• IN-Sen, IN-Gov: Another rough day for Dick Lugar: Local newsletter Howey Politics just released a poll with new results for both the primary and general elections in the Indiana Senate race, jointly conducted by Democratic pollster Garin-Hart-Yang and Republican pollster Bellwether Research, and the results don't look good for the incumbent. Of chief importance, he's only up 42-35 over Richard Mourdock in the GOP primary, with the election just a month away and third-party groups spending heavily for the challenger. And if Mourdock wins, the poll shows him a wide-open race against Dem Rep. Joe Donnelly in November.
As a bonus, Howey's survey also included the first numbers we've ever seen for the gubernatorial race, which pits Republican Rep. Mike Pence against Democratic former state House Speaker John Gregg. Pence is considerably better-known, and he has the advantage of Indiana's strong red bent, but the results are actually somewhat encouraging for Gregg, who trails by 44-31. For one thing, Pence is well under 50, and for another, Gregg has room to grow—though Pence is still undoubtedly the favorite. For our full analysis of all these numbers, click the link for David Jarman's post at Daily Kos Elections.
• AZ-08: Ron Barber (D): $550K raised; Dave Sitton (R): $250K raised
• CA-24: Rep. Lois Capps (D): $500K raised
• CA-26: Julia Brownley (D): $280K raised, $250K cash-on-hand (in seven weeks)
• CA-30: Rep. Howard Berman (D): $600K raised
• CO-06: Rep. Mike Coffman (R): $532K raised, $1.4 mil cash-on-hand
• FL-Sen: Rep. Connie Mack (R): $1 mil raised, $1.3 mil cash-on-hand
• FL-22: Lois Frankel (D): $400K raised
• MA-Sen: Elizabeth Warren (D): $2.5 mil from Massachusetts donors only (so full 1Q totals will be larger)
• MA-06: Richard Tisei (R): $350K raised, $454K cash-on-hand
• MI-03: Trevor Thomas (D): $101K raised
• NY-Sen: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D): $1.5 mil raised, $9.1 mil cash-on-hand
• CT-Sen: Another big get for Rep. Chris Murphy as he seeks the Democratic nomination to replace (the thankfully retiring) Joe Lieberman: Connecticut's largest union, the State Council of SEIU, just gave him their endorsement. The Connecticut SEIU represents 55,000 workers and retirees and is the latest in a long string of labor organizations to get behind Murphy.
• FL-Sen: It's no surprise that bullying fratboys—who, after all, spend their whole lives mocking and tormenting others—can't stand even the mildest bit of joking when it's directed at them. So check out this wildly over-the-top outburst from GOP Rep. Connie Mack's campaign, over a freaking headline in a blog post!
On an item reporting on a campaign memo written by Mack campaign manager Jeff Cohen, The [Tampa Bay] Times political blog, "The Buzz," carried the headline, "Mack campaign: Why we'll squash LeMieux like a bug."Wow. As the Orlando Sentinel's Scott Powers says, Cohen must have been having a bad day. Adds Powers: "I'm wondering how a statewide campaign envisions its long-term relationship with the largest newspaper in the state after the campaign manager laid out such diatribe over a blog post headline." No kidding.
Below that headline, The Buzz simply posted Cohen's memo to campaign supporters. [...]
So Cohen took strong exception, declaring that "a snarky, unprofessional statement of this nature to our campaign is patently false and horribly unprofessional. It's tabloid journalism at its worst. It is arrogant. It is sophomoric. I would fire anyone who said such a thing.
"Reporters misquote and misinterpret. Their spin trumps truth. But make no mistake — manufactured statements, innuendos and attributions that are so patently false cannot be allowed to stand," Cohen stated in the news release.
• IN-Sen: Republican Sen. Dick Lugar has a new ad out attacking his primary challenger, Treasurer Richard Mourdock, and he's trying to turn his most serious weakness into a strength. Lugar, of course, has been absolutely pummeled on many fronts over the fact that he is, at best, an Indiana resident in name only, and has actually lived in Virginia during his entire 36-year Senate career. But in this spot, he goes after Mourdock for saying he plans to rely on out-of-state cash to fund his campaign. He even has a clip of Mourdock saying: "I'm confident there will be a lot of national money flowing in to help us." You can watch it at the link or below:
• TN-Sen: A while back, Tennessee Democrats, who had come up empty in terms of recruiting any traditional challengers to run against freshman Sen. Bob Corker, started suggesting they might seek some non-traditional options in the entertainment industry. With Thursday's filing deadline behind us, they have indeed come through, in the form of actress and activist Park Overall, best known for her role as the nurse on the show "Empty Nest."
• UT-Sen: The Salt Lake Tribune has a pretty good summary of Wednesday night's Republican Senate debate in Utah, where it looks like Sen. Orrin Hatch held his own while being tag-teamed by ex-state Sen. Dan Liljenquist and state Rep. Chris Herrod. I liked this bit in particular:
One of the liveliest exchanges came as Hatch said Liljenquist should not have missed 25 percent of his legislative votes last year. Liljenquist said he missed the votes to negotiate both houses for Medicaid and pensions reform, which will save billions of dollars.Not bad when the 78-year-old dude is getting on the 37-year-old dude for missed votes. (Herrod whinged in response that the legislature takes votes more quickly than Congress, but whatever. Liljenquist is free to use that excuse if he likes.)
But Hatch said, "I can walk and chew gum at the same time," and said he achieved a 90 percent voting rate over 36 years while negotiating important issues. "I think you should make your votes."
• WI-Gov: Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett just scored the endorsement of one of the men who had, at one point, been talked about as a possible recall candidate himself: Rep. Ron Kind. Meanwhile, Barrett's chief rival for the Democratic nod, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, picked up the backing of the Women's Campaign Fund.
• AZ-04: It's been a while since we've heard from Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu—and surely I don't need to recount his whole sordid saga, do I? (If you need a reminder, click through the link.) Anyhow, he's out with his first TV ad of the GOP primary, where he's facing off against Rep. Paul Gosar and state Sen. Ron Gould. In it, he promises that he's the same old super-conservative dude he's always claimed to be, even though "a lot has been said" about him. You can watch the spot at the link.
• CA-41: While Riverside Community College Trustee Mark Takano only faces token opposition for the Democratic nod in the redrawn (and open) 41st District, it's nice to see his campaign rolling along and picking up important endorsements. The latest comes from SEIU, which gave Takano their backing on Thursday.
• IL-13: Well, it's official: Despite reported entreaties from Republican officials that he seek re-election, Rep. Tim Johnson went ahead and announced his shocking retirement on Thursday afternoon, as Capitol Fax reported he would a day earlier. In a statement, he groused about redistricting but went on to say that "family obligations" have "exclusively" driven his decision. Now all attention will turn to potential replacement candidates, one of whom will be selected by local party leaders. Johnson says that two staffers he talked to won't run, Mark Shelden and Phil Bloomer, and adds that no member of his family will seek his seat either.
So who might? The Great Mentioner is already hard at work in the Chicago Tribune: state Sen. Bill Brady, state Rep. Chapin Rose, ex-state Sen. Duane Noland, former Johnson chief-of-staff Jerry Clarke, and Rodney Davis, an aide to IL GOP Rep. John Shimkus. Capitol Fax also lists a couple others: state Rep. Adam Brown and Sen. Sam McCann.
• MD-06: Oh man. This "endorsement" of John Delaney, who just won the primary on Tuesday night, has to rank as one of the most comical I've ever seen. While most of the Maryland Democratic establishment is trying to rally around Delaney in a show of unity after a bitter race, state Senate President Mike Miller only grudgingly gave his support—then called on Delaney to release his tax returns! With friends like these....
• NY-06: After Asians (who make up 38% of the new 6th), Hispanics are the next-largest minority group, at 18%. So you can understand why Assemblywoman Grace Meng just rolled out a big batch of endorsements from Latino Democrats, including Rep. Nydia Velazquez, the city's first and only Latina member of Congress.
• NY-08: Politicker's Colin Campbell, one of our favorite writers around here at Daily Kos Elections, has a great piece on the incredible disappearing campaign of one Edolphus Towns. Writes Colin:
He hasn't been showing up at multiple Democratic club endorsements meetings, including some that supported him when he faced serious primary challenges in the past. Most notably, he skipped out on the Vanguard Independent Democratic Association, located in the heart of Bed-Stuy politics.It gets even weirder: Not only did Towns cancel a planned "sit-down with local media" earlier this week (just a day ahead of time), repeated emails to staffers about the state of his campaign have gone completely unanswered. Is it possible that Towns is getting ready, at long last, to pull the plug?
Bed-Stuy is a neighborhood crucial to victory as he faces the most serious challenge of his career from Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Councilman Charles Barron.
Online, Mr. Towns' campaign also has little presence. Mr. Towns' campaign website was last updated in 2011, while his campaign Twitter account last tweeted "Jobs Jobs Jobs" in 2010 (although his government account is active). His campaign's Facebook page contains no posts.
• PA-17: Two new ads in the hot PA-17 Democratic primary, via Keegan Gibson at PoliticsPA. The first is a spot we've been waiting for from the Campaign for Primary Accountability, which is targeting Rep. Tim Holden. Since they're going after a Democrat, it's entirely different from the cookie-cutter spending-and-earmarks ad they've repeatedly used against Republicans. Instead, they accuse Holden of voting to "help corporations avoid paying taxes" and "help[ing] George W. Bush cut taxes for the top 1 percent" (complete with still of Dubya). You can watch it at the link or below:
Meanwhile, Cartwright is firing back at Holden with an ad of his own. You'll recall that Holden's trying to go after Cartwright for donating to judges later convicted in the "kids for cash" scandal (detailed here) in a new TV spot. But it seemed like a pretty b.s. attack to me (the contributions were made years before the judges were even investigated), and indeed, Cartwright's own ad emphasizes that he helped to clean up the mess made by these felons in black robes. You can watch the ad here or below:
Zelenik says she's moved into the redrawn 6th, but of course, she's now deprived of her base, and the Black campaign is saying an internal poll from GOP pollster OnMessage shows her beating Zelenik by a punishing 66-9 margin. But it sounds like Zelenik is feeling chuffed over a judge's recent ruling dismissing a defamation suit Black's husband's pharmaceutical testing company filed against her in the wake of their bitter 2010 campaign. (Yeah, it was that kind of race.) But courtroom victories don't usually correlate with campaign victories, and thanks to her late start, Zelenik is in a big fundraising hole against Black. Still, Black can't sleepwalk, and if Zelenik makes her sweat, that's a good thing.
• TN-09: This is always a good way to squash your opponent's kickoff announcement: Barack Obama endorsed Rep. Steve Cohen for re-election, just hours after Shelby County school board member Tomeka Hart formally launched her campaign for the Democratic nomination. I very much doubt Cohen is seriously threatened—he's consistently fended off challenges with aplomb—but why take any chances, right? As an aside, I believe this is Obama's fourth congressional endorsement so far this cycle, and interestingly, all have been for incumbents in majority-black districts.
• Ohio GOP: Wow, after all that, Ohio Republican Party chair Kevin DeWine is quitting! We've detailed this baroque saga here, here, and here, but to make a very complicated and long story short, Gov. John Kasich has wanted DeWine gone ever since he won the governor's mansion in 2010 and has engaged in a brutal fratricidal war to oust him. DeWine had done a masterful job parrying Kasich's every blow, and when we last checked in, he'd successfully executed a power-play that seemed to ensure his continuing job security, but I guess the endless fighting just got to him. It's terribly disappointing, of course, because I loved watching Kasich suffer, but I rest easy knowing that there will always be more opportunities to help make that happen.
• Pres-by-CD: Thanks to jeffmd's hard work, we now have presidential election results for the new congressional districts in three states: Connecticut, Nevada, and New Mexico. As always, you can find our complete set of pres-by-CD numbers here.
• Virginia: Virginia's official congressional filings are now available on the Board of Elections website. Johnny Longtorso informs us: "No Democrats are listed in the 1st, 5th, 7th, 9th, or 10th Districts because they are nominating by convention."
• NH Redistricting: Like a few other unexpected places, it's easy to forget that several small jurisdictions in New Hampshire are covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, meaning that any changes to voting procedures which affect these municipalities has to be precleared by the Department of Justice before going into effect. But the Granite State has long had a weird relationship with the VRA, largely ignoring Section 5 (except with regard to redistricting)... and the DoJ has largely ignored New Hampshire's transgressions. The state argues it never should have been included under Section 5 to begin with, and the Secretary of State says enforcement by Justice has been non-existent because they, too, supposedly recognize this.
But this odd state of affairs notwithstanding, officials are now trying to get New Hampshire formally removed from Section 5 coverage, under a process known as "bail out." Basically the state has to "demonstrate nondiscriminatory behavior during the 10 years prior," which means getting clean on all the voting changes it made but never submitted for preclearance. New Hampshire tried this unsuccessfully once before about a decade ago, but now the SoS expects to try again.