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Leading Off:

NC-Sen: Look out! The Senate Majority PAC is spending almost one meelyon dollars to air a new ad lacerating Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis over the fact that two of his aides resigned from his office because they were having affairs with lobbyists. One was his chief of staff, Charles Thomas; even though the two were roommates and Thomas reportedly brought his mistress back to their apartment, Tillis claimed he was unaware of the liaison. Tillis also paid the two over $19,000 in severance, something the ad mentions refers to as "taxpayer-paid bonuses."

This spot represents a very different direction for SMP compared to their earlier ads attacking Tillis, which mostly portrayed him as an insurance company shill doing the bidding of the Kochs. Those seemed targeted at more of a general election audience, but this newest ad, focusing on morality, could easily do double duty by undermining Tillis in the GOP primary, which is now just a few weeks away.

The goal here would be to force Tillis into a July runoff, which is very possible given his soft polling to date and the eight-candidate split field. That in turn would either force Tillis to spend more money earning the GOP nomination, or perhaps even allow one of the crazier alternatives, like Greg Brannon or Mark Harris, to win the party's nod. Either outcome would benefit Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan's re-election chances.

1Q Fundraising:

AR-Sen: Mark Pryor (D-inc): $1.22 million raised, $4.4 million cash-on-hand; Tom Cotton (R): $1.35 million raised

KY-Sen: Alison Grimes (D): $2.7 million raised, $5 million cash-on-hand

SC-Sen-A: Lindsey Graham (R-inc): $873,000 raised, $6.85 million cash-on-hand

VA-Sen: Ed Gillespie (R): $2.2 million raised

IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc): $5 million raised; Bruce Rauner (R): $9 million raised (including $5.3 million in self-funding), $1.3 million cash-on-hand

MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D-inc): $189,000 raised, $733,000 cash-on-hand

NE-Gov: Chuck Hassebrook (D): $750,000 raised

NM-Gov:

Susana Martinez (R-inc) : $1.5 million, $4.2 million cash-on-hand
Alan Webber (D): $811,000 raised (incl. a $300,000 loan), $440,000 cash-on-hand
Lawrence Rael (D): $322,000 raised (incl. a $177,000 loan), $229,000 cash-on-hand
Gary King (D): $233,000 raised (incl. a $100,000 loan), $89,000 cash-on-hand
Howie Morales (D): $196,000 raised (incl. a $25,000 loan), $48,000 cash-on-hand
Linda Lopez (D): $28,000 raised, $20,000 cash-on-hand

Senate:

AR-Sen: A new Democratic super PAC ad attacks GOP Rep. Tom Cotton for supporting "a plan that would undermine Medicare's guarantee" (i.e., the Ryan budget) and for erasing his "insurance industry experience" from his website bio. (The spot is hosted on Senate Majority PAC's YouTube page but the disclaimer at the end says it was paid for by Patriot Majority USA; the two groups have worked together in the past.)

Meanwhile, Cotton has a related ad of his own that is completely devoted to denouncing a previous Senate Majority PAC ad painting him as a tool of insurance companies. The ad relies on this Washington Post critique that called the earlier SMP spot (which specifically referenced that supposed "insurance industry experience") "phony as a three-dollar bill."

IA-Sen: I'm not familiar with Loras College (is it the School of Flowers?), but they have a new poll of Iowa's GOP Senate primary. Businessman Mark Jacobs and state Sen. Joni Ernst are neck-and-neck at 19 and 18 percent respectively, while everyone else is in single digits. However, 47 percent are undecided, so the race remains mostly shapeless, as other polling has shown. And if no candidate manages 35 percent, the nomination will get thrown to a party convention.

LA-Sen: A new minute-long ad from Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu focuses entirely on how she's fought the Obama administration on energy policy, particularly with regard to the offshore drilling moratorium that was put in place after BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. Segments of the spot feature re-enactments of a Senate hearing, because Senate video footage cannot be used in campaign ads. Some have called it "fake-looking" (and conservatives have howled, of course), but it doesn't look particularly out-of-place to me, and I doubt most viewers will notice.

MS-Sen: An utterly histrionic narrator berates Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel for his fiendish trial lawyer ways in this new spot from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

NE-Sen: In his newest ad, former state Treasurer Shane Osborn berates his chief Republican rival, Midland University President Ben Sasse, for spending "more time working in Washington than working in Nebraska—nearly a decade as a government bureaucrat."

Gubernatorial:

FL-Gov: SurveyUSA's first poll of the Florida governor's race, taken on behalf of WFLA-TV, finds Democrat Charlie Crist beating Republican Gov. Rick Scott 46-41. That margin is very similar to the HuffPo Pollster average, which had Crist up by 4 prior to this poll.

IA-Gov: Republican Gov. Terry Branstad has, of late, had to deal with a variety of what the AP calls "mini-scandals" related to various government employee issues, none of which on their own look very dramatic but, taken together, seem to be causing him some problems:

In the last few weeks, Branstad has come forward grim-faced to face questions about why his administration pushed dozens of state officials out of their jobs and paid some to keep quiet about it; whether it kept a blacklist of banned former employees, contrary to a judge's opinion about the legality, and whether an appointee was mishandling unemployment cases.

The latest eruption came Tuesday, when he abruptly fired an administrator he had been defending for weeks.

Click through for a full run-down.

MA-Gov: Massachusetts gubernatorial polls have been nothing if not consistent all cycle long. UMass Amherst's latest, conducted online by YouGov, finds state Attorney General Martha Coakley with a big lead in the Democratic primary (39-9 over state Treasurer Steve Grossman), and a healthy edge on putative GOP nominee Charlie Baker (45-34).

MI-Gov, -Sen: Here's a poll to watch out for. On behalf of the conservative Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Mitchell Research asked about Michigan's gubernatorial and Senate races only after posing several highly charged issue questions to respondents—and then redacted two of those questions from their PDF! The one question they didn't delete was about a "$350 million partial bailout of Detroit," which is just an absurd topic to bring up before the horserace portion ... and heaven only knows what the other questions concerned.

So it's not surprising to see Republicans post some of their best numbers ever: Gov. Rick Snyder leads Democratic ex-Rep. Mark Schauer 49-37 and former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land leads Democratic Rep. Gary Peters 44-38. But do I even have to say that you should be really, really skeptical of this entire poll?

NE-Gov: I'm just going to say that Republican businessman Pete Ricketts should not have filmed this ad in front of a light orange background that's way too similar in hue to his very bald head.

OH-Gov: Republican Gov. John Kasich's first ad is a minute-long biographical spot, referencing his modest upbringing (father a letter carrier, grandfather a coal miner) and the values he learned from it. Amusingly, Kasich, who once was a congressman, also takes credit for leading "a team that balanced the federal budget and ignited an era of job growth." A slightly more important member of that "team" was Bill Clinton, so I guess it's okay for conservatives to like him now. The size of the buy is reportedly $350,000 statewide.

PA-Gov: Addressing an audience in her newest ad, Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz attacks the "old boys club in Harrisburg," the state capital, saying those in power only "look out for each other." But, insists Schwartz, "I know how to break through that boys club and get things done for Pennsylvania families." Democrat Katie McGinty also has two very short new ads out.

TX-Gov, -Sen: Unsurprisingly, PPP's newest Texas poll shows exactly what its prior polling has shown, which is that Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis trails Republican state Attorney General Greg Abbott by double digits. Abbott's lead stands at 51-37, virtually unchanged from his 50-35 edge in November. What has changed, though, is Davis' favorability rating, which continues to slip. She's now at 33-47, compared to 36-42 last time and a positive 39-29 in July. Abbott, meanwhile, has improved from 35-32 to 40-27. No one's started advertising yet, so all of these shifts are happening "organically," as it were.

An interesting point of comparison, as Tom Jensen observes, is the Senate race, where unheralded Democrat David Alameel doesn't fare a whole lot worse than Davis, going by the margins. GOP Sen. John Cornyn beats Alameel 49-32, though that's at least partly due to Cornyn's unpopularity (his job approval score is just 31-40).

WI-Gov: Here's yet another 60-second spot, this time from Republican Gov. Scott Walker. A narrator talks about how Wisconsin faced dark days four years ago, accompanied by grim-looking black-and-white footage. The spot then shifts to what looks like brightly lit stock video clips, as the narrator explains the state has "turned around" since then—"kids are going to college, families are planning vacations," etc. Also, he adds, "More are going to sleep knowing they have access to health care." Gee, I wonder what act providing affordable care might have allowed that to happen.

House:

FL-13: Democrat Alex Sink, who had been considering a rematch with Republican Rep. David Jolly after her narrow loss in last month's special election, says she won't try again this fall. That leaves Democrats just a couple of weeks to find an alternative ahead of the May 2 filing deadline, though few names have been circulating. One possibility is Rev. Manuel Sykes, the president of the St. Petersburg NAACP, who says he's considering a bid.

IA-03: In his first ad, Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz talks about how he cut his office's budget, fought for voter ID against "Democrats and the media," and will "stop Obama and Pelosi from bankrupting America."

ID-02: Hey, lookit! It's Mitt Romney! Starring in an ad for Rep. Mike Simpson, on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce! Does anyone else think the office (or "office") it's filmed in looks a bit ... gubernatorial, maybe? I mean, how many people keep large American flags mounted on polls beside their desks? It's definitely the kind of space that guys who think they're in charge of some kind of government have to themselves.

LA-05: "Kissing Congressman" Vance McAllister, who so far has insisted he'll seek re-election despite calls from his own party to resign, has just earned his first challenger. Attorney Ed Tarpley, a fellow Republican who served as Grant Parish district attorney back in the 1990s, has announced a bid for McAllister's seat, saying "we must elect men and women of strong moral character with a commitment to ethical behavior." Tarpley once ran for state attorney general in 1995 but took only 10 percent of the vote.

MN-06: What were we saying the other day about former state Rep. Tom Emmer being the most likely Republican to follow in Michelle Bachmann's footsteps? Evidently Bachmann agrees, since she just endorsed him to succeed her. Emmer faces Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah and ex-state Rep. Phil Krinkie in the August primary.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  2016 GOP convention (7+ / 0-)

    Las Vegas and Dallas thought to be in the lead.

    http://politicalwire.com/...

    Adelson vs. Big Oil

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 05:45:03 AM PDT

    •  It was always going to be Las Vegas (0+ / 0-)

      Everything else is just a tease. It would have been LV even without the Adelson attraction, GOPers and sin go hand in hand. With Sheldon in town? The other cities are just noise so that the selectors can take a lot of "site visit" vacations.

      Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome. uid:21352

      by pucklady on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 03:17:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NM Gov: Mother Jones article on Martinez (4+ / 0-)

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 05:51:47 AM PDT

  •  Does that kind of ad work in the primaries? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cadillac64, JJ In Illinois

    I'm thinking of source more than content.

    Presuming that people can figure out that it came from the other party, it would seem to be a plus for Tillis: The other side is afraid of him.

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

    by dinotrac on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:06:04 AM PDT

    •  Tillis has a real primary threat. (5+ / 0-)

      I think the thought is that it will be easier to defeat this opponent in the fall than Tillis would be.

      (I forget his name) - is on the right of Tillis and has some whacked out beliefs and a mouth to match it, apparently.

      There is no "path" to choose. The path is what is behind you that led you to today. What lies in front of you is not a fork in the road - a choice of paths to take, but rather an empty field for you to blaze your own direction.

      by cbabob on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:31:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  An ad from the Democrats would seem to help (0+ / 0-)

        Tillis in the primary.

        Hey look! The Democrats want yadayada!  Do you want what the Democrats want?

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

        by dinotrac on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:47:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He Still Has To Defend Himself (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac, bear83, stevenaxelrod

          He still has to spend time defending himself against allegations of at best, being a poor administrator (not knowing what his high level staff members are doing) and, at worse, being corrupt and using tax dollars to pay two undeserving people "golden parachutes".

        •  It didn't work here in Illinois (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac

          Dems and unions spent almost 5 million in the Republican gubernatorial primary trying to get the nomination for someone other than the guy who won - Bruce Rauner.

          Rauner used this fact very effectively in his ads saying the Dems and unions are so afraid of him that they spent millions to get him out of the race.

          It's gonna be an interesting race.

    •  Yes, These Ads Work (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, newdem1960, stevenaxelrod

      See: McCaskill, Claire

      http://www.politico.com/...

      This will not be a plus for Tillis. He will have to go on the defensive about some really bad unethical stuff right before the primary.

      Plus, the Democrats can just say that they are softening him up for the general, which is also true, even if their main goal is to hurt him in a primary.

      •  Democrats can say whatever they please, but (0+ / 0-)

        what will Republican voters hear?

        I can think of two ways to react:

        1. Democrats fear him, he's our guy
        2. Oh crap! He'll get smeared in the general, he's not our guy.
        3. Uh -- what was the question?

        OK, that's three. Thought I'd add in an option for those paying no attention but feel compelled to vote anyway.  Name recognition probably matters more there.

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

        by dinotrac on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 07:38:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How many voters will figure out (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stellaluna, irmaly

      that it came from the other party?

      If it helps hold Tillis under 40% in the 8-way primary, that extends the GOP primary season into July, forcing him to blow more time and money pounding his Teabagger opponent instead of Kay Hagan.

      Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

      by bear83 on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 07:54:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It isn't going to make a difference here. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, stevenaxelrod

      You have to remember that the Koch Bros. have been running attack ads against Hagan for weeks now using Obamacare.  And there is nobody running against her in the primary.  So any voters who are paying attention to things like that already know that both sides are working toward the general election.  And the slime that attaches itself to Tillis would be well worth the people that might think Hagan doesn't want Tillis to be the candidate.  Most people have already assumed that Tillis will be the candidate so I think the good will outweigh any possible bad.

      "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

      by stellaluna on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 08:38:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So it's likely a general strategy instead of a (0+ / 0-)

        primary one.

        That makes more sense to me, especially if there is more in the way of revelations to come.

        It still feels a touch early if that's the whole wad, but not so bad if it's the beginning of a stream.

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

        by dinotrac on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 09:18:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly, like I said, even the Republicans (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac

          have moved on to the general election to some extent.  I think they assume Tillis is already the GOP pick.  The Gov. has endorsed him and the others running against him are lesser known.  I do agree it's early if that's all they've got.  Though Hagan will have all of the evil boneheaded things the NC General Assembly has done under Tillis' leadership.  Our General Assembly is very unpopular right now so Hagan will be able to run on that in the General.

          "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

          by stellaluna on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 12:55:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Why is Davis slipping? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Cadillac64

    Ill admit that I'm too busy lately to catch much TV at all, but I haven't seen any activity to speak of. Election-wise, things seem pretty quiet around here just now.

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

    by dinotrac on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:09:17 AM PDT

    •  Davis is actually gaining (0+ / 0-)

      in her race against Abbott. She's now 14 points behind, whereas she was 15 points behind in the November PPP poll.

      She has been losing in favorability, however. Perhaps Republicans are coming home, now that the partisan race has gained definition. Nevertheless, it's the two-person race that matters. Davis is not slipping there.

  •  My addition to the Miami-Dade petition (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cadillac64

    In addition - and in this is a pretty big addition - this is a workplace issue. You are responsible for the welfare of poll workers and have a first-amendment responsibility for the welfare of the poll watchers who volunteer on behalf of candidates, parties or independent groups. This policy could rightly lead a health department to shut a polling place down, at which point every polling place in the county would have to be shut down as well.

    Miami-Dade is likely forever stained as the county that buckled to the Brooks-Brothers Riot. Your lack of remorse for that one is indicated by the extremely long lines some of your precincts have on election day. This latest move, to  me, is a smoking gun that you simply don't want the wrong people to vote. If this shoe doesn't fit, change it.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:10:44 AM PDT

  •  Rauner raised 3.7 million? (0+ / 0-)

    That looks pretty good next to the incumbent governor's 5 million in a reliably blue state.

    The $9 million total looks more formidable in light of that.  Self-funded candidates don't have a great track record.  The need to self-fund can indicate an inability to connect and conduct politics that dooms a candidate come election day.

    But -- Illinois has problems, and Democrats run the place.  Maybe it's one of those years where the Republican merely has to ensure voters that he will not eat their children and torture their dogs.

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

    by dinotrac on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:14:19 AM PDT

    •  If Rauner gets in place, those kids will (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Caped Composer

      end up on the menu (along with everyone else) so fast, it'll make Hannibal Lecter blush with pride.

    •  From here, it looks likely Rauner will win (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac

      It all depends on GOTV efforts in Chicago area...  If turnout is poor there, Rauner wins.

      The state, as a whole, is fed up with how government runs here.  Chicago pols run everything.  We are last in nearly every category you can think of.  Terrible unemployment, most debt, last in job creation... and on and on..

      Downstate voters will not be fooled and vote for Quinn again..  His job approval is in the mid twenties. I just don't see how he can pull it out.

      •  Never underestimate the power of the Chicago (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JJ In Illinois

        machine.  Cook County carries a lot of weight in Illinois elections.

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

        by dinotrac on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 09:21:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't I know it! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac

          I haven't lived in Chicago for several decades, but it is most definitely a seriously well-oiled machine.

          However, in the African American communities, there has recently been an awful lot of grumbling aimed at Obama and Congress because they feel they have been abandoned by Washington and Springfield in regards to jobs and opportunities.  92% of young black men in Chicago are unemployed.

          Getting African Americans out to vote in Chicago without Obama on the ticket may prove to be somewhat problematic.  They also have problems with Rahm Emmanuel, the supposed cog in that machine, since all the school closings.

          •  92%? Wow. That is sooooooo sad. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JJ In Illinois

            The schools are bad enough, but what chance do Chicago kids have at life if there are no jobs and -- even more important -- no role models to lead the way.

            Kids who grow up, work, and contribute to society have usually had somebody to model themselves after, somebody to mentor and cheer them on. What a wretched, wretched number.

            And,  if  you've got no job, you still have to get money somewhere.  Wonder how the crime rate's doing.

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

            by dinotrac on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 12:22:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  He knows someone who had sex with... a women. (3+ / 0-)

    In scandal value, I think that may be weak stuff.

  •  GOOD GOOD GOOD as far as bringing up the NC (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cadillac64, PassionateJus, bear83

    Tillis aide scandal and keeping it in the public eye.

    It should be mentioned that the aide in question shared an apartment in Raleigh with Tillis during the legislative session, yet Tillis was "shocked...shocked" that said aide was shtupping said lobbyist in said apartment.

    Good lord, what a sleazebag Tillis is.

    "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

    by blue in NC on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:36:00 AM PDT

  •  Stu Rotherberg upgraded (4+ / 0-)

    NY18 from Democrat Favored to Currently Safe for Democrat.

    The money quote, re former one-term Republican Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, whom Sean Patrick Maloney defeated in 2012,

    But the former congresswoman isn’t running the type of campaign that is inspiring confidence among some GOP strategists

    I’ve said before, I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. -- President Barack Obama

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:54:05 AM PDT

  •  Its always good to see cannibals fight for meat. (0+ / 0-)

    leave some left-overs for the Democrats.

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 09:57:30 AM PDT

  •  Nov. Senate races (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevenaxelrod

    If things keep going the way they're going, we hold onto the seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina.  We have an outside shot at holding onto South Dakota.  We stand to pick up Kentucky and possibly Georgia.  And there have been pleasant surprises every election year going back to 2006.

    Winning back the House is still a long-shot, but we're not going to lose the Senate.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 12:15:12 PM PDT

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