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Leading Off:

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.

Grab Bag:


AR-Sen: A bunch of regular Arkansans praise Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor for his work when he was state attorney general and for "tak[ing] on President Obama." They don't appear to be actors; rather, this seems to be an example of using weaker production values (for instance, mics are sometimes visible) to convey authenticity. Separately, the previous day's Senate Majority PAC buy has clocked in at $400,000.

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:

DCCC: $7.3 million raised, $45.9 million cash-on-hand

NRCC: $6 million raised, $35.2 million cash-on-hand

DSCC $8.3 million raised, $28.1 million cash-on-hand

NRSC: $5.8 million raised, $22.1 million cash-on-hand

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  what are the State primaries tomorrow? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pilotshark, Cadillac64

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

    by MartyM on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 06:13:43 AM PDT

  •  Both of them suck. (7+ / 0-)

    Either way, Harlem is going to have a shitty politician. No question that it will be a reliably Democratic vote in Congress, but as far as constituent services and bringing home the bacon goes, both of them will suck.

    This is the key problem in these black and/or hispanic districts across the country. The seats are far too safe and attract the worst. Especially here in New York. I see it in my old district big time where Yvette Clarke finally managed to push out the useless and lethargic Major Owens, only after a few terms becoming useless and lethargic herself. In my new district we finally got rid of the assmunch that was Ed Towns for a significant improvement with Hakeem Jeffries. He's out writing new bills every month and they are relevant. He just recently got voice vote approval to shift $10 million in defense funds from procurement to healthcare. Well done.

    But a great deal of these others are essentially sitting on their asses and travelling the world on CODELs. With such safe seats, Democrats should demand a lot better from these folks.

    •  This is one reason why gerrymandering to create... (4+ / 0-)

      This is one reason why gerrymandering to create majority minority districts is terrible. Another is that they attract candidates who don't need to broaden their appeal and this aren't geared towards state level races. Can you imagine Major Owens running for governor?

    •  paraphrasing Franklin (4+ / 0-)

      we get the government (in large part) that we deserve. Or, more current, Cleaver:  part of solution or part of problem.

       I know there's this "one size fits all" push for term limits, but the real need is for grassroots community pressure and for policy people to run for office.
      Our current crop of leaders need us to get (and then every 2 or 4 or 6 years to stay) elected.  Otherwise, we are a remembrance of things past.  We have to make ourselves relevant between elections, and if we don't keep their feet, or their asses, to the fire, we are the ones eventually burned.  And, yeah, it seems all too often that we end of with 2 bad or weak choices, and the lesser of 2 evils.  

    •  Both of them do suck (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cadillac64, Jacob1145

      but Rangel probably sucks worse at this point. At least Espillat doesn't have a cloud of corruption and a censure on his record...yet.
      This is mostly the same district that elected Pedro Espada to the State Senate a few years back. Of course, the alternative was Efrain Gonzalez, who was running for re-election even though he had already been convicted of embezzlement and fraud.  In hindsight, Gonzalez was probably the better choice.
      The fact that Cuomo just endorsed Rangel is enough for me to want an Espillat win.
      I have nothing against long serving politicians if they are doing good work, but Rangel has become is own self-parody.

      •  Bill Perkins is the State Senator (3+ / 0-)

        for the heart of the district, and while it has become majority Latino in population (because of rapid population growth in Washington Heights), most of the registered and likely voters are still majority black.

        We been trying to get Bill Perkins to challenge rangel for years, but he's worried it might divide the black vote, which is an understandable concern. Still, he'd be a notable improvement over anything we are currently being offered, no matter which end of the district one lives.

        •  It makes the internal party process (0+ / 0-)

          that much more important. The city districts are not the result of gerrymandering. There is nothing that can be done to make them more competitive in the general. This means the primaries must be real and competitive and that means opening up the internal party process that generally decides who the candidates will be. The challenge to Rangel and the other recent challenges you mentioned (i.e. Towns/Jeffries) are GOOD and must be repeated at the state level as well.

          "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

          by Andrew C White on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:41:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I've been here for so long that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brooklynbadboy, Cadillac64

      I had Ed Towns. I found him to be much more communicative then Yvette. Lucky for me, I was redistricted into Nydia's district.   She was picking up the slack for Towns and Clarke anyway so she deserves to get paid for it. Now those three VRA districts converge in southern Brooklyn and I wonder how accepting Sheepshead Bay and Marine Park will be with Clarke if she is as inattentive to them as she was to us.

  •  I was a participant in that Siena poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they called at about 3:00 on a weekday afternoon on my land line, if that means anything.

    I find it hard to believe that Rangel is suddenly so far ahead of Espillat. This district was redrawn in '10, and it is for more Hispanic than Rangel's old district.
    I don't think voters in this new district have all that much an affinity for Rangel, they have no particular history with him and Espillat been working very hard to win this, so I find it very puzzling...I guess we will find out tomorrow.

    I miss my old Rep. Elliott Engel.

  •  Charlie Rangel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew C White, WisVoter

    doesn't forget to remind voters his dad was Puerto Rican - so the demographics of this district in terms of ethnicity may not predict a complete Latino sweep for Adriano Espaillat - given long standing hostility between some Dominicans and Puerto Ricans - even though Sienna shows Espaillat with the majority of Latino votes.

    The 13th district comprises Upper Manhattan and a small portion of the western Bronx. The district includes the neighborhoods of Harlem, Inwood, Marble Hill, Spanish Harlem, Washington Heights, Morningside Heights and portions of the Upper West Side. The Apollo Theater, Columbia University, and Grant's Tomb are located within this district.

    My guess is the white vote is from Inwood, parts of Morningside Heights and the Upper West Side.

    Race Demographics     13th Congressional District     Rank     New York     US

    Race - Black or African American     30.4%    
    Race - American Indian or Alaska Native     0.6%     7th     1.0%     1.2%
    Race - Asian     5.1%    
    Race - Two or More     5.7%    
    Race - Hispanic or Latino     54.6%    
    Race - White, not Hispanic or Latino     12.5%

    I don't like either candidate - but I no longer live there so am simply an interested observer.

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:10:23 AM PDT

  •  Nobody knows who's going to vote in MS (0+ / 0-)

    The lower the turnout in general, the harder it is to know who's actually going to vote, so primaries and special elections aren't as easy to poll accurately as higher turnout, regular, elections.  In this case, added on top of the fact that you have a much-reduced baseline electorate, you have the opposite dynamic that this has become a high-intensity election for all sorts of different subsets of the electorate.  But because the intensity is selective, that doesn't make the result an electorate closer to regular, higher turnout, electorates in MS, it just creates a unique and unpredictable electorate.

    The basic problem is that polls sample a very limited slice of the electorate.  The more stable and predictable, and more studied, the electorate -- and the maximum for all those characteristics is the presidential electorate -- the more reliable the polling.  Even in presidential elections, there's no guarantee that the polling universe is going to remain in a stable relationship to the voting universe, but at least we do have a long-term history of observing that particular beast as it has shown up every four years at the polls.  This beast for this MS primary is a new beast.  Don't be surprised if no one is quite sure how it will behave.

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:50:22 AM PDT

  •  For AZ gov, an outfit called, Conservative (0+ / 0-)

    Leadership for Arizona, was running a TV ad about Scott Walker endorsing Doug Ducey in the republican primary for governor.  This was before Scotty's criminal scheme problem.  I haven't seen the ad since, LOL!

    Sorry, I don't know how to imbed video.

  •  RGA is afraid of Gary King (0+ / 0-)

    They know that Susanna Martinez is a loser and they are attacking King early and often.

    If Money is Speech, Speech isn't Free! I wonder what it is about that that Antonin Scalia cannot understand?

    by NM Ray on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 08:51:53 AM PDT

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