• MA-Sen: PPP's new poll has the Massachusetts Senate race all tied between Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Sen. Scott Brown at 46 apiece. That's good news for Brown: Warren's been at 46 in both of PPP's last two polls, while Brown has inched up from 41 to 44 and now to 46. I have to wonder if his new positive ads have helped boost his numbers. Tom Jensen does note that undecideds in the Senate race lean heavily toward Obama, though this group also has favorable views of both Warren and Brown, so it's not so easy to say where they'll wind up. Click through for the full details and our analysis at Daily Kos Elections.
• CT-Sen, CT-05: The Connecticut AFL-CIO, which is the state's largest labor federation, representing over 200,000 members and 500 unions, just issued some Democratic primary endorsements. In the Senate race, they're backing Chris Murphy while in the contest to succeed Murphy in CT-05, they're supporting Chris Donovan.
• ND-Sen: Look out! The DSCC just made $1.2 million airtime reservation in North Dakota to help out Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, and given how small the state is, that's a huge sum. There are only about 684,000 people total who live in the Peace Garden State, so we're talking $1.75 per person. To give you a further sense of what this means, the Fargo media market (the larger of the state's two markets) is ranked 120th in the nation, while Bismarck is 157th. So yeah, that's a lot of scrilla.
• NE-Sen: Billionaire Warren Buffett will be hosting a fundraiser for Democrat Bob Kerrey later this month, but he isn't getting into the super PAC game. Buffett's comments illustrate a broader problem on the left in terms of our rich guys being all too ready to unilaterally disarm in the face of superior weaponry:
"I will not be doing super PACs of any sort. I think allowing unlimited contributions to campaigns is a terrible idea and an important and unfortunate step toward a plutocracy."And refusing to fight fire with fire is an even quicker way to descend into plutocracy... or, as it really ought to be called, kleptocracy.
• OH-Sen: It looks like that initial DSCC Ohio reservation—in the $2 million range—has already gotten bumped up. The Hill reports that the total now stands at $5.1 million and covers Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown.
• VA-Sen: Does anyone believe this? We Ask America, the polling arm of the right-wing Illinois Manufacturers' Association (a relationship they do their best to hide), has Republican George Allen leading Democrat Tim Kaine 44-35 in the Virginia Senate race. They also have Mitt Romney beating Barack Obama 48-43.
• CA-02: Activist Norman Solomon is conceding the race:
Democrat Norman Solomon has narrowed the vote margin with Republican Dan Roberts to only 172 votes throughout the six counties comprising California's 2nd Congressional District.This is something of a booby prize for Roberts, though: In this dark blue district, Democratic Assemblyman Jared Huffman is heavily favored in November. But Roberts at least has the sense to know where the votes lie, based on the statement he put out in response to Solomon's announcement:
Fewer than 1,000 ballots remain to be counted in Sonoma County, the only county still tallying ballots in the district. While the 172-vote gap is expected to narrow still further as Sonoma County processes its final outstanding ballots, it has become numerically very unlikely Solomon will overtake Roberts as these few remaining ballots are tallied.
Accordingly, this morning Norman Solomon contacted Dan Roberts and offered congratulations on his second-place finish in this "top two" primary race.
"To supporters of other candidates—including Norman Solomon—if you are as sick of war and nation-building as I am, then you have a candidate who has seen the horror of war and will fight tirelessly to bring our troops home. If you are tired of the influence of Wall Street crooks pocketing your hard earned tax dollars while avoiding accountability for the egregious conduct in this economic crisis, you have a candidate who has the know-how and street smarts to take them on. If you want a small businessman who understands job creation and the value of a dollar and thinks that both parties and their career politicians have failed us miserably, you have a candidate who cares about doing the right thing and not climbing the political ladder."• FL-06: In the crowded GOP field in Florida's open 6th District, the Club for Growth has found their man: attorney Ron DeSantis, who has led in fundraising so far.
• IL-02: Dem Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. has been absent from Congress for two weeks, but only on Monday did his staff disclose that he is on medical leave and is being treated for "exhaustion."
• MI-06: Citizens United is endorsing ex-state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk in his bid to unseat Rep. Fred Upton in the GOP primary. But for now, it only looks like they're contributing $5K to his campaign. Hoogendyk will need more help if he's to pull off an upset.
• MI-11: Hah: GOP Rep. Justin Amash, about as far outside of the establishment as you can get while still serving in Congress, has endorsed Kerry Bentivolio, the spurned Republican candidate in post-Thad McCotter MI-11. (Local GOP power-players are rallying around ex-state Sen. Nancy Cassis, who is waging a write-in bid for the nomination.)
• MN-06: Wealthy hotelier Jim Graves is out with an internal poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, showing him trailing uber-Republican Michele Bachmann by just a 48-43 margin. That's a pretty auspicious start for a relative unknown like Graves, but it also shows what a challenge it'll be to reach that 50%+1 mark, since in a very red district like this, most of those undecideds will naturally tilt toward the GOP. That said, Graves will be well-funded, and Bachmann's going to have to take this race quite seriously, since she has unusual personal negatives thanks to her abrasive style.
• NC-11: This Week in Birtherism features Republican Mark Meadows, candidate in the NC-11 GOP runoff:
"2012 is the time we're going to send Mr. Obama home to Kenya or wherever it is," Meadows said to applause at a June 9 tea party rally. "We're going to do it!"• OH-15: You probably haven't heard of Pat Lang, but he's an elected official—the law director for the city of Athens, Ohio—who's taking on freshman Republican Rep. Steve Stivers. Lang just put out a poll from PPP showing Stivers in an unexpectedly weak position, leading just 43-33. Stivers' re-elects are weak (just 38% say they'd vote for Stivers while 41% say "someone new"), and he's also largely unknown, thanks to the GOP's radical gerrymander which left Stivers representing just 36% of the redrawn 15th.
At an appearance at a tea party forum on June 12, Meadows said, "we" will send Obama "back home to Kenya or wherever it is."
Still, that same gerrymander turned a +9 Obama district into a +6 McCain seat, and Stivers has almost a million bucks on hand. Lang, meanwhile, had just $8K in the bank. This poll is obviously aimed at getting his name out there among donors and power-players, but Lang has a very steep hill to climb to make this off-the-radar race competitive.
• WA-01: Democrat Suzan DelBene is the first candidate to hit the TV airwaves in the 1st, with a new ad touting her middle-class roots. It's not a surprise to see her jump in first, since she has money to burn (she's capable of self-funding, though she's raised well too)—and a name rec deficit to make up, ahead of the Aug. 7 primary. (David Jarman)
• Oregon: PPP's first poll of Oregon in a year will probably attract attention for its presidential toplines, which have Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 50-42 (a bit narrower than you'd think based on 2008 numbers, though Oregon was closely fought in '96 and '00).
However, it also has a full set on numbers on the statewide downballot races. The three partisan races all look pretty safe for the Democrats. The Dem incumbents lead in the SoS race (Kate Brown leads Knute Buehler 48-30) and for treasurer (Ted Wheeler leads Tom Cox 46-34), and the Dem is also up in the open AG race (Ellen Rosenblum leads James Buchal 46-33). (It's odd that Buehler, the GOP's one legit recruit here, fares worse than the last-minute fill-ins they scraped up for the other two races.) The Labor Commissioner race is the most competitive, and that may be because it, unlike the other races, is an ostensibly nonpartisan position: Incumbent Brad Avakian (who's a Dem, and whom you might remember from getting pasted in the OR-01 special primary) trails his opponent, GOP state Sen. Bruce Starr... though that's a 23-21 margin, with 56% left undecided without the cues from party IDs. (David Jarman)
• Filings: We're getting down to stems and seeds in terms of candidate filings. Deadlines recently passed in two of the last states where the filing period was still open: New Hampshire and Vermont (PDF). If you still want to run for Congress this year, hurry up and move to Rhode Island (filing closes 6/27), Delaware (7/10), or Louisiana (the laggard, 8/17).