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Leading Off:

MI-Gov, -Sen: PPP's new Michigan survey is at once very similar to most polls we've seen from the state lately and also quite different. In the Senate race, PPP sees Democrat Gary Peters leading Republican Terri Lynn Land 41-36, the same margin that almost every other firm has come up with over the past few months, and in fact identical to the score PPP itself found back in April.

However, their gubernatorial numbers are much more optimistic for Democrat Mark Schauer than any he's had in a long time. PPP has Schauer tied at 40 apiece with GOP Gov. Rick Snyder, which is not only an improvement from Snyder's 43-39 lead last time but also the first time (apart from one outlier Clarity poll) that Schauer hasn't trailed in over a year. So what gives?

Well, as longtime observers know, Michigan is home to a lot of crummy pollsters, so it's hard to trust a lot of the data that comes out of the Wolverine State. It's also worth noting that Michigan is the first and so far only state that the DGA has seriously contested early on, spending $1.9 million to date and reserving $6 million more in fall TV time. The RGA has run ads here, too, but they've relied on incredibly dumb spots that make a stupid pun based on Schauer's last name. And Snyder's advertising has just been bewildering.

So perhaps this race is closer now that it's been for a while, or perhaps PPP just came up with a very Democratic-friendly sample. If you dig further down, you'll see that Democrats have a wide 48-34 lead on the generic legislative ballot, which would likely be enough for the party to retake the state House if it holds—and if it's accurate. Accuracy is the big question, of course, so let's see what other polls look like in the weeks ahead. Hopefully we'll get some reliable ones.

2Q Fundraising:

NH-Sen: The season of quarterly fundraising leaks has begun, and Republican Scott Brown is starting us off, with an unnamed "source close to Brown" claiming he raised $2 million.

AZ-Gov: Fred DuVal, the only Democrat running in Arizona's governor's race, leads the entire field in cash-on-hand with $1.1 million. Republican Doug Ducey has $1 million but he faces a multi-way primary. Figures for everyone else at the link.

MA-Gov (June): Charlie Baker (R): $400,000 raised, $1 million cash-on-hand; Martha Coakley (D): $173,000 raised, $490,000 cash-on-hand; Steve Grossman (D): $151,000 raised, $932,000 cash-on-hand; Don Berwick (D): $163,000 raised, $225,000 cash-on-hand


LA-Sen, -Gov: PPP's new Louisiana survey offers some better news for Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu compared to nearly all the polling so far this year, which has shown her trailing GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy. PPP instead has the two tied at 47, but things still aren't great, because that small group of undecideds voted for Mitt Romney by a 61-20 margin and give Landrieu just a 14-65 job approval rating.

The tricky thing here, though, is that it's hard to accurately model what a December runoff would look like, and that's almost certainly what we'll get. (Landrieu leads Cassidy in the November jungle primary, 44-27, with a couple of other Republicans pulling in single digits.) Rather famously, Landrieu pulled off an upset in the 2002 runoff, when black voters unexpectedly turned out in greater proportion than they had a month earlier. And of course, the recent Mississippi GOP runoff, where overall turnout (including, again, among African Americans) shot up is just the latest example to show how tricky it is to get a handle on second-round affairs. But Landrieu will still need a lot of luck to prevail.

PPP also asked about next year's open-seat race for governor, which of course will feature yet another electorate still, so these super early numbers are especially prone to change. But GOP Sen. David Vitter leads in all head-to-head matchups, though he's up just 48-44 on Democrat Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans, and 40-34 on fellow Republican Jay Dardenne, the current lieutenant governor. PPP didn't include a kitchen-sink primary question, but Vitter and Landrieu would almost certainly be their party's respective front-runners.

MS-Sen: So Chris McDaniel's still trying to undo the results of last month's election by looking for evidence of voters who cast ballots in the Democratic primary then impermissibly voted in the Republican runoff as well. McDaniel claims he's found some 1,500 "invalid" votes (Thad Cochran won by almost 7,000), and he may be gearing up to file a legal challenge.

The good news for McDaniel, as Joseph Lenski rather impressively points out, is that a similar challenge once worked in Alabama back in 1986. Lt. Gov. Bill Baxley successfully argued that state Attorney General Charles Graddick won the Democratic runoff for governor by encouraging Republican primary voters to illegally vote for him. (Even the margin was similar: Graddick had prevailed by about 8,800 votes.) The Democratic Party then awarded the nomination to Baxley, but the backlash was fierce, and voters elected Guy Hunt, who until then hadn't been taken seriously, as the state's first Republican governor since Reconstruction.

Democrats would be thrilled if Mississippi Republicans self-immolated in a similar manner, though that seems unlikely, and the repercussions wouldn't be as severe as they were back when Alabama was teetering on the brink of turning red forever. But in a twist that's almost too ironic to bear, Baxley's challenge was predicated on a claim that Graddick, in his role as attorney general, had impermissibly tried to change the state's anti-crossover rules without getting preclearance from the Department of Justice, in violation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

That's the same section of the VRA that the Supreme Court ruled was unconstitutional just last year. It was a terrible ruling, of course, but it would be quite something if it winds up hurting McDaniel, who undoubtedly cheered it on at the time.


CO-Gov: Rasmussen: John Hickenlooper (D-inc): 44, Bob Beauprez (R): 44.

ME-Gov: Just a great headline:

LePage denies he discussed 'executing' Maine Democratic leaders
NM-Gov: An internal poll for Republican Gov. Susana Martinez from Public Opinion Strategies finds her leading Democratic Attorney General Gary King 54-38. That's very similar to a recent survey for the New Mexico GOP that had Martinez up 53-40.


MI-11: An internal poll of the Aug. 5 GOP primary in Michigan's 11th District for foreclosure attorney Dave Trott finds him leading Rep. Kerry Bentivolio 33 to 19. A May poll from the same firm, National Research, had Bentivolio ahead 23-22.

Other Races:

CA Controller: Vote counting in California's extraordinarily close primary for controller has finally concluded, leaving state Board of Equalization member Betty Yee just 484 votes ahead of Assemblyman John Perez, a fellow Democrat, for the crucial second slot. (Republican Ashley Swearengin, the mayor of Fresno, has a wide lead for first.)

But since the difference between the two is just .02 percent, Perez may seek a recount, so we might not know the actual results for some time. On election night, it looked for a while as though Democrats might get shut out of the general election entirely, but that awful scenario's been avoided, and whichever Democrat emerges will be a heavy favorite over Swearengin in the fall.

Montgomery Mayor: Former Rep. Artur Davis rather infamously abandoned his party and abandoned his state, but apparently life as a Republican in Northern Virginia isn't quite suiting him, so ArturD2 now says he's planning to back to Alabama to run for mayor of Montgomery next year. The seat may be open if incumbent Todd Strange doesn't seek re-election, and while mayoral elections are non-partisan, Strange is a Republican, so in theory that doesn't preclude Davis from winning.

But Montgomery is also majority African American, and black voters utterly deserted Davis in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, after Davis turned his back on Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act. So if he wants to return to anyone's good graces, he'll have a lot of work to do. Given all the bile Davis has spewed toward Democrats over the past several years, though, those bridges seem unmendable.

Grab Bag:

Ads: Whew! No more T.W. Shannon spots, thank god!

GA-Sen: That ad from Citizens for a Working America we mentioned in the previous Digest (backed by a $500,000 buy) is now available. It's a 15-second spot that claims "Palestinian Khalid Satary," a "convicted felon," has "funneled $80,000 to Jack Kingston's campaign."

FL-Gov: The Florida Democratic Party attacks GOP Gov. Rick Scott for cutting $1.3 billion from education.

HI-Gov: Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie touts his support for education. The spot also mentions an issue that's gained increasing currency in Democratic circles, universal pre-K.

AZ-01: A narrator cites various conservative nostrums as Republican businessman and rancher Gary Kiehne lassos a bovine on horseback, saying only he can "rein in" Washington.

WA-04: Republican Dan Newhouse's narrator touts his agricultural background and declares, "The federal government can't grow our crops, and it certainly shouldn't tell us how to raise our families."

Crossroads: American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, the Gog and Magog of Republican politics, are reportedly reserving $14.6 million in fall TV time for Senate races in five states. All of them are GOP pickup opportunities: Arkansas ($2.5 million), Iowa ($3.1 million), Louisiana ($2.1 million), Montana ($1.7 million), and North Carolina ($5.1 million). That's on top of a previous $5.6 million reservation in Alaska.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Motor City Kossacks and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Mass. Governor's race is a concern (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, mayim, camlbacker, stevenaxelrod

    We assume the election of a Democratic governor at our peril.

  •  Looks like accidental congresscritter Bentivolio (5+ / 0-)

    might become a one-termer.  Not that Trott would necessarily be any better, but good riddance, I say.

    by Da Fireball on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 06:12:34 AM PDT

    •  I am so very badly hoping (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MI Sooner, camlbacker

      that republicans vote for Bentivolio in primary.  He is a clown and it makes the pubs look so bad.  The thing is, they are that bad on a group level but we need for them to have total clown representation on the surface so it paints a clearer picture, for history if nothing else.

      1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

      by alwaysquestion on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 06:50:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Schauer... (8+ / 0-)

    Has been suffering from lack of name recognition--he's fairly well known in the southern part of the state from his time as a state legislator as well as his term as a US Congressman, but he's not well known in much of the state, and he's been pretty much invisible since losing his seat in 2010.

    Expect his numbers to rise as fall approaches. Rick Snyder is very unpopular among Democrats, teabaggers (for supporting the Medicaid expansion), and independents.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 06:16:50 AM PDT

  •  The perfect MS outcome (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    would be for Mississippi to put both GOPers on the ballot along with Childers. Not gonna happen, but if the baggers put up enough of a stink?

    Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome. uid:21352

    by pucklady on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 06:19:30 AM PDT

    •  Don't think they can. One of the GOPers would h... (0+ / 0-)

      Don't think they can. One of the GOPers would have to run as a write-in.

      •  I know for certain THAT won't happen (0+ / 0-)

        Write-ins are not legal in Mississippi unless the main candidate has withdrawn.

        However, the option I'm hoping for is that the baggers make enough of a legal stink that the SoS of MS throws up his/her hands and gives in.

        What I really expect is that there will be the stink, but nothing will come of it. The ballot will have Cochran and Childers and Cochran will win in a walk.

        But I can still hope.

        Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome. uid:21352

        by pucklady on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 08:38:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Link to Schauer campaign... (7+ / 0-)

    This shouldn't even be close.  Snyder has made an horrific  mess out of Michigan, but I am glad to see that Schauer might be gaining.

    •  I am hoping we get some (4+ / 0-)

      cross over senior citizens that voted for him only to get slapped with pension taxes.

      I am keeping my fingers crossed that the debate goes well for Schauer, but Snyder has a way of answering questions by the "stay tuned" for future results.  I sort get the Baby Bush vibe when I listen to him.  I fear Snyder will push the idea that he is right in the middle of a rehab project, with demolition down and remodel around the corner.  If Schauer is asked what he would have done or would do now to take over, I fear there won't be an answer that satisfies enough people.  But the Schauer camp has to be hyper aware of that trap and is working a plan.

      We so badly need Mark Schauer in office to slam down that veto stamp on really bad legislation.

      1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

      by alwaysquestion on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 06:46:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I appreciate your concern (3+ / 0-)

        You have a good point.  One of the few things Snyder is reasonably good at is the vague, pie in the sky, look over there at the nice cloud, RNC carny pitch.    

        And I am concerned that Schauer has not yet established enough name recognition or profile in the State.  But he's a smart guy and Snyder has managed to tick off, what, seniors, union members and their families, many parents, environmentalists, most of Detroit, unemployed workers and their families...  I could probably think of more, but...

        We need to keep the pressure up/best/sh

      •  Snyder coasted (4+ / 0-)

        into office on the Repub wave of 2010 and his refusal to give specifics of his plans.

        The "tough nerd" shit is not going to float this time, IMHO. Voters didn't know who he was in 2010 because he refused to tell them. Now, after business tax cuts paid for by seniors and students, right to work, the emergency manager fiasco, failure to address crumbling roads, rape insurance, and the nation's 49th worst job creation, not to mention his pathetic inability to deal with the teabaggers in his caucus, everyone knows exactly who he is.

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 07:10:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I think the only group (0+ / 0-)

          he hasn't offended is the business crowd.  And maybe religious freaks that loved the restrictions placed on women.  His record is really pretty bad and will hopefully sink him.  I agree with you in that he got the job by not having a plan.  He was a complete unknown.

          I do hear a lot of unhappy people comment on the roads.  More money spent on tire, car repairs than what the extra taxes would have been.

          1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

          by alwaysquestion on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 12:36:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  NH-Sen: 1. $$$ to Scott Brown seem less likely (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, TofG

    to result in a Republican Senate seat than to any purple state race I can think of.

    2. Brown winning the Republican primary largely through outspending his opponents seems like a good way to reduce local Republican solidarity.

    3. I wonder if Brown's big-money carpet-bagging might usefully remind neighboring Maine voters that the same big contributors to supposedly locally rooted Republican incumbent Senator Susan Collins will happily fund a carpet-bagger if local Republican politicians do not demonstrate the ability to fool voters and protect plutocrats.

  •  LA-Sen - increased black turnout in '02 runoff (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, RainDog2, Odysseus

    as I recall was due to unique factors unlikely to be repeated in 2014.  The runoff election in 2002 also included some runoffs for state senate and/or state house seats in majority minority districts, meaning that almost all the voters who came out to vote in those races voted for Dem Landrieu versus her conservative GOP opponent in the US Senate seat runoff also on the ballot.   There are plenty of obvious reasons why African-American voters and other progressive voters SHOULD turn out in the December 6 runoff to vote, but our voters tend to vote in off-year elections in lower percentages.

  •  MI-11 (0+ / 0-)

    Dave Trott is scum, endorsed by fellow parasite Mitt Romney. He's made millions foreclosing on homeowners in MI. But MI-11 is the most gerrymandered district in a Republican gerrymandered state, and a snakepit of tea party activity, so if Trott defeats Crazy Kerry Bentivolio, the accidental congressman, he's probably on his way to Washington.

    This is the district that elected Mad Thad McCotter, whose idiotic and self-inflicted failure to gather enough sigs to put him on the ballot--as the incumbent, no less--is what allowed Bentivolio to be elected in the first place, something no one, not even Bentivolio, expected.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 07:00:08 AM PDT

  •  PA-AG Dem Kathleen Kane - downward trend (0+ / 0-)

    Democratic PA state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, once seen as a rising star for PA Dems and likely future Gov or Senate nominee, continues to get awful press over her recent actions and statements.

    She won in 2012 (top Dem vote getter, even higher than Obama) criticizing then AG (now Gov) Tom Corbett for dragging his feet on the Jerry Sandusky child molestation investigation, claiming Corbett's GOP politics impeded the investigation.  After her win, she appointed an independent investigator to look into the actions and inactions of the AG's office under Corbett regarding the Sandusky case.  

    In an unrelated matter, a few weeks ago she ordered closed with no action a criminal sting investigation apparently showing videos of four state lawmakers and one former Traffic Court judge - all Democrats - taking bribes.  Not only did she close the case but she made public statements that could make a future prosecution (by another office, not hers - for example, the Philadelphia District Attorney, also a Democrat) of the apparently corrupt officials even harder.

    The results of the above independent investigation into the Sandusky matter were released a few days ago and found no evidence to support her campaign claims that the Sandusky investigation was delayed or otherwise impeded due to politics.  The investigator criticized the timing of some actions, but there were no "gotcha" revelations.

    She could have thanked her office's independent investigator and focused on the few criticisms he found.  Instead she called a press conference and made new bombshell claims that in the days since have turned out to be inaccurate (or what her critics would say are "false").  A previously supportive Philadelphia Inquirer, in an  editorial called out her "smears".

    Her comments were stupid and sloppy because they were factually incorrect - objectively incorrect, not subjectively incorrect.  Her office within 24 hours admitted she "misspoke".

    Today there is news that the statewide association of district attorneys (made up of both Dems and Republicans), representing the 67 county district attorneys in PA, has taken the unprecedented step of releasing a public letter critical of her attacks on career prosecutors, of her "focus on winning the news cycle" and for making public statements that have "already proven to be incorrect".

    PA AG Kathleen Kane was once seen as a rising star with great things in her future.   She may be able to get reelected in 2016, but it is doubtful her prior hopes for higher office (Gov or Sen) will be realized.

  •  With Pa. Maine, Michigan, even Kansas and Georgia (0+ / 0-)

    governor races looking possible it seems a shame Florida race may be slipping away with the big $$$$$$$$$$$$ being spent there.

  •  MI-Gov (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    While it appears to be good news that Schauer has gained ground, I don't think the poll reflects the reality. Yet. I'm optimistic but nervous. Good call on the Dem campaign's part to highlight education cuts and increasing taxes on retirement. That'll leave a mark for sure.

    Regardless, I'll be voting to make Snyder a "One Term Nerd" in the fall.

    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

    by grape crush on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 07:32:06 AM PDT

    •  I've got in-laws in SE Michigan.... (0+ / 0-)

      MIL supposedly a Dem, but hates Obama and Hillary--doesn't seem to understand a hell of a lot other than the internet rumors and emails she gets from a crackpot relative in TX.  The father-in-law is Mr. Chamber of Commerce, but went to Hillsdale, which, as a Michigander, I am sure you know is Ayn Randian, eff-you-I've-got-mine heaven.  

      I think he thinks Snyder is awesome.  She might not, only because she is down on almost everybody in public life.

      I'll never get an accurate feel for the state from them, and I sure won't get it when we go to Otsego Lake in the summer--those folks are in Michissippi--a lot like the folks I grew up with in rural upstate NY.....reflexively Republican.

      How do you think things are shaking out statewide?

      •  Statewide? (0+ / 0-)

        Dunno. Haven't dug into the state races. Most people don't.

        This mid term will be about which tribe has more people showing up. Gut feeling is that the Republicans are trying harder.

        "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

        by grape crush on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 11:12:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Zephyr Teachout is running for NY-Gov (0+ / 0-)

    she is now trying to get on the Democratic Ballot.

  •  I love this: "Strange is a Republican..." Nuf sed. (0+ / 0-)

    Slip? Upset in Utah! Trail, no? M. Romney -- odd! Elder an AMC man, a Red-led doyen! Mormon liar? That unites pupils!.

    by Obama Amabo on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 07:58:29 AM PDT

  •  Leticia Van de Putte's (TX-LG) convention video (0+ / 0-)

    "It's the (expletive) 21st century man. Get over it." - David Ortiz

    by grubber on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 09:21:36 AM PDT

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