We're only making three changes today (you'll find our IN-Gov writeup elsewhere in the Digest). But we plan to keep monitoring all potentially competitive races right down to the wire, and we expect to make other last-minute adjustments on Monday and Tuesday.
• MI-Sen (Likely D to Safe D): GOP ex-Rep. Pete Hoekstra simply has no path to victory. He's never led in any reputable polling, he's gotten outraised almost 3-to-1, and the NRSC hasn't spent a dime on him. The DSCC hasn't spent anything on Sen. Debbie Stabenow, either, which pretty much tells you all you need to know.
• RI-01 (Lean D to Tossup): For a while, it looked like Dem Rep. David Cicilline's decision to apologize for his poor stewardship of (and lack of forthrightness about) Providence's finances when he served as mayor had saved his bacon, as a series of unanswered Democratic polls showed some daylight between himself and Republican Brendan Doherty. But Doherty managed to somehow pull back into contention, possibly because of this nasty NRCC ad which paints Cicilline as a monster for having had the temerity to represent unsavory defendants as a criminal defense attorney. Unjust as that attack may be, Republicans have since released their own unanswered poll showing Doherty up 6, and an independent survey had the race tied. The DCCC has had to step in here, too, which they wouldn't do if Cicilline weren't vulnerable.
1:00 PM PT: IL-Gov: It looks like those Aaron Schock rumors have resurfaced—the gubernatorial ones, of course. Reid Wilson reports that Schock, whose supporters have previously pooh-poohed the notion that he might run for governor in 2014, met with top RGA officials to discuss exactly that possibility. (Both the RGA and Schock are not commenting.) Is the world ready for a governor born in the 1980s?
1:17 PM PT: MA-Sen (Kimball): Elizabeth Warren (D): 47 (48), Scott Brown (R-inc): 49 (46); Obama 54-41 (55-39). Kimball, just as a reminder, is a Republican pollster, and he offers what might charitably be called a "Manchurian Candidate" explanation as to why his poll numbers are so divergent:
The Pollster, Spencer Kimball, believes the sleeper effect, which is when voters forget the messenger and remember the message is what has turned things around for Brown. The theory suggests that Brown’s blistering attacks on Warren’s heritage and her legal representation took time to have the intended effect but voters may now be showing doubt about the Democrat nominee. Warren’s unfavorable opinion has risen to 45%.
1:36 PM PT: OK-02: Data has been very sparse out of Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District, where Team Blue faces a very difficult job of retaining retiring Rep. Dan Boren's open seat in this classic "Demosaur" area. But we finally have our first poll, from Soonerpoll.com, which unsurprisingly puts Republican plumbing company owner Markwayne Mullin ahead of Democratic former prosecutor Rob Wallace, 45-33. The high undecideds with just days to go are a bit odd, but given how conservative this region is (McCain won it 66-34), that's of no help to Wallace.
1:54 PM PT: NY-St. Sen: Siena has another trio of state Senate polls, and the results are quite interesting. Democrats have apparently been unable to capitalize on the strange situation in SD-43 (there are always strange situations in New York senate races), where GOP Sen. Roy McDonald lost his primary because of his support for gay marriage but remains on the Independence Party's line. But Republican nominee Kathy Marchione is out in front with 40 percent, while McDonald (who isn't campaigning) still takes 29 and Democrat Robin Andrews is mired in third at 25 in this upper Hudson Valley seat.
But SD-46 is more compelling. This is the brand-new 63rd seat that Republican cartographers controversially added to the Senate map in the Albany area, which was expected to be a lock for them to pick up. However, Republican Assemblyman George Amedore leads Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk by just a 47-44 margin. It's still a longshot for Dems, but that the race is so close is still something. One possible reason it is: George Soros's PAC has been spending big here, with $250K worth of ads mostly backing the idea of public campaign financing.
Finally, Democratic fortunes have improved greatly in SD-55, based mostly in upstate Monroe County.) Democrat Ted O'Brien is now beating Republican Assemblyman Sean Hanna 50-39, whereas just a month ago, Hanna led 47-39. (This seat is open because GOP Sen. Jim Alessi decided to retire after voting in favor of same-sex marriage.) If you're inclined to mistrust that big swing, here's a good reason why you should favor the new numbers rather than the old: Deputy Senate Majority Leader Tom Libous, a Republican who heads his party's campaign efforts, just went on record saying that he "would concede that we are not winning that seat."
One more detail: Libous also says that Hurricane Sandy has made things a lot more difficult for Republican NYC Councilman Eric Ulrich, who is trying to unseat Dem state Sen. Joseph Addabbo in the GOP's lone realistic pickup opportunity in SD-15. The areas hardest hit by the storm in the Rockaways are more Republican-leaning (thanks, ironically, to a GOP gerrymander which moved Democratic precincts in the Rockaways into a different district), and Ulrich's wife also just gave birth. It sounds like Libous is ready to write this one off, too, as CapTon notes he said "he's proud the Senate GOP has managed to run a competitive race in the New York City district." A real moral victory, huh? Addabbo also says he's stopped campaigning due to the destruction, but on balance, that probably favors the incumbent.
2:10 PM PT (David Jarman): HI-Sen: We're a little shy on details behind this -- and also a little short on a rationale why -- but Hotline's Reid Wilson tweets that Majority PAC is going on the air in the Hawaii Senate race, which almost all polling has shown Dem Mazie Hirono to have locked down. Hawaii's a very inexpensive media market, so maybe it's just cheap insurance... but it's been a race that really hasn't merited insurance at all.
2:16 PM PT (David Jarman): SD-AL: One last poll of South Dakota from Neilson Brothers shows (as with most of their previous polls) the state's at-large House race within single digits, but without much of a path to victory for Dem challenger Mat Varilek. Varilek trails GOP frosh Kristi Noem 50-44. Top of the ticket, Barack Obama trails Mitt Romney 50-42, but there's an interesting number at the bottom of the ticket: Matt McGovern (the grandson of the recently-deceased former presidential candidate, whom you might remember was floated as a Democratic SD-Sen candidate in 2010) is leading Republican incumbent Public Services Comissioner Kristi Fiegen, 45-39.
2:19 PM PT (David Jarman): Even if Joe Donnelly somehow loses the Indiana Senate race, he'll still have succeeded in drawing a huge amount of financial fire away from other Democrats in the election's closing weeks. Politico totes up the outside-group spending in Indiana for the final week, and find that American Crossroads, the Club for Growth, the NRSC, and groups linked to Rand Paul and Joe Ricketts are combining to spend $4 million on the last week. (Of course, that means Democrats are spending there too, though I'm sure they're glad to be on the offense; the DSCC and Majority PAC are spending $3 million on the last week.)