidate Nick Di Iorio's campaign requested guidance from the FEC to see if he could do the show. The FEC said he could do it, as long as he did not get paid for it. The show would focus on two candidates in "unwinnable" races, although it's not clear who would air the show. Di Iorio's campaign claims the show was under consideration by the Esquire Network, but they deny that any such show is being developed or produced by the network.
WI-Gov: A new Marquette University poll indicates a very close race between Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Mary Burke (D). Walker leads Burke 46-45 among registeerd voters, while Burke leads 47-46 among likely voters. The sample shows an electorate much like 2012 however, which may be too D for a midterm where turnout is expected to be depressed for Democrats.
KY-Gov/LG 2015: State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer (R), who has not yet announced a bid for governor but is expected to do so soon, has apparently settled on his choice of a running mate. The name of that person? State Sen. Chris McDaniel(!). This Chris McDaniel however doesn't appear to be controversial in the way the Chris McDaniel from Mississippi is-he is in his first term in the Senate representing northern Kenton County(Northern KY/metro Cincinnati) and at 36 is considered a rising star in the party.
AZ-SOS: Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has endorsed state Sen. Michele Reagan in the Republican primary for Secretary of State-the job she held before becoming governor. Brewer endorsed her over primary rivals state Rep. Justin Pierce and businessman and 2012 Senate candidate Wil Cardon. Reagan has also been endorsed by two other Republican women who served as Secretaries of State-Betsey Bayless and former Gov. Jane Dee Hull.
MS-state offices 2015: Here's a primer on how races are shaping up in the Magnolia State for 2015. Gov. Phil Bryant (R) is expected to cruise to re-election; he is not expected to receive any serious Tea party-fueled challenge despite his support for Sen. Thad Cochran and the chances of him being defeated by a Democrat are even less unless AG Jim Hood gets in the race, and Hood doesn't seem to have any interest in running for governor and isn't considered a lock to even run for re-election as AG. An interesting race for LG could come about as current LG Tate Reeves (R) is disliked by Bryant and despised by Chris McDaniel. SOS Delbert Hosemann has been talked about as a possible primary challenger and McDaniel himself could run, setting up the possibility(noting the KY news above) of two Republican state Senators with the same name running for LG in two different states at the same time. State Auditor Stacey Pickering (R) could receive a Tea Party primary challenge over his endorsement of Cochran over fellow Jones Countian McDaniel.
San Antonio Mayor: Councilwoman Ivy Taylor has been chosen by her colleagues on the City Council to be the city's new mayor, succeding new HUD secretary Juilan Castro. Taylor is black, making San Antonio the largest US city ever to have a black woman as mayor. Taylor got the nod in part by vowing to not seek election to the office next year, guaranteeing an open race for the largely ceremonial position.
Boom. If the NYT is to be believed, the crew-cut military Democrat from Montana may be making a run for the title of the sleaziest member of the US Senate. From Jonathan Martin:
Each of the six recommendations Mr. Walsh laid out at the conclusion of his 14-page paper, titled “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” is taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic.
It's also important to note that this was not the work of a 21-year old who made a bad decision while pulling an all-nighter... this thesis was written in 2007.
Walsh was already running far behind Rep. Steve Daines (R) in the race to win a full term for the seat to which he was (controversially) appointed at the beginning of this year. Recent polls had seen him gaining some momentum, cutting Daines's 15ish-point lead down to the single digits. But these allegations are pretty darn damning, and only add to the ethical problems Walsh has faced with regards to intimidating people under his command in the military to boost his own national stature. At this point the odds of Walsh winning now look smaller than the odds of him being forced to end his campaign entirely.
UPDATE: Walsh's excuse is that he was suffering from PTSD at the time. I find that explanation pretty disrespectful to the people actually suffering from PTSD and for whom it results in more deleterious effects than recieving a masters without doing the work.
Poll Fundraising Update: We are extremely close - we have raised $220 thanks to our wonderful readers, leaving us just $30 away from our goal for fundraising to poll either KS-Sen or TN-Sen. Anything you can donate between now and tomorrow will really help us get over the top. If you donate, be sure to email us (redracinghorses at yahoo dot com) with your donation amount and preference between Kansas and Tennessee.
Last Night's Results:
The main attraction was the Republican runoff in Georgia, with a US Senate race and a trio of US House runoffs. In GA-SEN, self-funder businessman David Perdue beat the polls to narrowly defeat Rep. Jack Kingston, who was backed by the Chamber of Commerce and a pair of his former opponents from the first round.
In the House in GA-01, state Senator Buddy Carter pulled out a win against surgeon Bob Johnson. In GA-10, the Paul Broun tradition will survive with the victory of pastor Jody Hice over Mac Collins, son of a former US Representative. And in GA-11, state Senator Barry Loudermilk crushed former Rep. Bob Barr, who wasn't conservative enough for the anti-establishment and had burned too many bridges with mainstream Republicans to have much of a base left eitehr way.
The closest race on the ballot though? The Republican runoff for state School Superintendent, a proxy battle over Common Core where the opposed candidate Richard Woods led Mike Buck by 0.18%. Woods will head to a somewhat competitive general with liberal Decatur school board chair Valarie Wilson (D), who won her own runoff yesterday over a more moderate candidate.
Two incumbents were ousted from the State Legislature, Jack Murphy (R) in SD-27 and Carol Fullerton (D) in LD-153. Separately, Republicans held a State Rep. seat in a special for Connecticut's LD-122.
Colorado: A PPP poll finds incumbent Mark Udall (D) leading Rep. Cory Gardner (R) 44%-43%. Not a bad result in a state that has emerged as a swing state. Notice the generic ballot, where Republicans lead 45%-38%, and the beautfiul number of undecideds for the statewide races like State Treasurer and Secretary of State.
Texas: Uhhh.... this is not about the Senate race you are thinking.
On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) responded to last Sunday’s episode of HBO’s True Blood—the one in which foul-mouthed vampires and assault weapon-blasting yakuza thugs invade a Ted Cruz fundraiser thrown at the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Bloody mayhem, naturally, ensued.
Nope, not touching that one.
North Carolina: Freedom Partners is dropping at least $2.8 million in the Senate race on broadcast and cable, running between August 6th and September 2nd.
Iowa: Give it the Gravis grain of salt: Rep. Bruce Braley (D) 44%, Jodi Ernst (R) 43%.
Colorado: Like in the Senate race, incumbent Governor John Hickenlooper (R) leads former Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) 44%-43%. This race took a bit longer to develop than Gardner's duel with Udall, but Hickenloopers prominently liberal record probably helped. New York: The New York Times is going after Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) on state ethics inquiries. Still safe D. In the state where the indictment ticker never seems to get more than a few days before it resets, are political favors really that shocking?
Florida: SurveyUSA finds former Governor Charlie Crist (confused) leading Rick Scott (R) 46%-40% after the former selected a runningmate. We'll see if other polls pick up on this or if it this is simply noise. (Also, does anyone else find Hillary leading Rubio for President 53%-39% kind of odd? Especially with Rand trailing only 46%-42%?)
Iowa: From the same Gravis poll, Branstad (R) 50% and Hatch (D) 42%.
NH-01: Right before a debate tonight, former Governor Craig Benson (R) has endorsed former Rep. Frank Guinta in his Republican primary with UNH business school dean Dan Innis.
NY-04: Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice took the unusual step as a congressional candidate of making a campaign stop in Israel. Her district boasts a large Jewish population. Incidentally, her opponent, Republican Bruce Blakeman, is also Jewish.
MI-04: After putting $1.9 million into the race, businessman (and fundraiser) Paul Mitchell has pulled into the lead in his Republican primary with state Senator John Moolenaar. An EPIC-MRA poll finds Mitchell leading Moolenaar 50%-27%. The worst part about this, though, is that Mitchell pulled the attack ads he had been running against Gary Peters running for US Senate to prop up his own bid. C'est la vie.
NY-18: Another Gravis poll with a pretty breathless writeup. Former Rep. Nan Hayworth (R) at 44% and incumbent Rep. Sean Maloney (D) at 40%.
9:58 ET: Chatham County is officially finished, and so are its chances of electing one of its own to the Senate. Perdue's lead is only 3,500 and there are probably over 100,000 votes still to count, but he's doing consistently well enough in Metro Atlanta that we can call this one for him.
9:50 ET: There's an official call for Hice in GA-10, and we can make an unofficial call for Carter in GA-01. Both seats are Safe R in the general. The GOP Superintendent race is a complete coin flip at this point; Mike Buck is up by 1,000 and one in six Senate voters is skipping this line. Valarie Wilson should hang on to win the Dem nod by much less than expected.
9:45 ET: Gwinnett and Chatham are indeed still adding votes, which means precincts are indeed sending incomplete totals, which means we can't put a finger on how much is left. But Perdue's lead is holding steady at 2300, and it looks likely to keep growing.
9:40 ET: Hall County, the largest county that is certainly finished counting, reported a dropoff of only 7%. If that figure holds statewide, it means there could be as many as 130,000 ballots still out there.
9:35 ET: Actually, depending on how the SoS site is counting early votes, Chatham and Gwinnett may not be finished (all precincts are reporting votes, but perhaps some precincts are only reporting early votes and will add election day votes later). The SoS, AP, and Politico have been out-of-synch all night, making it difficult to discern exactly how much is out. Currently, 431K votes have been counted, which means turnout exceeded initial projections in the 400-450K range.
9:29 ET: Counting has slowed. Just by looking through the precinct lists on the SoS website, Gwinnett County (which cast the second-most votes in May after Cobb County) appears to be done. But barring greater-than-expected dropoff, there are probably still 20,000+ votes left in Cobb and Fulton.
9:24 ET: The Perdue lead is almost 3000, and in even better news for him, there are only 3 precincts left in Chatham, and by eyeballing it at least two look to be in heavily black neighborhoods.
9:18 ET: Perdue is up 900 now, 392K counted. At a minimum, there are 25,000 Metro votes left, and that number may be over 30,000.
9:11 ET: Kingston now up 400! The comback has been fueled by the rest of Savannah (which still has a few precincts left), some better Metro precincts, and a key win in Athens, which went for Perdue last time.
9:10 ET: And just like that, Kingston cuts the lead to 600 with a very favorable vote dump. Pay no attention to that man behind the liveblog!
9:07 ET: Perdue is starting to open a lead up, now ahead by 3,000 votes out of 346K. Again, it's hard to see how the math works for Kingston unless the day-of ATL vote swings strongly his way. And at this point, with all the Metro counties well into their election-day-vote reporting, Kingston needs to hope he has strongholds within the counties that are reporting behind Perdue's strongholds.
9:05 ET: I'm going to officially call GA-10 for Hice, who is still up 55-45. We're also close to that point in GA-01, where Carter is up 52-48 with mostly favorable Chatham precincts still to come.
9:02 ET: Kingston is doggedly holding on to a 300-vote lead as we approach 80% of the expected vote total. Savannah/Chatham still has about a quarter of its precincts left to report, although some may be mostly black and effectively "empty."
8:58 ET: Ben McGorty (R) won the meaningless State Rep special in Connecticut, for those interested. The GA-SD-8 (R) runoff is tight: 16 votes separate the candidates with 8 precincts to go.
8:54 ET: Perdue is averaging a 54-46 lead in Metro Atlanta, with much more than half the region still out. By contrast, Kingston is pulling 85% in Savannah, but its outstanding vote is at best one-sixth that of ATL.
8:47 ET: A quick reset: GA-Sen virtually tied (~65% in), Carter up 100 votes in GA-01 (~65% in), 55-45 Hice in GA-10 (over 80% in), Loudermilk romps in GA-11. Mike Buck has a very small lead in Supt-R, while Wilson's lead has been cut to 52-48 in Supt-D.
8:45 ET: Perdue's lead has dwindled to 300 votes as the first Fulton precincts roll in. Let's move this over to Thread #2!
8:41 ET: Here comes Savannah, and it's wrecking Perdue like Sherman wrecked Tara. Hometown boy Jack Kingston is getting 88% of the port city's vote so far, and there's plenty more to come. But even if Kingston retakes the lead, all of Fulton County is still out.
8:39 ET: Hice's lead is holding up, no if's, and's, or Butts (that would be Mike Collins' home county, which has now reported). It's a 54-46 race and unless the remainder of Athens gives Collins 75% or so, it's a win for the ultra-evangelical caucus in Paul Broun's district.
8:30 ET: Perdue takes his first significant lead (2000 votes) with half the vote in. Kingston could get a 10,000 vote margin out of Savannah. But he'll have to fight to a near draw in the remaining ~45% of the state.
8:22 ET: Kingston's lead has hovered right around 2,000 votes for the whole night, and that's where it is (50.5-49.5) with 173K votes (~40%) in. Kingston is doing well enough in the completed counties (which are generally rural and favorable to him) to win, but the margins Perdue gets in Metro Atlanta will really decide this,
8:20 ET: Johnson is up 52-48 in GA-01, but again, there's still nothing from Chatham, and if Carter gets anything close to the 5:3 margin he got there in May, he's fine.
8:18 ET: Hice's 54-46 lead in GA-10 comes on the back of his home base in Walton County (57% in the primary), which is reporting more votes than anywhere else in the district. Two of Collins' key counties, Butts and Clarke (Athens) are still entirely out, so this should tighten.
8:10 ET: Perdue has the early lead in three important secondary population centers: Columbus, Macon, and Augusta. The only area north of I-20 where Kingston has broken through is NW Georgia, just over the line from Chattanooga. Kingston still has Savannah entirely out, but there are far more votes left in Metro Atlanta.
8:08 ET: Loudermilk is routing Barr and will be the next Rep from GA-11. Hice is up 55-45 on Collins in GA-10, with all of Athens still out.
8:03 ET: Tonight's big question: will Perdue's strong early-vote performance translate to election day votes? He scored in the 30's in the suburban Atlanta counties in May, but is over 50% there in the early vote. If he can sustain that pace, it's hard to see how Kingston finds the votes outstate.
7:58 ET: Kingston's lead is down to 51-49 with 82,000 votes in (about 20% of the expected total). Perdue is leading the early returns in both Cobb and Gwinnett. Conventional wisdom on this one may have been wrong.
7:54 ET: Underdog Bob Johnson has taken a small lead in GA-01. All of Chatham County (Savannah), which includes Buddy Carter's Senate district, is still out though.
7:50 ET: Kingston is up 52-48 with 62K votes in. The early map looks very good for Perdue, who is winning most of the rural counties north of I-20. None of the four large Metro Atlanta counties (Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, and Gwinett) have reported yet, and Perdue is expected to perform well in that region.
7:42 ET: Early turnout reports are suggesting that the dropoff may be as much as 30% from the first round. 605K votes were cast in May, so that would put tonight's total turnout in the low-to-mid 400s. By contrast, turnout dropped from 680K to 580K in the 2010 GOP primary and runoff.
7:39 ET: The Superintendent runoffs are tonight's statewide undercard, and the GOP one between Mike Buck and Richard Woods is currently separated by only 25 votes. Valarie Wilson is up 55-45 on the Dem side.
7:34 ET: Kingston up 300 with 30,000 votes in. In the early House returns, it's 58-42 Carter in GA-01, 56-44 Hice in GA-10, and 72-28 Loudermilk in GA-11.
7:31 ET: Scattered early vote from across the state is coming in, and it'stoo early to read much into it. Kingston is again putting up Putinesque margins in the south, leading several counties by over 60 points. Perdue is up 55-45 in deep red exurban Cherokee County.
7:28 ET: The devil went down to Georgia, and he was looking for counting equipment to steal. And he found it, leaving the Georgia SoS with only an abacus and some assorted sticks and stones to tally up the votes. (Seriously, though, Georgia is one of those states that counts incredibly slowly. Kingston is up 53-47 in the very early going.)
7:00 ET: Welcome! Polls have just closed in the Peach State.
Today is the second part of our July primary "halftime show", with Georgia having its runoff. The marquee event is the Senate primary, but there are also races to decide three congressional seats and both nominees for Superintendent. Poll Closing Time is 7pm Eastern, which is, of course, also when our liveblog will start.
GA-Sen (R): After his relatively easy first-place finish in the preliminary round and with large stores of cash available, you might have been forgiven for thinking that retail exec David Perdue, cousin of ex-Gov. Sonny, was the front-runner in this runoff race. However, Perdue's opponent, Rep. Jack Kingston, turned that dynamic on its head by securing the endorsements of two eliminated candidates, Rep. Phil Gingrey and ex-SoS Karen Handel. Though both Perdue and Kingston are establishment/CoC type conservatives who ran to the left of Gingrey and Handel, both eliminated candidates were dissatisfied over Perdue's scorched-earth tactics and more openly moderate stance on fiscal policy. As such, Kingston jumped out to a huge lead in the first polls of the seccond round. However, Perdue has continued to spend heavily and slowly regained momentum. But it doesn't quite look like it will be enough. Though polls show the race close, the general consensus is that Kingston is still ahead by mid-single digits. While an upset is more possible than it looked a few weeks ago, Kingston still looks like the favorite here. Democrats are running charity exec and Heir Force member Michelle Nunn; RRH currently rates this general election as Lean R.
GA-1 (R): This race, to fill Kingston's open seat in the southeast of the state, has been a fairly typical establishment vs. antiestablishement affair. State Sen. Buddy Carter entered this race as the front-runner, led by 10 points in the first round, and remains the favorite going into the runoff. Carter is a fairly generic Republican and has coalesced most establishment support, including an endorsement from the third-place finisher in the runoff. Carter's oponent, surgeon Bob Johnson, is a fairly typical antiestablishment candidate, with the typical baggage you'd expect. Johnson's campaign has been notable mostly for a statement in which he said he'd prefer to see a terrorist attack than a continuation of TSA screening. However, Johnson has gained support from the Club for Growth, meaning he has a slight chance to pull off the upset. RRH currently rates this general election as Safe R.
GA-10 (R): This race looks like the most competitive of the three congressional runoffs. As the seat of firebrand Rep. Paul Broun, this area is known for its strong SoCon and antiestablishment proclivities. The candidate who promises to carry on the Broun tradition (and has the incumbent's endorsement) is pastor, talk show host, and prospective member of the Southern Republican Men with Female Names Caucus Jody Hice, who narrowly lost a runoff for GA-7 in 2010. Hice has a history of making controversial statements, most notably saying that Islam does not deserve first ammendment protection, and promises to be a radically antiestablishment conservative. Hice essentially tied in the first round with his opponent, trucking company owner Mike Collins, son of 90s-era ex-Rep. Mac. Collins has run a fairly antiestablishment campaign himself, picking up a notable endorsement from Rick Santorum, but is nowhere near at Hice's level in that department. The third major candidate in the race was a much more establishment-flavored Republican, meaning those voters are likely to go for Collins. However, Hice's support from the high-turnout evangelical community could carry him to a win tonight. RRH currently rates this general election as Safe R.
GA-11 (R): The national focus in this race for Gingrey's open seat has been mostly on the candidate unlikely to win. Ex-Rep. Bob Barr was a standard down-the-line conservative in the 90s before his defeat in a 2002 member-on-member primary. However, since leaving office, Barr drifted in a Libertarian direction and became the Libertarian presidential nominee in 2008. Questions about Barr's GOP bona-fides have hampered his comeback bid, and he is likely to lose tonight to State Sen. Barry Loudermilk, who topped him by 10 in the first round and is a more traditional variety of grassroots/antiestablishment conservative. However, Loudermilk has had his own issues surrounding a civil judgement against him for racial discrimination. Loudermilk still looks very likely to come out on top today, but if establishment voters go for Barr as the lesser of two evils (the two major eliminated candidates were much more establishment-oriented) the latter could pull the upset. RRH currently rates this general election as Safe R.
GA-Supt (R, D): This open seat race, to replace defeated gubernatorial candidate John Barge (R), has runoffs on both sides. The Dem side is fairly cut-and-dried: liberal Decatur school board chair Valarie Wilson is the clear favorite over the more moderate and pro-charter schools State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan. The runoff on the Republican side is somewhat more heated: Mike Buck, chief deputy to outgoing incumbent Barge, came in first in the extremely crowded initial field with 20%. However, Buck has been hurt by his vocal support for the Common Core national educational standards program. Businessman Richard Woods has made opposition to Common Core his campaign centerpiece and is probably the marginal favorite due to grassroots conservative opposition to the program. However, Buck still has some chance to win if turnout is higher. RRH currently rates this general election as Likely R.
State Senate: Five State Senate races are headed to runoffs. GA-SD-8 (R) around Valdosta is between State Rep. Elias Black and Lowndes County Commissioner John Page. Black fell short of an outright victory by just 1% in the first round and should be favored today. GA-SD-9 (R) is a nasty race between ex-Gwinnett County commissioner Michael Beaudreau, the more antiestablishment candidate, and ex-Lawrenceville councilman PK Martin. They essentially tied in the first round, and there is no clear favorite today. GA-SD-16 (R) around Coweta County in the SW Atlanta exurbs is between two first-time candidates, attorney Marty Harbin and insurance agency owner David Studdard. Harbin seems to be the more grassroots-oriented candidate and looks slightly favored. GA-SD-22 (D) came out as a de facto tie between Augusta councilman Corey Johnson and ex-Richmond County DA Harold Jones in the first round; there is no clear favorite today, but Jones seems to be slightly more liberal. GA-SD-27 (R) around Forsyth County in the NE Atlanta exurbs is home to the only incumbent Senator facing a runoff: Incumbent Jack Murphy has been in trouble due to his leadership of a failed bank. Murphy got 37% in the primary and looks more likely than not to lose today to businessman Michael Williams.
State House: Five State House races are also up for grabs. GA-LD-1 (R) in the northwest corner of the state is between incumbent John Deffenbaugh and Dade County commissioner Robert Goff; the latter should be favored. GA-LD-22 (R) around Canton and Wodstock in the NW atlanta exurbs saw its incumbent eliminated in the first round; the runoff is between teacher Meagan Biello, who narrowly lost a special runoff for the seat earlier this year, and pastor Wes Cantrell. There is no clear favorite. GA-LD-54 (R) in Atlanta's Buckhead area isn't really a race; attorney Beth Beskin finished 3 votes (!) shy of a first-round majority and her opponent is not actively contesting the runoff. GA-LD-112 (R) covers last-ring exurbs and rural areas near Covington; sales exec Aaron Brooks is the antiestablishment candidate, while school board member Dave Belton has most establishment support. There is no clear favorite.Finally, GA-LD-153 (D) in Albany is between two white Dems, State Rep. Carol Fullerton and school board member Darrel Ealum, for a majority-black district. Fullerton only narrowly led Ealum in the first round, but the other votes went to a black candidate, so Fullerton is not necessarily the underdog.
Special Election: Amazingly, there is also a legislative special general election today, for CT-LD-122 in the suburbs of Bridgeport. It is technically to fill the five months left on a deceased Rep's term, but bragging rights are really all that's at stake here: the legislature has concluded business until next year. Realtor Ben McGorty (R) and Shelton school board member Adrienne Licinsky (D) will face off; this seat looks pretty safely Republican. More importantly, someone needs to change the law so that utterly useless special elections like this one don't happen.
Poll Update: Thanks to the generosity of our readers, we are more than half way to our goal! We have raised $150 in just one day, meaning we only need $100 by Thursday in order to run a poll next week. If you're able, please send a few bucks our way via the donate link to the right.
Secondly, our GA Primary preview will be up at noon today. And now, today's news...
LA-Sen: State Rep. Paul Hollis (R), who dropped out of this race a few days ago, has endorsed Rep. Bill Cassidy (R), the front-runner to advance to a December runoff with Sen. Mary Landrieu. The presence of spoiler veteran Rob Maness (R) probably still throws this race to a runoff.
MT-Sen: PPP (D) has a strangely D-leaning sample for their new MT poll... and still shows Rep. Steve Daines (R) up by 7 on Sen. John Walsh (D). For his part, Walsh also released an internal yesterday that "only" had him down 5. Most polls of this race have pegged Daines's lead as in the mid-teens.
MN-8: Rep. Rick Nolan (D) thinks he will survive this year's re-election campaign against retail exec Stewart Mills (R), but Democrats are jive talkin' to him that his disco-vintage campaign apparatus, left over from his first stint in Congress from 1974-80, is insufficient to keep him stayin' alive. Keep on truckin', Rick.
RI-Gov: Could Trophy Husband/Heir Force Candidate Clay Pell actually win the Dem primary for Governor against two more qualified candidates, Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras? Pundits seem to be considering that possibility. With his comically lightweight resume, a Pell primary win might be the only way to salvage Republican chances here.
MA-Gov: State Treasuer and ex-DNC chair Steve Grossman is airing his first ad in his underdog bid to beat AG Martha Coakley in the Dem primary. The ad mildly hits Coakley but mostly plays up Grossman's business background.
MN-Gov: Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (R), the favorite in the GOP gubernatorial primary in three weeks, has had emergency stomach surgery. Best wishes to him on his recovery.
NY-Gov: As is his style, Chris Christie once again says the logical thing a little too bluntly. C'mon, Chris. We all know Astorino is not going to win. There's no need to kick him any further.
In continuing with our quest to bring you as much quality original polling as we can, we are ready to conduct another survey. We have identified two possible opportunities to poll: the GOP Senate Primaries in Kansas and Tennessee, both coming up in just two weeks. Both races have been heating up in recent weeks and could be surprisingly exciting, but are still underpolled - meaning either could use a little attention from our highly accuratepolling operation. We have some funds (about 2/3 of what we need) left over from advertising revenue and last poll's donations. However, we still need another $250 in order to go ahead with this survey. So we're going to do another help-us-choose fundraiser like we had last year. But we need to move quickly. To participate:
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If we meet the goal, whichever state gets more in donations will be polled, with results arriving late next week (we are shooting for Thursday, July 31, but that date is subject to change as the situation warrants).
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Stay tuned for an important announcement from RRH at noon today!
CO-Sen: Fracking is causing some headaches for Democrats in Colorado. A pair of anti-fracking measures backed by congressman Jared Polis (D) are set to be on the ballot this November, and this has caused a rift in the local Democratic party between the environmentalist base and Senator Mark Udall (D) and Governor John Hickenlooper (D), both of whom came out against the measures. Colorado is one of the leading gas-producing states in the country, and Udall and Hickenlooper are trying to avoid angering the state’s substantial gas interests, but have pissed off environmentalists who form a big portion of the D base in the state. Republican candidate Cory Gardner is watching gleefully.
KS-Sen: Independent Candidate Greg Orman has raised an impressive $600,000 for his bid for Kansas Senate. That is even more impressive when you realize that none of that is self-funded or PAC-funded. So far all the attention in this race has been on the Republican primary where Tea-party aligned Milton Wolf is primarying Incumbent Pat Roberts, and Democrats seem to be more focused on beating embattled Governor Sam Brownback than seriously contesting this race. Orman has taken a good first step, but he needs a lot more than that to make a real play for this seat.
KY-Sen: Meet Gil Fulbright, the straight-talking candidate for this Senate seat! Fulbright is running on a platform of honesty, openness, and . . . the rights of fictional candidates. Fulbright is actually a character played by a New York actor designed to satirize Big-money politics, including lines such as "People of Kentucky, you deserve complete honesty, so here it is. I don't care about you. Unless you are a donor, a lobbyist who can write a big fat check, the result that you get from voting for me is negligible”. There appears to be actual money behind this push too, so Kentucky voters will likely see more of Honest Gil as we move towards November.
MI-Sen: A new Epic-MRA poll of this race has Democrat congressman Gary Peters with a 9-point lead over Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. This is an improvement for Peters over their last poll, where he led by 6. The polls of this race have all shown a single-digit Peters lead for a while now.
TN-Sen: A new poll is out showing Incumbent Republican Senator Lamar Alexander up only 43-36 over his main opponent Joe Carr. The poll is from a group backing Carr, so take it with a grain of salt, but this race wasn’t on most people’s radar. This might result in Carr getting some bigger backing from Tea Party groups hungering for a victory over one of the more moderate Republican Senators.
CT-Gov: John McKinney, one of the candidates running against Tom Foley for the Republican nomination, is facing severe criticism for doctoring some of Foley’s comments in one of his ads. The ad omits some of Foley’s words to make him say “I’m not going to cut spending” instead of “I’m not saying I’m going to cut spending, I’m saying I’m going to hold spending flat”. McKinney is hitting back, saying that the edited clip says the same thing as the unedited one.
MA-Gov: A new poll has Democrat Martha Coakley up only 3 points on Republican Charlie Baker (39-36). There are plenty of undecided voters however, and Baker isn’t getting the support with Democrats and Independents that Republican candidates need to win statewide.
NY-Gov: Andrew Cuomo has formed a new party, the Women’s Equality Party, to add to his ballot lines. Since fusion voting in New York allows candidates to run as the nominees from multiple parties at once, Cuomo is basically adding his name beside “Women’s Equality” on the ballots in addition to the Working Families Party and the standard Democratic Line. To show just how pointless this is, Cuomo won’t even be attending the announcement. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone form a “Terrorism is Bad” party.
OK-Gov: Mary Fallin has seen her poll numbers sink in recent weeks, most likely over education as the state recently repealed Common Core standards. Fallin is still above water at 52% favorability however, and Democrats need it lower than that to be seriously competitive in one of the most Conservative States in the country.
TX-Gov: How do you know you have too much money? You’re running political ads in movie theaters. Greg Abbott’s (R) massive $36 Million Warchest is apparently too big even for Texas, so he’s buying ads in the previews before films. This might be breaking new ground, as I’ve never heard of a candidate doing this sort of this before. Of course, this is all pointless flailing as Abbott will inevitably be destroyed by the utterly unstoppable Wendy Davis Juggernaut in November.
FL-20: Alcee Hastings (D), aka the congressman and former judge who was impeached for bribery and perjury before winning this Black-VRA district in Broward County, has a primary challenger in former heavyweight boxer Jameel McCline. McCline, who himself served time in prison before becoming a moderately successful professional boxer, is a political newbie and probably nothing more than a speed bump for Hastings’ renomination and re-election, but I can always hope.
LA-5: Throw another candidate on the pile here; Conservative Republican Businessman Harris Brown is running for this formerly open district. At this rate, McAllister might be able to keep his seat if the anti-McAllister vote is split between a bunch of candidates and the lone Democrat Jaime Mayo takes the other runoff spot.
NY-18: A new Gravis poll has former Republican Congresswoman Nan Hayworth up 4 points on the Democrat who beat her in 2012, Sean Patrick Maloney. It’s Gravis, so salt to taste, but it does greatly counter the narrative that Maloney was putting this race away. If only Hayworth could pick up her fundraising . . .
VA-7: Whitehouse Gatecrasher Tareq Salahi has filed 3,000 signatures to run for this congressional seat. He has absolutely no chance of winning, but we can expect a few more laughs out of him before November.
CA-Controller: Assembly Leader John Perez has ended the recount for this race, effectively conceding the general election slot to fellow Democrat Betty Yee. Perez only picked up a handful of votes in what were his best counties, and therefore decided that continuing to fund the effort wasn’t worth it. Betty Yee will face off against Fresno Mayor and Republican Ashely Swearengin in November.
Montgomery-Mayor: Republican and former Democratic congressman Artur Davis officially running for the mayor of Montgomery. On the surface this seems like a good idea for Davis, as the city is majority-black but receptive to Republican mayors (though the position is non-partisan), but the current mayor Todd Strange is also a Republican and widely expected to run for re-election, meaning Davis might wind up costing Republicans the office.
WATN: Former New Mexico Governor Toney Anaya (D) has settled charges with the SEC relating to efforts to hide that former criminals were secretly running the company he was CEO of.
WATN-New York Politics Edition: Dan Halloran, the Queens Republican busted in one of New York’s many political scandals, described New York Politics as being like prostitution in his trial. He claimed that “Everyone who’s running (for office) is in a sense a whore, because you have to go around begging for money,”. Prostitutes everywhere were of course insulted that someone would dare compare their profession to the cesspool of corruption and moral decadence that is New York politics.