The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.
● GA-Sen-B: Civiqs, which is polling on behalf of Daily Kos, and Quinnipiac are each out with new surveys of the November all-party primary, and they each find pastor Raphael Warnock securing a spot in the all-but-certain January runoff. First is Civiqs, with the May results in parentheses:
Raphael Warnock (D): 38 (18)
Doug Collins (R): 25 (34)
Kelly Loeffler (R-inc): 21 (12)
Matt Lieberman (D): 5 (14)
Ed Tarver (D): 2 (6)
The sample also finds Joe Biden ahead 50-47 in the Peach State.
Next is Quinnipiac, which is surveying this contest for the first time:
Warnock (D): 31
Loeffler (R-inc): 23
Collins (R): 22
Lieberman (D): 9
Tarver (D): 4
Like Civiqs, Quinnipiac finds Biden ahead 50-47.
Most recent polls, including a GBAO Strategies internal for Warnock, have shown appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in first place with Warnock and Republican Rep. Doug Collins in a close fight for the second runoff berth.
Warnock, who is the favorite candidate of national Democrats, did pick up a major endorsement from Barack Obama on Friday. That event fell right in the middle of Quinnipiac's polling period, though it came the day before Civiqs went into the field.
Civiqs also once again has surveyed several different hypothetical runoff scenarios. Civiqs included "someone else" as an option, but only two candidates will appear on the runoff ballot. Warnock leads Loeffler 49-39, while he edges out Collins by a smaller 49-44. Lieberman, by contrast, ties Loeffler 39-39 and trails Collins 44-38.
There were also two notable endorsements on Tuesday. Former President Jimmy Carter backed Warnock in the Nov. 3 all-party primary, while Collins earned the support of former Gov. Nathan Deal, who left office early last year. By contrast, the only people who appear to be in Lieberman's corner are all from Connecticut, which is the old home base of his father, former Connecticut for Lieberman Sen. Joe Lieberman.
● KS-Sen: Democrat Barbara Bollier makes an explicit pitch to Trump voters in her new commercial starring former state Rep. Larry Hibbard, a Republican who resigned last year for health reasons. Hibbard tells the audience that he's backing Trump and Bollier because "both are independent minded" and that Bollier "won't follow a party agenda, and I'm sure that scares the party bosses in D.C."
● LA-Sen: Over the last few days, Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins has earned endorsements from Barack Obama and Gov. John Bel Edwards for his campaign to take on Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy. Perkins faces four fellow Democrats in the Nov. 3 all-party primary, though none of them have much name recognition or institutional support. A runoff would take place in December if no one earned a majority in the first round of voting.
● NC-Sen: The progressive group Piedmont Rising launched a $2 million ad campaign last week going after Republican Sen. Thom Tillis for rushing to confirm a Supreme Court nominee who could "take away healthcare during the pandemic." The spot began airing before Donald Trump announced that he was picking Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, so it doesn't mention Trump's Supreme Court nominee by name.
● NH-Sen: Gov. Chris Sununu stars in what appears to be Republican Corky Messner's first general election commercial. Sununu vouches that Messner, who only relocated to New Hampshire from Colorado last year, is "one of us" and that he "loves New Hampshire and he won't put our health care at risk."
● SC-Sen: Senate Majority PAC announced Monday that it was launching a $6.5 million ad campaign against Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a move that came about a week after the DSCC announced its own "seven-figure investment" here. Neither the NRSC or the Senate Leadership Fund have said if they'll be spending here, though the pro-Graham super PAC Security is Strength recently began a $2.6 million buy.
The last time that outside groups spent a serious amount of money in a South Carolina Senate race was 2004, when Republican Jim DeMint won an expensive campaign to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Fritz Hollings, but polls have shown a competitive race here for months. Two more surveys were also unveiled on Sunday, and they also each found a very tight battle between Graham and Democrat Jaime Harrison.
YouGov, working on behalf of CBS, found Graham edging out Harrison just 45-44 even as the sample favored Donald Trump 52-42. Harrison also publicized an internal from Brilliant Corners that gave him a 45-43 advantage over the incumbent, which is an improvement from Graham's 45-43 edge in their July poll; Harrison's campaign did not release presidential numbers.
Harrison will almost certainly need to win over plenty of Trump voters to prevail in November, though, and SMP's opening commercial aims to make his task easier by arguing that Graham is blocking a major White House priority. The spot begins with a clip of Trump saying, "You'll be seeing drug prices falling very substantially in the not-too-distant future and it's going to be beautiful," to which the narrator responds, "Not with Lindsey Graham in the Senate, because it's Graham who stands in the way."
The ad goes on to argue that Graham has spent his 25 years in Congress taking money from drug companies while opposing efforts to lower prices, and the narrator declares, "If we want lower drug prices, we need to clean up the swamp."
- AK-Sen: Harstad Research (D) for Independent Alaska (pro-Gross): Dan Sullivan (R-inc): 46, Al Gross (D): 45 (47-46 Trump)
- AZ-Sen: Hart Research (D) for the Human Rights Campaign (pro-Kelly): Mark Kelly (D): 55, Martha McSally (R-inc): 43 (53-42 Biden)
- AZ-Sen: Susquehanna Polling (R) for Center for American Greatness: Mark Kelly (D): 48, Martha McSally (R-inc): 45 (47-47 presidential tie)
- GA-Sen-A: Civiqs (D) for Daily Kos: Jon Ossoff (D): 48, David Perdue (R-inc): 46, Shane Hazel (L): 3 (50-47 Biden) (May: 47-45 Ossoff)
- GA-Sen-A: Quinnipiac: Ossoff (D): 49, Perdue (R-inc): 48 (50-47 Biden)
- GA-Sen-A: YouGov for CBS: Perdue (R-inc): 47, Ossoff (D): 42 (47-46 Trump) (Aug.: 45-43 Perdue)
- MI-Sen: Hart Research (D) for the Human Rights Campaign (pro-Peters): Gary Peters (D-inc): 50, John James (R): 42 (50-45 Biden)
- MI-Sen: Marist for NBC: Peters (D-inc): 49, James (R): 44 (52-44 Biden)
- MI-Sen: Trafalgar Group (R): Peters (D-inc): 47, James (R): 47 (Aug.: 48-47 James)
- MN-Sen: Mason-Dixon for local media: Tina Smith (D-inc): 49, Jason Lewis (R): 41 (48-42 Biden)
- NC-Sen: Meredith College: Cal Cunningham (D): 43, Thom Tillis: (R-inc): 42 (46-45 Biden) (April: 44-34 Cunningham)
- NC-Sen: YouGov for CBS: Cunningham (D): 48, Tillis (R-inc): 38 (48-46 Biden) (July: 48-39 Cunningham)
- NC-Sen: YouGov for UMass Lowell: Cunningham (D): 49, Tillis (R-inc): 43 (47-47 presidential tie)
- NH-Sen: YouGov for UMass Lowell: Jeanne Shaheen (D-inc): 56, Corky Messner (R): 37 (52-44 Biden)
- TX-Sen: YouGov for UMass Lowell: John Cornyn (R-inc): 50, MJ Hegar (D): 40 (49-46 Trump) (mid-Sept.: 46-41 Cornyn)
AK-Sen: Independence Alaska's release names Al Gross as a Democrat, which is how he will be identified on the ballot; Gross is an independent who won the Democratic nomination back in August. Independence Alaska's sample also finds Donald Trump up just 47-46, which is not only a big drop from his 51-37 victory here in 2016, it would be the closest presidential contest ever in the Last Frontier state, narrowly topping Richard Nixon’s 51-49 win over John F. Kennedy in 1960.
The only other poll we've seen here in the last two months was a late August survey from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling for an unidentified client, and it showed a 43-43 Senate tie; that release did not include presidential numbers. However, outside groups on both sides are acting like this is a competitive race. Four groups, including Independent Alaska, have spent a total of $4.7 million to support Gross, while the Senate Leadership Fund recently began a $1.6 million buy to aid Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan.
GA-Sen-A: Only Civiqs included Libertarian Shane Hazel as an option, while Quinnipiac and YouGov just asked respondents if they'd back "Someone Else." As we've noted before, Georgia requires a January runoff if no one takes a majority this fall, so Hazel's presence on the ballot could have big implications.
MI-Sen: The Trafalgar Group conducted a separate survey of Michigan's presidential contest one day before it went back into the field to ask only about the Senate race.
- NC-Gov: Meredith College: Roy Cooper (D-inc): 50, Dan Forest (R): 39 (46-45 Biden) (April: 52-32 Cooper)
- NC-Gov: YouGov for UMass Lowell: Cooper (D-inc): 54, Forest (R): 41 (47-47 presidential tie)
- NH-Gov: YouGov for UMass Lowell: Chris Sununu (R-inc): 60, Dan Feltes (D): 34 (52-44 Biden)
● AR-02, MN-01: Politico reports that the DCCC has reserved $330,000 in Arkansas' 2nd Congressional District and $1.1 million in Minnesota's 1st. We've added this information to our Ad Reservations tracker.
While both sides have been preparing for an expensive rematch all cycle in Minnesota between freshman Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn and Democrat Dan Feehan, Arkansas' 2nd only began attracting outside spending over the last few days. In addition to the D-Trip, the National Education Association announced Tuesday that it would spend $400,000 on TV to support Democrat Joyce Elliott's bid against Republican Rep. French Hill. On the other side, as we wrote in our last Digest, the NRCC said Friday it was booking $500,000 to help Hill.
● CA-39: The DCCC has released its first-ever TV ads in Chinese and Korean, targeting Republican Young Kim for wanting to "take away health insurance from 23 million Americans." The same spot is airing in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean, aimed at the large Asian American population in California's 39th District, which is currently held by freshman Democratic Rep. Gil Cisneros. About a third of the district identifies as having Asian ancestry, including 95,000 who trace their heritage to China and 50,000 to Korea, making these the second- and third-largest ethnic groups in the 39th (after Mexican Americans).
Earlier this month, the D-Trip also began running ads in Vietnamese in California's 48th District, which is home to about 80,000 Vietnamese Americans.
● CA-53: San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez has launched the first negative spot we've seen in the all-Democratic general election. The narrator argues that former State Department official Sara Jacobs is a wealthy self-funder who "supports Trump's tax cuts for corporations." The rest of the ad promotes Gómez as "the first LGBTQ Latina council president" and touts her as a progressive alternative to Jacobs.
● GA-06: Freshman Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath hits back hard against Republican Karen Handel's attacks that she's soft on crime by reminding viewers in her latest ad, "I don't need a lecture from her about criminals. I lost my son to one." McBath's son, Jordan Davis, was murdered in 2012 by a white Florida man who fired shots into an SUV full of Black teenagers after complaining that their music was too loud.
The tragedy galvanized McBath, who became a leader in the gun-safety movement and went on to unseat Handel in the 2018 midterms. In her ad, she's shown paying her respects at her son's gravesite, then seated alone in an empty church. "I've spent my career fighting to make us safer," says McBath. "I pray that Karen Handel joins me."
● MN-02: Freshman Democratic Rep. Angie Craig has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon's decision to cancel the November election for Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District and instead schedule a February special election.
Craig argues that a federal law setting a uniform national election for the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, which Congress passed in 1872, trumps a 2013 Minnesota law requiring that an election be delayed if a nominee dies close to Election Day. (Adam Weeks of the Legal Marijuana Now Party died last week.) Craig's Republican opponent, Marine veteran Tyler Kistner, says he opposes the suit, likely in the belief that he'd benefit from a lower-turnout election in the middle of winter.
Craig, however, is proceeding as though November's election will get reinstated. With early voting already underway, she's exhorted her supporters to cast ballots for her despite Simon's pronouncement, and she just released a new TV ad touting her support for making college more affordable and expanding vocational training.
● TX-07: While the NRCC recently canceled its entire ad buy in an apparent sign of pessimism about Republican Wesley Hunt's prospects, the Democratic group House Majority PAC is still very much treating him like a threat. HMP unveiled a new commercial Tuesday hitting Hunt on healthcare, and the group says the spot is backed by a $1.5 million buy.
● TX-23: Politico recently reported that "Republicans have privately written this seat off," but don't tell that to the NRCC, which just began airing its first ad in Texas' 23rd Congressional District. The spot is classic NRCC nastywork, accusing Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones of having been "turned"—a term that describes spymasters recruiting double agents—by "Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco billionaires."
The DCCC, however, is firing back with its own first set of ads. The two spots, one in English and the other in Spanish, are similar: both attack Gonzales for wanting to strip health coverage from 300,000 Texans with pre-existing conditions.
● TX-25: The DCCC announced Monday that it was adding Democrat Julie Oliver to its Red to Blue program. Oliver is challenging Republican Rep. Roger Williams in a gerrymandered district that includes part of Austin and rural areas north toward Dallas-Fort Worth.
● VA-07: Freshman Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger is pushing back against an odious GOP smear trying to tie her to an Islamic school dubiously dubbed "Terror High" by emphasizing her national security credentials in a new ad.
The spot features two veteran CIA officers who praise Spanberger as "one of our quiet warriors who worked overseas in counter-terrorism" and "put her life on the line to serve our country." They blast her Republican opponent, saying, "It's outrageous that Nick Freitas or anyone would disrespect her service. These attacks against her have been discredited and condemned. To suggest that somehow she's unpatriotic, it's not only absurd—it's disgusting."
● WA-10: In her first commercial for the all-Democratic general election, Marilyn Strickland promotes her record as mayor of Tacoma in the midst of the Great Recession.
- AZ-06: Public Policy Polling (D) for House Majority PAC: David Schweikert (R-inc): 45, Hiral Tipirneni (D): 43 (48-48 presidential tie)
- NC-08: Brilliant Corners (D) for Pat Timmons-Goodson: Richard Hudson (R-inc): 44, Pat Timmons-Goodson (D): 42 (47-44 Trump) (Aug.: 43-41 Hudson)
- NE-02: Siena for the New York Times: Don Bacon (R-inc): 45, Kara Eastman (D): 43 (48-41 Biden)
- PA-10: Victoria Research (D) for House Majority PAC: Eugene DePasquale (D): 50, Scott Perry (R-inc): 43 (51-44 Biden)
- TX-10: GBAO (D) for Mike Siegel: Michael McCaul (R-inc): 45, Mike Siegel (D): 43 (47-47 presidential tie)
- WA-03: GQR (D) for Carolyn Long: Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-inc): 49, Carolyn Long (D): 47 (48-47 Trump)
AZ-06: We’ve seen two other polls here, and they were both for Democratic groups. At the start of August, DCCC Analytics showed Republican Rep. David Schweikert leading Democrat Hiral Tipirneni 46-43, while Joe Biden was ahead 48-44 in a suburban Phoenix seat that had favored Donald Trump 52-42. In the middle of last month, Tipirneni released a GQR poll that had her and Biden ahead 48-45 and 50-48, respectively.
NC-08: The only other survey we’ve seen from this seat, which includes Fayetteville and some of Charlotte's suburbs, was Democrat Pat Timmons-Goodson’s August poll. This district, which Republicans redrew for this cycle along with the rest of the state's congressional map, favored Trump 53-44 in 2016.
NE-02: This is the first independent poll we’ve seen of the contest for this Omaha-based seat. In mid-September, House Majority PAC released a GSG survey that showed Republican Rep. Don Bacon and Democrat Kara Eastman deadlocked 45-45 as Biden led 51-44. This district backed Trump 48-46 in 2016.
PA-10: The memo says that an unreleased June poll had Republican Rep. Scott Perry up 50-44. An early September GBAO internal for Eugene DePasquale showed the Democrat ahead 50-46, while Biden led 49-45. Trump carried this Harrisburg-based seat 53-44.
TX-10: The only other poll we’ve seen here was an early August survey from RMG Research for U.S. Term Limits that had Republican Rep. Michael McCaul up 46-39. Trump won this gerrymandered seat, which stretches from the Houston area west into Austin, 53-42.
WA-03: We’ve only seen one other survey here, and it was also an early August survey from RMG Research for U.S. Term Limits. That poll showed Republican Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler ahead 44-40 in her rematch with Democrat Carolyn Long, whom she beat 53-47 in 2018. Trump took this southwestern Washington seat 50-43.
● San Diego, CA Mayor: City Councilwoman Barbara Bry surprised plenty of observers when she outraised Assemblyman Todd Gloria during the last fundraising period for this all-Democratic contest, but Gloria has now turned things around. Gloria outpaced Bry $457,000 to $359,000 from July 1 to Sept. 19, and he ended the period with a $671,000 to $222,000 cash-on-hand lead. The San Diego Union-Tribune also reports that outside groups favoring Gloria have brought in more than $1 million total, while the only pro-Bry committee has taken in over $200,000.