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• GA-Sen, -Gov: SurveyUSA confirms both PPP and just the general sense of the race: Jack Kingston is kicking David Perdue's ass in the GOP runoff for Senate. Kingston leads Perdue 52-41 according to SUSA; that's similar to the 46-34 margin PPP found, only it's even worse for Perdue, since Kingston is already cresting 50. The runoff isn't until July 22, so it could be a painful month-and-a-half for Perdue if he can't seriously reverse Kingston's mojo.
However, there's one possible warning sign in this poll: the general election results. SUSA puts Kingston up 43-37 on Democrat Michelle Nunn, and Perdue leads by a similar 43-38 spread, while Libertarian Amanda Swafford takes 6 percent in both matchups. These are by far the worst numbers in quite some time for Nunn, who's led in most polling and is at 46 percent in the Pollster average.
But they may not be entirely off-base. The only other outfit to include Swafford was St. Leo, who found Nunn edging Kingston just 39-38 and trailing Perdue 41-37. So as we've seen in other states like North Carolina, the Libertarian's presence is simply reducing the overall vote share for the major parties. The issue, of course, is whom Swafford hurts more, and whether Nunn can clear 50 percent in November in spite of a third-party candidacy. If she can't, she'll face a January runoff where Republicans will likely have the upper hand.
SUSA also has numbers on the gubernatorial race, where GOP Gov. Nathan Deal leads Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter 44-38, with Libertarian Andrew Hunt at 7. That's very similar to their may results, which were Deal 43, Carter 37, and Hunt 7.
• AK-Sen: The campaign advertising for Alaska's Senate race has officially gone meta. First, Republican former Attorney General Dan Sullivan did a spot from the roof of the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage to accuse Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of not achieving results. Then, Begich filmed an ad in the same place, touting how he helped build the Dena'ina Center as mayor of Anchorage and poking fun at Sullivan's claims. Now, Sullivan has a response ad bringing up Begich's response ad.
Sullivan accuses Begich for "taking credit for other people's work" and claims the senator votes with Obama 97 percent of the time. Sullivan also brings up another one of Begich's ads, claiming that Begich is "pretending to ride around in snow machines." Of course, Begich actually did ride a snowmobile. I really hope Begich just ends this game of ad telephone rather than producing a response ad to this response ad to another response ad. (Jeff Singer)
• IA-Sen: Loras College, a small Catholic school with a brand-new polling arm (and hence no track record), just published its first poll of the general election, finding GOP state Sen. Ernst leading Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley 48-42. However, Loras' sample very likely skews conservative:
Likely voter sample included only those who voted in the 2010 general election and who indicated likeliness to vote in 2014 or who have registered to vote since 2010 and indicated likeliness to vote in 2014.
If you start off by limiting yourself largely to people who voted in 2010, an epic GOP wave year, you're going to have a hard time properly approximating the 2014 electorate. (Credit to sulthernao
for the catch.) Loras also blew the Republican primary pretty badly, finding Ernst beating second-place finisher Mark Jacobs by just 12 points
when she won by 38—but then again, so did everyone else
There's also a poll from Rasmussen: Ernst: 45, Braley: 44 (March: 40-37 Braley).
• MS-Sen: Mitch McConnell just announced that he'll host fundraiser for fellow Sen. Thad Cochran on Tuesday at NRSC headquarters in DC, along with the junior senator from Cochran's home state, Roger Wicker, and some other unnamed Republican senators. It's possible that the NRSC simply wants to stand by one of its own and keep the incumbents who fill its coffers happy by showing they'll protect folks even in deep red states. But it may also be that the GOP is genuinely afraid that a Chris McDaniel victory in the June 24 runoff will turn an easy hold into a more challenging one—an opening that Democrats are, apparently, gearing up to exploit, should they get so lucky.
• MT-Sen: Brand-new Republican pollster Vox Populi (Mary Cheney's firm) has some seriously gaudy numbers for GOP Rep. Steve Daines, who leads Democratic Sen. John Walsh 56-33 in a poll taken around three weeks ago. While the race hasn't been polled often, that's by far the biggest margin Daines has ever seen. What's also strange is that Vox asked respondents about "Senator Harry Reid's job performance as Senate Majority Leader" before getting to the horserace—a weird question that doesn't really have any business in a poll like this. They also made sure to ask about Obama and Walsh's job approvals, but didn't bother with Daines' favorables.
• IA-Gov: Rasmussen: Terry Branstad (R-inc): 49, Jack Hatch (D): 40. Loras College: Branstad: 52, Hatch 38.
• MA-Gov: A new poll from SocialSphere for the Boston Globe finds Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley beating 2010 GOP nominee Charlie Baker 37-32, but Baker leads state Treasurer Steve Grossman 32-26. As is typical of most polling of this race, there are lots of undecideds.
• MD-Gov: Attorney General Doug Gansler has certainly demonstrated some very questionable political instincts (more than once) during his campaign, but he's probably correctly identified Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's weak spot.
Gansler has another ad out where he blames Brown, who is the frontrunner in the June 24 Democratic primary, for mismanaging the state's Obamacare roll-out. The narrator throws in a quick jab at Brown for not endorsing Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary, saying "Brown opposed Barack Obama when he first ran for president, then mismanaged Obamacare in Maryland, costing people health care." Seems like a not-so-subtle way to try and suggest Brown is secretly anti-Obama because of his (unmentioned) support for Hillary Clinton in 2008.
Brown defends himself in a new spot, where the narrator notes all the people who have in fact benefited from the Affordable Care Act in Maryland. The narrator also quickly hits Gansler at the beginning by insisting that he's "attacking Obamacare," which is certainly a very creative interpretation of Gansler's messaging. Brown goes completely positive in another spot, which highlights his running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. (Jeff Singer)
• CA-31: San Bernardino County counted a few hundred additional ballots on Friday, but the needle's barely moved. Democrat Pete Aguilar's lead over Republican Lesli Gooch for the second general election spot narrowed very slightly from 183 votes to 181. (Republican Paul Chabot has a solid lock on first.)
About 3,900 provisional and emergency ballots are left to be tallied countywide, and about a third of them are likely to be in the 31st District. For Gooch to pass Aguilar, she'd need the estimated 1,300 remaining ballots to favor her over Aguilar by about a 14 point margin. This looks like a tall order, and Aguilar has long since declared victory, though Gooch's campaign manager confirms she's not yet conceding. (Jeff Singer)
• CA-33: Well, this endorsement would have been interesting had it come a week ago, but retiring Rep. Henry Waxman is obviously backing Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu now, since Lieu will face Republican Evan Carr in November after the pair emerged from Tuesday's top-two primary. Lieu is the overwhelming favorite in this dark blue Los Angeles-area district that voted for Barack Obama 61-37.
P.S. Here's a cool interactive precinct-level map of the primary results, courtesy the Los Angeles Times.
• NY-13: Charlie Rangel probably wishes he hadn't let this line slip out of his mouth in a recent debate with his Democratic primary opponent, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat:
"I hope somewhere during this debate, ... [Espaillat] tries to share what the heck has he done besides saying he's a Dominican?" Rangel said.
• CA Controller: SSP Labs finished another 58-county canvass in the California controller's race late on Friday, and the updated vote totals show just how much the top-two primary can mess with us. With that canvass (and some additional votes from Alameda and San Diego counties reported over the weekend), we're finding that Republican David Evans is actually in fourth place now, 9,989 votes behind second-place Democrat Betty Yee and 9,108 votes behind third-place Democrat John Perez. (The gap between Yee and Perez is 881 votes.)
If this finishing order holds (and there is reason to believe it will, as Yee has several Bay Area strongholds with ballots left where she is outpacing both Perez and Evans by substantial margins), Yee would advance to the general election runoff against Republican Ashley Swearengin (who leads Yee by more than 109,000 votes). Evans had been in second as recently as Friday morning, threatening to shut Democrats out of the November general election entirely, but Perez and Yee have both been steadily gaining ground. (jeffmd)
• DCCC: The DCCC just added nine more candidates to its Red to Blue program and five more to its entry-level "Emerging Races" list. Four of the new R2B inclusions are in fact upgrades from the original Emerging Races roster: James Lee Witt (AR-04), Michael Eggman (CA-10), Jim Mowrer (IA-04), and Nick Casey (WV-02). The rest are races where nominations have now been resolved, or in one case, where a late-breaking opportunity emerged (Brad Ashford in NE-02). The full lists are here.
• FL Redistricting: Florida's two-week redistricting trial over the state's congressional maps has come to an end, though it could be "several weeks" before the judge who heard the case issues a decision. And any ruling is sure to get appealed, so if any modifications are made to the district lines, they won't go into effect until 2016.