On a day when ballots are being tabulated in four states, there is also a bit of political news percolating in the other 46 states. And that, friends, is why there is a Wrap, even on a Primary Night...
FL-Sen: Rubio returns to lead in three-way battle, says PPP
On a day when Kendrick Meek appears well on his way to achieving the Democratic nomination for the Senate in Florida, his renewed presence might have the side effect of propelling Marco Rubio back into the lead. At least that's the thesis of the crew over at PPP, whose new poll out of Florida puts Republican Marco Rubio back out front with 40% of the vote. Independent Charlie Crist sits at 32%, with Meek running third at 17%. One shift since the last time PPP came to town: Meek now leads among Democrats. In the previous PPP survey in the Sunshine State, Crist actually lead among Dems, and by a reasonably surprising spread (nine points).
WA-Sen: Rossi's primary challenger endorses him (no, not that one)
Republican Dino Rossi might have a ways to go to mend fences with his main opposition in the GOP primary last week, as Clint Didier made clear late last week that he cannot endorse Rossi (yet). Another also-ran in the GOP field, on the other hand, is willing to make amends: Rossi got the nod from Paul Akers, who got around 2.5% of the vote last week. Feel the reconciliation!
CA-52: The debate is on, and the hunger strike is off
The standoff over debates in the greater San Diego area is over, after quite the confrontation last weekend. For those who don't remember the story from last week's Wrap, Democrat Ray Lutz had embarked earlier in the month on a hunger strike to protest the unwillingness of Republican incumbent Duncan Hunter to participate in a debate. He was joined by the Libertarian candidate in the field, Mike Benoit, who joined Lutz in the hunger strike. They confronted Hunter at a local event Friday, accompanied by local media. Hunter agreed to a single debate on October 15th, and claimed he had planned to do that all along, anyway. With a debate in hand, Lutz and Benoit ended their hunger strike.
CO-03: GOP internal poll claims another Dem incumbent trailing
GOP pollsters Magellan Strategies have been quiet for a little while, but they rear their heads again, and what they found is a tad startling. Their internal poll for Republican Scott Tipton claims that the Republican has moved into modest lead over incumbent Democrat John Salazar (49-43). Magellan knows the terrain pretty well, having been Ken Buck's pollster during the GOP Senate primary.
LA-02: Richmond gets critical endorsement in advance of primary
With Louisiana's primary kicking off this Saturday, state legislator Cedric Richmond got arguably the most important endorsement a Democrat can receive in the New Orleans-based 2nd district. His website announced that New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was endorsing Richmond, who is locked in a battle with fellow state legislator Juan LaFonta. The winner will battle Republican Rep. Anh Cao in November.
MI-01/MI-07: GOP gets big break in two competitive November battles
It could potentially be overturned by the courts, but for the moment, the Tea Party will not be on the ballot in two critical districts for November. The State Board of Canvassers deadlocked 2-to-2 on whether or not to permit Tea Party candidates Lonnie Lee Snyder (MI-01) and Danny Davis (MI-07) can be on the November ballot. Their candidacy were under challenge from the state GOP, who argued that their petition efforts were fraudulent. The GOP also argued that the Democrats had excessive involvement in the Tea Party's efforts.
NJ-06: Is longtime Dem endangered? GOP internal poll says he is
If this internal poll is to be believed (and the standard caveats, of course, apply), then the climate for Dems in this cycle might be even worse than has been often projected. A new internal poll, by National Research, for longshot Republican candidate Anna Little claims that she might not be a longshot, after all. The poll shows longtime Democratic incumbent Frank Pallone leading Little by just six points (40-34). This would be a stunning result, if true, in a district where Barack Obama won by 60-38 and where Pallone has won every election since 1992 with at least 57% of the vote.
NM-01: Previewing next weeks Albuquerque Journal numbers
An interesting piece out today from Joe Monahan looks ahead to next week's release of the Albuquerque Journal poll. With regard to the Albuquerque-based 1st district, Monahan appears privy to internal polling. And what he suspects is that "it is more likely that the race will show a several point gap and probably in [Rep. Martin] Heinrich's favor." This would stand in pretty stark contrast to last month's SurveyUSA poll in the race, which showed Jon Barela actually ahead of the freshman Democrat by six points.
OR-05: GOP internal shows...well, you get the picture
Take three on today's theme of hugely pessimistic polling for Democrats, courtesy of Republican pollsters. A new internal poll for GOP state legislator Scott Bruun claims that he has moved into a slight lead over freshman Democrat Kurt Schrader. The poll, from local GOP pollsters Moore Information, gives Bruun 41% of the vote, with Schrader sitting at 38%. Schrader easily won here in 2008 (54-38), against the deeply flawed GOP nominee, Mike Erickson. The district is somewhat swingy, though, as it was carried by both Barack Obama in 2008 and George W. Bush in 2004.
HI-Gov: Look! It's a poll! With a Democrat leading!
One place where Democrats still hold pole position in the polls is Hawaii, where a new poll out today from Ward Research says that either Democratic contender (former Congressman Neal Abercrombie or former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann) would own a double-digit lead over the near-certain GOP standard bearer, Lt. Governor Duke Aiona. Hannemann, though trailing in the Democratic primary, actually does slightly better against Aiona (54-37) than does Abercrombie (53-41).
MD-Gov: New poll says Ehrlich a lock for GOP nod, trails in general
If a new poll from local pollsters Opinion Works is on the mark, Sarah Palin's endorsement of businessman Brian Murphy has rallied the political neophyte to a tiny little 62-point deficit (75-13) against former GOP Governor Robert Ehrlich. Ehrlich does not fare quite as well in a prospective general election contest, however, as he trails incumbent Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley by six points (47-41). Point of full disclosure: while the pollster (Opinion Works) is apparently a nonpartisan firm, the sponsoring entity for the poll (a nonprofit media outlet called Center Maryland) does have some past ties to Governor O'Malley.
NM-Gov: More Monahan--are the Dems trailing in this race, as well?
Earlier in the Wrap, I alluded to a piece from New Mexico blogger Joe Monahan, where he said internal polling in the New Mexico 1st hinted that Democrat Martin Heinrich likely has a slight edge there. The story, however, appears to be a bit different in the gubernatorial election, where Monahan writes:
Democrats are bracing for a weekend ABQ Journal poll that many of them think will show Republican Susana Martinez leading Diane Denish by three to six points. But the late August poll being done this week and to be published Sunday is only the beginning. And now there is a new Democratic narrative popping up on the radar screens of La Politica--that Martinez and the R's will get their peak performance this week and that we are headed for a photo finish.
It is true that not too many gloves have been laid on Martinez thus far, although that began to change last week, when incumbent Democratic Governor Bill Richardson blasted Martinez on the issue of education. This led to an odd reaction from Martinez, who challenged Richardson to a debate. The catch: Martinez hasn't locked down debate plans with the person she is actually running against: state Lt. Governor Diane Denish.
NY-Gov: Paladino to debate with...a chicken?
While one debate standoff was peaceably resolved in Southern California, another one rages unabated in the Empire State, and it might start to get ridiculous sooner rather than later. Underdog Carl Paladino had challenged Rick Lazio to a debate in Syracuse on August 30th, even threatening that he would debate a man in a chicken costume (which has been shadowing Lazio) if Lazio was a no-show. With that kind of gauntlet tossed down, Lazio agreed to an appearance on August 30th. At a tea party forum. In Manhattan.
For what it's worth, my money is on the dude in the chicken costume.
WY-Gov: Indie candidate seeks slot of November ballot
A retired surgeon and rancher has submitted petitions to place his Independent candidacy on the November ballot for Governor of Wyoming. His name is Taylor Haynes, and his candidacy is expected to go after GOP nominee Matt Mead from the right, as he promises to be "the most conservative candidate" in the race. If successful, Haynes will be the first candidate to appear on the gubernatorial ballot in Wyoming as a nonpartisan candidate since 1958.
The House of Ras dropped three polls today. Democrats will probably howl the most at the one out of Missouri, but the big story here is the relatively small changes in Ras' numbers from session to session (although they do have Illinois' Democratic Governor, Pat Quinn, moving back within single digits).
IL-Gov: Bill Brady (R) 46%, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) 37%
MO-Sen: Roy Blunt (R) 51%, Robin Carnahan (D) 40%
OR-Gov: Chris Dudley (R) 45%, John Kitzhaber (D) 44%