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Leading Off:

GA-Sen: What is it with Senate candidates making condescending remarks about folks who don't share their privileged socio-economic and educational backgrounds? First it was Bruce Braley, then it was Bill Cassidy, and now it's wealthy businessman David Perdue, who's seeking the GOP nomination for Senate in Georgia. Speaking of one of his rivals, former Secretary of State Karen Handel, at a campaign stop in January, Perdue seriously stepped in it:

"I mean, there's a high school graduate in this race, okay? I'm sorry, but these issues are so much broader, so complex. There's only one candidate in this race that's ever lived outside the United States. How can you bring value to a debate about the economy unless you have any understanding about the free enterprise system and how—what it takes to compete in the global economy?"
You can just taste the condescension. What's also amusing is that, at the same time he was slurring Handel, Perdue touted the fact that he's lived abroad—not exactly the kind of message that typically resonates with GOP primary voters, many of whom (like most Americans) are not college graduates. Handel, of course, jumped all over Perdue, and as Ed Kilgore put it, she "was lucky enough to have world champion grievance-monger Sarah Palin ... in-state to pile on." (Palin compared Handel's plight to post-Hollywood Ronald Reagan. Sounds about right.)

Fortunately for lovers of GOP infighting—what we like to call "cat fud"—this new feud doesn't sound like it'll simmer down any time soon. Perdue's dug in, insisting that his statement was merely "based on facts that are a matter of public record." This is a bit like a taunting bully claiming, "What? It's true that you're ugly," which is probably not a winning campaign strategy. Then again, who knows what ideas David Perdue might have picked up overseas.

1Q Fundraising:

ME-Sen: Susan Collins (R-inc): $877,000 raised, $3.6 million cash-on-hand

NE-Sen: Ben Sasse (R): $850,000 raised, $1 million cash-on-hand

FL-18: Patrick Murphy (D-inc): $675,000 raised, $2.2 million cash-on-hand. There are also some vague numbers from Carl Domino (R), who says he raised "less than" $150,000.

NJ-12: Bonnie Watson Coleman (D): $120,000 raised (in 38 days)

VA-08: Patrick Hope (D): $185,000 raised $150,000 cash-on-hand


CO-Sen: Just when Cory Gardner thought he was out of personhood, they pull him back in. Actually, though, he was never out: As Jed Lewison points out, Gardner may have tried to flip-flop on Colorado's personhood efforts, but he's still a co-sponsor of federal personhood legislation. It's one thing to piss of some people—that's politics. It's another thing to piss off everyone. That's just stupid.

LA-Sen, Gov: A new Magellan poll for conservative rich guy Lane Grigsby, a longtime Adelson-on-the-bayou, finds Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu leading GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy 39-26 in a jungle primary matchup, with two other minor Republicans in low single digits and 28 percent undecided. That's pretty similar to a February PPP poll.

The same survey also has numbers for next year's gubernatorial contest, though I question the wisdom of using a 2014 sample for a 2015 race. But in any event, Magellan has GOP Sen. David Vitter leading Democratic New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu 28-26, with Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne at 13, Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy at 9, and Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards at 5.

MS-Sen: A poll from NSON Opinion Strategy for the Tea Party Express, which has endorsed state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the GOP primary, finds him trailing Sen. Thad Cochran 45-37.

OR-Sen, -Gov: GOP pollster Harper Polling has a new survey of Oregon that seems designed to get Republicans excited about their prospects there. Harper leads with a generic Senate ballot question that has Democrats up just 45-42, calling the race "too close for comfort." But considering the filing deadline passed a month ago, testing unnamed candidates is mostly pointless.

In actual matchups, Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley leads state Rep. Jason Conger 47-40 and physician Monica Wehby 46-34. And in the gubernatorial contest, Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber edges state Rep. Dennis Richardson 46-43. Remarkably, this is the very first poll of either race, so we don't have anything to compare these numbers to. But here's something you can examine in context: Barack Obama sports a 41-50 job approval rating, according to Harper. That's a touch worse than his national average, which is not particularly plausible in a state the president carried by 12 points.


IL-Gov: In a spot featuring Republican Bruce Rauner and his wife sitting on a couch, Rauner says "I love her anyway," even though his wife's a Democrat, and she says "I'm voting for him anyway," apparently because he drives her nuts and will do the same thing to state lawmakers.

MD-Gov: In his newest ad, Democratic state Attorney General Doug Gansler says he wants to raise the minimum wage and make corporations pay their fair share of taxes.

NE-Gov: State Attorney General Jon Bruning is attacking one of his GOP primary rivals, businessman Pete Ricketts, in a new attack ad that accuses Ricketts of supporting "amnesty for people here illegally." There are several other candidates in the race, so it's interesting that Bruning has chosen to target Ricketts, whom he blames for negative third-party ads aimed his way.

NH-Gov: With businessman Walt Havenstein recently entering the race for governor, Republican state Sen. John Reagan has decided against running himself and will instead endorse Havenstein.


GA-01: Physician Bob Johnson, one of several Republicans running to replace Rep. Jack Kingston, embraces a sternly conservative message in his first TV ad of the race. Johnson says that "as a doctor" he's "sworn to defend life and repeal Obamacare"—something I didn't realize was part of the Hippocratic Oath. He also swears a new oath "as a Christian conservative," saying he'll "fight every day to stop Obama's liberal assault on our values." Concludes Johnson: "This president might not respect our constitutionally protected religious freedoms, but I do."

IA-01: Cedar Rapids City Councilwoman Monica Vernon is the first candidate in the Democratic primary to go up on the air. Her new ad is narrated by her daughter Eleanor, who praises her mother for starting a small business while raising three kids, and for helping to build a shelter for homeless women and children.

OH-08: Republican House Speaker John Boehner is, oddly enough, running some TV ads ahead of Ohio's May 6 primary, even though he only has a pair of Some Dude opponents. In the spot, a bunch of reg'lar folks offer what sound like scripted remarks about Boehner's local roots and the fact that "he knows government is too big and spends too much." It's amusing that Boehner's receiving praise for his mere knowledge of a supposed problem, rather than, you know, actually doing something about it.

RI-01: Just a few days ago, Republican former state Rep. John Loughlin, who ran against Democratic Rep. David Cicilline in 2010 when this seat was open, said he was considering a rematch, but he's already decided against it.

VA-08: State Del. Alfonso Lopez has dropped out of the Democratic primary for Virginia's open 8th Congressional District. In an unusual bit of candor, he cited insufficient first quarter fundraising, though he did not endorse any of his opponents. Ten other Democrats remain in this exceptionally crowded contest.

Grab Bag:

Census: As the Census Bureau continues to move toward classify "Hispanic" as its own race (rather than a separate "ethnicity") for 2020 in order to de-emphasize use of the confusing "some other race" category, it's released some further data that shows there's a huge difference, by nationality, in terms of whether or not Hispanics use that option, or instead consider themselves "white." If you do check "some other race," the Census asks respondents to fill in a box describing what that other "race" is, and nearly half of Hispanics (44 percent) who do so write in "Mexican."

The Bureau also break down the national origins of Hispanics who check the "some other" box, and interestingly, there seems to be a strong relationship with skin tone and/or the likelihood of having partial Native American or African ancestry. Central Americans are likeliest to use the "some other" box, followed closely by Dominicans and then Mexicans; Puerto Ricans and South Americans (especially from the Southern Cone) are less likely, with "Spaniards" and Cubans least likely of all. ("Spaniard" may seem unusual, but that's a common self-designation in New Mexico, along with "Spanish-American" or simply "other Hispanic," where many Hispanics have roots within the state that go back hundreds of years.)

This seems to confirm observations we've previously made about Mexican-Americans being likelier to use "some other" race, just from looking at congressional district-level data. Take the mostly-Mexican CA-34, for instance, which in 2010 clocked in at 35 percent "some other" race while being 66 percent Hispanic, and compare it to mostly-Cuban FL-25, which was only 3 percent "some other" while being 70 percent Hispanic.

Incidentally, the highest rate of "some other," 43 percent, is in the Bronx's NY-15, which is also 66 percent Hispanic. That's surprising, since this is such a heavily Puerto Rican district (and Puerto Ricans don't typically tick that box), but it's also the most heavily Dominican district, which pushes the "some other" number up. Contrast that with FL-09, which is also heavily Puerto Rican, but is only 6 percent "some other" while being 46 percent Hispanic. (David Jarman)

Colorado: Filing closed last week for Colorado's June 24 primary. Unfortunately, the state will not have an official list until the end of April. There is an unofficial list but for some reason, many candidates are missing, so it's not particularly helpful. (Jeff Singer)

Maps: This looks awesome: The New York Public Library just released over 20,000 high-resolution, copyright-free digital maps, part of a 15-year project to scan their cartographic collection. A lot of amazing stuff here. Enjoy!

Tennessee: Filing closed Thursday for Tennessee's Aug. 7 primary. The state has a list of candidates here.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is seeking re-election and should have no problem prevailing over his three primary opponents. Seven Democrats are running, but they all face a very tough fight against Haslam. The most prominent candidate looks like John McKamey, who served as a member of the Sullivan County Commission until 2010. Democrats would at least like to avoid the embarrassment of seeing Mark Clayton as their standard bearer again: Clayton, a crypto-conservative disavowed by the party, was the 2012 Senate nominee and made news for all the wrong reasons. In any case, Daily Kos Elections rates the general as Safe Republican.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander is also seeking another term. Alexander has angered some conservatives with his occasional moderate stances, and eight Republicans are running against him. The most prominent one looks like state Rep. Joe Carr, though Carr so far has not raised much money. Also running is former Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn, who has twice run for the House but has some personal money to burn. Unlike many other Southern states, Tennessee has no runoff, so the multitude of candidates may split whatever anti-Alexander vote exists. We rate the general election as Safe Republican.

All nine of Tennessee's House members are running again (seven Republicans and two Democrats) and we rate each seat as safe for the party that holds it. However, a few have notable primary challengers. In the 3rd District, sophomore Republican Rep. Chuck Fleischmann faces a rematch with Weston Wamp, a venture capitalist and the son of former Rep. Zack Wamp. Fleischmann defeated Wamp 39-29 in 2012, with dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield finishing second with 31. Wamp recently got some bad press after he claimed he secretly recorded a conversation with Mayfield; unsurprisingly, Mayfield is backing Fleischmann.

In the 4th District, Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais is arguably the most likely member of Congress to be unseated in a primary. DesJarlais never recovered from revelations that, among many other things, he had an affair with one of his patients while he was serving as her doctor and pushed her to have an abortion. Six Republicans are running against DesJarlais, but state Sen. Jim Tracy looks like the only prominent contender, and he's raised much more than the incumbent.

Finally, in the heavily Democratic 9th District, Rep. Steve Cohen faces a primary with attorney Ricky Wilkins. Cohen, who is one of the few white members of Congress to represent an overwhelmingly African American constituency, has turned back primary challenges with ease every term he's been in office. Wilkins can reportedly self fund, but it remains to be seen if he can succeed where all of Cohen's previous opponents have failed. (Jeff Singer)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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