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Leading Off:

HI-Sen: Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who trails Sen. Brian Schatz by 1,635 votes in the Democratic primary for Senate, says she'll sue to delay a Friday special election in two precincts in the Puna district of Hawaii's Big Island that were shuttered last Saturday due to Tropical Storm Iselle. We were actually a bit surprised when officials called the vote so quickly, given how extensive the damage is, so Hanabusa seems to have something of a decent point here.

However, Hanabusa doesn't just want to postpone the election in Puna, which does not have enough voters to change the outcome for her. She also wants residents in other areas who could not reach their polling places because of the storm to be able to cast ballots late, too. Needless to say, that's an almost impossible argument to make. How could anyone ever prove they were prevented from voting due to a natural disaster, especially if their precincts remained open?

Even stopping the vote in Puna sounds like a real stretch. One legal expert quoted by Hawaii News Now says that officials have "a considerable amount of discretion" in setting a new election date, so Hanabusa likely won't succeed, regardless of what relief she asks for. For what it's worth, though, Schatz issued a statement saying his campaign "will be committed and respectful whenever the election is held," suggesting that he doesn't intend to oppose Hanabusa's efforts.


IA-Sen: Rasmussen: Bruce Braley (D): 43, Joni Ernst (R): 43 (June: 45-44 Ernst).

NC-Sen: Look out! The DSCC just announced that it's reserving a massive $9.1 million in television ad time between now and Election Day in North Carolina, undoubtedly aimed at making Republicans think hard about how much they want to aid their struggling nominee, state House Speaker Thom Tillis. The first of what will surely be many ads focuses on education, accusing Tillis of "cutting nearly $500 million" from schools "while giving tax breaks to yacht and jet owners."


PA-Gov: Union endorsements for general elections are usually a dog-bites-man story, but the police unions tend to be an exception, occasionally going to the Republican candidate. That's what happened in Pennsylvania in 2010, when the Fraternal Order of Police backed Tom Corbett, but it's not happening again; they just gave their support to his Democratic rival, Tom Wolf, this time. (David Jarman)

Other Races:

PA State Senate: We've captured a rare beast, courtesy of PoliticsPA: a poll of a key state legislative race. It's a survey of SD-10 in Pennsylvania's northern Bucks County by 39th Street Strategies, a local Democratic firm that accurately predicted two state Senate pickups in 2012. Unfortunately, this poll isn't as anywhere near as rosy as their numbers last cycle: It finds GOP incumbent Chuck McIlhenny leading Democratic challenger Steve Cickay 56-32.

The GOP currently holds the state Senate 27-23, so the Democrats need to pick up two more seats without losing any to flip it (assuming that there's a Democratic lieutenant governor next year, too). The light-blue open seat in SD-26 in Delaware County is clearly the first building block, but things get a lot sketchier after that, with SD-10 having been one of the better second options. Local Democrats had been trying to encourage Cickay to drop out to make way for Shaugnessy Naughton (who acquitted herself well in the PA-08 primary), but with these kinds of numbers, it doesn't seem like even Naughton would have much hope here. (David Jarman)

Grab Bag:

Polltopia: Huffington Post Pollster has just updated their polling dashboard, making a tool I use daily even better. The coolest new feature allows you to pull up all the polling charts in a particular category at once, like "2014 Senate Races" or "2014 Governor Races."

Primaries: Voters in Connecticut, Minnesota, and Wisconsin went to the polls Tuesday night to pick nominees in a number of races that will be important this fall. Here's our recap of all the action, along with Daily Kos Elections' rating of each race's competitiveness:

CT-Gov (R): As expected, 2010 nominee Tom Foley will carry the banner for his party once again, but considering how dominant a frontrunner he'd always been viewed as, his 56-44 win over state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney was kind of wimpy. Foley will now try to unseat the man who narrowly defeated him four years ago, Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy, who wasted no time in dropping a blistering new negative ad on Foley's head. (You can watch it at the link—Foley's brand of vulture capitalism makes Mitt Romney look like a socialist.) This race will be hotly contested. (Tossup)

MN-Gov (R): Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, who was formally endorsed by his party at its convention back in May, secured the GOP nomination for governor with 30 percent of the vote on Tuesday night. Former state House Speaker Kurt Zellers was in second with 24, and former state House Minority Leader Marty Seifert and businessman Scott Honour each took 21. Johnson will be a serious underdog to Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. Jeff Johnson: It's the name you know. (Likely D)

MN-01 (R): In something of an upset, businessman Jim Hagedorn won a 54-46 victory over Iraq and Afghanistan vet Aaron Miller, who had been touted by the NRCC. Hagedorn is the son of ex-Rep. Tom Hagedorn, who represented a seat in the area back in the 1970s, but he raised almost nothing—not that Miller raised much more. In any event, national Republicans are unlikely to spend much time on this district. (Likely D)

MN-06 (R): Say goodbye to Michele Bachmann, friends: Ex-state Rep. Tom Emmer handily won the GOP primary to succeed her, defeating Rhonda Sivarajah 73-27. In this dark red district, he'll prevail easily in November. Only Bachmann, with her extraordinary lack of a filter, was capable of making this seat competitive, but give Emmer some time—he may yet one day fill his predecessor's considerable shoes. (Safe R)

WI-06 (R): At around midnight ET Tuesday night, the AP called the GOP primary for state Sen. Glenn Grothman, who at the time had around a 10-point lead over fellow state Sen. Joe Leibham. But Sheboygan County recalculated its results in the wee hours, leading Leibham to claw his way back to just a 215-vote deficit—and the AP to withdraw its call. Both candidates now have 36 percent of the vote apiece, and a recount looks imminent.

Democrats very much want the absolutely batshit Grothman to hang on, since he could make this race interesting all on his own. After Republican Rep. Tom Petri announced his retirement, Team Blue actually managed to land a decent recruit on paper, Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris. However, Harris has raised almost nothing so far, but if Grothman spouts off, donors might open their wallets. (Likely R)

Ads & Independent Expenditures (Jeff Singer):

CO-Sen: Americans for Prosperity once again hits Democratic Sen. Mark Udall on Obamacare, and accuses Udall of trying to hide policy cancellations. The NRSC also has a Spanish-language spot claiming Udall's energy policies (like his opposition to Keystone XL) hurt jobs.

IA-Sen: Republican Joni Ernst stresses her military background.

WV-Sen: Democrat Natalie Tennant touts her work cleaning up corruption and cutting her own budget as secretary of state.

FL-Gov: The Florida Republican Party plays separate clips of Democrat Charlie Crist and running-mate Annette Taddeo appearing to voice contradictory views on the Cuban embargo.

MI-Gov: The RGA criticizes Democrat Mark Schauer's budget plan.

SC-Gov: Wealthy Republican-turned-independent Tom Ervin has yet another spot. Ervin once again mixes conservative themes (anti-Common Core) with more liberal ones (pre-kindergarten for every child). The spot is part of an overall $2 million statewide buy.

WI-Gov: Republican Gov. Scott Walker on jobs.

FL-02: Republican Rep. Steve Southerland touts his conservative record as distractingly loud music plays. We also have the size of the buy for the NRCC's recent ad against Democrat Gwen Graham: $114,000 so far.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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