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Leading Off:

Crossroads: Karl Rove's American Crossroads just shared five new Senate polls with Politico, but the crosstabs are all behind their paywall at "Politico Pro," so all we have are summaries of the toplines. But the numbers (from Harper Polling) are instructive nevertheless, particularly when you examine the trendlines:

AR-Sen: Mark Pryor (D-inc): 39, Tom Cotton (R): 39 (Jan: 42-36 Cotton)

CO-Sen: Mark Udall (D-inc): 45, Cory Gardner (R): 43 (March: 45-44 Udall)

LA-Sen: Mary Landrieu (D-inc): 43, Bill Cassidy (R): 47 (Jan.: 45-44 Cassidy)

MI-Sen: Gary Peters (D): 40, Terri Lynn Land (R): 43 (Jan.: 42-37 Land)

MT-Sen: John Walsh (D-inc): 35, Steve Daines (R): 42 (Jan.: 43-29 Daines)

So in four of five states, Democratic margins have improved since the last time Harper went into the field—and as Markos Moulitsas observes, this comes after the Kochs have spent many millions on withering attack ads in most of these races for months. Arkansas is perhaps the most notable of all: Following four straight positive polls for Democrats, the best that Rove can do is a survey showing a 6-point drop into a tie?

Certainly Pryor's far from out of the woods, and all of these races are tough holds for Democrats. But after a dark winter, the gloom may be lifting. Funny that Karl Rove, of all people, should be the bearer of such portents.

1Q Fundraising:

HI-Sen: Brian Schatz (D-inc): $600,000 raised, $2.4 million cash-on-hand; Colleen Hanabusa (D): $430,000 raised, $1 million cash-on-hand

MN-Sen: Mike McFadden (R): $600,000 raised, $1.8 million cash-on-hand

SD-Sen: Annette Bosworth (R): $772,000 raised, $348,000 cash-on-hand


CO-Sen: The League of Conservation Voters is unloading on GOP Rep. Cory Gardner with the first installment in what they say will be a $1 million ad campaign. Their new spot says Gardner "took over $450,000 in contributions from the oil and gas industry," and as a result, he's voted "to keep billions in handouts for oil companies, even as they made record profits."

IA-Sen: The conservative Washington Free Beacon paid for a new survey from The Polling Company to tell them that state Sen. Joni Ernst and businessman Mark Jacobs are neck-and-neck for the GOP Senate nomination in Iowa—just like everyone else has shown. (Ernst is at 23 and Jacobs 20; everyone else is in single digits.)

They also included a bunch of almost comically axe-grindy questions, like: "After the statement was revealed, Bruce Braley's campaign misspelled a couple of basic, Iowa-farm-related words in his press release that tried to defend his work for Iowa farmers. Does this make you more likely or less likely to vote Bruce Braley U.S. Senate?" (Eighteen percent said more likely!) They did not, however, manage to test any actual GOP candidates against Braley, though they claim that good ol' generic Republican beats Braley 48-38.

NC-Sen: Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis is lashing back at the Senate Majority PAC, which launched a new ad earlier this week lambasting Tillis over the fact that two of his staffers resigned after having affairs with lobbyists (and then got severance payments). In a spot of his own, Tillis complains that Harry Reid is behind the attacks, because he's "meddling in our primary to get a weak opponent for Kay Hagan." Very probably true! But Tillis also claims he "fired the staffers," which is not at all true. They resigned, and he went out of his way to be kind toward them while other state employees were getting laid off right and left.


DE-Gov: It's early, but why not? Democratic attorney General Beau Biden says he won't seek re-election this year but will instead run for governor in 2016, when the current incumbent, Democrat Jack Markell, will be term-limited.

NH-Gov: UNH's latest poll finds Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan swamping her newest would-be Republican opponent, businessman Walt Havenstein, 49-19. She also continues to lead conservative activist Andrew Hemingway by a similar margin, beating him 49-22 (compared to 28-27 in January). And in the unlikely event that Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas were to enter the race, she'd crush him, too, 50-27 (up from 45-34 last time).

OH-Gov: PPP has always found a close race for governor in Ohio, and their latest survey, on behalf of the Ohio Democratic Party, continues the theme. Republican Gov. John Kasich is now tied at 44 with his Democratic challenger, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald; in a December poll (for a different client), Kasich had a slim 40-38 edge. Pollster's average (which didn't include this poll as of this writing) had Kasich up just 41-40, though only one other outfit has ever gone into the field here, Quinnipiac.

SC-Gov: Rasmussen: Vincent Sheheen (D): 37, Nikki Haley (R-inc): 52.


AZ-07: EMILY's List is endorsing Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, who faces state Rep. Ruben Gallego and state Sen. Steve Gallardo in the Democratic primary to succeed retiring Rep. Ed Pastor.

CA-33: Here's something you don't see often. Former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, who is seeking Rep. Henry Waxman's open seat, analyzed the first quarter FEC filings for every candidate in the race (including herself) to see how much money everyone can use for June's top-two primary, as opposed to how much cash-on-hand they've actually reported. What's the difference? Federal law allows campaigns to collect maximum contributions twice from each donor: once for the primary and once for the general. Money can be raised for the general before the primary, but it cannot be used for the primary.

Unfortunately, the only way to track these so-called "double-max" contributions is to laboriously pore through a campaign's FEC reports donor by donor—but Greuel has both the resources and a reason for doing so. That's because wealthy tech entrepreneur David Kanuth posted an eye-popping topline number of $800,000 raised for the quarter, but it turns out $275,000 of that is for the general election only. State Sen. Ted Lieu likewise has $138,000 he can't spend until after June, but only $10,000 of Greuel's haul falls into that category.

So looking at what Greuel calls "actual cash-on-hand," Kanuth has a much smaller edge of about $475,000 to Greuel's $450,000, while Lieu has $375,000 to spend before the primary. Whether this really matters a great deal is an entirely different question, though, since it's unlikely any candidate will have the resources to go up on broadcast television in the ultra-expensive Los Angeles media market before the primary. But nevertheless, this data provides a good lesson that cash-on-hand figures aren't always what they appear.

IA-01, -02, -03: In addition to their Senate numbers, Loras College also has data on four different House primaries taking place in Iowa on June 3. Undecideds are very high in most of them, but here's how they break down:

IA-01 (D) IA-01 (R) IA-02 (R) IA-03 (R)
Pat Murphy: 30
Anesa Kajtozovic: 11
Swati Dandekar: 9
Monica Vernon: 9
Dave O'Brien: 6
Undecided: 34
Rod Blum: 17
Steve Rathje: 12
Gail Boliver: 2
Undecided: 68
    Miller-Meeks: 17
Mark Lofgren: 11
Matthew Waldren: 1
Undecided: 68
Brad Zaun: 17
Matt Schultz: 8
Robert Cramer: 7
Monte Shaw: 5
David Young: 3
Joe Grandanette: 2
Undecided: 58
WI-06: Here's one more new potential Democratic name for retiring GOP Rep. Tom Petri's seat: former state Sen. Jessica King. You may remember King as the woman who defeated scandal-plagued state Sen. Randy Hopper in the 2011 Wisconsin recall elections. Republicans then targeted her for defeat the following year, leading to a very narrow loss. King has not said anything publicly, though.

WV-03: Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall is up with the first ad of his re-election campaign, and as Scott Bland notes, it may be the first general election ad of any House candidate anywhere (not counting Michele Bachmann, who ran some ads last year but then decided to retire). The spot features Cecil Roberts, the president of the United Mine Workers Association, praising Rahall for his efforts on behalf of coal miners and railing against "billionaires" who are "spending millions of dollars" to tell "lies" about Rahall and "pick their own congressman."

Rahall's GOP opponent, state Sen. Evan Jenkins, is also running his first ad. The first half accuses Rahall of running "false" ads attacking Jenkins, though of course, those ads were independently run by the House Majority PAC. The narrator says that one ad was even "rejected" by TV stations, though that's not true either. After then calling Rahall "a lying politician, just like Obama," the ad sort of changes gears and starts praising Jenkins for having "the backbone to defend our way of life from Obama's war on coal"—then amusingly claims he'll "work with both parties." Usually if you want to claim the mantle of bipartisanship, you don't spend most of your ad flinging insults at the other side.

According to Roll Call, Rahall is spending $58,000 to air his ad while Jenkins is spending just $12,000.

Grab Bag:


GA-Sen: Jack Kingston (R)
LA-Sen: Keep Louisiana Working (R) (anti-Mary Landrieu)
MN-Sen: Mike McFadden (R)
NE-Sen: Ensuring a Conservative Nebraska (R) (anti-Shane Osborn)
OR-Sen: Monica Wehby (R)
MD-Gov: Doug Gansler (D)
GA-01: John McCallum (R)
ID-02: Bryan Smith (R); Defending Main Street (R) (anti-Smith)
NC-03: Emergency Committee for Israel (R) (anti-Walter Jones)
OH-14: Chamber of Commerce (pro-David Joyce)

Dark Money: This is quite the stat from the Center for Public Integrity: "Fewer than one in seven of the roughly 300 super PACs and 'hybrid' PACs that spent money in 2013 put funds toward calling for the election or defeat of a federal candidate." And they weren't stockpiling money for an election year, either, since these PACs spent over half of what they took in. Indeed, most are just grifty organizations helping political consultants to get fat. Click through for the center's full exposé.

DCCC: The 2014 election cycle is still well underway, but Politico is already looking ahead to see who might run the DCCC in 2016. The three main names cited are Reps. Jared Polis (CO-02), Jim Himes (CT-04), and Donna Edwards (MD-04), though one unnamed former D-Trip staffer suggests that Rep. Steve Israel, the current chair, could conceivably want a third turn at the helm.

Fundraising: On Wednesday, we unveiled our House fundraising chart for the first quarter of 2014.

There are a few totals worth noting. In the swingy NY-21, likely Democratic nominee Aaron Woolf entered this open-seat race largely unknown and untested. Woolf, who had been mostly invisible on the campaign trail, gave Democrats some good news with his fundraising haul, bringing in $206,000 and loaning himself another $200,000. Woolf still has a lot to prove, but this demonstrates he's actually running a campaign.

A few Republican House members facing potentially competitive primary challenges are also breathing sighs of relief after looking at their opponents' totals. In MS-04, Rep. Steven Palazzo outraised former Rep. Gene Taylor $165,000 to $83,000. The fact that Taylor, a former Democratic representative, posted such a weak total is a good indication that his campaign isn't taking off.

Over in OH-14, freshman Rep. David Joyce faces a primary fight with state Rep. Matt Lynch. The latter brought in a disappointing $79,000 and only has $49,000 on hand compared to Joyce's $1.2 million. With Ohio's May 6 primary right around the corner, it looks like Lynch is out of time to make this competitive.

One surprise is in the very competitive CA-52, where freshman Democratic Rep. Scott Peters is expected to face Republican former San Diego City Councilor Carl DeMaio. Both candidates had good quarters, but another candidate unexpectedly appeared on the scene. Republican Fred Simon hasn't been on many radar screens, but after loaning himself $900,000 he has a hefty $1,216,000 to spend. It remains to be seen if Simon has what it takes to beat DeMaio in the June 3 primary, but it looks like he can at least make things interesting. (Jeff Singer)

NRCC: The NRCC just promoted another seven candidates to the middle rung of their (not necessarily) Young Guns program: Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (CA-26); former state Sen. Dan Debicella (CT-04); Miami Dade School Board Member Carlos Curbelo (FL-26); state Sen. Lee Zeldin (NY-01); Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello (PA-06); and former Microsoft executive Pedro Celis (WA-01).

President-by-LD Stephen Wolf has another set of interactive maps out visualizing the results of the 2012 presidential election by state legislative district. This time we have Massachusetts, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. For previous editions in this series, see our first, second, and third installments. (Jeff Singer)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 05:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  DeVos (Amway)/Koch money in MI is being (6+ / 0-)

    used to smear Gary Peters and allow Terri Lynn Land, a conduit of the wishes of the 1%, to win by default.  There are no ads touting her virtues or her record as a past SOS because there's no there there.  
    I hope Peters will continue to emphasize his concerns for and ties to the future because of his family who appear in at least one of his ads.  Land is a walking wallet, and it's money--her own and the 1%'s that buy a corporate future for MI.  Because Rick Snyder and the GOP legislature raised taxes on the middle class and pensioners and gave more tax breaks to corporations, those tax breaks have been churned back into GOP campaign coffers.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:38:15 AM PDT

    •  Terri Land is hiding. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, Cadillac64, judyms9

      What's wrong with the DNC and Gary Peters, allowing her to speak only through a representative?

      Also . . . Land supports privatizing Social Security and making Medicare a voucher program and is against a min. wage increase . . . this a win win for Dems.  I wonder why Peter's isn't shouting this from the roof tops?

      If the D's lose this Senate seat it's there own damn fault.

  •  I'll bet Rove's finger was on the scale anyway! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Cadillac64
  •  The younger Biden is making his move (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pademocrat, Cadillac64

    towards the 2024 nomination, methinks. Me likey!

    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 Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:17:32 AM PDT

  •  Generally it's bad news that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Cadillac64

    Roveco is going to have to play huge in AR.

    I'm actually shocked that Pryor isn't being Lincolned.

    I'll always be...King of Bain...I'll always be...King of Bain

    by AZphilosopher on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:26:23 AM PDT

  •  We're supposed to be happy about this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, auapplemac

    These Senate numbers are terrible.  The 'trends' are noise.

    We're staring at a 6-10 seat loss unless our Prez year voters get off their collective asses.

    Hurry up 2016.

    •  no no with these number the number is not even 6 (4+ / 0-)

      We need to remember that with these numbers only the following races would be in negative:


      But with a favorable average for:


      For a net result of -5 (-6+1). It means the Republicans would not take the majority and it taking into account that Michigan is suffering a lot of bad polling.

      If you wish to see about the overall picture, and not only for 2014, my last diary talks about it.

  •  MICHIGAN (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Odysseus

    If the Michigan Democratic Party and DNC don't get off their rearend soon, they will lose this Senate seat and it will be  their fault.  

  •  Agree. These numbers are awful for Dems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I read Kos whistling through the graveyard yesterday, and laughed.  Everybody here is excited about a bunch of incumbent Dems, with 35% approval ratings, trailing their (as yet un-nominated) GOP opponents by a few points in April.

    Four of these seats are already GONE, unless the GOP candidate murdochs himself.  WV, SD, Ark, and Montana.  These seats are as much fools gold for Dems this election, as PA is for republicans in presidential elections.  It doesn't matter what the polls say, the GOP voters will turnout in these states, and the GOP candidate will win.  I also think NC is gone, as well.  That means the GOP needs one more seat to control the Senate.

    Dems are also kidding themselves in GA and KY, where the general belief, even among some of the Dem voters, is that voting for Dems is kind of icky.  That alone will help McConnell survive and also keep the GA seat red.  Dems should focus on the four races that will determine that sixth GOP pick-up:  Alaska, LA, CO, and MI.  They need to win them all.  Of these, I think AK and CO are the easiest to hold.  

    MI, like WI, is just a way more conservative state at everything but the presidential level, than Dems are willing to admit, and Landrieu now appears more vulnerable than ever.  That said, MI is still a blue state, and Landrieu is a skilled campaigner that seems to have nine lives.        

    As for trends, notice that the Dem candidate isn't above 45% in any of these polls?  And, other than Udall, they're barely above 40%.  That is terrible for an incumbent, as undecideds typically break for the challenger, especially if that challenger is a republican in a red state!  Rove only released these polls (which are probably even engineered to make the GOP uncomfortable) to gin up GOP donor money.  My guess is that it will work, and make matters worse for these Dems.

    Finally, these midterms almost always turn on the popularity of the president and the economy.  The economy is still considered to be bad by conventional wisdom, and Obama typically sees his lowest popularity during the summer months.  My guess is that by September, we'll be seeing polls that make most people here want to borrow some redneck's gun and shoot themselves.

    •  Troll alert n/t (2+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      pademocrat, stevenaxelrod
      Hidden by:
      •  Why is a negative analysis troll worthy? I think (0+ / 0-)

        the diary is overly optimistic - especially the title.

        It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

        by auapplemac on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:46:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Someone's trigger happy (0+ / 0-)

          It's trollworthy because it's the definition of concern trolling. If David's post is overly optimistic, rmp's is fear-mongering on an apocalyptic level. I do not consider myself an optimist by any means, but that post was ridiculous for a number of reasons:

          1. Saying Arkansas is gone this early is ridiculous. The state is clearly conservative but its ancestral Democratic heritage is stronger than that of Alabama, Mississippi, etc. Yes, we got cleaned in 2010 but that's because a) it was 2010 b) Blanche Lincoln was a terrible candidate c) two of our congressman retired, leaving open seats. Mike Beebe and Mike Ross easily won reelection which proves that popular Dems are still competitive, even in terrible years. It should be noted that Mark Pryor is far more popular than Lincoln, hails from a highly respected political family, and is running in a far better political environment than in 2010. I think the political environment will get better as people realize Obamacare is actually good. To ignore the positive polling trends is also ridiculous.

          2. Saying NC is equally demented, if not more so. In case rmp hasn't noticed, the Republican candidates are absolutely atrocious. The strongest candidate, Thom Tillis, is speaker of an incredibly unpopular state assembly and has made questionable decisions in the past (mishandling his staffers' affairs with lobbyists). He might not even be the nominee considering his anemic numbers and his wackball opposition in the GOP primary would be even less competitive. Not to mention North Carolina's less Republican than it used to be, albeit slightly right-leaning.

          3. It makes me laugh when he talks about how states like MI and WI are more Republican than you'd think considering their presidential election histories. The exact same can be said for state like Arkansas, North Carolina, and especially Kentucky where Dems have dominated on the statewide level recently.

          4. It bears repeating that this is 2014, not 2010. Our main political liability thus far has been Obamacare. The narrative on Obamacare has clearly shifted and while it might not be wildly popular by November, it will not become less popular and should become marginally more popular. The economy is not as potent a deterrent as it was four years ago because we're no longer in the doldrums of recession.

          5. This is a Republican polling firm that has a Rasmussen-esque history. In fact, this might be the Republicans' solution to Rasmussen's post-2010 implosion; they're looking for new vehicles to craft a favorable narrative. It's absurd that rmp cherry picks these numbers while ignoring numbers from more reputable firms.

          I'm not saying 2014 will be like 2008 or even 2012. We'll almost certainly not pick up seats like in those years. But this isn't 2010 when outrage over Obamacare climaxed a flat economy screwed us. At no point in 2010 did we have positive momentum. We clearly have momentum right now; a catalyst has yet to emerge reversing this trend.

          Rmd's a concern troll who deserves our scorn and ridicule, as do those who defend this lame excuse of an analysis.

  •  Hanabusa a Dem, isn't she? n/t (0+ / 0-)

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