Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here
• NY-19: State Sen. Greg Ball, whom we previously reported was refusing to rule out a primary challenge to fellow Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth, is sounding even more randy now:
Sen. Greg Ball refused during a CapTon interview last night to rule out the possibility that he might primary his fellow Republican, Rep. Nan Hayworth, insisting that while he has no immediate plans to do so, her performance is “making it awfully difficult” for him to pass up a challenge next fall.
“Not at this point, but she’s making it awfully difficult,” Ball told me when I pressed him on 2012. “We have people in our district, like famers and small business owners and families that need access to federal funding, and instead of fighting for the people of our district, she’s taking orders from (House Speaker John) Boehner or (Majority Leader Eric) Cantor, depending on the last person she met in the hallway of Congress, but at this point I’m intently focused on these issues.”
Ball sounds practically like a populist progressive! (Though this is hardly the right district for that kind of message.) And note, he's no "moderate"—though he definitely has a reputation for being a thumb-in-your-eye maverick. The other quotes from him in the linked article are in a similar vein, but I particularly liked this contrast he offered between his background and Hayworth's: "I grew up the blue-collar son of a postal worker, probably some of my family were cutting grass on her family’s property.” Ouch!
• AZ-01: Ann Kirkpatrick (D): $230K raised, $350K cash-on-hand
• MI-Sen: Well, wouldya look at that. Republican ex-Rep. Pete Hoekstra, known for perennially weak fundraising, managed to pull a million-dollar rabbit out of his hat this quarter. No word on his cash-on-hand, though.
• NM-Sen: Rep. Martin Heinrich (D): $650K raised, $1.1 million cash-on-hand
• TX-35: Joaquin Castro (D): $475K raised, plus $40K self-loan; Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D) says he will not release numbers in advance of the Oct. 15 filing deadline
• WA-??: Denny Heck (D): $125K raised, $360K cash-on-hand
• WA-01: Steve Hobbs (D): $55K raised in two months (the conservaDem Hobbs is a state senator, so this is a deeply feeble haul)
• WI-01: Rep. Paul Ryan (R): $629K raised, $4.3 million cash-on-hand
• FL-Sen, NE-Sen: It's a tale of two Nelsons, as PPP releases back-to-back polls on Nebraska's Ben and Florida's Bill. Check out our post at Daily Kos Elections for the complete run-down on both races.
• MA-Gov: The most interesting numbers by far from PPP's bit of Mass. miscellany are Gov. Deval Patrick's job approvals. In January of 2010, PPP found him at an unthinkably awful 22-59. Now, despite a bruising campaign and a still-sour economy, he's found a way to bounce back remarkably, all the way to 51-40. Quite an unlikely resurrection, and one which other pols are undoubtedly eager to study.
• NC-Gov: PPP tested some possible alternatives to Dem Gov. Bev Perdue but finds that, despite her weak approvals and what Tom almost poetically describes as "the weight of three years governing the state during a tough economy" on her back, no one really does a great deal better. Perdue's currently down 47-42 to former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory, but almost everyone else trails, too. Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton is at 46-32, state Rep. Bill Faison (who already ruled out a run) is at 45-30, state AG Roy Cooper is at 42-39. Two-time Senate candidate Erskine Bowles does manage a 42-42 tie. I also tend to doubt any of these guys will actually primary Perdue, who leads Faison 62-18 in a stillborn hypothetical.
• VA-Gov: Even though it's two years out, the Virginia Republican Party just voted in favor of selecting their 2013 gubernatorial nominee via primary rather than convention. This suits Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who prefers the primary method; it would likely help him blunt the advantages that AG Ken Cuccinelli, a darling of movement conservatives, would have among the activist base. (Recall that in 2008, GOP convention goers very nearly derailed former Gov. Jim Gilmore's path to the nomination, picking him by less than 1% over nutbag state Del. Bob Marshall. In retrospect, though, Gilmore probably wishes he'd lost.)
• WV-Gov: One particularly interesting detail leaped out from a DGA post-mortem memo on the race:
From day one, the DGA knew that this would be a challenging race. We budgeted accordingly and stuck to our budget. In total, we spent $1.8 million on television advertising in the state—every dime of which targeted West Virginia voters.
In contrast, the RGA spent $3.6 million on television advertisements, including a last minute $800,000 buy in the Washington, DC market. Their buy generated a lot of attention, but little in the way of results. For $800,000, the RGA was only able to buy 300 points (1/3 of what is needed to penetrate a market) and reached just 12.8% of West Virginians.
Meanwhile, Bill Maloney, the loser of Tuesday night's affair, says he is "weeks and months" away from deciding whether to try again next year. The GOP dream candidate is Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, but I'd be surprised if she ran. Beyond her, they don't have a lot of good options left—an example of the problems Republicans face in what is still an ancestrally Democratic state (meaning most local office holders are Dems). Finally, Greg Giroux has a spreadsheet comparing Earl Ray Tomblin's performance to Joe Manchin's last year; one thing you'll notice is Tomblin's outsize performance in the southern part of the state, his coal-country base.
• CA-16: Republican businessman Case Lawrence says he won't run against Dem Rep. Jim Costa. Apparently no one else is either, at the moment.
• IL-01: Odd, but okay. Donald Peloquin, the Republican mayor of the ironically named Blue Island (pop. 23K), says he plans to challenge Rep. Bobby Rush. If this district (81% Obama) goes GOP, start investing in starships, because the world as we know it will be at an end.
• IL-02: Ex-Rep. Debbie Halvorson just announced that she will indeed challenge Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. in the Democratic primary.
• IL-08: Republicans are starting to show some interest in the 8th District race, even though it's been drawn as a decidedly blue seat and will yield a heavyweight Democratic nominee regardless of who emerges from the primary (either Raja Krishnamoorthi or Tammy Duckworth). Still, Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson says he'll announce a decision soon, and DuPage County Superintendent of Education Darlene Ruscitti is also reportedly looking at a run. One GOPer has backed out, though: state Rep. David Harris, who says he'll seek re-election instead. Also potentially in the mix are Assistant DuPage County States Attorney Rick Veenstra, businessman Andrew Palomo, and conservative activist Rich Evens.
• IL-13: Greene County State's Attorney Matt Goetten, who had been considering the race since August, says he will not run for Congress. That leaves ex-state Rep. Jay Hoffman as the most prominent Democrat in the race, though he'll face physician David Gill and retired educator James Gray in the primary. The winner gets to take on GOP Rep. Tim Johnson.
• FL-08, IL-17: So it looks like EMILY's List has adopted the NRCC's clever (but boring) strategy of using multiple tiers of endorsements, so that they can get two press hits for every candidate they elevate to their top rung. The latest to make it to the "recommended" level are Val Demings in FL-08 and Cheri Bustos in IL-17… but I think we're going to have to stop keeping track of the "on the list" candidates, since life's just too short.
• NC-02: Given her lack of professional polish, you sort of expect GOP freshman Renee Ellmers to go off-message now and again. But on this topic?
One of North Carolina's Tea Party favorites has surprised Republicans by saying she won't vote for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage proposed in her state because it goes too far. […]
"As a voter, she would vote against a piece of legislation that would add a ban on civil unions to the protection of marriage since they are two different issues and should be dealt with separately," spokesman Tom Doheny told the newspaper.
Doheny said Ellmers remains against same-sex marriage, but "she finds nothing wrong" with civil unions.
As one commenter more or less put it, North Carolina Republicans must be thinking, "We gerrymandered your ass into a safe district, and now this is what you do for us?" Ahh, this kind of thing is always fun.
• NC-11: Two more candidates are joining the GOP field vying to take on Rep. Heath Shuler: Real estate investor Mark Meadows and businessman Vance Patterson. This run-down (and punch-line) amused me:
Also expected to be on the ballot for the Republican primary in May are Spence Campbell, a retired U.S. Army intelligence officer from Hendersonville; Dan Eichenbaum, an ophthalmologist from Murphy; District Attorney Jeff Hunt of Brevard; and Chris Petrella, an economic development consultant from Spindale.
"What a variety," Patterson said. "Boy, you talk about having a choice this time." He then added with a chuckle, "I tell people, ‘If we had a farmer and a poet, we could hail Atlantis.'"
A reference to this… song (at around 1:18).
• NE-02: Looks like we're going to have a primary on our hands for the right to take on GOP Rep. Lee Terry. State Sen. Gwen Howard is set to announce her campaign kickoff, joining fellow Democrat John Ewing, the Douglas County Treasurer who has been running since July. The primary is next May.
• NY-10: Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries finally pulled the trigger and filed paperwork to run against Rep. Ed Towns in the Democratic primary. Jeffries had been eyeing a run since forever, and it looked like he might wait until forever, too (or at least, some cycle in the future). But it seems like he's actually going to do it now. Towns has been primaried many times before but has always survived, at least once because a split field of challengers let him walk away with a plurality. Jeffries may be able to avoid that fate, but who knows what lunatic NYC Councilman Charles Barron might do.
• OR-01: EMILY's List commissioned a survey from Democratic pollster Grove Insight, and unsurprisingly, it shows their preferred candidate leading. State Sen. Suzanne Bonamici leads state Rep. Brad Witt and Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian 34 to 10 to 8, respectively. The all-mail primary is just a month away, though as Jessica Taylor at The Hotline notes, ballots will go out starting Oct. 21. So far, Bonamici is the only candidate on the air, and this is also the only poll we've seen of the race. (Avakian released an internal long ago, when ex-Rep. David Wu was still planning to run for re-election.)
• WI-08: This seems like a pretty good get for Democrats: Consultant Jamie Wall, who ran in the primary when this seat was open in 2006, says he plans to try once more and will challenge GOP freshman Reid Ribble. In his prior run, Wall came in second place to now ex-Rep. Steve Kagen by a 48-29, and managed to raise about $690K, including around $100K from himself. (Nancy Nusbaum, who ran against GOP state Sen. Rob Cowles in the recall elections earlier this year, finished third with 23%.)
• MO-LG: Former state Auditor and current Missouri Democratic Party chair Susan Montee has filed paperwork to run for lieutenant governor. I mention this only because the open LG job was seen a possible escape hatch for Rep. Russ Carnahan, who of course got hosed in redistricting. That now seems unlikely, given Montee's entrance into the race.
• AZ Redistricting: A reader from Arizona writes in with some interesting insights about the state's new map:
Schweikert will be running in the Scottsdale/North Phoenix CD-6, according to the preeminent local Republican blogger, who himself is a former Republican legislator who frequently says on his blog was best man at Schweikert's wedding. This makes a lot of sense, as Schweikert is a former Scottsdale state legislator and Maricopa County Treasurer, neither of which do him much good in the new CD-4.
Quayle would then have the option of facing Schweikert in a primary (while Quayle would have a money advantage, Schweikert has been in and out of elected office in Scottsdale since at least the early '90s), or facing off against a deep bench of ambitious Republican talent in the new CD-9, who may or may not hesitate to primary Quayle (Quayle's only saving grace is his money advantage, but it's worth remembering that he won his primary in 2010 by a very small and very, very narrow plurality.) Some Republican names I've heard talked about, for what it's worth, are Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman and State Senator Adam Driggs, a longtime state legislator from Phoenix's Arcadia area, which is wholly encompassed by the district, and who also is the son of former Phoenix Mayor John Driggs. Also, for what it's worth, I heard Quayle currently lives in CD-9.
Furthermore, everyone seems to think Sinema will run in the new CD-9. Other names circulating in the rumor mill include former congressman/former Tempe Mayor Harry Mitchell and CD-3 Democratic nominee Jon Hulburd (although I'm unclear if he lives in the new CD-9 at the end of the day).
Also, don't expect anyone going into the new CD-5; that's already a battle royale between former Congressman Matt Salmon, who represented much of the East Valley in the '90s until honoring his Contract with America term limits pledge (Salmon is also a former GOP gubernatorial nominee and party chair) and State House Speaker Kirk Adams, who is a young up-and-comer.
Indeed, the expected Schweikert-Quayle primary battle is confirmed by news reports. Schweikert's already announced he'll run in AZ-06, and Quayle is expected to do the same. This is, needless to say, terrific news for Democrats.
• MD Redistricting: A gubernatorial panel just recommended a map to Gov. Martin O'Malley, one that bears a strong resemblance to the "Option 1" plan revealed late last week. Unfortunately, that's by far the inferior of the two maps that were under consideration, but the good news is that this suggestion is purely advisory. O'Malley gets to submit the map to the legislature, but they are free to ignore it.
• UT Redistricting: Ah yes. It's been a while since we've seen one of these, but Utah's efforts at redistricting have now officially derailed. It's no surprise if you read our item in the previous digest, but it's still always a little bit amusing when a party that controls the trifecta bogs down in a morass of its own making. In an attempt to get out of the muck, the legislature has adjourned until Oct. 17, but the state House speaker says they're "not close" to reaching an agreement with their fellow Republican counterparts in the Senate. The Senate President, meanwhile, is grousing that the House is engaged in a "complete rewrite" of the plan the Senate already passed. For what it's worth, Democrats call the House map "diabolical" but say they wouldn't sue if the Senate map passes. Anyhow, we'll see what the GOP comes up with in a couple of weeks.