• NY-13: With Tuesday's Democratic primary looming, Siena polled New York's 13th Congressional District and finds Rep. Charlie Rangel leading state Sen. Adriano Espaillat 47-34, with pastor Michael Walrond far back at 7 and Some Dude Yolanda Garcia at 4, leaving 8 percent undecided. A month ago, Rangel had a smaller 41-32 advantage and there were twice as many voters who hadn't made up their minds, so if this latest poll is correct, then that's tough news for Espaillat.
But that's a big "if." Siena does not have a great track record, and believe it or not, they hold the record for the worst poll of all time—wronger even than John McLaughlin's immortal Virginia whiff. In fact, it was a survey of another Democratic primary in New York state, which Siena blew by an amazing 52 points and had no explanation for.
Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results, but it's not easy to poll a primary, especially one with a lot of non-English speakers. (The district is 55 percent Hispanic, though Siena did conduct interviews in Spanish.) So we'll just see what happens tomorrow.
• MS-Sen: Democratic pollster Brad Chism had the most accurate pre-primary survey in Mississippi, but even he pooh-poohed his own recent poll that showed Thad Cochran somehow squeaking into a 1-point lead in Tuesday's runoff. Now he's back in line with everyone else, finding Chris McDaniel ahead 50-44.
Chism seems to think things are actually even worse for Cochran, though, saying that no poll "can fully capture the extent of the backlash among rank and file Republicans to Cochran's tactics," like "stumping for Democratic and union votes" (more on that here). He also warns that Cochran's "assemblage of plutocrats has not gone unnoticed by the populists among McDaniel's base," which sounds like a bit of an echo of Eric Cantor's race.
Oddly, another poll from the pro-McDaniel Tea Party Express, conducted by NSON, actually has Cochran ahead 45-44. Go figure.
• FL-Gov: After toying with his party for much of the cycle—and repeatedly undermining the one guy willing to put his neck on the line—Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson will not run for governor. How do we know? Not because he ever made a definitive statement, but because the filing deadline finally passed on Friday afternoon, and his name ain't on the list. Nelson still isn't endorsing Charlie Crist, though, saying only, "If he's the nominee, I will enthusiastically campaign for him." Considering Crist is a lock, that's an incredibly tetchy remark, but so utterly Nelson.
With that distraction finally interred, Florida Democrats can focus on Crist, who's going to be getting some help from a new source: the state. Crist just announced that he'd opt in to Florida's public financing system, which matches any contributions of $250 or less dollar-for-dollar. It also forces Crist to abide by an overall $25 million spending cap, but presumably his team has done the math and has concluded they'll come out ahead this way, since they already know they'll be badly outspent by GOP Gov. Rick Scott. And the law allows Crist to go over the cap if Scott does (which is all but assured) while still drawing on matching funds.
Interestingly, Democrat Alex Sink declined public money in her 2010 run, fearing attacks from Scott. That must have had her gnashing her teeth, though, after she lost by just 1 percent, so it's a mistake Crist doesn't want to repeat.
• NH-Gov: Suffolk's latest New Hampshire poll also had some gubernatorial numbers, where Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan clears 50 percent in matchups with four different Republicans, none of whom breaks out of the teens.
• PA-Gov: In the first fundraising reports since last month's primary, covering the five weeks that ended June 9, Democratic nominee Tom Wolf outraised GOP Gov. Tom Corbett by a wide margin, $3.5 million to $1.4 million. (Wolf had self-funded $10 million for the primary, but he's indicated that he can't or won't self-fund further, at least, not at that level.) Corbett maintains a cash edge, though, $4.8 million to $3 million.
• WI-Gov: Scott Walker would probably have been smart to wait a week or so in order to make a big TV ad reservation. Now, though, the fact that he just booked $250,000 for a 12-day block of airtime makes it look like he's reacting to that whole "center of a criminal scheme" allegation by prosecutors. But no biggie, right?
Unsurprisingly, Walker's new ad goes negative on Democrat Mary Burke. The spot's conceit involves made-up playing cards getting dealt—face up, weirdly—on green casino felt, with a narrator accusing Burke of "gambl[ing] taxpayer money on dreadful policies" when she served as ex-Gov. Jim Doyle's commerce secretary. (Doyle must still be unpopular, because this isn't the first time Walker's tried to tie Burke to his predecessor.) Cute, but can a card with a sack of cash and an up-arrow reading the word "deficit"—that only takes up 5 percent of the entire screen—actually make much of a visual impact?
• FL-15: Democrat Alan Cohn, a former TV journalist, has released an internal poll from Anzalone Liszt Grove showing him trailing sophomore GOP Rep. Dennis Ross by a relatively close 42-35 margin. The most notable aspect of this survey is that Ross is so far under 50 percent, but Florida's 15th District is decidedly Republican (it went 53-46 for Mitt Romney), so all those undecideds are going to be much friendlier toward the incumbent. Also, Cohn has just $70,000 in the bank compared to almost half a mil for Ross, so he'll need to do a lot of work to get on the radars of any national groups.
• IA-03: David Young, a former chief of staff to Sen. Chuck Grassley, came from behind to win the Republican nomination for Iowa's 3rd Congressional District at a rare party convention on Saturday. Young, who ended primary night all the way back in fifth, defeated first-place finisher Brad Zaun, a state senator who led until the convention's fifth and final ballot. Young seemed to secure his victory by being the universal second choice among delegates, which eventually put him over the top.
With his coffers drained, he'll now go on to face Democrat Staci Appel, a former state senator who has almost half a million in the bank. This race became very competitive when GOP Rep. Tom Latham unexpectedly decided to retire, and at 51-47 Obama, the district is very evenly divided. This contest will be hotly contested by both sides, and we currently rate it a Tossup.
• KS-04: Ex-Rep. Todd Tiahrt got a late start in waging his comeback bid against the guy who succeeded him, fellow Republican Mike Pompeo, and so it's not surprising that he finds himself in a deep hole. According to SurveyUSA, Pompeo holds a 51-34 lead on Tiahrt, which of course means that even if Tiahrt could somehow scoop up all the undecideds, he'd still trail.
Tiahrt's also tried to sell himself as the more conservative alternative, even though that's belied by the candidates' voting records, and indeed, Pompeo has an even stronger 57-30 advantage with self-identified "conservative" voters (who make up 65 percent of the electorate). Tiahrt has until Aug. 5 to turn things around, but it won't be easy.
• WV-03: In a new ad, Republican Evan Jenkins plays up resentment to the max, insisting that "If Barack Obama had his way, none of this would exist," as he stands in front of an active mine. "Coal would be out of business, and so would West Virginia." Jenkins continues the theme, saying that "our proud way of life" is "under attack, but worth fighting for."
But what's most interesting is that he then says that "it's not party labels that matter—it's this one," as the camera focuses on a West Virginia license plate. It's pretty remarkable that a Republican running in a district as conservative as this one is running away from his own party, though it's worth noting this is ancestrally Democratic turf. The size of the buy is just $37,000.
• HI-Sen: Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa lists no fewer than seven priorities of hers, while even more flash in text on screen.
• OK-Sen-B: The Foundation for Economic Prosperity runs another Tom Coburn-themed ad to hammer T.W. Shannon and praise his GOP primary rival, James Lankford.
• AZ-Gov: Republican Scott Smith touts his record as a job creator in the private sector and as a cost-cutter as mayor of Mesa.
• NM-Gov: The RGA accuses Democrat Gary King of failing to stop Medicaid fraud as attorney general.
• NH-01: A PAC called New Hampshire Priorities says that Republican Dan Innis is not a "career politician," but there's zero red meat here for a GOP primary, which is what Innis faces.
• NY-22: The pro-gay marriage American Unity PAC once again steps up for Republican Rep. Richard Hanna, this time with a spot featuring Rudy Giuliani singing Hanna's praises.
• California: A little while ago, we observed that the results of California's 2012 top-two primary were very bad at predicting what would happen in November. Over at Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende analyzes the 2012 primary even further.
Trende finds that the total number of Democrats and Republicans on the primary ballot, the presence of independent candidates, and the district's Hispanic Citizen Voting Age population all played a role in determining how much Democrats increased their share of the vote in November. As Trende points out, there's still a lot we don't know about the top-two, especially with 2014 being the first time its ever been tested in a midterm. However, the piece is a good reminder that the June results may not be very useful in telling us what will happen in November. (Jeff Singer)
• Fundraising: The May numbers are in for the four big party committees: