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Leading Off:

GA-Sen, -Gov: A new PPP poll for the progressive group Better Georgia offers the first numbers on the GOP Senate runoff and finds Rep. Jack Kingston leaping out to a 46-34 lead on wealthy businessman David Perdue. That's a huge 20-point surge for Kingston, who trailed 31-26 on primary night, and it's a sign of worry for Perdue, given how tiny his bump is.

What's more, Perdue's metro Atlanta home base overlapped with that of the three also-rans, so it might be natural for some of that support to fall in his direction, but that doesn't seem to be happening. In a way, this isn't terribly surprising, since Perdue was able to flood the airwaves in the primary but still achieved the lowest first-place primary finish for Senate in Georgia history. So if PPP is right, it's very possible that Perdue's performance may be closer to a ceiling than a floor, though he'll certainly spend like hell to prove otherwise.

But Georgia Republicans may actually be slightly better off if he can't. PPP also tested the general election and found Perdue trailing Democrat Michelle Nunn 48-46, while Kingston ties her at 45 apiece. That's a very small difference, though, and we'll see if Kingston actually tries to make some sort of electability argument. (That's not usually a winning move in a GOP nominating contest.)

Rasmussen also has a new Georgia poll that's much more optimistic for Democrats: Michelle Nunn (D): 47, Jack Kingston (R): 41; Nunn 45, David Perdue (R): 42.

Finally, PPP has some numbers on the governor's race, where Republican Gov. Nathan Deal ties Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter at 43 apiece, while Libertarian Andrew Hunt takes 7. That's virtually unchanged from Carter's 43-42 edge on Deal in early April, though Hunt wasn't included that time. And while, as we often note, the Libertarian is unlikely to perform quite this well on Election Day, it's looking like it'll be enough to force a runoff if the race remains close.


HI-Sen: Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is finally going on the air, two months after her Democratic primary rival, Sen. Brian Schatz, did so. However, unlike Schatz, who has already run a few TV ads, Hanabusa's only up on radio, with a positive spot emphasizing her Hawaii roots.

KS-Sen: State Sen. Dennis Pyle, who had previously considered a primary challenge to Rep. Lynn Jenkins, now says he might try to unseat Sen. Pat Roberts—despite the very late date, and despite the fact that physician Milton Wolf is already attempting to do just that. Actually, it's more like because of Wolf, whom Pyle fears will "fall significantly short" and is not "electable."

The problem, of course, is that in our first-past-the-post system (Kansas doesn't require runoffs), the presence of a second candidate will only make it more, not less, likely that Roberts will win the Aug. 5 primary. It sounds like Pyle understands this, though, and he's hinted that his supporters should ask Wolf to drop out, if you read between the lines. Still, it'll be very hard to mount a credible challenge to Roberts even in a one-on-one race, given how little time is left.

MS-Sen: While we've yet to see if the whole ugliness surrounding the arrests of Chris McDaniel supporters who broke into a nursing home to photograph Sen. Thad Cochran's bedridden wife has any effect on the polls, the Club for Growth isn't taking any chances. They just threw down another $400,000 on McDaniel's behalf, mostly on TV and radio ads attacking Cochran in the GOP primary. The spots are not yet available online.

MT-Sen: The Chamber of Commerce has added GOP Rep. Steve Daines to the list of candidates they're trying to burnish with positive ads, with a bland spot about job creation. Daines goes a different rout in his new ad, attacking Democratic Sen. John Walsh for "mismanaging" money while running Montana's Department of Military Affairs, and also for voting to raise the debt ceiling (something Daines himself has done).


AK-Gov: It's awfully late in the game, but former state GOP chair Russ Millette, a member of the party's deposed Paulist wing, says he plans to run against Gov. Sean Parnell in the August primary. Parnell's not terribly popular, with a 42-44 approval rating in PPP's last poll, but among Republicans, he was at 66-21, so it's hard to see how Millette would have a chance.


CA-17: A new SurveyUSA poll of the June 3 top-two primary finds Rep. Mike Honda leading fellow Democrat Ro Khanna 40-21, even though Honda's been outspent by more than a two-to-one margin. Of course, Honda started the race with far more name recognition, but Khanna would be in even dicier shape if the two Republicans on the ballot weren't splitting the right-leaning vote. Physician Vanila Singh currently takes 8 percent, while tech executive Joel VanLandingham (whom Honda has accused Khanna supporters of helping get on the ballot) is at 6.

That combined 14 percent would come a lot closer to Khanna than Khanna is to Honda, but alas, Singh probably can't pull it off. That just means this fight will, as it was always expected to, come down to November, with an electorate that will likely feature more Democratic voters and thus be more favorable to the incumbent.

CA-31: It looks like the DCCC's plea that Democrats concentrate their attacks on ex-Rep. Joe Baca is going ignored. EMILY's List, which has endorsed Eloise Reyes, just threw in $15,000 on mailers attacking Pete Aguilar, the D-Trip's preferred candidate. In a recent polling memo, the committee argued that two Republicans could slip through the top-two primary if Baca isn't taken down a peg, but it's also very possible they're worried that Baca himself could survive until November, which would make for an almost-as-awful race. If Aguilar and Reyes really go at each other, that doesn't seem impossible.

KS-03: Former Democratic state Sen. Kelly Kultala has released an internal poll from Lake Research showing GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder with a surprisingly soft 42-34 lead. Kansas' 3rd District is quite red, at 54-44 Romney, so that makes these numbers quite unexpected. However, this Kansas City-based seat was home to Democrat Dennis Moore until his retirement in 2010, and Barack Obama only lost it by a single point in 2008, so it might be winnable for Democrats under the right circumstances. (In that regard, the demographics are a bit like those of Nebraska's 2nd, centered on Omaha.)

Kultala, however, faces an enormous fundraising gap, with just $61,000 on hand versus more than $2.1 million for Yoder. Unpopular Gov. Sam Brownback may prove an anvil around the necks of downballot Republicans this year, but Yoder has a very substantial cushion, and given midterm turnout, an upset is very unlikely, even if this polling is accurate.

MI-13: As folks like Adam Bonin and Rick Hasen predicted, a federal judge just ruled in favor of restoring Rep. John Conyers to August's Democratic primary ballot. The judge said he'd provide his full reasoning at a later date, saying that "time is of the essence" in resolving the issue, but it's very likely he concluded that Michigan's law requiring petition gatherers to be registered voters is unconstitutional, since binding precedent in an almost identical case had already held as much. So unless the state appeals (and pulls some scrawny rabbit out of its jurisprudential hat), Conyers will face off against Rev. Horace Sheffield in the primary.

Other Races:

NY State Senate: As expected, former New York City Comptroller John Liu officially kicked off his primary challenge on Friday against renegade Democratic state Sen. Tony Avella, who caucuses with the Republicans. Liu's also secured a couple of union endorsements, from the International Union of Operating Engineers and the very powerful Hotel Trades Council.

Grab Bag:

Demographics: The Fix has an interesting piece on a new way to look at sociological differences, ones that seem to have a big impact on a place's politics. The academics behind it call it "tightness" versus "looseness." That refers to how strictly rules on social behavior are enforced, and how much tolerance for deviance there is. Unsurprisingly, the heavily evangelical states of the South are at the "tight" end of the list (led by Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas) while the most unchurched states of the west and northeast are at the "loose" end (topped by California, Oregon, and Washington).

Ultimately, though, this may just be a new name for something that's already been observed. Looking at the map, it seems to correlate strongly with the concept of the "second demographic transition," which cobbles together data like same-sex households and unmarried cohabitation, or simply the list of which states are most and least religious.

There are exceptions, though. Utah and Idaho seem to be the two states that don't quite match up as expected here, but those states' small non-Mormon populations tend to be on the liberal side. (David Jarman)

NRSC: Hah! Turns out the NRSC inflated its cash-on-hand figures by $2.6 million, telling the AP that the committee had $21.9 million in the bank at the end of April when it only had $19.3 million. (I know I have zero evidence to prove this, but I swear I thought that number seemed high when I first saw it.) What's even funnier, though, is that the NRSC's bilious spokesman, Brad Dayspring, tried to blame reporters for "repeating" the error, even though he admitted his organization misstated the numbers when first asked about them.

Texas: There are no straight-up primaries on Tuesday, but Texas is finally getting around to holding its runoff elections. There are a handful of federal races on the docket, including the Democratic runoff for Senate and Republican runoffs for the 4th, 23rd, and 36th Congressional Districts. One important metric of where things might be headed is how the primary also-rans have chosen to award their support. To that end, Joseph Vogas of Burnt Orange Report has done some impressive work rounding up every endorsement from the candidates who finished out of the money.

In the busy 4th and 36th Districts, most of the runners-up have gone in one direction: to Rep. Ralph Hall in the former, and dentist Brian Babin in the latter. But these endorsements are by no means dispositive, so check back in with us on Tuesday for our liveblog of the results.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue May 27, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  waiting for post-primary PA-Gov polls (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSUCentrePA, TofG, hbk, Pale Jenova
  •  I don't get it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Spending on McDaniel is obviously good-money-after-bad at this point. Why drop 400K now? Seems very Keynesian for Club for Growth.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Tue May 27, 2014 at 05:31:21 AM PDT

  •  *checks* (6+ / 0-)

    Hmm... let's see... Kingston voted against ending the government shutdown, so he was all in favor of defaulting on our debt and careening us into a global economic meltdown.

    HAMMER him on this, Michelle, if he does indeed win the runoff.

    •  So much material (7+ / 0-)

      Like how Kingston repeatedly voted against increasing the minimum  wage and told poor people to work more while at the same time bitching about how he had to work more in DC and wouldn't be able to be with his family as much as he liked.  

      Or how about how he told poor kids to work to earn their free lunches in school.

      Kingston is a fucking nitwit and as radical a tea bagging nut sack as the rest.  The only difference is he's been able to hide it behind an 'aw shucks' everyman veneer.  Personally I hope he crushes Perdue so that Nunn can crush him.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:28:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kingston: not making this up-- (0+ / 0-)

        Kingston's ads for the primary said he would end bickering in Washington because he's the most conservative candidate in the field, and a "fighter."


        "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 Tue May 27, 2014 at 03:02:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kingston "jumping" is one of the funniest (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hbk, waterstreet2013

    headlines I've read in a while. Kingston has to be one of the laziest Congress critters. His main stock in trade is coming up with "talking points" on behalf of the theme team and bringing in defense dollars for Fort Stewart (which recently nurtured a domestic terrorist clique), the Kings Bay submarine base and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, which has flourished under the Homeland Security umbrella.
    "King " is a popular moniker in Georgia. After all, just about every town of any size has an MLKing avenue or street and royalist sentiments abound in one of the thirteen original states where Fort Frederica and Fort King George vie with Fort Pulaski as tourist attractions.

    The city of Kingston, Georgia, also in the First District is perhaps the least well known.

    The City of Kingston, Georgia - Rich in history, culture, beauty. Once a major Georgia city, now ready to rise from the ashes once again.
    Rising from the ashes is a popular Republican theme. No doubt Kingston is looking to soar, like that eagle Ashcroft used to sing about. But, 2014 is the distaff year.

    by hannah on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:03:12 AM PDT

    •  Kingston is their strongest play, BECAUSE of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hbk, waterstreet2013

      his record bringing home the national security bacon. Thats a key job of a Georgia senator no matter the party. That's been Michelle Nunn's calling card, that she will protect Fort Stewart and Fort Benning and georgia's defense industries. Like her dad did.

      The other guy just doesent seem interested in that stuff.

      •  Bringing dollars from Washington, where they are (0+ / 0-)

        made, to the states is an important function. However, the point needs to be made that dollars distributed to the health care industry are better spend than dollars distributed to the air force for bombing runs over the coastal delta.  That politicians prefer the latter is understandable. Demonstrations of air power intimidate the citizenry, while adequate health care increases citizen potency. The last thing politicians, both local and national, want is a potent citizenry telling them what they want and kicking them out of office when they don't get it.

        For a potent citizenry elect Democrats.

        by hannah on Tue May 27, 2014 at 08:37:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I can buy the "lazy" angle (6+ / 0-)

      I remember when Pelosi told House members they'd be working full 5-day weeks, Kingston was one of the loudest GOPers shrieking about how it was an unfair workload.

  •  :::NRSC official checking pockerts::: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK, hbk

    "Where IS that $2.6 million?  I know I had it somewhere!"

    Rush — the quivering rage heap who is apparently desperately trying to extinguish any remaining molecule of humanity that might still reside in the Chernobyl-esque Superfund cleanup site that was his soul. -- Jon Stewart

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:08:07 AM PDT

  •  Of course Perdue is going to get thumped. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, hbk, waterstreet2013, HeyMikey

    He came out one week before the primary with a comment that he was open to tax increases.  That's why, even though the last polls in the primary had him double digits up, Kingston virtually tied him to go into the runoff.

    By the authority vested in me by Kaiser Wilhelm II, I pronounce you man and wife. Proceed with the execution...and the kiddie pool needs to stay open 24/7!

    by HarryParatestis on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:24:17 AM PDT

  •  Am I the only one who find Rasmussen to a bit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mames5, madmojo

    odd as of late?  I know they changed leadership or whatever and before I gave them zero credit at all because they were obviously so right leaning but if someone didn't know them from before they now seem almost left leaning.  They are always listing poll numbers that are higher (sometimes way 5+) than every other poll on approval numbers and spreads etc.  Am I the only one who sees this?   I still pretty much ignore them because I just don't know what to make of them.  Seems they just pull numbers out of the sky and call it a day.  

    •  I started noticing it after Scott Rasmussen left (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Their numbers were quite noticeably different after they announced a change in their leadership and methodology. Pre-November 2012, I didn't pay much attention to their polls, since they were always GOP-leaning, and that was confirmed after Nov 6th. However, now, they've reset their credibility in my eyes to a blank slate (awaiting judgement).

      From what some poll-savvy commentators on here have written, it seems that their methodology is still crap (I don't know enough to say why). However, I'm willing to give them a bit more benefit of the doubt until Nov 2014 where their poll results will truly be tested. From the few major races we've had since Rasmussen left, they were pretty much correct for NJ-Sen, NJ-Gov, although they overstated TMac's margin in VA-Gov (but then again, so did most pollsters). So, I'm not dismissing them as of yet - they have reset their credibility in my eyes, although I'm not willing to label them as 'new and improved' until I see how they fare for the mid terms.

  •  Democrats are tied to leading in GA (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013, TofG, askew, HeyMikey

    and the "media" still trumpets the "Democrats are Doomed" meme?

    Time to find a new "media." Oh yea.

    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 Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:59:42 AM PDT

    •  Kentucky (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      waterstreet2013, TofG, Pale Jenova

      wouldn't be "in play" either if this were truly a Doomed Democrats saga.

      Tenent seems to be a weak candidate in WV, and Corbett in PA = Corzine redux. Otherwise, neither party seems to have a wave; it's an all-politics-is-local year.

      •  Medicaid Expansion is the big change. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TofG, HeyMikey, Pale Jenova

        That unites low income White and Black voters.

        Where the GOP has been getting above 30% of the vote from under $50,000/year households, that's now going to fall.

        How much is the question.

        If this GOP vote grab falls to 20% and especially if it stays at 20% through 2016, they're in more trouble than anyone outside the statistician community has projected. A dozen states go toward the Dems.

        Run women in those states with the low income shift and the Dems could win them all for Senate and take back 25 House seats.

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

        by waterstreet2013 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:23:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Tennant isn't weak (5+ / 0-)

        Capito is just really, really strong. I expect the race to close up as time goes on, but Capito would've been favored against anyone but Joe Manchin. Even Rockefeller would've been a close race.

        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 Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:24:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think Dems will pick up both seats, GA and KY (0+ / 0-)

        We'll snag the GA governor seat as well (let's be optimistic).

        Now, for Wendy Davis in Texas . . .

        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 Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:31:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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