• 3Q Fundraising: Though the federal government shutdown is, of course, sucking up most of the available political oxygen, some third quarter fundraising numbers have started trickling out from various campaigns. The real question is whether the FEC's website will still be functioning should the shutdown continue until the reporting deadline on Oct. 15, but for now, here's what the eager beavers are sharing:
• CA-52: Carl DeMaio (R): $325,000 raised, $700,000 cash-on-hand
• MI-11: David Trott (R): $425,000 raised
• NJ-Gov: Monmouth's new poll has GOP Gov. Chris Christie beating Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono 56-37, which is actually one of the smallest margins ever seen in this race. What's more, that 37 percent is the highest mark Buono's ever achieved and offers some hope that she'll at least break into the 40s.
But to offer a note of caution (on a topic I've raised before), Monmouth's sample size for this poll was 615 likely voters, while their new Senate poll—the one that put Cory Booker up just 13—had 571 respondents. The two polls have the same field dates, so I can only conclude the Senate portion piggybacked on the gubernatorial survey. But does anyone really believe that the special election for Senate, which is taking place on a Wednesday in mid-October, will really see 93 percent of the turnout of the normal November election for governor?
As I've said, I think trying to poll both races at once is queering the numbers. My suspicion is that the heavily pro-Christie electorate we're bound to see next month is contaminating the data for the Senate race, which is apt to be a low-turnout affair. Then again, this kind of special election has typically been a recipe for Democratic underperformance, so it may well be that Booker will post an Ed Markey-like win regardless of how Christie may be affecting the polls.
• TX-Gov: What a weird poll.
• AL-06: Somewhat surprisingly, state Sen. Cam Ward has already decided that he won't seek the seat being left open by his old boss, Rep. Spencer Bachus. Ward would have been a strong contender in the GOP primary in this ruby red district, but he cited both Congress's dysfunction and his desire to care for his autistic daughter as reasons for standing aside. Another Republican, state Rep. Jack Williams, also says he won't run, though like Ward, he plans to seek re-election to the legislature.
• NH-01: Conservative radio host Jeff Chidester says he's considering a bid for Congress but says he doesn't expect to decide "for several months." Ex-Rep. Frank Guinta is already running in the Republican primary, and outgoing UNH business school dean Dan Innis is also likely to join once he steps down from his current job next month. They're all trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, who won this seat back from Guinta following her loss in 2010 after two terms in office.
• NY-01: Former SEC attorney George Demos just announced that he'll run for Congress for the third cycle in a row next year. Demos first sought the GOP nomination in 2010, losing 45-30 to businessman Randy Altschuler. In 2012, Demos once again ran in the primary but dropped out just weeks before Election Day, claiming he had to focus on his wedding (as if he didn't remember when he was getting married), handing the race to Altschuler a second time. The GOP is eager to challenge Rep. Tim Bishop, but Demos isn't likely to be the answer, with one unnamed Republican saying he's "as welcome in CD 1 as head lice."
• FL State House Last month, Democrats suggested via internal polling that they had a shot at nabbing a Republican-held state House seat in a special election set for Oct. 15. Now, there is independent polling that confirms it. The poll, taken by the local firm St. Pete Polls, has Republican Bill Gunter and Democrat Amanda Murphy tied at 44 percent. (The earlier Dem poll had Murphy up 40-39.)
This Pasco County-based district was held previously by Mike Fasano, who has pointedly refused to endorse Gunter. In fact, Fasano this week blasted an outside group for invoking his name in a pro-Gunter mailer. Gunter would love to pretend that Fasano is on his side—the St. Pete poll shows that, by a 49-18 margin, a Fasano endorsement would help more than hurt the endorsed candidate. (Steve Singiser)
• NYC Public Advocate: On Tuesday night, New York City Councilwoman Letitia James defeated state Sen. Dan Squadron in the Democratic runoff for public advocate, 59 to 41. The public advocate, who is pretty much a civic ombudsman, is first in the line of succession to the mayoralty in the event of a vacancy. James had led Squadron 36-33 in the first round of voting, and she seemed to have more of a natural base in the low turnout runoff. James, who is African American, did extremely well in predominantly black areas and also performed strongly among Hispanics. (WNYC's precinct-level map is very illuminating.)
James also had extensive backing from the city's labor movement, including the Working Families Party. Indeed, James was first elected to the city council in 2003 on the WFP line alone, making her the first such person in all of New York state. She has subsequently run on the Democratic line, as she did in this race, and she'll join a Democratic ticket this fall that includes the current public advocate, Bill de Blasio, who is running for mayor, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, the party's nominee for comptroller. No Republican is on the ballot in the public advocate's race, so James is all but guaranteed victory in November.
• Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso:
South Carolina SD-42: Not surprisingly, this was a blowout for Democrat Marlon Kimpson. He won with 80 percent of the vote, while Republican Billy Shuman got 19 and Libertarian Alex Thornton received 1.As we noted, this is a roughly 78 percent Obama seat, so it's nice to see a special election with no Democratic dropoff for once, especially in a heavily minority district. But that said, we're still talking about an election with fewer than 8,000 votes cast.
• Census: With the Census Bureau website (along with many others) offline thanks to the government shutdown, researchers looking for an alternative will want to check out Census Reporter, a project funded by the Knight Foundation to make census data more accessible. Note, though, that the site does not appear to include the newest batch of data from the 2012 American Community Survey, and the available congressional district breakdowns use lines from before the most recent round of redistricting.
• Maps: If you've been following the whip counts on which members of the House GOP are in favor of a "clean" continuing resolution to fund the federal government, you've probably noticed that it's heavy on Virginians. It even includes people like Randy Forbes and Rob Wittman who don't appear on anybody's list of moderate squishes. If you're wondering why, take a peek at this Washington Post map of the nation's largest concentrations of federal employees, by metropolitan area—and thus where the effects of the federal shutdown will be felt the hardest. The Norfolk/Virginia Beach area is number two in the nation, thanks in large part to a big Navy presence.
Interestingly, number one isn't Washington, D.C., as you might expect, but rather Colorado Springs, home to a number of Air Force facilities. (D.C. clocks in at number four.) In fact, almost all of the top 10 metro areas on the list have a large numbers of military, like Honolulu, San Diego, El Paso, and San Antonio. (David Jarman)