• TX-Gov: Greg Abbott (R): $7.8 million raised, $30 million cash-on-hand
• CA-21: David Valadao (R-inc): $540,000 raised, $1.1 million cash-on-hand
• FL-18: Patrick Murphy (D-inc): $1 million raised
• IA-Sen: Democrats have now released a second internal poll in the space of a week showing a deadlock in Iowa's Senate race, albeit from a different pollster. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, on behalf of Senate Majority PAC, finds Democrat Bruce Braley edging Republican Joni Ernst 47-46; a few days earlier, a Harstad poll for the DSCC had the race tied at 42. Those are more optimistic results than PPP (Ernst +2) and Selzer (Ernst +6).
The weirdest numbers, though, come from Republican outfit Gravis Marketing, one of the worst pollsters known to mankind, and it appears they've finally jumped the shark. They now have Ernst leading Braley by a ridiculous 50-41 spread, while Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is up just 51-43 on Democrat Jack Hatch—an 8-point lead, versus 9 for Ernst! To put this in context, Ernst's Pollster average has her ahead 2 while Branstad's puts him up 16, so there's simply no way Ernst is doing better than Branstad.
• NH-Sen, Gov, 01, 02: New England College is one of the new kids on the polling block this cycle, and they're not off to an auspicious start, with their most recent weekly tracking poll of their home state, which had to be partially recalled. Their initial release on Wednesday already had some hard-to-believe numbers, at least compared with their previous polls, which had been fairly Dem-friendly. Their NH-Sen numbers found a tied race between Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown at 47 each (after a 50-43 Shaheen lead last week). They found the closest NH-Gov race anyone has ever seen, with Maggie Hassan leading Walt Havenstein only 48-44 (down from a 52-40 lead last week).
NEC also found one the closest NH-02 results ever, with Annie Kuster leading Marilinda Garcia 47-45 (down from 49-38 last week), and Carol Shea-Porter getting demolished in NH-01, losing 51-39 to Frank Guinta (after a tied 45-45 race last week). You'll notice the link just says "Page Not Found," so you'll have to take our word for it.
Then, on Thursday, WMUR's James Pindell announced the House numbers were being recalled. NEC's subsequent release didn't offer any explanation beyond "An earlier version of this article had incorrect numbers in the two congressional races that were provided by New England College," so it's unclear whether it was just a transcription error or a calculation error that they fixed. The new NH-01 numbers barely changed, at Guinta 51-41, but it's a whole new race in NH-02, with Kuster leading 50-39. Or, really, the same old race, meaning that the entire Senate and gubernatorial shift in one week was concentrated within the bounds of NH-01.
If you're a discerning poll consumer, that may have reminded you of one of 2012's biggest poll fails, the Mason-Dixon UT-04 poll so messed up that it had to be withdrawn from circulation. So, it's best to take this poll ... and subsequent NEC polls... with not just salt but also pepper, mustard, and whatever else is in your condiment rack.
• WV-Sen: Rasmussen: Shelley Moore Capito (R): 50, Natalie Tennant (D): 39 (Aug.: 50-33 Capito).
• CO-Gov: Rasmussen: John Hickenlooper (D-inc): 50, Bob Beauprez (R): 46 (Sept.: 45-44 Beauprez).
• FL-Gov: A new Republican firm called Øptimus (refugees from the planet Cybertrøn, presumably) finds Democrat Charlie Crist with a super-slim 41-40 edge on GOP Gov. Rick Scott, while Libertarian Adrian Wyllie takes a monster 11 percent. This is the first time we've heard of Øptimus, but they've actually been polling almost every week since the start of August, though they've always shown a close race. They're also in the analytics business and offer a ton of other data, much it looking at TV ad buys.
• IL-Gov: In the last few days, there has suddenly been a flurry of polls in this high-profile gubernatorial race, with a pretty wide range of outcomes:
Battleground Polling: Gov. Pat Quinn (D-inc) 43, Bruce Rauner (R) 43
Fabrizio Lee (R): Quinn 41, Rauner 39
Communication Express (R): Rauner 43, Quinn 37
So, we even see an eight-point spread among the GOP pollsters eyeballing the race (though that disparity might be explained by the almost certainly low proportion of African American voters (10.7 percent) in the Communication Express poll, which was barely more than half of the 2010 turnout
After spending the summer facing horrific polls, it looks like Quinn has resurrected his re-election campaign. Earlier in the week, even Rasmussen spotted the incumbent a two-point lead over his GOP challenger, after having Rauner out front earlier in the summer.
• LA-Gov: The U.S. Senate race isn't even close to over, but next year's contest to succeed termed-out Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is already taking shape. On Thursday, Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle announced he would run. Angelle is a former St. Martin Parish president and he has served in various government posts under former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Jindal. He also served as interim lieutenant governor for much of 2010 after Mitch Landrieu resigned from the post to become mayor of New Orleans. Interestingly, both parties tried to recruit Angelle to run for the old LA-03 in the 2010 cycle, but he declined to go for it.
There are a ton of candidates looking at running next year. On the GOP side Sen. David Vitter has already declared his intentions and looks like the frontrunner, and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (who succeeded Angelle in that office) is very likely to join him. On the Democratic side, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell and state House Minority Leader John Bell Edwards are in. This field is only likely to grow especially after the Senate race concludes.
• MA-Gov: One big problem for Democrat Martha Coakley as the polls tighten up is that she's also facing a serious cash crunch, so much so that every member of the Massachusetts House delegation has been asked to pony up $25,000, while senators are expected to give $100,000. Just about everyone's on board, though Steve Lynch is acting predictably petty because Coakley, as attorney general, once brought campaign finance charges a couple of Lynch's Southie buddies.
But while this congressional ask might net Coakley as much as $350,000, Republican Charlie Baker still has a big money advantage. He currently has $1.55 million in the bank while Coakley has a pitiful $266,000. In fairness, part of the problem is Massachusetts' very late primary, which meant Coakley was spending heavily to win the nomination right through September. But if the DGA has to come bail her out at the expense of pickup opportunities, that is seriously going to suck.
• MI-Gov, Sen: So we've got a trio of new polls out in Michigan, with two from local pollsters (including the highly questionable Mitchell Research), and what appears to be a responsive internal poll from Democrats rightfully grumpy about the numbers. Here's what we've got for the governor's race:
• EPIC-MRA: Rick Snyder (R-inc): 45, Mark Schauer (D): 39 (Aug: 45-43 Schauer).
• Lake Research (D): Snyder: 44, Schauer: 43 (Aug.: 46-38 Snyder) (conducted for Progress Michigan).
• Mitchell Research: Snyder: 46, Schauer: 42 (Sept.: 46-41 Snyder).
And the Senate contest:
• EPIC-MRA: Gary Peters (D): 42, Terri Lynn Land (R): 33 (Aug.: 45-39 Peters).
• Lake Research (D): Peters: 45, Land: 36 (Aug.: 42-38 Peters).
• Mitchell Research: Peters: 49, Land: 36 (Sept.: 43-41 Peters).
The spreads between the two races are getting out of control. Lake has just a 10-point different between Peters and Schauer, but EPIC's at 15 and Mitchell's all the way at 17. There's also a serious divergence in trendlines. While all three outfits see Peters improving, Lake finds the Schauer-Snyder race tightening while EPIC and Mitchell see it widening in the incumbent's favor. Lake's poll may be for a partisan group with a particular agenda, but given how whacky so much local Michigan polling is (and how shadily Mitchell behaved in squelching a recent poll it didn't like), I'm more inclined to trust Lake's numbers here.
• SC-Gov: Biden Alert! The VPOTUS is headed down to Columbia, South Carolina to headline a rally for state Democrats on Oct 14. It's an interesting choice, seeing as the Palmetto State is not one where you'd think the president (or vice president) would be particularly popular. And indeed, there's no word yet on whether Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic candidate for governor, will even attend. But this trip is probably more about Biden's presidential aspirations, as South Carolina is, of course, an early primary state.
• IL-12, 13, 17: We Ask America, the polling arm of the conservative Illinois Manufacturers' Association, has released three new polls of House races in their home state on behalf of local tipsheet Capitol Fax:
• IL-12: Mike Bost (R): 45, Bill Enyart (D-inc): 40, Paula Bradshaw (G): 6.
• IL-13: Rodney Davis (R-inc): 51, Ann Callis (D): 38.
• IL-17: Cheri Bustos (D-inc): 50, Bobby Schilling (R): 41, Chad Grimm (Lib): 9.
The only district of these three where we have recent polling from another source is the 13th: Last month, a Davis internal found him up 55-36. Otherwise, there's really bupkes to go on, though a year ago
, WAA found Bustos ahead just 45-44 in the 17th. Of course, the firm's 2012 Illinois House polling
was both comically wrong and heavily biased in favor of the GOP, so don't put a lot of stock in any of these numbers.
• NY-21: A new in-house survey from Republican pollster Harper Polling finds Republican Elise Stefanik with a 45-37 lead on Democrat Aaron Woolf in New York's open 21st District, with Green Partier Matt Funiciello at 7. That's a little bit better for Woolf than a Siena poll last month that put Stefanik ahead 46-33 with Funiciello at 10, but not by much. Daily Kos Elections rates this race as Lean Republican.
• NY State Senate: Ugh. One of New York Democrats' better shots at picking up a state Senate seat this fall is not looking very good, according to Siena. Their new poll of the 7th District, located on Long Island, finds GOP incumbent Jack Martins crushing self-funding Democrat Adam Haber 56-31, even as Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is killing Republican Rob Astorino 58-29. A Cuomo endorsement for Haber would be a big deal here, but of course, Cuomo has zero intention of living up to his "pledge" to help Democrats retake the state Senate.
• President-by-LD: We return to Virginia, for a look at The Old Dominion's 2013 statewide contests (or commonwealthwide contests). We have the results of the races for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general (as well as president and 2012 U.S Senate) calculated by state House, state Senate, and congressional district. Note that our attorney general numbers utilize the state's post-recount totals. President-by-LD is our ongoing project to provide election results by legislative and congressional district for every state in the nation. You can find our master list of data here.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli statewide by a 48-45 margin. McAuliffe carried 44 of the 100 House of Delegates' districts, compared to 47 for Obama. While the Republicans drew the House to keep their formidable majorities intact, ticket splitting helps explain why Democrats only have a superminority of 32 seats. Eleven districts voted for McAuliffe while electing a Republican to the House, while the GOP won another McAuliffe seat in a 2014 special election.
The state Senate is a lot more competitive. McAuliffe and Cuccinelli each won 20 districts, and the GOP currently holds a 21-19 majority. John Watkins is the only Republican to sit in a McAuliffe district: His Richmond-area seat went for McAuliffe 47-42, and for Obama 50-48. Only Hampton Roads' SD-07 went for Obama and Cuccinelli, and both by narrow margins. The entire state Senate will next be up for four-year terms in 2015.
In the lieutenant governor contest, Democrat Ralph Northam defeated E.W. Jackson 55-45: Northam took 59 House seats and 25 Senate seats. In the attorney general's race, Democrat Mark Herring netted 41 House seats and 20 Senate districts as he was beating Mark Obenshain by 957 votes statewide. In the 2012 U.S. Senate contest, Democrat Tim Kaine defeated George Allen 53-47 statewide and won 49 House seats and 22 Senate districts.
The GOP currently holds eight of the state's eleven congressional districts. Each of the three Democratic-held seats (VA-03, VA-08, and VA-11) backed all five statewide Democrats. The GOP-held VA-01, VA-05, VA-06, and VA-09 went for Mitt Romney and the other four statewide Republicans, though Northam came close to winning the 1st and 5th. The Hampton Roads-area 2nd District, currently held by Republican Rep. Scott Rigell, voted for four of the statewide Democrats, with Obenshain taking it 52-48 in the attorney general contest.
Northern Virginia's 10th District, which is being vacated by Republican Rep. Frank Wolf, was close in all five races: Herring won it by six votes, while Kaine and Northam also carried it for Team Blue. The Petersburg-area 4th District, represented by Republican Rep. Randy Forbes, also went for Kaine and Northam. Most interestingly the safely red 7th District, formerly represented by Eric Cantor, went for Northam 51-49 while supporting every other statewide Republican by double digits.
• Redistricting: This is a bit scary. Republicans have been incensed for years over Arizona's independent redistricting commission, even impeaching the panel's chair after they didn't like the map she drew, only to have that act of naked partisan aggression overturned by the state Supreme Court. That setback hasn't stopped the GOP from pursuing every possible legal avenue to undermine the commission, which was approved by voters many years ago, and now they've gotten their foot in the door at the U.S. Supreme Court.
As Rick Hasen says, it seems like a settled matter that voters are permitted to "set the manner for congressional elections" by instituting redistricting commissions at the ballot box, but the fact that the SCOTUS has agreed to hear this Republican challenge suggests that perhaps the court is prepared to roll back that power. That would clash with existing precedent, but that's rarely if ever been a concern for Chief Justice Roberts and his conservative cohorts. If the GOP is successful here, it could mean the death of the commission and a mid-decade gerrymander (thanks to Republican control of the legislature) that would badly hurt Democrats, who are clinging to a 5-4 majority in Arizona's congressional delegation.
Ads & Independent Expenditures:
• AK-Sen: Republican Dan Sullivan features a former colleague who talks about his record protecting women as attorney general.
• AR-Sen: Freedom Partners spends another $390,000 against Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.
• CO-Sen: The NRSC has a Spanish-language edition of a recent spot they ran against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. The DSCC continues going after Republican Cory Gardner on personhood.
• IA-Sen: Republicans have relentless portrayed Democrat Bruce Braley as being indifferent to veterans' concerns, and Braley is (probably a bit belatedly) pushing back. He speaks to the camera in his new ad, and emphasizes his work on veterans' issues. Also on the Democratic side, the DSCC has two spots (here and here). The first hits Republican Joni Ernst on tax-breaks for companies that outsource, while the second goes after her on personhood, portraying her as a social conservative extremist. Better late than never.
For Team Red, Freedom Partners spends $472,000.
• KS-Sen: Bob Dole stars in a new spot for Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. Dole says some generically nice things about Roberts but he's a good surrogate for the embattled senator: A recent Suffolk poll found that Kansans had a favorable view of Dole by a 73-16 margin. Also on the GOP side, Freedom Partners spends $259,000.
Independent Greg Orman goes to the right on immigration. He accuses Roberts of doing nothing to stop undocumented immigrants from getting into the country, while Orman pledges to secure the border.
• MI-Sen: The DSCC hits Republican Terri Lynn Land on Medicare, while Land accuses Democrat Gary Peters of helping foreign car companies at the expense of American ones.
• MN-Sen: Democratic Sen. Al Franken promotes his work passing a law that made sure rape survivors didn't need to pay for their own rape kits.
• NC-Sen: Women Speak Out PAC goes after Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan on late-term abortion, spending $620,000.
• NH-Sen: American Crossroads reserves $3 million to help Republican Scott Brown.
• OR-Sen: At least one pro-GOP group isn't giving up on Monica Wehby here. Opportunity Alliance PAC is spending $125,000.
• DSCC: Various pro-Democratic expenditures.
• NextGen Climate: Various pro-Democratic federal expenditures (here, here, and here).
• NRA: Various pro-GOP expenditures.
• NRSC: Various pro-GOP expenditures.
• FL-Gov: NextGen Climate has a Spanish-language spot hitting Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
• HI-Gov: Democrat David Ige calls for policies that will keep young people in Hawaii. Also on the Democratic side, the DGA-backed Hawaii Forward goes after Republican Duke Aiona for wanting to outlaw abortion.
• MA-Gov: Democrat Martha Coakley calls for expanding mental care. She uses the story of her brother, who took his own life, to argue that this topic needs to be addressed.
• MD-Gov: Republican Larry Hogan defends himself on women's health.
• SC-Gov: Republican Gov. Nikki Haley has my favorite genre of ad: The one that accuses her opponent of running a negative campaign, before un-ironically going hard negative on him. Her target is of course Democrat Vincent Sheheen.
• WI-Gov: Greater Wisconsin again hits Republican Gov. Scott Walker on the state economy.
• AR-02: Republican French Hill calls Patrick Henry Hayes a tax raising-Obama-loving liar.
• AZ-02: The DCCC hits Republican Martha McSally on Social Security. Democratic Rep. Ron Barber also goes after McSally on tax cuts for the rich. On the GOP side, Women Lead spends $200,000.
• CA-07: Democratic Rep. Ami Bera contrasts his record on Social Security with Republican Doug Ose's.
• HI-01: Democrat Mark Takai.
• LA-05: The Club for Growth spends $258,000 against Republican Rep. Vance McAllister in the jungle primary: They recently ran this spot.
• LA-06: State Sen. Dan Claitor, one of the many Republicans running here, has two new spots (here and here).
• MI-01: The American Society of Anesthesiologists spends $100,000 for Republican Rep. Dan Benishek.
• MI-11: Republican Dave Trott.
• NJ-02: Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo.
• NJ-03: Democrat Aimee Belgard hits Republican Tom MacArthur on equal pay and abortion.
• NY-01: The American Action Network recently ran this spot against Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop, and it has $933,000 behind it.
• NY-11: Democrat Domenic Recchia goes positive.
• NY-23: Democrat Martha Robertson.
• NY-24: Two spots from the DCCC (here and here) hitting Republican John Katko.
• PA-08: Democrat Kevin Strouse.
• WV-02: Republican Alex Mooney stresses how conservative he is. The narrator declares that Mooney came to West Virginia "to fight for freedom," which is another way of saying that Mooney moved to West Virginia to run for Congress.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, with additional contributions from Jeff Singer, David Jarman, Steve Singiser, and Taniel.