9:05 AM PT: PA-Gov: Is there any way Gov. Tom Corbett hasn't already been triaged by national Republicans? Franklin and Marshall College finds him trailing Democratic nominee Tom Wolf by a 47-25 margin, which is where you might expect to see a challenger just starting out in an odd-numbered year, not an incumbent five months from Election Day. Indeed, except for a PPP poll conducted a year-and-a-half ago, Corbett's never even made it out of the 30s. There's just not much more to say here.
9:55 AM PT: IL-10: A new poll from Harper Polling for the American Action Network, a pro-GOP establishment group, finds ex-Rep. Bob Dold! leading freshman Democrat Brad Schneider 42-39. The poll also says that Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn trails Republican businessman Bruce Rauner 49-37 in the district, and that even Barack Obama's approvals are under water at 44-46. If you're inclined to believe these numbers, they're awfully pessimistic for Team Blue, and Schneider's argle-bargle response doesn't inspire much confidence.
But here's a little something that the AAN was undoubtedly hoping no one would remember. Last year, Harper also surveyed the 10th on behalf of the NRCC and found Dold ahead 44-39. Sure, it's just a couple of points, but that still means Dold's trendlines are negative or flat at best, something Harper's memo naturally declines to mention.
10:15 AM PT: MS-Sen: Gasoline poured, matches at the ready. A conservative group called True the Vote has now filed a lawsuit trying to overturn the results of Mississippi's GOP Senate runoff, claiming, of course, that Democratic primary voters impermissibly cast votes in the Republican contest. Loser Chris McDaniel has expressed his support for the suit, even though he once voted in a Democratic primary himself, back in 2003. This could really wind a real fiery mess.
Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, under fire for blocking public access to state records documenting the location of dangerous chemicals, said Texans still have a right to find out where the substances are stored — as long as they know which companies to ask.That's just awesome. Think about all the unnecessary regulations we could eliminate if only we adopted Abbott's way of thinking!
"You know where they are if you drive around," Abbott told reporters Tuesday. "You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not. You can ask them if they do, and they can tell you, well, we do have chemicals or we don't have chemicals, and if they do, they tell which ones they have."
- What are the ingredients in that yogurt you're eating? Just drive around to Chobani and ask! If you haven't been poisoned first!
- Are there any side-effects for your heart medication? Just drive around to Pfizer and find out! Hopefully you aren't already experiencing palpitations!
- Is there supposed to be a stop sign at the end of this street? Just drive around to city hall and see what they say! If you make it!
11:13 AM PT: DLCC: The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has unveiled what they're calling their "Flip Chart"—a list of Republican-held legislative chambers which the DLCC thinks it can either pick up or make gains in. Eight close chambers make their top-priority "Emerging Majorities" list, while another nine that are less competitive are listed as "Chambers to Watch." The state Senates in Washington and New York don't appear anywhere, but that seems to be a technicality, because Democrats hold majorities in both but renegade Democrats have handed control to the GOP in both cases.
11:54 AM PT: TN-04: It's certainly seemed like GOP Rep. Scott DesJarlais has been dead congressman walking for quite some time, not least because his fundraising's dried up and his challenger in the Aug. 7 primary, state Sen. Jim Tracy, has been raking in big bucks. But the one thing we haven't seen is any polling, until now. A group with the too-good-to-be-true name of Citizens for Ethics in Government is actually supporting the incumbent, and they say they've got numbers from an outfit called Right Way Marketing that put DesJarlais up 45-20 on Tracy.
Tracy's campaign refused to comment on the poll, saying it lacked "legitimacy," but they also declined to provide alternative numbers of their own. And he even started advertising several weeks ago, so hrm ....
12:00 PM PT: MA-Gov: I guess you could call it Grossmentum? State Treasurer Steve Grossman has released an internal poll from the Global Strategy Group showing him down by a seriously hefty 47-24 margin to state Attorney General Martha Coakley in the Democratic primary for governor, but the idea here is that he's improved from an even more awful 51-16 spread last October. Are numbers like these really going to impress anyone?
12:31 PM PT: Media Markets: Campaign advertising has already reached avalanche levels this year, but where are ads piling up the deepest? The Washington Post's Reid Wilson has compiled a list of the five media markets have seen the most ad spending in the first half of the year, and the surprise at the top is Denver. That's thanks to not only to Colorado's competitive Senate race but also the hotly contested battle for the state's 6th Congressional District. (Wilson's figures includes future ad reservations as well.)
Denver is followed by Tampa—mostly because of the adpocalypse related to the 13th District special election earlier this year—then Detroit, Anchorage, and Little Rock, each of which are in states with top Senate races. Wilson's rankings are based on the total number of dollars, though; if you factor in how expensive each market is, the thickest ad density has to be in dirt-cheap Anchorage, not populous-and-pricey Denver.
Indeed, the world of media buying is an arcane and complicated one, even when thinking about statewide races, and even more so when thinking about what markets overlap which congressional districts. To help make that a little easier, we've created a helpful guide that you'll want to bookmark.
Our database details which media markets are found in each state and each district as well as the reverse—that is, which states and districts are found in each market. We also go one step further, breaking everything down by percentage. Just as an example, now you can know that all of Alabama's 1st District is in the Mobile market, but the larger Mobile market is almost evenly split between Alabama's 1st and Florida's 1st, just over the border. (Mobile's market also encompasses little bits and pieces of three other districts.)
There are a few other details to be aware of. Even though it's heavily targeted with ad dollars, we don't include Alaska in our analysis, since the state's three media markets (Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau) don't have hard-and-fast boundaries the way they do in the lower 48; in fact, most of the state, geographically speaking, doesn't fall in any media market at all.
And you might observe that in Washington, D.C. isn't included in the district-to-market tab, but it is included in the market-to-district tab. That's because if you advertise for a race in state or district covered by the Washington market, you're still paying to reach those 600,000 people in D.C. proper, regardless of their disenfranchisement.
Like we said, it's complex. But if you keep our spreadsheet handy, it'll help you make sense of all the political advertising destined to come our way this year. (David Jarman & David Nir)
12:52 PM PT: NC-Sen: You'd think that North Carolina Republicans, eager to defeat Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, would try to smooth the way for state House Speaker Thom Tillis as much possible, but nope. Shortly after winning the GOP nomination in May, Tillis had to head back to the capitol in Raleigh to preside over a new legislative session—one that's still dragging on as we speak. Remarkably, Republicans leaders in the state Senate have sandbagged the House's budget, hammering it for relying on "gimmicks."
The criticisms are correct on the merits, but surely handing Tillis a nice clean victory and letting him get back out on the campaign trail ought to be more important to his fellow Republicans, no? Yet that's evidently not the case; hell, one Republican senator even said he thought Tillis should have been spending more time on legislative matters. The longer this goes on, the worse it'll get for Tillis, as polling has shown him heading south while lawmakers are in session. Hagan has to be counting her lucky stars—and smiling.
1:15 PM PT: KS-Gov: This isn't strictly electoral, but if you want to understand why Kansas is burning, this piece from the New York Times' Josh Barro explaining the devastating effects that GOP Gov. Sam Brownback's extreme tax cuts have had on the state's coffers is excellent reading. Thanks to these fundamentally crazy cuts, Kansas' revenues have fallen far short of expectations (just 56 percent of projections in April and May, for instance), further reductions in spending on priorities like education are all but assured.
And it doesn't help that Brownback recently referred to his efforts as a "real live experiment." Treating Kansans as though they're just unenlightened subjects in a sadistic test dreamed up by glibertarian college Republicans on an all-night Ayn Rand bender is not going over well, which explains why Brownback's doing so terribly in the polls. A measure of sanity may yet be restored to Brownbackistan.
1:42 PM PT: Maryland: Here's an excellent piece of historical trivia that political junkies will appreciate. User David T., a denizen of the Alternate History Discussion Board, describes in detail the career of segregationist Maryland Democrat George P. Mahoney, who lost nine separate bids for governor and senator between 1950 and 1970 but managed to have a serious impact on the outcome at least half a dozen times. Most famously, the racist Mahoney eked out a narrow plurality win in the 1966 Democratic gubernatorial primary, appalling mainstream Democrats who then voted en masse to elect none other than Spiro Agnew in the general election. But Mahoney screwed things up for Democrats on many more occasions—click through for more on his "remarkable" career.
It's another example of how Obamacare infringes on the liberties of all Arkansans. Barack Obama and Mark Pryor think that faith is something that only happens at 11:00 on Sunday mornings. That's when we worship but faith is what we live every single day. And the government shouldn't infringe on the rights of religious liberty. So I'm pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling but it's just another example of why Obamacare is bad for Arkansas.Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, who is well-known for being very religious, responded by accusing Cotton of questioning his faith, but Cotton is refusing to back down. Weirdly, Cotton even defended Pryor's piety last year when the NRSC launched a very similar attack. There's really no percentage in trying to denigrate a man's religiosity, so what on earth is Cotton trying to accomplish?
2:22 PM PT: MI-03: In a scathing new ad for Republican businessman Brian Ellis, a Marine veteran attacks GOP Rep. Justin Amash for his dovish views on military and intelligence affairs, such as his support for closing Guantanamo and, referring to the NSA's voracious data-gathering, his vote to "shut down American intelligence for monitoring terrorists." He then repeats an incendiary quote from another Republican congressman, California Rep. Devin Nunes, who described Amash back in May as "Al Qaeda's best friend in the Congress."
Amash has struggled to defend himself against these assaults, since his brand of doctrinaire libertarianism doesn't typically play well in Republican primaries. All he could say in response is that members of the military "don't support unconstitutional NSA spying on ordinary Americans" or "unwise, open-ended wars." Even if there's some sense in which he's not full of it, what matters is whether GOP voters at large—and not just the veterans he claims to have spoken with—agree with Amash.
2:43 PM PT: Ads: A new FCC mandate that just went into effect this month now requires all TV stations to post all political ad buys online (many stations were previously exempt), giving us much more insight into campaign spending. The Sunlight Foundation is helping everyone to keep track of it all with their excellent Political Ad Sleuth, which is worth a bookmark. And on a related note, Nathan Gonzales points out that when party committees and super PACs publicly announce ad reservations via press release (in order to get around anti-co-ordination rules), they don't necessarily follow through immediately if at all, so just exercise skepticism whenever you see reports about reservations.
• AR-Sen: The conservative Government Integrity Fund is reportedly going up with six-week, $1.1 million buy on behalf of GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, while the National Education Association is spending $430,000 to boost Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor over the next two weeks. The spots are not available yet.
• NC-Sen: Crossroads GPS attacks Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan on Obamacare with some cheesy animation, claiming it's hurt jobs.
• AZ-Gov: Republican Doug Ducey promises to be as hawkish as possible in cracking down on immigration.
• AL-06, GA-01: The Club for Growth wastes several seconds quoting John Adams before attacking GOP state Rep. Paul DeMarco as a tax and debt hiker. The buy is $255,000. The Club is also spending $359,000 on Georgia state Sen. Buddy Carter, another Republican, but the spot is not online.
2:48 PM PT: CO-Gov: Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez has emerged from the GOP primary almost broke, with just $35,000 cash-on-hand. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, meanwhile, has $579,000 in the bank after raising over $3.1 million for the cycle. If his cash total looks "low," that's because he's already reserved nearly $1.4 million in fall advertising time, locking in lower rates than Beauprez will be able to get.
2:52 PM PT: NY-24: Attorney John Katko, who wound up as the GOP nominee against Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei after all of the NRCC's top recruits declined, has posted a surprisingly strong fundraising quarter. Katko says he raised $329,000 and has $357,000 on hand, though there's no word on whether any of that might be self-funded. Maffei has yet to report his totals.