• OH SB5: TV stations throughout Ohio have been pulling down that outrageously misleading ad from the anti-union front group Building a Better Ohio—the one which twists footage of a grandmother who opposes SB5 (the bill which would limit collective bargaining rights) to suggest she supports it. By the HuffPo's whip count, at least 30 stations have yanked the spot, while one, WEWS, is obstinately refusing to do so. And according to Democrats, Better Ohio is (or was) spending $780K on this ad campaign, so this is a big deal, made bigger by the fact that Better Ohio has dug in and keeps defending its own egregious conduct.
• CA-07: Ami Bera (D): $325K raised, $708K cash-on-hand
• FL-22: Rep. Allen West (R): $1.9 mil raised (lord have mercy!)
• MI-Sen: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D): $1 mil raised
• NE-Sen: Deb Fischer (R): $230K raised
• NY-19: Rep. Nan Hayworth (R): $320K raised, $891K cash-on-hand
• OH-Sen: Josh Mandel (R): $1.5 mil raised (and yet he still hasn't managed to fill out his financial disclosure forms)
• PA-04: We already mentioned Dem Rep. Jason Altmire's preliminary 3Q haul a week ago, though he revised it upward with some final numbers yesterday (from $375K to $388K, with $737K cash-on-hand). But what was most interesting was this little shot across the bow at the end of what was a very short press release:
"Altmire's $736,939.31 cash-on-hand exceeds the total cash-on-hand of fellow western Pennsylvania Democratic Congressmen Mike Doyle and Mark Critz combined."
Altmire, of course, is very likely to get drawn into a new district with Critz (who currently holds the 12th CD). The reference to PA-14's Doyle, though, is something new.
• UT-Sen: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R): $1.6 mil raised, $4 mil cash-on-hand
• HI-Sen: Explain to me how Linda Lingle can win a Senate race in Hawaii when she won't even take a stand one way or the other on the Ryan Medicare plan? And trying to dodge by saying you "haven't read the bill" just makes you look clueless and out-of-touch.
• ME-Sen: It looks like Democratic state Rep. Jon Hinck is on the verge of formally challenging Sen. Olympia Snowe. Last month, he said things were "looking good"; now he's gone ahead and formed an exploratory committee and says he's "getting closer" to making an official announcement. He also got busy blasting Snowe for her vote against President Obama's jobs bill.
• PA-Sen: Businessman Tim Burns, who was defeated twice last year by Dem Rep. Mark Critz for the same congressional seat, is going to try to fail upwards. Two months after first expressing his interest, he now says he'll join the GOP field that's looking to take on Sen. Bob Casey next year. Given the low quality of the Republican entrants so far, Burns may actually be something of a front-runner for the nod here.
• WI-Gov: Scott Bauer of the Associated Press runs through a list of possible Democratic candidates who could oppose Gov. Scott Walker in a recall election next year, and so far, none of the major names have ruled it out. That includes state Sen. Jon Erpenbach (who declined to run for Tammy Baldwin's open House seat, perhaps with this in mind); former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk (who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2002 and then abruptly resigned from her Dane post late last year); Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (the 2010 Dem gubernatorial nominee); Rep. Ron Kind (who declined to run for Senate); ex-Rep. David Obey (who retired last year and is 73 years old); Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca; and Madison biotech businessman Kevin Conroy.
• IL-12: Republican state Rep. Mike Bost says he's considering a run for the seat being left open by retiring Dem Rep. Jerry Costello. He adds that he expects to decide in the next three to four weeks.
• TX-16: Brandi Grissom of the Texas Tribune offers a lengthy and interesting profile of the Democratic primary battle shaping up between longtime incumbent Rep. Silvestre Reyes and El Paso City Councilman Beto O'Rourke. Reyes, 66, is from the establishment mold while O'Rourke, just 40, has come up through the ranks as a progressive reformer. One aspect I wonder about that the piece doesn't really touch on is the racial dimension: Reyes is of Mexican descent while O'Rourke's background is Irish; this El Paso-centric district, tucked into Texas's far western corner, is heavily Hispanic.
• Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso catches us up on Tuesday night's special in the Sooner State:
Oklahoma SD-43: Nothing exciting happened here; Republican Greg Childers won 60-40.
• Wake County, NC: This is waaay deep in the weeds even for Daily Kos Elections, but it's interesting enough to warrant a mention. On Tuesday night in Wake County, North Carolina, voters turned back a slate of anti-desegregation Republicans who were elected to the (ostensibly non-partisan) school board just two years ago. It's a big deal because conservative zillionaire Art Pope, a sort of local version of David Koch, was the mastermind behind the 2009 takeover, and Wake (home of Raleigh) is also the second-largest county in the state with a population of 900K. Relatedly, the New Yorker just published a lengthy exposé of Pope, if you're interested in learning more. One important detail: He's also the backer of the Civitas Institute, a conservative organization whose occasional polling you've probably seen before.
• North Carolina: Some depressing—but instructive—poll results from Tom Jensen on the subject of same-sex marriage:
PPP's first look at the proposed marriage amendment in North Carolina since the legislature placed it on the ballot finds it leading 61-34. Republicans are overwhelmingly in favor of it (80/17) and independents (52/43) and Democrats (49/44) support it as well, although by more narrow margins.
The interesting thing is that 51% of this same set of voters supports legal recognition for gay couples. 22% favor gay marriage and another 29% civil unions, with only 46% completely opposed to granting same sex couples legal recognition. The problem for those trying to defeat the amendment is that 37% of voters who support gay marriage or civil unions are still planning to vote for it. That suggests a lot of folks aren't familiar with how wide reaching the proposed amendment would be and it gives those fighting it a chance—they just have to get their message out effectively to the majority of North Carolinians who do support legal recognition for gay couples that the proposal goes too far.
This is really a classic example of how small differences in poll question wording can lead to huge differences in how people respond. Last month we asked the following question "State legislators have proposed an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that would prohibit the recognition of marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples. If the election was held today, would you vote for or against this amendment?" When you ask it that way only 30% of voters are supportive and 55% are opposed. Voters are against 'prohibiting' recognition for gay couples. But if you word it in such a way that all you're doing is defining marriage as between one man and one woman, voters are ok with that. You're asking about the same thing in both cases, but the semantics make a huge difference and Republicans clearly know what they're doing with the language that's on the ballot.
• Income & Poverty: If you haven't seen it yet, you'll want to check out David Jarman's fascinating analysis of new congressional district-level income and poverty numbers the Census Bureau just released. Click the link for the full post (with many charts) at Daily Kos Elections.
• FL Redistricting: Florida Gov. Rick Scott is following in the footsteps of Tom Horne, Arizona's Republican attorney general who is suing to overturn Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the provision which requires certain jurisdictions to obtain preclearance from the Justice Department before making any changes to voting procedures. Scott has filed suit on the same grounds, alleging that Section 5 is unconstitutional. Most likely, this will all eventually get decided by the Supreme Court.
• MD Redistricting: Donna Edwards may be sticking her neck out further than she'd like when it comes to her opposition to her state's proposed new redistricting map. Elijah Cummings, a fellow Democrat and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, is actually quite pleased with the proposal:
"The governor did a very good job with regard to Baltimore," said Cummings, who said his district would become one of the strongest African-American seats in the country. Cummings said O'Malley listened to the concerns raised by black lawmakers in Annapolis and "that's evident in the map."
I wonder how much upside there really is here for Edwards. If she somehow succeeds in derailing the map, then she'll make a lot of people very unhappy. If nothing comes of her complaints, then she doesn't come off looking very good and probably only makes a primary challenge even more likely. There's a third possibility—that the map gets tweaked just enough to satisfy her without really upsetting the apple cart—but it's far from clear whether Edwards can thread that needle.