• PA-17: Is Rep. Tim Holden actually shaping up to be an underdog in the Democratic primary? I don't know if I'd go that far, but Roll Call's Shira Toeplitz makes a good case for it in an excellent local color piece on the race, pointing out that the large majority of constituents in the new 17th are new to him and his opponent, Matt Cartwright, is a familiar face on local Scranton airwaves. The actions of the Campaign for Primary Accountability may bolster the case that Cartwright's on top, though: The an ostensibly bipartisan anti-incumbent PAC just announced that, while they're giving up on their efforts in the Pittsburgh-area PA-18 (against GOP Rep. Tim Murphy), they're going all in on their attempt to unseat Holden, suggesting they sense the possibility to claim another scalp. After previously spending $130K on TV advertising, they're now throwing in another $60K.
In addition, two left-leaning groups are getting in on the anti-Holden action. MoveOn announced its support for Cartwright (who's been trying hard to get to Holden's left, as seen in his recent repositioning efforts on the Affordable Care Act) on Tuesday, and the League of Conservation Voters is spending $230K on anti-Holden advertising. The LCV's ad can be seen here or below, and it prominently features an old familiar face whom we haven't seen trotted out in an ad in a while—except, interestingly, in this race: George W. Bush. (CPA's ad also made use of Dubya.)
CT-Sen: William Tong (D): $185K raised, $227K cash-on-handSenate:
MO-Sen: Sarah Steelman (R): $179K raised, $600K cash-on-hand; John Brunner (R): $168K raised (plus $1.2 mil self-funding),
MO-Gov: Dave Spence (R): $593K raised (plus $250K loan), $1.7 mil cash-on-hand; Bill Randles (R): $35K raised, $5K cash-on-hand.
NY-Sen: Wendy Long (R): $142K raised, $69K cash-on-hand
• FL-Sen: Hah, WOW. I guess I was wrong when I said a day ago that GOP grumbling over Rep. Connie Mack's Senate candidacy was pointless because it was far too late to think about recruiting anyone else. Remarkably, the state's chief financial officer, Jeff Atwater, is now saying he's thinking about getting into the race on account of conservative prodding. (Incidentally, Atwater's name popped up last October—after Mack reversed course and decided to run—but the rumors were so thin he never even bothered addressing them, so far as I know.) I wonder if Mack, clearly in over his head, would drop out and seek re-election instead if Atwater got in. If not, it sure would be a hell of a primary to see those two face off. You know what I'm wishing for!
• IN-Sen: This is pretty funny. Sen. Dick Lugar has a new ad out trashing his GOP primary opponent, Richard Mourdock, over taxes, but he yanked it from YouTube thanks to a very amateurish mis-spelling, which you can see screen-shotted here. Of course, shoving something down the Internet's very narrow memory hole is no easy task, and unsurprisingly, Lugar failed at it, because we also have a copy of the original ad right here.
Lugar did get some much-needed help at the last minute, though: With the May 8 primary looming, the US Chamber of Commerce just endorsed him. Let's see if they put their money with their mouth is, though.
• MI-Sen: In his quest to become 2012's single most tone-deaf candidate, Republican Michigan Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra has apparently decided to expand his portfolio from xenophobia to the War on Women as well. To do so, he went after the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, one of the least controversial accomplishments of the Obama administration. In response to a questioner at an appearance last week, Hoekstra said "that thing is a nuisance" and "shouldn't be the law." (David Jarman)
• NE-Sen: We've got two new ads in the Nebraska Senate race, one from each side. The first is from Democrat Bob Kerrey, who starts off with various folks touting his military record, then segues into talking about his pledge to support bipartisanship. You can watch at the link or below:
• TX-Sen: Both of the major GOP contestants in the Texas Senate primary came out with new ads Tuesday, both of which are available at the link. (No word on the size of the buys, but they are running statewide, which is always a pricey endeavor.) Dewhurst, the presumptive favorite here, is going negative against Cruz for the first time, so you've got to wonder if there's some behind-the-scenes poll-tightening here. The one-minute spot hits Cruz for his legal work on behalf of a scaaaaary-sounding Chinese company. Meanwhile, Cruz's over-the-top new ad has to be seen to be believed: To the backdrop of a cinematic score, he defends millions of our brave veterans against an evil army of atheists, or at least something like that:
• NC-Gov: I don't really believe in the aphorism, but I know people are fond of saying that it takes an ego to run for office—yet even so, I found myself a little uncomfortable with Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton's new ad (his first of the race). "It's a pretty simple name," begins Dalton, "but folks sure seem to like saying it." That's predictably followed by several people all calling out "Walter Dalton!" Hrm. (He then goes on to try to tout his record on education.) Maybe I'm wrong to feel this way—after all, I loved Don Cazayoux's ad in which his family tries to teach people how to pronounce his unusual surname. But I think that one worked better precisely because Cazayoux's daughters narrated the ad, not the candidate himself. Anyhow, have a look at the link or below and tell me your thoughts:
• IL-13: Ah, music to my ears. This is the kind of grumbling that can really help sabotage a candidate selected via back-room deal, which of necessity is what Republicans in Illinois' 13th Congressional District must do in the wake of Rep. Tim Johnson's retirement announcement. A couple of candidates hoping to be considered as replacements by local GOP officials (including one sitting state senator, Kyle McCarter) are alleging that Johnson's departure was orchestrated behind closed doors long ago so that he could hand his seat off to his former chief of staff Jerry Clarke. Indeed, Clarke began publicly expressing his interest in the job the very day Johnson said he'd step down. If Clarke does get tapped and some of his cheesed-off fellow Republicans sit on their hands as a result, that's undoubtedly good news for Democrats.
• KY-04: Lewis County Judge-Executive Thomas Massie is getting some heat from the man he's seeking to replace in Congress, retiring Republican Rep. Geoff Davis. A couple of years ago, Davis actually praised Massie in remarks made on the House floor, so Massie decided to repurpose Davis's speech and have it serve as the narration of a positive bio spot, which you can watch here or below:
• MD-06 (PDF): Two weeks out from his primary victory, Democratic businessman John Delaney is out with a new internal poll of the general election in Maryland's 6th Congressional District, where he faces longtime GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in a seat that's now much bluer thanks to redistricting. The survey, from Garin-Hart-Yang, finds Delaney up 48-39 over Bartlett (who, I'll note, squeaked out of the Republican primary clown car with an unimpressive 43% of the vote). Delaney notes that he lags the incumbent in name rec (unsurprisingly), but given the huge personal resources he undoubtedly plans to pour into the race, that will change. Bartlett, of course, will also go on the attack, but right now, 39% is not a place you want to be. (I should also add that GHY's final poll of the primary for Delaney called the race quite accurately, so if that's anything to go by, you won't want to discount these new results.)
• NY-06: A whole bunch of current and former Democratic citywide elected officials, plus City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, endorsed Assemblywoman Grace Meng on Monday. As high-profile as the event may have been, I'm not sure that, say, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is capable of moving a lot of votes, which is why I think another new endorsement for Meng's chief primary rival will probably be a bigger deal in the end. To wit, the Communications Workers of America got behind Assemblyman Rory Lancman, who so far has received the "lion's share" of labor support in the race, as City & State puts it.
• NY-11: While the picture isn't completely clear yet (see the multiple updates at the link), it looks like freshman GOP Rep. Mike Grimm, who could use all the help he can get, may lose the Independence Party's ballot line for failure to file enough signatures. At the very least, it sounds like Democrat Mark Murphy plans to challenge the sufficiency of Grimm's burnt offering to the demigods who rule the most holy Board of Elections, which he must do by Monday.
• PA-04: York County Commissioner Chris Reilly is going on the air with his first TV ad, though you may recall his chief booster, Sen. Pat Toomey, had previously put up his own spot on Reilly's behalf. In any event, the ad touts Reilly as the "true conservative" in the race, not exactly a surprising move since all the action here is in the Republican primary. One thing I don't quite get is why the ad tries to mimic an old-fashioned filmstrip, complete with distinctive whirring background noise. (I'll bet you youngins don't even recognize the sound!) Is he going for some kind of nostalgia effect? You can see what I mean at the link or below:
• TN-03: Ice cream mogul Scottie Mayfield was a late entrant into the GOP primary for Tennessee's redrawn 3rd Congressional District, but he's touting a new poll that already shows him in the lead—against an incumbent, no less. Mayfield's survey (from North Star Opinion Research) finds him at 34%, while freshman Rep. Chuck Fleischman and Weston Wamp are tied at 25 apiece. (Wamp is the son of Rep. Zack Wamp, who held this seat until he unsuccessfully ran for governor last cycle.) In his polling memo, Mayfield points out that his name recognition is as high as Fleischman's, and his favorability rating is even higher. That unusual situation is due to the fact that Mayfield's name has long been splashed across the dairy aisles and freezer cases of local supermarkets for years, and it also helps when you sell a product everyone loves—like ice cream. (Several folks have wisely noted, though, that this has not helped Jim Oberweis in Illinois.)
• WA-01: Suzan DelBene, ex-Microsoft exec and 2010 WA-08 loser, continues to rack up endorsements in the quest to stand out from the large pack of Democrats in the open 1st district. On Tuesday, she got the backing of Rep. Rick Larsen, which is relevant to the extent that many of his current WA-02 constituents (the ones east of I-5 all the way up to the Canadian border) will be in the 1st starting in November. (David Jarman)
• Arizona: This is an interesting move that could have repercussions all the way down the ballot in Arizona. The Obama campaign is engaging in a three-month voter registration effort in the state, a test drive to see whether they can put Arizona in play this fall. If Obama does think he can compete here, that could provide a big boost to Democratic candidates running for the state's open Senate seat and in the competitive 1st, 2nd, and 9th Congressional Districts.
• Candidate Filings: Filing deadlines passed in two states late last week, and you can get complete candidate lists here for Oklahoma and North Dakota. The federal filing deadline also passed on Monday in New York, but because it's New York, the situation is fucking complicated. Here's the deal: If a congressional district spans more than one county, then you file with the state Board of Elections. They have a list here (PDF). But if a district is contained wholly within a single county or wholly within New York City, then you file with the local board. That applies to 13 of the state's 27 districts: 1 (Suffolk), 4 (Nassau), 6-15 (NYC), and 25 (Monroe). Of course, none of those local boards post candidate lists on their websites, though I did get my hands on the filing list for Kings County (Brooklyn).