A humble request to pollsters and campaigns across America:
For the love of God, I am trying to pack for Netroots Nation. Would you folks please stop releasing data and making news for just ten damned minutes so that I can finish that unpleasant task?
Speaking of Netroots Nation, if you are in town and want to hear your humble curator of the Wrap, the top-flight crew over at Swing State Project, and some of the top talent here at DK chew the fat about the 2010 elections, I'd suggest you come to NN and attend our panel, which will be blasting off at 4:30 PM on Friday.
Meanwhile, it is another cornucopia of campaign trail goodies on the Tuesday edition of the Wrap. Indeed, we have eighteen morsels to digest, and that's before we even get to the Ras-a-poll-ooza.
With that in mind, pull up a knife and a fork, and let's get after it....
AR-Sen: Multiple pollsters speak to Lincoln's dire straits
Yesterday, local media outlet Talk Business published a poll showing her down a whopping 25 points. Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln rolled out a poll to refudiate* that sour patch of data, showing her down by "only" nine points (45-36). Unfortunately for Senator Lincoln, two different pollsters landed in the general range of the Talk Business poll today. Republican pollsters Magellan Strategies came out this morning with a poll that showed Lincoln getting doubled-up by Republican nominee John Boozman (60-29). Magellan is a GOP pollster, of course, but any hopes that said poll would be easily dismissed as right-wing wishful thinking by a right-wing pollster were dashed this afternoon. That was when the independent pollsters at Ipsos followed suit (PDF file), showing Boozman also thumping Lincoln, albeit by a slightly more muted nineteen-point margin (54-35). Clearly, the concern of many folks that the general election would be over the second Lincoln won the Democratic runoff appear to be justified.
(*)--That refudiate was for the (several) commenters aghast at my failure to use the word during last night's Wrap.
FL-Sen: Crist has clear lead over Rubio, according to PPP
PPP is out with new data in the Sunshine State, and their numbers show that Independent Charlie Crist has soldified his position at the front of the three-man field. If the Democratic nominee is Congressman Kendrick Meek, Crist leads the field with 35%, with 29% for GOP nominee Marco Rubio (Meek is further back at 17%. If billionaire Jeff Greene buys the Democratic nomination, it looks even better for Crist: Crist 38, Rubio 29, Greene 13. Helping Crist is the fact that many Democrats have essentially anointed him as their de facto Democratic nominee, as he polls better with Democrats than either Independents or Republicans.
KS-Sen: Primaries have clear leaders, but races still fluid
Both the Republican and Democratic primaries for the U.S. Senate are in the same position, as we are now two weeks out from Primary Day. Both races are spread out enough to declare a leader, but close enough that the outcome could easily change between now and the primary on August 3rd. A new poll from SurveyUSA tracks earlier polls in that they have Congressman Jerry Moran leading the GOP side, and Lisa Johnston out in front for the Democrats. Moran leads fellow House member Todd Tiahrt by a slightly smaller margin (50-36) than in previous polls. Meanwhile, Johnston holds the same modest margin she held in the previous SUSA poll: Johnston has 23%, with Charles Schollenberger at 14% and David Haley at 12%.
NV-Sen: PPP confirms trend--Harry Reid into the lead
PPP becomes the latest pollster to confirm what has been suspected for a while: Harry Reid has surged into the lead over Republican Sharron Angle. Reid has a two-point lead (48-46) over Angle, according to the poll released today by the NC-based pollster. Huge changes from earlier in the year among both Independents and moderates have helped to propel Reid's surge.
SC-Sen: AP factchecks Greene's maiden campaign voyage
A sign that you have reached a unique level of campaign relevance: when the AP chooses to do a fact check on a seven minute address you give to a local chapter of the NAACP. But such was the level of interest in the first campaign appearance of accidental Democratic nominee Alvin Greene. So...how did the Greene-ster do? Not so very well, evidently. While he scored well on some of his broader thematic elements, he got into the weeds a little bit on the specific details.
WI-Sen: Republican pollster gives Feingold narrow advantage
Magellan Strategies, the GOP's pollster whose sheer volume of output could easily get them dubbed "The New Ras", is out with a new poll (PDF file) in the Badger State. The Magellan poll shows Democratic incumbent Russ Feingold leading, albeit only slightly, against likely GOP rival Ron Johnson. Feingold owns a two-point edge over Johnson (45-43), which has tracked with some other pollsters in the state. The poll did not test Feingold against the other GOP candidate in the field, businessman Dave Westlake.
GA-04/GA-12: Incumbents easily turning back primary challenges
While votes are still being tabulated, it looks like both Democratic incumbents faced with serious primary challenges are emerging unscathed tonight. Conservative Democratic incumbent John Barrow is having little trouble with Round 2 of his battle with primary challenger Regina Thomas. Barrow currently holds roughly a 2-to-1 lead over Thomas, with about two-thirds of precincts checking in. It looks like Barrow's general election challenger won't be known for a little while longer: at present, the GOP primary looks likely to result in a runoff. Meanwhile, in Atlanta, 4th district incumbent Hank Johnson is above the runoff threshold, although his share of the vote against Vernon Jones and Connie Stokes has hardly been a major-league show of strength (55%).
NJ-03: GOP crying foul over third-party challenger
It is rare that an internal poll becomes a major point of contention in a campaign, but that is exactly what's happening in New Jersey's 3rd district. A while back, incumbent Democrat John Adler released an internal poll showing him up double digits on GOP nominee Jon Runyan, with a 3rd party teabagging candidate lapping up a sizeable percentage of the vote. This drew the ire of Republicans, who noted that local teabagger groups had never heard of the teabagger candidate in question. This led to the predictable charge that the Independent candidate in question, Peter Destefano, was planted by the Adler campaign to siphon votes from Runyan. Destefano denies the charge, and the Adler campaign blew off the accusation, as well.
NY-01/NY-20: Pair of vulnerable Dems get crucial third party line
Good news out of the Empire State for a pair of Democratic incumbents who are looking over their shoulders a bit as they head into November. Both Long Island Democrat Tim Bishop and upstate freshman Democrat Scott Murphy snagged the ballot lines for the Independence party. Fusing the Democratic Party line with one of those third party lines (another big one for Democrats is the Working Families Party) has proven critical for candidates in close elections of the past.
NY-23: Hoffman claims mammoth lead in new internal poll
It is rare that a Republican showing a primary lead so big as to render said primary uncompetitive would be welcome news for the Democrats. However, when it is former third-party Goliath and occasional trainwreck Doug Hoffman this is lapping the field, that might be good news for the blue team, after all. Hoffman has new internal data out, courtesy of McLaughlin, showing him with a thirty-two point primary lead over state legislator Matt Doheny (52-20). Of course, thanks to those multiple party lines, both men are already ensured of competing in November: Hoffman snared the Conservative Party line, while Doheny has the line of the aforementioned Independence Party. No general election results were released.
TN-09: New public poll has Cohen easily winning renomination
If a new public poll conducted for a local television station in Memphis is to be believed, former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is about to join disgraced former Democratic candidate Nikki Tinker on the ash heap on Tennessee electoral history. The poll, conducted for WMC-TV has incumbent Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen with a forty-point edge (65-15) over Herenton in their forthcoming primary. Cohen, who is white, has had to endure an ugly campaign by Herenton, who went so far as to suggest it was only right and proper for a majority-black district to be represented only by a black representative.
AL-Gov: Bradley Byrne, Meet Artur Davis?
Man, if there is a cliche that seems to be a perfect match for Alabama politics, it is the old stand-by "with friends like this, who needs enemies?" Bradley Byrne has offered an endorsement of the man who defeated him in last week's GOP gubernatorial runoff: state legislator Robert Bentley. But in so doing, Byrne also took a parting shot at Bentley. He said that while he supports him, Bentley still needs to answer for his ties to the Alabama Education Association, the powerful teachers lobby that has been locked in a war with Byrne throughout the election cycle. It wasn't quite as disgusting as what Artur Davis dropped on Ron Sparks' head, but one has to imagine that Bentley did not exactly welcome the backhanded compliments of his former rival.
AR-Gov: Ipsos poll finds very different result in Beebe-Keet race
Yesterday, I reported (with modest skepticism) that the same Talk Business poll which had Blanche Lincoln getting boat-raced by John Boozman also had Mike Beebe up only narrowly (49-40) over little-known GOP contender Jim Keet. Today's Ipsos poll seems to counter that poll (PDF file). Ipsos has the popular Democratic incumbent with a sizeable twenty-two point lead (57-35) over Keet. According to Ipsos, Beebe is rolling along with 67% job approval, including majority support from Republicans.
FL-Gov: PPP teases major polling shift in gubernatorial race
Rarely does the Wrap gets sucked in by polling "teasers", but this one is liable to have me hitting "refresh" a few times in the morning over at the PPP website. The pollster is revealing that the newly fractious gubernatorial primary on the GOP side between Attorney General Bill McCollum and health care gazillionaire Rick Scott has changed the calculus of the race--to the benefit of Democratic frontrunner Alex Sink. The main reason why--the supporters for each of the GOP candidates simply cannot stand the other guy, meaning it will be a mighty arduous task to reconcile the party after the August primaries.
GA-Gov: Barnes wins Democratic primary, GOP headed to runoff
Voters went to the polls today in the Peach State and the returns seem to indicate that pre-election polling in the race was spot-on. Former Democratic Governor Roy Barnes appears poised to claim the Democratic nomination outright, avoiding a runoff as he has hovered all night between 60-65% of the vote. Meanwhile, it looks like a Handel-Deal showdown on the GOP side, as they have cleared the field by several points with more than two-thirds of the precincts in. Handel leads with 32%, with Deal a clear second place at 25%. John Oxendine, once thought to be a lock for at least the runoff, has seen the bottom drop out of his campaign, as pollsters projected yesterday. Oxendine has slipped all the way to fourth at just 17% of the vote, beaten even by longshot former state legislator Eric Johnson (at 19%).
KS-Gov: Brownback has dominant lead in GOP primary
If the new data from SurveyUSA is to be believed, Sam Brownback's primary challenger for the GOP nod for Governor barely qualifies as a speed bump for the veteran of Washington DC. Brownback holds a 73-19 lead over little-known challenger Joan Heffington, according to the SUSA poll. Brownback will be favored in the Fall, as he challenges Democrat Tom Holland.
MI-Gov: Plenty of undecideds leave outcome of Dem primary unclear
It is still a two-man race for the Democratic nomination for Michigan Governor, as a nine-point lead for one candidate is still clouded by the fact that close to half of the Democratic electorate is on the fence. That is the finding of the latest Detroit News Poll in the state, which gives House Speaker Andy Dillon a 34-25 edge over Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. Many critical voting blocs are still up for grabs, especially African American voters (48% of whom are undecided). The primary election will occur in two weeks.
Day two of the apparent Ras-sie pushback continues, as every morsel of polling data released today shows Republicans beating the spread in a wide variety of races.
CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 53%, Linda McMahon (R) 40%
CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 52%, Rob Simmons (R) 38%
CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 52%, Peter Schiff (R) 34%
ID-Sen: Sen. Mike Crapo (R) 64%, Tom Sullivan (D) 27%
NE-Gov: Gov. Dave Heineman (R) 71%, Mike Meister (D) 18%
OH-Sen: Rob Portman (R) 45%, Lee Fisher (D) 39%