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12:21 PM PT (David Jarman): GA-12: Blue Dog Democrat John Barrow has been high on most pundits' "most vulnerable incumbents" lists, thanks to the dramatic remodeling his rural Georgia district received during redistricting... but he may not quite be dead yet, according to a new poll from Benenson, on behalf of the House Majority PAC. The poll finds Barrow leading GOP St. Rep. Lee Anderson 48-45 (we don't have presidential toplines or any other of the poll's guts, so hard to know how credible that is). With Anderson having released an internal poll last week giving him only a 1-point lead, it's undoubtedly still a competitive race, though.

12:23 PM PT: I know there's another issue with the change to the way Daily Kos now counts new comments that's totally borked: the fact that all comments appear as "new" when you navigate to elections.dailykos.com and glance at the little summary at the bottom of each post. I've alerted the Helpdesk and they're working on it. You can track the progress of this bug report here.

12:24 PM PT (David Jarman): CT-Sen: While the DSCC has to be pleased with the many red-state races they've put into play lately, they can't be psyched at all the money they've had to put into nailing down the expensive-media state of Connecticut. They're throwing another $650K onto the bonfire, having already spent $2.1 million fending off Linda McMahon and her bottomless pockets.

12:46 PM PT (David Jarman): Nevada: It'd get a little tiresome to report of Nevada registration data every month (they seem a lot more assertive about reporting that information than other swing states), but this is likely to be the last report we get before the election, and it seems like good news. The Democrats' statewide lead is now 86K (520K to 434K for the GOP), with a 125K lead in Clark County, which is slightly bigger than the edge in 2008.

12:51 PM PT (David Jarman): TN-04: This is some odd pushback from Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais on that whole I-tried-to-get-my-pregnant-mistress/patient-to-have-an-abortion-even-though-I'm-an-anti-abortion-zealot-in-public scandal that emerged this week. He's saying it's all OK, because she turned out to not be pregnant in the first place. Of course, he's not disputing the published transcript of their conversation, in which he was pushing for an abortion while still thinking that she was pregnant, so I'm not sure how that diminshes his hypocrisy.

2:10 PM PT: Races Ratings:

This week, we're making a dozen changes to our race ratings, two on our Senate chart and 10 on our House big board. The moves are split equally between those benefitting Democrats and Republicans:

HI-Sen (Lean D to Likely D): It looks like we're finally back to where we conceived of this race at the outset. Former Gov. Linda Lingle might have been the strongest possible recruit the GOP could ever hope for in Hawaii, but she can't change the state's Democratic demographics—nor the fact that favorite son Barack Obama is on the ballot once again. Recent polling has shown Dem Rep. Mazie Hirono with solid leads, and Lingle's only response has been to carp about the numbers, not provide any contradictory data of her own. The headwinds are simply too great for her.

NM-Sen (Lean D to Likely D): Aside from a single "I'm not dead yet!" internal from ex-Rep. Heather Wilson herself, a long series of polls has shown Dem Rep. Martin Heinrich with leads that are both sizable and growing. The NRSC gave up here a long time ago and hasn't shown any sign of coming back; same with the DSCC.

CT-04 (Likely D to Safe D): We wanted to hedge our bets on this Connecticut seat that's really a creature of the NYC suburbs. Home to lots of Wall Street types and reliably Republican on the congressional level for many years, we figured there was a chance that Steve Obsitnik could gain some traction. But Rep. Jim Himes has proved to be a good fit for this district, and, in an extreme rarity, he was one of only about half a dozen Democrats to improve on his 2008 performance in 2010. TV time here is wildly expensive, and it's just hard to imagine the national GOP wanting to get involved here when the bang-for-the-buck is so much greater elsewhere.

IL-08 (Likely D to Lean D): The fact that freshman GOP Rep. Joe Walsh isn't automatic driftwood is a sign of just how distant a hope a Democratic House majority is. Tammy Duckworth has raised exceptional sums, and she's still favored. But the polling hasn't shown a slam dunk for her, and a fortune has been spent against her by conservative third-party groups who just refuse to give up on Walsh. But Barack Obama's just not doing as well in his home state as he did four years ago, and Gov. Pat Quinn is in the running for the most unpopular governor in the nation. All this is creating a drag on Illinois Democrats, and even Duckworth's not immune.

MN-01 (Likely D to Safe D): The DCCC recently cut back its ad reservations that were originally intended to shore up Rep. Tim Walz. There's also been no indication that outside groups are interested in helping Republican Allen Quist, who emerged wounded after a long and ugly primary battle that included a nasty deadlocked convention.

NJ-03 (Lean R to Likely R): Democrats landed a good recruit in the form of Shelley Adler, whose late husband, John Adler, held this seat for one term before losing in 2010's wave. But despite a couple of strong fundraising quarters, this remains tough turf: John Adler, who raised a ton of money, only won by four percent in 2008 when this was an open seat. On top of that, the 3rd became a couple of points redder in redistricting, to the benefit of GOP Rep. Jon Runyan. In recent weeks, the DCCC has cancelled all (or almost all) of the airtime it had reserved in the costly Philadelphia market that was earmarked for this seat, and the NRCC was only all too happy to follow suit. Without that outside help, this seat feels like an incredibly tough nut to crack.

NY-17 (Likely D to Safe D): When Joe Carvin dropped down from the Senate race to take on veteran Rep. Nita Lowey instead, he seemed like a good recruit for Republicans: He's both an elected official (Rye Town supervisor) and personally wealthy (thanks to his day job as a hedge fund manager). Redistricting also made this seat about seven points redder, according to presidential results. But much like Jim Himes in the adjacent CT-04 (see above), Lowey's insulated by the pricey NYC media market, which always gives pause to national organizations. Carvin's donated a million bucks to his own cause, but it doesn't look like he'll get much assistance from anyone else.

NY-22, NY-23 (Lean R to Safe R): This pair of swingy, upstate New York districts looked like potential targets for Democrats when redistricting left Reps. Richard Hanna and Tom Reed with seats that were almost half new to them. But Dem recruits Dan Lamb and Nate Shinagawa raised very little money; Reed, meanwhile, has a ton, while Hanna may be the most moderate Republican in the House (in word and deed). It just won't be possible to dislodge them this time.

PA-08 (Lean R to Likely R): The story is very similar on the other side of the Delaware River from the adjacent NJ-03 (see above), where Democrat Kathy Boockvar simply hasn't gained the traction she's needed against GOP Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick. Both the D-Trip and NRCC have cut back on their Philly ad reservations here as well, and no one seems to be acting as though this is a positive sign for Team Blue.

UT-04 (Tossup to Lean R): Dem Rep. Jim Matheson has survived the unsurvivable for years, but it's hard not to feel like his luck may have just run out. Utah Republicans targeted him—and hard—in redistricting, giving Matheson no good options in terms of seeking re-election. He opted for Utah's bluest seat, which at 56-41 McCain actually makes it the reddest seat that any Democratic incumbent is running in this cycle. On top of that, most of that turf (almost 70%) is new to Matheson. Recent polling, including an independent survey and an internal for his opponent, Mia Love, has shown the Republican leading, and the DCCC hasn't spent any money on him. That doesn't mean Matheson's been triaged (other groups like House Majority PAC and, more recently, Patriot Majority USA have tried to fill the breach), but if he's been living on borrowed time, it sure feels like his time's up.

WA-06 (Likely D to Safe D): When veteran Democratic Rep. Norm Dicks announced his retirement, there were a ton of potential candidates ready to fill his shoes. But state Sen. Derek Kilmer announced quickly and completely cleared the field, a sign of his strength as a candidate. Republican Bill Driscoll has self-funded half-a-mil, but a recent SurveyUSA poll gave Kilmer a commanding 52-37 lead. This is blue turf, and Driscoll would somehow have to run far ahead of Mitt Romney to have a chance here. We can't see how that would happen.

2:22 PM PT (David Jarman): FL-Sen: The Senate portion of Thursday's Mason-Dixon poll (the one that found Mitt Romney ahead of Barack Obama by a surprising 7) finds the damage limited mostly to the top of the ticket: Bill Nelson I leads Connie Mack IV, 47-42. That's still down a bit from September's poll, which was 48-40 for Nelson (unlike the prez portion, which saw an 8-point swing). It also contrasts quite a bit with Thursday's NBC/Marist poll, which put Nelson up 13 (and Obama up 1) -- though in terms of Nelson's overperformance the Mason-Dixon poll also matches Marist precisely, in that it shows Nelson's spread running 12 points ahead of Obama.

2:22 PM PT: 3Q Fundraising:

IN-Sen: Joe Donnelly (D): $1.55 mil raised, $936K cash-on-hand

NM-Sen: $2.2 mil raised, $1 mil cash-on-hand

FL-22: Lois Frankel (D): $700K raised

MA-06: John Tierney (D-inc): $500K raised; Richard Tisei (R): $660K raised

MI-01: Gary McDowell (D): $400K raised, $600K cash-on-hand

MN-06: Michele Bachmann (R-inc): $4.5 mil raised

MN-08: Rick Nolan: $485K raised, $465K cash-on-hand

2:50 PM PT: Reshuffling Roundup:

IN-08: Let's hope they're expanding the playing field and not head-faking like in WI-08 (see below): In the same independent expenditure report, the DCCC made public that it's going up in IN-08 for the first time, where Democrat Dave Crooks is trying to defeat first-term GOP Rep. Larry Buchson. The buy is for $100K.

PA-18: According to PoliticsPA, the D-Trip is giving up on Larry Maggi, who's waging a long-shot campaign against GOP Rep. Tim Murphy. Dems have cut back on $225K worth of TV ad reservations in the Pittsburgh media market, though Keegan Gibson is quite certain that these cancellations will only affect Maggi and not Dem Rep. Mark Critz in the neighboring 12th District.

TX-14: Here's a first: an independent expenditure in Texas's open 14th District—and it's for the good guys. The House Majority PAC is making a smallish $48K buy on behalf of Democrat Nick Lampson, who is seeking his third tour of duty in the House but would first have to defeat Republican Randy Weber in this very conservative district.

WI-08: This is really odd. WisPolitics reports that the DCCC is pulling out of WI-08, where Democrat Jamie Wall is hoping to unseat GOP freshman Reid Ribble—something the D-Trip didn't deny. But oddly, the organization just went up with their first (and I guess only) ad buy on Thursday in the district. Admittedly, it was for a small $76K, but if you're giving up, why spend at all?

Crossroads, HMP: Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, which has mostly focused on Senate races so far, is getting into the House game with a serious $8.1 million TV and radio blitz targeting 11 races. All but two of the races have already seen plenty of action. The first exception is IN-02, where earlier reports indicated that the DCCC was giving up on Brendan Mullen's efforts to hold this seat for Team Blue against Jackie Walorski. But that may not in fact be the case, seeing as the House Majority PAC is also stepping in (with a $175K buy) for the Dems.

The other is CA-21, where we noted not long ago that the conservative YG Action Fund unexpectedly felt the need to step in and help Republican David Valadao. Evidently, Crossroads is worried, too. Outside Democratic groups haven't gotten involved here yet, but both HMP and Crossroads are making a bunch of other new buys (though again, for familiar contests). You can find the full list for each group at their respective links.


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