• IA-Sen: Last cycle, Republicans had to beg their candidates to stop talking about rape. Maybe this cycle, the irresistible siren song will be impeachment. No sooner than GOP state Sen. Joni Ernst tried walking back pro-impeachment remarks she made in January (in which she also called Barack Obama a "dictator"), more comments she made in a radio interview just last month surfaced:
"So, shouldn't [Boehner] simply impeach him?" Conway had asked Ernst during the radio show two weeks ago.Gonna guess that this is not a mainstream position with Iowa voters. Also gonna guess that the NRSC wishes they could go back in time and make Ernst shut up.
"Right," she replied.
"If he thinks he has a case?" the host prodded.
"If he thinks he has a case, then he should proceed with that," Ernst said.
"With impeachment?" the host pushed again.
"Yeah. And that would be up to him. I'm not encouraging or discouraging it. John Boehner is making John Boehner's choices. But, we know we have a long ways to go, and I think this election is going to be that turning point," Ernst continued.
• AR-Sen: A Republican pollster called Impact Management finds GOP Rep. Tom Cotton up 47-43 on Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, but note that they only asked the horserace matchup after a battery of questions about Obamacare. (Surprise! It's extremely unpopular in Arkansas.) The numbers are also essentially unchanged since Impact's last survey back in February, when they had Cotton up 46-42.
• FL-Gov: In a poll taken before the Fourth of July holiday, SurveyUSA finds GOP Gov. Rick Scott leading Democrat Charlie Crist 45-43, up a bit from his 42-41 edge just a week earlier. That actually ties Scott with his highest vote share ever: A few other polls have placed him at 45, but never higher, and all of those were from Republican pollsters or conservative outfits.
• NH-01, -02: I think I'm finally ready to give up on UNH's polling once and for all. Check out their latest numbers from New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. Starting in October of last year, Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter had a 16-point lead on her likeliest GOP opponent, ex-Rep. Frank Guinta. Then in January, Guinta went up 6, followed by Shea-Porter going up 9 in April, and now Guinta leaping back out in front by 3. Five polls, four lead changes, and often with huge shifts—just look at this crazy chart. Seriously, wtf?
• AK-Sen: Dan Sullivan (R): A woman praises Sullivan for protecting the rights of hunters. Put Alaska First: A fisherman who says he usually votes Republican attacks Sullivan for wanting to restrict fishing areas.
• KY-Sen: Mitch McConnell (R): A narrator attacks Democrat Alison Grimes for supposedly making misleading attacks on McConnell and for supporting "cuts" from Medicare to pay for Obamacare. Meanwhile, the Senate Majority PAC is reportedly launching a $550,000 broadside against McConnell, but the spot hasn't been released yet.
• LA-Sen: Americans for Prosperity: A series of veterans berate Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu for supporting Obamacare at the same time as troubles plague the VA. Another AFP spot blames Landrieu for new EPA regulations that will supposedly cost Louisiana jobs in the energy industry.
• HI-Gov: Neil Abercrombie (D) has a horribly cheesy spot in which poorly coached reg'lar folks stiffly deliver sound bites of praise on a million different topics. The worst moment comes when one man compares Abercrombie to his unnamed primary opponent (state Sen. David Ige), puffs up his face, and offers an exaggerated shrug as he says, "The other guy? Mnm!"
• PA-Gov: Tom Corbett (R) spends a full minute droning on about his state's alleged economic success, as triumphant, almost martial music plays in the background. The buy is reportedly for a hefty $845,000.
• WI-Gov: Scott Walker (R): A narrator claims that Democrat Mary Burke "spent $12.5 million to buy a vacant lot for a company that said it had no plans to create jobs in Wisconsin" when she was state commerce secretary.
Freshman Democratic Sen. Chris Coons is running for a full six-year term and he faces minimal opposition for re-election. (His 2010 win gave him the right to serve out the final four years of Joe Biden's term.) Democratic Rep. John Carney, who represents the entire state in the House, is also set for an easy race. Democratic Attorney General Beau Biden, the son of Joe Biden, has announced he will run for governor in 2016 and is vacating his current post. Lt. Gov. Matt Denn has the Democratic field to himself, and he should be the favorite against Republican attorney Ted Kittila.
Treasurer Chip Flowers faces a challenge in the Democratic primary from former gubernatorial aide Sean Barney; Republicans are fielding hotel chain CEO Ken Simpler and 2012 lieutenant governor nominee Sher Valenzuela. State Auditor Tom Wagner, who is Team Red's only statewide elected official, will face either accountant Ken Matlusky or former state Democratic party executive director Brenda Mayrack in the general. (Jeff Singer)
• Demographics: Much of the right-wing panic over immigration has electoral politics at its root, spurred on by fears that a larger and larger percentage of the population will consist of people who aren't very likely to vote Republican. However, that growing share is a trend that's already happening with or without immigration. As FiveThirtyEight's Ben Casselman describes it (by way of a Pew Research study from June), growth in the Hispanic population results less and less from immigration and much more from "natural increase" (births minus deaths).
In fact, in 2013, only 22 percent of Hispanic growth was due to new immigrants while the balance was natural growth. That contrasts with Asians, whose increase is largely fueled by immigration (61 percent). What's more, only 36 percent of the overall Hispanic population were immigrants; that's down from 40 percent in 2007. Also, 2013 was also the first year where the majority of the Hispanic labor force was native-born.
Casselman points out an important bit of information at the end, though: Hispanic birthrates are dropping significantly. So if Hispanic growth is occurring primarily through natural increase and not immigration, that declining birthrate means in that in the foreseeable future, Hispanic growth will level out at a rate similar to those of other ethnicities. (David Jarman)