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Leading Off:

NC-Gov, MI-Sen: The North Carolina governor's race and the Michigan Senate race have nothing in common, except for the fact that NBC/Marist just published a new trio of polls on Thursday—their second set of swing state polls this week. (They also surveyed New Hampshire but apparently did not test the gubernatorial contest. Zuh?) In any event, the NC-Gov numbers are the best Team Blue has ever seen, with Republican Pat McCrory leading Democrat Walter Dalton by just a 43-41 margin. There are no trendlines, but those results are quite the contrast to a Rasmussen poll (okay, "poll") from a day earlier which had McCrory up 49-35.

As for Michigan, Marist finds a tightening since their last poll, which was all the way back in February, when Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow led Republican Pete Hoekstra 53-32. That survey, though, was taken just after the Super Bowl, when Hoekstra ran his now utterly infamous "Debbi Spend-it-now" ad and had descended to new depths of unpopularity. Marist's new poll still finds Stabenow in good shape, though, up 49-37. Click through the very first link to see all the numbers and our full analysis of all three surveys, including the presidential results.


MT-Sen: A Montana couple which was accused of visa fraud when trying to adopt a young girl from Nepal says they reached out to GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg and he sorted things out for them. You can read about the original story here, and that's the content of Rehberg's newest TV ad, which is for a reported $60K buy.

WI-Sen: Democrat Tammy Baldwin is sending around an internal poll from the Feldman Group of the Republican primary, which I'm guessing is aimed at showing that ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson isn't a lock to win the GOP nomination. Baldwin shows Thompson trailing businessman Eric Hovde by one point, 27-26, while Mark Neumann (13) and Jeff Fitzgerald (9) are far behind. Baldwin polls better against Hovde than Thompson (though that's partly a function of name recognition), so presumably she'd rather face him instead—and therefore wants to fluff his candidacy. Notably, the poll did not include a general election portion.


IN-Gov: Whoops:

In a closed door House GOP meeting Thursday, Indiana congressman and gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence likened the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Democratic health care law to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to several sources present.
Pence later sent a statement to Politico apologizing.


ND-AL: Hah! I guess Kevin Cramer and Nino Scalia must share staff.

OK-01: Roll Call's Shira Toeplitz offers some more color and background on the huge upset in Tuesday night's OK-01 victory. Her lede: "Navy Reserve pilot Jim Bridenstine knew Rep. John Sullivan was getting desperate when the Congressman started attacking his alpacas." One thing Toeplitz reminds us of is that Sullivan only took 62 percent of the vote in the 2010 primary, which may have been an early warning sign.

Grab Bag:

House: On Thursday, Republicans in the House pushed through a hyper-partisan vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. Most of the Democratic caucus (108 members in total) walked out in protest. Some (65) voted nay. A handful—mostly your typical conservaDem suspects—voted aye, 17 in all:

Jason Altmire (PA-04, lost primary in PA-12) *
John Barrow (GA-12) *
Dan Boren (OK-02, retiring) *
Leonard Boswell (IA-03) *
Ben Chandler (KY-06) *
Mark Critz (PA-12)
Joe Donnelly (IN-02, running for IN-Sen) *
Kathy Hochul (NY-26)
Ron Kind (WI-03)
Larry Kissell (NC-08) *
Jim Matheson (UT-02, running in UT-04) *
Mike McIntyre (NC-07) *
Bill Owens (NY-23, running in NY-21)
Collin Peterson (MN-07) *
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Mike Ross (AR-04, retiring) *
Tim Walz (MN-01)
Asterisks denote members of the Blue Dog Coalition. Critz and Rahall are not, but their presence on this list is unsurprising given their records and the conservative districts they represent. Two upstate New York reps, Owens and Hochul, are more unexpected, though Hochul's seat was made much redder in redistricting. Walz is a genuine surprise, and Kind is downright shocking. (Dan Lipinski, another conservative Democrat who actually represents a blue district, voted "present.") Two Republicans voted no: Steve LaTourette (OH-14) and Scott Rigell (VA-02).

Polltopia: Once again, I'm going with Connecticut in PPP's "where to poll" poll. I still want to check on those unexpected Quinnipiac results from the other week.

Texas: With the runoff now just a month away, Burnt Orange Report has updated their Texas endorsements tracker. In addition to keeping tabs on which first-round also-rans have backed which top-two finishers, BOR catalogs other new endorsers.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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