The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.
● MO-Sen: Hrm. Attorney General Josh Hawley, who has made his fellow Republicans nervous with his wobbly campaign against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, is trying to calm jitters by releasing a new poll of the race, but if we were Hawley's intended audience, we wouldn't feel better at all. In fact, we'd feel even more anxious, because Hawley's survey, from OnMessage, has him up just 47-46 on McCaskill, and when your own internal polling shows you up just 1 point, well, that's not the halest of signs.
What's more, the poll gives McCaskill a 47-48 favorability rating—quite a healthy showing for the woman who's supposed to be the most vulnerable Democratic senator up for re-election this year. (Hawley's favorables were not released.) OnMessage's main argument seems to be that even though GOP Gov. Eric Greitens has utterly imploded and now sports a brutal 27-53 job approval score, the Senate race has remained stable. In other words, they're saying that things merely haven't gotten any worse for Hawley!
That's not really a reassuring claim to offer about a guy whose bid has already come in for plenty of intra-party criticism and necessitated a recent shakeup of his fundraising team, but we'll just have to see if Republican bigwigs swallow this one or keep complaining.
● IN-Sen: Pre-primary fundraising reports are now available for the period covering April 1-18, and all three of the major candidates had a similar amount of funds in the bank ahead of the May 8 Republican primary. Self-funding businessman Mike Braun led the pack with $1.4 million on-hand, while Rep. Todd Rokita maintained $1.3 million, and Rep. Luke Messer counted $1.1 million. Braun has been largely reliant on his own fortune to fund his race, and he has spent more than $4.3 million on ads so far. Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly had $6 million on-hand and doesn't have to worry about any primary rival.
● RI-Sen: Former Gov. Lincoln Chafee recently surprised the political world when he announced he was "90 percent sure" he would mount a Democratic primary challenge against Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, and he now says he'll decide whether to run sometime this week.
● WV-Sen: Establishment Republicans have been spending big to prevent disgraced coal baron Don Blankenship from winning the May 8 primary for Senate, and their affiliated Mountain Families PAC has dropped another $585,000 on top of a recent $743,000 ad buy. Their latest spot attacks "convicted criminal Don Blankenship" for getting rich while 29 miners at his company died in a mine explosion, leading to his conviction for violating federal mine safety laws.
Meanwhile, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Rep. Evan Jenkins in the primary. Their support is notable given how they previously backed Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in every election he has run in since 1996, but like chambers around the country in recent years, they have unsurprisingly switched to a candidate more palatable to the GOP establishment.
● AK-Gov: A poll last week from Alaska Survey Research (formerly known as Ivan Moore Research) that found independent Gov. Bill Walker beating his likeliest Republican foe, former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy, also included a hypothetical matchup between Dunleavy and former Democratic Sen. Mark Begich. In that head-to-head, Begich leads 53-42, a bit better than Walker's 51-44 margin.
But it's very unlikely that such a pairing would in fact arise. Begich has been considering a bid since November, but Walker has said he's seeking re-election as an independent, so a straight one-on-one between Begich and Dunleavy would be impossible unless Walker were to drop out. The flipside, however, is not necessarily the case: Thanks to a successful Democratic Party lawsuit, independents can now run in Democratic primaries while still remaining independents. Walker could therefore win the Democratic nomination and then take on Dunleavy man-to-man in November.
● CA-Gov: Gubernatorial candidates in California just filed fundraising reports covering the period of Jan. 1 through April 21, and as he has all along, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom leads the way. Of the three main Democratic contenders, Newsom raised by far the most ($4.6 million) and likewise has by far the most in the bank ($20.5 million). His nearest rival, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, brought in $2.4 million and had $7.1 million left, while state Treasurer John Chiang took in $1.2 million but also transferred $3.1 million from his old campaign account, leaving him with $7.9 million.
The leading Republican, businessman John Cox, is the only other candidate with a seven-figure bank account, but the $1.2 million he has available is due to self-funding, and he could conceivably do more. But it's actually Villaraigosa who holds the biggest trump card: A super PAC backed by wealthy charter school advocates has already spent $2.6 million on his behalf and reported having another $7 million in its coffers as of the reporting deadline. Yet even that might understate its resources, as the Los Angeles Times says the group "has continued to pick up six- and seven-figure checks since then," including $1.5 million from former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
And with mail ballots going out to voters next week, Villaraigosa himself is running his first TV ad. In the spot, which he narrates himself, Villaraigosa recounts how he and his sister "took three buses to get to school" in kindergarten, an experience that inspired him to invest in schools and rail when he was mayor.
● GA-Gov: Republican Brian Kemp is out with a controversial new 30-second TV ad in which he brandishes a shotgun at "Jake," a young man "interested in one of [his] daughters." In the ad, Kemp sits menacingly with his firearm as young Jake parrots campaign talking points, including "a healthy appreciation for the Second Amendment," because when someone's sitting next to you with a gun you're going to say what he tells you to. Because the ad's not unsettling enough already, it ends with the camera creepily drifting across school pictures of (apparently) one or more of the daughters young Jake wants to date as Brian Kemp's logo and disclaimer appear on the screen.
Georgia TV stations have reportedly received "many" complaints about the ad, including from gun owners. However, FCC rules prevent TV stations from pulling the spot. There's no word on the size of the buy, but its unsettling nature has definitely earned it some extra air time and attention.
● ID-Gov: Boise School Board member A.J. Balukoff is out with a new ad ahead of the May 15 Democratic primary, but you'd have to be paying very close attention to know it was his. The ad consists entirely of footage of a young girl counting money while a woman narrating the spot decries the gender pay gap. Nowhere does the commercial even say Balukoff's name, and the only way you'd even know it was for his campaign is that an "A.J. Balukoff for governor" disclaimer appears on-screen at the very end. Consequently, it could be very easy for viewers to tune out such a message.
● KY-Gov: Democratic state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins has reiterated that he is considering running for governor next year, and this time he sounds increasingly likely to jump into the race against Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. Adkins relayed that his family is supportive of his prospective campaign, and he said he could decide soon on whether to run.
● MI-Gov: Newly published court documents show that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar, who previously claimed that animals left neglected when a lab he owned went bankrupt were the fault of the bank that repossessed the facility, had in fact opposed the bank's efforts to find homes for the animals.
In defending his actions, Thanedar said late last week that Bank of America was "anxious to sell all of the assets" of the shuttered lab, including 118 beagles and 55 monkeys. But as records examined by HuffPost's Daniel Marans show, the bank's receiver had in fact asked the bankruptcy court for permission to place the animals in sanctuaries.
Instead, it was Thanedar who fought the bank, insisting that the animals be sold (for anywhere "between $189,000.00 to $445,000.00") in order to reduce his liability to his creditors. The judge, however, soon sided with the bank and allowed the animals to be transferred. Prior to that point, their caretakers had reportedly scaled fences at the locked lab in order to provide food and water to them.
Thanedar responded by telling HuffPost that his lawyers "were just using any leverage to keep the bank to do its job," and claims that the animals were not abandoned. He made a similar statement to a local ABC news station, saying that his attorneys wanted to "make a point" in seeking to have the animals sold. When reporter Jim Kiertzner asked Thanedar why he didn't bring this up in an interview last week, Thanedar said it was "not on the top of my mind."
● MN-Gov: Rep. Tim Walz recently stated he will continue on to the Aug. 14 primary if he doesn't win the party endorsement at the early June convention, making him the only one of the three major Democrats in the race who has not promised to abide by the party endorsement outcome. Both state Auditor Rebecca Otto and state Rep. Erin Murphy have said they'll drop out if they lose at the convention.
● OH-Gov: Fundraising reports are available for all gubernatorial candidates from the period of Jan. 31 to April 26, and Republican Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor's fillings raise some eyebrows. Right before she filed her last report on Jan. 26, Taylor loaned herself $3 million in an effort to show she was in it to win against state Attorney General Mike DeWine, who is the party-endorsed front-runner. However, her subsequent filing showed Taylor repaid that $3 million immediately after filing her previous report the same day.
Sometimes, wealthy candidates who are struggling in the polls will loan themselves a hefty sum right before the filing deadline to inflate their quarterly fundraising totals, only to immediately repay it afterward, something that won't appear until the next fundraising report. But Taylor oddly enough loaned herself another $3 million in two installments of $500,000 on March 27 and $2.5 million on April 11.
It's unclear just exactly why she has shuffled so much money around multiple times. The Columbus Dispatch reported that Taylor repaid that initial $3 million loan to her husband, Donzell Taylor, who is a wealthy builder and developer. That raises the question of whether it was an illegal donation in excess of the $12,707 contribution limit, although Taylor claims the $3 million was from marital assets owned jointly by the couple.
Regardless, Taylor still lags far behind DeWine in the money chase. She raised just $419,000 from donors and had $1.9 million on-hand for the last two weeks ahead of the May 8 primary. Meanwhile, DeWine raised a considerable $1.7 million and finished the period with $7.4 million in the bank even though he's already spent $4.7 million on TV ads and other media.
On the Democratic side, former consumer watchdog Richard Cordray easily led the pack with $1.3 million raised and $1.6 million on-hand. The only other candidate who raised a serious sum isn't exactly Democrats' ideal candidate: Trump-friendly former Rep. Dennis Kucinich raised $592,000 in his first three months of the race and ended the reporting period with $275,000 on-hand. Finally, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni and former state Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill both failed to even break into the six figures with their fundraising.
● OR-Gov: Pre-primary reports ahead of the May 15 nominating contests are available in Oregon's race for governor, and Democratic incumbent Kate Brown continues to hold a sizable edge over her Republican rivals. Brown has raised $4.2 million this cycle and had $3.5 million on-hand as of April 26. Meanwhile, GOP state Rep. Knute Buehler has raised roughly $3.1 million since joining the race last August, but he finished the period with a smaller $1.5 million in the bank after spending $1.8 million so far.
Buehler's two conservative primary challengers aren't nearly as flush with cash, though. Retired Navy pilot Greg Wooldridge raised just $201,000 and had only $31,000 left over, saying he plans on “spending the last dollar as voters are returning their ballots,” which is certainly one way to go all in. Meanwhile, businessman Sam Carpenter raised and spent more than $190,000, primarily out of his own pocket. Of course, without any contribution limits whatsoever, it's always possible that Oregon candidates could receive an unexpected inundation of last-minute campaign cash.
● AR-02: Democrat Clarke Tucker has dropped a new 30-second TV spot in which he discusses his personal experience as a cancer survivor and his bipartisan work as a state legislator to expand health care. He describes health care as "a right" and vows to "stand up to anyone who tries to take your health insurance." The ad is not only biographical in terms of talking about his own fight with cancer, but it also functions as a dig at GOP incumbent Rep. French Hill, who voted for federal legislation that would have eliminated the Medicaid expansion that covers more than 200,000 Arkansans. There's no word on the size of the buy.
● CT-05: Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley, friends whose sons were both murdered in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, have both decided they will not seek retiring Rep. Elizabeth Esty's House seat. The two had both met with the DCCC, and Barden had reportedly been encouraged to run by Nancy Pelosi, but in a statement, both said they wished to remain close to their surviving children, and to continue their work with Sandy Hook Promise, the gun violence prevention group they founded in the wake of the massacre.
Another Democrat, however, is now looking at the race. Former state Comptroller Bill Curry, who narrowly lost a previous version of this seat all the way back in 1982, says he's considering a bid and will decide soon. Curry won a single term as comptroller in 1990, then lost a close race for governor to Republican John Rowland in an unusual contest in 1994, where four candidates registered in double digits. In 2002, Curry fell to Rowland again, this time by a wider margin, and more recently has worked as a political columnist.
● FL-15: UPDATE: Grayson has announced he will in fact run against Soto for his old seat in FL-09. (Pransky’s Monday tweet that Grayson would run in FL-15 has since been deleted.) Our original item is below.
Representatives for notorious former Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson told WTSP's Noah Pransky on Monday that he will on announce Tuesday he's running to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Dennis Ross in central Florida's 15th District, which backed Trump by 53-43 and is the type of district that could be vulnerable with a good candidate in a Democratic wave year. But despite his access to fundraising and his vast personal wealth, Grayson is anything but a good candidate to have in what's still a decidedly Republican-leaning seat.
For starters, Grayson has faced accusations of domestic abuse and was once caught on camera shoving a reporter for asking questions about the alleged incidents back in 2016. Grayson then had the temerity to accuse the reporter of assaulting him. And of course, he has long had a reputation as a verbal bomb-thrower.
The awful headlines don't even stop there: Back in 2016, the House Ethics Committee said there was "substantial reason to believe" Grayson broke federal law and House rules in his role promoting his own Cayman Islands hedge fund while he was in office. Furthermore, it was previously reported that in 2015 his family cashed in on an investment in a Canadian mining company whose almost entire revenue was from operations in the repressive nation of Eritrea, where it had long faced allegations of using slave labor.
Grayson had been flirting with running for the House again for over a year, but his old and much bluer 9th District is now in the hands of fellow Democrat Darren Soto, who would have been difficult to oust in a primary. However, Democrats don't have a big-named contender in the longtime red 15th, where the front-runner before today was Navy veteran Andrew Learned, who had just $39,000 in the bank at the beginning of April. Grayson has been raising money almost ever since he lost the 2016 Senate primary, and he had $695,000 on-hand a month ago.
Grayson's financial advantage makes him a very big fish in a small pond, and he could either force Learned to spend valuable resources to win the late Aug. 28 primary or outright win the nomination himself. If that happens, it's hard to see Democrats having much of a shot at flipping a district that was already tough to begin with.
● FL-18: On Monday morning, former Rep. Patrick Murphy, who held Florida's 18th Congressional District for two terms before unsuccessfully running for Senate in 2016, endorsed attorney Lauren Baer in the race for his old seat. Baer faces Navy veteran Pam Keith for the right to take on freshman GOP Rep. Brian Mast, whom Murphy criticized for voting to repeal Obamacare and for not speaking out against EPA Director Scott Pruitt. The coastal 18th District, located in the Palm Beach area, is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, so climate change is a salient issue here, and one that Murphy highlighted in his own campaigns.
● FL-27: Democrat Kristen Rosen Gonzalez's lawsuit challenging Florida's new "resign-to-run" law was rejected by a state court judge late last week, so she went ahead and resigned her seat on the Miami Beach City Commission (effective Jan. 3) in order to continue her bid for Florida's open 27th Congressional District.
But as the Miami Herald notes, Rosen Gonzalez's decision is "something of a surprise." That's because, in early April, she texted one of her rivals in the Democratic primary, state Rep. David Richardson, to all but admit defeat after former University of Miami president Donna Shalala entered the race:
"None of us can beat Shalala. Even if we had millions of dollars and only spent it attacking her, none of us can win. If you have honest data, you probably know that. Statistically, you can't win. Me either, unless Shalala gets out."
Well, Shalala certainly has shown no sign of getting out, though two other contenders, state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez and Miami Commissioner Ken Russell, did opt to quit the race rather than resign their current posts. Rosen Gonzalez also claims that her "informal" internal polling now shows her in second place, though she isn't sharing any of her data.
The one piece of data we do have is that Rosen Gonzalez is dead last among the notable Democratic contenders vying for this seat in fundraising, with just $137,000 in the bank. Shalala, thanks to a monster initial haul of $640,000 plus another half-million in self-funding, leads the way with $1.1 million in cash-on-hand, while Richardson has almost the same in his campaign account. Former newspaper reporter Matt Haggman is also well-funded, with an $870,000 war chest, while former state judge Mary Barzee Flores is sitting on $399,000.
Republicans, meanwhile, have finally picked it up, after previously having appeared to write off this contest. (Florida's 27th is the bluest GOP-held seat in the nation.) Former TV journalist Maria Elvira Salazar, in her first quarter in the race, brought in $303,000 from donors and has $288,000 on-hand, while former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro raised $262,000—vastly better than his pitiful $59,000 haul in the previous quarter—and had $421,000 left over. Democrats, however, still look favored to pick this seat up in November.
● MA-03: Democrat Dan Koh has dropped his first TV ad, a 30-second spot that discusses his grandfather's difficult upbringing, his parents' unique backgrounds, and the opportunities that "an America where anything is possible" provided for his family. The ad mentions his tenure as Boston Mayor Marty Walsh's chief of staff before segueing into his plans to "stand up to this president and fight for the values that make the American dream possible for all of us." Then his parents (aw!), various other folks, and then Koh himself urge the viewer, "Let's go!" There's no word yet on the size of the buy.
● NM-01: The New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council, which has 11,000 members statewide, has endorsed retired law professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez in the Democratic primary.
● NY-24: According to private Facebook posts published by the Intercept, former Syracuse corporation counsel Juanita Perez Williams, one of two main Democrats running for New York's 24th Congressional District, touted her "pro-life advocacy" and specifically mentioned participating in the 2016 "March for Life." In a statement in response to the Intercept's piece, Perez Williams claimed, "I believe 100% in women's right to choose and will always defend and protect that right," though she suggested that her "personal opinions" on abortion might run in a different direction.
That seems hard to square with her public comments and actions, though, seeing as the stated goal of the March for Life is overturning Roe v. Wade, which the organization calls "the greatest human rights violation of our time, legalized abortion on demand." Making matters stranger, EMILY's List, which is devoted to electing pro-choice Democratic women, endorsed Perez Williams during her unsuccessful bid for mayor of Syracuse last year; the organization now says it is "taking a close look" at the congressional race.
That race pits Perez Williams, who was recruited to run by the DCCC and was recently added to their Red to Blue list, against public policy professor Dana Balter, who calls herself "absolutely pro-choice" and whose supporters have reacted with fury to the D-Trip's intervention. (The Intercept says the DCCC did not respond to requests for comment.)
Those same local Democrats have also tried to knock Perez Williams off the ballot, and they've come very close to doing so. On Monday, election officials preliminarily ruled that 1,884 signatures that Perez Williams submitted were invalid, leaving her with only 1,393 good names—just 143 more than the 1,250 minimum. A further hearing is set for Tuesday, and the Balter backer leading the charge is confident she'll succeed in invalidating another 150 signatures. However, Perez Williams can challenge any adverse decision in court.
● NY-25: Rochester School Board president Van White recently failed to make the June 26 Democratic primary ballot, and he has since filed a lawsuit over what he calls vague guidelines that led him to to mail in his signatures on the day of the deadline but not see them received by the county until four days later. Even if he makes it onto the ballot, White may still struggle to win over voters after previously indicating he's used to being dismissed by party leaders.
● OH-12: The Club for Growth is back to its usual role of making life as difficult as possible for the NRCC with a new 15-second ad slamming state Sen. Troy Balderson, the apparent establishment choice in the May 8 Republican primary for Ohio's vacant 12th District. The spot says that Donald Trump "wants to repeal Obamacare" but Balderson "disagrees" and "voted to impose Obamacare on Ohio."
Ohio's legislature never voted to expand Medicaid—expansion was approved by a special legislative panel at the behest of Gov. John Kasich—but the Club says that Balderson voted for a state budget that actually paid for the increased coverage. Balderson is furious and has demanded that TV stations take down the ad, which is reportedly backed by a $175,000 buy.
The Club hasn't actually endorsed in this race, though the group's president, former Rep. David McIntosh, said he'd be "fine with" either Liberty Township Trustee Melanie Leneghan or economist Tim Kane. Leneghan has the support of the House Freedom Caucus, and she also has more pragmatic Republicans worried that she could cost them this seat in the August special election.
● OH-16: A new 30-second TV ad from Women for Trump hits Republican Anthony Gonzalez for being backed by the "party establishment" ("the swamp's choice") and for having "just moved here from San Francisco." The spot then pivots to laud his primary opponent, "conservative Christina Hagan." The back 20 seconds of the ad extoll Hagan's right-wing virtues (as well as the fact that she's "Ohio-born, Ohio-raised"), calling her "a strong supporter of President Trump." The ad also mentions her endorsements from the NRA and Freedomworks, as well as the backing of conservative members of Congress, including Reps. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows. There's no word on the size of the buy.
● PA-04: Democrat Madeleine Dean has dropped her first TV ad, a 30-second spot with a $200,000 buy. The ad laments the fact that no women currently represent Pennsylvania in Congress and strongly implies that this lack of female representation is part of why "Congress is a mess." Dean leans hard into her progressive bona fides, painting herself as a "reformer" who wants "to reduce gun violence" (the ad mentions that she wants to ban assault weapons) and "protect our health care from Trump." The spot ends with a "throw the bums out"-style appeal, with Dean herself telling the viewer that "Washington won't change until we change the people we send."
● PA-14: State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, the guy who's running against Rick Saccone in the GOP primary for Pennsylvania's revamped 14th Congressional District, has some problems of his own that might even leave the hapless Saccone smirking. It turns out that Reschenthaler penned a glowing foreword to a hate-filled 2012 book by Carl Higbie, a former Navy SEAL who was forced to resign from the agency that administers AmeriCorps earlier this year for being a racist, sexist, homophobic jackass. The contents of Higbie's book are, of course, very similar to the remarks he made on radio that led to him quitting his Trump-appointed job:
Media Matters reviewed Higbie's book and found vitriolic attacks against: Hurricane Katrina survivors ("human parasites"), black people ("I certainly don't agree with slavery, but I do think that you should play the hand you are dealt, and good physical genetics are definitely dealt to many blacks"), Puerto Ricans ("If you are so proud of your old country, then go back"), LGBTQ people ("widespread acceptance is wrong"), "overweight people" ("lazy and careless"), Muslims ("it is also my right to be suspicious" of someone wearing a turban), and undocumented immigrants (those who attempt to cross the border should be shot "dead").
And what did Reschenthaler have to say about this tome?
When Carl told me his plan to draft a book, I was ecstatic. After reading his work, I am impressed by his no-nonsense, commonsense approach that has the power to persuade and captivate. At times, I found myself getting frustrated by the examples of political correctness and poor decision-making he brought to light.
That's really funny, because when confronted with the work and his own comments about it by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Reschenthaler decided he hadn't read Higbie's book after all!
"Let me be clear. I don't stand behind the statements that were said in that book," Mr. Reschenthaler said in an interview with the Post-Gazette. "I don't stand behind those remarks and those comments."
When asked if he had read the book before writing the foreword, Mr. Reschenthaler replied, "No."
Reschenthaler claims he only wrote the foreword "as a placeholder" for his "friend" Higbie. In more simple terms, he either lied when he said he read the book or had no problem with what it said when he did read it and is lying now to cover his ass. But no matter what, Reschenthaler was certainly familiar with Higbie's political views because, around the same time, the two co-hosted a talk radio show. We'll see if it makes any difference in a Republican primary, though.
● WV-03: Democrat Richard Ojeda has dropped a bracing 30-second TV spot—his first—that starts with the candidate, shirtless, displaying some of his military tattoos as he asserts that "children in [his] own backyard have it worse than the kids [he] saw in Afghanistan." The ad leans hard into the "fight" theme as it shows images of Ojeda in military garb before transitioning to footage of him wearing a suit as he speaks to voters and rallies striking West Virginia teachers through a bullhorn. He uses a pledge to take his fighting spirit from the battlefield to Congress as a way to highlight his military experience, yelling at a rally that he'll "refuse to allow them to win" (it's unclear who "them" is in this context). There's no word yet on the size of the buy.
● NRCC: The NRCC has unveiled its initial round of House reservations, following on the heels of the House GOP's main super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund earlier in April. The NRCC is reserving $56 million in ads, $10 million of which will be used for digital, along with $4 million on polling. Unlike CLF, the NRCC isn't revealing the particular districts it's targeting, but their list of TV media markets still considerably narrows the likely possibilities, which we'll list below. You can find our spreadsheet here that tracks which media markets make up each House district and state:
- Tucson, AZ: $1.94 milion (AZ-02)
- Sacramento, CA: $1.48 million (CA-10)
- Bakersfield/Fresno, CA: $1.2 million (CA-21)
- Denver, CO: $1.8 million (CO-06)
- Miami, FL: $3.2 million (FL-26, FL-27)
- Detroit, MI: $5.7 million (MI-08, MI-11, possibly MI-07)
- Minneapolis, MN: $6.4 million (MN-02, MN-03, MN-08)
- Las Vegas, NV: $3.6 million (NV-03, NV-04)
- Albany, NY: $1.2 million (NY-19)
- Philadelphia, PA: $7.8 million (NJ-03, PA-01, PA-07)
- Pittsburgh, PA: $3.8 million (PA-17)
- San Antonio, TX: $1.8 million (TX-23)
- Washington, D.C.: $6.4 million (VA-10)
While early ad reservations help lock in cheaper rates, they can be adjusted or cancelled, so this list could change (and it will definitely grow). Note also that in several cases, like Minneapolis and Philadelphia, media markets overlap with multiple districts. That doesn't mean the NRCC is necessarily planning to target every race in each market, though, and they could also shift resources from one race to another within the same market.
● Special Elections: After last week's 11-election extravaganza in New York, we have just two races on tap Tuesday, both in Florida. Johnny Longtorso has the order of battle:
Florida HD-39: This is an open Republican seat in central Florida, vacated by Neil Combee after he took a post at the USDA. The Democratic nominee is Ricky Shirah, the owner of a towing company. Shirah ran for the House in a neighboring district in 2014. The Republican nominee is Josie Tomkow, a recent University of Florida graduate. This seat went 58-39 for Donald Trump in 2016 and 56-43 for Mitt Romney in 2012.
Florida HD-114: This is an open Democratic seat in Miami-Dade County. Daisy Baez resigned pursuant to a plea deal on a perjury charge regarding her residency in the district. The Democratic nominee here is Javier Fernandez, while the Republican nominee is Andrew Vargas; both are attorneys. Also on the ballot is independent Liz de las Cuevas, a teacher. This seat went 56-42 for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and 50-49 for Barack Obama in 2012.
Meanwhile, Daniel Donner brings us another dive into the special elections data. Democrats have been, on average, overperforming Clinton's margins in special elections this year by large margins, but there's been quite a lot of variability, and something of a geographic pattern when you map the results. It turns out more than half the variance in the margin shifts can be explained by just two variables: the presidential margin in the district's state in 2016, and the shift in presidential margin in the district itself. Democrats are overperforming more in red states, and in districts that shifted red.
Daily Kos Elections is hiring! We're looking for an Elections Research Coordinator to join our small and nimble team. This is an entry-level position and no prior experience is required. The person who fills this role will assist our department in almost every area of our work and will have the chance to make a mark on the 2018 midterms—and elections for years to come. If you're interested, or know someone who might be, click here for full details, including instructions on how to apply.