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Leading Off:

WI-Sen: How is it possible to have a John McCain problem? Just ask Tommy Thompson:

Simply ask the U.S. Senate candidate exactly how many residences he owns. Just like U.S. Sen. John McCain, Thompson has a hard time keeping track.

"Three," the veteran Republican responded last week at a campaign event.

Thompson has three houses? Isn't there another one?

"No," he answered without hesitation.

But wait for it:
Only later did a correction come from his campaign staff:

He actually has one more place he calls home.

Thompson—who is running against Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin—had forgotten his condo off Lake Wisconsin in Sauk County. The property is currently assessed at more than $1.3 million.

Or you could ask me: I'm always forgetting about that million-dollar condominium I've got stashed away near a big scenic lake, too!

3Q Fundraising:

MT-Sen: Denny Rehberg (R): $2.4 mil raised, $1.7 mil cash-on-hand

NY-18: Sean Maloney (D): $925K raised, $825K cash-on-hand

NY-19: Julian Schreibman (D): $535K raised; Chris Gibson (R-inc): $410K raised, $775K cash-on-hand


AZ-Sen: Big Dog Alert! Bill Clinton is coming to Tempe to campaign with Democrat Rich Carmona on Thursday. He'll appear at a rally at Arizona State University that evening. If you're interested in tickets (the event is free), click here.

CT-Sen: It sounds like Linda McMahon got her clock cleaned in a debate with Dem Rep. Chris Murphy on Sunday—for the best holistic take, I encourage you to read Hartford Courant columnist Colin McEnroe's writeup. But if you want just one stand-out moment, I'll point you to this:

"I absolutely support America's law for, you know, same-sex marriage," McMahon said. "And, uh, I wouldn't pretend to try to impose my will or rights on others, I think everyone should have the freedom to make that choice."

McMahon's vague answer gave Murphy an opening.

"America doesn't have a law protecting same-sex marriage, in fact it has the exact opposite," he shot back. "She's not going to stand up to her party in Washington when it comes to these issues that are right now being dominated by the social right."

That forced McMahon to awkwardly admit afterward that "I have changed my position on DOMA" because, seriously, no shit. But it really seems like McMahon's campaign in general is stressed out and making mistakes—check out this new story in the Huffington Post. To summarize: Reporter Amanda Terkel learned that the version of McMahon's jobs plan on her website was mostly lifted from the Cato Institute without attribution. Terkel contacted the McMahon campaign, but that "led to a nasty, profanity-laced, off-the-record phone call from McMahon campaign manager Corry Bliss." Bliss claimed that PDF and print versions of the plan had proper citations, so in spite of his outrageous behavior, Terkel decided to spike the story.

But that wasn't enough for Bliss, who leaked a follow-up email from Terkel to a local blogger hostile to the Murphy campaign—but only a partial, self-serving version. Then the McMahon campaign issued a press release that misleadingly cited a single sentence from Terkel's email, which read: "After you so politely informed me that the print version/pdf of her plan has had the citations all along, I won't be writing the story." Terkel, of course, was being exceedingly sarcastic. Anyhow, this is not exactly the kind of behavior you expect from a campaign that feels good about itself.

FL-Sen: Rasmussen: Bill Nelson (D-inc): 52 (47), Connie Mack (R): 41 (40).

MA-Sen: Two more good polls for Democrat Elizabeth Warren. The first is from Western New England University, which gives her a 50-45 edge over Scott Brown, little changed from her 50-44 lead in mid-September. The DSCC is also understandably excited about their new internal from Harstad Research which has Warren up an almost identical 50-44. Harstad notes that in early August, their (obviously unreleased) numbers had Warren trailing 47-44. And while polling memos aren't usually very interesting beyond the numbers they contain, I thought this tidbit was worth sharing:

Another intriguing result suggests that Warren has a higher vote ceiling than Brown. Besides the 50% now supporting her, an additional 6% of voters say there is "a fair chance" they might support Warren—for a total prospective vote of 56%. In the case of Brown, besides his 44%vote, an additional 4% of voters say there is "a fair chance" they might support Brown—for a total prospective vote of 48%.
ME-Sen: Well, it looks like the sad sacks at Americans Elect—the "post-partisan" wank tank that pissed away a fortune in a doomed-from-the-start plan to re-invent U.S. politics—have finally found a cause worth spending their last pennies on. You won't be surprised that they're cottoning to Angus King, Maine's former independent governor who eschews political parties the way a blogger eschews pants. Uh... anyway. They've managed to dig deep for $500K to air a very predictable TV spot on behalf of ol' Angus, which you can watch at the link.

Depressingly, Democrats should probably be glad that Americans Elect is spending here, because King apparently really needs the help. (Though somehow AE is blowing $150K on "polling and research"—an absurd sum which probably translates as "over-priced consultants.") The DSCC is throwing in another $600K, probably on more ads attacking Republican Charlie Summers. That takes their total spend on the race to $1 million. It wasn't that long ago that this was looking like a walk in the park for Angus, but I guess it turned out to be an ultramarathon through Acadia National Park.

NV-Sen, -03, -04: Local pundit Jon Ralston is touting the a trio of Nevada polls taken "at the end of last month" by a Democratic firm we aren't too familiar with around these parts, Precision Opinion. Ralston's keeping the crosstabs behind his new paywall, but he does provide toplines (and it looks like the two House portions may have piggybacked on the statewide sample). In the Senate race, Republican Sen. Dean Heller leads Shelley Berkley 45-43, which isn't too bad for Team Blue. The House picture is a lot bleaker: In NV-03, GOP Rep. Joe Heck is beating John Oceguera 49-38, while in NV-04, Republican Danny Tarkanian leads Steven Horsford 44-36. The only cautionary note Ralston offers is that the polls sampled "way too few Hispanics," which would suggest these numbers are too pessimistic for Democrats.

VA-, WI-Sen: At long last, PPP joins the pack of pollsters who have found Democrat Tim Kaine legging out to a legitimate lead in the Virginia Senate contest. He's now up 51-44 over George Allen, after holding just a 47-46 edge three weeks ago. (The same sample has Obama up 50-47 over Romney.) Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin is staying steady with a 49-46 edge over Republican Tommy Thompson; two weeks earlier, she had an almost identical 49-45 advantage. Baldwin's actually doing one point better than Obama, who's holding off Mitt Romney by a slim 49-47 spread.

WA-Sen, -AG, Ballot: The SurveyUSA poll from last week that gave Jay Inslee a 6-point lead also took a look at the Forgotten Race: Maria Cantwell vs. Michael Baumgartner. Democratic incumbent Cantwell leads 53-40 this time (though it was 53-38 last month). They also have numbers on the Attorney General race (Dem Bob Ferguson leads GOPer Reagan Dunn 43-35), and on the state's ballot measures. Maybe most notably, Referendum 74 to legalize same-sex marriage is passing 55-40, while I-502 to legalize and regulate marijuana is even more popular at 57-33. I-1240, which would allow charter schools, is also passing, 49-30. (David Jarman)

WV-Sen: What a dipwad:

Republican Senate candidate John Raese filled in wetlands and damaged more than 2 miles of streams when he rerouted them to create waterfalls on a private, 18-hole West Virginia golf course that federal regulators say he built without the required permits.

The years-long construction of Pikewood National Golf Club near Morgantown is "probably the biggest violation we've ever seen in this district," Sheila Tunney, spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh, told The Associated Press. [...]

Tunney said the corps first learned about the 1,300-acre golf course, which sits on the Monongalia-Preston county border, from a farmer who complained he was no longer getting water from a local stream.

Way to wreck the environment and support the local community, John! Oh, by the way, the membership "initiation fee" at Pikewood? $30,000. Median household income in Monongalia County? $28,625.


CT-Sen: Chris Murphy (D)
CT-Sen: Majority PAC (D)
CT-Sen: Linda McMahon (R)
IN-Sen: Richard Mourdock (R)
MA-Sen: Elizabeth Warren (D)
MA-Sen: Elizabeth Warren (D)
MA-Sen: Scott Brown (R)
ME-Sen: NRSC (R)
MI-Sen: Debbie Stabenow (D)
MI-Sen: Pete Hoesktra (R)
MO-Sen: Claire McCaskill (D)
MT-Sen: DSCC (D)
MT-Sen: DSCC (D)
ND-Sen: Heidi Heitkamp (D)
ND-Sen: Majority PAC (D)
NV-Sen: DSCC (D)
NV-Sen: Dean Heller (R)
VA-Sen: Tim Kaine (D)
VA-Sen: George Allen (R)
WI-Sen: Tommy Thompson (R)


NJ-Gov: We've gotten confirmation, in a very roundabout way, that Chris Christie will indeed run for a second term as New Jersey Governor in 2013 (rather than pull a Romney and head straight for the next presidential race). The RGA just announced that Christie will be their chair for the year 2014. Since New Jersey has off-year elections, though, that would almost certainly require Christie to first get re-elected in 2013. (Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, another potential 2016 prez candidate, will serve as 2013's chair, but then 2014's vice-chair.) (David Jarman)


MO-Gov: Jay Nixon (D)
MT-Gov: Steve Bullock (D)
MT-Gov: Steve Bullock (D)


AZ-01: I'll be very curious to see how the DCCC responds, if at all, to this new NRCC one-day in-house robopoll. They're saying that Republican Jonathan Paton holds a 50-45 lead over Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, outpacing the 46-46 tie on the generic congressional ballot. The presidential toplines aren't out-of-whack, either: Romney has a 51-46 lead, very similar to John McCain's 51-48 win here. (McCain, of course, benefited from favorite son status, but statewide polling has tended to show Romney doing as well as his party's previous nominee.)

CA-03/07/09/10: Big Dog Alert! The Explainer-in-Chief is coming to the Sacramento area on Tuesday morning to endorse four Democrats in competitive Races: Reps. John Garamendi (CA-03) and Jerry McNerney (CA-09), and challengers Ami Bera (CA-07) and Jose Hernandez (CA-10). The whole gang is getting together for a rally at UC Davis (courtesy of the campus's College Democrats); click the link for more details.

CA-24: Well, these numbers ain't too pretty for Dem Rep. Lois Capps: She trails Abel Maldonado 45-44 in a new POS internal for the Republican. According to the memo, Maldonado was actually behind 49-44 in a previously unreleased August poll. The generic congressional ballot stands at 44 Dem and 42 GOP, but there are no presidential toplines to provide a sanity check. Republican interests have spent more than twice as much on the race to date ($655K to $299K) as Democratic groups, so movement in Maldonado's direction is plausible. One sign of concern is that Capps doesn't seem to have really offered any response to the survey.

FL-10: I wonder if Daniel Webster got his mom to call Val Demings, too:

Nine Republican leaders have come to U.S. Rep. Dan Webster's defense with a letter asking his opponent to stop attacking him in the race for Florida's 10th Congressional District.
Seriously? What a crybaby.

FL-26: What the hell did he think would happen?

Rep. David Rivera (R-Miami) summoned reporters to his district office Friday morning for a news conference, but refused to speak about anything but the stated purpose—deferred action for undocumented children. [...]

But when asked about the ongoing FBI investigation into his reported ties to former congressional candidate Justin Lamar Sternad, a Democrat, Rivera said he couldn't talk about it in his district office.

"In a federal legislative office, we can only do official government business," Rivera said. "Anything campaign-related, we have to talk about outside."

We asked Rivera to step outside to answer questions, but he refused.

What is this, like declaring "sanctuary" in a medieval church? Did Rivera really think he could pull this off and have the headlines read anything other than "Rivera refuses to answer questions"? Eh, probably—I think he really is that stupid.

IL-08: I'm not sure why the DCCC felt the need to release this internal robopoll (from their own polling robots down in the storm cellar), but they've got Democrat Tammy Duckworth beating GOP Rep. Joe Walsh 52-42. That's a bit worse than a PPP poll for the LCV last month which had Duckworth up 52-38, so why would you want to put numbers like that out there if folks are still thinking the race is in the teens rather than just ten points apart? Perhaps it's to demonstrate to the morans at Now or Never PAC that their $1.75 million in attack ads haven't had the desired effect. (But even that seems like an odd choice, since you'd rather have them going berserk on Duckworth than on someone else more vulnerable.) There are no presidential toplines included.

IL-17: The DCCC's out with a new Anzalone Liszt internal in IL-17, and as we've seen with some other recent polling memo releases, the focus here is on the trendlines. Democrat Cheri Bustos now has the slimmest of edges over GOP Rep. Bobby Schilling, 45-44. That's up from a 47-38 Schilling lead in August. (Needless to say, that prior poll was not released. It must have been a depressing summer at the D-Trip's IE arm.) Once again, Obama's faring far worse than his 2008 mark, which is probably what's kept Schilling in the game: He's beating Romney 51-40, as opposed to his 60-39 romp four years ago. Overall, these numbers are all very similar to those found in a Bustos internal from late September.

MT-AL: Here's an interesting poll out of Montana that doesn't seem to have gotten much attention. It was conducted late last month by the Mellman Group for JET PAC, the DGA's independent expenditure arm in Montana, and apparently they were kind enough to share their House and presidential numbers (though no word on the governor's race, which of course is what the DGA is most interested in, or the Senate contest). In any event, they find Republican Steve Daines edging Democrat Kim Gillan by just a 36-34 spread, with Libertarian David Kaiser taking 5 percent.

That's a ton of undecideds, and undoubtedly they lean toward the GOP, but perhaps not as much as you might think: Romney's only beating Obama 48-44. That spread is actually in like with PPP's last poll (though Mason-Dixon saw a Romney lead twice as large). And indeed, PPP's September survey had Daines up just 3. Gillan will need a very strong effort by Jon Tester and Steve Bullock at the top of the ticket to have a shot, but numbers like these may explain why the DCCC has added this race to Red to Blue.

NY-27: After making the circuit of most of the interesting House races in New York state, Siena College is now on its second round of polling, with a new survey of the 27th District. Dem Rep. Kathy Hochul is doing surprisingly well, tied at 47 apiece with Republican Chris Collins. This also means we have trendlines here, and Hochul's actually performing a bit better than she was in late August, when Siena saw Collins leading 47-45. The gap's also narrowed a bit on the presidential front, with Romney's edge now 51-42, vs. 53-41 last time. Republicans still maintain a big 53-41 advantage on the "control of Congress" question, so Hochul's doing an impressive job of swimming against the tide. The question, of course, is whether she can win over that last little chunk of undecided voters, who probably lean to the right.

WI-07: A new internal from NMB Research for the conservative American Action Network finds GOP Rep. Sean Duffy leading Pat Kreitlow 51-40, a very different picture from what we've seen in a pair of recent Dem polls. In addition to the head-to-heads, there are generic congressional ballot numbers (47-42 GOP), presidential toplines (Romney 49-46), and Senate numbers (50-43 Thompson). But a Kreitlow internal published a little over a week ago had Duffy up just 44-41 and Obama leading 52-41.

Seeing as Obama won this district by 8 points in 2008, the NMB spread would suggest a monster turnaround here. Yeah, Wisconsin's gotten closer—but that much closer? The Thompson numbers are particularly hard to buy, thought, since this district is very close to the state's median and he's otherwise losing in statewide polling.

(By the way, who is NMB Research? It's run by Glen Bolger, a bigwig at well-known Republican outfit Public Opinion Strategies. In a 2008 statement provided to TPM, the firm explained that it's "a separate legal entity" that was "established to comply with coordination rules" created by the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law passed a decade ago.)

Reshuffling Roundup: Not much to report on the reshuffling front today. According to The Fix, the NRCC has cancelled "the remainder of" its ad buys in VA-02 and WI-08, two GOP-held seats that are both looking like very tough nuts for Democrats to crack. They've also axed most of their airtime in another pair of districts where Republicans are seeking re-election, IA-03 and IA-04, but Sean Sullivan indicates that John Boehner's Congressional Leadership Fund is stepping in to fill the gap here—which in turn suggests these seats are still in play.


FL-18: Allen West (R)
IA-03: Tom Latham (R)
IA-04: Christie Vilsack (D)
IA-04: Christie Vilsack (D)
MN-01: Tim Walz (D)
MN-01: Allen Quist (R)
ND-AL: Kevin Cramer (R)
NE-02: Lee Terry (R)
NV-03: John Oceguera (D)
NY-27: Kathy Hochul (D)
PA-06: Manan Trivedi (D)
PA-12: Keith Rothfus (R)
PA-12: Keith Rothfus (R)
RI-01: Brendan Doherty (R)
SD-AL: Kristie Noem (R)
WA-10: Denny Heck (D)
WI-07: Sean Duffy (R)
WI-07: Sean Duffy (R)
WV-03: Nick Rahall (D)
NRCC: 27 new ads (R)

Other Races:

NY-St. Sen: Sigh. It sure looks like the GOP's gerrymander of New York's state Senate lines is working exactly as they'd hoped, at least according to Siena's two newest polls. Up in the Buffalo-area 60th District, party-switching GOP state Sen. Mark Grisanti is easily fending off Democratic attorney Michael Amodeo, 47-23. Grisanti originally won his seat in a fluke, and even seemed to contemplate returning to the Democratic fold after voting in favor of gay marriage. But Republicans radically redrew the lines, turning the 60th from a 77-22 (!) Obama district to one where the president is "only" beating Romney by 54-40 in this poll.

Meanwhile, the GOP managed the opposite feat in the Queens-based 15th, where Dem state Sen. Joseph Addabbo's district, which formerly went for Obama 61-38, now sees the POTUS ahead by just 48-45. That explains why he's barely edging NYC councilman Eric Ulrich, 45-43. This seat occupies a swath of the southern part of the borough that has, despite a huge Democratic enrollment edge, notoriously shifted far to the right in recent years. (There's a lot of overlap with the old 9th CD, won by Republican Bob Turner—remember him?—in the 2011 special, and it's partly adjacent to the old 27th SD, where Democrats lost another special earlier this year.) Like I say, the Republicans definitely knew what they were doing when they had the pen in their hands.

Grab Bag:

State Legislatures: The DLCC has dropped by in the diaries section here at Daily Kos Elections, and they're soliciting your thoughts. Every cycle, they produce a list of key targeted races out of the thousands of state legislative contests that are up for election—and ten slots are chosen via grassroots nominations. So if you know of a candidate for legislative office you think is worthy of greater recognition during the stretch run, you can submit your suggestions here.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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