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Political Roundup for October 12th, 2017

Check back at 3p ET this afternoon for our preview of this weekend’s Louisiana Primaries.

President

Murphy: Alas, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) will go on raising money off gun control and not run for President. Of course this early is like the beginning of a spy movie where you have to trust nobody because the premise sets up people going back on their word.

Senate

CA-Sen: Billionaire environmentalist financier Tom Steyer (D) is looking at a challenge of Sen. Diane Feinstein from the left. California’s top-two primary opens the door to these kind of intra-party challenges destined to take place among a general election electorate. Meanwhile, far-left Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) has declined to run for Senate against Dianne Feinstein, an institution in California politics, despite the urging of fellow Rep. Rho Khanna. State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D) also looks like a no at a campaign against Feinstein from the left. Feinstein has already racked up endorsements from a wide range of Democratic officials since announcing her reelection on Monday, including LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Sen. Kamala Harris.

AL-Sen: Roy Moore (R) previously said he drew no salary from his work with his charity “The Foundation for Moral Law;” however, he collected over $1 million from the organization over five years. Incredibly, when the organization couldn’t afford the salary they gave him a stake in a historic building they own. The organization also had two of his children on the payroll at one point. Moore faces former US Attorney Doug Jones (D) in this special election.

NJ-Sen: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) may yet squirm out of his dicey legal situation.

Governor

MI-Gov: State Sen. Pat Colbeck (R) has been stripped of all his committee assignments since launching a gubernatorial bid. Apparently the harsh move was in response to Colbeck appearing at a fundraiser in Senate Majority Leader Arian Meekhof’s district without notifying the rival politician. Seems like a minor faux pas compared to the severity of the response. Colbeck is running to the right in this race and will likely be overshadowed in the Republican primary by Attorney General Bill Schuette and the possible bid of Lieutenant Gov. Brian Calley.

TN-Gov: After the House passed her budget bill, Rep. Diane Black (R) can take a victory lap and focus on her gubernatorial bid in this open seat. She is holding onto her committee chairmanship as budget negotiations continue with the Senate.

House

PA-13: Rep. Brendan Boyle (D) suddenly became many Republicans’ favorite congressman when he recently opined on the sport of soccer. “Run around for 90 minutes.
Flop when barely touched. Score 1 goal at most. Do I got it?,” Boyle tweeted, adding a winky face before he concluded the diatribe.

MN-8: Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL) is on the receiving end of a primary challenge from FBI counterterrorism analyst Leah Phifer. Phifer doesn’t sound overtly liberal on a lot of issues, but she is on one key issue in the 8th: the Polymet mining project. Nolan is liberal, but even he is not brazen enough to vote that far against his district. Phifer’s take on this issue could drive a nice wedge in the primary, and the race already has Green Skip Sandman returning for a repeat third party campaign to split those votes in the general. St Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber (R) is running on the Republican side in this swingy, Lean D seat. More from Aaron Brown.

NH-1: John DiStaso analyzes the newly open swing seat here, where real political junkies were starved of another Guinta v Shea-Porter matchup. Democrats interested in the seat include: former Somersworth mayor and former Strafford County attorney Lincoln Soldati and Rochester City Attorney Terence O’Rourke, Executive Councilor Chris Pappas (D), and State Reps. Mark McKenzie (D) and Mindi Messmer (D).

NH-2: State Rep. Steve Negron (R) has picked up some legislative endorsements out of Nashua, which makes it sound like the outcome of his “exploring” this race is pretty likely.

State and Local

MI-Leg: Former State Rep. and felon Brian Banks (D)just resigned his seat last February over his latest charges, so naturally he is now…. running for a promotion to State Senate? Some politicians have some grand audacity.

TX-leg: A few updates.

  • HD-128: State Rep. Briscoe Cain received a boost to his reelection when Black Lives Matter shut down a speech of his at Texas Southern University, giving the conservative facing a Republican primary challenge from Baytown City Councilman Terry Sain a nice bogeyman to campaign against.
  • SD-13: State Sen. Borris Miles(D) survived an armed robbery last night.
  • HD-6: House leadership may have found a candidate to take on Freedom Caucus member Matt Schaefer in former State Rep. Ted Kamel of Tyler.

NH-Leg: Gov. Sununu (R) plans to nominate Speaker Shawn Jasper (R) to be the Commissioner of Agriculture, leaving a gaping hole for House leadership. Jasper would resign once confirmed for the post. Remember, Jasper has dueled a conservative insurgency since usurping his present post, so the move is sure to create a competitive race for a replacement.

Political Roundup for October 6, 2017

Senate:

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.

House:

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 4, 2017

Last night, Randall Woodfin (D) ousted incumbent Birmingham Mayor William Bell (D) by a shocking 20-point spread, Albuquerque proceeded to a runoff between State Auditor Tim Keller (D) at 39% and councilman Dan Lewis (R) at 23%.  Missy McGee (R) held the purple MS-LD-102 by an impressive 2:1 margin, while CA-LD-51 heads to a runoff between Wendy Carillo (D) and Luis Lopez (D).

Senate:

AL-Sen: JMC Analytics has Roy Moore (R) leading Doug Jones (D) 48-40. Generic R beats Generic D by a surprisingly small 49-45 margin.

TN-Sen: Gov. Bill Haslam (R) re-iterated that he is considering a run for the open US Senate seat of Sen. Bob Corker (R). Should Haslam enter, he would likely be a favorite over all comers in the primary and general election. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) is thought to be ready to run, and would be the favorite in a Haslam-less race, but she may be delaying her decision until Haslam’s intentions are known.

Governor:

CT-Gov: Add another “B” list name to the Democratic mix for this race: Malloy admin official Sean Connolly (D) is stepping down and rumored to be considering a gubernatorial run. Connolly would join Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D), fellow Malloy admin official Jonathan Harris (D), and prosecutor Chris Mattei (D) in the race. LG Nancy Wyman (D) is also thought to be exploring a run and would be the primary front-runner if she entered. Republicans have an even more crowded field.

IL-Gov: Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) somewhat surprisingly signed a controversial bill last week enabling public funding of abortion through Medicaid. As you might expect, socially conservative Republicans are up in arms and there is talk of a primary challenge to the Governor. State Rep. Peter Breen (R) delivered a particularly stinging critique, saying “I’ve had a front-row seat to a governor that is unable to adequately and competently administer Illinois government. He is now lying to us. And so at that point, I can’t support someone like that.” It’s widely believed that State Dictator House Speaker Mike Madigan (D) pushed the bill to put Rauner in an impossible position, with signing it giving him a primary headache and vetoing it being a major problem in the socially liberal state for the general. Should Rauner lose the primary, Republicans’ odds of holding this seat likely to near zero, and likely Dem nominee and Madigan sugar daddy businessman JB Pritzker (D) will likely be the favorite to take the seat. Rauner appears to be betting the general election optics of this move are worth the primary headache.

ME-Gov: Sen. Susan Collins (R) will announce next week if she will run for Governor. The popular Collins would be a near-prohibitive favorite in a general election if she ran, but she may face difficulties getting through a GOP primary for her moderation. LePage admin official Mary Mayhew (R), State Sen. Garrett Mason (R), and State Rep. Ken Fredette (R) are in the GOP primary already; over a half-dozen Dems and three credible Indies are also in the race.

NJ-Gov: Emerson has Goldman Sachs exec Phil Murphy (D) up 46-35 on LG Kim Guadagno (R), a smaller margin than most recent surveys. Monmouth has a pretty similar 51-37 lead for Murphy. New Jersey is a fairly inelastic state and Murphy is unlikely to have crossover appeal, so some tightening of this race from the gaudy 30-point Murphy leads of prior polls is probably in the cards.

RI-Gov: Moderate Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) has her first primary challenger, Paul Roselli (D), head of a nonprofit local park group. Roselli has gained notoriety for his opposition to a proposed powerplant in his hometown, but seems like a “C” list opponent for Raimondo. Unpopular liberal ex-Gov. Lincoln Chaffee (D) is also considering a run against Raimondo in the primary. Three Republicans, 2014 nominee and Cranston Mayor Alan Fung (R), State Rep. Patricia Morgan (R), and ex-State Rep. Joe Trillo (R), are in the race.

SD-Gov: AG Marty Jackley (R) launched his expected gubernatorial campaign yesterday. Jackley joins Rep. Krsti Noem (R) in what is expected to be a hard-fought titanic primary collision. State Sen. Billie Sutton (D) is the likely Dem nominee.

TN-Gov: Sen. Bob Corker (R) says he “can’t imagine” running for Tennessee Governor, a statement that is not quite Shermanesque but pretty close to it. Republicans have a crowded primary field of Rep. Diane Black (R), State House Speaker Beth Harwell (R), State Sen. Mae Beavers (R), and businessmen Randy Boyd (R) and Bill Lee (R); Corker, however, would likely be the front-runner if he were to enter.

House:

FL-18: Obama admin official Lauren Baer (D) is running against first-term Rep. Brian Mast (R). Baer would be the second person in a same-sex marriage in Congress if elected; this light-red Treasure Coast seat trended right last year while Mast picked it up for the GOP.

IL-15: State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R) is not running for re-election and is apparently in contention for Ambassador to Kenya. However, McCarter is keeping his options open to making a second bid against Rep. John Shimkus (R), whom he primaried from a fiscal conservative angle in 2016. McCarter took 40% against Shimkus last cycle in this deep-red rural downstate seat and would be a formidable candidate in a rematch.

ME-2: Heir Lucas St. Clair (D) is carpetbagging from Portland into this rural northern Maine seat to run against Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R). St. Clair is the son of Roxanne Quimby, a co-founder of Burt’s Bees cosmetics. Quimby is also notable for having donated a large estate to the federal government to create a national monument, an effort St. Clair spearheaded. St. Clair joins State Rep. Jared Golden (D) as a major candidate in the primary to take on Poliquin. As a side note, this rural northern Maine seat is exactly the kind of place where a trust fund baby carpetbagging in will play well, right?

MA-3: Cambridge councilman Nadeem Mazen (D) will carpetbag into this deep-blue Merrimack Valley based district to seek the open seat. Mazen, who grew up in the seat, would be the third Muslim member of Congress if elected. He joins a crowded primary of State Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D), 2014 LG nominee Steve Kerrigan (D), Boston Mayor Marty Walsh CoS Daniel Koh (D), and businessman Abhijit Das (D).

NH-1: 2010 gubernatorial nominee John Stephen (R) will not take on Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) in 2018. State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and cop Eddie Edwards (R) appear to be the serious prospects in the race to take on Shea-Porter.

NH-2: Businessman David McConville (R), who heads a prominent local fiscal conservative group and served as campaign manager for a gubernatorial candidate last year, is considering a run against Rep. Annie Kuster (D). McConville, who intends to run as a hard-edged fiscal conservative, would face ex-State Rep. and 2016 candidate Jack Flanagan (R) for the right to take on the popular Kuster in this light-blue seat.

NJ-11: Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark (D) will not run for Congress, and has endorsed prosecutor Mike Sherill (D). Sherill looks like the Democratic front-runner to take on Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) in this historically-Republican wealthy suburban seat that trended left last year.

NM-2: State Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn Jr. (R), who was looking like the front-runner for this seat, has abruptly aborted his bid. It’s unclear why Dunn decided to drop out or whether he will instead seek a second term as Lands Commissioner, though there are rumors that a feud with Gov. Susana Martinez (R) (or her svengali, Jay McCleskey) may have played a role. State Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) and ex-Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman (R) are in the race for this open medium-red southern NM seat; Newman is thought to have the backing of Martinez. State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R) is also considering.

NY-1: State Rep. Fred Thiele (I), an Independence Party member who is a de facto Democrat, will not seek the D nomination to take on Rep. Lee Zeldin (R). Thiele had been considered Dems’ choice recruit for this race. Suffolk county commissioner Kate Browning (D) looks like Dems’ new top prospect to take on the popular Zeldin in this light-red eastern Long Island seat.

NY-11: Ex-Rep. Michael Grimm (R) officially kicked off his comeback bid this weekend. Grimm’s prior tenure in Congress ended with his resignation on tax charges; now, he is attempting to oust his successor, Rep. Dan Donovan (R) from the right in the primary. Grimm’s criminal record and Donovan’s popularity will likely make that a tough order, though Grimm could still cause significant problems for Donovan by continuing to the general election in this light-red Staten Island based seat on the Conservative third-party line.

NY-23: Running store owner Ian Golden (D) is putting a new-spin on the time-honored “walk across the district” publicity stunt by launching a 450-mile (literal) run across this large Southern Tier seat. The move could help Golden gain name rec in the crowded field of little-known candidates vying to take on Rep. Tom Reed (R) in this medium-red seat.

PA-1: Testimony at the trial of former judge and 2012 Jimmie Moore (D) is pointing a very incriminating finger at Rep. Bob Brady (D). In case you haven’t been following the story, here’s a recap: Moore, who is black, started to run a potentially credible primary challenge in 2012 against Brady, the white boss of the Philly Dem machine, in this racially-mixed district. Moore then later inexplicably dropped his bid, and quickly thereafter received a $90K payment from Brady. The cover story was that the cash was payment for “polling data”, but Moore admitted the obvious in a plea agreement – that it was a thinly-disguised bribe to get him out of the race. Brady has not yet been charged, but it’s hard not to see some charges coming down the pipeline for him.

PA-11: State Sen. John Yudchiak (D) will not run for this conservative Harrisburg-to-Wilkes-Barre open seat, eschewing the uphill race to stay in the State Senate. Four Republicans, State Rep. Steven Bloom (R), Corbett admin official Dan Meuser (R), Berwick councilman Andrew Shecktor (R), and businessman Andrew Lewis (R), are in the race or considering.

PA-15: Appointed Allentown city solicitor Susan Wild (D) will run for this light-red open seat, possibly giving Democrats their first credible candidate here. Several other Dems, including Northampton DA John Morganelli (D), are considering; Republicans are set to have a bloody primary between State Reps. Justin Simmons (R) and Ryan Mackenzie (R).

PA-16: Dentist Gary Wegman (D), who ran an abortive bid for this light-red Lancaster-area seat in 2016, will mount another bid this year for the seat of now-incumbent Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R). 2016 nominee and nonprofit Christina Hartman (D) is also in the primary for a second round.

PA-18: Now this is a bombshell. Texts have been released strongly implying Rep. Tim Murphy (R), who is publicly pro-life, asked his mistress to get an abortion and privately disavowed his own pro-life views. Murphy previously admitted the affair, but this is the first sense that there is more to the story. The abortion issue could be a big problem for Murphy in his socially conservative district; he joins Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R) in the pro-life abortion promoters’ caucus. Importantly, unlike DesJarlais, whose transgressions occured several years before his first election to Congress, the texts here are from this summer, meaning Murphy is at least likely to get a serious primary challenger. Ex-Allegheny County commissioner Mike Crossey (D) is running for the Dems in this race.

UT-4: Salt Lake CE Ben McAdams (D) is considering a challenge to Rep. Mia Love (R). Trump did horribly in this suburban seat, scoring below 40%, but Love still won against her touted opponent by a 12-point margin. That said, this is the only House seat in Utah Dems could be competitive in and McAdams would definitely be a top-tier candidate.

State & Local:

AZ-SoS: Attorney and Dem operative Mark Gordon (D) is running for SoS. Gordon, who has not run for office but seems well-connected, joins State Sen. Katie Hobbs (D) in the primary for this seat. Incumbent Michele Reagan (R) is widely considered highly vulnerable due to her mismanagement of the office and is facing a tough primary with State Sen. Steve Montenegro (R).

IL-AG: Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti (D), who has become a minor celebrity for his twitter commentary on the Russia investigation, is considering a run for AG. Mariotti would join State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D), State Rep. Scott Drury (D), and Chicago Police official Sharon Fairley (D) in this primary, with several other Dems considering. Former congressional candidate and Miss America Erika Harold (R) is the likely GOP nominee for this open seat.

Atlanta-Mayor: Survey USA for WXIA-TV has a poll of this year’s Atlanta Mayoral race, with moderate councilwoman Mary Norwood (D) taking a large lead at 28%. Fellow councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms (D) has moved into second place with 15%, with councilman Ceasar Mitchell (D) at 10% and four other serious candidates in single digits. In the likely event no candidate tops 50% in the November jungle primary, the top two finishers will head on to a December runoff.

New Orleans-Mayor: Clarus for WWL-TV has this race (a week from Saturday) looking close to a 3-way tossup, with City councilwoman Latoya Cantrell (D) at 27% and retired judges Desiree Charbonnet (D) and Michael Bagneris (D) at 26% and 19% respectively. A different poll of the race had Bagneris on top. The top two finishers in the first round will advance to a mid-November runoff.

Louisville-Mayor: Councilwoman Angela Leet (R) will run for mayor next year, taking on incumbent Greg Fischer (D), who is seeking a third term. Leet seems likely to be a credible opponent for Fischer in the light-blue city.

Cook, IL-CE: County commissioner Richard Boykin (D) will not take on County Executive Toni Preckwinkle (D) in the primary. Preckwinkle, who was previously highly popular, is now thought to be at least somewhat vulnerable due to her support of a new soda tax (which Boykin opposed). However, a loss for Boykin would hurt his prospects at the job he really wants (the IL-7 congressional seat when Rep. Danny Davis (D) retires) so the decision makes sense for him. It’s possible that Preckwinkle will not get a serious primary challenger now, though there is still definitely room for one as the soda tax is deeply unpopular even among Dems.

Political Roundup for June 23, 2017

Congress:

MO-Sen: Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) is far from announcing he plans to run for US Senate, but he isn’t ruling it out either. There is pressure for him to run-prominent GOP fundraiser Sam Fox this week said that potential donors should hold off donating to other candidates until they can convince Hawley to run. The persistent talk of Hawley possibly running is a problem for Rep. Ann Wagner (R) who has long been seen as a likely candidate. There may be something of the intraparty feud which contributed to State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) committing suicide in 2015 at play here too. Former Sen. John Danforth (R) has publicly announced his support for Hawley running-Danforth and Fox were both supporters of Schweich’s campaign for governor while Wagner was a supporter of former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, whose campaign was blamed by some for attacks which led to Schweich’s suicide. Both Danforth and Fox however have said they have nothing against Wagner, just that they think Hawley would be a better candidate.

AZ-2: Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) is planning to form an exploratory committee to run for Congress next year. Kirkpatrick would be moving districts as she previously represented AZ-1. She has moved to Tucson and is no stranger to the area as she graduated from the University of Arizona and worked in the Pima County Attorney’s office. She would potentially be joining a very crowded Democratic primary however-7 other Democrats have announced they plan to run or are considering running.

FL-7: State Rep. Mike Miller (R) is considering running for Congress next year against Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D). Miller, who is considered a moderate, may have competition for the Republican nomination. State Sen. David Simmons (R) has said before he is 98% sure he would run, but has not yet entered the race. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs (R) is said to be interested in running too. Miller however also says there are legislative priorities he is working on that may make him decide to stay in the Legislature-which is similar to what led state Rep. Bob Cortes (R) to consider running and then decide against it.

FL-23: Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein (D) does not plan to join the Democratic primary between Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) and Tim Canova. Finkelstein, who also hosts a popular segment on Miami local TV called “Help me Howard” was mentioned on a website devoted to Broward County politics yesterday as possibly joining the race but he says he never thought about running. He says Wasserman Schultz and Canova represent two camps of the Democratic Party well.

GA-6 and the expectations game: Some Democrats are blaming a failure to manage expectations for their loss in GA-6 being seen as a failure for them. While it could have been painted as them doing well in a traditionally strong red seat, the incredible fundraising haul by Jon Ossoff and the intense desire to hand President Trump and the GOP a defeat raised the hype and expectations for the GA-6 so much that anything less than a win was going to be seen as a failure. The GOP on the other hand seems to have played the expectations game well going into this and other special elections-raising the alarm for KS-4 by saying that Ron Estes was only ahead by a point in internal polling, saying that MT-AL was “closer than it should be” and saying that Karen Handel was “trending downward” in internal polling last week.

NH-2: Former state Rep. Jack Flanagan (R) is running again for Congress. Flanagan also ran in 2016, finishing 2nd in the GOP primary to former state Rep. Jim Lawrence (R). Lawrence went on to lose to Rep. Ann Kuster (D) by 5 points. Flanagan is the first candidate to announce a run-state Rep. Steve Negron (R) and former state Rep. Lynne Blankenbeker (R) are considering running.

NM-2: State Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R) is considering running for Congress as Rep. Steve Pearce (R) considers running for governor. Pirtle as a 24 year old political novice took only 15% of the vote against Pearce for the Republican nomination for this seat in 2010 as Pearce was running again for the seat he gave up for an unsuccessful run for US Senate in 2008. Pirtle then ran for state Senate in 2012, winning the Republican nomination for a seat by just 10 votes and then upset a 34 year Democratic incumbent in November. As he is not up for re-election until 2020, he could run without giving up his state Senate seat. Pirtle is the first Republican to explore a race for the seat as Pearce decides whether to run for governor.

SD-AL: Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether will not run for Congress next year. Huether is a former Democrat who became an independent in December, and many speculated at the time he made the move in order to plan for a statewide race, recognizing that he would have a hard time getting elected as a Democrat. He is still considering running for governor next year or possibly for US Senate in 2020 when Sen. Mike Rounds (R) will be up for re-election. Huether’s current term as mayor of the state’s largest city ends in May 2018.

UT-3: Jim Bennett, son of former Sen. Robert Bennett (R) is suing the state in order to get a new party on the ballot for the UT-3 special election. He is affiliated with the United Utah Party, which is trying to be a centrist alternative to the Republican Party and was planning to launch soon, but moved up its launch to get on the ballot for the election. He attempted to get the party on the ballot through signatures, but the state said it wouldn’t be able to verify the signatures in enough time for the election. Bennett could have appeared on the ballot as an independent or unaffiliated, but he said he did not want to pretend he was unaffiliated when he had a party he was affiliated with.

Governor:

CA-Gov: Assemblyman Travis Allen (R) is entering the governor’s race. Allen is a conservative from Orange County who is also controversial and has a large social media following. He joins businessman John Cox as Republicans in the all-party primary. Polls indicate that if the party doesn’t coalesce around one candidate, there could be a D vs. D general election, but Allen says he isn’t worried about that.

ID-Gov: 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee A.J. Balukoff is considering getting into the race again next year. At this point, he would essentially have the nomination to himself-the only other Democrat currently in the race is Troy Minton, a homeless man, and no other Democrats have indicated interest in running. Balukoff ran a respectable race against Gov. Butch Otter (R) in 2014, losing by 15 points, although the race was thought to be a possible upset possibility that never materialized. He wants to run again, but his wife is unsure whether he should run again and he says he will not do it without the support of his wife. He plans to make a final decision this fall.

MD-Gov: Rep. John Delaney (D), who previously said he would decide by the end of June whether to run for governor, is delaying his decision until the end of July. It is unclear what Delaney will ultimately decide-although he has indicated interest in the race, he also has held fundraisers for his federal campaign account-funds that he can’t use for a state race. Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and state Sen. Richard Madaleno are all running for governor in the Democratic primary while Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has indicated he is interested in running.

NV-Gov: Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak (D) announced yesterday that he is running for governor. Sisolak is the first high profile candidate to announce a bid, Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) is expected to run, but has not yet made an announcement. Businessman and political newcomer Jared Fisher (R) has already launched a campaign. Wealthy Las Vegas businessman Stephen Cloobeck (D) is also considering joining the race.

Afternoon Polling Roundup for November 1, 2016

Happy November. This is your final Tuesday polling roundup until sometime in 2018! (Also if someone could poll New Mexico that would be nice.)

President-National

ABC/WaPo Tracker: Trump 46-45 in a 4-way; Clinton 48-47 in a 2-way.

LA Times Tracker: Trump 47-43 in a 2-way.

IBD/TIPP Tracker: Clinton 45-44 in either a 4- or 2-way.

Rasmussen Tracker: Tied at 44 in a 2-way.

NBC News/Survey Monkey: Clinton 47-41 in a 4-way.

President-States

All polls include Gary Johnson and Jill Stein unless otherwise indicated. Stein is not included in NC, GA, and NV polls as she is not on the ballot.

CO-Remington: Clinton 45-44 in a 2-way.

GA-SUSA: Trump 49-42.

IL-Emerson: Clinton 53-41.

ME-Emerson: Clinton 46-42 statewide, Clinton 49-43 in ME-01 and Clinton 44-42 in ME-02.

MI-Mitchell: Clinton 47-41.

MO-Monmouth: Trump 52-38.

NC-Elon: Tied at 44.

NC-Remington: Trump 47-45.

NH-UNH: Clinton 46-39.

NV-Remington: Trump 48-44.

PA-F&M: Clinton 49-38.

PA-Remington: Clinton 45-43 in a 2-way.

PA-Gravis: Clinton 47-44.

TX-Dixie Strategies: Trump 52-39.

VA-Emerson: Clinton 49-45.

VA-WaPo: Clinton 48-42.

Senate

IL-Emerson: Duckworth (D) 54, Kirk (R) 36.

NC-Elon: Burr (R) 45, Ross (D) 42.

NH-UNH: Hassan (D) 46, Ayotte (R) 44.

MO-Monmouth: Blunt (R) 47, Kander (D) 46.

MO-BK Strategies: Blunt (R) 47, Kander (D) 44.

PA-F&M: McGinty (D) 47, Toomey (R) 35.

PA-Gravis: McGinty (D) 45, Toomey (R) 41.

Governor

MO-Monmouth: Greitens (R) 46, Koster (D) 46.

NC-Elon: Cooper (D) 44, McCrory (R) 44.

House

NH-01-UNH: Shea-Porter (D) 37, Guinta (R) 32. Nice job pushing those leaners, UNH!

NH-02-UNH: Kuster (D) 48, Lawrence (R) 34.

RRH Elections 2016 General Election Preview Series, Part 7: Eastern House Races

Today we continue with the second installment of a two-part House preview series, covering House races in states east of the Mississippi.

Here is the full schedule:

Part 1: Northeast Legislatures
Part 2: Midwest Legislatures
Part 3: Sunbelt Legislatures
Part 4: Western Legislatures
Part 5: Local Elections and Public Service Commissioners
Part 6 (Monday, October 31): Western House Races
Part 7 (Tuesday, November 1): Eastern House Races
Part 8 (Wednesday, November 2): Western Governor and Row Officer Races
Part 9 (Thursday, November 3): Eastern Governor and Row Officer Races
Part 10 (Friday, November 4): Senate Races

Flip over for the full previews!

Continue Reading

Afternoon Polling Roundup for October 26, 2016

President(National):  4-way races

ABC News-Clinton 49, Trump 40

Reuters/Ipsos: Clinton 42, Trump 38

President(states):

Bloomberg(FL): Trump 45, Clinton 43

SUSA(FL): Clinton 48, Trump 45

Gravis(IN): Trump 49, Clinton 38

Star Tribune(MN): Clinton 47, Trump 39

Montana State Univ.(MT): Trump 43, Clinton 27

LV Review Journal(NV): Clinton 48, Trump 41

Mason/Dixon(SD): Trump 44, Clinton 37

Senate:

Bloomberg(FL): Rubio 51, Murphy 41

SUSA(FL): Rubio 45, Murphy 41

Gravis(IN): Bayh 39, Young 37

Rasmussen(NV): Cortez Masto 43, Heck 41

LV Review Journal(NV): Cortez Masto 45, Heck 44

UMass Amherst/WBZ(NH): Ayotte 48, Hassan 44

House:

Montana State Univ.(MT-AL): Zinke 50, Juneau 31

UMass Amherst/WBZ(NH-1): Shea-Porter 41, Guinta 37

UMass Amherst/WBZ(NH-2): Kuster 53, Lawrence 42

Mason/Dixon(SD-AL): Noem 59, Hawks 35

Governor:

Gravis(IN): Gregg 42, Holcomb 38

UMass Amherst/WBZ(NH): Van Ostern 44, Sununu 43

Political Roundup for September 14th, 2016

Last Night’s Results:

In New Hampshire, Executive Councilors Colin Van Ostern (D) and Chris Sununu (R) will face off for Gov; Sununu pulled out a 31-30 squeaker over State Rep. Frank Edelblut (R). NH-1 Rep. Frank Guinta (R) beat back a primary challenge by 2% and will face ex-Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) once again. In NH-2, ex-State Rep. Jim Lawrence (R) will face Rep. Annie Kuster (D). Executive Council matchups are as follows: #1) Cryans (D) vs. Kenney (R) #2) Volinsky (D) vs. Cataldo (R). #3) Prescott (R) vs. Roth (D) #4) Pappas (D) vs. Levasseur (R) #5) Wheeler (R) vs. Weeks (D). 2014 NH-1 candidate Dan Innis (R) won a primary for SD-24.

In Delaware, Markell admin official Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D) will face Wyoming town mayor Hans Reigle (R) for DE-AL, State Sen. Bethany Hall-Long (D) won the primary for LG and will face businessman Greg Fuller (R). New Castle Sheriff Trinidad Navarro (D) ousted Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin-Stewart (D); he will face 2012 Gov nominee Jeff Cragg (R). Attorney Matt Meyer (D) ousted New Castle CE Tom Gordon (D).

In New York, the IDC-alligned Marisol Alcantara won SD-31, turning a D seat into an IDC seat. In the Assembly, incumbents Markey (D, LD-30), Cancel (D, LD-65), and Linares (D, LD-72) lost. LD-133 incumbent Bill Nojay (R) posthumously won his primary.

In Rhode Island, State Sens. Pichardo (D, SD-2) and Walaska (D, SD-30) lost to bold progressive challengers, while five State Reps. lost: Palangio (D, LD-3), DeSimone (D, LD-5), Naughton (D, LD-21), and Malik (D, LD-67).

President:

Trump: TV personality Dr. Oz will reveal the results of Donald Trump’s most recent physical on his show because nothing matters anymore. No word yet if Dr. Oz will get a look at the bone spurs in Trump’s feet that kept him out of Vietnam.

Trump: Donald Trump will propose that the federal government mandate and guarantee that employers provide up to six weeks of paid leave to new mothers.  So-called “conservative” Trump supporters then applauded this new bureaucratic federal mandate because nothing matters anymore.

Governor:

IN-Gov: Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (R) is giving $100,000 of his own money to the campaign of Indiana gubernatorial candidate Eric Holcomb (R).

Senate:

LA-Sen: Here is a statement you don’t see everyday; Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy on his Facebook page “I want to be very clear that my campaign played absolutely no role in creating this story alleging Congressman Boustany’s sexual relationships with prostitutes that were later murdered, his staff’s alleged involvement in running the bar and hotel where this illicit behavior took place, or publishing the book.” Kennedy was referring to unsubstantiated allegations made in a new book by Ethan Brown which has no basis in fact. This is Louisiana where this kind of hardcore character assassination type politics is common.

IN-Sen: In his latest ad Washington DC resident former Sen Evan Bayh (D) denies he is a lobbyist despite working for McGuireWoods LLP and Apollo Global Management in that capacity (See HERE). The ad features Bayh shooting basketballs in a driveway with his sons. Since Evan Bayh doesnt live in Indiana and his uninhabited condo doesnt have a garage or a basketball hoop it makes you wonder whose house (and in what state) was Evan Bayh and his sons using to play basketball.

PA-Sen: The NRSC latest ad relays the litany of corruption allegations and ethics charges brought against Democrat Katie McGinty.

2018: Democrats are bracing for a potential 2018 disaster when they will have to defend 5 Senate seats in ruby-red Republican states.

House:

AZ-5: An Arizona judge has ordered state officials to conduct a recount of ballots in the razor-thin Republican primary in this mathismandered  R+17 district. State Senate President Andy Biggs leads former internet executive Christine Jones by just 16 votes out of nearly 86,000 votes cast in the four-way primary. Last week, Jones asked a Maricopa County judge to force certain provisional and early ballots to be counted after election officials had rejected them. The judge allowed 18 additional votes to be counted, but they extended Biggs’ lead from 9 to 16.  Jones also wants Arizona’s attorney general and secretary of state to investigate what she calls anomalies in the vote counting (even though they seem to be the usual sausages making process of vote counting). Results of the recount will be announced on Friday.

CA-49:  Democratic candidate Douglas Applegate was accused of stalking, harassing, and threatening his ex-wife, who was granted two temporary restraining orders against him. Court records also show that Applegate was charged with driving under the influence and pled guilty to reckless driving, then was ordered to attend an alcohol abuse program. In 2004, Applegate was also ordered by the California Superior Court to surrender two firearms related to the domestic violence accusations made by his then-wife. Applegate had been one of the DCCC star recruits and internal Democrat polls had shown Applegate within striking distance of Rep Darrell Issa in this R+4 district.

FL-18: In their latest ad the NRCC goes after Democrat rich guy Randy Perkins for getting rich off of natural disasters and scamming a school district.

FL-26: Former Congressman and dildo connoisseur Joe Garcia (D) has apologized for saying Hillary Clinton “is under no illusions that you want to have sex with her, or that she’s going to seduce you.”  Garcia called it a “poorly worded comment”.

IA-1: How times have changed. Freshman Republican Rep. Rod Blum was once John Boehner and House leadership public enemy number 1. It was widely assumed was that as punishment for his independence the mavericky Blum was going to be left to fend for himself. Now with Paul Ryan in charge and internal polls showing Blum winning the NRCC is running ads attacking attacking his Democrat opponent Monica Vernon in this D+5 seat.

KS-1: Conservative Rep. Tim Huelksamp, who lost his primary last month to establishment Republican Roger Marshall in this blood red R+23 rural district, says a possible comeback bid in 2018 is not off the table.

MI-7: Democrat Gretchen Driskell uses Donald Trump’s talking points to attack Republican Rep. Tim Walburg for being supportive of ending barriers to trade in this R+3 district.

NY-19: Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders will campaign with progressive whack-job Democrat Zephyr Teachout at a campaign rally in New Paltz, NY on Friday. Zephyr is facing former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso in this open D+1 seat.

NY-22: Republican Claudia Tenney is a bad-ass biker chick!

PA-8: The Republican aligned group Defending Main Street is spending at least $98,000 on this ad attacking Democrat Steve Santarsiero for his history of voting for tax increases. Santarsiero is facing Republican Brian Fitzpatrick, brother of retiring incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick, in this R+1 seat.

State, Local & Other:

TN-HD-65: By a 70-2 vote the Tennessee House has voted to expel state Representative Jeremy Durham (R). Durham has been accused of sexual misconduct toward at least 22 women and is under investigation by state and federal officials.

Ohio-Voting Laws: U.S. Supreme Court refused to reinstate a voting period known as “Golden Week,” when people could register and cast ballots at the same time.
With no published dissents, the justices said they wouldn’t block an appeals court decision that allowed the elimination of Golden Week under a Republican-backed law.

NH-Ballot Selfies: A federal appeals court in Boston will hear arguments about the legality of a New Hampshire law that bans voters from taking and posting photos with or of their ballots.

CA-Prop 64: A new poll shows California voters overwhelmingly approve of Prop 64 that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana. 58% of voters plan to vote YES on Prop 64 while 34% will vote NO.

San Diego-Mayor: Mexican billionaire Jose Susumo Azano Matsura was found guilty of trying to “buy” San Diego mayoral candidates as part of his plan to turn the San Diego waterfront into “Miami West.” Azano funneled money to Democratic former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and failed Republican mayoral candidate Bonnie Dumanis. The 51-year-old Azano will be sentenced on December 12th. His waterfront plans remain unfinished.

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