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Leading Off:

NC-Sen: Despite some last-minute indicators that suggested he might fall short, state House Speaker Thom Tillis cleared the 40 percent mark necessary to avoid a runoff in Tuesday night's primary. Tillis took 46 percent of the vote to earn the Republican nomination, while tea partying physician Greg Brannon, his nearest opponent, managed just 27 percent in a crowded field.

Last year, Tillis became the establishment pick by default, after D.C. Republicans failed to recruit an alternative, and his stewardship of the unpopular state legislature may prove an albatross. But heavy outside spending and Obamacare-related woes have driven down the approval ratings of Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. This will all make for a very competitive race, and we rate the November general election a Tossup.

Head below the fold for results from further downballot in North Carolina and Ohio.

NC-02: Singer and activist Clay Aiken's own campaign seemed gloomy about his primary prospects, but Aiken's celebrity appeared to narrowly beat back businessman Keith Crisco's money by a 41 to 39 margin with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Crisco, however, isn't conceding and says he'll review his options on Wednesday. If Aiken hangs on, he'll still be a serious underdog against GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in this dark red district, though Ellmers won her own primary against a no-name challenger, Frank Roche, by an underwhelming 59-41 spread. We rate the contest Likely Republican.

NC-03: Iconoclastic Republican Rep. Walter Jones, who's often been at odds with his own party, particularly on foreign policy, fended off a challenge from former D.C. hand Taylor Griffin. Despite heavy outside spending on his behalf, Taylor lost 51-45.

NC-06: The race to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Howard Coble will head to a runoff, as Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger, Jr. fell just short of the cutoff with 37 percent of the vote. He'll square off against Baptist pastor Mark Walker, who finished second with 24, on July 15. The winner will be a heavy favorite against Democrat Laura Fjeld, a former UNC administrator.

NC-07: Former state Sen. David Rouzer, who lost the closest congressional race in the nation last cycle to Rep. Mike McIntyre, will have a glide path to the seat this time. He defeated New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White 54-40, and with McIntyre retiring, this heavily Republican seat is a guaranteed GOP pickup.

NC-12: State Rep. Alma Adams, who had the backing of EMILY's List and was the lone woman in the race, beat back a crowded field to win the Democratic nomination outright, with 41 of the vote. State Sen. Malcolm Graham was second with 26. Adams also won the special primary by a similar margin. The general elections for both races will take place in November, and since Adams is a lock in this dark blue district, she'll get to fill the final two months of ex-Rep. Mel Watt's term.

OH-14: Freshman GOP Rep. David Joyce turned back a challenge on his right flank from state Rep. Matt Lynch, albeit by an unimpressive 55-45 score. He'll face Democratic attorney Michael Wager in the fall in a race we rate as Likely Republican.


IA-Sen: Yet another previously-unknown super PAC is making its debut: American Heartland, and the only thing we know so far about them is that they don't care much for Mark Jacobs. They're out with a new ad that hits Jacobs, who's running in the GOP primary, for allegedly supporting cap-and-trade and for long-ago donations to Jon Corzine and Arlen Specter (post-party switch).

American Heartland also commissioned a poll through GOP pollster Harper Polling, which shows Jacobs trailing Joni Ernst in the primary. Ernst is at 33 (just short of the 35 necessary to avoid a nominating convention), Jacobs is at 23, and Sam Clovis is at 14. (David Jarman)

KY-Sen: With the GOP primary looking more and more like a mere speed bump, Mitch McConnell is already pivoting toward the general election, with a positive spot that focuses on all the Kentucky jobs he's saved—or else he's running damage control after his comments last month that it "not his job" to help one county with its employment problems. It's a $100,000 buy running statewide. (David Jarman)

MN-Sen: In Democratic Sen. Al Franken's first ad of his re-election campaign, the owner of a tool company praises him for "working to connect community colleges with manufacturers, to help businesses fill the high-skill jobs that are open right now."

Meanwhile, in a slightly disturbing spot, Republican businessman Mike McFadden goes the whole "have your kids tell everyone how cheap you are route." Here, though, McFadden goes a lot further than usual, with his son Conor recounting a time his father insisted on removing stitches Conor had received in a hockey injury himself, rather than letting a nurse do it for $100. (If he's so cheap, why are his kids playing hockey and not basketball?) And because he skimps on his children's medical care, McFadden says he's the perfect guy to take on Obamacare. Yipes.

NE-Sen: Three different hard-right third-party groups are out with ads in the fast-approaching Nebraska Senate Republican primary. One is from the Senate Conservatives Fund, which is a very generic-sounding positive ad for Ben Sasse, touting his anti-Obamacare outsider cred. Another group, the Freedom Pioneers Action Network (which seems to be a mad lib made up of pieces of the names of other existing PACs), is running a 15-second anti-Sasse ad, that hits him for having previously called Obamacare "an important first step."

The most interesting, though, is from the Madison Project, and it's actually a radio ad. We don't typically don't mention those, but here's an unusual red flag: It's the first ad that's paid attention to Sid Dinsdale, a banker who just self-funded nearly $1 million for the stretch run, hitting him as a "liberal Republican" and "counterfeit conservative." The spot's existence certainly suggests that the frontrunners (Sasse and Shane Osborn) have beaten each other to a pulp to the extent that the Madison Project, which has endorsed Sasse, is worried about a repeat of the 2012 primary. In that race, previously-unheralded third-wheel Deb Fischer sprinted across the scorched earth and over the finish line in the last weeks. (David Jarman)

OR-Sen: With Oregon's May 20 primary looming, the Taxpayer Association of Oregon has a new poll of the Republican contest for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley. The survey, conducted by Wenzel Strategies, gives physician Monica Wehby a 43-22 lead over state Rep. Jason Conger. The only other publicly released poll showed a tossup. We'll know soon enough if Wehby has actually taken the lead, or if we'll have another survey to add to Wenzel's long list of misses. (Jeff Singer)


CO-Gov: Colorado's Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, widely outraised all of his GOP rivals in the first quarter of the year, and indeed, he actually took in more money than all four of his opponents combined. Hick raised $963,000, with his nearest opponent, ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo, pulling in just $279,000. Ex-Rep. Bob Beauprez raised $224,000, Secretary of State Scott Gessler $121,000, and state Sen. Mike Kopp $106,000. As you'd expect, Hickenlooper has a wide cash lead, too: $1.65 million, versus just $319,000 for all the Republicans put together. (Beauprez leads with just $118,000.)

FL-Gov: The Republican Party of Florida is out with an odd ad that seems to be an attempt to ratfuck the primary (or maybe to just get Dems to throw up their hands and stay home) by reminding voters of Charlie Crist's Republican past—or more specifically, how he encouraged Bill Clinton to resign in the wake of the Lewinsky affair, against the backdrop of the 1998 Senate race (which he lost badly to Bob Graham). I'm not sure how many voters with a pulse are still unaware that Crist used to be a Republican at this point, though.

Meanwhile, the Rick Scott campaign is out with its second Spanish-language TV ad, which is a translated version of an English-language spot that hit Crist for the bad economy during his administration. It's backed with a $500,000 buy in four markets. (David Jarman)

KY-Gov: On Tuesday, Attorney General Jack Conway, who'd long been interested in running for governor, became the first Democrat to formally launch a bid for the seat, which will be open next year because incumbent Gov. Steve Beshear is term-limited. (He has a welcome video here.) Conway, who tapped state Rep. Sannie Overly as his running mate, handily won re-election as attorney general in 2011 but badly lost a bid for Senate the previous year to Rand Paul.

Running for state office once again will offer more comfortable turf, but Conway will almost certainly face both a competitive Democratic primary and, should he earn his party's nomination, a hard-fought general election. Other potential heavyweight Democrats include state Auditor Adam Edelen, former Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, and state House Speaker Greg Stumbo. On the GOP side, former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner is already in the race, while others, such as Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, are still considering.

MD-Gov: Attorney General Doug Gansler has a pair of new ads out as the June 24 Democratic primary approaches. In the first spot, Gansler talks up his actions to fight pollution and pledges to do more as governor. His second ad focuses on education, with Gansler promising emphasize "skill over seniority" when it comes to teachers. If you look closely at the end of the this spot, one of the kids is wearing a shirt that says "Homework? Ain't nobody got time for that." It's unclear whether that would also be a part of Gansler's education initiative. (Jeff Singer)

ME-Gov: A new poll from Critical Insights finds Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud edging GOP Gov. Paul LePage 37-36, with independent Eliot Cutler at 18. That represents a jump for both major-party candidates since September, when Michaud led 33-30, and a decline for Cutler, who stood at 24 percent at the time.


CA-07: A new DCCC robopoll finds Democratic Rep. Ami Bera taking 47 percent in next month's top-two primary, while his three GOP opponents combine for 46. As we noted recently when one of those Republican hopefuls, ex-Rep. Doug Ose, released an internal, that's very good news for Bera, who saw his vote share rise 11 points between June and November in 2012.

But the main thrust of the DCCC's memo is the primary, where Ose leads former congressional staffer Igor Birman by just a 22-17 margin, with activist Elizabeth Emken at 7. That's a lot tighter than the 24-8 edge Ose found for himself last month, and indeed, the D-Trip talks up Birman's chances, saying he only has 50 percent name recognition, versus three quarters for Ose, and that Birman's more popular with voters who know him compared to Ose (though exact numbers aren't provided).

Bera would undoubtedly prefer to face the ultra-conservative Birman instead of Ose, who has a more moderate reputation, so you can almost view this as the DCCC conducting an internal on behalf of Birman, in order to prop him up. But the fact that Democrats have had to do so isn't a positive sign for Birman, who trailed Ose six-to-one in cash-on-hand at the end of the first quarter. Tea-flavored enthusiasm may yet power Birman to victory, but he still trails Ose regardless and would have to stage a come-from-behind upset in order to win.

CA-21: Democrat Amanda Renteria, who was just the subject of a big New York Times profile this week, has released her first TV ads of the race. One is in English and one is in Spanish, but both are biographical spots featuring the candidate and her parents, with an emphasis on Renteria's ties to the district.

In the English spot, Renteria, a former congressional staffer, says she "came home to teach and coach at my old high school" and pledges her priorities will be "more water, more jobs, and great schools." (This is a heavily agricultural district.) The messaging is a little more pointed in the Spanish-language ad, with Renteria's dad saying, "We worked in the fields so our daughters could have a better life." Renteria has to get by fellow Democrat John Hernandez in next month's primary before she can take on GOP Rep. David Valadao, so she's looking to up her profile and avoid any problems with the otherwise pitiful Hernandez's residual name recognition.

CA-25: Democratic candidate and podiatrist Lee Rogers has his second ad out. The narrator hits both his prospective Republican opponents, state Sen. Steve Knight and former state Sen. Tony Strickland, as typical politicians who are too conservative for the district. The ad spends more time attacking Strickland, who looks like a better bet to advance to the general, than Knight. (Jeff Singer)

CA-33: Democrat and former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel has a new ad up in the very crowded race to replace Henry Waxman. Greuel briefly introduces her husband and son and quickly pivots to saying "I want to fight for your family in Congress." She then lays out her support for a number of progressive policies. It's not a bad ad but feels a little disjointed, almost like Greuel is trying to cram too many positive ideas into one 30-second spot. (Jeff Singer)

GA-01: Well, okay then. This is physician Bob Johnson, one of the Republican hopefuls running for Georgia's 1st Congressional District, at a candidate forum in February:

"Now this is going to sound outrageous, I'd rather see another terrorist attack, truly I would, than to give up my liberty as an American citizen," he said, according to a video clip obtained by POLITICO. "Give me liberty or give me death. Isn't that what Patrick Henry said at the founding of our republic?"

He criticized the TSA for "indoctrinating generations of Americans to walk through a line and be prodded and probed by uniform personnel, agents of the government, like sheep."

Politico claims that Johnson apologized in a statement after these remarks came to light, but that doesn't appear to be the case. According to the excerpts provided by the Politico, all he offered was "I said something stupid and should have chosen my words more carefully."

MT-AL: Former state Senate Minority Leader Corey Stapleton is going on the air as the crowded June 3 Republican primary quickly approaches. His ad features Stapleton's wife, Terry, praising him for his military service and conservative values. The campaign says it's spending about $80,000 to run the ad for two weeks. (Jeff Singer)

NY-11: GOP Rep. Mike Grimm has always been delusional, considering that he views every law enforcement investigation of his shady activities as part of a grand partisan conspiracy to annihilate him. So it's not surprising that he told Geraldo (heh) that he thinks he's "one of the luckiest members of Congress," despite that 20-count indictment for tax evasion hanging over his head.

But Grimm did offer one revealing remark. When asked about his internal polling, Grimm evaded, saying: "Listen, I'm going to fight these charges all the way and I'm going to win my election. This is not the first time I've had a lot on my plate." Evidently he's not delusional enough to pretend like his numbers look good.

NY-22: Republican Rep. Richard Hanna faces a primary from the right in his swingy upstate district from Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, and while there hasn't been much indication yet that he's in real danger, he doesn't have a Democratic opponent in November, so he might as well spend his money now. Hanna's out with a TV ad that's oriented toward protecting his right flank, decrying the ACA and "bigger government" in general. (David Jarman)

PA-13: An apparently brand-new PAC, Building a Better PA, is running an ad in the Philadelphia market boosting state Rep. Brendan Boyle in the Dem primary in the 13th. The ad touts Boyle's working-class bona fides, but also mentions his support for Planned Parenthood, seemingly a rebuttal of the Daylin Leach ad last week that hit Boyle as anti-choice. The footage appears to have been provided by some McConnelling on the part of the Boyle campaign. (David Jarman)

Grab Bag:

Demographics: Over the weekend, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel released a long-form exploration of political polarization in the Milwaukee metropolitan area and how that contrasts with other metro areas (short answer: it's even starker than usual in Milwaukee). The lessons of the story—growing polarization between the cities and the exurbs—may not surprise any faithful Daily Kos Elections readers, especially those who are enthusiastic users of Dave's Redistricting App. But the article sets an impressively high bar for infographics, with a great array of precinct-level maps that put the current segregation in stark relief, along with charts showing polarization growing over time. (David Jarman)

President-by-LD: Stephen Wolf has been creating tons of awesome interactive maps visualizing the 2012 presidential results by state legislative chamber. Now, all 58 maps, covering 27 states, have been complied in one place. You'll definitely want to bookmark this, since we'll be adding new maps as we release results for new states. (Jeff Singer)

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

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Looks like politics is well on the way to (9+ / 0-)

    becoming a national pastime, a participatory sport, relying on the best form of exercise -- walking door to door.

    by hannah on Wed May 07, 2014 at 05:32:11 AM PDT

  •  Good news about Walter Jones (9+ / 0-)

    Who'd have thought 10 years ago that Mr. Freedom Fries would become one of the few voices of (relative) reason in his party?

    "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive (not liberal) | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | $15 and a union!

    by gabjoh on Wed May 07, 2014 at 05:38:21 AM PDT

  •  NC Renee Ellmers (6+ / 0-)
    5/7/14....Rep. Renee Ellmers is a rare specimen: A House Republican who backs immigration reform, including a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants. She calls it "an earned legal work status." Conservatives, of course, call it "amnesty."

    Ellmers, a nurse from North Carolina's 2nd District who was elected in 2010 with tea party support, has been unapologetic, tangling with her constituents over the issue in town hall meetings and calling conservative radio talker Laura Ingraham "ignorant" during a recent on-air debate about immigration.

    Her immigration reform cheerleading drew the attention of a pro-immigration reform group backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, which ran television ads on her behalf. But she also drew a conservative primary challenger: a radio talk show host and GOP perma-candidate named Frank Roche.

    Roche hit Ellmers hard, framing his entire candidacy as a referendum on Ellmers' support for immigration reform and her willingness to work with the GOP establishment.

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

    by MartyM on Wed May 07, 2014 at 05:48:37 AM PDT

  •  Darn. I really wanted a runoff btwn Tillis (8+ / 0-)

    and Brannon.

    And I will sorely miss Hunter's regular coverage of the Brannon bag of crazy. A special guy, that one.

    Tell Warner Brothers Pictures that Rooney Mara is #NotYourTigerLily.

    by ExpatGirl on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:08:55 AM PDT

  •  Tillis is more proof that the GOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is not going to hand races to Dems this time.  It looks more and more like the establishment (i.e. the money) has gotten control back from the Tea Party.  I expect Tillis to beat Hagan in November.  NC is very red in elections where Obama isn't on the ticket to rally college kids and african americans to the polls.  A Tea Partier might have given her a chance,…but I think she is in trouble now.  This should be the GOP's fifth seat (along with SD, MT, WV, and Ark).  Don't kid yourselves, Pryor will lose, and probably not very close.

    We're seeing the same thing in KY, where the GOP money (and his own form of crazy) has smashed Mitch's Tea Party challenger.  I think Mitch gets his sea legs, and like Harry Reid in 2010, survives,…just barely.

    It's all going to come down to Begich and Landrieu.  Either they both win, or the GOP takes the Senate.  Funny, but I actually think Begich will survive.  Landrieu (who BTW, recently said she'd do whatever it takes to see Keystone XL approved - and is part of the rogue Dem coalition supporting a Senate bill for immediate approval), may just have run out of her 9 lives.  How can any liberal expend any energy, money, and time on her now?

    •  IMHO Landrieu 2014 is a better comparison (6+ / 0-)

      to Reid 2010 than is McConnell.  Much of the establishment (both on the left and right) had left Reid for dead.  Currently, that's not really the case with Mitch.  At worst, it's a dead heat for Mitch, at best, it's a tilt in his direction.  While it would be an upset if he lost, it'll shock no one if McConnell wins.

      In 2010, Reid was left for dead by the pundits on both sides. He wasn't even supposed to get by in a squeaker, let alone win by over 5.5 points. Reid knew his state and he knew how to turn out his voters.  While most of outside of Nevada lamented (or celebrated his loss), he was quietly using his "machine" to get his people to the polls.  In short, he knew how to win an election on his turf.  I would say that very same thing about Landrieu.  The Landrieu name runs deep in Louisiana politics and she knows how to win elections there.  I have a hard time counting her out, at least I do at this point.  While I wouldn't be terribly shocked if she lost, I also wouldn't be surprised at all if she ends up winning by a relatively comfortable margin (3-5 points).

      As for liberals not willing to expend anything on Landrieu, I think ( and hope) that we will. While I'm not supportive of Keystone, I do understand that in Louisiana, supporting the petrochemical industry is not a liability (let's face it, Al Gore ain't winning a general election in Louisiana).  If the difference between Speaker Reid and Speaker McConnell is supporting Landrieu, I don't have a problem with that.

      •  I think you're right about Landrieu (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aquarius40, n8vtnn

        although the political lean, generally, of LA is far different from NV.

        However, I demur on your opinion of the race in KY. At worst for McConnell, it could be a Lean-D race; at best, a Lean-R race. And right now, pending the Republican primary and what happens to the opinion of Republican voters following it, it appears to be at least a Tilt-D race, based on opinion polls.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:14:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm a little more bull-ish on McConnell's chances (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike, MichaelNY

          in the general.  Once he wins the primary, the Republican voters who may not like Mitch will come home and vote for him the general--that's what Republicans do.  They grouse in the primary, but will eventually pull the lever (or push the button) for the candidates with the "R" next to their names in the general.  A lot of the Republicans unhappy with McConnell are unhappy with him from the right and they're not going to vote for AL-G and they're unlikely to stay home and watch her win.

      •  I think NV 2010 was different (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        While Landrieu shouldn't be underestimated, Reid also had a couple things working for him that she may not have.

        For one, Nevada seems to be pretty closely divided, whereas Louisiana is basically a Republican state at this point. Even if Democrats whose names aren't Obama or Reid haven't managed to win statewide in Nevada lately, Kerry came close in 2004 and the congressional delegation, if I'm not mistaken, is split 2-2 with two swingy districts. So the percentage of Republican-leaning voters that Reid needed to win was likely smaller than what Landrieu will need.

        I don't know a whole lot about Bill Cassidy, but does he have the kind of foot-in-mouth problem that Sharron Angle had in Nevada? I suspect that at least some of his support was bolstered by distaste for Angle, whereas I'm not sure there's the same momentum for an "anti-Cassidy" vote.

      •  Oops... I should have said Majority Leader Reid (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        rather than speaker.

    •  So what you're saying is.. (10+ / 0-)

      the polls are all lying. Pryor doesn't have a healthy lead despite all the recent polls showing him with a large advantage over Cotton. Grimes isn't running neck and neck with McConnell in both fundraising and in the polls. Hagan, despite running competitively in the polls, is utterly doomed.

      /head shake

      TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D). Senate ratings map (as of 3/10/14)

      by Le Champignon on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:52:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Take a look at Arkansas. (0+ / 0-)

        This state shifted significantly to the right over the past few years, going from being a bellwether state in 1972-2004 to trashing Obama by 20 points in 2008, kicking out Blanche Lincoln by 20 points in 2010, going from a 3-1 Democratic House delegation to a 3-1 Republican one and now a 4-0 Republican one, not to mention getting a red legislature in 2012. It could get very hard for Pryor to overcome this sharp swing, especially with an unpopular Democratic president in power.

        In Kentucky, McConnell is set to win, because he will win over the undecided voters in a state where Obama lost 60-40. The 40-45% Grimes currently has in the polls in the typical floor for a Democrat running for federal office in the state.

        Hagan is in the low 40s, so she is not doomed, but she will have a very difficult race on her hands in a low-turnout election.

        •  I don't agree with your analysis (3+ / 0-)

          for the following reasons:

          The Pryor family is very popular in AR, and opinion polls showed very clearly how Lincoln was going to get drubbed and show no such thing in regard to Pryor, who is also personally a conservative Christian and gets respect for that.

          And in terms of McConnell, yes, it's a state Obama lost, and also a state where Governor Beshear is very popular. Grimes is a great, appealing candidate, and some of her supporters undoubtedly voted for Romney. The fact that the undecided voters didn't support Obama doesn't mean they didn't vote for Beshear, and it doesn't mean they like or will vote for McConnell. Will Grimes have a difficult race? Of course. But it may yet prove more difficult for McConnell, who has run a surprisingly inept campaign, while Grimes has run a great one.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:19:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  in competitive senate elections in '04 and '08 (5+ / 0-)

          Democrats got 47 and 49% of the vote in Kentucky.

          Keep in mind Grimes hasn't run a single ad yet, while millions have been spent against her, and the polling hasn't budged.

          I too thought Pryor was a goner, but 4 of the last 5 polls have him leading, 2 by 10 points. By this time in 2010 it was already clear that Blanche Lincoln was a goner (early May polling had Boozman up double digits), so something is definitely different about this race. Pryor has also weathered millions of dollars of attack ads already, and he still looks okay.

 the philosopher it is iron and grain that made men civilized and brought on the downfall of the human race. - Rousseau, Discourse on the Origins of Inequality Among Men

          by James Allen on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:31:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This was my point here. (0+ / 0-)

            Democrats got to 47% and 49%, not 50%. Also, 2004/2008 had an incumbent Republican president. In 2014, there is a Democratic incumbent who is massively unpopular in the state. It will be very hard for Grimes to overcome these dynamics, and the general election campaign hasn't fully begun yet. Beshear is popular, true, but federal offices have different dynamics than state ones (think of Massachusetts having Republican governors for 16 years).


            As to Pryor, yes, he has his family name, and he is not done for the same way Lincoln was at this point in 2010. Recent polls show him winning by one point, losing by 3, being tied, and one gives him a 10-point lead. Being in the low 40s is still a very vulnerable position for any incumbent senator, although I do expect this race to be close one way or the other.

        •  Biggest problem with your analysis.. (4+ / 0-)

          is that there's precedence for a Democrat winning despite a similar headwind in the state. Remember Sen. Heitkamp? She won in 2012 despite Obama losing the state 58/38.

          As for Arkansas, I believe in polls. Do you?

          TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D). Senate ratings map (as of 3/10/14)

          by Le Champignon on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:58:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I believe in polls too. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            However, we are months and months away from Election Day. In 2012 at this point, Rick Berg had 51% support in polling (better than any result Pryor has had, and Pryor is the incumbent here). Also, North Dakota has a long history of electing Democratic senators even when the state voted Republican at the presidential level. Arkansas had a similar history as well until recently, but now it has shifted very far to the right. With a Democratic president having approvals in the 30s in the state, it will be very hard for voters to elect a Democratic senator (although of course Pryor is not Blanche Lincoln).

    •  Opinion polls have shown Pryor leading (7+ / 0-)

      for the last couple of weeks or so, so I think I'm "kidding myself" into believing that AR-Sen is a Tossup/Tilt D race. I also don't share your pessimism about NC-Sen. Do you think the Republican State Legislature is very popular in NC right now?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:52:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hagan will hammer away at Tillis (7+ / 0-)

      over the widely unpopular NC General Assembly, where Tillis is the House Speaker. Everything they've done the last 4 year has Tillis' fingerprints all over it. This includes screwing teachers and public schools, refusing Medicaid expansion, and tax cuts for the wealthy that have left the state in a $500 million hole and more budget cuts to come.

      Tillis has led the ALEC charge in NC. Hagan has endless ammunition to use against him. I expect her to hang on in a close race.

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

      by bear83 on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:24:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The NC republican-led state government is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bear83, MichaelNY

        very unpopular right now, and there is the strong possibility of the Moral monday phenomenon becoming a true grass-roots organizing effort.  Since Tillis was the yokel who shepherded all of the RW legislation through the legislature, that will now hang around his neck like an anchor.  What Hagan needs, is to focus the election on state issues and make it a sort-of referendum on the state government.

    •  so you prefer a GOP Senate? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, MichaelNY, RoIn, blugrlnrdst

      Unless Dems rally behind Landrieu, that Senate seat goes to a hard right Republican for the next few decades.

      Unlike you, I prefer Landrieu.

    •  Email from Kay Hagan's campaign today (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Aquarius40, RoIn, blugrlnrdst

      If you are concerned about Hagan - donate today.

      The primary was yesterday -- that means the general election begins today.

      We’ve got a long road to travel to Election Day. Special interest spending to defeat me blew past $12 million. They’re going to spike the road ahead with attack ads and mailers and who knows what else.

      Our success up to this point has been nothing short of incredible. But this is a new challenge. This is Day #1 of the general election. We need to start off the general election just as strong as we finished the primary.

      Give $5 to give us a grassroots boost now.

      We’re up against a man who, according to CNN, “eagerly embraced” the out-of-touch Ryan Budget Plan to end Medicare as we know it.

      He was in charge of the State House when they took a midnight vote to defund Planned Parenthood and attached restrictions on access to women’s healthcare to a bill about motorcycles.

      I’m grateful to the North Carolinians who voted for me yesterday. And I’m grateful for all of you who’ve helped me over the past few months.

      But the Koch brothers and their special interest friends love the Tillis Agenda. It might as well be called the “Koch-sponsored Tillis Agenda” with all the money their groups are spending to elect him.

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

      by bear83 on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:33:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  to keep the Repugnant thugs from taking the senate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'll do it. I'll work to keep her seat.

  •  Once McConnell Wins Primary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm guessing his head to head numbers in the general will look better as the tea party zealots resign themselves to Mitch.  That will leave us with the Southern battleground of our incumbent Democrats in NC, LA and AR. Tough turf in the South.

  •  What's a poor Koch brother to do? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    WorshipWordWorks was behind Brannon, asking "What is Thom Tillis hiding?"  Some gun nut group I'd never heard of was also attacking Tillis.

    Bello ne credite, Americani; quidquid id est, timeo Republicanos et securitatem ferentes.

    by Sura 109 on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:38:08 AM PDT

  •  What is Cutler trying to prove in Maine (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, mconvente, bear83, rtaylor352

    That, yes, as a spoiler he can help re-elect the worst governor ever? What a loser.

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:41:35 AM PDT

  •  Slightly disturbing? That was creepy as hell! (0+ / 0-)

    Whoa!  Is that a creepy ad from McFadden or what?!  And it doesn't make any sense either.  Ooh, so you got the stitches out yourself (which is really dumb anyway) - how the hell does that in any way relate to Obamacare?

    Whoever greenlighted that ad needs to be mocked relentlessly.

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Wed May 07, 2014 at 06:53:09 AM PDT

  •  the truth is, Cutlers numbers will drop (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, MichaelNY, LordMike

    as we get closer to Election day. his chances of winning are somewhere between slim and none and slim is taking a three-week vacation in San Juan. michuad still leads, i figure he needs 40% of the vote to win, if cutler drops out, Michuad would thrash LePage. throw him a parade create a state monument called Culters Ego, and have him give the dedication speech, just do somerthing to get him to drop out.

    •  Cutler won't drop out (5+ / 0-)

      Independents have a real constituency in Maine, just as they do in Minnesota. Note that one of the senators from Maine, a former governor, is an independent. So Michaud will have to win some other way. I hope you're right that enough people will desert the sure loser and vote for Michaud, so that LePage doesn't win again. I think that outcome is probable. But I won't feel secure until it starts showing up clearly in polling.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:22:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, and minnesota once elected jesse ventura (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        as governor. so we can say those are 'odd duck' states. i think maine should put a runoff in place if no candidate gets a majority.Lepage would not have been governor the last 4 years if a runoff had been available in 2010, cutler would have been, as he probably would have captured most of dills support in the runoff.

  •  OR-Sen....R candidate Monica Wehby.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, MichaelNY, PassionateJus

    ....involved in Munchausen's by proxy case involving a parent electing to subject her children to allegedly unnecessary surgery - that surgery was done by Wehby.

    Story here.    Ignore the derp in the comments.

    You can't spell "Dianne Feinstein" without "NSA".

    by varro on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:10:51 AM PDT

  •  Are you sure Senator Franken.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ....didn't write McFadden's ad?  It looks like a SNL parody ad - Will Ferrell should be the candidate.

    You can't spell "Dianne Feinstein" without "NSA".

    by varro on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:15:45 AM PDT

  •  Pessimism (7+ / 0-)

    I'm surprised by the amount of pessimism in this thread. I'm more accustomed to seeing people who aren't regulars in threads like the Live Digest posting about how good Democrats in hopeless races like ME-Sen are going to win and, in the words of one troll, the regulars at DKE (and presumably the staff, who rate that race Safe-R) are "Republican spinners."

    I've gotta say, while I will get a bit of consolation from some unfortunate Democratic losses by being able to tell off after the fact those who've insulted me in various ways (another one is "Since you're from New York, you couldn't know what enthusiasm there is in Maine [or substitute another state here] and should shut up."), I don't think morose pessimism is really any better.

    There's no doubt that this year's Senate map is challenging. But the only races that are leaning toward D -> R turnovers right now are SD (somewhere between Likely and Safe R), WV (Likely R), and MT (somewhere between Lean and Likely R, with a good candidate who has a shot). Hagan has been a tad behind in NC-Sen, but now that the Republican primary is over and her preferred candidate lost, she can really unload on Tillis, and as some people are saying in this thread, she has a lot of ammunition to use against him. Every other incumbent Democrat seems to be ahead in polling, though I don't trust AK polling at all (but Begich has run great ads). Furthermore, Grimes has a real shot at knocking out the Republican Minority Leader of the Senate, and though Nunn faces daunting odds, she's run a spirited campaign and can benefit if the eventual winner of the Republican primary says something unimaginably stupid. So all of you who are feeling resigned to a Republican takeover of the Senate should buck up and pay more attention to opinion polls and the way campaigns are unfolding.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:37:42 AM PDT

    •  Fully agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority, MichaelNY

      Hagan and Landrieu are no fainting crybabies ... they'll give it all they've got. As for KY and GA, I think the off-year nature of the race, with only two years left to go of the detested Obama's term, will cause a bit of fall off in zeal for them, more so in KY, with its significant conservadem segment.

  •  Is North Carolina a hopeful sign? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Disclaimer: Remember that I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, and that definitely colors my view of the races.

    If I read those results right, it looks like grown-ups did OK in the GOP primaries.  Could the GOP be on its way to loyal opposition instead of shrieking harpies?

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

    by dinotrac on Wed May 07, 2014 at 08:21:58 AM PDT

  •  If the Dems cant find a candidate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To Run against Hanna/Tenney, I wouldn't mind flat out supporting Hanna in the primary if only because Tenney would be a stooge for the right-wing. Hanna is pretty much in the model of Sherwood Boehlert, though.

  •  Mistake (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, MichaelNY

    In your Colo Gov piece  Says Tancredo has the lead in cash when it's really Hick who has the lead.

  •  Bob Johnson: not crazy (0+ / 0-)

    Well, at least not for the reason discussed in the diary.

    Isn't his reasoning the same as all of us who think the NSA has overreached? Sure, it might marginally decrease the odds of a successful terrorist strike, but the erosion of our freedom isn't worth it?

    Imagine if we took the $ billions we're spending on airport security and spent the same money instead on, say--

    * extending Obamacare subsidies to below 100% of poverty

    * childhood nutrition or vaccinations in the developing world

    * phasing out coal for electricity

    Wouldn't we save even more lives, without privacy concerns?

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Wed May 07, 2014 at 02:56:17 PM PDT

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