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Political Roundup for October 6, 2017


MO-Sen: Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) has taken another step towards getting in the race. A “Hawley Victory Committee” organization was filed with the FEC this week. The NRSC is also listed as a joint fundraising committee in the filing-a typical move for a campaign getting ready to launch. 3 other Republicans are currently running-2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen, retired Air Force pilot and University of Central Missouri Aviation Department assistant dean Tony Monetti, and Navy veteran Courtland Sykes.

TN-Sen: If you missed our special post on it yesterday, there was big news in this race as Gov. Bill Haslam (R) announced he would not run, followed soon by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) getting into the race. With Haslam and Peyton Manning out, Blackburn appears to be the frontrunner for now.


AZ-9: As expected, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) has announced he plans to run for Congress. Stanton, who is in his 2nd term as mayor has been expected to run for another office, although he had been looking at a statewide office. Stanton will be the overwhelming favorite on the Democratic side, although might not clear the field completely. Biologist Talia Fuentes was already in the race before Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) announced her plans to run for the US Senate. Former House Minority Leader Chad Campbell (D) has been considered a possible candidate, but many think he won’t run against Stanton. Because of Arizona’s resign to run law, Stanton will have to resign as mayor, although he won’t have to leave office until he submits his election petitions, which are due May 30. A special election will then be held to complete Stanton’s term through 2019.

CO-2: Businessman and gun control advocate Ken Toltz has announced he is running in the Democratic primary for this open seat. Toltz had been exploring a run ever since Rep. Jared Polis (D) announced he was giving up the seat to run for governor, but said Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas motivated him in part to finally join the race. Toltz ran for Congress before in 2000 as the Democratic nominee in CO-6, losing by 12 points to then Rep. Tom Tancredo (R), a campaign in which he made gun control a major part of his platform in the wake of the Columbine shooting. Toltz is the 2nd Democrat to join the race in as many days-Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen joined the race on Wednesday. They join former University of Colorado Regent Joe Neguse, former Boulder County Democratic party Chairman Mark Williams, and minister Howard Dotson in the race on the Democratic side. No Republican has yet announced plans to run in the blue district.

CO-7: The last major challenger to Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) has dropped out. Dan Baer, formerly ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has dropped out of the race. Baer had been the last holdout to stay in the race after Perlmutter reversed course and decided to run for re-election to Congress after previously deciding to run for governor, a race he dropped out of, and then deciding he would just retire from politics. State Sens. Andy Kerr (D) and Dominick Moreno (D) and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D) dropped out of the race soon after Perlmutter got back in, but Baer stayed in, boosted by an impressive fundraising haul.

MA-3: State Rep. Juana Matias (D) is joining what is becoming a very crowded race to succeed Rep. Niki Tsongas (D). Other Democrats running are state Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D), Dan Koh, former chief of staff to Boston mayor Marty Walsh, Cambridge city councilor Nadeem Mazan, Lori Trahan, a former chief of staff to ex-Rep. Marty Meehan (D), and former Democratic LG nominee Steve Kerrigan. State Sen. Eileen Donoghue (D) is considering running as well. Rick Green, a businessman and founder of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, became the first Republican to join the race on Wednesday.

MI-11: Businessman and lawyer Dan Haberman is joining the Democratic primary race for this open seat. Haberman joins former Obama Administration auto task force official Haley Stevens, and Fayrouz Saad, former head of the Office of Immigrant Affairs for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Businesswoman Lena Epstein, who previously had been running for US Senate and former state Rep. Rocky Raczkowski (R) are running on the Republican side; state Sen. Marty Knollenberg (R) and state Rep. Laura Cox (R) , among others are considering getting in as well.

NH-2: Dr. Stewart Levenson, former chairman of the Department of Medicine at Manchester’s VA Hospital and who was involved in a whisteblower complaint about the facility, is running for Congress as a Republican. Levenson joins former state Rep. Jack Flanagan (R) with businessman David McConville possibly joining as well in the race to face Rep. Annie Kuster (D).

PA-18: State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R) entered the race yesterday to replace Rep. Tim Murphy (R), who now has announced his resignation, effective Oct. 21. A special election will be held sometime next year to fill the seat. Reschenthaler seems to be the favorite among party insiders, although state Sen. Kim Ward (R) has announced she is running too. State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) will possibly run as well.

TN-7: If you missed the special post on it yesterday, after Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) announced her candidacy for US Senate, state Sen. Mark Green (R) followed by announcing his candidacy for her congressional seat, completing a winding political journey this year. Green had declared his intention to run for governor early in the year, a race he dropped out of after being nominated to be Secretary of the Army-but he dropped out of contention for that post after Democrats criticized some comments he had made in the past. He decided not to restart his candidacy for governor, but had been encouraged to challenge Sen. Bob Corker (R) before Corker decided to retire. Green now becomes the early frontrunner, but other Republicans are expected to run for the deep red seat.

Governor/state offices:

SC-Gov: State Rep. James Smith (D) yesterday became the first Democrat to announce a run for governor. Smith had been the only Democrat known to even be looking at the race. 4 Republicans are running-Gov. Henry McMaster (R), LG Kevin Bryant (R), former state Department of Health and Environmental Control director Catherine Templeton, and party-switching former D LG Yancey McGill (R).

FL-CFO: State Sen. Tom Lee (R) is running for Chief Financial Officer. Lee will be challenging appointed incumbent Jimmy Patronis (R) in the Republican primary. Patronis was appointed to the post in June by Gov. Rick Scott (R) after former CFO Jeff Atwater (R) resigned to become CFO of Florida Atlantic University. Lee was the Republican nominee for CFO in 2006, losing by 7 points to Democrat Alex Sink.

LA-Treas.: Dueling polls by two of the Republican candidates in the upcoming Oct. 14 primary show themselves ahead of the group of Republicans in the race. State Rep. John Schroder (R) and former Gov. Bobby Jindal administration official Angele Davis both have released polls showing them making the runoff with lone Democratic candidate Derrick Edwards. Interestingly, the third major Republican candidate, state Sen. Neil Riser (R), finishes in second among the Republicans in both polls with Davis in third in Schroder’s poll, and Schroder in third in Davis’s poll. Edwards leads all candidates in both polls, but should be a heavy underdog to whichever Republican emerges from the primary.

MI-AG: State House Speaker Tom Leonard (R) has announced he is running for Attorney General. Leonard joins state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R) in the GOP primary. Former US Attorney Pat Miles and attorney Dana Nassel are running on the Democratic side. Nominees will be decided at party conventions after next year’s August primary.

Political Roundup for October 2nd, 2017

Big Picture

Self-packing: This is a great look by Charlie Cook at not just how divided America is, but how that divide is often geographically reinforced an may even make it harder for Democrats to retake the House of Representatives than has been thought. Basically, it may be the case that most of the swing voters being convinced to vote Democratic in 2018 may already live in Democrat-controlled districts.


Kasich: Ohio Governor John Kasich (R, for now) is making more noises about not being able to support the GOP, and rumors are that he’s gearing-up for an Independent run, possibly with CO Governor John Hickenlooper (D).


AL-Sen: Our friends over at DDHQ commissioned a general election poll for the upcoming Alabama Senate election and found former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) leading former US Attorney Doug Jones (D-not as good as the actor) 50-45. That’s much closer than most Yellowhammer State contests usually are, but even still, Moore is actually over the finish line with those numbers (he actually got a slight majority in the poll).

MA-Sen: File this under ‘Oh yeah, that guy.’ 2013 special senate election nominee Gabriel Gomez (R) is thinking about running for the Senate again next year, this time against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Redistribute the Wampum). I guess it’s good to have another decent candidate looking at the race, but absent a scandal there really isn’t a path here for Republicans.

AZ-09: Sometimes I feel really bad for decent candidates who don’t understand that coalition shifts that have been going on for multiple elections don’t just magically reverse themselves. With my new knowledge that a good candidate like Dr. Steve Ferrara (R) has already raised over $250,000 running for a 17-point Hillary seat (I can just hear the local activists now ‘But McCain won it!’), this is one of those times. There’s talk that former State House Minority Leader Chad Campbell (D) might get in, but right now this is Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s (D) race to lose.

NY-11: Having recently gotten orange out of his sartorial repertoire, Mikey Suits is back. Former Rep. and felon Michael Grimm (R) has launched a campaign to reclaim the seat he resigned from as part of a plea deal by primarying Rep. Dan Donovan (R). There’s some Staten Island factional feuding going on here too, so Grimm has backers.


KS-Gov: So it turns out that Kansas law is very open-ended on who can run for Governor, and three teenagers are doing just that. The third one to get into this race is highlighted in this article and is a libertarian-flavored Republican. Some are even asking if dogs can be on the ballot.

VA-Gov: I’m not really sure how to treat this story. A veteran Democratic consultant in Richmond think that Lt. Gov Ralph Northam’s gubernatorial campaign is definitely headed for defeat. On the one hand, maybe this guy is just annoyed that Northam didn’t hire him. On the other hand, he’s plugged-in and there has been chatter (not necessarily backed-up by polls) that Gillespie has been gaining ground slowly but surely.


New Orleans-Mayor: The all-Democrat race for mayor has shifted a fair amount, with new polling finding the race at 33-25-23 Bagneris-Charbonnet-Cantrell. Cantrell had previously been slightly ahead but neck-and-neck with Bagneris.

VA-HoD: If you’re not as familiar with Virginia state politics as many of the national politics swamp creatures that infest Arlington are, then here’s a good breakdown of competitive delegate races from Charlie Cook.


Canada: MP Jagmeet Singh has been elected as the new leader of the labor-flavored lefty New Democratic Party. The NDP briefly had a stint as the primary opposition to the Tories until the Liberals came roaring back into power under current PM Justin Trudeau. Singh is the first non-white party leader in Canadian history. He has a large task ahead of him to bring his party back to its recent heights.

Japan: Well, this is awkward. Ahead of the snap national election that PM Shinzo Abe called recently, the leaders of the main (lefty) opposition party have attempted to abandon their party label and join a new right-wing party that’s gotten some press… and been rejected. Abe and his center-right Liberal Democratic party are likely going to rack up hefty majorities.

Political Roundup for September 29, 2017


AZ-Sen: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) announced her long-expected bid for Senate last night. Click for our full coverage of the race and Great Mentioner for the now-open AZ-9.

MO-Sen: While everyone still waits for AG Josh Hawley (R) to enter the race, another Republican is entering. Courtland Sykes is running as a strong supporter of President Trump and an admirer of Steve Bannon. Sykes is actually from Arkansas, and just recently moved to Missouri. He worked on the staff of Rep. Bruce Westerman (R) from last year to early this year. He joins former 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen in the Republican race.

NV-Sen: Rep. Dina Titus (D) will not run for Senate and will instead run for re-election to Congress. Titus had been publicly exploring running for Senate and had expressed some disappointment after Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) quickly became the favorite candidate of the DSCC, former Sen. Harry Reid (D), and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D).

TN-Sen: Peyton Manning (R) is denying interest in running for the seat left open by retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R) saying he is giving “zero consideration” to running and says he has “zero interest in being a politician”. Gov. Bill Haslam (R) confirmed he is thinking about running, but will take some time weighing a run. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) is expected to enter the race soon. Former Rep. Stephen Fincher (R) is considering as well and says he will decide by the end of the week whether to run. Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke (D) is considering a run as well. Attorney James Mackler is currently the only Democrat running.


CA-24: Businessman and rancher Justin Fareed (R) is making his third run for this seat. Fareed narrowly lost to Chris Mitchum (R) for the 2nd place in the 2014 primary to face Rep. Lois Capps (D) and won 2nd place in the 2016 primary, losing to now-Rep. Salud Carbajal (D) 53-47 in the general election. Carbajal is running for re-election; civil engineer Michael Erin Woody (R) is the only other candidate in the race.

CO-2: Gun control advocate Shannon Watts (D) will not run for Congress. Watts, who runs the gun control advocacy organization Moms Demand Gun Sense in America had been considering getting in the race and was thought to be a possibly strong candidate as the only woman in the race and because of her large social media following. Former University of Colorado Regent Joe Neguse (D), former Boulder County Democratic Party chairman Mark Williams and Howard Dotson, a minister are running for the Democratic nomination. Ken Toltz, another gun control advocate and failed Democratic nominee in CO-6 in 2000 is also considering running. No Republicans have yet signaled an interest in running.


AK-Gov: Businessman Scott Hawkins (R) is joining the race for governor. Hawkins joins former State Senate President Charlie Huggins and self-employed businessman Michael Sheldon in the Republican primary. State Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R) was running but has suspended his campaign. Gov. Bill Walker (I) is running for re-election.

IA-Gov: Another candidate is joining the race for governor. This time though it’s a Republican. Boone city councilman and former Iowa State Patrol communications manager Steven Ray is running. He joins Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) and Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett in the GOP primary. Ray is not related to former Gov. Robert Ray (R), who served as governor from 1969-83. 7 Democrats are running in the Democratic primary.

ME-Gov: State Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason (R) has officially entered the race for governor. Mason had planned to roll out his campaign a few weeks ago, but those plans were put off after the sudden death of his mother, state Rep. Gina Mason (R). Mason joins former State Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Mary Mayhew and state House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R) in the Republican primary. Sen. Susan Collins (R) is also considering getting in the race.

NH-Gov: Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky (D) has announced he will not run for governor. Volinsky was encouraged to run by people on the left-he served as legal counsel for Sen. Bernie Sanders in his 2016 NH Primary run, and was a Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He will instead run for re-election to his Executive Council seat. Former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand is the only Democrat so far who has announced a bid to face Gov. Chris Sununu (R).

NC-Gov. 2020: Former Gov. Pat McCrory (R) is not closing the door on trying to return to his old job in 2020. McCrory, who recently started a daily hosting segment in a Charlotte radio station, said he would consider another run down the road, but said it’s way too early to decide now, and he wouldn’t make any decision until after the 2018 midterm elections. McCrory has been the Republican nominee for governor in the last 3 elections, losing by 3 points in 2008, winning a solid 12 point victory in 2012, and losing narrowly his re-election bid last year. LG Dan Forest (R) is thought to be a likely candidate in 2020.


Steve Scalise: Rep. Steve Scalise (R) yesterday made his first appearance in the House chamber since the June attack which seriously wounded him. He entered the chamber on crutches to a thunderous standing ovation and then gave a speech.

AZ-Sen: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) is Officially Running

As expected, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) is running for the US Senate seat of Sen. Jeff Flake (R). Sinema has a very interesting history. A former Green party activist and self-styled “Prada Socialist”, Sinema won a seat in the legislature and the 2012 primary for AZ-9 as a staunch liberal. However, since entering Congress, she has moved strongly to the right and has compiled a moderate voting record in Congress. Her successful re-invention speaks quite highly to her political skills (if it raises questions about her candor). As such, it was always seen as a question of when, not if, she would mount a statewide run. That she would choose this race is no surprise; Flake is extremely vulnerable as he has managed to alienate primary voters with his social moderation without garnering the kind of crossover support his senior colleague, John McCain (R), has. Flake has thus trailed polls of the primary to little-known Republicans, and is trailing Sinema in general election polling as well. As such Democrats’ securing of an “A” list recruit assures that the general election will be hotly-contested.

Sinema’s decision opens up AZ-9, a heavily Mathismandered D+4 seat designed to vacuum up just about every available white Democrat in the Phoenix area. The seat is a backwards “C” stretching from upscale areas of central Phoenix to downtown Scottsdale, through the college town of Tempe and the lower-middle-class western part of Mesa, and finishing in middle-class areas south of South Mountain. The seat is trending left and very likely, though perhaps not quite certain, to stay in Dem hands. Dems look likely to get a top recruit for this seat in Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D), who was considering a run for Senate but is thought ready to defer to Sinema and run for this seat. If he runs, Stanton is likely to be a strong favorite in the primary and general. Beyond him, Tempe councilman and ex-State Sen. David Schapira (D), who is currently running for Superintendent, could potentially switch here. State Sens. Sean Bowie (D), Katie Hobbs (D) and John Mendez (D) live in the seat, along with five Dem State Reps. Republicans have a quite thin bench here. There is just one legislator in the seat, State Rep. Jill Norgaard (R). County Commissioner Bill Gates (R) may also live in the district. Tech executive and 2014 Gov candidate/2016 AZ-5 candidate Christine Jones (R) could be a possibility as well, as could ex-Tempe Mayor and 2014 Treasurer candidate Hugh Hallman (R). From the prior candidate file, there is ex-Rep. Ben Quayle (R), who represented part of this seat in his one term from 2010-12, 2012 nominee Vernon Parker (R), and 2014 nominee Wendy Rogers (R).

Political Roundup for August 14th, 2017

Check back at 3pm today for our AL-Sen and UT-3 previews!

Big Picture

Third Party: I really want to figure out which consultants are about to make a lot of money on this pipe-dream, though I already have a few suspects. To explain, a bunch of Never Trumpers and a few Democrats are trying to organize a third party around Alaska Governor Bill Walker (I). As with all other such efforts, this one will prove futile, but will employ a few people for long enough that they can get that new BMW or pay their ridiculous mortgage until they can find another job because Jeb! didn’t get elected President. If this sounds like a No Labels redux to you, you’re on the right track. Oh, and if any actual politicians come out of this, they’ll likely run as Democrats, just like those that came out of No Labels did.


AL-Sen: Trafalgar is out with a poll of the Alabama special Senate election Republican primary, and they show a 35-23-20 Moore-Strange-Brooks race. That’s a much closer race for the second runoff spot than had previously been shown by most other pollsters.

AZ-Sen/AZ-09: It looks like we have a classic switcheroo in progress; this time it’s between Rep. Kirsten Sinema (D) and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D). Sinema will likely run against Sen. Jeff Flake (R) and Stanton, who was previously thought to be in the Senate race, will drop down and run for Sinema’s likely-to-be-vacated House seat.

ME-Sen: We all know that PPP likes to cause as much trouble for Republicans as possible with their poll questions, so of course they polled Sen. Susan Collins (R) against ‘Someone Else’ in a hypothetical primary. Collins trails 28-62 in the impossible match-up, which makes for a catchy headline. However, it doesn’t really mean much unless someone decides to run against her. Making that situation happen is I’m sure what PPP wanted to do.

MI-Sen: Well, I can’t believe I’m writing this sentence, but it seems that if Kid Rock (R) decides to enter the race for Senate in Michigan, he’ll have establishment backing. Senate Leadership Fund, which is a McConnell-backed group, has been making approving noises about a Rock run. What’s even crazier is, I think that’s the smart move. Politics is strange, folks.

WV-Sen: Rumors are swirling about a plan to flip a Senate seat by giving the Secretary of Energy position to Sen. Joe Manchin (D) and have newly-minted Republican Gov. Jim Justice appoint a Republican in his place. The only problem that I see with this plan is that they’ll have to find current Sec. of Energy Rick Perry another job.

CO-07: I smell a rat. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D), who dropped out of the gubernatorial race and announced his retirement at the same time, is now looking at running again for his current seat. I’m guessing that someone else wants to be set up for the seat and can’t do it in 2018, so they’re somehow convincing him to stay one more term to give them time to get ready. They’d also likely be someone involved with his gubernatorial campaign, or they would have already been running. Maybe he just changed his mind, but I doubt it.

PA-07/PA-08: This one is pretty funny. The DCCC has set up websites denouncing Reps. Patrick Meehan (R) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R) for not holding town halls. I don’t know about you guys, but setting up attack websites is such a waste of time and money that I consider any campaign that does it (and promotes it with Google text ads!) to be losing almost by default. They can’t find great candidates, so they’re flushing away donor money trying to drive up Meehan’s and Fitzpatrick’s negatives.

DCCC: Pop the popcorn, folks! This is a good one. After D-Trip Chairman Rep, Ben Ray Lujan (D) stated that the party would not rule-out backing pro-life candidates, a brush-fire broke out among the left-wing commentariat. This one isn’t over. I’m fully expecting Lujan to eventually cave.


FL-Gov: State Sen. Jack Latvala (R) has officially announced his long-rumored gubernatorial campaign. Latvala is known as something of an independent wildcard (some would say RINO) in the legislature. If nothing else, his primary against State House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam won’t be boring now that he’s involved.


FL-HD-44: The FLDP has got to be one of the worse state parties in the country relative to its state’s PVI on either side of the aisle. Here’s a case in point: A state representative got a judgeship, so his seat is open. It’s Republican-held, but Hillary won it by 6,000 votes. However, several credible Republicans are raising large sums and campaigning hard for it, while one Democrat has gotten in and raised less than $4,000. Read the article. It’s a great rant on this point.

Voter Fraud: As a wise man once said ‘when you play stupid games, you get stupid prizes.’ That’s definitely true for the subject of this article. In order to meet his quota for registering voters on behalf of the Virginia Democratic party, a college student at James Madison University in Harrisonburg decided to just register everyone on a walk sheet. He made up many of the details, including Social Security Numbers. He also didn’t check to make sure that the voters were still alive, so he ended up registering 18 dead people. The local registrar’s office caught one of the forgeries and ran with it. The forger has been given 100-120 days in jail after a plea agreement. It’s worth noting, though, that if the registrar hadn’t recognized the name of someone she knew was dead, these dead people would have been newly registered and ready to vote.

Political Roundup for November 3rd, 2015

Finally, a proper election day is here! We will have an open thread for predictions at midday. Make sure to come back for our liveblog at 6:00 PM ET, and check out our three previews for today’s races: state legislatures, local offices, and Kentucky and Mississippi statewide races.


Cruz: Why you shouldn’t trust national organizations to eighth graders. While this story is completely irrelevant, I find it highly amusing. In real Ted Cruz news, his super PACs oddly seem oriented away from any kind of broadcast advertising, instead opting for targeted radio and digital ads or even other efforts. Maybe this has something to do with the decentralized web of vehicles that gave wealthy donors to Cruz super PACs more control over their money; they simply may think broadcast is inefficient or ineffective. However, not going on the air also undermines the budgeting of the Cruz campaign, squandering one of the largest warchests in the race. Just another lesson that donors do not necessarily make wise strategists.

Rubio: Sen. Cory Gardner endorsed his Florida colleague yesterday.

National: New polling from NBC/WSJ further cements Carson as the new frontrunner, leading Trump nationally 29%-23% with Rubio at 11%, Cruz 10%, and Jeb 8%. The poll was only in the field one day after the debate though, illustrating Rubio and Cruz’s strength even before their confrontations with CNBC.

IA-Pres: In good news for Cruz, a new Douglas Fulmer poll shows him in third in Iowa, with 15% (behind Carson’s 27% and Trump’s 20%). Rubio and Jeb takes 10% and 9%, respectively, with a steep dropoff thereafter to Carly at 4%.

NH-Pres: A new Monmouth poll shows Trump leading Carson 26%-16%. More interestingly, the poll shows Rubio climbing to 13% in the state. Rubio has faced criticism for his lack of presence in the early states, so a boomlet like this gives him an excuse to get acquainted.

GA-Pres: A SurveyUSA poll conducted over 11 days finds Trump leading Carson in Georgia, 35%-28%, with 12% for Rubio, 8% for Cruz, and 4% for Jeb.


NH-Sen: Ex-State House Speaker Bill O’Brien (R) is looking to recruit a primary challenger to Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R). Ayotte already faces a tough general election against Gov. Maggie Hassan (D).

AZ-9: 2014 gubernatorial candidate and tech exec Christine Jones (R) will not take on Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) in this light-blue seat. It’s looking likely Sinema, who has become entrenched in the Mathismandered “swing” district, will get a free pass.

FL-11: Outgoing Rep. Rich Nugent’s CoS Justin Grabelle (R) is running for his boss’s seat, and the article has a Great Mentioner for the race. However, there doesn’t seem to be a large amount of immediate interest, suggesting that Rep. Dan Webster (R) could move into this safer seat and be a strong front-runner.

OH-8: The special election dates have been set: the primary will be concurrent with the regular primary on March 15th, while the general will be on June 7th. It’s unclear if the timing of the election means that those whose terms come up in 2016 will have to forgo re-election bids to run in the special.

PA-2: State Rep. Dwight Evans (D), a 36-year State House veteran, is challenging indicted Rep. Chaka Fattah (D) in the primary. Evans is the fourth candidate into the race, but unlike State Rep. Brian Sims (D) and two other Fattah challengers, Evans is black. That could make Evans Fattah’s most formidable primary foe in this majority-black seat.

State & Local:

LA-Gov: A JMC Analytics poll for a local TV station shows State Rep. John Bel Edwards (D) with a crushing 52-32 lead on Sen. David Vitter (R). The poll illustrates the fear that this is one of those elections where voters are defying the nature of their usual one-party states (like in Maryland in 2014, for example) and voting across party lines to make a point.

Charlotte Mayor: Perhaps Republicans’ best chance in big cities in today’s local races is in Charlotte, where Republicans are performing solidly in early voting and Democrats remain divided after a contentious primary.

ND-Aud: Josh Gallion (R), a manager at the Public Service Commission, is the second Republican to run for this open seat, joining newspaper publisher Brian Kroshus (R).

NY-Onondaga-CE: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has endorsed moderate Onondaga County Exec Joanie Mahoney (R) over her DINO opponent. Mahoney is heavily favored for a third term today, but this is another example of New York’s strange partisan coalitions.

Houston-Mayor: A final look at early vote totals in Houston, with a helpful breakdown by council district and neighborhood.

TX-leg: One Texas legislative primary is already turning fierce, with a perennial battle between allies of Speaker Straus and loosely organized conservative insurgents. This time the target is State Rep. Byron Cook of Corsicana, an original member of the Gang of 11 that brought Straus to power. Cook also faces criticism over his record on abortion issues. So far, one Thomas McNutt is running against him. McNutt’s family owns a local business, but he’s best known for running for student president at Texas A&M in 2012 before losing in a runoff.

MN-leg: A surprising amount of Democrats are helping former state Rep. Jim Abeler (R) return to the legislature, this time for state Senate. A graphic for a fundraiser listed several Democrats as hosts, including 2010 gubernatorial candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher, former Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe, and 2006 / 2008 Democratic congressional nominee Elwyn Tinklenberg. He faces Andy Aplikowski and Don Huizenga in a special primary election January 12th.

Super PACs: The Huffington Post has a surprisingly solid article about outside groups playing an outsized role in a number of elections today. I’m kind of surprised they missed the Jefferson County School Board recalls though, considering they are a top target for Kochworld today.

RRH 2014 General Election Preview Series, Part 3: Midwest & West House Races

Today we continue with Part 3 of our Preview Series, taking a look at noteworthy house races in the Midwestern and Western United States!

Flip over for the previews . . .


In what might be a first in decades if not modern political history, Ohio, the perennial battleground state, has no competitive house elections this year. All 4 D-held districts are gerrymandered Safe D, and Republicans have solid incumbents in all of their potentially competitive seats.


IN-2: Jackie Walorski hasn’t done too well in her previous two elections, losing in 2010 and scrapping by with a 1.5 point win in the favorably re-drawn district in 2012.  Fortunately for her, the Democrats aren’t seriously playing for this 56% Romney seat this year.  RRH RANKING: SAFE R


MI-1: In this geographically large congressional district covering the Upper Peninsula along with a significant portion of the Lower one, 2010 Republican Dan Benishek has seen his standing improved significantly from earlier this year, when Democrats seemed to be gunning for him after his close 2012 win.  Despite its willingness to support Conservative and Moderate Democrats, National Ds seem to have lost interest lately as they’ve had to focus more on defending their own seats rather than targeting R ones.  RRH RANKING: LIKELY R

MI-4: Long-time incumbent David Camp is retiring in this large and generally rural district covering most of central Michigan.  Republican John Moolenaar should prevail over Democrat Jeff Holmes in this 53% Romney and down-ballot R district.  RRH RANKING: SAFE R

MI-7: Republican incumbent Tim Walberg hasn’t been able to lock down his seat as well as some of his Michigan GOP compatriots, winning narrowly in 2006 before losing in 2008 and making a comeback in 2010.  However, like a number of other R seats, the Democrats aren’t making a serious play for this Republican-leaning district in South-Central Michigan, and Walberg’s 2012 win was considerably better than his previous elections now that Battle Creek is no longer in the district.  RRH RANKING: SAFE R

MI-8: Like David Camp in MI-4, Republican incumbent Mike Rodgers chose to retire this year in this Lansing-Outer Detroit district.  Also like MI-4, the Democrats aren’t making a big effort for this 51% Romney district, which should allow Republican candidate Mike Bishop to win over Democrat Eric Schertzing.  RRH RANKING: SAFE R

MI-11:  In the final competitive Michigan district, Republican David Trott’s primary victory over accidental Congressman Kerry Bentivolio has left him the heavy favorite for this district in Detroit’s Western and Northern Suburbs.  Bentivolio is running a write-in campaign, but he claims it is only to boost R involvement and not an attempt to throw the district to Democrat Bobby McKenzie.  RRH RANKING: LIKELY R


IL-10:  This Chicago North-Shore congressional district doesn’t look competitive by the CPVI (D+7-ish), but it has a long history of supporting Moderate Republican candidates, notably Republican Senator Mark Kirk.  Democrat Brad Schneider won it narrowly over then-incumbent Robert Dold in 2012 however, and Dold is looking for a rematch this year without Obama on the top of the ticket.   RRH RANKING: TOSSUP

IL-11: Democrat Bill Foster won this gerrymandered district convincingly in 2012 against Republican incumbent Judy Biggert.  However, Democrats rely on heavy minority turnout in this district (which connects medium-sized cities in outer Chicagoland) and the little polling we have of this district has shown it closer than its D+8 PVI would suggest.  Republican Darlene Senger is hoping for an upset.  RRH RANKING: LIKELY D

IL-12:  This down-state congressional district is seeing alot of national interest, as Democratic incumbent William Enyart is facing down Republican Mike Bost of Springfield rant fame.  This is the only D-held congressional district in Illinois where Obama under-performed his national average, and Republicans are hoping 2014 is the year they can finally capture this elusive St. Louis-area seat. RRH RANKING: LEAN R (PICKUP)

IL-13:  As with a lot of other Midwestern R-held seats, this district started off as a promising potential D pickup before fading away from them over the summer.  Democrat Ann Callis was hyped as a star recruit, but hasn’t been able to get much traction in this down-state district, and it looks like Republican incumbent Rodney Davis will be returned to congress with a much larger margin than his narrow 2012 win. RRH RANKING: LIKELY R

IL-17: Democrat Cheri Bustos won this redrawn seat in 2012 by a margin of 53-47, and is again facing the man she beat in that election, Republican Bobby Schilling.  Schilling is a good candidate for this part of the state, having won a D-leaning district by 10 points in 2010 and keeping it reasonable close in 2012, but the new district’s lines are much more favorable to the Democrats than his previous district.  Still, Republicans are making a play for this seat and we can’t reasonably rule out an R upset.  RRH RANKING: LEAN D


WI-6:  Longtime Republican incumbent Tom Petri retired this year, and Republicans nominated Glenn Grothman, a State Senator from suburban Milwaukee, to replace him.  Grothman is an outspoken Conservative and this district only leans Republican, but Grothman hasn’t made any mistakes or gaffes so far and looks set to slide into this 53% Romney seat ahead of Democrat Mark Harris.  RRH RANKING: SAFE R


MN-2:  This southern-MSP district is represented by 12-year GOP incumbent John Kline.  Kline had an unusually strong challenge from Mike Obermueller in 2012, and Obermueller is trying again this year.  Kline is heavily favored to win again, but is a rumored retirement possibility for 2016, so a closer-than-expected margin might push him towards that.  RRH RANKING: SAFE R

MN-7:  In what appears to be a reverse of MN-2, DFL incumbent Collin Peterson is being strongly challenged by Republican Torrey Westrom for this western-Minnesota district.  Peterson is a long-time incumbent and serial over-performer (he won by 15 points in 2010 in a McCain district), and is favored in recent polling to keep his seat for at least one more term.  However, the Republican strategy here might be to force Peterson into a tough race to encourage him to retire in 2016 (which he has openly considered), where Westrom would be a heavy favorite for then then-open seat.  RRH RANKING: LEAN D

MN-8:  The battle for this Northeastern Minnesota district continues, as Democratic incumbent Rick Nolan is trying to fight off a challenge from Republican Stewart Mills.  This Duluth-anchored seat has trended Republican recently, but is historically Democratic down-ballot.  Still, the most recent public poll of this race has Stewart up 8 points, and it is clearly the most competitive race in Minnesota this year.  RRH RANKING: TOSSUP


IA-1:  The seat left open by D Senate candidate Bruce Braley is generally D-leaning, voting 56% for Obama in 2012, but Republican candidate Rod Blum is getting more national attention and $ than that would suggest.  The public polls of this race have been generally kind to the Republican nominee, and Democratic candidate Pat Murphy hasn’t been particularly impressive.  If the up-ball
ot races go strongly for the Republicans, this district could potentially flip.  RRH RANKING: LEAN D

IA-2:  Dave Loebsack, one of the more boring accidental congressmen after his surprise 2006 win, is looking relatively good for re-election.  However, given how the rest of Iowa seems to be behaving this cycle, Loebsack’s mediocre previous wins, and the Republican-friendly early voting numbers, we can’t rule out the possibility of a surprise victory by 2-time Republican candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks.  RRH RANKING: LIKELY D

IA-3:  In one of the few good D pickup opportunities this cycle, the seat of retiring Republican Tom Latham looks to be entirely up for grabs.  Republican candidate and former Grassley Chief-of-staff David Young is a B-lister at best, and Democrat Staci Appel is getting a lot of outside $ and attention despite a gaffe where she claimed to be opposed to revoking passports of American-born Islamic State militants.  If David Young wins in this even CPVI district, it will likely be because of the top of the ticket and the generally R-friendly political environment.  RRH RANKING: TOSSUP


NE-2: Longtime Republican incumbent Lee Terry is again fighting for his political life in this Omaha district.  The 8-term congressman is up against Nebraska-legislature member Brad Ashford, who has been polling very well given the district’s general R lean.  Terry has had a number of close calls in the past, including a squeaker 51-49 victory in 2012, and his comments during the government shutdown haven’t endeared him to his constituents since then.  Like IA-3, this is one of the Democrat’s few good targets in the Midwest.  RRH RANKING: TOSSUP

North Dakota:

ND-AL: Republican incumbent Kevin Cramer won a pretty solid 13-point victory as a freshman in 2012, but a couple of public polls have put Democrat George Sinner within striking range.  North Dakota has a history of being politically fickle and supporting Democrats down the ticket, so we can’t rule out a long-shot upset here.  RRH RANKING: LIKELY R

Western Races:


CO-6:  In what was supposed to be a prime D pickup opportunity this cycle, Republican Mike Coffman seems to have pulled ahead in this district covering most of Denver’s southern suburbs.  Democratic candidate Andrew Romanoff, a former speaker of the Colorado State House, was touted as a top recruit, but hasn’t panned out nearly as well as Democrats had hoped.  However, the district’s slight D lean and Colorado’s new VBM election system both offer him potential paths to victory.  RRH RANKING: LEAN R


MT-AL:  Despite current R congressman Steve Daines’s expected romp at the top of the ticket here, Republican candidate Ryan Zinke hasn’t posted large enough leads to take this seat completely off the table. Montana, like the Dakotas, is sometimes willing to vote for Democrats for Congress or Senate, so Democrat John Lewis has a least a potential pathway to victory.  RRH RANKING: LIKELY R


UT-4:  Democrat and repeat survivor Jim Matheson is retiring this year, which leaves his strongly Republican suburban Salt Lake City Congressional district open.  Republican 2012 candidate Mia Love, who came very close to beating Matheson that year, is running for the seat against Democrat Doug Owens.  No one expects this race to be close, and come 2015 Utah will likely have a 100% Republican Congressional delegation.  RRH RANKING: SAFE R (PICKUP)


NV-3: Like a number of other races, this swingy suburban Las Vegas seat was supposed to be a prime Democratic target this year.  However, Republican incumbent Joe Heck has slid off of the radar over the summer, and looks set to beat Democrat Erin Bilbray relatively easily.  The expected landslide re-election of Republican Governor Brian Sandoval will also help keep this district in R hands for the next 2 years.  RRH RANKING: SAFE R

NV-4:  In what appears to be a late-breaking race, Republicans are smelling blood in the water with freshman Democrat Steven Horsford.  This D-leaning district covers most of the northern Las Vegas Metro area along with a small rural population, but a combination of a lackluster Horsford campaign, an expected Sandoval landslide at the top of the ticket, and a good R showing from the early Clark County ballots has caused some late $ to flow here.  Still, this is a D+3 district where the Demographics are getting worse for us every day.  RRH RANKING: SAFE D (moving to Likely D due to late-breaking national attention)


AZ-1:  The battle for the biggest piece of the Mathismander is unfolding interestingly.  Republicans nominated State Representative Andy Tobin, who was probably our best get here given this district’s massive size and lack of a clear base.  Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, who represented a more fully Northern-Arizona district between 2008 and 2010, won narrowly in 2012, and looks very vulnerable this year.  One possible wild card is that the Native reservations (which make up most of the D base in this district) have their elections coincide with the midterms, which should boost their relative turnout numbers to Kirkpatrick’s benefit.  Still, this is a Romney district, and with no Libertarian nominee Tobin is looking good.  RRH RANKING: TOSSUP

AZ-2: This Tucson-based district narrowly got away from us twice in 2012, first in the special election and then in the general.  Democratic incumbent Ron Barber has been at the top of most pundit’s lists of vulnerable incumbents the whole cycle, and Republican candidate and 2012 nominee Martha McSally is well-positioned to pick up this R-leaning district for the GOP.  Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a deranged assassination attempt in early 2011, is still highly regarded in this district, and her support for Barber might be the key to pulling him over the finish line.  RRH RANKING: TOSSUP

AZ-9:  Kyrsten Sinema, Congress’s first openly bisexual member, is looking better for re-election than her fellow white Arizona Democrats for a number of reasons. AZ-9 is more Democratic than either AZ-1 or AZ-2, Sinema has posted a relatively moderate voting record, she’s attracted a lower-tier candidate in Lt. Colonel Wendy Rodgers, and gets to run with a Libertarian candidate on the ballot (the same one who previously got 7% of the vote in 2012).  While it is entirely possible Sinema still loses in November, she’s in good shape at this point.  RRH RANKING: LEAN D


CA-3:  This D-leaning district covering part of the Bay Area and the Central Valley West and North of Sacramento is a definite “reach” seat for the GOP.  Incumbent Democrat John Garamendi won by 9 points in 2012 and the GOP isn’t contesting the seat as aggressively this year, but it’s only D+3 CPVI and that’s not out of reach for the GOP in a good year.  Still, the VBM ballots here aren’t encouraging for us so far.  RRH RANKING: LIKELY D

CA-7:  This Sacramento-suburbs district is one of the most contested in California.  2012 freshman Democrat Ami Bera is running against former GOP Congressman Doug Ose.  The district is swingy, the VBM looks decent for us, and we did well enough in the “primary” here that we can expect a close race.  RRH RANKING: TOSSUP

CA-10:  In the
first of a trio of interesting valley districts, Republican Jeff Denham is looking strong in this Modesto-based seat.  Democrat Michael Eggman is hoping to improve on the Democrat’s solid 2012 showing here, but the primary numbers and VBM results so far don’t suggest Denham is in any trouble.  RRH RANKING: SAFE R

CA-16: This district, covering Merced along with the D and Hispanic parts of Fresno, isn’t competitive on paper.  Obama got 59% here, Democratic incumbent Jim Costa won by 15% in 2012, and it’s strongly Hispanic.  However, this is the part of the California Central Valley where Republicans can sometimes wildly over-perform the top line numbers in congressional and state legislature elections.  While we don’t see any signs of that happening here (Republican Johnny Tacherras has been basically ignored by the national GOP) this race could be a sleeper if Hispanic turnout drops like a rock this year.  RRH RANKING: SAFE D

CA-21: Here’s one of the most unusual districts in the entire US–A 70+% Hispanic district Republicans hold and are overwhelmingly favored to keep.  A combination of anemic Hispanic turnout, hyper-Republican White voters, an atrocious D bench, and strong agricultural interests have kept the GOP competitive in areas they shouldn’t based on the toplines.  Republican David Valadao has posted good numbers, both in the 2012 race and the “primary” this year (where he got an impressive 64% of the vote in a D+2 district), and Democrat Amanda Renteria hadn’t lived here for years before her current run.  The Democrats will eventually be able to reliably win in places like this, but until then, Valadao should continue to tie this seat down for the GOP.  RRH RANKING: LIKELY R

CA-24:  This district covering most of California’s Central Coast isn’t supposed to be competitive this year–Longterm incumbent Lois Capps won pretty convincingly against Republican Abel Maldanado in 2012, and the Republicans nominated a C-lister in Chris Mitchum.  Still, the VBM numbers look unusually good for us so far, but that’s no guarentee we’ll be able to flip her 10-point margin from 2012.  RRH RANKING: SAFE D

CA-26: This Ventura-based congressional district has recently made some headlines after Democrat incumbent Julia Brownley started looking weak.  Republican Jeff Gorell is probably the best candidate the CAGOP could get for this seat, and midterm turnout in Oxnard should help push the D% down to something we can beat.  Still, this district is basically Ventura County with Republican-leaning Simi Valley cut out of it, which makes it a reach for any Republican.  RRH RANKING: RRH RANKING: LEAN D

CA-31: Republicans only won this district in 2012 due to the 2012 top-2 election candidates being 2 Republicans, and they almost repeated the situation again this year.  Unfortunately however, Republican Paul Chabot hogged too much of the R vote, so Democrat Pete Aguilar was able to win second place.  This is the most Democratic district currently represented by a Republican, and since the Democrats got over 50% of the vote in the primary, most everyone wrote this district off as a Safe D pickup.  Aguilar’s general lackluster nature and superior R turnout could theoretically make this competitive, but Chabot has raised and spent next to nothing.  RRH RANKING: SAFE D (PICKUP)

CA-33: This Coastal LA county district utterly baffles me.  Henry Waxman won by an uncomfortably small margin here against an “Independent” in 2012, even as Obama won it by 24 points, and now the VBM numbers show a considerably more R electorate this year.  That would make sense in a heavily Hispanic valley or suburban district, but the Democrats here are high-turnout Moonbats from Santa Monica and Malibu.  Still, if Republican Elan Carr somehow manages to beat Democratic State Senator Ted Lieu, it’ll be the 2014 race everyone talks about the Wednesday after election day.  RRH RANKING: SAFE D

CA-36:  Democrat Raul Ruiz is standing tall in this eastern Riverside County district.  After a surprisingly strong win against Republican Mary Bono-Mack in 2012, Ruiz has apparently worked this district well.  He got 49% of the vote in the “primary” this year, which is impressive considering this is a heavily Hispanic district where Democrats usually to considerably better in the November election than the June one.  State Assemblyman Brian Nestande is running for the GOP, but with the primary showing, Nestande’s poor fundraising, and an increasingly large Hispanic electorate, this district looks like it’s gotten away from us.  We could still theoretically win here, but that’s looking less and less likely every day.  RRH RANKING: LIKELY D

CA-52:  This San Diego district was our most promising race after the primary, where former 2012 San Diego Mayor Republican candidate Carl DeMaio ran very close to incumbent Scott Peters with a seperate Republican taking over 10% of the vote, but DeMaio’s campagin has run into a number of setbacks recently.  The most signficant of them is an allegation of sexual harassment from a former staffer, which has been getting alot of play in the local media.  Still, this is the CAGOP’s best shot at a pickup this cycle, and DeMaio is the right sort of candidate for this wealthy surbuban seat.  RRH RANKING: TOSSUP


CA-4:  Republican incumbent Tom McClintock has never been particularly popular in hs Sacramento-based congressional district, which he carpetbagged to in 2008 from Southern California.  McClintock has probably run for more different offices than any other person in California (He’s lost statewide a number of times, including running to Arnold’s right in the 2003 recall election), but in this case he’s drawn a moderate Republican challenger in the form of Art Moore, who made top-2 with him.  Moore probably can’t win this without significant D crossover voting, which is difficult in this Safely R district.  Still, Moore has a host of endorsements, including Pete Wilson, the Sacramento Bee, and others, so he’s not totally out of this.  RRH RANKING: LIKELY MCCLINTOCK

CA-17:  In this San Jose area and Asian-heavy district, longtime Japanese-American Representative Mike Honda is being challenged by Indian-American Ro Khanna in a D-on-D general.  Khanna is trying to take the Eric Swallwell path of being the less-hostile-to-Republicans-while-still-being-Liberal path into congress, with a sizable Indian-American base as well.  Honda is still probably favored, as Pete Stark draws a lot more Republican ire than Honda does (and Honda has been endorsed by the last Bay Area Republican, Jim Cunneen), but Honda’s been acting like he’s seeing a close election lately, accusing Khanna of being a rabid right-winger in disguise.  RRH RANKING: LEAN HONDA

CA-25:  In the battle for this LA-Area district, Republicans Tony Strickland and Steven Knight are duking it out.  Both sides are trying to play the balancing act of being more Conservative and yet more attractive to Democrats in the district, and with Strickland’s smaller but more dedicated Ventura county base against Knight’s LA-County one, this one could still go either way.  RRH RANKING: LEAN STRICKLAND

Washingtom Same-party:

WA-4:  The election to replace Doc Hastings in the safely-Republican 4th district has come down to an R-on-R general between Tea Party favorite Clint Didier and the more mainstream Dan Newhouse.  Didier is very outspoken, and he’s probably going to push the lion’s share of the D vote (which is sizable in this
district, even accounting for the normal undervote single-party generals have) to Newhouse.  RRH RANKING: LIKELY NEWHOUSE (R)


HI-1: Charles Djou, who might just be the most chronic over-performing losing candidate the GOP has, is running for his former Congressional seat.  Djou won a 3-way special election for this Honolulu district in 2010 before losing narrowly in the general that year.  He ran again in 2012 and only lost by 9, which is remarkably close given that Obama won the district by 41 points that year and he was running against an incumbent.  Djou is trying again in 2014 for the now open seat, and Democrats have nominated State Representative Mark Takai.  The only poll of this race made public had Djou up 4 points, and although Hawaii Democrats tend to overperform their polling numbers due to shy Asian voters, it remains to be seen how that comes into play in an election between a Chinese Republican and a Japanese Democrat in a seat where white voters actually lean D relative to the seat as a whole.  This race might be the single hardest for anybody to read this cycle.  RRH RANKING: LEAN D

Political Roundup for October 2nd, 2014



IA-Sen: Joni Ernst continues to exceed expectations as she raised $4.5 Million in the third quarter, which is impressive for a state like Iowa and considerably more than the $2.8 Million Democrat Bruce Braley collected over the same period. Ernst only narrowly won the 2nd quarter $ race, so this is an improvement for her.  It also continues the string of good news for us in this race, which has become one of the GOP’s best targets this year.  Sometimes a little pig castration can go a long way in developing a race.

KS-Sen: It’s official—Democrats won’t have to field a candidate for this seat after Chad Taylor withdrew his candidacy last month. Let’s hope the KSGOP can use this to successfully paint Greg Orman as the unofficial D in the race, as he’s currently leading by mid-single-digitsin most polls.

NH-Sen: American Crossroads is dropping $3 Million on this race (for what appears to be only a single week’s worth of ads). They’re spending in the Boston market as well (which covers parts of southern New Hampshire). No word yet on what ad they’ll be running, but they clearly believe that Scott Brown can capitalize on some of the momentum he’s built over the last month or so.

House-PAC: House Majority PAC, a D-aligned group, is canceling ad time in 7 districts (NY-18, CT-5, AZ-9, IL-17, IL-13, MI-7, MI-8, and PA-6). The first 4 of those are probably because they think the incumbent Democrats are safe enough, and the latter 4 are probably because the D candidate hasn’t gotten enough traction. At this point I wonder how much ad time there is left to buy in the remaining competitive house districts as the field continues to narrow.


CA-Gov: Chris Christie is in the Golden State this week to raise money . . . and basically nothing else. Granted, no one in the country thinks Republican candidate Neel Kashkari has a chance at beating the highly popular Jerry Brown in deep-blue California, but Christie isn’t even making a public appearance with Kashkari. Christie claims this is due to scheduling conflicts, but the more likely story is that he (and the rest of the RGA) has simply written off the state entirely this year, though considering the other places the RGA is spending (see below), he could have at least pretended to care while taking CAGOP money.

ID-Gov: Here’s something I wasn’t expecting—the RGA is spending in Idaho. They’re up with an attack ad against Democratic candidate A.J. Balukoff, accusing him of being a “typical politician” who’s a “A perfect fit for California, wrong for Idaho”. Given that there’s been little to no polling of this race and Otter is an inoffensive and relatively moderate incumbent in a deeply red state facing off against a some dude, this seems like kind of a waste. This might just be Christie trying to line up support for a 2016 Presidential bid.


NY-St-Assembly: And another one bites the dust. William Scarborough, a Queens Democrat, has been arrested for 23 counts of illegally using campaign funds for personal expenses and related crimes, along with false reporting. At this point I wonder how many more heads will have to roll before Albany figures out that state and federal prosecutors are out for their blood.  Maybe another 20 or so.


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