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Leading Off:

MA-Sen: Well, we've certainly reached a state of proper confusion. Since Wednesday night, two more polls of the Massachusetts Senate special election have emerged, and they each paint a different picture from PPP's survey last week. Here are all the results pitting Rep. Ed Markey versus businessman Gabriel Gomez in a single chart:

 Pollster   Field Dates   Markey (D)   Gomez (R)   Margin 
MassINC 5/5-6 46 38 8
Suffolk 5/4-7 52 35 17
PPP 5/1-2 44 40 4
That's an awfully wide range of results, though certainly Suffolk's looks the most outlier-ish. And it'll be forever tempting to question Suffolk's results out of hand, in the wake of polling director David Paleologos's epically embarrassing "painted those red" debacle last year. But it is worth noting that Suffolk used a very tight screen, eliminating "voters who weren't certain to vote or who couldn't name when the special general election would be held." Meanwhile, MassINC provided two sets of results. Those above include leaners; without leaners, Markey had a smaller 41-35 lead. PPP, meanwhile, doesn't push leaners at all, and both they and MassINC describe their sample as consisting of ordinary "likely" voters.

So if there is some consistency to these results, it seems like the tighter you screen and the more you push, the bigger the lead for Markey. That makes a certain amount of sense, since in an election in a blue state, you'd typically figure that the smaller the voter pool, the more likely it is to contain Democratic partisans (and vice versa in a red state). That obviously is not always going to be the case, and special candidates (like, say, Scott Brown… or Mark Sanford) can change things in unexpected ways. But whatever his flaws, Markey is a pretty standard Dem, and Gomez certainly hasn't shown himself to be particularly unusual.

Still, there's a world of difference between a 4 point race and a 17 point one. Even under PPP's scenario, Markey was still the favorite, but I'd certainly rather be over 50 percent rather than well below it. All we can really do, though, is wait for more polling to see if a more consistent trend emerges.


MI-Gov: It looks like Michigan Democrats are rallying around ex-Rep. Mark Schauer as their gubernatorial nominee—including two men who might otherwise run themselves. Both ex-Rep. Bart Stupak and Michigan Board of Education member John Austin more or less say they won't run if Schauer does, sentiments that may be inspired both be a desire for unity and a sense that Schauer would be the dominant favorite in a Democratic primary. (In a statement emailed later, Stupak sounded downright effusive about a Schauer candidacy and really seems to be part of Democratic efforts to recruit him into the race.)

However, the same article notes that State Rep. Vicki Barnett is also considering a bid, and she doesn't sound so easily deterred. Barnett says she's in regular touch with Schauer, but adds that "it's early, I'm pursuing a run and gathering momentum and will continue to do so."


CA-31: It seems that attorney Eloise Reyes managed to enter the race for California's 31st Congressional District without making much of a splash in the press. We wrote about her interest in early April, but hadn't heard anything since. And that was despite some major upheaval, with ex-Rep. Joe Baca announcing he'd run even though establishment Democrats had already coalesced around Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar. None of that deterred Reyes, who joined the fray late last month, though you'd be hard pressed to find anything on Google News or Nexis. (Thanks to eagle-eyed reader MR for the catch.) That makes her the fourth Democrat to get involved, including San Bernardino school board member Danny Tillman.

FL-26, -13, -09: If you're a regular reader of the Digest, you'll have encountered most of the Republican names Abby Livingston cites as potential House candidates in Florida next year, though there are a few that are new to us. In FL-26, currently held by freshman Dem Rep. Joe Garcia, Livingston tacks on the name of state Sen. Rene Garcia as a potential candidate. And in FL-13, where octogenarian GOP Rep. Bill Young is always a threat to retire, she runs through a list of several possible replacements: state Sen. Jack Latvala, former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, and former Pinellas County Commissioner Neil Brickfield.

There's also a little bit of Republican cloud talk about unseating another freshman Dem, Alan Grayson in FL-09, but at 62-37 Obama, that district is virtually out of reach for the GOP, even with Grayson's penchant for causing problems for himself. Indeed, the president's vote share was higher in the 9th in 2012 versus 2008, even as it moved in the opposite direction in Florida as a whole. I think Grayson is much more likely to lose a Democratic primary than a general election.

Other Races:

LA Mayor: A new poll of the L.A. mayoral race from the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State Los Angeles shows City Controller Wendy Greuel narrowly edging City Councilman Eric Garcetti, 46-45. That's the second poll in a row to show Greuel ahead, following those unexpected SurveyUSA numbers that featured a hard-to-believe 12-point turnaround that put her up 45-42. One thing we really haven't seen in this race is much internal polling, but I'm wondering if either side is thinking about releasing any, to either confirm or refute the notion that Greuel might have a slight advantage.

Grab Bag:

DCCC: The DCCC has rolled out yet another program-type program, this time called "Jumpstart," which seems like a pre-Red to Blue listing (and another excuse to send out a press release). None of the eight names on it are surprising, except perhaps that of Michael Eggman, a bee farmer who recently announced he'd run against GOP Rep. Jeff Denham in CA-10. Eggman has kind of a Some Dude profile, though his sister is Assemblywoman Susan Eggman. (Last year's nominee, astronaut Jose Hernandez, is still considering a rematch.)

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar is also on the list, but that's not really a surprise, since the DCCC has made it amply clear they prefer him to ex-Rep. Joe Baca, and, I guess, to attorney Eloise Reyes, who recently joined the race. (See our CA-31 bullet above.)

Massachusetts: Not a whole lot doing in PPP's Massachusetts miscellany, though freshman Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren starts off with a 44-39 job approval rating.

PA Redistricting: In the wake of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's ruling that upheld the legislature's most recent maps for the state House and Senate, Keegan Gibson takes a look at how the new lines might mash together various incumbents. Most involve various Dem-on-Dem matchups, though a couple of seats could feature one Republican and one Democratic lawmaker duking it out.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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