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Leading Off:

IN-Sen: Resigned, it seems, to letting the jaws of defeat snap shut around Dick Lugar, one of the main outside groups propping him up is abandoning the race. Politico's Alexander Burns reports that the American Action Network has halted all advertising, with a spokesman saying: "We've decided we're going to let this race play out." Apparently, the AAN is executing a form of triage: Nameless Republican operatives say that if they're going to have to live with Richard Mourdock as their nominee, it's better to dial down the negative attacks against him now.

However, the single-candidate super PAC dedicated to supporting Lugar, Indiana Values, is still forking out plenty of dough to attack Mourdock, with two separate expenditures (see here and here) totaling a quarter million bucks. And Lugar's own campaign has been spending freely in a desperate attempt to stay alive. But in a sign of just how dire things have become, Maggie Haberman points to this flyer produced by Eric Cantor's YG Action Network on behalf of Lugar which encourages non-Republicans to vote in Indiana's open primary. As my Daily Kos colleague Barb Morrill said, it's like Operation Hilarity without any hilarity.

Senate:

AZ-Sen: Jim DeMint, would-be conservative kingmaker of the Senate, has endorsed Jeff Flake, extending some tea-partying credibility to Flake in a primary where he's being challenged from the right. (You can't get much further to the right on economics than Flake, but he's fairly laissez-faire on social and immigration issues.) Polling hasn't shown Flake's primary opponent, Wil Cardon, making much of a dent yet, but maybe there's some movement below the surface we aren't seeing yet. Considering how much Cardon has spent ($4.2 million of his own money so far, including $1 million in TV ads), it'd be hard for him not to get at least a little traction. (David Jarman)

ME-Sen: The Hill's Josh Lederman checks in with several key Democrats to see whom they're supporting in the Maine Senate race, and everyone is undecided, including DSCC chair Patty Murray and Maine Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud. Murray even says she won't "say anything" "until the field's settled," which is an odd statement since the filing deadline for major-party candidates has already closed. That makes me wonder if Murray thinks there's a possibility that independent ex-Gov. Angus King might actually bail on the race, since (so far as I know) he hasn't actually filed yet. That would be a remarkable development, to say the least, but then again, Angus is a remarkable guy.

MT-Sen: The Democratic PAC Patriot Majority USA is out with a new ad attacking GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg, and because they've filed the mandated independent expenditure report, we know that the size of the buy is considerable: $184K, which goes a long way in a state like Montana. The spot tries to cast Rehberg as being in the pocket of Wall Street and accuses him of wanting to privatize Social Security. You can watch it at the link or below:

ND-Sen: Here's that DSCC ad that we mentioned in the prior digest would be forthcoming on behalf of Heidi Heitkamp (backed by a $76K buy). It attacks Republican Rep. Rick Berg for "voting to essentially end Medicare"—and I assume that the inclusion of the word "essentially" is meant to assuage nervous station managers who receive angry takedown demands from Republicans with a copy of PolitiFact's instantly classic bullshit declaration that this is the "lie of the year" stapled to the back. The second half is devoted to talking about how Heitkamp will protect Medicare and North Dakota jobs. Pretty standard fare, and nothing special as far as political ads go. You can watch at the link or below:
NE-Sen: It's nice to see Ben Nelson, frequent creator of obstacles for the Senate Dems, playing the good soldier, at least as far as his campaign funds go... but not that he needs them anymore, of course, since he's retiring. He just transferred a second $500K installment to the DSCC (having sent over a previous $500K in February), leaving him with only $621K cash-on-hand. (David Jarman)

TX-Sen: Former Dallas mayor (and establishmentarian) Tom Leppert is fighting with social conservative Ted Cruz for the second spot in the GOP's Texas Senate primary runoff against presumed frontrunner Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. And while Cruz seems to have the motivated supporters (and the edge in the polls), Leppert has something else that he can use: money. His campaign announced he'll be spending $2 million on TV ad buys (both broadcast in the big markets, and on cable statewide) in the month leading up to the primary, with $1 million in reservations already made. The first phase is already out: a radio ad touting the backing of former Cowboys QB Troy Aikman. (David Jarman)

Gubernatorial:

NC-Gov: With North Carolina's primaries just a week away, PPP finds Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton with "all the momentum" as he seeks the Democratic nod. He's beating the only other serious contender, ex-Rep. Bob Etheridge, 36-26, but more importantly, Dalton's shot up from 15 to 26 and now to 36 over the court of PPP's last three polls, while Etheridge's numbers have remained "stagnant." The Tar Heel State does have a run-off system, but you only need to clear 40% (not the more common 50%) to avoid a second round, so Dalton looks like he has this well in hand.

Etheridge is getting a bit of help, though: Rep. David Price (among a bunch of other people) is endorsing his bid. A little late, though, no? I've gotta wonder if right about now, Etheridge's wishing he'd stuck with his original plans to stage a comeback for the congressional seat he lost last cycle instead. Anyhow, Tom Jensen also has some numbers for several of the downballot primaries (like LG, Treasurer, etc.) as well.

NH-Gov: EMILY's List's mission is to elect pro-choice women Democrats to office, and while I often disagree with their endorsement decisions, at least I understand when they back a lone woman running in a field of men. But when they pick one woman over another in the same race, I'm always curious as to what goes into their decision. This time, they've picked ex-state Sen. Maggie Hassan, whose chief primary rival is ex-state Sen. Jackie Cilley, and as far as I know, both have equally solid records on women's reproductive health rights.

Here, though, there's a connection: Hassan's campaign manager, Matt Burgess, came directly to her campaign from EMILY. Meanwhile, a press release from Cilley's campaign (not available online) suggests she wasn't given formal consideration by the group—and that EMILY even went back on a pledge to stay out of the race until after the primary.

WV-Gov: Earl Ray Tomblin continues to make it rain in the West Virginia gubernatorial race, where the primary is May 8 and where the last pre-primary financial filings were just due. Tomblin reported raising $125K in the last round, bringing him to $950K in cash-on-hand. Republican rematch opponent Bill Maloney raised $36K in the same period, with $271K CoH (though he has the option of self-funding if he senses he has a shot here). (David Jarman)

House:

AR-01, AR-04: Talk Business and Hendrix College published a pair of primary polls in two Arkansas House races in April, one recent and the other a bit older. The newer one is of the AR-01 Democratic contest, and it features a comical share of undecided voters, 72%, with prosecutor Scott Ellington at 15 and state Rep. Clark Hall at 10. The AR-04 GOP race (which was polled in mid-April) is a good bit further along, with 2010 nominee Beth Anne Rankin and Iraq vet Tom Cotton tied at 39 apiece.

AZ-03: To date, the handful of endorsements Barack Obama's made in congressional races have all been on behalf of incumbents who face (or faced) serious threats in primaries. His latest is a bit different: He's endorsed veteran Rep. Raul Grijalva, who was nearly upset in 2010's red wave but has drawn pretty soft opposition. Businessman David Crowe (a recent switcher from the GOP) is in fact running against Grijalva in the Democratic primary, but his fundraising has been very minimal. The same is true for Grijalva's likely Republican opponent, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer. Still, I guess Grijalva doesn't want to take any chances, given that he only won by six points last time.

AZ-08: Late last week came word that the DCCC and NRCC would both be going up on the air in the Arizona 8th District special election, and here's the D-Trip's spot. They slam Republican Jesse Kelly over a number of choice remarks he's made, like saying he'd "love to eliminate" Social Security, and that he'd also like to eliminate Medicare. I think Kelly's going to have a harder time dancing away from these kinds of remarks this time than he did when he ran in 2010. You can watch the spot (which is backed by a $160K buy) at the link or below:

Meanwhile, the NRCC submitted its own independent expenditure filings with the FEC, and their buy, it turns out, is for $266K, considerably larger than the $150K reported last week. (They've also paid for a poll from the Tarrance Group, so keep an eye out to see whether they actually release those numbers.) And here's the ad itself, which I'm guessing is a preview of what their general 2012 tactics will be—or, I should say, is a re-hash of what their 2010 message looked like. It'll be interesting to see whether it works again: In this case, they accuse Democrat Ron Barber of supporting "Obamacare"—and they repeat the outright lie that the Affordable Care Act "cuts $500 billion in Medicare." You can watch the ad at the link or below:
AZ-09: I don't know how much juice he has in the new 9th, but Rep. Raul Grijalva, one of only two Democrats currently representing Arizona in Congress, just endorsed state Sen. David Schapira in the three-way Democratic primary.

FL-26: Good news indeed: 2010 Democratic nominee Joe Garcia, who recently expressed interest in running against GOPer David Rivera again after state Rep. Luis Garcia's campaign imploded, is reportedly calling supporters to tell them he's going to make another bid for Congress. Businesswoman Gloria Romero Roses also recently entered the race, but she's a first-time candidate and lives well outside the district, so Garcia should have a decided edge in the primary thanks to his profile.

KY-06: Republican Andy Barr, seeking a rematch against Rep. Ben Chandler after an ultra-narrow loss in 2010, is out with a new internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies. Barr's trying to claim, of course, that numbers which show Chandler up 49-42 constitute good news for him, but I'm skeptical, not least because the memo makes at least one misleading claim. It tries to point out that Barr is doing better than Chandler in the new parts of the district, but since the redrawn seat is 92% the same as the old version, we're talking about a sub-sample of fewer than 40 people, which is joke territory. Do I think Chandler will have a tough race on his hands? I surely do. But if he's already at 49% in his opponent's polling, I take that as a fairly optimistic sign.

NM-01: Democrat Eric Griego is going up with his first ad, a spot which features a woman talking about how important Medicare and Social Security are to her, and concludes with both her and Griego talking about how he's a staunch defender of both programs. You can watch it at the link or below:

NV-04: Republican Danny Tarkanian, who has lost his three prior bids for public office, is out with his first ad in support of his latest attempt, a run for Nevada's new 4th Congressional District. In the spot, Tarkanian does everything he can to link himself with his famous father, former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, like flashing both of their names in chyrons and filming the entire ad on a basketball court. He also very prominently drops his "g"s, as in "workin'" and "sendin'". The most chutzpahdik moment, though, comes when he calls himself a "conservative outsider"—in the very same ad, of course, where he touts his prominent pedigree. Even more ridiculous is that Tark's wife just stepped down as chair of the Nevada GOP! Some outsider. Anyhow, you can watch the ad here or below:
SC-07: Republican Chad Prosser, a former Horry County Council chair and a former state parks director under ex-Gov. Mark Sanford, is out with his first ad, which The Hotline says is for just a $14K buy. The spot hits the usual conservative themes (cut spending, repeal "ObamaCare," etc.), and also touts some of Prosser's accomplishments working in state government. You can watch it at the link.

WA-01: Democrat Darcy Burner just secured her second labor endorsement, from the local branch of the IBEW, which she says "represents more than 3,500 electrical workers in northwest Washington State."

Other Races:

Wisconsin: Add Kathy Nickolaus to the "won't have to kick around anymore" squad: The notoriously incompetent Waukesha County clerk has decided that she won't run for re-election this year. (If you are somehow unfamiliar with the Nickolaus saga, check out the link for a full run-down.) Unfortunately, she'll still be in charge for the rest of the year, and disputes earlier reports which said she "agreed under pressure from County Executive Dan Vrakas to cede election responsibilities to her deputy for the upcoming recall races." But at least she'll be gone for good soon enough.

Grab Bag:

Alaska: This may be the least surprising state to see this happen in, but Alaska had a minor political earthquake over the weekend, with Ron Paul supporters winning control of the state party's apparatus at the convention. Longtime establishment-flavored chair Randy Ruedrich stepped down, paving the way for new Paulist chair Russ Millette. The Paulists were able to engineer their coup with some aid from the more evangelical/tea-flavored Palinista camp, under failed '10 Senate candidate Joe Miller's leadership. It's also looking likely that the Paulists will be able to engineer a second state-level-leadership coup at a convention next week, in perhaps the nation's only other state where "grizzled 1890s prospector" is still a key demographic: Nevada. (David Jarman)

Pre-Primary Filings: Indiana, North Carolina, and West Virginia are all conducting primaries a week from Tuesday, which means that pre-primary FEC reports were due in those three states late last week. The reports cover only a short period, from April 1 through April 18, so few of the numbers really stand out. Perhaps most remarkable is one set of numbers that isn't there at all: Republican Robert Pittenger, the presumptive front-runner in the open NC-09, didn't bother filing a report at all. (I should also note that his campaign committee, which is not a corporate entity, has the ridiculous name of "Pittenger for Congress LLC." Maybe they tried filing with the SEC?) Other non-filers include Democrats Cecil Bothwell in NC-11 and Jonathan George in IN-09, but neither of these candidates are of any note. Pittenger's lapse, though, is quite glaring.

Texas: If the spreadsheet at the link looks familiar, that's because it is: Katherine Haenschen of Burnt Orange Report has taken the Texas portion of our 1Q fundraising roundup and used it as a springboard to discuss the state's competitive House races. There's some very valuable information here, since there are at least a few primaries in safe seats that have received very little national attention.

Redistricting Roundup:

FL Redistricting: There's been a trio of adverse developments for Democrats on the Florida redistricting front, starting on Friday and continuing through Monday. First, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of the legislature's new state Senate map, rejecting all challenges that the plan violated the anti-gerrymandering Fair Districts amendments and failed to heed the judges' instructions when they threw out the first version of the map in March. You can read the full opinion here (PDF). However, Democrats and outside groups say they're still considering other challenges, including at the trial-court level.

Second, the Department of Justice granted preclearance to Florida's new congressional and legislative maps, including the Senate map upheld just about by the state high court. However, it's worth noting that only five counties in the state are covered under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, so there was never much likelihood that the lines would get challenged by the DoJ.

And finally, the state trial court judge hearing the suit against Florida's new congressional map refused to issue an injunction against the plan late on Monday, meaning that unless another court rules differently, elections will go forward this year under the map passed by the legislature. The court also declined to rule that certain portions of the map were unconstitutional as a matter of law, which means that if plaintiffs want to continue pursuing these challenges, they'll have to do so at trial. The Florida Democratic Party, one of the main parties to the suit, says in a statement that it "will continue to evaluate our legal options moving forward." The full decision is here (PDF).

NY Redistricting: New York's new state Senate map just received preclearance from the Department of Justice, though various lawsuits are still challenging the new lines on other grounds. What I had thought was the strongest line of attack against this Republican-drawn map doesn't appear to be faring too well, though: The state's highest court (confusingly known as the Court of Appeals) heard oral arguments last week on whether the GOP used a constitutionally valid method for adding a 63rd seat to the chamber, and it doesn't sound like the justices had much interest in the plaintiffs' complaints.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue May 01, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Love this Obama Ad in OH, IA, VA (16+ / 0-)

    Attacks Romney for shipping jobs overseas and for having a Swiss bank account.

    As we've seen recently with the Osama Bin Laden death anniversary, the GOP war on women and the student loan debate, Obama is not a candidate that is going to be swift boated.

    He's going to define Romney in key states before Romney even gets off the ground. Awesome.

    Swiss Bank Account

    •  A bit concerning that IA is on the defense list (0+ / 0-)

      given that it is the site of the one true Obama political miracle.

      I also think the closing tag ("just what you'd expect from a guy with a Swiss bank account") is a bit . . . ?????

      But there's nothing wrong with going negative.

      Ok, so I read the polls.

      by andgarden on Tue May 01, 2012 at 05:15:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  IA took Obama to 269 EV in 08 (7+ / 0-)

        So if it wasn't on the list it would basically mean that the Obama campaign thought it had already won the election. Now that would be concerning.

      •  Iowa will be tough this year. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare, stevenaxelrod

        If Obama doesn't deserve credit for getting Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger, Bin Laden doesn't deserve the blame for 9-11 because he didn't fly the planes.

        by Bush Bites on Tue May 01, 2012 at 05:29:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's only been polled once this year (10+ / 0-)

          so we could really do with some more information. I keep voting for PPP to poll it but haven't been in the majority so far!

          •  Yeah, I'd say it's a Tilt D state (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TofG

            but better safe than sorry

            "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

            by KingofSpades on Tue May 01, 2012 at 07:21:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I take Selzer's and the NBC team's word for it... (5+ / 0-)

              ...that Obama has been uncharacteristically weak there this year, after the long GOP caucus campaigns spent so much time attacking him.  I imagine the local news outlets statewide, on-air and in print, covered all that, and it sunk in.

              Weird things happen in elections, people shouldn't be in denial that this or that state that normally would be stronger is instead weaker, even if only temporarily.

              I was still in my native Iowa in 1988, voting and politically active, when the state went strongly for Dukakis.  I think it was surreal for a lot of Republicans, because Iowa had voted Democratic in a Presidential not since LBJ, and before that only for Truman in '48 and then for FDR in '36 and '32.  Three of those were national Democratic blowout wins, and Truman was a neighboring-state farmer who had a strong provincial appeal.  So this Massachusetts liberal who himself was crashing and burning against Bush seemingly had no business winning in Iowa in November...but he did.

              The moral is that individual states can behave against previous type for isolated reasons.  I believe Iowa has been doing that recently.  But that doesn't mean it won't end up a tossup or better by the fall.

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

              by DCCyclone on Tue May 01, 2012 at 07:45:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Obama probably (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          overperformed the 'real' D/R split in most or all of the northern central portion of the country in 2008.    Certainly in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Colorado, though perhaps not in Ohio or Minnesota.  My impression is that Iowa also overperformed slightly for him by 1-3%.  

          This region is where a large proportion of the centrists aka conservative leaners he catered to in the '08 campaign were/are.  And where the most noticeable, and perhaps decisive, dropoffs from '08 were/are going to be.

      •  He actually underperformed the final polls in Iowa (7+ / 0-)

        I'd be more concerned if they took it for granted. It isn't Minnesota.

        "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Mitt Romney (R-All Over The Map)

        by conspiracy on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:27:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't be... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tietack, LordMike, stevenaxelrod

        The GOP camped out there for months on end, essentially sprinkling the occasional attacks on each other with fireworks against Obama.

        That can't help but drag down the favorability.

        Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

        by zonk on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:35:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Your take is strange, andgarden (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shakludanto

        First, as an aside, if Obama had a "miracle" before, it was Indiana in November, not the Iowa caucuses.

        Second, more importantly, it goes without saying that Obama isn't secure in Iowa or any other swing state.  He's clearly ahead and likely to win in quite a few as it looks now, but they're all close enough to be on "the defense list."

        I do agree with you that the Swiss bank account line doesn't quite fit.  It felt like a curve ball when I saw it, clearly a smart-ass remark.  I have no idea how different kinds of voters will react to it.  I think it's a cultural attack targeting voters of particular demographics with the hope it doesn't offend other voters who Obama needs...but I'm not of any demographic group who would be moved by that line.

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

        by DCCyclone on Tue May 01, 2012 at 07:39:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Focus is outsourcing (5+ / 0-)

          So it fits with Romney being something of an "other" having money offshore. Everybody knows what a Swiss bank account is about. As First Read says, they message test all this stuff.

          "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Mitt Romney (R-All Over The Map)

          by conspiracy on Tue May 01, 2012 at 07:46:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree, but that doesn't mean... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            ...the "Swiss bank account" line works the way they used it.  It struck me as not cleanly fitting the rest of the ad.  And it's clearly bald-faced snark.

            On the other hand, yes it stands out, you can't miss it, and per the rule of primacy and recency (which not enough political ads heed IMO), it's perfect as a finish.

            "Message-testing" has its limits, because a focus group is a captive rather than a natural audience, as are polling respondents.

            But Team Obama have proven to be the best campaign team in America in my lifetime, so I ultimately trust them.

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

            by DCCyclone on Tue May 01, 2012 at 08:40:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I wouldn't worry about it offending (0+ / 0-)

          the demographic of Swiss bank account holders. Who else are you afraid it might offend, and why?

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Tue May 01, 2012 at 04:47:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Unintended consequences (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tietack

            Is it possible that affluent suburbanite swing voters would be offended?  I'm among them and amongst them, in McLean, but I don't know.  Could it serve as a reminder that Obama wants to raise their taxes???...or be perceived as general hostility toward affluent people???

            This is all speculation, but my point is that voter psychology, especially in subgroups, can be unpredictable.

            But I realize they must've thought of this and polled it and focus-grouped it and whatever else they do to discern likely public reaction, and they don't see a downside.

            And they're probably right.

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

            by DCCyclone on Tue May 01, 2012 at 08:17:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  That ad would play well here in Indiana, too! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, ArkDem14, stevenaxelrod, askew
  •  Oregon Question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, tietack, varro

    for James Allen or whoever else might know.

    The Republicans, as we've discussed, failed to get anyone on the ballot for Attorney General (and also Treasurer), despite the seat being open.  However, The Green Papers lists Republican write-in candidates for both offices:

    http://www.thegreenpapers.com/...

    In Massachusetts, you can get on the November ballot if you get write-in votes equal or greater to the number of signatures you would have needed on your nominating papers.  (And more than any other candidate, of course.)  Is something similar true in Oregon? Or is The Green Papers just listing candidates who failed to make the ballot and are now hopeless?

    29, (new) MA-7, Unenrolled

    by Marcus Graly on Tue May 01, 2012 at 05:11:19 AM PDT

  •  Lugar, meet bus. n/t (9+ / 0-)

    If Obama doesn't deserve credit for getting Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger, Bin Laden doesn't deserve the blame for 9-11 because he didn't fly the planes.

    by Bush Bites on Tue May 01, 2012 at 05:24:26 AM PDT

  •  AAN shares office space w American Crossroads (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, ArkDem14

    If Karl Rove has signed off --or at least, is looking the other way-- then Richard Lugar's days do indeed look numbered.

    At the same time, American Crossroads is helping coordinate a network of some two dozen conservative independent groups, planning ad campaigns and mailers, to ensure that they aren't duplicating or interfering with one another's work — "like kids' soccer, where they all run to the ball instead of spreading out," Law says.

    Sometimes that coordination is as easy as walking across the hall. Sharing office space with American Crossroads is the American Action Network (AAN), a group led by former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, a Republican, which may spend up to $25 million this year.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/...

  •  Gallup has Obama average approval at 47% (6+ / 0-)

    for April, edging up slowly and the highest in a year.

    He is now essentially tied with independents according to their commentary, having been down nearly 20 points at the end of last summer.

    •  whatever you think about Gallup (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, ArkDem14, MichaelNY

      they have a great resource in their "presidential job approval center" which enables comparisons to be made with a range of past presidents.

      Right now Obama looks poised to cross ahead of Dubya, who had a significant dip at around this point in 2004. Comparing just on Independents, Bush dropped to the low 40s with them in early May and stayed at about that level until November. So if recent history is any guide, Obama is on track for a narrow win if he maintains approximately his present position. If he continues the slow rise in approval he's experienced since late last year then it won't be that close.

  •  AL-06: Spencer Bachus cleared of ethics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    charges http://www.rollcall.com/...

    Good news for him if Scott Beason (or someone else) decides to make another run in 2014.

    22, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), moving to Japan in July, hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:29:19 AM PDT

  •  Rasmussen tracker has a tie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, stevenaxelrod

    at 46 each, that's 2 better for Obama than yesterday's numbers.

    Usual health warning that his party weighting means this poll has a 5 point or more R slant.

  •  Is it me or is the Senate suddenly lookinig (7+ / 0-)

    a fair bit sunnier?

    With Heitkamp looking more than just competitive, Maine an open seat, Lugar on the ropes, Brown & Nelson looking strong, Kaine competitive if not tied, it's starting to feel like we might be able to hold onto this thing.

    I honestly was thinking our chances were 25-30% a few months back, but I'm getting closer to thinking we're pick 'em bet to hang on.

    Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

    by zonk on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:38:14 AM PDT

  •  WV (7+ / 0-)

    Romney 54-37, Tomblin 60-32, Manchin 74-22.

    http://www.dailymail.com/...

    "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Mitt Romney (R-All Over The Map)

    by conspiracy on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:45:57 AM PDT

  •  WV-Sen (6+ / 0-)

    Manchin at 74(!!!) percent. Tomblin at 60. President Obama at 37. That can't be right, can it?

    http://www.dailymail.com/...

    Oh hell. Just don't support Robert Winningham in Indiana's 9th Congressional District

    by drhoosierdem on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:47:12 AM PDT

    •  Done online. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, LordMike

      Oh.

      Oh hell. Just don't support Robert Winningham in Indiana's 9th Congressional District

      by drhoosierdem on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:48:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  favorability not re-election number.I think (0+ / 0-)

      /If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer/. Thoreau

      by hron on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:48:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        Oh hell. Just don't support Robert Winningham in Indiana's 9th Congressional District

        by drhoosierdem on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:50:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nope (7+ / 0-)

        "The poll found voters prefer Manchin over Raese by a 74 to 22 percent margin."

        "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Mitt Romney (R-All Over The Map)

        by conspiracy on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:51:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  of course he is married to his own sister (0+ / 0-)

          /If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer/. Thoreau

          by hron on Tue May 01, 2012 at 07:17:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  What incredible numbers... (4+ / 0-)

          Especially for Tomblin. Then again Tomblin talks more like a standard Republican; what with his "battle the nasty EPA" rhetoric, and "more jobs and lower taxes" mantra that could come straight from Scott Walker.

          I really don't get West Virginia's coal company love. Large areas of the state are deeply environmentally damaged, and there are lots of problems with human health, not to mention the state of the estuary system. And it's not like these aren't corporations that still skimp on safety regulations to save money, pay relatively poor wages, and make billions of dollars off the state and it's people, almost none of which ever returns to West Virginia except to attack politicians who are not sufficiently in the back pocket of the coal industry.

          "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 Tue May 01, 2012 at 07:25:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What was is that Upton Sinclair said? (4+ / 0-)

            "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

            Coal is all WV has.  No other industry will invest there, and even though the pay is lousy and it makes people sick, without coal, WV would be left with nothing at all.  Coal is all they've got.  Period.

            GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

            by LordMike on Tue May 01, 2012 at 07:56:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Points to make from that though: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              1. Is this because of the coal industry? Coal has kept the state poor and made a fortune off it's natural resources, leaving behind scarred natural environments that are difficult and costly to clean up, health problems, and a poorly educated population without access to the basic tools that allow state's to create more fundamental middle and upper classes.

              2. Is this even true necessarily? West Virginia's location leaves it in a position where it benefit from a fantastic tourist industry if coal hadn't dirtied the image of the entire state.

              3. The state depends just as much on Federal Money and long-term welfare programs like medicare and social security, as well as various construction and infrastructure programs.

              4. Is the response to your points to just kowtow to coal? Is that appropriate? Why haven't voters demanded their rights and worked to get coal companies to spend more money on less obtrusive and dirty methods, and on higher wages and social reinvestment? It is because all politicians have done is bow to coal that West Virginia has struggled and been unable even, to develop other industrial bases.

              "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 Tue May 01, 2012 at 08:06:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Responses... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bumiputera, MichaelNY

                1.  All true, but it's the only job in town.  It's a love/hate relationship, I'm sure, but with it being the only real industry in the state, it will be protected.

                2. If tourism was such a great way to grow an economy, Mexico, Jamaica, and Greece would be the richest countries in the world.  Tourism is a lousy way to grow the economy. Tourism is completely reliant on extorting money from visitors, most of which goes right back out of state to absentee owners of the tourist attractions.  Jobs related to tourism don't pay well, and it does not have a good multiplier effect to grow other industries around it.  While tourism is certainly helpful, it's not a catalyst for growth.

                3. And they probably would become even more dependent on those without the coal industry.

                4. See #1.  The people are afraid to bite the industry that feeds it, even if they are only getting table scraps.

                GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

                by LordMike on Tue May 01, 2012 at 10:23:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Response (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bumiputera, MichaelNY

                  1. This doesn't explain how much politicians just seem to love coal. Like Manchin rolling his eyes at Obama during the SOTU when Obama talked about continuing to develop the green energy industry.

                  2. You're actually...more than a little wrong on this to put it simply. Jamaica's problem is that virtually all the tourist money flows into internationally own resorts the ship the profits off overseas (and also the absence of any other kind of real industry), it's a form of neo-colonialism really. And some of the wealthiest and safest communities in Mexico are those with heavy tourist presence, (we studied this in my Latin America class last semester), so it's actually a bust in those terms. What's more, areas like Las Vegas, Hawaii, the Gulf Coast all get a huge portion of their economic output from tourism; it's a very good industry for bringing in money and also new residents. I didn't say it would solve all of WV's problems, but the large-scale potential would definitely bring in well-needed money, and provide many jobs that a lot of these local, isolated mountain communities could definitely use.

                  "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 Tue May 01, 2012 at 11:00:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  more or less (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              WV also has a decent sized chemical industry and to a lesser extent a steel industry, but there are big chunks of the state that are entirely dependent on coal. Re the post above, if the coal mines all closed it might help the tourist industry a little bit at the margin but I'm skeptical that there would be much of an impact.

              SSP poster. 42, CA-5, -0.25/-3.90

              by sacman701 on Tue May 01, 2012 at 08:34:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Which can't be right? (0+ / 0-)

      "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Mitt Romney (R-All Over The Map)

      by conspiracy on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:48:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well they all look too optimistic, but 74? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ArkDem14

        Not a chance.

        Oh hell. Just don't support Robert Winningham in Indiana's 9th Congressional District

        by drhoosierdem on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:51:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Raese ain't exactly strong (0+ / 0-)

          But yeah, probably optimistic. Then again, not like Obama is doing well.

          "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me." Mitt Romney (R-All Over The Map)

          by conspiracy on Tue May 01, 2012 at 06:53:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree, I bet it's right (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KingofSpades, MichaelNY

            Remember that Manchin pulled away at the end last time and won by 11, stunning for a race that was long a tossup.

            And Manchin is personally insanely popular, while Raese is personally very disliked and merely served as a vessel for anti-Obama voting there.  Now that the wave-voting sentiments have passed, WV voters are happy to revert to form, which means overwhelming support for home-grown culturally conservative Dems.

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

            by DCCyclone on Tue May 01, 2012 at 08:19:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The presidential numbers look right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      The Gubernatorial number looks plausible too. The Senate number will narrow, but Manchin could reach over 60% and to be the top performer on the statewide ballot.

      26, Male, CA-24 (new CA-26), DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

      by DrPhillips on Tue May 01, 2012 at 07:50:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It can't be right. Obama can't be that high. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Romney '12: The Power of Crass Commands You!

      by Rich in PA on Tue May 01, 2012 at 08:23:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Next few Warren Polls will be intereting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, dc1000, MichaelNY

    Elizabeth Warren in MA has been on the defensive the last few days over appearing in a couple of minority law school faculty lists. Last night her campaign was able to produce documentation of her Cherokee ancestry.

    It will still be interesting to see if this hurts her. Frequently people find something to latch on to justify supporting one candidate or another. It will be interesting to see if there' s movement against her on this.

    But at least it's out early in the cycle.

  •  I don't know about Indiana, part of me likes the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Shakludanto

    idea of Joe D. having a shot at the senate by going against Murdoch. but..... another part of is scared to death of Murdoch winning.

    As much as I would like a Dem in that seat, I don't know if I want to risk a chance at a crazy moran getting it just to do it.

    Part of me would rather have the moderate Lugar perhaps in there as a voice of sanity.

    Another Republican was quoted on NPR (name eludes me at the moment) as he was facing a primary against a tea party candidate that "These are not republicans, these are radical libertarians trying to hijack the party"

    So I think those in the establishment get it, they just aren't out saying it yet, but its clear they know the party has gone of the rails since 2008

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Tue May 01, 2012 at 07:17:36 AM PDT

    •  Lugar isn't a moderate (2+ / 0-)

      He is a total stock Republican that votes the way Mitch wants almost all of the time.

      •  On foreign policy he is moderate (0+ / 0-)

        He wouldn't bomb Iran like some of the other hawks in his party for instance. He's also instrumental in nuclear proliferation.

        And up until 2008, yes he did vote moderate many times. Perhaps not always on a floor vote, but he would in committee knowing full well it would pass a floor vote easily.

        stance on policy isn't always that final floor vote.

        --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

        by idbecrazyif on Tue May 01, 2012 at 07:34:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Effectiveness depends on floor votes. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          The question would be how often Lugar was the deciding vote.  As we saw with many filibuster votes, absolute unanimity in the Republican caucus.  "Moderate" Republicans are unicorns, a myth.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Tue May 01, 2012 at 08:04:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think the polarizing nature (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus

            That has infected washington so badly in the last decade has made him ineffectual to some degree

            --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

            by idbecrazyif on Tue May 01, 2012 at 10:22:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  "Establishment Republicans" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      have literally been saying that about conservatives since 1964. But they (especially those still in the party today) have done nothing to effectively stand up to them. They complain to each other at country clubs and vote the ACU/Norquist/CFG/Heritage Action line. And Lugar is no exception to any of that, especially the politically ineffective part.

    •  Lugar is a partyline GOP vote on domestic issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      And has basically been pushed aside on FP issues by his caucus as they try to create new rising stars Rubio and Kirk as the old guard of McCain, Graham and Lugar are old or likely to lose in 2014.

    •  Mourdock (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoosierD42

      Murdoch is an Australian citizen, I believe, and not a resident of Indiana. I'm not splitting hairs; the misspellings genuinely confuse me and require me to think a few seconds more. :-)

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Tue May 01, 2012 at 05:13:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lugar votes in lockstep (0+ / 0-)

      on all domestic issues. If the Democratic candidate had virtually no chance against Mourdock, I'd feel bad to watch Lugar lose the primary, but Lugar is useless to Democrats except for some confirmations of appointments and treaties.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Tue May 01, 2012 at 05:15:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  POTUS: NYT Interview: Gary Johnson.. (0+ / 0-)

    Look at the last paragraph..

    If Judge Gray gets the Veep nod, Think of how many states may be within 1-2 points, if not 5-7..

    From NYT

  •  Hypocrisy alert: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Minnesota Mike

    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

    by KingofSpades on Tue May 01, 2012 at 07:49:34 AM PDT

  •  Great Indiana, we have to vote for Bayh II (0+ / 0-)

    to avoid "The hordes of Mordor" Murdoch.

  •  I actually gave Lugar a chance... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    General Goose, MichaelNY, Remediator

    I'm a Hoosier, politics independent, and I do NOT plan to vote for a single Republican in November (their stance on women's issues alone has left me with no choice but to exclude them, en masse, from consideration).  However, I did offer Lugar the possibility of my vote in the primary.  I sent him a letter week before last spelling out the importance of the VAWA bill, as it is written now.  The letter provided facts and statistics about how VAWA has positively impacted the lives of victims in Indiana and the nation (including reminding him of some publicity he got announcing a multi-million dollar federal grant for St. Joseph's Co.).  It outlined how much still needs to be done to protect victims and the cost of not doing so, both emotionally and financially.  And, finally, I just put it to him plainly, if he couldn't be bothered to care about the victims, perhaps he could consider his political career.  Women, I told him, were watching.  If he did the right thing, so would they.  I had made up my mind that, if he voted to reauthorize the VAWA, I would vote for him in the primary.  Well, he did not, so I will not.

    For me, it's becoming that clear: This IS a war.  This is NOT a single issue election.  Lugar had his chance.  He spoke with his vote, now I will speak with mine.

    •  I had a very liberal history teacher (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Remediator

      in High School who talked about how much she respected him and even voted for him. I don't know what she would say now.

      20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

      by ndrwmls10 on Tue May 01, 2012 at 09:32:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He is 80, after all (0+ / 0-)

      and is probably at the point where he privately doesn't give a rip about either another term if he has to put great effort into getting reelected or anything in domestic policy.

      Both Parties do seem to be trimming down on Congressfolk over age 80.    Arlen Specter was 80 and a few months when he lost that primary in 2010.  Dan Akaka is retiring and will be 88 when his term ends.  Dan Inouye is a few days older than Akaka and hanging in there, claiming he wants to run again in '14 at age 92.  Dianne Feinstein will be 79 on Election Day this year.  Frank Lautenberg is the oldest Senator at present, though, at 88.

      Lugar is #4 overall and the oldest Republican Senator.  And it's mostly Republicans in slots #6 through #15.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

  •  It's nice that Arizona and Ind. senate races are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator

    at least plausible to contend. That, the ND current outlook, and the Maine surprise retirement make holding the senate increasingly probable. I'd think that plus (as of now) Mass., Maine, and Nev. quite plausible gains are good news.

    If Democrats can go one for three in either holding ND, or taking Arizona or Ind. GOP seems to have no realistic path to senate control.

    MM is sad. :(

  •  Screw Emily's List (0+ / 0-)

    They waited forever to endorse Carol Shea-Porter in the NH CD-1 race, because there was another pro-choice woman in the race. Until Joanne Dowdell dropped out, they wouldn't endorse Carol.

    That little bit of ethical puffery flew right out the window when it came to the NH governor's race. Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley are both pro-choice women, both Democrats. The difference? Five minutes after declaring her intent to run for governor, Maggie Hassan took the GOP no tax pledge. NH has no state income or sales tax - and as a result relies far too heavily on the property tax. NH property taxes are some of the highest in the nation. The NHDP conservadems love the pledge. They've been brainwashed into believing that taking the pledge is the only way Democrats can get elected in our state. Jackie says that taking pledges just means you don't have to think for yourself.

    What I know about pledge politics is this: NH has the 11th worst infrastructure in the nation. NH ranks a solid 50th in the nation for spending on post-secondary education.  NH is also the wealthiest state in the country, and home to some 27,000 millionaires, living here in tax free splendor.

    Hassan is the darling of the conservadems who control the NHDP. For Emily's List - an out of state special interest group- to come in and interfere with our politics is obnoxious and unwelcome. Kinda like a yeast infection.*

    *Early Money Is Like Yeast

    “In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” ~ Confucius

    by susanthe on Tue May 01, 2012 at 01:25:38 PM PDT

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