8:22 AM PT: NJ-Sen: For what I'm guessing is their final New Jersey poll, Quinnipiac switched to a likely voter model, but it hasn't changed how things look in next week's Democratic primary. Newark Mayor Cory Booker continues to crush the field, taking 54 percent, while Rep. Frank Pallone is a distant second at 17, Rep. Rush Holt sits at 15, and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver brings up the rear with 5. And for what it's worth, Booker smashes likely GOP nominee Steve Lonegan 54-29 in the October general election.
8:39 AM PT: NYC Comptroller: Interesting. In a tidbit at the end of a Wall Street Journal piece on the city comptroller's race, Scott Stringer's campaign refused to say whether Stringer would challenge Eliot Spitzer in the general election on the Working Families Party line if Spitzer wins the Democratic primary. Republicans actually have a candidate running here (finance executive John Burnett), and most of the Democratic establishment is backing Stringer, so he doesn't really have a lot of appeal to more conservative voters. But could there be enough anti-Spitzer sentiment outside of the primary electorate to lead to an unexpected outcome? I'd love to see this scenario polled.
9:23 AM PT: Detroit Mayor: Despite a 16-candidate field and one high-profile write-in campaign, fears that Detroit's mayoral primary wouldn't yield results for weeks have proven unfounded, and former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon will advance to the November general election. Write-ins comprised 53 percent of the vote, and those almost certainly went overwhelmingly to Duggan, while Napoleon took 30 percent to finish in second; no other candidate won more than 6 percent.
Duggan's performance tells a remarkable comeback story, since Duggan was thrown off the ballot in June because he wasn't officially a Detroit resident when he filed petitions to get on the ballot earlier this year. (He moved into the city two weeks later.) After Duggan decided to wage a write-in effort, a barber by the name of Mike Dugeon—pronounced the same way—also put his name forth as a write-in candidate, in an unsuccessful attempt to mess with ballots cast for Duggan. (For extra clarity, one voter wrote in "the white guy Mike Duggan"; Dugeon is African-American.)
The saga's not over yet, since there's still a legal challenge pending over Duggan's write-in candidacy. But if he can stay on the ballot, Duggan, with the continued backing of the city's business community, will likely remain the front-runner in this fall's election.
They are also among at least eight female veterans and members of the National Women's Veterans Association of America (NWVAA) in San Diego who have made accusations against the mayor. Almost all of the women were victims of sexual assault while they were in the military.Wow.
The women, like Fernandez, say the former chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee used his significant power and credentials to access military sexual assault survivors, who they say are less likely to complain.
10:09 AM PT: LA-05: According to Nathan Gonzales, GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander, who just announced his retirement on Tuesday, will instead resign and take a post in Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration as head of the state's veterans department. That, of course, would force yet another special election.
11:07 AM PT: GA-Gov: The gubernatorial portion of PPP's new Georgia poll finds some serious improvement for GOP Gov. Nathan Deal, compared to where things stood for him in February. Deal's job approval rating has bounced up from 36-41 to 44-32, and he leads a trio of potential Democratic challengers by wide margins:
• 47-34 vs. state House Minority Leader Stacey AbramsCarter, a grandson of Jimmy, is the only candidate PPP tested last time, and Deal's edge was a narrower 46-38 then. What's odd is that PPP's sample is actual a bit bluer in this latest poll, so it's rather hard to say why Deal is seeing this upswing. It's possible that this survey is a bit of an outlier: PPP was also in the field last December, and back then, Deal's approvals were similar to what they found in February. I also have an untested pet theory that state officials poll worse during legislative sessions, when the sausage-making process is on full display, and lawmakers were indeed at work when PPP last polled. So maybe with the session many months in the past now, things are looking brighter for Deal.
• 48-33 vs. state Sen. Jason Carter
• 48-28 vs. state Rep. Scott Holcomb
Certainly he's doing just fine among GOP voters: Deal takes 71 percent in hypothetical primary matchups with Superintendent of Schools John Barge and Dalton Mayor David Pennington. But while I'd like to see what the next poll brings before concluding that Deal's doing better, it ultimately won't matter much. Even if Democrats can put Georgia's Senate race into play, there are too many good options elsewhere on the gubernatorial front for Deal to look like an attractive option.
11:58 AM PT (David Jarman): Seattle mayor, WA-St. Sen.: The marquee event in Tuesday's primary election in Washington was the Seattle mayoral primary, and it played out pretty much like SurveyUSA's final poll of the race predicted: state Sen. Ed Murray finished first at 30, and incumbent mayor Mike McGinn finished second at 27, meaning they advance to the general election. Ex-city councilor Peter Steinbrueck and city councilor Bruce Harrell are at 16 each; this being Washington, there are still piles of ballot left to count, but they have basically no shot at catching up.
If Murray wins in November (and it's likely he will, as he'll probably pick up the majority of the Steinbrueck/Harrell votes), he'll be Seattle's first openly gay mayor. If you're wondering how Murray and McGinn stack up ideologically... well, you're not likely to get a satisfactory answer on that, since they'd both be the most progressive candidate in just about any other city's mayoral election, but this Tuesday article from Publicola is a good explainer on the wonky differences between their competing flavors of urbanism.
One other Washington race offers some troubling news, though, in the form of a potential setback to Democratic hopes of breaking the 25- 24 "majority caucus" (Republicans + several renegade moderate Dems) control of the state Senate. Swingy SD-26 (49% O, 48% R in 2012), in the exurbs between Tacoma and Bremerton, was vacated earlier this year by Democratic now-U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, who was replaced by appointed Dem Nathan Schlicher. However, Schlicher faces a special election in November to retain his seat, and Tuesday's top 2 primary found him losing to Republican state Rep. Jan Angel. Not just by a small amount, either, but 57-43. They just face a rematch in November, but primary results in Washington are usually pretty predictive. (Even if Angel wins, though, Dems would get another shot at her in the regularly-scheduled 2014 election, hopefully with better turnout.)
12:29 PM PT: MA-Gov: Massachusetts's State Ethics Commission has issued a ruling saying that Democratic state Sen. Dan Wolf cannot run for governor—in fact, cannot even serve as state senator—because the airline he founded and owns part of, Cape Air, has two contracts with the state that allow it to service Boston's Logan Airport. Wolf's choices, say the commission, are to (a) divest from Cape Air; (b) terminate its contracts with the state; or (c) drop out of the governor's race and resign from the legislature.
Wolf doesn't sound keen to sell his stake, considering that Cape Air's been his life's work for a quarter century, and he says that ending flights to and from Logan would "destroy" the company, which is a small regional airline. Obviously door number three isn't enticing, either, so Wolf says he "will be working to rectify" the board's decision, which presumably would involve some sort of appeal, whether at the commission itself or in the courts.
2:07 PM PT: LA-05: On Wednesday, as Nathan Gonzales first reported, Gov. Bobby Jindal officially tapped GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander to serve as the next head of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, starting next month. Alexander had announced his retirement from Congress on Tuesday, but this new development means that he'll instead resign on Sept. 26, prompting a special election. Under Louisiana's unique rules, all candidates from all parties will run together on a single ballot, and unless someone clears 50 percent, the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff.
And contenders are already lining up to run. On the Republican side, state Sen. Neil Riser, an early establishment favorite, says he's "100 percent in"; he already has endorsements from Rep. John Fleming and state Sen. Mike Walsworth, who says he won't run himself. But others are looking at the race, including Alexander chief of staff Adam Terry. Another possibility is Alexander's state director, Jonathan Johnson, which could set up an unusual battle of the congressional aides.
Even though the 5th is a very red district, several Democrats are considering bids, too, among them Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo and state Rep. Marcus Hunter. State Sen. Rick Gallot is another possibility, and Roll Call's Abby Livingston also mentions state Rep. Katrina Jackson. Livingston also suggests Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy, but as a possible Republican candidate, which is a bit odd, since he's a Democrat. But of course, party switching is common in Louisiana, so perhaps he's being courted by the GOP.
2:36 PM PT: KY-Sen: Businessman Matt Bevin is already firing back against Sen. Mitch McConnell's new attack ad with one of his own. He features a clip of McConnell declaring, right after the bailout passed, that the legislation represented "the Senate at its finest." (Oh how I'll bet McConnell wishes he could unsay that.) The rest of the spot is devoted to highlighting the work of "fact checkers" (such as the Washington Post... and FOX News) who've called out "Mudslinging Mitch" for his "misleading" hits on Bevin. The buy is reportedly for $161,000.
As Jed Lewison observes, these kinds of attacks are almost non-partisan, and if McConnell survives the GOP primary, Alison Grimes can build on the narrative that Bevin's laying down. And a new analysis from Harry Enten suggests that, at least ideologically, McConnell (and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham) are in better shape than other senators who lost, or nearly lost, primary challengers. Vulnerable incumbents like Joe Lieberman and Lincoln Chafee were all much closer to ideological center of the Senate (and thus on the far edge of their party's spectrum), whereas both McConnell and Graham are in the middle of the GOP pack. That's no guarantee against losing, but it helps put these contests in historical perspective.