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South Dakota is looking like a bleak open-seat gubernatorial opportunity for Dems. Not a surprise, but is it a surprise that Pennsylvania is also a bleak open-seat gubernatorial opportunity for Dems? Plus, Rasmussen bumps its head, forgets itself for a moment, and says a Democrat is leading in a competitive Senate race. The Wrap is ready to go for an "eight shopping days till Xmas" Thursday....

MO-Sen: Rasmussen Gives Democrat (Small) Lead In Legit Pick-Up Shot
After a month in which it seemed that every Republican was beloved in the eyes of Rasmussen, and every Democrat loathed, we get a little bit of a curveball from the RR team. Polling the competitive GOP-held open seat for Kit Bond's U.S. Senate seat in Missouri, they find Democrat Robin Carnahan out in front (albeit narrowly) in her bid against Republican Roy Blunt. Carnahan has a two-point edge (46-44), well within the statistical margin of error. In another recent Rasmussen rarity, Carnahan actually has incrementally better favorables than Blunt. President Obama, as elsewhere, struggles some in the Show Me State, with 47% job approval.

PA-Gov: Q Poll Gives Corbett Solid Leads in Gubernatorial Race
Their prognosis is not quite as rosy as the aforementioned Rasmussen, but Quinnipiac largely confirms their GOP-friendly counterpart with a new poll out of Pennsylvania. Looking at the state's governors race (which is, to be fair, getting overshadowed a bit by the Senate campaign), they find well-known Republican state Attorney General Tom Corbett with solid leads over all Democratic comers. State Auditor Jack Wagner comes closest for the Dems, trailing Corbett by just ten points (43-33). Wagner, however, is not leading the Democratic primary in the state. That honor goes to Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, who leads the multi-candidate field with just 14% of the vote (Wagner comes third at 7%, just a point behind former Congressman Joe Hoeffel). Onorato and Hoeffel both trail Corbett by wider margins. Corbett, for what it is worth, draws just 38% in the GOP primary, but has a huge lead over his leading GOP opponent (Congressman Jim Gerlach, who has just 12%).

SD-Gov: GOP Has Modest Leads in Open Seat Gubernatorial Race
The pollsters over at PPP, continuing their week-long political tour of the South Dakota political landscape, take a run at the state's open-seat race for Governor. No matter which of the four leading Republicans is pegged, they have a slight edge over the likely Democratic nominee, state Senator Scott Heidepreim. Lt. Governor Dennis Daugaard opens up the biggest lead for the GOP, with a thirteen point edge for him over Heidepreim (42-29). The key takeaway from all three polls taken in the state this week? Despite flirting a bit with Barack Obama in 2008 (he only lost here by eight points), this red state has reverted to form.

CA-Gov: Jerry Brown Leading Narrowly in Golden State Poll
Democratic state Attorney General (and former Governor) Jerry Brown is still leading in California, but his lead over Republican establishment pick Meg Whitman is a modest one. Brown has a six-point lead (43-37), according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). GOPer Steve Poizner announced this week that he will pump $15 million of his own money into the race. That may well prove necessary, as he trails his GOP rivals badly in a prospective primary (Whitman leads at 32%, with Tom Campbell at 12% and Poizner at 8%).

IL-Gov: Dems With Solid Chance to Protect This Statehouse
A couple of days after releasing a narrow lead for Alexi Giannoulias in the Senate race in Illinois, Rasmussen Reports follows up with a gubernatorial poll which also puts Democrats into the lead. Incumbent Governor Pat Quinn leads all comers with leads ranging from 8-15 points (though he is under the 50% incumbent safety threshold). Meanwhile, interestingly, state Comptroller Dan Hynes actually has a more comfortable lead over the GOP field, with leads ranging from 13-19 points. Rasmussen, curiously, did not poll the primaries here, nor did they poll presumptive GOP frontrunner Jim Ryan. A recent Chicago Tribune poll had Quinn easily leading Hynes in the Democratic primary, while Ryan led the GOP field.

WAKE COUNTY, NC: Being An Ass Has Consequences With Voters
The crew at PPP also offer a local poll with a lot of interest here at DK, since we highlighted the antics of the Republican members of the Wake County Board of Commissioners last week. After seizing control of the board by rushing a vote while one Democratic member was in the restroom (while another Democrat was at home convalescing from a stroke in October), the voters are less than pleased with their antics. PPP polled county residents, and found that a strong majority disapproved of the actions in seizing the chairmanship, and more than 60% wanted a "re-do" of the election with all members present. Here is a killer stat for Chairman Tony Gurley and his crew--22% of voters said this made them more likely to vote for Republicans, while 56% said this made them less likely to support for the GOP.

IN OTHER NEWS....

  • I am on Twitter. But most of you already knew that.
  • MN-06: Could far-right sweetheart of the GOP Michele Bachmann be in a bit of trouble? According to CQ, Bachmann's finance team walked en masse in what they described as a "defection." The article by the Pioneer Press also notes that she has struggled in keeping Chiefs of Staff.
  • OH-17/OH-06: What does the political world need now? How does a little Jim Traficant in our lives sound? The bombastic former conservative Democratic Congressman and felon is weighing a political comeback in 2010, circulating nomination petitions in three districts. While he did not specify the districts, CQ presumes two of them to be his old district (the Youngstown-based 17th) and the neighboring 6th district, which is more conservative territory in Southeastern Ohio.
  • AZ-Sen: This, potentially, is not good news for John McCain. CQ is reporting that J.D. Hayworth is in Washington DC taking meetings with supporters as he publicly mulls a primary challenge to the four-term Arziona Senator. A poll sponsored by McCain supporters claimed and released this week claimed he could easily rebuff Hayworth's challenge, but other polls have had the potential primary exceptionally close.
  • IL-Gov: Most of the attention in the Illinois gubernatorial race has been on the two leading candidates on the Democratic side: Governor Pat Quinn and state Comptroller Dan Hynes. The ballot, after today, will be limited to those two guys as well. The other two Democrats in the field (Dock Walls and Ed Scanlan) are done, with Walls withdrawing his candidacy and Scanlan getting knocked off the ballot.
  • CA-Gov: The influential Firefighters Union here in the Golden State issued their endorsements for 2010 before the door was even shut on 2009, making their preferences known today. Interestingly, despite endorsing both Republicans and Democrats in a few races, they chose not to endorse in the GOP gubernatorial primary, reserving their sole endorsement for Democratic frontrunner Jerry Brown.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 07:40 PM PST.

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