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Leading Off:

NC-Sen: A new SurveyUSA poll for the conservative Civitas Institute finds state House Speaker Thom Tillis with his best poll numbers in the GOP primary to date, thanks to a wave of heavy advertising on his behalf. Tillis is at 39 percent, just shy of the 40 percent (plus one) mark he needs to avoid a runoff, with physician Greg Brannon in second at 20 and Baptist pastor Mark Harris at 15. A month ago, Tillis had just a 23-15 edge on Brannon and had actually been trending downward.

With no deep-pocketed interests out there helping Brannon or Harris, it seems like Tillis is peaking at the right time: The primary is on May 6. Of course, this is just one poll, but the prospect of a runoff, which at one point had loomed large, seems to be fading.


AR-Sen: Yet another shadowy Republican outside group—this one called the Government Integrity Fund Action Network—is pouring money into the Arkansas Senate race, and they're putting $1.5 million into a six-week buy. That's more than half of what they spent the entire 2012 cycle, where their primary target was the Senate race in their home state of Ohio.

The vague name might lead you to think they're one more arm of the Kochtopus, but they actually seem to be a personal project for Columbus-area lawyer and ex-Bushie William Todd. The ad itself is a pretty bland intro piece, mostly focused on GOP Rep. Tom Cotton's military credentials. (David Jarman)

CO-Sen: As expected, Quinnipiac has now released their Colorado Senate numbers, and as expected, they're close. Democratic Sen. Mark Udall has just a 45-44 lead on GOP Rep. Cory Gardner, which is just about exactly where every other pollster places the race.


FL-Gov: I guess Nelson's gonna Nels. According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Sen. Bill Nelson—even at this remarkably late date—said he was still "tempted" to run for governor, despite the fact that ex-Gov. Charlie Crist has been out there busting his ass for the Democrats for half a year. I've already made my extreme displeasure at Nelson's game-playing well-known, but at this point, the whole thing is just comical. Nelson hasn't been raising money, but even if he entered the race tomorrow, he'd have just a few months play catch-up with Crist, leading to the eventual winner emerging from the primary bruised and with drained coffers—a GOP dream scenario.

As I've said before, if Nelson were serious about running, then he should just run. All this chatter only serves to undermine Crist. And if Nelson doesn't get in, then it'll be clear that all this shtick was about his personal ego. Unfortunately, the gubernatorial filing deadline isn't until June 20, so we probably have at least two months more of this garbage. And after that, we'll probably be treated to endless "Why hasn't Bill Nelson endorsed Charlie Crist yet?" stories. Not looking forward to those either.

Meanwhile, there's a new poll from Rasmussen: Charlie Crist (D): 45, Rick Scott (R-inc) 39.

KY-Gov: With so many prominent Kentucky Democrats eyeing the 2015 governor's race, when incumbent Steve Beshear will be term-limited out, this is some very big news that will send ripples through the field: Former state Auditor Crit Luallen says she won't run. The person who is probably most pleased with this decision is Attorney General Jack Conway. He's often described as a Luallen "ally," so it presumably would have been awkward for the two to run against one another, though Conway hasn't made up his mind yet. Other possible Democratic candidates include current Auditor Adam Edelen (Luallen's successor), former Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, and state House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

MD-Gov: Attorney General Doug Gansler narrates a new ad where he highlights his work fighting health insurance companies. Gansler also hits on Maryland's problems with the roll out of the Affordable Care Act. While he doesn't mention any of his opponents, this looks like a not-so-subtle dig at Democratic primary rival Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who played a prominent role in implementing the law. (Jeff Singer)


AZ-02: An internal poll from OnMessage for Republican Martha McSally finds her leading Democratic Rep. Ron Barber 45-42 in their anticipated rematch this fall. That's very similar to the firm's survey from last June (conducted for the NRCC), which had Barber up 46-45—and note that OnMessage accurately forecast an incredibly tight race in 2012.

If there's a silver lining here for Barber, it's that he hasn't slipped too much despite lots of Koch money spent attacking him. But McSally's also been hammered by the House Majority PAC, so it may all be a wash. And there's still no doubt that this will be one of the hardest seats for Democrats to hold this year anywhere in the country. Daily Kos Elections currently rates this race a Tossup.

GA-10: Trucking company owner Mike Collins (who is also the son of former Rep. Mac Collins) is on the air as he competes in the crowded Republican primary. The ad's narrator praises him for said trucking business as heroic music plays and ties it into the usual Republican themes with the line, "Mike believes Washington needs an overhaul." This race hasn't really taken shape yet: As Roll Call's Emily Cahn notes, none of the candidates, including Collins, have raised much money. (Jeff Singer)

MN-06: If ex-state Rep. Tom Emmer's new internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies is at all correct, his two GOP primary opponents may want to reconsider. Accord to POS, Emmer, who was the Republican nominee for governor in 2010, takes a monster 73 percent of the vote, while Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah is at just 5 and ex-state Rep. Phil Krinkie's at 4.

PA-13: Last week, we discussed the issue of campaign funds raised for the primary versus those raised for the general, in the context of the race to succeed retiring Rep. Henry Waxman in California's 33rd Congressional District. That same topic has now come up in another open blue seat—Pennsylvania's 13th—but in a much more pointed manner: State Sen. Daylin Leach has accused one of his Democratic primary rivals, ex-Rep. Marjorie Margolies, of impermissibly dipping into cash reserves that can only be used for the general election.

Leach has filed a complaint with the FEC, and, well, anyone can file a complaint, so we don't typically take much notice of stories like these. But Leach's campaign has carefully assembled some pretty damning evidence by combing through Margolies' fundraising reports and toting up her daily cash balance. As you can see from the linked chart, Margolies sank over $60,000 into the red during the first quarter of the year. The only response from the Margolies campaign so far has been to issue a flat denial of wrongdoing and call Leach "desperate"—and to hire a lawyer.

Of course, the sclerotic and defanged FEC won't ever do anything about this alleged violation (or if they do, it'll be long after this campaign is over), so Leach's chief aim here is obviously to score political points and put Margolies on the defensive. She can now either provide some kind of alternative explanation, or just hope the issue will be too abstract to resonate and try to ride this out until the primary, which is now just a month away. It'll be interesting to see where this one goes.

TX-04: The Hill's Cameron Joseph has a good overview of all the help that outside conservative groups have been providing to former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe in his quest to unseat Rep. Ralph Hall in next month's GOP primary runoff. The best bit, though, is this quote from Ratcliffe, who says: "The fact that Congressman Hall has been in there 34 years is anathema to the Constitution, and that's a really big issue for people." Really? Which part?

VA-08: Don Beyer starts out with probably the most name rec of the zillions of Democratic candidates in the VA-08 primary field, and not just because of his stint as lieutenant governor in the 1990s but also because of his frequent ads for his Volvo dealership. Interestingly, that dealership plays a role in his first campaign spot, which focuses primarily on women's issues, one of which touting is how well female employees are compensated at his company. The ad is backed by a "six-figure buy." (David Jarman)

WI-06: In the wake of Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris' decision to seek Rep. Tom Petri's open seat, Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels, a fellow Democrat, has decided not to run himself. Nickels didn't exactly endorse Harris, though, saying only "I wish the best" to him.

WV-03: The House Majority PAC may not have included West Virginia on its recently published list of fall ad reservations, but they evidently have not given up on Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall. The group is running yet another new ad, one that's mostly about "the New York millionaire Koch brothers" (Pace Picante alert!), who are spending "over $1 million and counting" to help elect Republican Evan Jenkins. Then the spot gets closer to home, accusing the Kochs of laying off "100 West Virginians, after outsourcing their jobs to Canada." HMP says they're spending $70,000 on this buy.

Grab Bag:

Michigan: Filing closed Tuesday in Michigan for the state's August 5 primary. The state has a candidate list available here.

The general elections for governor and Senate will be hard-fought in November, but not in the primary. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and his Democratic challenger, former Rep. Mark Schauer, are each unopposed in August; we rate the general election as a Tossup.

Meanwhile, in the open-seat race to succeed retiring Sen. Carl Levin, Democratic Rep. Gary Peters will face former Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land in November. We rate this contest as Lean Democratic. There are also races for secretary of state and attorney general, though those nominations will be decided at upcoming conventions.

There's a lot more primary action in the House, where four of the state's 14 seats are open. In the 4th District, three Republicans are running to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Dave Camp: businessman Peter Konetchy, who ran for the Senate in 2012 but failed to make the ballot; businessman and state party finance chair Paul Mitchell; and state Sen. John Moolenaar, who is the likely frontrunner. The Democratic candidate is physician Jeff Holmes. We rate the general as Safe Republican.

In the 8th District race to succeed Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, three Republicans are also running. They are Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett; former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop; and state Rep. Tom McMillin. Three Democrats are also running, with the most prominent looking like Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing. We rate the general as Lean Republican.

Two Democrats are also vacating their seats. In the 12th District, party activist Debbie Dingell, the wife of retiring Rep. John Dingell, looks like the overwhelming favorite against lawyer Ray Mullins in the primary. In the 14th District, four Democrats are running to replace Gary Peters: former Rep. Hansen Clarke; teacher Burgess Foster; state Rep. Rudy Hobbs; and Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence. We rate both seats as Safe Democratic.

A few incumbent House members also face credible challenges for re-election. In the 3rd District, Republican Rep. Justin Amash faces a primary with businessman Brian Ellis in a seat we rate as Safe Republican. In the 11th District, accidental GOP Rep. Kerry Bentivolio faces foreclosure lawyer Dave Trott in the primary. Four Democrats are running, with the frontrunners looking like physician Anil Kumar and former State Department official Bobby McKenzie. We rate the general as Likely Republican.

Two other Republican incumbents also have serious Democratic opponents. In the 1st District, Rep. Dan Benishek faces former Kalkaska County Sheriff Jerry Cannon, and in the 7th District, Rep. Tim Walberg is being challenged by former state Rep. Pam Byrnes. We rate both as Likely Republican. (Jeff Singer)

New York: Now that filing has closed for federal races in the Empire State, we have our roundup of New York's House races to watch. A few will be decided in the June 24 primary, but several will be fiercely contested all the way until November. (Jeff Singer)

President-by-LD: Stephen Wolf brings us another set of interactive maps visualizing the results of the 2012 presidential election by state legislative district. This time we have Washington state, New Jersey, and New Mexico. All three are blue states that have a number of Republicans representing seats Barack Obama won. Democrats have majorities in each, though the Washington Senate is led by an infamous coalition of Republicans and two rouge Democrats (one of whom is fortunately retiring). For previous editions in this series, see our first, second, third, and fourth installments. (Jeff Singer)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  CO Sen: Cook moves race to tossup (5+ / 0-)


    Jennifer Duffy ‏@jennifereduffy

    Rating Change #COSen: the last 5 polls have put the Udall/Gardner match up within the margin of error. The race moves to Toss Up from Lean D

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

    by Paleo on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 05:36:14 AM PDT

  •  Nelson on Florida governor's race (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's possible Nelson won't endorse Crist until the established Democrat, Nan Rich, bows out.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 06:06:23 AM PDT

  •  Could you maybe.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Explain your "likely Republican" in Michigan 1?  This district has historically voted Democratic and Benishek's legislative record consists of absolutely nothing.

  •  Americans don't know what is bad for them (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Aquarius40, Lencialoo

    and if all these people, by now, have not figured out that Republicans want to essentially lower taxes on the wealthy, get rid of social programs, and are more interested in helping corporations than people, then all the Koch money in the world will not make a difference. God helps those who helps themselves, which means becoming informed, which means reading something other than the Bible and TV Guide once in awhile. Complacency and ignorance are the problems, not Koch money. "Thou will always have people like the Koch's among Thou-all". Newest addendum to the Bible.

  •  GOTV in rural areas...Anyone have any (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Cadillac64

    suggestions/comments/failure or success stories about what works to gotv there?  Especially in an area that is just too spread out to effectively canvass door to door?

    This question arose from a group working in rural Maine...

    Thoughts are welcome/have a great weekend all/sh

    •  Prominent presence at county fairs? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ShoshannaD, sulthernao, Cadillac64

      I suspect this is something that local organizers need to figure out -- what works for rural Texas may not work at all for rural Maine/NH/VT.

      And at least in NH, the rural areas used to be mostly Republican bastions, so not good places for Democratic GOTV. Again the local organizers would have some idea of this.

      I would also wonder if there are local/regional online networks -- MOFGA, for example -- that can't directly do election stuff, but would know where progressive people gather both in person (farmers' markets, the annual MOFGA conference, etc.) and virtually.

      Also perhaps contact the American Friends Service Committee organizer who works with tribal organizers.

  •  regarding CO Senate... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lencialoo, Cadillac64, stevenaxelrod's my understanding that there's been some controversy lately about Gardner's previous stands on abortion (he is now apparently claiming that he didn't know the full implications of the legislation he previously supported...again and again and again).

    It's also my understanding that Udall just started some advertising focusing on his support for women's rights, and Gardner's attempts to suddenly change his position now that he's running for Senate.

    Hopefully, the fact that Udall is up on the air now will help him to solidify his slight lead in the polls and help him to start putting a little daylight between him and Gardner.

    Does anyone from Colorado have any feedback from the ground on how this might play out for Udall and Gardner? Is this a big deal there?

    •  I believe that Udall appeals to women... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wdrath, Cadillac64

      The personhood controversy will not help Gardner, plus Rick Santorum just endorsed him as well.  Also this morning a neurosurgeon in Denver announced he is running as an independent. He is against the ACA but maybe not as far right as tea party supported Gardner, which may actually take votes from Gardner and put Udall in a better position.

      Confucius say: "Man who want pretty nurse, must be patient."

      by Lencialoo on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:18:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tillis (0+ / 0-)

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:13:32 AM PDT

  •  Quinn has been very R-leaning in CO (8+ / 0-)

    they had Obama +1 in their final poll their IIRC, and they were one of the pollsters that had Romney ahead several times.

    Also, I do not believe Obama's net approval is -19 in the state, or Hillary trails Rand by 5 for 2016. When I saw the gov results of this poll I thought maybe Quinn had done a better than usual poll in CO, but having seen the full poll I have to conclude Hickenlooper is comfortably ahead.

  •  Colorado (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lencialoo just one of those states, like Wisconsin and Michigan, where hard core voters are just much more conservative than the way the state votes in presidential elections.  

    Dems win electoral votes in these states, because members of their coalition (youth and minorities) show up in presidential elections.  These same voters are totally disconnected in special elections and midterms (including recalls).  My guess is that this disparity is even more pronounced the last two presidential elections, because Obama inspires young and black voters to come out.  I'm not sure any other Dem can get that kind of minority or youth turnout in 2016.  

    I wouldn't rate MI or CO worse than toss-ups for Dems, but they're certainly no better.  Dems could easily lose both of these seats, and if they do, the Senate majority is gone for certain.  That said, let's wait until at least August to see if the GOP candidates can keep the lid on the crazy.  My guess is that for the GOP to lose this opportunity, someone is going to have to Murdoch themselves.    

    •  MI (0+ / 0-)

      MI doesn't belong with these other two states.  It's just as likely to go hard D as hard R in gubernatorial elections (which fall during mid-terms).  No, the hardcore voters are not necessarily mostly Republicans, as as far as the Senate goes that's been particularly true.  I'm not sure how you put it up there with WI and CO in that regard.

      Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos.

      by MetroGnome on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:46:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To be a little pedantic (0+ / 0-)

    regarding "President by LD" - Since the right is now red, rogue Democrats would also be rouge, I grant.  How will you spell it when it's the Republicans who are rogues?  Oh, wait.  Republicans are ALL rogues.  Never mind.

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