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• IL-Gov: It seemed, at one point, that the Illinois governorship was Lisa Madigan's for the taking, but after months of unexplained foot-dragging, the Democratic state attorney general has finally said no to a bid. Instead, she'll seek re-election to her current post. Rather unusually, Madigan issued a statement that, in part, seemed to blame her father, state House Speaker Mike Madigan, for her decision, echoing a line of criticism that opponents and good-government types have ratcheted up lately:
I feel strongly that the state would not be well served by having a Governor and Speaker of the House from the same family and have never planned to run for Governor if that would be the case. With Speaker Madigan planning to continue in office, I will not run for Governor.
Now Democrats are left with two unappetizing choices in the primary: incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn and former White House chief of staff Bill Daley. Quinn has suffered from miserable job approvals for a long time now, and if he's the nominee, he'd make this race way more competitive than it ought to be in solidly blue Illinois. Daley, meanwhile, is the kind of technocrat who excites no one except for the likes of Mike Bloomberg.
Of course, had Madigan forged ahead and had the family-centric attacks worked, she might have wound up not looking so hot herself. But with her out of the picture, Quinn wounded, and Daley being Daley, it's possible other Democrats might now express interest in the contest. Republicans, though, are probably feeling pretty pleased right now.
P.S. Illinois gubernatorial candidates have been filing their fundraising totals, but thanks to a bizarre loophole in state law that only requires campaigns to report donations when they're deposited at a bank, it's pretty difficult to get an exact handle on how much cash anyone has taken in. So I won't try to summarize things myself, but you can click through for the Chicago Tribune's level best.
• AK-Sen: Sen. Mark Begich (D): $993K raised
• AR-Sen: Sen. Mark Pryor (D): $1.2 mil raised, $3.9 mil cash-on-hand
• AR-Gov: Mike Ross (D): $2 mil raised, $1.7 mil cash-on-hand
• NC-Sen: Rep. Renee Ellmers (R): $158K raised, $180K cash-on-hand (Ellmers is still weighing the race)
• VA-Gov (June): Terry McAuliffe (D): $1.9 mil raised, $6 mil cash-on-hand; Ken Cuccinelli (R): $1.1 mil raised, $2.7 mil cash-on-hand
• SC-Sen-A: Chatter about a possible primary challenge to GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham from the right had seemed to die down lately, but the end of the quarter brings news that businessman Richard Cash has self-funded to the tune of $200,000. He'll need a lot more than that to be competitive, though, since he has just $248,000 on hand, versus a giant $6.3 million for Graham. Despite that daunting hurdle, a couple of other Republicans are still considering the race, including state Sen. Lee Bright and Nancy Mace, the first woman to graduate from The Citadel. Rep. Trey Gowdy, though, made it quite clear he has no interest in running, calling a Senate bid an "audition for a six-year prison sentence."
• AZ-Gov: A new poll from Myers Research shows House Minority Leader Chad Campbell with a 31-18 lead over former Arizona Board of Regents chair Fred DuVal in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, but it's all hypothetical, since only DuVal has declared his candidacy so far. What's more, half of those surveyed are undecided, and the poll also had a crazily long field period, from May 22 to June 13. It's also not clear who paid for the research, though if it's not Campbell, it's someone who wants him to get into the race, since there was a lot of message testing involved as well (which led to very favorable informed ballot tests for him).
• MA-Gov: State Treasurer Steve Grossman, who has long been expected to run for governor, formally jumped into the Democratic primary over the weekend. Grossman is the best-known and best-financed candidate to enter the race to date, but the contest remains pretty wide open, particularly since a number of other contenders are still weighing their options. The latest list of possibles can be found at the link.
• TX-Gov: As expected, state Attorney General Greg Abbott made his long-awaited campaign for governor official over the weekend. With Gov. Rick Perry's decision not to seek a fourth term, Abbott now has a pretty clear path to the GOP nomination, though he'll first have to turn back former Texas Workforce Commission chair Tom Pauken. But given Abbott's monstrous $20 million war chest, that shouldn't be too much of a problem, and he'll likely cruise in the general election as well.
Meanwhile, the Democrat who would probably given Abbott the toughest run for his money, state Sen. Wendy Davis, had a pretty good fundraising haul herself, but the gap between her coffers and Abbott's highlights the kind of disadvantage she'd be starting off with. In the final two weeks of June, after the end of the legislative session (during which lawmakers are forbidden from raising money), Davis took in $933,000. And while there was no such ban during the special session that followed, Davis says she was too busy for call time—fairly understandable, given that her famous filibuster took place in this timeframe. Still, that leaves her with around $1 million in cash-on-hand, a far cry from Abbott's monster bank account.
• VA-Gov: Democrat Terry McAuliffe is running a new minute-long ad featuring a southwestern Virginia property owner who says that energy companies have been extracting gas from her land without paying royalties, and then excoriates Republican Ken Cuccinelli for using his office to aid those firms in their fight against people like her. (Yes, this really happened; more background here.) It's a pretty good spot, albeit kinda long, though I definitely think McAuliffe is well-served by having others make his case for him.
• CT-04: A Connecticut Post profile on how Democratic Rep. Jim Himes has entrenched himself in what was once a Republican district mentions a few new potential GOP names, but no one seems very excited about making the race. There's state Sen. Toni Boucher ("I'm doing a lot of research on this"), state Rep. John Shaban ("check back with me in a month or two"), Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson ("I would entertain the conversation"), and Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei ("the only focus I have is continuing to serve as first selectman").
• HI-01: We can only pray this sticks. ConservaDem ex-Rep. Ed Case has taken a new job as an executive at Outrigger Enterprises Group, a hospitality company. More importantly, he says: "I won't be a candidate for public office as long as I'm with Outrigger. Since I hope that's a long time, this likely ends any further political career." Given his hyper-ambitiousness and the fact that repeated electoral losses don't seem to ever faze him, I certainly won't take Case at his word. But perhaps the gang at his new firm will like him better than Hawaii voters do.
• MA-05: The dates for the special election to fill Ed Markey's House seat have finally been set. The general election will take place on Dec. 10, but far more important is the Democrat primary on Oct. 15. Markey, incidentally, will be sworn in to the Senate on Tuesday; the hold-up, both in terms of Markey's ascension and the scheduling of the special, was because the Senate election results had to be certified, a process that took several weeks.
• MA-09: In response to NRCC chief Greg Walden publicly touting him as a potential opponent for Rep. Bill Keating, Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez offered some very non-committal remarks in which he didn't rule out the prospect, either for that race or any other. Gomez doesn't sound especially fired up, but then again, he did just lose an election for Senate less than a month ago, so I suspect he wants some time to recover before seriously considering another run for office.
• WV-02: Conservative Democratic state Sen. Evan Jenkins says he may switch parties and challenge Rep. Nick Rahall as a Republican next year. Jenkins is a longtime legislator, first serving in the state House starting in 1994, then becoming a senator in 2002 after a failed run for state Supreme Court in 2002. He's also the executive director of the West Virginia State Medical Association, so he may be decently well-connected. (He's an attorney, not a physician.)
Jenkins would obviously risk getting branded an opportunist were he to change sides, but in rapidly reddening West Virginia, it might not matter much, since he'd only be getting ahead of the tide. Of course, he could also just be publicly entertaining the notion merely to fluff his "bipartisan" cred. Still, it's interesting that the GOP has had such a tough time recruiting a top-tier candidate here from its existing ranks.
• NYC Comptroller, Mayor: Following Eliot Spitzer's entry into the comptroller's race, Quinnipiac went into the field a half-step behind Marist, so they've now produced the second set of data on the contest. They find Spitzer up 48-33 over Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; that exactly matches Stringer's vote share in Marist's survey, but Spitzer performs better (Marist had him at 42). That's a pretty big difference, since Quinnipiac places Spitzer within striking distance of a win, whereas Marist's numbers might have made you wonder if someone as well-known as the disgraced former governor might be hitting some kind of ceiling in the low 40s. And the discrepancy offers a good reason never to rely too much on a lone poll.
Quinnipiac's mayoral primary numbers also have good news for ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner, who climbs to his highest-ever showing at 25 percent, up from 17 three weeks ago. (Could Spitzer's entry have actually helped Weiner's name rec, since the two get mentioned together constantly, rather than hurt him by reminding voters of their twin scandals?) City Council Speaker Christine Quinn also edged back upward, the first time she's done so in a Quinnipiac poll since February, from 19 to 22. Meanwhile, 2009 nominee Bill Thompson fell back from 16 to 11, making this look like a Quinn-Weiner race, at least for the moment. What a terrible thought to contemplate.
• SD Mayor: In the wake of his apology for mistreating female staffers he's been accused of sexually harassing, Democratic Mayor Bob Filner's standing with voters has tanked, according to a new poll from SurveyUSA that went into the field right after the story broke. Filner's job approval rating sank to 32-56, from, 39-43 just a month ago. What's more, 59 percent of respondents say they think he should resign, versus 30 who do not. To top things off, Filner's chief of staff, Vince Hall, has also quit, saying on Twitter that as "a lifelong activist for women's rights and equality, I feel I must resign."
And it seems like things are going to get worse for Filner—a lot worse—before they get better. His former fiancée, who just recently broke off their engagement, just went public with a statement about why their relationship fell apart, and man is it brutal. Here's a sampling:
In a statement Sunday, Bronwyn Ingram told KPBS and inewsource she believes recent serious controversies, including the onslaught of sexual harassment allegations, have paralyzed the mayor's office and Filner should step down.
Ingram said she witnessed what she called a "severe deterioration in Bob's ability to engage with anyone in a civil manner, myself included." During a recent trip to Paris, she said, Filner screamed at her in public without provocation, among other "inappropriate and disrespectful acts."
In the statement, Ingram went on to say that she made the "gut-wrenching decision" to break up with Filner after she said he recently started text messaging other women sexually explicit messages and set up dates in front of her.
She said, "given the circumstances, I obviously had no other choice."
Filner hasn't responded, except to say that he won't resign
• Congress: If you sifted through last week's huge data dump from Brookings and AEI, you'd have already seen this chart tracking the average DW/Nominate scores of each chamber of Congress (and of each caucus in the chambers) over the decades. However, it seems to be getting a lot of stand-alone attention this week, so it's as good a time as any to call it back to your attention. As you can probably imagine, the Republican caucus in the House is as conservative as it's ever been (with nearly a 0.7 average on a 1.0 to -1.0 scale, thanks to a huge upswing post-1994), but the Dem caucus is also (more narrowly, at -0.4) the most liberal ever; taken together, it's the most conservative House since at least 1948, where the graph starts. (David Jarman)
• Maps: Here's a series of maps that are surprisingly compelling: They're of the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, color-coded based on the age of the buildings. Not only do they look cool, but they point to an interesting idea I hadn't thought of until now: the correlation between age of the buildings and the political preferences of the buildings' residents.
Building age doesn't cause political preferences, of course, but the correlation isn't just as reductively simple as "the poor and non-white people are stuck in the oldest, most dilapidated housing stock." For instance, some of the highlighted "old" neighborhoods like Irvington and Ladd's Addition are very much on the white, affluent end of things, with property values to match—and also some of the city's most reliably liberal areas. Instead, "cultural capital" seems to enter into the equation: The different mindsets of affluent white persons who choose to live in an immaculately-preserved urban bungalow or an exurban McMansion also manifest themselves in very different political worldviews as well. (David Jarman)
• Pres-by-LD: Republicans in North Carolina seized a remarkable amount of power in 2012, gaining veto-proof majorities houses of the state legislature thanks to a potent gerrymander while also picking up the governor's mansion. Now, the Legislature hasn't done itself any favors since then, but thanks to the GOP's envelope-pushing cartography, it will be difficult for Democrats to truly take advantage.
We've calculated the results of nine contested partisan statewide races from last year (Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, did not face any challengers) for all of North Carolina's state legislative districts (LDs), in what can only be described as a glut of data. The results speak to the power (and viciousness) of the legislative maps that Republicans implemented:
In the 50-seat state Senate, Republicans currently hold 33 seats. Obama won a mere 17 SDs (one of which is occupied by a Republican; one Mike McIntyre-esque Dem holds on in the 57-42 Romney SD-25). Tellingly, Obama won those 17 districts by an average margin of 35 percent, and the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Walter Dalton, who lost by 12 points overall, won 16 of those 17. Democrats' strongest statewide performer, incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson, still did not win a majority of SDs in her 8-point win.
The picture in the 120-seat state House isn't much better for Democrats, as Obama won only 40 HDs. Of those 40, 38 are represented by Democrats; five other Democrats hang on in Romney districts. Again, the vast majority of districts are Republican throughout: 64 HDs voted for the Republican candidate for all offices.
A look at the largest jurisdiction in the state, Mecklenburg County (Charlotte), is instructive. The 61 percent Obama county is divided into 12 districts, but sends an even number of Democrats and Republicans to the state House. Why? The six Dem-held districts are, on average, 80 percent Obama, but the six GOP-held districts are 45 percent Obama. A similar pattern holds statewide, and the median HD is about 42.5 percent Obama (6 points lower than the 48.5 percent he received statewide), which puts the chamber on par with the Alaska House (Romney, of course, won Alaska by 13 points).
As always, you can find our pres-by-LD data here (as well as on the sidebar at Daily Kos Elections). We'll continue to roll out additional states in the coming days, but in the meantime, you can now find some downballot races by LD for the seven states we released last week as well, in addition to the presidential numbers. (jeffmd)
• Redistricting: Here's a fun little quiz from Business Insider: congressional district or Rorschach inkblot? The districts have been mirrored so that they resemble symmetrical Rorschach blots, but if you're really good, you may be able to figure out exactly which CDs are represented. And what they say about your personality.