Former Illinois Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider
• IL-10: Opponents of President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran had hoped to make Democratic supporters of the agreement pay a price. But ironically, the only Democrat who's suffered a concrete loss as a result of his views on the deal is former Rep. Brad Schneider, who came out against it. Ex-Rep. Abner Mikva, a revered liberal figure who had been the last Democrat to represent this suburban Chicago seat, pointedly switched his endorsement from Schneider to Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, and now former Sen. Adlai Stevenson III has followed suit.
Not only does Stevenson hail from one of Illinois' most famous political families—his father, Adlai Stevenson II, served as governor and was the Democrats' presidential nominee twice—but he also has deep ties to the 10th District. The Stevenson family home, which was designated a national historical landmark last year, is in the district, as is the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy (named after Adlai II), which Stevenson chairs.
Both Schneider and Rotering are hoping to take on GOP Rep. Bob Dold!, who defeated Schneider in a rematch last year.
• AZ-Sen: You snooze, you lose. EMILY's List just endorsed Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in her bid to unseat GOP Sen. John McCain (assuming a primary challenger doesn't get to him first), which means EMILY isn't waiting on Rep. Kyrsten Sinema to make up her mind—if it ever was. Sinema still hasn't publicly confirmed whether or not she'll run for Senate, but with the establishment firmly behind Kirkpatrick, Sinema would start at a serious disadvantage if she were to get in now.
• CO-Sen: A new conservative group called Advancing Colorado is out with a negative spot attacking Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet's support for the Iran deal. The ad starts with ten children counting down to one in different languages before a mushroom cloud goes off, with the ad panning over the fallout and warning that "a nuclear Iran is a threat to the entire world." Advancing Colorado calls their commercial "shocking," but it's just one of about a billion that rips off Lyndon Johnson's 1964 Daisy ad. Politico says the ad will run for six-figures in the Denver market. However, Colorado Democrats say the buy is only for $46,000, which the group's director didn't dispute.
• IA-Sen: Democratic state Sen. Rob Hogg has been flirting with a bid against GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley for months, and he made his candidacy official this week. Democrats aren't at all optimistic that they'll defeat the very popular incumbent next year, but it's always good to have a viable candidate just in case the unexpected occurs. It's unclear if Hogg will make it to the end of the campaign without Joni Ernst trying to castrate him.
• MD-Sen: On Tuesday, Donna Edwards earned an endorsement from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, a group that tends to be politically active. While Democratic primary rival Chris Van Hollen has been securing more endorsements from Maryland politicians, labor has been more divided.
• WI-Sen: Democrat Russ Feingold consistently leads Republican incumbent Ron Johnson in the polls, but conservative groups aren't giving up on their man. The Club For Growth has two new ads, which Politico says are running for a total of $700,000. The first commercial attacks Feingold's 18 years in the Senate, linking him to higher debt and bailouts. The ad doesn't go after any specific Feingold votes; it just notes how much things sucked in the 18 years he was in D.C. The second spot has a similar argument, but set to song. It features a vintage clip of a Feingold 1992 ad while the narrator sings about the "Russ Feingold way."
• ND-Gov: State Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Lt. Gov Drew Wrigley have both talked about running for this open seat, but the two Republicans have reportedly been trying to work out an arrangement where only one of them will go for it. Until recently, Wrigley has expressed far more public interest than Stenehjem in seeking the promotion. But Stenehjem said on Monday that he's "seriously considering" getting in, his strongest statement to date. Stenehjem's comments come after an independent poll from Telos Associates gave him a 57 percent favorable rating, compared to only 36 percent for Wrigley.
Wrigley reaffirmed on Monday that he's still considering, though his statement wasn't incredibly enthusiastic. Wrigley recently admitted to having an extra-marital affair and while the general reaction in North Dakota politics was "meh," the story may make the idea of a gubernatorial bid a bit less appealing, especially if Stenehjem is committed to running. Telos also tested the favorability of rich guy Doug Burgum, who is considering running as either a Republican or an independent, and gave him a 23 percent positive rating. Two other prospective GOP candidates, state Sen. Tom Campbell and Treasurer Kelly Schmidt, were not tested.
• AZ-02, IL-12, MI-07, NY-21, NY-24: The NRCC just leaked a batch of five new polls, all conducted by Harper Polling, covering a variety of House races across the country. Unsurprisingly, the results are positive for Republicans:
• AZ-02: Martha McSally (R-inc): 47, state Rep. Victoria Steele (D): 40
• AZ-02: McSally: 48, ex-state Rep. Matt Heinz: 40
• IL-12: Mike Bost (R-inc): 51, attorney C.J. Baricevic (D): 35
• MI-07: Tim Walberg (R-inc): 49, state Rep. Gretchen Driskell (D): 32
• NY-21: Elise Stefanik (R-inc): 51, retired Army Col. Mike Derrick (D): 17, activist Matt Funiciello (G): 13
• NY-24: John Katko (R-inc): 51, college professor Eric Kingson (D): 28
Early House polls are weak predictors of future results, largely because they're testing candidates who are little-known—including the incumbents. But it's fair to say that Democrats have not put much stock in their candidates in either IL-12
and are still looking to recruit stronger alternatives, so you wouldn't expect to see much if you're polling in either district.
In NY-21, Funiciello actually managed to take 11 percent last year, which makes his current take plausible. If Derrick can't find a way to neutralize Funiciello's appeal, Democrats will have a very hard time unseating Stefanik. MI-07 is the one seat where this isn't the first poll we've seen: Revsix showed Driskell beating Walberg 42-37 back in March, though those numbers were probably too optimistic for Driskell.
The softest results of the bunch come in AZ-02, particularly when you bear in mind that these are internal polls, which invariably favor the party releasing them. McSally won the closest House race in the nation last year, so there's every reason to expect another dogfight. Even more importantly, all of these races are apt to be heavily influenced by what happens at the top of the ticket. If these incumbents are actually in the mid-to-high 40s, rather than the high 40s to low 50s, they could all be vulnerable in 2016.
• CA-21: Democrats are hoping that presidential turnout will doom sophomore Republican David Valadao in this 55-44 Obama Central Valley seat, but Fowler Councilor Daniel Parra raised a distressingly low amount of money last quarter. While Parra has the support of several labor leaders and the backing of Controller Betty Yee and Senate candidate Loretta Sanchez, national Democrats don't seem ready to stop looking for another candidate.
Certified Public Accountant Connie Perez recently met with the DCCC, and she'll have more meetings in D.C. at the end of September. Perez herself also confirms that she's "very strongly considering a run." Parra and his allies are in no hurry to back down though, and they've already claiming that Perez only recently joined the Democratic Party and is currently registered to vote in Pasadena, which is far outside the district.
• IL-08: Businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi has picked up endorsements from the Illinois State Council of Machinists and the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 2. Krishnamoorthi faces two other Democrats in the primary and he has a clear edge in money and endorsements so far.
• IL-13: Democrats have been looking for a credible contender to face Rep. Rodney Davis in this swingy central Illinois seat, and they may have someone. Macon County Commissioner Mark Wicklund recently filed with the FEC, though he hasn't made an announcement. Macon is the second largest county in the 13th but it only contains 16 percent of the seat, so Wicklund wouldn't start with much name recognition. It doesn't help that 2012 Democratic nominee David Gill, who came close to beating Davis, is running as an independent. Two other Democrats have expressed interest in running. (Hat-tip Politics1)
• MN-02: On Tuesday, ex-state Sen. John Howe kicked off his bid for this open swing seat. Howe gives the GOP their first credible contender here, but he's unlikely to clear the field: Roll Call recently reported that local Republicans see state Sen. Ted Daley as their top prospect. Howe himself comes across as an ok candidate, but not marvelous: Howe can self-fund, but he lost his 2012 re-election bid for the state Senate even as Romney was carrying his district.
• Demographics: The Washington Post's Wonkblog has a fascinating new chart out showing the differences in housing stock in the nation's 50 largest cities. Single-family detached houses are still dominant in most of the large cities, though there's a big difference in density between older cities, mostly located on the coasts (even Los Angeles, despite its sprawl-y reputation), and newer cities, mostly located inland on flat terrain that lets them expand unimpeded in every direction.
You may be surprised to know that Philadelphia, not New York City, has the lowest percentage of single-family detached homes. The difference, though, is that NYC is dominated by buildings with 20+ units, while Philly (and Baltimore) are dominated by rowhouses, aka single-family attached homes. One other surprise in the opposite direction is how Detroit, which you probably visualize as a gritty streetscape, is actually one of the most single-family-heavy cities.
If you're wondering what the political implications of this are, one answer is that density is becoming a hot topic in many cities (much of the controversy in Seattle's upcoming municipal elections, for instance, is about the usually arcane issue of zoning). But if you look closely at the chart of the rank order of the top 50 cities according to single-family percentage, you'll notice a very strong correlation with how liberal or conservative those cities are. In fact, we crunched the numbers, and the correlation between each city's single-family percentage and its 2012 Obama percentage (based, admittedly in a somewhat apples-to-oranges fashion, on the county it's in, since we don't have pres-by-city data for most places) is a startling -0.76!
Don't start thinking we've found the Rosetta Stone for political prognostication, though! When you do a more apples-to-apples match, of single-family residence per county vs. 2012 Obama percentage, and do it for every county and not just the ones with major cities, then the correlation is a much less interesting -0.36. The problem is that rural counties have a high single-family percentage, regardless of whether they're blue or red.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir and Jeff Singer, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, and Stephen Wolf.