In today's installment of the "holy crap, are we getting old" tour, best 40th birthday wishes to one Malcolm Jamal-Warner. Jamal-Warner played Theo, the sole son and second-oldest of the kids on the long-running The Cosby Show during the 1980s and early 1990s. Indeed, he becomes the second member of the Cosby kids to reach his forties (the eldest of the clan, Lisa Bonet, is 42).
Want a further sobering dose of the passing of time? The Cosby Show debuted more than a quarter century ago: September 20, 1984.
Sigh...what the heck, at least we still have the Wednesday edition of the Wrap, right?
FL-Sen: Q poll puts Meek back out front, with ton of undecideds
With less than a week to go until the Florida primaries, Congressman Kendrick Meek has stretched out to a single-digit lead over free-spending gazillionaire Jeff Greene. Meek is sitting on 35% of the vote, with Greene trailing at 28% of the vote. Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre is well behind, at 6% of the vote. This marks a big shift in the Q poll, which had Greene up double digits on Meek at the end of July.
KS-Sen: SUSA shows tough sledding for Dem candidate in open seat bid
If you buy stock in this SurveyUSA poll out of the Sunflower State, election night is going to be a long one, indeed, for the Democrats. Case in point: the new numbers in the U.S. Senate race, which shows Republican nominee Jerry Moran with 69% of the vote, versus just 23% of the vote for Democrat Lisa Johnston. Even Rasmussen was not this pessimistic about the race, though the universal consensus is that the only question in this race is the margin of victory for Moran.
LA-Sen: Traylor goes there in nasty campaign ad
Whether GOP challenger Chet Traylor is down 12 (as his internal polling claims) or down 70 (as other polls have suggested), he is clearly lobbing some big bombs in order to narrow the gap. He has cut an ad, laying out every item of Vitter's dirty laundry and imploring Republicans to "man up" and vote Vitter out of office.
NY-Sen: Gillibrand leads GOP contenders 2-to-1, according to Siena
The newest installment of the Siena Poll has extremely good news for freshman Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Not only are her favorabilities at a new high, but the Democrat has moved into a sizeable lead over any of the three Republicans seeking her seat. Gillibrand has huge leads over Joseph DioGuardi (54-29), Bruce Blakeman (55-28), and David Malpass (55-27). In a sign of how insignificant the GOP field remains, two-thirds of Republicans remain undecided in the forthcoming GOP primary for the U.S. Senate. Among the one-third of voters who have gotten off the fence, DioGuardi has 19% of the vote, versus 8% for Blakeman and 5% for Malpass.
NC-Sen: NRSC pretends Marshall is an incumbent for cash appeal
This is a pretty damned funny catch for Sam Stein at HuffPo: for a brief time today, the NRSC was asking for money to defeat Elaine Marshall in order to keep her from being "sent back to the United States Senate. Of course, that appeal has one small problem with it: Elaine Marshall is not the incumbent in the race. That would be the distinction held by the Republican nominee, freshman Senator Richard Burr. Obviously, with a race as tight as that one, the NRSC was loath to remind folks that their guy is the incumbent. Of course, as little as Burr as accomplished in the Senate, the NRSC might be forgiven for forgetting that he held the office. The NRSC corrected the site later in the day, oddly attributing it to a "simple database error."
In other Marshall news, she has added her voice to the growing chorus of Democrats offering their support for Elizabeth Warren as the head of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection agency.
CA-52: Dem longshot fishing for a debate with a...unique...tactic
Frontrunners often eschew debates, for the simple reason that they don't want to give media focus to challengers. Furthermore, they don't want to risk blowing their lead on a debate gaffe that will get extended media play. Most challengers fire off sternly worded letters, or perhaps even crash the campaign events of the frontrunners. Others might get clever, hiring folks in chicken costumes to shadow their rivals. Ray Lutz, the Democrat challenging Duncan Hunter in the decidedly-red 52nd district east of San Diego, has taken it to a whole new level. He has gone on a hunger strike to raise awareness of Hunter's reluctance to debate. In an interview with The Atlantic, he says that the strike (in its sixth day) is going well, and that he has no immediate plans to halt it.
ID-01: Democrat in red district has huge lead in new public poll
A public poll conducted by a GOP pollster (GS Strategy Group) has potentially vulnerable freshman Democrat Walt Minnick staked to an enormous lead in his bid for re-election over Republican challenger Raul Labrador. The poll (which was a subsample of a larger statewide poll on the gubernatorial race--more on that later) shows Minnick with a lead of over twenty points (52-29) over Labrador. Labrador was left off of a recent proposed blitz of ad buys by the campaign arm of the House GOP (the NRCC), and this poll might explain why.
MI-01: Potential game changer? Right-wing Indie bid launched
This has the potential to be a very big deal in a very vulnerable Democratic seat. A third party candidacy, which seems to sing from the same hymnal as the teabagger movement, has been launched by businessman Glenn Wilson. What's more: Wilson has pledged to self finance his bid to the tune of seven figures. If Wilson can gain any traction, that would be a potential crushing blow to the GOP nominee, surgeon Don Benishek (himself no stranger to the teabagger movement). The Democrat in the race is state legislator Gary McDowell.
MO-03/MO-04: New GOP poll has Dem incumbents ahead...but modestly
The newly prolific (and, from the looks of their higher-ups, GOP affiliated) pollsters at We Ask America are back on the horse this week, trotting out new numbers in two districts that have yet to be polled in the cycle. In the Dem-leaning Missouri 3rd, where incumbent Russ Carnahan is being challenged by well-funded Republican Ed Martin, the pollster has Carnahan staked to a nine-point (48-39) advantage. Meanwhile, in the very red 4th district, longtime conservative Democratic incumbent Ike Skelton holds a more modest lead (45-42) over Republican challenger Vicky Hartzler. Keeping Skelton afloat in the very Republican district? The fact that he snares almost 27% of the Republican vote from Hartzler.
TN-08: GOP internal of Dem-held open seat puts Republican out front
The brutal Republican primary in the district being vacated by retiring Democrat John Tanner has not apparently wreaked lasting damage on GOP nominee Stephen Fincher. At least that is the finding of an internal poll conducted on behalf of the Fincher campaign by the Tarrance Group. The poll finds Fincher leading Democrat Roy Herron by ten points (47-37), with Indie challenger Donn Janes sitting back at 5%.
CO-Gov: Attempted Maes/Tancredo deal dead--RGA bolts
A joint attempt by state GOP chairman Dick Wadhams and Republican-turned-Indie candidate Tom Tancredo to resolve the right-wing schism in Colorado was effectively smacked down by the GOP nominee. Tancredo made the offer to Wadhams that he would leave the race if Maes agreed to leave, as well. This would allow the GOP to select a replacement. Tancredo also assured Maes that he would not seek said appointment. According to Tancredo's spokesman, the answer from Maes consisted of two letters: N and O. As a result, the RGA seems increasingly likely to concede the race by not funding ads in the state on Maes' behalf.
FL-Gov: Competing pollsters paint different pictures of GOP race
Either Bill McCollum is pulling away from free-spending gazillionaire Rick Scott, or Scott is hanging tough. Those are the quite contradictory results of a pair of polls emanating from the Sunshine State this week. The new Quinnipiac poll referenced earlier has McCollum moving away from Scott, leading the hospital magnate by nine points (44-35). This was quite the reversal from late July, when the Q poll gave Scott a double-digit edge (43-32) over McCollum. Susquehanna Research, on the other hand, sees a very different race. Their poll, on behalf of the Sunshine State News, gives Scott a two-point lead over McCollum (44-42).
ID-Gov: Is a real race developing in Idaho? One poll says "yes"
The same GS Strategies poll referenced vis-a-vis the Minnick-Labrador race also looked at the Idaho governor's race. Amazingly, the incumbent Republican (Butch Otter) is being held under 50% by his Democratic challenger, Keith Allred. The poll had Otter at 47% of the vote, with Allred eleven points back at 36%. Otter did not run away with his first gubernatorial win in 2006, either. In that election, the Republican defeated publisher Jerry Brady by just nine points (53-44).
IL-Gov: Quinn's fortunes fading badly in new PPP poll
If the new numbers out of the Land of Lincoln by PPP are legit, then it is hard to imagine that Democratic Governor Pat Quinn will survive the November elections. The new poll by the PPP crew has Republican challenger Bill Brady staked to a nine-point lead (39-30) over the battered incumbent, with Green Party candidate Rich Whitney breaking into double digits at 11%. Quinn is only drawing 60% among Democrats, which is almost certainly a fatal sign for any incumbent. The only thing working in his favor: the undecideds are heavily left-leaning (67-21 Obama in 2008) and Brady is not particularly well-liked (25/30 favorability spread).
KS-Gov: Brownback office switch almost assured, according to SUSA
SurveyUSA's poll of Kansas, unfortunately for the Democrats, looks as bad at the statewide level as it did at the federal level. Their poll of the gubernatorial race puts GOP nominee Sam Brownback (one of the states two U.S. Senators) out in front of Democrat Tom Holland by more than 40 points (67-25). As with the Senate poll, these numbers are far more pessimistic than even Rasmussen. Although, also just like the Senate poll, Rasmussen had the race in the 20-30 point range.
NY-Gov: Cuomo lapping the field, no matter the GOP standard bearer
Andrew Cuomo continues to be the colossus of the New York gubernatorial race, blasting either of his potential Republican suitors by a better than two-to-one margin. Cuomo leads Rick Lazio by thirty-four points (60-26), and also maintains a thirty-three point lead over Carl Paladino (60-27). In the GOP primary, Lazio's once formidable lead is down to just thirteen points (43-30). The New York primaries are still nearly a month away (September 14th), giving Paladino more than ample time to close the gap.
PA-Gov: Corbett takes double-digit lead on Onorato according to PPP
PPP's more conservative likely voter electorate in Pennsylvania has had a tangible impact on the governor's race, as it did yesterday with the new Senate numbers. Republican nominee Tom Corbett, the state attorney general, now holds a lead of thirteen points over Democrat Dan Onorato, the Allegheny County Executive (48-35). If there is a saving grace for Onorato, it is that both candidates are relatively unknown at this point in the campaign, with just under half of the electorate still reserving judgment on either candidate.
What Ras lacks in volume on this Wednesday they make up for in hitting high-profile political races. They hit the high-profile Senate races in Nevada and Kentucky, and also hit the gubernatorial races in Pennsylvania (where their numbers mirror PPP's) and Ohio.
KY-Sen: Rand Paul (R) 49%, Jack Conway (D) 40%
NV-Sen: Sen. Harry Reid (D) 47%, Sharron Angle (R) 47%
OH-Gov: John Kasich (R) 48%, Gov. Ted Strickland (D) 40%
PA-Gov: Tom Corbett (R) 48%, Dan Onorato (D) 38%