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8:40 AM PT: KS-Gov: Let's not beat around the bush: A new SurveyUSA poll finds Republican Gov. Sam Brownback trailing Democratic state House Minority Leader Paul Davis by a brutal 48-40, with a Libertarian taking five. SurveyUSA found similar numbers a month ago, when they found Davis up by six points. Brownback has posted some bad numbers before, but never quite this bad.

There are many reasons why Brownback has become so toxic in this very red state. In short, the governor and his conservative allies in the legislature have made brutal service cuts, especially to education. Brownback cut taxes without any idea of how to make up for the lost revenue, and Kansans are feeling the effects. It takes a lot to go from a 63-32 victory to a deficit in the polls in only four years, but Brownback has more than earned the dubious distinction of being the country's most vulnerable red state governor.

One small good piece of news for Brownback is that he doesn't appear to be in any primary danger. SurveyUSA finds him leading unheralded primary challenger Jennifer Winn 60-30. Not an impressive result, but it does indicate that at least some people can still stand Sam Brownback.

9:11 AM PT: KS-Sen: Voters are clearly frustrated with Sen. Pat Roberts, but it looks like he'll win renomination for being the lesser of two evils. SurveyUSA finds Roberts leading tea partying physician Milton Wolf 50-30 in the August 5 Republican primary. A month ago Roberts was up 56-23: While Wolf appears to be gaining, he has a lot of ground to make up in a very short time. Roberts has been battling revelations about his lack of a real residency in what is nominally his home state. However, Wolf got some bad news recently when the Kansas Board of Healing Arts announced that they would investigate Wolf's habit of posting grotesque pictures of dead and injured people on Facebook.

SurveyUSA took a look at several hypothetical matchups, and they are a lot closer than you'd expect. In the most likely contest, Roberts leads Democratic Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor by only 38-33. Unheralded independent Greg Orman takes out a monster 14 percent, with a Libertarian at 4. Orman's only previous run for office was a brief campaign as a Democrat against Roberts in 2008. The cross-tabs indicate that Orman is taking 13 percent of Republicans, 6 percent of Democrats, and a slight plurality of independents at 30 percent. We've raised concerns about SurveyUSA's crosstabs before, but this is still notable.

However, Orman has fundraiser shockingly well. In the second fundraising quarter of the year Orman brought in $632,000, compared to Taylor's more paltry sum of $42,000. Orman self-funded only a small portion of his haul, and still has $552,000 on hand. It's very hard to explain what is going on here. By contrast, Roberts had $2,053,000 on hand as of the end of June. It's still hard to see Orman taking enough support to throw the election to Taylor, much less win, but this very strange race appears to be getting even stranger.

If by some miraculous set of circumstances Wolf gets through the primary, Taylor starts out with a 34-33 lead, with Orman still taking 14. The Republicans do better if Patrick Wiesner, Taylor's little known primary challenger, gets to the general, but that's very unlikely: SurveyUSA gave Taylor a 48-17 lead in the primary.

9:56 AM PT (David Jarman): NY-21: New York's use of fusion voting and minor parties has previously created some quirky results in the 21st; in fact, that's a large part of why Democrat Bill Owens was able to win this seat in the first place in 2009 (thanks to Conservative Party Doug Hoffman's run). Unfortunately, his would-be successor, Aaron Woolf, won't have the full advantage of that. Matt Doheny lost the Republican primary but has the Independence Party line, and there was an open question as to whether Doheny would forge on, which would split the GOP vote and give Woolf a better shot here.

Unfortuntely, Doheny announced on Friday that he was standing down and wouldn't continue to campaign on the IP line, instead endorsing GOP nominee Elise Stefanik. There's still one hopeful angle here, though: Doheny's name will continue to remain on the ballot, meaning he'll stick pick off a few votes, which could make all the difference in a close race. As New York politics devotees know, to truly get off the ballot, Doheny would have to be nominated for a judgeship, move entirely out of state, or die, and he doesn't seem to be planning to do any of those.

10:05 AM PT (David Jarman): NE-02: Republican Rep. Lee Terry keeps finding new ways to squeak by in this Omaha-area district, narrowly winning both primaries and generals, and now he seems to dodged one of the biggest bullets he's faced yet. Chip Maxwell, a former Republican state Senator, had previously threatened to run an independent bid from Terry's right, which would split the GOP vote in this swingy district and potentially hand the seat to the Democratic candidate, state Sen. Brad Ashford.

On Thursday, though, Maxwell reversed direction and said he won't run, instead preferring to focus on a 2016 GOP primary challenge to Terry. Even without Maxwell in the race, it's hardly a lost cause for Ashford: an early June internal poll from Ashford's camp had the race tied 41-41 even without factoring in a Maxwell candidacy. Thanks to turnout fluctuations, Terry tends to fare much better in off years than presidential years, though, so Ashford still faces an uphill climb.

10:56 AM PT (David Jarman): WA St. House: This won't affect the balance of power in Washington's state House (Democrats are in control of the chamber 55-43, and he was already retiring in November, creating a potential pickup in a swingy district), but it's one more addition to the "if Republicans are the ones always freaking out about voter fraud, why are they the ones always getting caught committing it?" pantheon. Republican state Rep. (and aspiring beefcake model) Mike Hope suddenly resigned on Friday after it was revealed that he's registered to vote in both Washington and Ohio.

11:19 AM PT (David Jarman): GA-Sen: We've got our first post-runoff poll of the newly-solidified Georgia Senate race, and given that the runoff was just a few days ago, it's gotta be a pollster that uses robocalls and short sample periods ... meaning it's Rasmussen. They find Republican David Perdue leading Democrat Michelle Nunn 46-40, which they'd probably attribute to a post-primary bounce. (For trendlines, you've got to go back to late May, where they had Nunn up 45-42.)

Nate Cohn (whose employer apparently pays the fee to see Rasmussen's crosstabs) has an important observation: the sample is only 25 percent African-American. Unbelievably, it doesn't look like there were any 2012 exit polls in Georgia, but in 2008, the vote was 30 percent. So factor in: a)non-presidential-year (and thus lower) African-American turnout, but also b) six years of a growing African-American population since then.

11:32 AM PT (David Jarman): OK-Gov: Ordinarily, when a candidate vaguely refers to an internal poll without providing topline numbers or the pollster's name, we don't bite. In this case, though, we will, because it provides some possible confirmation to last week's most 'wtf?' poll: a Rasmussen poll showing Republican incumbent Mary Fallin leading Democratic state Rep. Joe Dorman only 45-40 in a previously uncompetitive race. In an introductory piece about Dorman in the Oklahoma Gazette, though, Dorman says that his most recent internal poll showed "a six point lead for Fallin," an improvement from a more-than-20-point gap in January.

11:39 AM PT: SC-Gov: With independent third party and independent candidates, there's always a real risk that they won't qualify for the ballot. In most races it doesn't matter, but in South Carolina's gubernatorial contest there has always been a real risk that former Republican-turned-independent Tom Ervin could take votes from Republican Gov. Nikki Haley.

With Haley generally leading Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen by far from safe margins, Team Red would have preferred for Ervin to miss the ballot, but they won't get their wish this time: The state Election Commission has confirmed that Ervin will make the general election ballot. Ervin, a former state representative and judge, isn't incredibly well known, but he does have the ability to self-fund.

11:44 AM PT (David Jarman): MA-Gov: If I could pick one race this year to get a weekly tracking poll ... well, let's just say it certainly wouldn't be the Massachusetts gubernatorial race. The Boston Globe's poll, taken by SocialSphere, is at least somewhat interesting though, since it's seen the general election race between Dem Martha Coakley and GOPer Charlie Baker getting closer this month, down to mid-single digits. This week's installment has Coakley up 38-33 against Baker, and leading Steve Grossman 46-18 in the Democratic primary.

11:45 AM PT: WV-Sen: This seat has usually been viewed as a likely Republican pickup, with Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito clearly leading Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant in what limited polling there is. Team Blue evidently isn't ready to write this one off though: Senate Majority PAC is spending $200,000 to blast Capito. The ads are playing in the fairly inexpensive Beckley, Charleston, and Clarksburg media markets, so SMP's spots should get more eyeballs than most buys of that size might in other states.

11:56 AM PT: SC-Sen-A: Most of the interest in this race ended when Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham won renomination in mid-June, but Voter Survey Service on behalf of local media decided to survey voters on it anyway. The Palmetto Poll gives Graham a 46-33 lead over Democratic state Sen. Brad Hutto, with Libertarian Victor Kocher at 9.

When former Republican state Treasurer-turned convict-turned reality TV show star-turned independent Thomas Ravenel is added to the mix, things don't change much: Graham leads 45-33, with Ravenel taking 10 and Kocher down to 4. Graham is not popular, sporting a 39/44 approval. But in this conservative and quite polarized state, that's probably enough to win as a Republican incumbent.

12:01 PM PT (David Jarman): GA-Sen: And now we have a duel going on in Georgia, though there's no fiddle or devil involved. Landmark Communications, on behalf of WSB-TV, is out with a poll that puts Michelle Nunn ahead of David Perdue, 47-43, which, unlike Rasmussen, would mean no particular bump for Perdue; their poll of the general from last week had Nunn beating Perdue 48-42. Of course, that same poll's GOP runoff subsample pretty much whiffed, with Jack Kingston beating Perdue 48-41 (Perdue wound up winning 51-49), so take it all with a grain of salt.

12:27 PM PT (David Jarman): AK-Sen: Mark Begich and Dan Sullivan dutifully leaked their Senate fundraising numbers ahead of the deadline several weeks ago, as is expected of serious candidates. But if you're paying close attention, you might have noticed we never saw numbers from the second and third wheels in the GOP primary, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and 2010 nominee Joe Miller. Well, that's because their numbers are hilariously bad, and not indicative of serious challenges to Sullivan: Treadwell raised $164,000 and has $167,000 in the bank plus $240,500 in debts; Miller raised $130,000 and has $300,000 on hand.

The Anchorage Daily News also explores the ongoing problem of Dan Sullivan vs. Dan Sullivan. (One, the ex-AG, is the Republican Senate candidate; the other, the mayor of Anchorage, is the Republican Lt. Gov. candidate.) "Problem" might be a bit of an overstatement, though; thanks to tons of outside spending in the Senate race, Alaskans now seem pretty clear on which Sullivan is which, as confirmed in their unscientific man-on-the-street polling on the topic.

12:58 PM PT: MS-Sen: It's been a month since the votes are cast, but state Sen. Chris McDaniel has still not given up in his attempt to have the Republican primary runoff results thrown out and get a new election. McDaniel, who narrowly lost to Sen. Thad Cochran, has a long plan to accomplish his longshot goal. The Washington Post has a great article explaining everything, as well as an excellent flow chart by Matt Steffey of the Mississippi College School of Law exploring how things may go from here.

1:11 PM PT: FL-19: Yeah. So the new guy isn't very smart. At least there was no cocaine involved this time. That's progress, right?

2:04 PM PT: Senate ads:

IA-Sen: The Koch-backed ConcernedVets hits Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley for missing Veterans Affair Committee hearings to attend fundraisers.

KS-Sen: Sen. Pat Roberts goes after Republican primary challenger Milton Wolf over his history of posting and mocking gruesome pictures on Facebook, with the narrator mentioning that a medical board is investigating Wolf.

MI-Sen: Republican former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land talks about adopting better trade deals that will better serve Michigan.

2:17 PM PT: Gubernatorial ads:

AZ-Gov: Republican State Treasurer Doug Ducey's newest spot features a woman whose brother was murdered by drug cartels. She blames the Obama Administration's policies and touts Ducey as someone who will secure the border with Mexico.

HI-Gov: With the August 9 primary approaching, both Democratic candidates have new spots out. In Gov. Neil Abercrombie's first ad, a constituent touts how Abercrombie helped people get their money back after Manoa Finance collapsed. The governor's second commercial touts Obama's support for Abercrombie.

State Sen. David Ige has trailed Abercrombie badly in the race for cash, but he's now airing his first TV ad. It's a biographical spot narrated by the candidate's wife, and does not mention Abercrombie.

PA-Gov: Republican Gov. Tom Corbett continues his $1.7 million July ad blitz, once again going after Democratic rival Tom Wolf on taxes.

2:21 PM PT: House ads:

AZ-02: Republican Air Force veteran Martha McSally has a minute long spot with her friends and family praising her as someone who helps others in their time of need.

MN-08: House Majority PAC and AFSCME team up on a $150,000 buy hitting Republican Stewart Mills as an out of touch rich guy. The narrator criticizes Mills as someone who inherited his wealth but opposes paying taxes on it or raising the minimum wage.  

2:35 PM PT: MT-Sen: This does not fill me with confidence. After it emerged that appointed Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized large sections of his final war college paper in 2007, Walsh appeared to blame his behavior on combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder. Walsh stated at the time, "I don’t want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor. My head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment."

However, on Friday, he backtracked in a radio interview. Walsh now says, "I am in no way, no way, tying what I did to any type of PTSD. That had nothing to do with the mistake that I made. … I may have said that, if that was the thought of that, that’s not at all in any way what I meant or said." At a time when people are questioning his honesty and integrity, one of the worst things Walsh could do is change his story. It's very hard to see this matter ending well for him.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident). Formerly known as Darth Jeff.

    by Jeff Singer on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:00:02 AM PDT

  •  Gubernatorial ratings (4+ / 0-)

    Tilt D - CO, CT, FL, HI, ME
    Tilt R -AZ, GA, IL, KS, MI, WI
    Lean D - MA, MN
    Lean R - AR, NM, OH, SC
    Likely D - MD, OR, PA, RI, NH
    Likely R - AK, NE, OK

    "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

    by conspiracy on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:23:35 AM PDT

    •  Question (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Mopshell

      Is your Ohio rating based on the relative lack of polling, or is it something more intangible?  I'm having a hard time wrapping my arms around that race than I am of Michigan and Wisconsin.  Kasich does seem less vulnerable, but that's just a gut feeling.

      Anyway, I largely agree with the ratings.  I think it actually looks better for Dems than at least I originally imagined.

      Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos.

      by MetroGnome on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:33:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My views (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Tossup- MI, KS
      Tilt D - FL,ME
      Tilt R -AR, AZ, IL, WI
      Lean D - CT, CO, HI, MA
      Lean R -  NM, OH, SC
      Likely D - MN, OR, PA, RI, NH
      Likely R - AK, GA, NE, OK
      Safe D- MD

    •  Kansas seems to be tilting D now... (7+ / 0-)

      From what I've been reading lately, Brownback's in trouble and Davis is in front by 8 points:

      Poll Finds Sam Brownback Trailing His Democratic Challenger

      Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

      by Mopshell on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:52:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Factors (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, Mopshell

        If I were to make a rating list, a number of different factors would way in including but not limited to horse race numbers, favorabilities, and the natural partisan lean of the state.  Kansas to me looks like a totally gettable state, now, but given that it's default is pretty far to the right, I'd personally wait for either more polls showing similar leads by the Dem, or even just another poll showing something over 10.  I'd probably way partisan registration/identification even higher than horserace numbers.  

        Personally, I'd put Kansas at nothing more than toss-up for the Republicans, but I can respect given the lean of the state how someone could have this as tilt R until more comes out on the race.  I'd also put MI and then maybe WI at nothing worse than toss-up for Dems given their respective leans (Michigan over Wisconsin because I've seen multiple generic ballots, now, that voters are far more comfortable voting D, this time).

        Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos.

        by MetroGnome on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:57:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'd say Tossup (5+ / 0-)

        Davis has led in most polls (but largely within the margin of error), but the undecideds here are probably Republicans.

    •  HI, Tilt D? (7+ / 0-)

      I think that's kind of crazy. Democrats are way underpolled in Hawaii all the time. Lean D at the very least, but I'll say Likely D.

      And I'd call KS Tossup/Tilt D at the moment, and watch how things unfold.

      I think GA is still Lean R, especially given the possibility of a runoff.

      MD, OR, PA are Safe D. OK and I think AK are Safe R.

      I pretty much agree on the rest.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:52:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd say GA is likely R actually (6+ / 0-)

        It is unlikely that Carter gets to 50% in November, and almost as unlikely he wins the runoff.

      •  Hawaii is complicated (0+ / 0-)

        The presence of Mufi Hanneman - the former Democratic Mayor of Honolulu and frequent candidate for state and federal offices - as an independent definitely muddies the waters here.  

        Throw in Abercrombie's low approval numbers, some internal divisions among state Democrats, and an uncertain Democratic primary, and it becomes even more complicated.

        Polling in Hawaii is tough, but the two gubernatorial polls so far this year show Aiona ahead of Abercrombie (31-26-18 in the June Civil Beat poll).

        Perhaps the underlying partisan leanings of the state will mean that Abercrombie pulls through - but given all the uncertainties and the shitty numbers, "tilt" is probably a reasonable assessment at this point.

        My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world - Jack Layton

        by terjeanderson on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:12:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Need more polls from KS in order to come to a d... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Need more polls from KS in order to come to a definite conclusion. SUSA and Rasmussen are really the only pollsters who have surveyed this race I hope we see something from PPP as well.

      •  PPP already polled with Davis up (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, Avedee, Jacob1145

        "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

        by conspiracy on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:14:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Twice (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jacob1145, MichaelNY

          Although they were a while ago - I think the most recent PPP was back in April, with the one before it in January or February.

          But it doesn't seem like Brownback would have gotten any stronger since April - and probably has lost some ground.

          Still, would love to see a new PPP poll to confirm the SUSA results.

          My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world - Jack Layton

          by terjeanderson on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 11:14:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Mine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Possible Liberal

      Likely-D: CO, OR, MA, MN
      Lean D: CT, ME, HI
      Tilt-D: FL, AR, KS, MI
      Tilt-R: GA, AZ, WI, IL
      Lean-R: NE, OH, SC, NM
      Likely-R: OK, AK

      I don't consider the rest competitive, including PA. My MI rating is based on Metrognome's optimism, but we'll see.

      •  I won't (7+ / 0-)

        I won't feel comfortable putting Michigan into even Tilt-D until Schauer actually posts a lead - however small - in an actual poll.  My feeling, of course, is that the momentum keeps going his way through the summer, and the lean of the state and generic ballot tends to show a turnout favoring Dems.

        But Schauer hasn't posted a single lead (save for the really weird Clarity poll) in a poll for many, many months.  He's getting it really close, but I think we'll have to wait until next month to see if he can break away.  Snyder is still the incumbent and has the powers that come with that.  He's unpopular, but he's not Tom Corbett unpopular, yet.

        Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos.

        by MetroGnome on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:45:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  why are any of you rating Oregon as anything other (10+ / 0-)

      than Safe? Kitzhaber is outraising his opponent 10-1, his opponent is more conservative than anyone the state has elected in decades, including Republicans, legitimate polling has him with big leads (no Cuomo, but big), and the state economy is doing the best it has in years. Yeah, Cover Oregon, but there is no sign that Republicans will make any gains from it.

      We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

      by James Allen on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:51:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll go with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Possible Liberal, MichaelNY

      This is pushing Tossups towards Tile one way or the other.  Obviously from my rankings I'm not buying CO and HI being as competitive as current polls suggest.  Nor do I think Quinn is in as dire trouble as most seem to think due to his lousy GOP opponent.  So overall my current projection is pickups in PA, FL, ME, KS and a loss in AR.  Though I do consider IL, KS and AR the closest races, all very nearly tossups.  I still don't know what to think about AZ as that appears to be the hardest race to judge given the high number of undecided voters, but went with Tilts R because of the lean of the state.

      Likely-D: MA, PA (Pickup)
      Lean D: CT, HI, CO, ME (Pickup)
      Tilt-D: IL, FL (Pickup), KS (Pickup)
      Tilt-R: AZ, WI, MI, AR (Pickup)
      Lean-R: OH, SC, NM, GA
      Likely-R: NE

    •  ok (4+ / 0-)

      pure tossup: KS, MI
      Tilt D: IL, FL
      Tilt R: WI, AR
      Lean D: MA
      Lean R: NM, OH, AZ, GA
      Likely D: PA, ME, CT, HI, MN, CO
      Likely R: NE, SC

      Everything else is off the table barring a scandal or a late-breaking wave. I think Beauprez in particular is toast once Hick unloads on him.

      SSP poster. 45, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:40:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You got a lot of races on the board (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Possible Liberal

      Mine are much simpler

      Likely Dem: ME, HI, CO
      Lean Dem: CT, FL,
      Tilt Dem: IL, KS
      Tilt GOP: MI, WI
      Lean GOP: AR
      Likely GOP: SC, AZ, GA, OH

      •  you think MA is safe D? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's an open seat in state that's had several recent GOP governors.

        SSP poster. 45, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:26:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I definitely disagree with that (0+ / 0-)

          Likely D at best, but in an abundance of caution and with some skepticism about Coakley, I'd rate it Lean D for now.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:41:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Went back and forth between that and Likely Dem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I understand others being more cautious about this race and won't criticize them, but after Baker's performance in 2010 I just don't think Massachusetts is into GOP governors anymore.  I also think the fears about Coakley are overblown.  And the political environment so different from 2010.  Nothing points to Baker getting close this year, aside from some dubious polling by the Boston Globe which shows it closer.  Just the same, Coakley has led in every single poll conducted.

    •  Theres are my ratings updated (0+ / 0-)

      Likely D: MD, RI, MN, OR, HI
      Lean D: PA, MA, CT, CO, IL
      Toss-Up: KS, ME, FL
      Lean R: WI, GA, SC, MI, AZ, AR
      Likely D: OH, NE, NM, IA, TX

      Some comments:
      - In HI, I think the chance of the Democratic Party improves at this point with M Hanneman.
      - WAA and WAS are ignored as Rasmussen as narrative builders in IL. I trust not their polls.
      - In the Toss-Ups, the Democratic candidates seem favored in KS and ME.
      - I hope about a victory in WI and MI by the end, and I think there is a potential of improvement in NM that the DGA is not working.

    •  My ratings: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Skaje, MichaelNY

      This is vaguely how I define my rating system. I rate races as if the GE were held today:

      Likely = I'd be as shocked, if the other party wins this. This would be a political upset approaching the levels of a Cantor defeat.
      Leans = I'd be mildly surprised, if the other party wins this, at roughly the same levels as Tester's win in 2012 or Reid in 2010.
      Tilt = I wouldn't be surprised if either party won, but I've named who I think will come out top.

      Likely D: MN, HI, MA
      Lean D: ME, CO, CT
      Tilt D: FL, KS, IL
      Tilt R: AR, WI
      Lean R: MI, AZ
      Likely R: OH, GA, NM, SC, NE

      All other races I believe to be safe at the moment for the incumbent party, with the exception of PA, which I have at Safe D if the race were held today.

      In my ratings, I've also listed these by the chance of the Dem winning with MN being highest and NE being lowest.

      Political views TBD. Interested in elections.

      by Possible Liberal on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:04:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Assume safe R (11+ / 0-)

      I certainly do.

      46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:48:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Likely R at best. nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, Possible Liberal

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:53:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

        by conspiracy on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:58:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  yeah (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, Bharat, Jacob1145

        Even if Abbott runs a poor campaign, if he just sticks to pro-business rhetoric and doesn't say anything crazy then Davis has no path to victory. TX has gotten so inelastic that a single-digit loss is a moral victory for Dems.

        SSP poster. 45, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:44:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's already said plenty of offensive (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, AndersonDelValle

          crazy things. That's the issue here; Abbot is not a generally likeable conservative like Rick Perry, who comes off as a good old boy. Abbot is virulent and comes off as a bit of an asshole. The Texas GOP officially endorsed platform is mind-blowingly awful.

          "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

          by ArkDem14 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:36:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yet he's going to win. nt (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Allen, Avedee, Jacob1145

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:44:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Probably, Wendy Davis hasn't run a (4+ / 0-)

              picture perfect campaign and hasn't gotten the kind of mistakes she needed from Abbot to win. I think her and Van der Putte's campaigns are pretty exciting for the state party though. We'll have to see what kind of results their field organization and campaigning can inject back into the lifeless TX Democratic party. Particularly in some of the major suburban counties where Democrats are trying to make gains. I believe Democrats have two or three suburban state house seats they are targetting, though I'm not highly familiar with it. Especially interesting to see what this combo can do in Harris, Tarrant, Fort Bend and Bexar. Democrats want to see much improved turnout and and larger margins in those areas, which will be necessary to build any 50%+1 coalition in the state.

              "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

              by ArkDem14 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:53:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe Perry comes off as likable (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Allen, MichaelNY, Avedee

            in Texas, but not so far in his national campaigns.  What I, and apparently many others, saw from him in 2011-12 was someone who arrogantly swaggered into the campaign convinced that he had all the answers for solving economic problems, and when that didn't hold up he grabbed for one straw after another, ultimately trying the very unlikable tactic of attempting to thump the Bible harder than his rivals.

            38, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

            by Mike in MD on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:53:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Safe R (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, MichaelNY

      Likely R >10 (that is it is likely that Abbott wins by at least 10).

    •  The biggest question.. (0+ / 0-)

      is how close we can come to winning, not whether we'll win. We won't win, but these are the kinds of campaigns necessary if we want to win in the future. Coming within 10% would be excellent. 5% a miracle. Any margin greater than 10% would be disappointing as hell.

      Now, she's got a bunch of money, and she's going to use it, but Texas is big and there are a lot of media markets to cover. She'll have to concentrate on Houston, Dallas, Austin, the Valley, El Paso, and Fort Worth if she wants to get out the vote, and she has to craft a better message than the one she's got now.

      That's the problem with people who rise to fame over a single issue. Oftentimes they have trouble crafting a comprehensive message like, say, Alison Grimes' in Kentucky, because their single issue overshadows everything else. It doesn't help that Wendy got her name out there defending abortion, which isn't exactly popular in one of the more culturally conservative states in America.

  •  Walsh just needs to keep his head down and shut... (7+ / 0-)

    Walsh just needs to keep his head down and shut his mouth. It's over for him and he only makes it worse by continuing to talk. This is huge vetting failure on part of the DSCC I'm sure a simple opposition research job would've found this easily.

  •  PA-GOV: WOTSOTB! (13+ / 0-)

    FCC reports:

    Gov. Tom Corbett, badly trailing opponent Tom Wolf in the polls, has poured $1.66 million into television ads blanketing the state in July, according to Federal Communications Commission reports.

    That's more than one-third of the $4.8 million in campaign funds Corbett had left over from the primary.

    Wolf has spent no money on ads this month.

    A Franklin & Marshall College poll of registered voters in late June showed Corbett, a Republican, trailing Democrat Wolf by a margin of 47 percent to 25 percent....

    Corbett's campaign had run more than 2,600 spots on the four major networks as of Sunday, with the majority of the money being spent in the state's two largest cities, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

  •  Ethics scandal in GA (16+ / 0-)

    Appears that Nathan Deals administration kicked an ethics person out of their job because they were looking into shaddy campaign practices of Nathan Deals. The new person in that job also says that she was intimated by Nathan Deals administration. If Nunn spends a lot of her huge cash advantage on getting people out to vote I think we could actually have a chance at winning GA governor election

    We only think nothing goes without saying.

    by Hamtree on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:38:43 AM PDT

  •  MI-03 GOP Primary: Ellis puts up a fight (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, sacman701, MichaelNY, Avedee

    This is probably a less interesting GOP primary than MI-11 or MI-04 and maybe even MI-08, but the Detroit News has profiled the race, this morning.

    Grand Rapids-area businessman Brian Ellis has mounted a fierce Republican primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, portraying the maverick congressman’s unpredictable voting pattern as “bizarre” and out of touch with 3rd Congressional District voters.

    In a bid to upset the incumbent on Aug. 5, Ellis says Amash is too libertarian for the Republican-leaning congressional district that includes Barry, Calhoun, Ionia and most of Kent counties.


    Ellis, who owns a Grand Rapids-area financial investment firm, has loaned his campaign $800,000 and poured much of it into an advertising campaign that scrutinizes votes Amash has taken.

    Amash has raised $1.58 million in his bid for a third term in the U.S. House, making him one of the top congressional fundraisers this cycle.


    I guess what's interesting in this race is the warring endorsements and how people power seems to actually be defeating the monied interests.  Amash is the closet thing you can get to Ron Paul, and might actually be an even more genuine liberatarian than his hero.  This means that the special interests basically hate his guts, but he inspires equal passion from his libertarian devotees.

    I expect to see Amash beat Ellis by at least 15 points.  I think things get really interesting once Amash hits the general, though.  There, he'll meet unabashed Democrat theater magnate Bob Goodrich, who is very wealthy.  He's a political neophyte and Some Dude, but this is a Some Dude even more able to fund out of his own pocket than Ellis was.  This is still a Likely R race with, but Bob could really help state house and senate candidates (and governor, senate, etc....) in this district if he gets the margin closer than others have in the past.  I do believe he could probably get an Amash win of just under double-digits depending on how willing he is to spend his own money.

    Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos.

    by MetroGnome on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:40:55 AM PDT

  •  NY-21: Doheny announcement? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, MichaelNY, Avedee

    Well the presser was supposed to be at 11, and I still can't find any news of his "major" announcement (Twitter, Facebook, Watertown news outlets, etc.).  

    I hop on a plane in a couple of hours so I'll be checking DKE to see if someone can find out his exhilirating news lol.

    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

    by rdw72777 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:30:47 AM PDT

  •  Doheny NY-21 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, jj32, bythesea, MichaelNY

    He will not run for Congress in the fall on the Independence Party line. I commented on another comment above, but I should have just put the link here. My apologies!

  •  Grimes goes after Mitch at Wendell Ford Dinner (12+ / 0-)

    last night. She hit Mitch on his "not my job" comments in Beattyville a few months ago. She also has been pushing the fact that Mitch has gotten very wealthy while in public service. She even brought back the old Dem favorite of "send Mitch back to Alabama". On another note, Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz will deliver the first invocation at Fancy Farm next weekend. He is also President of the Catholic Bishops.

    "So there's a time for silence, and there's a time for waiting your turn. But if you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you'll know it. I don't think you should wait. I think you should speak now." -Taylor Swift

    by SouthernINDem on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:02:17 AM PDT


    We're not catching any break these days, are we?

    20/Sweden/Wonk. Prefers discussing opinions to having them. Learning by doing.

    by Tayya on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:10:14 AM PDT

  •  WV-2 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jacob1145, MichaelNY

    Anyone have any sense of how Ed Rabel's entry into the race (as an independent) will affect that race? Will he be a some guy, or especially given his background in broadcasting, could he have more of an impact?

  •  Any 2006 or 2010 exit polls (0+ / 0-)

    to give a better idea of typical African-American turnout in Georgia in a midterm year?

    Have lived in: CA-28, CA-30, CA-24, IL-06, GA-01, GA-10, NY-09, IL-01, NY-12

    by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 11:27:35 AM PDT

    •  According to GA SOS.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Possible Liberal, MichaelNY
      [...] Georgia's black turnout wasn’t so bad in 2010, despite a bad national climate and without a competitive federal election. According to the Georgia Secretary of State, the black share of the electorate only declined slightly, from 30 percent in 2008 to 28.3 percent in 2010. The white share of the electorate increased from 64.1 to 66.3 percent. That drop-off might hurt a Democratic candidate by a net-3 points, but that’s not the massive gap suggested by the 2008 run-offs. Part of the explanation: turnout was 20 percent higher in 2010 than the 2008 run-offs.
      There isn't a chance in hell, short of a GA snowstorm in Fulton County, for African Americans to be a mere 25% of the electorate. In fact, I expect closer to 30%, although I've always done math assuming 2010 turnout and then saying that the math is near-guaranteed to be worse than reality.

      That Ras poll is bullshit, and is further evidence for why it goes into the instant-toss pile.

  •  MA-GOV: amazing that there can be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that many undecideds, in a race between a state AG who ran a very well publicized campaign for Senate and the 2010 GOP nominee for governor.

    Anyway, I think the state trend might win out here, and that could be enough for Coakley to win. While Grossman isnt much of a challenge for her, hopefully, Dem support soldifies behind Coakley after the primary.

    •  I think she'll be fine after the primary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, Jacob1145

      Usually, a primary only has a negative effect on a candidate's general election performance if it was exceptionally nasty, or if one of the losing candidates has a very committed base. Neither Coakley nor Grossman have many people who are particularly loyal to them, and unless there's a sudden change from where the trendlines are pointing, Coakley will win a large enough victory that there shouldn't be many hard feelings.

      •  The Berwick crowd (0+ / 0-)

        There's a third candidate in the race, Don Berwick, who's been getting a lot of attention from progressive activists. I've heard from many people who have volunteered, etc., for Berwick that they won't do the same for Coakley and they might not even show up to vote for her. These are people who went all out for Deval Patrick and Obama and Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey.

        “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

        by fenway49 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 12:09:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Anecdotal (0+ / 0-)

          Until there's some data behind this, we have no way to judge whether there's any appreciable trend behind it.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 07:16:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Indeed (0+ / 0-)

            I just see little to no enthusiasm for Martha Coakley among the people in this state who actually knock on doors and call voters.

            “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

            by fenway49 on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 11:15:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  leave it to the Seattle PI (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

    by James Allen on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:11:13 PM PDT

  •  Larry Sabato race rating changes for Senate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I get all the moves except for Iowa Minnesota.  Why the beltway pundits are so in love with Ernst I don't understand.  

    As for Minnesota there's really no reason to think that one is any better for republicans than likely D.  Even Sabato says there's no polling to suggest MN-Sen is at all tightening.  Seems he's just going on a hunch that it will, for whatever reason.

    Iowa: Leans D to Tossup
    Michigan: Leans D to Likely D
    Minnesota: Likely D to Leans D
    Montana: Leans R to Likely R
    New Hampshire: Leans D to Likely D
    West Virginia: Leans R to Likely R

    •  And for some bizarre reason he still (3+ / 0-)

      Had KY-Sen listed as Likely R, which makes zero sense considering every reliable poll has Grimes neck and neck with McConnell with no indication McConnell will break the race open.

      •  Sabato just made 6 Senate changes in one day (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        clevelandpacha, NMLib, MichaelNY

        He can't very well be expected to do 7!  Has to recuperate from this exertion.

        (yes I'm making fun of how slowly Sabato updates his rankings).

      •  Sabato gave a reason for keeping KY Likely R (4+ / 0-)
        We also still believe that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) is decently positioned in Kentucky over Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D). Our view has held despite McConnell’s dreadful personal approval ratings as well as close horserace polling. Remember that our Likely Republican rating there says nothing about the margin of victory: If McConnell does in fact win, it almost certainly won’t be by many percentage points. Again, Georgia and Kentucky are Republican states, and this looks like at least a mildly Republican year. We’ve made this point many times, and it’s very simplistic, but it’s the best argument in favor of GOP holds in both states.
        I don't agree, but I think it's defensible.

        Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident). Formerly known as Darth Jeff.

        by Jeff Singer on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:25:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I was going to ask about IA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That race make me a little nervous, although I think the last couple of polls have shown Braley ahead, very narrowly.

      Do we think this race will be okay? I just kind of feel like Braley hasnt been as good a candidate as advertised. But yeah, I dont get praise of Ernst as a candidate. I think she is too conservative, even for a midterm year.

    •  Hmm (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, Jacob1145, MichaelNY, Avedee

      Iowa is probably silly, but they have to go with the polling. The real mystery is Minnesota. Has anyone seen any indication that the race is even competitive enough for likely-D?

      •  MN (8+ / 0-)

        Minnesota is a light blue state with a reasonably popular Dem incumbent, and the GOP is running a Some Rich Dude. In no universe is that less than likely D, or more likely to flip than Michigan.

        SSP poster. 45, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:56:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They have Georgia at Leans R (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen, Jacob1145, MichaelNY

          There's no way that McFadden has the same chance of winning MN as Nunn does of winning GA.

          Sabato argues that MN isn't 'that Democratic' since Obama only won it by about 7 points, but at the same time, Romney's 7 point win in GA seems to excuse Michelle Nunn's lead in polls for Sabato too.

          Political views TBD. Interested in elections.

          by Possible Liberal on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:17:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Minnesota isn't that Democratic statewide (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jacob1145, MichaelNY, JGibson

            Had Tom Emmer ran a C campaign instead of the D campaign he ran in 2010, Minnesota would have had Scott Walker government on steroids.  

            And Al Franken is far from the best candidate either (he was a disaster in 2008, and he's done a pretty good job keeping a low profile).  What saves Franken is that his opposition this year stinks.  Mike McFadden is a vulture capitalist and Mitt Romney on steroids.  The Ds should hammer him from the get go on this matter.

            •  Independence Party!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Tom Emmer's near victory was largely the result of the usual Minnesota gadfly....the Independence Party which has been assisting Republicans in winning elections with 44-47% support for nearly two decades now.  Emmer's ceiling was a little higher than most expected, but like every statewide victory for Minnesota Republicans since Norm Coleman in 2002, a divided left and center-left was what almost made Emmer Governor.

              With that said, it can't be overstated the extent to which Dayton's weaknesses ALWAYS come out in the home stretch of any campaign he's ever run in, where he blows double-digit leads and hangs on only by the skin of his teeth time and time and time and time again.  In the case of 2010, he opted to go dark on the media airwaves for the final week of the campaign--at least in my parents' media market--while Emmer was airing back-to-back-to-back ads.  And I'd put a $100 bet on Dayton finding a way to blow it again this year, squandering whatever lead he has in the final weeks of the campaign and either narrowly losing or narrowly winning (the most likely scenario) as is his tradition.

              •  It was more than the Independence Party (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                It was 2010.  As you know, the GOP took over both chambers of the legislature as well.

                I think it is unlikely he blows it this year barring a 2010-like GOP wave.  The GOP will make it closer than it has to be for the reasons you suggest, but Dayton's numbers don't suggest a loss without a huge error.   He won my 5.5% over Grams in 2000.  I see something similar this year.

                If one of them loses statewide, Franken is more likely.

                •  Yes The 2010 Wave Had A Lot To Do With It..... (0+ / 0-)

                  I may have been the only one who wasn't surprised the DFL went from a 2-1 advantage in both houses of the legislature to losing them both that year primarily because of the volatility of Minnesota legislative seats before and after the recent redistricting.  They're drawn by the courts to be as competitive as possible and that effort by the courts has been an unqualified success as the slightest of partisan breezes has led to neck-snapping swings in the legislature starting in 2002 and continuing every cycle since with the possible exception of 2008 when Democrats were already so overexposed from 2006 that there was very little else winnable on the table.  For this reason, any sign of weakness at all at the top of ticket for Minnesota Democrats will lead to a double-digit loss of state House seats this year.  Given the magnitude of their exposure in Romney districts, a 15-seat loss might happen even with 8-point wins for Franken and Dayton.

                  And I can't disagree enough that Franken is more vulnerable than Dayton.  Dayton's 5.5% victory over Grams came about the same way every Dayton victory does.....he had led by 12-15 points for most of the campaign but managed to lose the majority of that lead to either Grams or the nobody IP candidate James Gibson who performed light years better than anybody expected.  I don't even know who the IP's running this year in Minnesota but would be shocked if whoever ran didn't take 5-7% in the clutch, almost all at Dayton's expense.

              •  I don't know where you're getting ALWAYS (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, askew, Avedee

                Dayton had "double digit leads" in polling all of three times in 2010. There's no record of polling in either the 1990 Auditor's race, the 1998 gubernatorial primary, or the 2000 Senate race. Anything to actually back up your claim?

                26, Practical Progressive Democratic Socialist (-9.38, -8.51), Gay, IN-02 - Defeat Wacky Jackie!

                by HoosierD42 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:37:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I Agree That It's Nuts For Sabato..... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, Avedee

 say that Minnesota is more likely to turn out Franken than Michigan is to elect a Republican in an open seat.  

      •  Well PPP had him up 49-38 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and SurveyUSA had him up 48-42.  Neither of them suggest Safe D.  

        I think Lean D is not unjustifiable.  Franken isn't the strongest of candidates IMO (he was a terrible one in 2008, almost any other Democrat would have won that race with room to spare.)

        •  I would imagine most other DKErs' criticism (8+ / 0-)

          and certainly my own isn't that Minnesota at something other than Safe D is unjustifiable, just that their reasons for doing so and their reasons for keeping Kentucky at Likely R are irreconcilable. Sure Franken might not win by much or McConnell might not win by much, but if we're going by odds rather than margin it stands to reason that an incumbent who has a solid approval rating and leads every single poll, sits in a favorable state, and has a massive monetary advantage over his opponent is in 2014's neutral generic ballot environment more favored to win reelection than an incumbent who has an atrociously bad approval rating and is losing in nearly every poll even if they still sit in a favorable state.

          As for Iowa I think the margin vs. odds argument applies to. Were the election today or next month I could certainly see the Tossup argument, but let's be real. Joni Ernst has made some utterly batshit insane statements and has some extremely unpalatable positions like opposition to the farm bill and privatizing social security. Three more months of Democratic attack ads should seriously hurt her chances more than Republican attacks on Braley's headline making yet relatively inconsequential gaffes. Plus he's also leading in almost all the polls and those same polls have her at equivalent or higher name rec. So it just doesn't make sense whatsoever for that race to be Tossup yet Kentucky to be Likely R rather than lean R or Tossup.

          In general even though I disagree with them for the above reasons, I think Sabato's ratings are a considerable amount better than those by Charlie Cook, who hides behind the Tossup category for every race so he isn't wrong and IMO deserves every bit of criticism he gets for that tactic, or the MonkeyCage blog whose model massively overstates Republican chances in an almost comical way.

          •  I pretty much disagree here (0+ / 0-)

            Minnesota/Kentucky: Safe D for Minnesota is entirely unjustifiable, to the point that I can't see any defense of that rating.  The Republicans have a legitimate candidate here who can spend their own money, and Franken is at or below 50% in the polls.  There is no way that those numbers and the opposition can justify a Safe D ranking.    Likely D very much so.  

            As far as McConnell, Likely R is hard to defend based on polling and Grimes qualities as a candidate.  But in its defense, Obama did lose Kentucky by 23%, and McConnell is known to be a strong campaigner, and the projection that McConnell will eventually pull it out through negative attacks tying Grimes to Obama is a compelling one.  I can understand the argument behind it, although I can't agree.    Tilt R or at worst Lean R is more realistic.  But Likely R for Kentucky is a far more justifiable ranking than Safe D for Minnesota.

            Iowa:  I'm not convinced here, solely because of Braley's campaign so far give me no confidence.  In order for Ernst's batshit insane comments to hurt her, it takes a campaign to be able to make that clear to the public.  It doesn't just happen because we here know about it, the average low-info voter in Iowa has to know about it.  The assumption needed for a Lean D or better ranking is that our candidate is able to run a campaign that would be able to pain Joni Ernst as another Sharron Angle.  And given Braley's campaign so far, which has been weak, I don't have that total confidence in that.  (For comparison, if we had a campaign with McConnell's record of running negative campaigns, I'd have a lot more confidence there.).  Will Braley be able to successfully paint Ernst as out of the mainstream over these comments?  An above average chance, but far from likely or certainly.  I'd go Tilt D here based on the lean of the state.

            Basically the distinction here comes down to that McConnell has a better track record as a candidate (30 years) than Braley (or Franken).  Now it is certainly possible that McConnell's attacks backfire, or he continues to make mistakes.    

        •  being up 11 from a reliable firm (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, askew

          in a state that favors your party when you have a significant financial advantage does indeed indicate that you're in a solid position, maybe safe.

          We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

          by James Allen on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:09:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Sabato's Probably Basing His Rating Change..... (0+ / 0-)

        .....on the same issues that are leading me to predict that the MN-Gov race is gonna end up close.  I think it's too early to make a rating change in McFadden's direction when there's nothing to back it up, but Minnesota has a long history of "safe seats" falling apart for the incumbent in the clutch and the late-deciding vote in Minnesota has been breaking to the GOP with almost perfect reliability for the last 20 years.  Again, I think Franken's got this, but it's not gonna be a 10-point race and there will be at least one serious polling scare for Franken between now and November that the political media will be breathless about.

      •  Franken's odds are in the 80s (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, askew

        so that warrants likely D

        “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

        by KingofSpades on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 05:53:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agreements/disagreements (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, KingofSpades


      Iowa: Lean D
      Michigan: Likely D
      Minnesota: Like D verging on Safe
      Montana: Changed from Lean R to Safe R after plagiarism scandal
      NH: Likely verging on Safe D
      WV: Likely R but no change

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:44:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Dan Sullivans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Possible Liberal

    Can't they use middle initials?

  •  FL-19: Quite a history of Representatives (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kleinburger, sapelcovits, MichaelNY

    A party boy, a coke sniffer and some guy that just doesn't have a clue. Half of Hollywood could move there and get elected to the House as long as they were a Republican.

    28, Male, CA-26, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

    by DrPhillips on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:33:35 PM PDT

  •  Hawaii stuff (4+ / 0-)

    With just 15 days left to the primary, David Ige scrounged up enough cash to finally drop his first TV ad.  It's an introductory spot which is kinda funny considering how late in the game this is happening.  As for the general election candidates, Hannemann and Aiona have not started advertising yet.

    The big $100K VoteVets buy for Mark Takai in HI-01 was covered the other day in the digest...really hoping they can push help get him over the finish line.  I think both him and Kim will be in the 30-35% range on election day, with the remainder split between other candidates.  Another thought...Takai's house seat is mostly nestled within Ige's senate seat, so on one hand I'm hoping Ige supporters turn out big for Takai even as I'd prefer to re-elect Abercrombie.

    And finally, a bit of's funny being on both Schatz's and Hanabusa's mailing lists, since I get to essentially see their teams replying to each other in more personal terms than their blander press releases.  Schatz's team is pretty mad that Hanabusa took out a print ad saying he favors sending American troops to Iraq again, opposition to which Hanabusa has made a major theme of her campaign.  After that, I got a lengthy email from Hanabusa's team doubling down on that, and even attacking Schatz for "backing the President's foreign policy 100% of the time".

    Current predictions:
    Abercrombie by 12
    Schatz by 8
    Tsutsui by 15
    Kim by 3

    •  wow, criticizing someone for being too close to (5+ / 0-)

      Obama in Hawaii?

      We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

      by James Allen on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:49:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jacob1145, MichaelNY
      attacking Schatz for "backing the President's foreign policy 100% of the time".
      Screw her. I'm glad we're getting her out of the House. Hopefully Takai pulls off the primary in her district, but we may end up with Kim blech

      Why can't we run more strong progressives in states like this?

      "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

      by anshmishra on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:50:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In her favor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        those are not her words, but those of her communications director, Peter Boylan.  He's had some other doozies earlier in the season like when he claimed progressives don't matter in Hawaii elections.

        And honestly I prefer Hanabusa to Takai.  In my eyes we are facing a downgrade in HI-01 regardless of who is the next representative, it's just a question of magnitude.  One of my last votes before I left Hawaii was for Hanabusa over Ed Case in the special election that Djou ended up winning, and I was quite happy to vote for her.  She's a smart, capable legislator, within the mainstream of the Dem caucus, and I wish she had stayed in the House, or at least decided to primary Abercrombie instead who clearly turned out to be the easier target.  My excitement and preference for Schatz dates back to his career in the legislature, and I am sad to see these two politicians I respect throwing down like this.

        As for why Hawaii doesn't produce that many solid liberals, well it's a one party state.  Rhode Island has similar problems.  Hawaii's overwhelming Democratic Party strength is built on history, institutional power, fundraising, and unions.  Liberals are there too, but not enough to dominate the process, especially in this open primary state.  Dem numbers are also inflated recently because of the waves in 2006-2008 and then Obama's continuing popularity in Hawaii through 2010 and 2012.  That brings in a lot of moderates.

        •  That's no defense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          She has to disavow his words; otherwise, they are effectively hers.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:52:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I would add one more reason (0+ / 0-)

          (IMHO - typical to some extent for almost all "1-party states"): to make a successfull political career you go to that (dominating) party even if your views are somewhat (and, in some cases - substantially) different from that party "mainstream", and only in case of "irreconcilable differences" go to minority party, thus almost "condemning" himself to great political difficulties. Not so long ago there was considerable nubmers of rather moderate Republicans in Idaho's legislature, for example (tea party wave defeated many, but there are still some), there is still considerable number of them in Wyoming's (see Ruth Ann Petroff, winning easily in 60+ Obama district), and 25-40 years ago (before "mass migration" to Democrats) there was a lot of them in (then still mostly republican) northern New England (now - much less, because moderates and liberals can win rather easily as Democrats in most of these states, so there is little initiative to remain Republicans for young aspiring politicians) . On the other hand - substantial number of relatively conservative Democrats exist in Massachusetts and Rhode Island legislatures, where Democratic party dominates. Probably - the same in Hawaii..

          Very Independent minded. Moderate. Extremely cynical (main principle: don't easily believe anyone, but himself).

          by Ragmod on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:55:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Whoa (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Did her team say what she disagrees with when it comes to Obama's foreign policy?  Of all places a Democrat attacking another Democrat for supporting Obama makes the least sense in Hawaii.

      •  It's on the Iraq civil war (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and sending a few hundred advisors in.  Hanabusa believes this is a prelude to America going to war in Iraq again, and that Schatz and Obama aren't vigilant enough against this potential outcome.

        The candidates basically have the same position here, but in a race with few policy differences, you gotta play up whatever you can get some mileage out of.

  •  MI-Gov, Sen: Poll of questionable value, $ (9+ / 0-)

    Subscription-only MIRS is teasing on its website:

    Breaking News!
    Mitchell Poll: Snyder Lead At 4 Points, Peters At 5 Points -- 2:18 p.m.
    I don't know why, but something about the exclamation point after Breaking News makes me happy. Anyway, standard Michigan pollster caveats apply.

    Meanwhile, also from MIRS, the Schauer campaign announces its pre-primary fundraising numbers:

    .@MarkSchauer announces over $2.8M raised, $2.5M in cash on hand. $9.2M reserved for October TV by Schauer and DGA
    If I'm reading the disclosure document right, that's $2.8 million in the last reporting period, and $4.5 million cycle-to-date (both include $950,000 public funding). The DGA had previously reserved $6 million, so I'd be interested to know if the $3.2 million difference is all from the Schauer campaign or if the DGA is increasing their investment.

    Meanwhile, the Snyder campaign raised $3.3 million in the same period ($9.3 million cycle-to-date) with $4.7 cash-on-hand. And, of course, Rick Snyder himself has more money than God and can self-fund all he wants.

    •  Good (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Avedee

      Good numbers, not great.  I do realize we're talking a republican pollster, here.  I guess it's just my frustration that I'll know we have the race when Schauer starts posting leads in Republican polls.  I see Schauer was crowing about this poll a few hours ago saying it was withn the margin of error (4 point MoE?).  I was looking for the poll, but it seems it must be exclusive to MIRS since no other outlet picked it up, today.

      This constant lead for Peters and slight drag for Schauer really shows the difference between an open seat and incumbency in a competitive state.  In an open race, people feel more comfortable falling to their respective sides, which is part of the reason why Peters is leaning.  With an incumbent governor, Snyder is still hanging on by a nail with independents who haven't yet completely abandoned him.

      Still, for my frustration, it's pretty amazing that Schauer - a guy who is publically financing - is performing so well against this multi-millionaire incumbent.  He's running a fairly creative campaign that's starting to show results.  I'm just wanting more comfort; I want to see indies give up the ghost and show that they can get largely what they want on the economic front without all of the cultural baggage that comes with electing Republicans.  Their tolerance is still yet too high for these kind of disgusting politics for me.

      BTW, I think it's pretty funny that Snyder is still bragging about none of his funding coming from PACs when I'd bet money that he knows that the third parties will spend on his behalf, anyway, and I wouldn't be surprised to find his campaign coordinated with them.  That's how cynical I am about the guy.  I don't trust anything he says.

      Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos.

      by MetroGnome on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:27:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Trend (0+ / 0-)

      Almost forgot, my only interest in Republican polls is to see the trends.  Mitchell last took a poll of the race in early June.  Then, they had it at a 5-point margin 46% for Snyder and 41% for Schauer, so they aren't seeing a tightening race, really.  They'd, in fact, be the only major regular pollsters of this race not to show a significant tightening in the race.  I wonder what the exact numbers are for this month?

      Mitchell's one of those outfits which measures it down to the nearest tenth, BTW.

      Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos.

      by MetroGnome on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:15:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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