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Leading Off:

NRCC: So explain this one to me:

Screen shot of headline from Roll Call story reading: NRCC Raises $14.4 Million at Annual March Dinner
Okay, fine, but:
Screen shot of headline from Roll Call story reading: NRCC Raises $8.1 Million in March but Trails DCCC
So what's going on here? Is the NRCC counting mere pledges that never came through—$6,300,000 worth? Perhaps they're just snowing the media... or maybe their new finance guys came over from Mitt Romney's data shop and are steeped in Karl Rove's "the math." I guess I'd believe anything.


MN-Sen/Gov: For once, a politician has moved up a timetable rather than let one slide. After previously saying he would decide this summer, GOP Rep. John Kline announced on Friday that he would not run for either senator or governor and would instead seek re-election. That's good news for Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton, though the DCCC would surely have liked it if Kline had left his swingy 2nd District seat open. However, two Democrats are already looking to challenge Kline, CaringBridge founder Sona Mehring and 2012 nominee Mike Obermueller, so he'll still certainly have a race on his hands.

OH-Sen: Unsurprisingly, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, the first sitting Republican senator to express his support for same-sex marriage, has seen his job approval rating slip in Quinnipiac's latest poll, but the party breakdowns are telling. Overall, Portman dropped from 44-24 in February to 40-31 now, slipping 19 net points among Republicans and 16 among independents. But he actually improved 5 net points among Democrats, to a surprisingly high 29-34. That's not the kind of thing that's likely to last, especially since Portman isn't up for re-election until 2016, but it does demonstrate that Republicans can potentially pay a price for backing marriage equality.

But there's a much greater price to be paid down the road for Republicans who don't get on board with equality. Quinnipiac now sees a plurality of Ohioans supporting same-sex marriage, 48-44, up from 45-47 against in December. That's a lot of movement in less than half a year, so it may just be noise. But Portman's very public conversion might have also swayed some minds, and in any event, as everyone knows, attitudes are changing very quickly on this topic.


NH-Gov: With Republican recruitment for New Hampshire's bi-annual gubernatorial election looking a bit thin, here's a new name for you. Relying on two unnamed sources, James Pindell says that state Sen. Andy Sanborn met with RGA officials in Washington, DC recently, though Sanborn himself is refusing to comment. And like many of the other GOP names under discussion for higher office in the Granite State, Sanborn could also run for Senate or the House.

NM-Gov: Yet another Democratic legislator says he's considering a run against Gov. Susana Martinez. State Sen. Howie Morales joins the very large pack of New Mexico lawmakers who are looking at a bid, which at last count includes three fellow state senators—Linda Lopez, Tim Keller, and Joe Cervantes—as well as state Rep. Moe Maestas. The only declared candidate so far, though, is Attorney General Gary King.


CA-31: Ex-Rep. Joe Baca seems like one of those guys who is very good at telling stories to himself. In a new interview with the National Journal's Scott Bland, Baca claims he was "overwhelmingly asked by members of the community to run because they felt Pete Aguilar"—the top Democratic recruit who had already announced his candidacy—"was not a viable candidate." Notably, Aguilar doesn't name a single "member of the community by name," and of course, there remains the fact that the DCCC badly wanted Aguilar to run a second time, so this tale is hard to buy.

But when it comes to GOP Rep. Gary Miller, the man Democrats are trying to unseat, Baca's just absolutely full of it. Baca offered fulsome praise for Miller last year, when he faced Republican state Sen. Bob Dutton in the November general election, and was featured prominently in a Miller mailer. Now, of course, this history is posing a great deal of difficulty for Baca, so he's started making stuff up:

However, Baca also backed away from the mailer. The former congressman said he did not give the pro-Miller quotes that appear on the piece. "That's not my quote, that's his quote," Baca said. "That's Gary."

Miller's 2012 campaign manager, Chris Marsh, wrote in an email that "the quote in the mailer was absolutely approved by Congressman Baca back in October when the piece ran" and noted that Baca hadn't raised any issues with the mailer until now.

Even without the campaign manager's statement, you'd know Baca had to be lying simply because no congressman in his right mind would ever make up statements and attribute them to another congressman, particularly one from the other party, plaster them all over a flyer and mail it out to thousands of people. Gary Miller may be a lot of things, but there's no way he's that dumb. What's more, news accounts last year reported that "Baca and Miller repeatedly praised one another and emphasized their strong working relationship." Example:
"They want to see us working together," Baca, D-Rialto, said of the Inland area's residents and voters. "(He) and I are going to send a message: We can be effective; we can put partisanship aside," Baca said.
So not only did Baca go out of his way to support a Republican, he's also lying about it now. Aguilar should be able to make lots of hay out of this. Simply put, do Democrats want to put forth a candidate who had nothing but good things to say about his Republican opponent until two weeks ago? I doubt it.

SC-01: The DCCC has filed their independent expenditure report for their new ad attacking Republican ex-Gov. Mark Sanford, and indeed, it's for the full $208,000 that was originally reported on Thursday. That doesn't mean there won't be further buys; if anything, I'd say we're more likely than not to see additional spending here.

Other Races:

NYC Mayor: Quinnipiac's first mayoral poll to include ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner in the Democratic primary looks very similar to Marist's from just a few days earlier. Indeed, Weiner jumps out with an identical 15 percent, while City Council Speaker Christine Quinn remains in first with 28, not far off the 26 Marist gave her. Bill de Blasio, Bill Thompson, and John Liu are also all bunched up, at 11, 10, and 9 percent respectively.

However, Weiner is nevertheless quite unpopular. He's the only Democrat to chalk up a negative favorability rating, at 33-41, and he also performs the worst against Republican Joe Lhota, 51-26. (All the other contenders take 55 to 60 versus Lhota.) In spite of this, 41 percent of New York City voters say Weiner should run for mayor while 44 say he should not, which is better than I'd have expected. It also demonstrates how soft support for most of the declared candidates might actually be, since Democrats want him in by a 45-40 margin, even though only 15 percent currently say they'd vote for him. That kind of political confusion is not uncommon in polling, but it's noteworthy nevertheless that some voters can't say with certitude whom they're supporting.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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