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State Legislatures: Governing magazine's excellent Louis Jacobson has just published his first analysis of potentially flippable state legislative chambers for 2014, identifying 17 in total as either tossups or leaning toward one party or the other. That's a low number compared to recent cycles, but it's also tough news for Democrats, who are defending 11 competitive chambers compared to just six for Republicans. In the seven cycles that Governing has provided these ratings, the only other year that was so lopsided was 2010, when Democrats got absolutely pummeled. You can find Jacobson's complete ratings at the link.


MS-Sen: One more poll from Chism Strategies puts Chris McDaniel up on Thad Cochran in Tuesday's GOP runoff 52-44 (up a touch from 50-44 late last week). McDaniel should have this one in the bag, unless this is one of those "all the polling's wrong" kind of races. No reason to believe that it is, though, and plenty of reasons to believe it's right.

OK-Sen-B: Oklahoma's primary is Tuesday, and we've got a pair of final polls of the GOP contest for Sen. Tom Coburn's Senate seat. Oddly, both are from (on behalf of different media clients), and the more recent of the two shows Rep. James Lankford leading former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon 43-35. That's up a bit from a poll taken immediately prior that had Lankford ahead 41-38. Lankford's led in all but one public survey, but unless he's in the midst of a late surge and can clear the 50 percent mark, the race will likely continue on to an Aug. 26 runoff.


CO-Gov: This strange New York Times article is devoted to explaining how Colorado Republicans are afraid that incendiary ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo, long known for his extreme xenophobic zealotry, might win the party's primary for governor on Tuesday. But the final two paragraphs reveal an utterly buried lede, which is that Tancredo, after enduring a multi-pronged assault in recent weeks, admits he's all but given up. He hasn't aired any response ads, he's dialed back his campaigning, and he even says, "It's all pretty much over." What little polling there was had Tancredo with small leads, but there's been nothing new for a month, so it may indeed be lights out for the Tank.

KY-Gov: It's hard to see what kind of appeal he'd have considering he got blasted 60 to 35 by Mitch McConnell in last month's primary, but businessman Matt Bevin isn't ruling out a bid for governor next year. Former Louisville Councilman Hal Heiner is already in the race, and state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is a likely entrant. Former ambassador Cathy Bailey is another possibility. This could just be a feint from Bevin, though, who may be more interested in maintaining his public profile in anticipation of a second run for Senate, if Rand Paul doesn't seek re-election in 2016.

ME-Gov, -02: A new poll from the University of New Hampshire for the Portland Press Herald finds Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud leading GOP Gov. Paul LePage 40-36, with independent attorney Eliot Cutler, as per usual, far back at 15. This is UNH's first survey of the race, but it's in line with the bulk of other polling that has given Michaud small but consistent leads since last year. Michaud is the ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and his opponents have tried to attack him over the scandal at the VA, but it doesn't appear to have had an impact.

UNH also tested the race for Michaud's open seat in Maine's 2nd District, but they wound up with a shabby sample size of 222—well below the bare minimum of 300 that might qualify this as an acceptable poll. Democrat Emily Cain leads Republican Bruce Poliquin 44-39, but it's very hard to trust numbers like this. And this is definitely no Democratic-leaning poll: GOP Sen. Susan Collins leads her Democratic challenger, Shenna Bellows, by an amazing 72-17 margin. I'm not sure I've ever seen results like that outside of a primary.


CA-15: In a big break for freshman Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, Republican Hugh Bussell narrowly beat out state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, another Democrat, for the second slot in the November general election. Swalwell will now be the overwhelming favorite to secure another term in this dark blue district whereas Corbett would have posed a greater challenge. However, she ran a strange campaign that was as ugly as it was desultory, and Swalwell would likely have beaten her, too.

It's moot now, though, so we're changing our rating on this race from "Likely Swalwell" (when we believed it would be a Swalwell-Corbett matchup) to Safe Democrat.

CO-05: Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn goes negative against retired Air Force Major General Bentley Rayburn ahead of Tuesday's GOP primary with one of the most ridiculous ads I've ever seen. The narrator hits the unelected Rayburn for doing nothing to repeal Obamacare, which makes zero sense even in context. It's kind of a shame the primary's so soon—with more time, Rayburn could remind voters that he's been just as successful as Lamborn in actually repealing Obamacare. (Jeff Singer)

MI-11: A new poll from Target-Insyght for MIRS finds more than half of the Democratic primary electorate hasn't yet made up its mind. Physician Anil Kumar leads 2006 MI-09 candidate Nancy Skinner 21-14, with former State Department official Bobby McKenzie (the DCCC's choice) at 7 and LaRouchie Bill Roberts at 5. Kumar's been in the race the longest and has raised more than twice what McKenzie has, so the results aren't terribly surprising, especially since no one's gone on the air yet. (The primary's not until Aug. 5.) The winner will take on either Rep. Kerry Bentivolio or his GOP primary opponent, attorney Dave Trott.

NH-02: The Club for Growth has chosen sides in the three-way GOP primary in New Hampshire's 2nd, endorsing state Rep. Marilinda Garcia over former state Sen. Gary Lambert and former state Rep. Jim Lawrence. The Club's entry is likely good news for Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster, as their endorsees tend to be less electable (think Bill Sali). If the Club actually lifts a finger or two to help Garcia, that's a boon for Kuster even if she's not the nominee, since primaries where the Club gets involved often turn into nasty affairs.

NY-13: With Tuesday's Democratic primary upon us, Barack Obama won't be endorsing Rep. Charlie Rangel for re-election. Considering the president also declined to do so in 2010 and 2012, though, this is hardly a surprise. Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose level of interest in helping anyone other than himself can only be measured with an electron microscope, actually did decide to endorse Rangel on Sunday. I'm sure the congressman is thrilled.

WV-02: The mostly moribund Blue Dogs (they've had no website updates since February) have managed to crank out one new endorsement, for former West Virginia Democratic Party chair Nick Casey. Casey's running for his state's open 2nd District, conservative turf that went for Mitt Romney 60-38.

Grab Bag:


MT-Sen: Republican Rep. Steve Daines' new spot features a female veteran accusing Democratic Sen. John Walsh of doing nothing to protect female service members while he was in charge of the state National Guard. Walsh has his own ad with another female veteran defending Walsh.

OK-Sen-B: Rep. James Lankford reminds voters yet again that he's a solid conservative ahead of Tuesday's primary.

AZ-Gov: Are you an Arizonan who dreams about hearing former GoDaddy executive Christine Jones run through a ton of vague conservative talking points? Then I have wonderful news: Jones is spending a hefty $500,000 on this minute-long ad. It's boring and unmemorable, which still makes it better than any of GoDaddy's Super Bowl commercials.

FL-Gov: Rick Scott's Let's Get to Work committee continues to portray Democrat Charlie Crist as an anti-education zealot.

RI-Gov: Democrat Clay Pell talks jobs in his new spot, combining the issue with infrastructure and political corruption.

(Jeff Singer)

Maps: If you're like me, the book you'd most like to find in your Christmas stocking is the gorgeous Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts: 1789-1983, which contains maps, colored by results, going back to the dawn of the country. Of course, you'd need a very large stocking, given its size, and also a very rich Santa, considering that it's long out of print and will cost you, as of today, at least $158, so it's just something to drool over in a good library's map room.

Or you might strike it off your wish list, because now the next-best thing is available: an interactive animation showing each cycle's congressional map between 1918 and 2012. It lacks the 19th century, of course, but it makes up for it with the now-traditional red/blue color scheme, direct access to the last thirty years' worth of data, and most importantly, the ability to see the evolution of the nation's from a north/south split to more of an urban/rural split at one glance. (The original page is currently overwhelmed, but the Washington Post has reproduced the map in GIF form.) (David Jarman)

President-by-LD: Stephen Wolf brings us interactive maps of Illinois and Oklahoma, visualizing the results of the 2012 presidential election by state legislative district. You can find his previous maps here.

There's a lot of interesting things to see in both states. Oklahoma Democrats have suffered a lot of defeats in the last few cycles, going from the majority to a superminority in both chambers in less than 10 years. However, Team Blue still has pockets of strength in very conservative areas. In Illinois, local Democrats also have a good deal of support in the very conservative Little Egypt area, while Republicans are still hanging onto several light blue House districts all over the state. (Jeff Singer)

Primaries: Tuesday is our last big primary night for a while but we have a lot of exciting races on tap, so check out our primary preview running down what to watch. This will be the first set of primaries since House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's still shocking defeat, and several incumbents look like they could be at risk of joining him on the casualty list. (Jeff Singer)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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