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Leading Off:

AR-Sen: Mark Brantley of the alt-weekly Arkansas Times has gotten his hands on a late July poll from Clark Research, taken on behalf of AFSCME, that's mostly about the minimum wage but leads off with some questions on some horserace matters. Dem Sen. Mark Pryor leads GOP Rep. Tom Cotton in the Senate race by a 43-35 margin, and since we have access to the actual questionnaire, we can see that leaners were apparently not pushed. Pryor sports a decent 47-34 favorability rating, but no incumbent likes to be in the low 40s, even with this many undecideds, especially in a poll by an ostensible ally. Cotton, meanwhile, has room to grow: He has 28-22 favorables, meaning half the state still doesn't know who he is.

On a related note, a new University of Minnesota study finds that 88 senators ran in a general election after not facing a major party opponent the previous cycle, which is exactly what happened to Pryor in 2008, when the GOP failed to put up any candidate at all. (Kind of amazing, right?) The kicker is that all 88 have won their next race, so if Pryor were to lose next year, he'd be the first ever to do so in this situation.

P.S. As in Louisiana (see LA-Sen item below), Magellan also has a re-elects-only poll of Arkansas that bizarrely doesn't include Cotton at all.


KY-Sen: Sarah Mimms has helpfully rounded up a bunch of reports on Fancy Farm, the annual political picnic hosted by a church in the far western part of Kentucky, where office-seeking hopefuls give speeches while being heckled by mobs of their opponents' supporters. Sen. Mitch McConnell's GOP primary challenger, businessman Matt Bevin, seemed to earn the highest marks, while Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes also received some praise; both lit into the incumbent. McConnell didn't necessarily do badly himself, but he's a known quantity—and he and his entourage did duck out before Bevin's address. C-SPAN has video of all the speeches.

LA-Sen: So Republican pollster Magellan just tested Dem Sen. Mary Landrieu's re-elects, but didn't bother to ask a head-to-head pairing her with GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, her chief opponent? Sketchy.

MT-Sen: One of the biggest names left on the Democratic bench in Montana, Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau, announced on Monday that she would not run for the Senate seat being left open by Max Baucus's retirement. (For what it's worth, she also said she wouldn't run for the House, though she says she's not "done with public service.") Several other possibilities remain, though, including state Supreme Court Justice Brian Morris, Lt. Gov. John Walsh, and state Sen. Kendall van Dyk (though one local blogger claimed he was out).

The person who appears furthest along with a potential bid is John Lewis, who just resigned as Baucus's state director to explore a run for statewide office. When Lewis first came up last month, he was mentioned as a possible DCCC recruit for MT-AL, should Rep. Steve Daines seek a promotion to the Senate, but now Lewis is apparently considering both races.

NH-Sen: So annoying (and unfunny). After telling Rep. Peter King that "all the rumors are true" about him running against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen—and prompting a round of tweets and blog posts—Republican state Sen. Jeb Bradley later took it back and claimed he was "sort of joking" about it. I guess he had his fingers crossed. Seriously, politicians, don't do this.

NJ-Sen: With just a week to go before the Democratic primary, Rep. Rush Holt is airing his first TV ad, in which he touts his nerd credentials ("the scientist who beat the supercomputer in Jeopardy"), then says Cory Booker is "no progressive" because he doesn't support a "carbon tax to stop climate change, break[ing] up the Wall Street banks, and stop[ping] the government spying on innocent Americans." As attack ads go, it's quite mild, and it actually sticks to the issues, though I'm sure Booker would take exception to how Holt has characterized his views. The buy is reportedly for $350,000.

Candidates have also filed pre-primary fundraising reports, and as you'd expect, Booker remains way out in front. From July 1 through 24, Booker took in $2.1 million, while Holt raised $355,000, Rep. Frank Pallone $180,000, and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver just $12,000. Booker also has $4.1 million in cash-on-hand, versus $2.6 million for Pallone, $667,000 for Holt, and $4,800 for Oliver.


GA-Gov: State School Superintendent John Barge won't say whether he'll seek re-election to his current post, but he did just tell the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he plans on working "at a statewide level" after 2014, which reporter Greg Bluestein interprets as a hint that Barge might challenge Gov. Nathan Deal in the GOP primary. Apparently there's bad blood between the two over a number of education-related issues, which Bluestein explains at the link. Deal is already facing a primary opponent in Dalton Mayor David Pennington, but Barge, who's been elected statewide, would be a much bigger threat.

NH-Gov: Biden Alert! The VPOTUS is headed to Maine later this month to headline a fundraiser for New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is already up for re-election next year. (Granite State governors only serve a two-year term.) Since Hassan seems to be in good shape and doesn't even have a GOP opponent yet, there's some speculation that this move is more about Biden positioning himself for 2016. Hassan, though, was a Hillary Clinton supporter in 2008, so it might be especially hard for Biden to woo her away from the Clinton camp.

RI-Gov: I'm having a hard time puzzling this one out. After announcing in December that he wouldn't run again, 2010 GOP nominee John Robitaille is now saying he might change his mind and make another bid for governor. Robitaille cited Gov. Lincoln Chafee's recent switch to the Democratic Party as a key factor that's affected his thinking, but the only reason Robitaille came so close three years ago was because Lincoln, then running as an independent, helped split the left-leaning vote in a three-way race. In a one-on-one matchup with a Democrat, any Rhode Island Republican would face much stiffer odds.

TX-Gov: In a Q&A following a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Monday, state Sen. Wendy Davis said that she'll either seek re-election or run for governor in 2014. That means she's ruling out a host of other offices, such as attorney general, lieutenant governor, or U.S. Senate, but she didn't offer a timetable for making up her mind, except to say that she wants to do so "soon."

VA-Gov: Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, who spent a bunch of money on the Massachusetts Senate special election earlier this year, is reportedly set to go large in the Virginia gubernatorial race on behalf of Democrat Terry McAuliffe. There's no word on how much exactly Steyer plans to spend, though his first TV ads will apparently go up on Friday.

Meanwhile, Republican Ken Cuccinelli is on the air with a new spot that attacks McAuliffe over various allegations of wrongdoing at GreenTech Automotive, an electric car company he co-founded. The ad features a lot of quick cuts of news clips with overlapping audio, almost designed not to focus on any of the specifics (which are both thin and abstruse), but rather to evoke some vaguer emotional response that McAuliffe = shady. I'm not sure if that sort of presentation actually works, though.


NE-02: Omaha City Council President Pete Festersen, whom we recently took note of as a possible Democratic challenger to GOP Rep. Lee Terry, now says he plans to decide next month on whether he'll run.

Other Races:

Detroit Mayor: Detroit's mayoral primary is Tuesday, a 16 candidate affair which will send the top two finishers to the November general election. It might be a while before we know the results, though, because former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan is running a high-profile write-in campaign, and election officials say it could take two weeks to count all those votes.

NYC Mayor: It looks like a fatal blow to Comptroller John Liu's already-dim mayoral hopes: New York City's Campaign Finance Board voted on Monday to deny over $3.5 million in public matching funds to Liu's campaign, saying it had "reason to believe" that Liu violated the city's campaign finance laws. Liu says he'll appeal, but with the Democratic primary just five weeks away, even his attorney thinks there probably isn't time to get this ruling reversed. Every major candidate in the race has opted in to the public funding system, so everyone's made fundraising and spending decisions expecting to receive this crucial infusion of cash. Without it, you're all but doomed.

SD Mayor: What looks to be a genuine effort to recall San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is now underway, though it won't be easy. Starting Aug. 18, organizers have 39 days to gather at least 101,597 signatures. If they're successful, a recall election would be held two to three months later.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  VA Reverend, Delegate condemn EW Jackson (6+ / 0-)

    for claiming Democrats are "anti-God." According to the Roanoke Times, "Jackson's campaign responded by stating that his statements had been taken out of context and misrepresented."  Uh huh.

  •  GA Sen PPP (12+ / 0-)

    Nunn running even or slightly ahead with all Republicans except for Broun whom she leads by 15.

    by Paleo on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:59:05 AM PDT

  •  About those 88 senators . . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . . where's Lugar? Wouldn't he be the exception to that rule?

    30, chick, Jewish, solid progressive, NY-14 currently, FL-22 native, went to school in IL-01. "'Let's talk about health care, Mackenzie!' 'Oh Amanda, I'd rather not; that's not polite!'"

    by The Caped Composer on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:03:22 AM PDT

    •  no - look at way it is phrased (0+ / 0-)

      "ran in a general election" -  it does not look at those defeated in primaries or caucuses and not making it to the general

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:18:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yep. That's exactly what I was expecting about Liu (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    was that he was having some difficulty raising money. That probably led him to take shortcuts, which came back to bite him in the ass.

    Great question.  (7+ / 0-)

    I like Liu. I really do like the guy a lot. Six years ago I told him if he wanted to be Mayor, i'd work for him. Love the guy...great family. Absolutely solid on the issues. Whip smart.

    I suspect though that with his ethics problems he's having a hard time raising money. You aren't seeing any of him outside of his Queens base. He's just not moving in the polls, and that's a shame because I think he'd be a damn good Mayor.


    by brooklynbadboy on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 05:16:42 PM EDT

    •  so where do his supporters go (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, stevenaxelrod

      if they decide he has no chance to make the runoff, do they go to de Blasio or do they get spread around?  My gut reaction is that this probably helps de Blasio finish 2nd.  What's yours?

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:20:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It significantly helps DeBlasio is my gut guess. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adam B, stevenaxelrod

        I haven't seen any second choice polling. I can only tell what I see on the ground is that the four guys working my neck of the woods are Liu, de Blasio, Thompson and Weiner. My district here in Bed-Stuy is what you would call one of your 'base' districts. Mostly Black voters as well as youngish, white liberals, on the higher end of the income scale with lots of long-established homeowners and small businesspeople. Its also got a lot of union retirees and public sector workers. As well as three active Democratic Clubs dating from the great Shirley Chisolm's days. My reading is that Thompson will win this district, followed by de Blasio then Liu. Weiner is done. Just completely finished around here. I doubt his staff will be back as they retreat to Queens.


  •  I don't mind losing Pryor and Landrieu (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    outspoken82, wishingwell, Odysseus

    if we could pick up seats somewhere. But unfortunately there aren't that many real opportunities out there to run a good center-leftist to improve the caucus. All the GOP Senators who are headed for the door are in extremely red states.

    So that means were going to have to fight for Senator Big Oil and Senator Walmart.

    •  Pryor (11+ / 0-)

      Speaking as an Arkansan on the far left side of the spectrum, Pryor is a disappointment to me. Despite being a genuinely nice guy, he's not the person I would really like to represent me in D.C.

      However, I know that in this state, my political views are an extreme minority. Realistically, my ideal candidate wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of carrying the state. As much as it pains me to say, lukewarm Democrats like Pryor are about the most progressive this state will do on a national level right now. And when it comes right down to it, I'd take Pryor over Cotton every time. Someone who votes with us 50% of the time is better than someone who is always against us.

    •  We're better off without Landrieu. (0+ / 0-)

      If we're going to deal with climate change then the world cannot accept Landieu as chair of the Senate energy committee. A freshman Republican would do less damage. It would send a powerful message to other Democratic members of Congress if the climate change movement helped defeat Landrieu over her support for fossil fuels. Nothing motivates a politician like fear of losing their office.

      •  No one would take that as the message (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Unless it were extremely clear that climate change was the sole reason she lost. It is rare to have one group correctly have responsibility for an electoral outcome assigned.

        They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

        by Ponder Stibbons on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 09:04:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It wouldn't be hard. (0+ / 0-)

          It's rare because no one on Capitol Hill wants to take the heat of being responsible. That's why the big green groups won't organize opposition to her.
          Climate change won't be the sole reason if she loses. That's not the point. People only need to understand that she could have won in a close race had she not sacrificed the money, votes, and time of environmental voters.

      •  disagree - another far right Republican would not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        be good on the other 99% of issues (and would be just as bad or more likely even worse on climate change).

        For example, a right wing GOP Senator might blue slip or filibuster a judicial or Cabinet nominee over climate change issues.  Landrieu would not.

  •  Obama is an anchor in the south (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, stevenaxelrod

    If we had a republican president or probably anyone but Obama in office Pryor and Landrieu would probably be favorites to win.
    I still think both have good chances because of having plenty of money.

    •  Obama did much better in the south (0+ / 0-)

      than the last two party nominees. I would guess he's a drag for candidates who appeal to conservative voters rather than those who would turn out the party base.
      It's the Feingold problem. Why would any Obama supporter show up to support a Senator who has done nothing but distance himself from Obama?

    •  That makes little sense. (0+ / 0-)

      After all, last time Pryor and Landrieu were up, it was 2008 and Obama was at the top of the ballot.

      They both ran miles ahead of him. Now that he's not even on the ballot, one might imagine that the head-wind is smaller, not larger, than then.

      "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

      by Australian2 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 12:15:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm loving that Georgia poll! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kleinburger, wishingwell, cocinero

    I know, I know, it's early. But still, great to see.

  •  Pryor isn't Blanche Lincoln (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Lincoln had horrible political instincts -

    I'm guessing Pryor's name carries him through one more round.

    Scissors cut paper/Paper covers rock/Rock crushes lizard/Lizard poisons Spock/Spock smashes scissors/Scissors decapitate lizard/Lizard eats paper/Paper disproves Spock/Rock breaks scissors/Spock vaporizes rock

    by jgkojak on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 08:56:11 AM PDT

  •  Correction -- it's Max Brantley, not Mark (0+ / 0-)

    in your top item

  •  Explaining the topsy-turvy RI Gov race (0+ / 0-)

    I can understand why the RI governor's race is confusing.  But actually, Lincoln Chafee joining the Democratic party makes it much likelier for a Republican to win the governor's race.  

    The thing that's really hard for most people to grasp is just how ultraconservative Democratic politicians are in Rhode Island.  Not only are most Democrats in the legislature anti-choice, most of them have at least an A- from the NRA, and most of them voted for the tax cuts for the rich.  There's a reason Rhode Island is the only blue state that has a voter ID law.

    Conservative Democrats, however, run into serious problems when they try to run in a high-profile race like Governor, where they're facing a very liberal electorate.  The reason Robitaille came so close to winning as a Republican in 2010 wasn't that Chafee was splitting the liberal vote.  It was because the Democrats nominated Frank Caprio.  That's the Frank Caprio who told Obama to "shove it" after the President refused to endorse him, presumably because he was so conservative.  In fact, if a centrist former Republican Senator named Lincoln Chafee hadn't run and won as an independent, Robitaille would have almost certainly won.

    Before Chafee jumped into the Democratic primary, it looked like Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who is actually a real Democrat, would defeat Treasurer Gina Raimondo in the primary.  Raimondo is famous because she designed the (unconstitutional) law that eliminated pension cost of living adjustments.  But because Chafee jumped in and split the anti-Raimondo vote, it now looks like Gina Raimondo will win the Democratic primary with a minority of the votes, leaving a large contingent of angry liberals with no Democrat to vote for.  

    It's hard to predict what would happen if Taveras or Chafee doesn't win the primary.  There's a real likelihood either Taveras or Chafee could run and win as a write-in.  But if there's no write-in, the Republican nominee would be heavily favored in the general.

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