10:34 AM PT (Stephen Wolf): Polls: There are several new Senate and gubernatorial polls today:
• GA-Gov: Landmark Communications: Carter (D): 49, Deal (R-inc): 41
• MA-Gov: SocialSphere for Boston Globe: Coakley (D): 39, Baker (R): 36
• ME-Gov: Michaud Internal: Michaud (D): 41, LePage (R-inc): 37, Cutler (I): 13
• MI-Sen: EPIC-MRA: Peters (D): 45, Land (R): 36 (May: 44-38 Peters)
• MI-Gov: EPIC-MRA: Snyder (R-inc): 46, Schauer (D): 43 (May: 47-38 Snyder)
• NM-Gov: Internal for King: Martinez (R-inc): 45, King (D): 39
In Georgia the runoff results for the Republican US Senate nomination are in line with other surveys with Rep. Jack Kingston holding a modest lead over businessman David Perdue. The gubernatorial survey by Landmark Communications however finds state senator Jason Carter with one of his largest leads ever over incumbent Nathan Deal and tantalizingly close to avoiding a December runoff; Landmark's last survey from March had Deal ahead 43-39. In Massachusetts the Boston Globe has another of its weekly surveys which yet again finds both leading candidates, attorney general Martha Coakley and 2010 Republican nominee Charlie Baker stuck in the 30s with high undecideds and a trivial share going to minor candidates. Internal polling by Normington Petts for Mike Michaud's gubernatorial campaign in Maine find similar numbers as we've seen in the past with a narrow lead over unpopular incumbent Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler, the 2010 runner-up, lagging far behind.
A new survey by EPIC-MRA in Michigan finds Democrats improving their standing since the pollster's last survey in May. In the senate race Gary Peters expanded his lead over Terri Lynn Land from six to nine points while Mark Schauer has narrowed his deficit to incumbent governor Rick Snyder from nine points to just three. Ironically however Snyder's approval rating improved from a 41/58 deficit in May to 44/55 in July, but in a light blue state those are not the type of numbers the incumbent wants to see. The final poll is a Lake internal for the Gary King campaign which finds him trailing incumbent governor Susana Martinez by just six points. King's internal comes out at a time when he lags far behind the governor in fundraising, but there have been very few other polls of this race.
10:43 AM PT (Stephen Wolf): MI-03: The US Chamber of Commerce has endorsed challenger Brian Ellis in the heated Republican primary in Michigan's 3rd district. Ellis is taking on two-term incumbent Justin Amash, who has earned the Chamber's ire by aligning more with the party's Paulist wing and who has the support of the tea party-friendly Club for Growth. Amash has led in all released polling by a wide margin, but Ellis' campaign is well funded and not lacking allies among the party's business-oriented establishment.
11:10 AM PT (Stephen Wolf): AR-Sen: Republican Rep. Tom Cotton stepped in it with remarks from a July 8th tele-town hall where he compared food stamp recipients to drug addicts when defending his vote against the farm bill:
"I don’t think that we should be using farmers as a way to pack more welfare spending into Barack Obama’s government," Cotton said. "Nor should we have a food stamp program that isn’t reformed, that doesn’t have job training and work requirements, that doesn't have drug testing requirements, so we can get people who are addicted the help they need. Or make sure that long-term addicts or recidivists are not abusing taxpayer dollars."Cotton is challenging incumbent two-term Democratic senator Mark Pryor in a tight race and can't afford to be making mistakes like this, particularly in one of the poorest states where a large proportion of low-income residents rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as food stamps.
11:35 AM PT (Stephen Wolf): Ads:
• AZ-Gov: Andrew Thomas, running for the Republican nomination and lagging in the polls bashes illegal immigrants and vows to take on "the gay lobby" in this cheaply produced ad.
• FL-26: Republican challenger Carlos Curbelo touts his business background and service on the county school board and vows to tackle corruption while surrounded by his family.
• MN-Sen: This minute-long ad has Minnesota resident Jeff Almer tell how after his mother's death from food contamination, Al Franken worked to pass a law protecting against similar incidents in the future.
• OR-Sen: Incumbent Democratic senator Jeff Merkley has reserved $2 million in ad time for the last five weeks of the campaign against Republican challenger Monica Wehby
• LA-Sen, NH-Sen, OR-Sen: Koch-affiliated Freedom Partners has made three hefty ad reservations: $890,000 for Louisiana's potential December runoff, $1.8 million in New Hampshire for September 9th through Election Day, and $1.9 million in Oregon from August 6th through Election Day.
12:29 PM PT (Stephen Wolf): Fundraising - The DSCC raised nearly $22 million from April through June which was its second strongest quarter in history and gives it $30.5 million cash on hand. Republican quarterly numbers are not yet outl but they are likely lower than the Democrats' quarterly haul after lagging behind Team Blue in June by over $1 million. Democrats continue to establish an advantage in fundraising among the official party committees, with Republicans relying increasingly heavily on super PACs and the Koch organization for third-party spending.
4:42 PM PT (Stephen Wolf): GA-Sen Landmark Communications saw the release of the senate portion of their gubernatorial poll for both next Tuesday's runoff for the Republican nomination along with the general election. Their runoff numbers have congressman Jack Kingston leading businessman David Perdue 48-41, similar to most other polling. The general election match ups have Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn leading both Republican candidates with an eight point lead over Kingston and a five point lead over Perdue, giving Nunn some of her wider leads by an independent pollster thus far. Interestingly, this is one of the few polls to show Nunn performing better over Kingston rather than Perdue.