Rasmussen has its most Ras-like day in ages (wait till you see the Marco Rubio SURGE!), while a host of other pollsters are chiming in with numbers about tomorrow's electoral battles. There are also a smattering of campaign stories of note, both in races on tomorrow's fight card and beyond.
All that, and more, comprises a bursting-at-the-seams Election Eve edition of the Monday Wrap.
CA-Sen: Campbell scaling back ad buys in final weeks of campaign
Hard to know if this is a sign of a campaign with supreme confidence, or a campaign in financial turmoil (or...perhaps...both). But Senate frontrunner Tom Campbell sharply scaling back his paid media campaign as the clock winds down on his primary bid. Campbell is planning to be off the air this week, and he has also curtailed his closing ad buy by about 25%. This is in sharp contrast to his opponent, Carly Fiorina, who is expected to be on the air through the June 8th primary.
CT-Sen: Blumenthal subject of brutal NYT profile
The potential damage from this might be overstated, but it is hard to fathom how: according to the New York Times, Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal was at a ceremony in 2008 honoring veterans when he said the following:
"We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam. And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it -- Afghanistan or Iraq -- we owe our military men and women unconditional support."
Which would have been a fine statement to make, had Blumenthal actually served in Vietnam. Unfortunately, as the NYT reports, he did not. Blumenthal copped to having "misspoke." Unfortunately for him, the NYT uncovered several instances where similar statements were...well...misspoke. It is a fairly unsparing analysis, to be sure.
IL-Sen: Internal poll hints at Giannoulias comeback
In a clear effort to change what had become a growing narrative, the campaign of Democratic nominee Alexi Giannoulias is touting a new internal poll showing him tied with Republican nominee Mark Kirk (44-44). The campaign also made clear that their internal numbers from two weeks ago had their man down by six points. The takeaway the campaign is eager to push: Giannoulias has weathered the big storm of his campaign, and is still well-positioned to hold this seat for the Democrats. Indeed, the troubles with the Giannoulias' family business were problematic for the campaign, but it was probably best that it happened in April, rather than October. If said bounce has really occurred, Giannoulias is probably in stronger position than many pundits would suspect.
KY-Sen: New poll suggests that Rand Paul is pulling away
As I wrote earlier today on DK, Kentucky's GOP Secretary of State, Trey Grayson, is ripping Fox News for what he perceived as a bias in favor of his Senate primary opponent, Rand Paul. Part of his animus might stem from a new poll in his race which suggests that Grayson is going down to a substantial defeat tomorrow. The PPP poll, released this weekend, had Paul with an eighteen-point lead (52-34) over Grayson. Unfortunately, there was no new polling of the (infinitely) more competitive Democratic primary, where Orange to Blue candidate Jack Conway is deadlocked with state Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo.
PA-Sen: Final Q poll in Pennsylvania confirms Dem toss-up
Quinnipiac offered their final poll in the Keystone State, and they confirmed what everyone else had already suspected: the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate is too close to call. The Q Poll gives challenger Joe Sestak a statistically insignificant lead of a single point over incumbent Arlen Specter (42-41). Two amazing statistics for a race with this high a profile: on the eve of the election, one in six voters are still undecided. What's more, a significant number of Specter and Sestak voters (25% of those who have made up their minds) were still persuadable at this late stage of the game. In an interesting twist, MSNBC's First Read noted that the Specter campaign was hoping for some last minute campaign assistance from the President, but that the White House will be instead sticking to their original schedule. As it happens, that original schedule sends Obama to stump in Youngstown, Ohio. Youngstown, for those who are not well versed in geography, is not terribly far from the state border between Ohio and...Pennsylvania.
WA-Sen: Grumbling about Rossi's intentions intensifies
Ah...another week, another new prominent GOPers calling on Dino Rossi to essentially shit or get off the pot in the state's potentially competitive U.S. Senate race. This time around, the aggrieved party is Clark County Commissioner Tom Mielke, who is a supporter of state Senator Don Benton. The interesting twist to this story is that even one of Rossi's supporters admitted that the time Rossi can afford to spend vacillating on the race is running short: "I think Dino probably has to make a decision here and let people know within a week or so, or the milk is going to sour."
HI-01: Trio of ex-governors make clear Democrats still fighting
The conventional wisdom (based, in no small part, on the DCCC's decision to pull resources from the race) is that the Democrats have given up on the special election ending this week in Hawaii's 1st district. That does not mean that local Democrats, however, are content to throw in the towel. Three former governors (John Waihee, George Ariyoshi, and Ben Cayetano) are railing against the election of Republican Charles Djou, arguing that the GOP standard bearer will walk in lock step with the national GOP, and has not make clear what he will do if elected.
NC-08: D'Annunzio nabs celebrity endorsement of the year
Normally, endorsement ads are not worthy of inclusion in the Wrap. This one, however, is too good to pass up, especially if you are a NASCAR fan. Far-right candidate Tim D'Annunzio has a new ad out featuring one of the greatest names in NASCAR...nay...sports history. Sadly, it is not Dick Trickle. It is, instead, the immortal Lake Speed who is extolling D'Annunzio in a new television ad as a good Christian who will uphold Constitutional principles.
OR-05: Public poll says NRCC-backed Bruun not endangered tomorrow
Late last week, the excellent Kari Chisholm at Blue Oregon had wind of an internal poll circling around showing establishment GOP pick Scott Bruun in deep trouble in this swing district against little-known retiree Fred Thompson. A poll out over the weekend from SUSA should calm nerves over at the NRCC. They show Bruun up by over twenty points. In a bizarre bit of polling fun, however, they have Bruun up 52-30 with people that have already voted in Oregon's vote-by-mail system, with 18% undecided. Um, how could people that have already voted be undecided?!
PA-12: Final PPP poll rates special election a pure coin flip
On the weekend before the special election to replace the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha in southwestern Pennsylvania, PPP released their final numbers on the race. The result? As close to a pure coin flip as you are likely to see. They have the Republican (Tim Burns) leading the Democrat (Mark Critz) by a point (48-47). They also, however, have slightly more Democrats undecided than Republicans. There seems to have been some movement in Critz's direction, however. Whereas polls taken two to three weeks out gave Burns a narrow lead, the polls in the past several days have ranged from this one-point Burns lead to a Critz lead ranging as high as six points.
SC-02: Miller releases internal poll...showing him down 15
This one also comes via the crew at Swing State, and it makes very little sense to me, I'm afraid. The campaign for Democrat Rob Miller has released internal polling data showing them down 49-34 to incumbent Republican Joe "You Lie!" Wilson. They explain away the margin, in part, by pointing to a 91%-34% edge in name recognition. But what is the merit in pointing out that an incumbent you came within eight points of beating in 2008 is now fifteen points ahead of you in 2010? Furthermore, what is the merit in reminding people that you have spent over a half million dollars (only about a hundred thou less than you did in the entire 2008 cycle) and still only have 34% name recognition? This is one campaign release I am not totally grasping, to be sure.
CA-Gov: New poll conflicts with Poizner surge meme
Well, maybe all this talk of a Meg Whitman implosion in the GOP primary for California Governor is a bit overblown, or maybe it is a return to her flooding the zone with TV ads that has shaken the race up. Whatever the cause, a new poll from M4 Strategies for a small business PAC finds Whitman leading opponent Steve Poizner by a slightly reduced, but still comfortable, seventeen-point margin (49-32). The poll also finds little upside for Poizner, whose favorability spread (39/34) is far worse than that of Whitman (55/27). Perhaps that explains Poizner's new approach: he is now essentially accusing Whitman of being a porn distributor. Watch the YouTube associated with the link. It is very much worth it.
NV-Gov: Gibbons looking at bad polls in final month of campaign
It has not been a particularly stellar past week for Nevada's incumbent Governor, Republican Jim Gibbons. Not only was he the subject of one of the most unflattering political profiles in recent memory (more on this later), but his polling numbers are also in deep trouble. The same Mason-Dixon poll that had Sue Lowden in deep trouble last week also showed Gibbons circling the drain, down 18 points to challenger Brian Sandoval (45-27). North Las Vegas Mayor Michael Montandon is sitting at 6% of the vote.
NM-Gov: New poll shows Domenici progeny well back in GOP primary
When we last left GOP gubernatorial candidate Pete Domenici Jr., he was sleepwalking his way through the state GOP convention in March, coming in dead last among the five candidates present. Apparently, that drubbing did not extract the lead from his hindquarters, as a new poll taken for the Albuquerque Journal has Domenici the younger a distant third in the state's GOP gubernatorial primary. Former state chairman Allen Weh leads with 31% of the vote, trailed closely by Dona Ana County DA Susana Martinez, who sits at 30% of the vote. Domenici barely breaks out of single digits, sitting on 10% of the vote.
OR-Gov: New poll hints at possible upset tomorrow?
A great grab by Crisitunity over at SSP: a poll by Lindholm Research (no...I have never heard of them, either) has a potential shocker in the state's GOP primary. The poll has little-known former state Treasurer nominee Allen Alley (29%) actually beating NBA baller Chris Dudley (26%), with the rest of the field well behind. A cautionary note: this poll did have nearly a third of the electorate still undecided.
PA-Gov: Final pre-election polls still say Corbett v. Onorato
As the days leading up to the primaries in the Keystone State dwindled down to one, the polling picture in the state's two gubernatorial primaries remained essentially unchanged, with Democrat Dan Onorato in the high 30s, trailed by a trio of challengers, while Republican state AG Tom Corbett easily leads Sam Rohrer. The final Q Poll in the race did not even bother with a Corbett-Rohrer trial heat (Corbett had a forty-plus point lead last week), but it did poll the Dems, finding Onorato out in front with 39% of the vote. The trio of Anthony Williams, Jack Wagner, and Joe Hoeffel were huddled in the 9-11 point range. Amazingly, on Election Eve, a third of the voters were undecided.
WI-Gov: GOP primary turning ugly well in advance of primary
This has to be the best news Milwaukee Mayor (and likely Democratic nominee) Tom Barrett has seen in months. Former Congressman Mark Neumann, in his bid for Governor, is attacking his GOP opponent, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Neumann's complaint is that Walker is working "part-time hours" as County Executive in order to devote more energy to the campaign trail. If the war of words between these two escalates this early (the primary is not until September 14th), it could be a very good sign for Barrett, who will be the beneficiary of the early and amplified mudslinging.
What the polling fest from Rasmussen today lacks in depth, it more than makes up for in focus. Yes, folks, Ras is back to being Ras as we kick off the week. If you think the idea of Bill White going from contender to also-ran in a very quiet month is a bit strange, wait till you see how Marco Rubio went from underdog to betting favorite in little more than a week.
Well, I suppose that people could be that pissed about the Crist campaign not issuing refunds to GOP contributors. Doubtful, though...
FL-Sen: Marco Rubio (R) 39%, Charlie Crist (I) 31%, Kendrick Meek (D) 18%
TX-Gov: Gov. Rick Perry (R) 51%, Bill White 38%