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Leading Off:

MT-Sen: PPP's new Montana Senate poll, their first since Max Baucus announced he wouldn't seek re-election, actually doesn't look too different from their prior survey, from all the way back in February. That's because PPP had the foresight to test ex-Gov. Brian Schweitzer as a potential alternative for Baucus even then (though at the time, it looked more likely that Schweitzer would replace Baucus via primary rather than retirement). And once again, Schweitzer finds himself in a tossup, more or less, with the two strongest Republicans, ex-Gov. Marc Racicot and freshman Rep. Steve Daines.

If Schweitzer doesn't run, though, and the GOP lands a top-tier recruit, Democrats would start off in a deep hole, whether they nominate state Auditor Monica Lindeen or state Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau. As is their wont, PPP tested a whole battery of possible scenarios, including matchups with two lesser Republican lights, state Rep. Champ Edmunds and ex-state Sen. Corey Stapleton. In the chart below, Democrats are listed along the top and Republicans vertically; the head-to-head results in each box are color-coded according to party, with Democrats on top:

 Schweitzer   Juneau   Lindeen 
 Racicot   46 
 Daines   48 
 Stapleton   52 
 Edmunds   52 

Edmunds and Stapleton are the only declared candidates, though, as most of the field—Democrat and Republican alike—stands idle, pending a decision from Schweitzer. It's very possible that Schweitzer, who, with his 54-40 favorability rating, was the most popular candidate tested, could very well dissuade someone like Daines from running. But thanks to Montana's red tilt, even a generic Republican could give Schweitzer a tough race.

So which Republican will it be? Racicot hasn't publicly said anything, but Daines at least is mulling the race. In a hypothetical kitchen sink primary, Racicot leads Daines 47-28, while the others are in single digits. It's exceedingly unlikely that both will run: If the GOP can recruit Racicot (who has been out of politics for over decade), Daines would almost surely step aside. On the other hand, without Racicot, Daines would likely feel a lot of pressure to run, but he's just started his congressional career and represents a safe seat. Would he really want to give all that up?

Democrats of course hope he won't, and even more badly, hope Schweitzer will run. For now, though, we all wait.


KY-Sen: A new super PAC devoted to helping Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell is already going on the air with $260,000 in TV ads that look like they're aimed at dissuading Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes from entering the race. The group, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, claims in its spot that Grimes would help "jam through Obama's agenda: massive spending, Obamacare, the war on coal." Is it just me, or does that particular voiceover announcer, who has definitely done plenty of political work, just always come off sounding over-the-top? (I think it's the same guy I took note of with regard to this Judy Biggert ad from last year.)

NJ-Sen: Newark Mayor Cory Booker the first candidate to hit the airwaves in the special Democratic primary fast approaching this summer. The spot, part of a reported $400,000 buy, features Booker touting a list of achievements as mayor, including getting "guns off the streets" and creating jobs.


IL-Gov: Republican state Sen. Bill Brady, who narrowly lost his bid for governor in 2010, says he will formally announce a second run on Wednesday. Brady's entrance into the race has been expected for some time, though he joins an already busy field that includes state Treasurer Dan Rutherford and wealthy venture capitalist Bruce Rauner. The man Brady edged in the GOP primary three years ago, state Sen Kirk Dillard, is also set to join the contest soon.

OH-Gov: Quinnipiac's first poll since Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announced his candidacy for governor finds Republican Gov. John Kasich extending his lead, but only because of unexplained slippage for the Democrat. Kasich's edge now stands at 47-33, up from 46-37 in April, but both candidates' favorability ratings were stable, so it's not clear why Fitz, who remains almost entirely unknown, would see his take drop 4 points. (There's also a matchup between Kasich and former state AG Richard Cordray, who also lost a bit of support.) Quinnipiac is still the only pollster to offer a public poll of Ohio this cycle, though, so I'd really like to see numbers from someone else.


IA-02: State Rep. Mark Lofgren just became the first Republican to announce a challenge to fourth-term Rep. Dave Loebsack, though he may soon have company. State Department of Public Health Director Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who has lost two previous races to Loebsack, says she's considering a third bid. The 2nd District definitely has a blue tilt, though. At 56-43 Obama, it would be very hard for Republicans to succeed here, and even in the 2010 wave, Miller-Meeks could get no closer than 5 points, so Loebsack should be in good shape for re-election.

Grab Bag:

VRA: As most analysts expected, the Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, dividing 5-4 along ideological lines in the case of Shelby County v. Holder. (The full opinion is here.) Section 5 requires that jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination submit any changes to voting procedures to the Department of Justice for "preclearance," which may then block changes it concludes would adversely affect minority voting rights. The court actually left Section 5 alone, but the conservative majority ruled that Section 4, which contains the formula that determines which states are covered by Section 5 and was last updated in 1975, is outdated and therefore unconstitutional.

This means that Congress could draft an updated coverage formula, but even though the VRA was renewed with minimal dissent in 2006, it's unlikely that Republicans would ever permit such legislation to pass. However, the VRA's other crucial prong, Section 2, is unaffected by the court's decision; that provision is a general prohibition on voting discrimination and can still be enforced by the DOJ. We'll have more analysis of the fallout from Tuesday's ruling in the next Digest.

Other Races:

NYC Mayor: New York City's major unions remain split in the Democratic mayoral primary, with the 120,000-strong 32BJ SEIU endorsing City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a move that is due in large part to Quinn's decision to drop her opposition to mandatory paid sick leave earlier this year. Previously, one of the other giant labor organizations, 1199 SEIU, gave its backing to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, while the United Federation of Teachers just got behind former Comptroller Bill Thompson last week.

Meanwhile, a new Marist poll for the Wall Street Journal and NBC New York finds ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner jumping out to his first-ever lead in the race. He's at 24, followed by Quinn at 20, Thompson at 13, de Blasio at 10, and Comptroller John Liu at 8. In May, Quinn was in first at 24, followed by Weiner (19), de Blasio (12), Thompson (11), and Liu (8).

Grab Bag:

Fundraising: In case you've ever thought that it might actually be fun to be a congressperson, this item should kill that notion pretty quickly. Ryan Lizza wound up sitting next to a nameless freshman Dem making fundraising calls and livetweeted a number of the lowlights. Storified together, it's about as clear a picture as you'll ever see of how demoralizing and soul-destroying the fundraising process has become today. Here's an interesting question to chew on, though: Who is this poor sap? It's a freshman Dem (possibly male, if the term "freshman" is meant to be gender-specific) who's apparently already had GOP ads run against him, so that narrows the possibilities down considerably. (David Jarman)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

    by David Nir on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 05:00:10 AM PDT

  •  WI Governor (4+ / 0-)

    The Democrats are floating a trial balloon for a possible Democratic candidacy finally.  Mary Burke, of the Trek Bicycle manufacturing family, is reportedly mulling a challenge to Scott Walker.  She can at least partially self fund, she's not Herb Kohl rich, but she won't be going hungry any time soon either. Mark Burke is currently a member of the Madison School Board having smashed all the previous spending records for school board races.

    This is a serious trial balloon complete with statside polling, a GOP elections complaint already, and she registered six different internet names for possible use in a run for Governor.


    "The Attorney General will not cast aspersions on my asparagus" - Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert-R to Attorney General Eric Holder.

    by walja on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 05:03:08 AM PDT

    •  Just noticed (0+ / 0-)

      the link is not set, it is rotating.  So the story to look for is : "GOP Complaint: Poll test possible Gubernatorial Run by Mary Burke."

      "The Attorney General will not cast aspersions on my asparagus" - Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert-R to Attorney General Eric Holder.

      by walja on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 09:42:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here is a monte carlo (0+ / 0-)

    simulation of the Senate I built in Google Docs:

    After last night the Dems have a 53% chance of holding the Senate using the Cook rankings.   But in those rankings both Alaska and LA are leaning Democrat - which I give a 65% of winning (based on Cook's rating).  If the Democrats were able to put away Montana, the odds of holding the Senate go to 64%.  

    At this point the Senate is on a knife's edge and every seat matters.  Holding the Senate probably means holding the blue dem seats and winning 2 of Louisiana, Montana, Alaska and North Carolina.  We can't afford losses in places like Iowa, New Hampshire and Minnesota.

  •  435 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NMLib, itskevin

    It was fun while it lasted: June 5, 2013 - June 26, 2013 (I assume Markey resigns today, tomorrow latest?)

  •  I'm amazed anybody wants to be governor of (0+ / 0-)


    Sure, you're almost as powerful as the Mayor of Chicago, at least in Springfield, but...what a mess we have here.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 06:22:11 AM PDT

  •  Many NYC Kossacks seem to opine.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gygaxian these diaries that all the candidates are going to remain in the Primary until the bitter end and not make some "lesser of two evils" calculation between Quinn and Weiner, let alone one of the "2nd tier"

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 06:32:34 AM PDT

    •  I used to love Weiner for his passion for our (0+ / 0-)

      progressive causes. I've heard him speak and he was wonderful. I realize he is a horn dog, but I'm rooting for him anyway.

      I used to feel the same about Bill Clinton. I just knew he would turn out to be a horn dog when the first scandal broke during his first run at the Presidency: I didn't want to vote for him because of it, but I did.

      Overall he turned out to be an inspired politian. To this day he can explain anything brilliantly because he just has that kind of mind.

      I'm going to hope Weiner turns out as well now that he has had time to reflect and mature.

  •  Off topic, but I don't care any more (0+ / 0-)

    I am totally fed up. Evidently this site is controlled by people who have a virulent case of Militant Pacifism, and they will not hesitate to use intellectually dishonest means to force others to conform to their ideology. Their Militant Pacifism raises interesting questions. non-conservatives generally regard the war in Iraq as an unnecessary war. And yet many, many people volunteered for the military during that war, and many of those people did not just "advocate violence", they actually killed people in the prosecution of an unnecessary war. If this site forbids "advocating violence" (a vague, intellectually dishonest term), then logically, the people who enforce this policy must disapprove of the people who actually killed in the prosecution of an unnecessary war.

    I spent 15 years in the US Navy for this? In effect, I spent 15 years in the US Navy so that American devotees of Adolf Hitler could march through Jewish neighborhoods. I spent 15 years in the US Navy so that Personally Virtuous non-conservatives could force their ideological stance on self-respecting non-conservatives. More and more, I bitterly regret every bit of the time I spent in the US Navy. "A plague on both your houses!"

    •  By the way... (0+ / 0-)

      I fully expect to be banned for my heinous crimes, but I don't care about that either. Those on the right love to whine piteously about how they are (supposedly) the victims of "political correctness", but the ugly reality is that overt "political correctness" is nearly always directed against self-respecting non-conservatives who fail to toe the line. If the right doesn't get ya, then the Personally Virtuous non-right will. Hey, is this a great country or what! Well, unfortunately, in the sense that Lord Acton used "great" it is. To paraphrase the lesser-quoted continuation of one of his often quoted statements, Great nations are almost always bad nations, even when they exercise influence and not authority. Power is not virtue; rhetoric is not reality.

    •  Definitely off topic. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  I know you are not saying that... (0+ / 0-)

      ...Daily Kos is anti-military, 'cause that would be incorrect. Many veterans here, including the site's founder and namesake, Kos.

      •  If you know I'm not saying that, (0+ / 0-)

        Then what is the reason for your comment?

        If this site forbids "advocating violence" (a vague, intellectually dishonest term), then logically, the people who enforce this policy must disapprove of the people who actually killed in the prosecution of an unnecessary war.
        I know the site is not anti-military*, I am pointing out a logical disconnect on the part of the site. In effect, they are trying to talk out of both sides of their mouths at once.

        * Because of my experience, I probably would have some harsher things to say about the military in general than the people who run this site. By the way, before somebody starts saying I must have been a terrible sailor, I got an Honorable Discharge and was recommended for re-enlistment.

    •  What does this (0+ / 0-)

      have to do with elections?  This is DKElections, not DailyKos. Please take you outrage, justified or not, where it belongs, and don't pollute our election geek pond with your wildly inappropriate ideological umbrage.  How rude!

      "The Attorney General will not cast aspersions on my asparagus" - Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert-R to Attorney General Eric Holder.

      by walja on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 10:54:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Schweitzer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    can probably pull this one off if he chooses to.  He is, shall we say, a colorful, flambouyant figure in Montana politics, and we tend to like these sort of theatrical people in this state.  That said, I'm not sure that he has the temperment for the collegial, collaborative climate of the Senate.  He is a bit of a bully and quite stubborn, meaning that he doesn't work and play well with others...

  •  Racicot famously said GWBush would be remembered (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wa ma

    as America's greatest president. Doesn't that disqualify him?

  •  What matters in the VRA ruling (0+ / 0-)

    It's not the fact that sec 5 has been gutted.  That doesn't solve the Rs demographic problem for them.  They already have the black vote in the sec 5 states mostly blocked already, because it is a minority in these states.  The black vote mostly doesn't swing elections in these states.

    What matters is the reasoning the SCOTUS majority used in gutting sec 5.  The state legislatures controlled currently by Rs, most importantly the ones in states that vote purple and even blue in national elections, can use that reasoning to guide their efforts at voter suppression.  They have to know what they can get away with, what suppression SCOTUS will allow.

    It's not just a matter of electoral advantage.  It's more a matter of survival.  There was never much chance that they would choose minority outreach as their way to float above the demographic tide, and by now it should be evident that they can't, the teabaggers won't let them.  Their only alternative is to stem the tide, keep it from happening.  The only way to do that is to achieve a massive suppression of minority voting.

    Section 5, intact or stricken down, can't create or suppress nearly enough votes to do the job.  The black vote is static, largely blocked, and entirely already factored into the electoral equation.  What the Rs have to worry about is the growing components of the minority vote, the components that can change the equation.  They need something big, or a lot of smaller bits of voter suppression that add up to something big.

    Anyone out there who can comment on the reasoning that might let the Rs do that?

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 08:52:26 AM PDT

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