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Leading Off:

MA-Sen: Gabriel Gomez has gotten some "next Scott Brown" hype, to the extent that he's a moderate Republican who's a fresh face and running in a Massachusetts Senate special election (which will be held next Tuesday) against a charisma-challenged Democrat. However, there's one important element that seems missing: the ability to mount a late surge and actually win the race, at least if the newest public poll is any indication. UMass Lowell, on behalf of the Boston Herald, gives Ed Markey his biggest lead of any pollster who's looked at the race so far: among likely voters, Markey leads Gomez 56-36 (and 53-32 among all registered voters). This is the pollster's first look at the race since the primary; they did poll the general way back in early March, and found an almost identical margin (47-28 for Markey).

Most pollsters have shown a closer race, usually in the high single digits, although the last couple public polls (from UNH for the Boston Globe, and from Harper Polling) both had it in the low teens; only one recent poll (a Suffolk poll with a 17-point margin in early May) had anything similar to this one.

And then there's the GOP internal pollsters, who continue to see the race within low single digits; the most recent of these came out Thursday from McLaughlin, with Markey up 47-44. That follows a McLaughlin poll from two weeks ago with Markey up 45-44 (on behalf of donor John Jordan), in addition to two OnMessage polls directly on behalf of Gomez, one from less than a week ago with Markey up 47-40, and one from early May with Markey up 46-43. It's not clear what the GOP hopes to gain from constantly leaking those polls, since most observers know that leaked internal polls usually overstate support for their candidate and none of these best-case-scenarios still manage to have Gomez winning.

The 47-44 topline is all that McLaughlin leaked to Politico, but Dave Weigel seems to have gotten his hands on the crosstabs, which show Gomez's favorables falling from 48/27 to 41/35, while Markey's are up a little, from 42/42 to 47/40. Again, not a sign of progress for Gomez, though maybe the GOP thinks the toplines are enough to convince donors that it's not entirely a lost cause. (Although donations at this point would probably arrive too late to do anything other than last-minute GOTV.)

As for the original Scott Brown, the ex-Senator had publicly said that he was willing to campaign for Gomez as his schedule permitted, but so far he hasn't done anything (apparently impeded by his busy dual careers of lobbying and appearing as a Fox News analyst). Well, he is finally popping up: he'll be appearing at a rally with Gomez on Monday night, the night before the election. Is it really a case of a busy schedule, or just not wanting to let Gomez's likely loss appear to be a referendum on Brown himself (especially considering that he may still get in to the Massachusetts gubernatorial race... or the New Hampshire Senate race)?

And if you've gotten the impression that Massachusetts voters are responding to the Ed Markey vs. Gabriel Gomez special election with a collective yawn, now we've gotten some quantitative proof. Absentee ballot requests are down significantly from the 2010 special election that elected Scott Brown; only 49.7K ballots have been requested, compared with 63.6K at the comparable point in 2010. The absentee ballot application deadline is on Monday, one day before the election.

Senate:

KY-Sen: There aren't a lot of offensive opportunities for Democrats in the Senate this cycle, and minority leader Mitch McConnell presents a high-value target, so it's not surprising that Democratic PACs are trying to soften him up a little already. Maybe more importantly, they probably also need to show SoS Alison Lundergan Grimes, who's seemed hesitant to get into the race, that they'll have her back financially. Without Grimes in, the race isn't even on the table.

The ad features McConnell's own words, saying he's "lived on a government salary for 30 years;" it's being funded jointly by Senate Majority PAC and Harry Reid's Patriot Majority PAC. Reported size of the buy is $250K, not huge but enough to show Grimes that they mean business.

NJ-Sen: It looks like the end of the line for Democratic attempts to force the special election for the vacant Senate seat to move to November, coinciding with the gubernatorial election, instead of being all by itself on Oct. 16. A week ago, an appellate court rejected a challenge to that special election date, and now on Thursday, the state Supreme Court denied a request to hear an appeal of that case.

Gubernatorial:

MN-Gov: Mark Dayton, the Democratic Governor of Minnesota, hasn't drawn a top-tier opponent yet (currently facing only businessman Scott Honour and Hennepin Co. Commissioner Jeff Johnson). However, that may change soon, with the likely entry of Kurt Zellers, who was the state House speaker during the GOP's brief control of that chamber from 2010 to 2012. He hasn't said anything official yet, but he has an event scheduled for Sunday and the Star-Tribune observed that he just registered a "Zellers for Governor" website.

Given his short tenure as Speaker, though, Zellers doesn't seem to have the name rec that would justify the "top-tier" tag anyway; PPP's most recent poll of the race (from late May) found Zellers trailing Dayton by 18 points, the same margin sported by Honour and Johnson. The Star-Tribune's article also mentions that Republican state Sens. Dave Thompson and David Hann are also "nearing decisions" on the race; they both fared incrementally better (down 16 and 15, respectively) in that PPP poll.

TX-Gov: Rick Perry seems to have two options: start laying the groundwork for another presidential run in 2016 (and, this time, spend more time memorizing the names of the federal agencies he wants to eliminate), or, run for yet another term as Texas governor. Speaking from New York City, where he's currently fighting the scourge of East Coast-made salsa exhorting hedge funds to move to the Lone Star State, he just gave us an abbreviated timetable on his decision. He'll announce before July 1 whether he'll run for Governor again. The nation's longest-serving Gov would still be favored for another term if he ran; a Texas Tribune poll from last week had him leading his likeliest rival, fellow GOPer and AG Greg Abbott, by a substantial margin.

House:

MA-05: In all likelihood, attention will turn next Wednesday to the topic of who's going to replace Ed Markey in Massachusetts's Fifth District, the first opening in his district in 36 years. The Central Massachusetts AFL-CIO is already picking a favorite: state Sen. Karen Spilka (although there's one other AFL-CIO council in the district, the Greater Boston Labor Council, which hasn't made a decision yet).

NJ-05: I had not heard of Roy Cho, an attorney running for the Democratic nod in New Jersey's Fifth District, until today. This is an attention-getting, if somewhat out-of-the-box, way to attract some notice, though: he announced the endorsement of Ghostface Killah. Cho apparently scored the endorsement through his sister, who used to work in the music industry. If he could get all known members, ex-members, and affiliates of the Wu-Tang Clan to vote for him, that might actually be enough votes to win him the primary... but I assume most of them are registered in NY-11.

Other Races:

AK-LG: As was generally expected, Republican mayor of Anchorage Dan Sullivan has announced that he'll run for the position of Lieutenant Governor. The LG job is being vacated by Mead Treadwell for his Senate challenge to Mark Begich; there had been some speculation that Sullivan might get in the Senate race instead, but no longer. Don't forget, though, that there's an entirely different Republican named Dan Sullivan (Alaska's Dept. of Natural Resources Commissioner) who has floated his name for a statewide run for something, including possibly the Senate race (though probably not the LG race at this point, given the confusion that would spawn).

Grab Bag:

Arizona: Gov. Jan Brewer signed a small but potentially important piece of election law today, which seeks to limit the spoiler ability of third-party candidates in Arizona. It greatly increases the number of signatures that third-party candidates need to qualify for their own primaries, by changing the requirements from one-half of 1% of that party's registration to one-sixth of 1% of the total voter registration (which would, for instance, boost the number of signatures that a Libertarian needed to qualify in AZ-01 from 12 to 618). It's pretty transparent that the GOP, which controls the trifecta in Arizona, has only the Libertarians in mind: the Libertarian vote share in AZ-01 and AZ-09 last year was small, but it still exceeded the margin separating the Democratic victor and the Republican loser. Making it more difficult for them to qualify in the future means it's less likely they can play spoiler.

Maps: You may remember Sean Trende's piece "The Case of the Missing White Voters" from the immediate aftermath of last year's election, which was an interesting topic but seemed a little short on evidence. He's finally expanded considerably on that idea, using more granular county-level data. The map shows an arc of diminished turnout starting in New England, moving down across the Upper Midwest, and then into the some of the Mountain West. He notes that these aren't the strongly evangelical states, but rather, the states that had the largest numbers of Perot voters in 1992, suggesting that the secular blue-collar voters were the part of the Republican coalition that went the most AWOL last year. One other important finding: even if those voters had showed up but voted along the lines of white voters in general, it still wouldn't have made a big difference, with Barack Obama winning by a slightly diminished 2.7%.

Party Switchers: With the recent completion of Lincoln Chafee's R-to-I-to-D evolution, Governing Magazine's Louis Jacobson has a long and interesting list of party-switchers over the decades, most of whom are at the state legislative level. Despite recent high-profile failures (Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist, Tim Cahill), he also finds a lot of successful transitions (disproportionately located in Louisiana, as you might guess).

WATN?: Remember Christopher Simcox, who briefly was the anti-immigrant right's candidate in the 2010 Arizona Senate Republican primary against John McCain, until he made way for the better-funded if equally-crackpotted J.D. Hayworth? (Even if you don't, you may remember Simcox as a founder of the Minutemen.) Well, he's back in the news... under arrest on suspicion of child molestation and sexual exploitation of a minor.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Important forum yesterday in Virginia (7+ / 0-)

    between 2013 gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli (R/Tea Party) and Terry McAuliffe (D) at the Northern Virginia Technology Council forum in Reston, VA. For a bunch of video from the presentation - including Cuccinelli being laughed at by the audience - and from the "press gaggle" afterwards, see here.

  •  MA absentee ballot numbers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SueDe, brae70

    I suspect they indicate an even larger differential in turnout than the surface comparison, because folks are much more likely to be on vacation this time of year.

    •  I am concerned (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pademocrat, Dr Swig Mcjigger, wdrath

      I hope Mass Dems have their GOTV together- smaller turnouts favor Repugs

      •  Not necessarily (0+ / 0-)

        MA Dems outnumber GOP more than 3-1. An activist base election favors Democrats here. There's no enthusiasm gap as in 2010 when Republicans were positively giddy over the prospect of taking away the 60th Dem vote in the Senate.

        "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

        by fenway49 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 12:09:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Just voted absentee ballot in MA senate contest (8+ / 0-)

      in our assisted living community here in Bristol County (SE) MA. I happened to get a glimpse of the list of those planning to vote here today, which had a D or R next to name according to party affiliation: appeared to be about 3:1 D, which I thought surprising in this part of the state and given that the voters were all old folks, many of whom you could envision at a Tea Party rally. Maybe the old folks will get out there and move this election, which I think is going to go at least 55% for Ed.

    •  Not necessarily (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marcus Graly, fenway49, Parthenia

      The weather in January is very iffy and many people may have requested absentee ballots to avoid having to go to the polls in a snowstorm - and it did snow on election day in that special election.  Further, many retired folks winter in Florida, so that could explain a lot of absentee ballot requests - and prime vacation season is the week following this election this time, with the 4th of July holiday providing a day off that doesn't get charged against vacation time.

      Follow our efforts to turn Southern Worcester County (MA) blue! Greater Blackstone Valley Dems

      by AnotherMassachusettsLiberal on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 08:59:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ^ This (0+ / 0-)

        I have five relatives who are in Florida all winter and home now. Schools are still in session in many places - last day pushed back due to all the snow this winter. Most people will be home.

        Polling showing 58% have been contacted directly by a campaign and Markey leads 65-29 among that group. Our ground game is working.

        "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

        by fenway49 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 12:10:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I must ask (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, wdrath

    After reading the term for years and years how precisely do poll results "leak" from a campaign?  The Campaign manager or Press person "accidentally shoots poll results to political reporters in an email?  They misdial , get a political reporter accidentally, and somehow start babbling about election polling?  Watergate style break-ins occurring every time they conduct a poll?  I guess it must be from off the record conversations but it seems more polls are leaks than officially released these days an the term losinges any real meaning to me as a result.

    "The Attorney General will not cast aspersions on my asparagus" - Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert-R to Attorney General Eric Holder.

    by walja on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 06:09:43 AM PDT

  •  How is it possible that Scott Brown (0+ / 0-)

    could run for U.S. Senator from New Hampshire?  Doesn't NH have any residency requirements, or are they so lax that he would qualify by moving into the state a few months before the election?  Or has he already moved in?

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 06:29:59 AM PDT

    •  The Constitution only requires that a Senator (8+ / 0-)

      be a resident of the state at the time of being elected. RFK moved to New York a few months before his election there, as did Hillary Clinton.

      "One of the greatest tragedies of man's long trek along the highway of history has been the limiting of neighborly concern to tribe, race, class or nation." Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by brae70 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 06:32:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Article I section 3: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SueDe, Christopher Walker
      No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

      "One of the greatest tragedies of man's long trek along the highway of history has been the limiting of neighborly concern to tribe, race, class or nation." Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by brae70 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 06:37:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Constitutional requirements I understand. (0+ / 0-)

        But aren't the states allowed to add requirements, such as residency requirements, for their states?  I thought New York was one of the few states that allowed "carpetbaggers" to run.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 06:47:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually in this case the consitution reigns . . . (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Loge, Adam B, SueDe, Eric Nelson

          So aside from the 22nd ammendment(Presidential Terms), state laws cannot govern Federal term limits

          In U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton decided in a 5(Stevens, joined by Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer) -4(Thomas, joined by Rehnquist, O'Connor, Scalia) vote:

          From the judgement:

          Finally, state-imposed restrictions, unlike the congressionally imposed restrictions at issue in Powell, violate a third idea central to this basic principle: that the right to choose representatives belongs not to the States, but to the people. ... Following the adoption of the 17th Amendment in 1913, this ideal was extended to elections for the Senate. The Congress of the United States, therefore, is not a confederation of nations in which separate sovereigns are represented by appointed delegates, but is instead a body composed of representatives of the people.
    •  I think he owns a cabin up there (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBraden, SueDe

      Anyway he isn't going to run in NH, he would get a bigger butt kicking than he got from Warren.

      •  Your lips to God's ear. (0+ / 0-)

        I figured he was poised to make too much money to care about a senate seat anymore, unless his defeat by Warren still burned and he lusted for power and fame.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 10:55:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Local reporter (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe

          David S Bernstein, who knows what he's talking about most of the time, says Brown is not finding post-Senate life as lucrative or fun as he'd hoped. He expects Brown to run for something, probably Governor, next year.

          "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

          by fenway49 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 12:13:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  If you're reporting a horse race, you want to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SueDe

    give the impression that the favorite will come from berhind and take the lead.
    Republicans use polling as one of the motivating and incentivizing tools. They know that the groupies want to be associated with a winner. But, fans are fickle and their ardour has to be constanty fanned.

    Fanning the fans.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 06:42:58 AM PDT

  •  MA governorship (0+ / 0-)

    A little early, but interesting news about Don Berwick running. I don't know much about him except his work as head of CMS. Any thoughts, anyone?

  •  What is telling is the fact that Gomez's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dhshoops, fenway49

    contributors are no longer giving him money. They see what is coming. Why piss away money?

    Welcome To The Disinformation Age!

    by kitebro on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 06:50:34 AM PDT

  •  I Don't Consider Gomez A "Moderate" Any More (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharoney, fenway49, Parthenia

    than I consider Scott Brown a "moderate."  Scotty the centerfold boy was in bed with Wall St. and Gomez would be too (but thankfully Ed Markey's going to prevent that from happening). Scotty the centerfold boy will be coming out of hiding to run for governor - I see plenty of pick up trucks with his bumper sticker still plastered on them. I hope the Dems can come with a credible alternative to Brown - it was bad enough having to put up with him for 2 years as Senator. I can't imagine having to put up with him for 4 years as governor.

  •  I don't like that. (0+ / 0-)
    Absentee ballot requests are down significantly from the 2010 special election that elected Scott Brown; only 49.7K ballots have been requested, compared with 63.6K at the comparable point in 2010.
    If Mass. Dems lose another easy layup, I'm done with them.
    •  Many reasons for AB requests being lower (6+ / 0-)

      Many elderly and retired folks winter in Florida - the 2010 special was held in January. Weather in January can also be messy, and it did snow on election day - I don't think we need to read much into this.  And I hope you're not done with me - I work hard to get Dems elected!  Many of my firends told me I worked harder than Martha Coakley did in that special...

      Follow our efforts to turn Southern Worcester County (MA) blue! Greater Blackstone Valley Dems

      by AnotherMassachusettsLiberal on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 09:08:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I voted for Markey by absentee today, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fenway49

        as I am having cataract surgery on Monday. The officials were quite lenient in my town, which is mostly Dem. although other city and town clerks are more stringent.

        In any case, the low turnout won't necessarily hurt one party more than the other.

        "One of the greatest tragedies of man's long trek along the highway of history has been the limiting of neighborly concern to tribe, race, class or nation." Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by brae70 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 10:31:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  no election is an easy layup (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brae70, Parthenia

      the horses have to run around the track even when one seems to be the clear favorite

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 09:40:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're done with us? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brae70

      Yes, there was Scott Brown. The only Republican elected to the Senate from MA since 1972. Later in 2010, when the rest of the country was embracing the Tea Party, we were re-electing 10 Democrats to the U.S. House, where we haven't had a Republican since 1996. We also were busy re-electing a progressive governor, and keeping an 80% state House and 90% state Senate. Our LG, AG, Treasurer, SoS, and State Auditor are all Democrats. Obama got 60% here twice, we elected Elizabeth Warren over a popular incumbent, and held all our House seats, one despite major personal scandal.

      We're on our fourth Senate election in four and a half years. We've still got a great GOTV effort, polls showing a lead as big as 20, a HUGE gender gap, and and we're going to be 3-1. I bet there are Democrats in about 45 other states that would love to be us right now.

      As I've said elsewhere and as is said by others here, there are plenty of reasons (not least of which are snow and snowbirds) for more AB requests in January than in June.

      "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

      by fenway49 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 12:23:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the guy that won that '72 seat, Ed Brooke, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fenway49

        was agruably to the left of many of today's Democrats. He was to the left of the man who defeated him in '78, the late Paul Tsongas. Brooke was labor-union endorsed, as I recall.

        "One of the greatest tragedies of man's long trek along the highway of history has been the limiting of neighborly concern to tribe, race, class or nation." Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by brae70 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 01:58:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brae70

          He's not the kind of guy who'd fit in in today's GOP, where Scott Brown and Gomez somehow constitute a left flank.

          "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

          by fenway49 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 03:17:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  i've been watching TV less than 30 minutes (0+ / 0-)

    and I have seen two Gomez ads and one Markey ad.

    one of the Gomez ads was new to me, apparently with debate footage about Markey having 37 years to fix Washington, and Gomez ending by saying "give me 17 months"...

    both the Gomez ads had JUNE 25 in big letters at the end.

    Again, if people turn out, Markey will win.  But I am still worried that too many in the Markey base have no idea the election is so soon.

    I was comforted by a comment here that the Gomez ads are also reminding Markey voters of when the election is!

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 09:37:26 AM PDT

  •  Massachusetts (0+ / 0-)

    A word of warning for "Democratic Victory " solicitors. Please don't use scare tactics while begging for money by citing "A FREAKING REPUBLICAN POLL" showing a razor thin Markey margin. Every reputable poll I've seen has Markey in a solid lead. You're crying wolf when we need to spend money on truly tight races. Our resources are finite. Every race isn't winnable and every race isn't close.I love your intentions but, stop hitting the panic button unnecessarily.

  •  Ed Markey (0+ / 0-)

    Every day I get two or three pleas for money. It seems to me that his staff should be focused on getting out the vote (which is likely a tad complacent with his overwhelming lead in the polls) rather than pestering out-of-staters for money that would be too late to spend.

    •  Well, I live here (0+ / 0-)

      and I've been involved in getting out the vote almost every day for the past two months. There's no complacency on the part of the campaign. Local leaders have had to deliver folding chairs to the local campaign office to accommodate all the interns and volunteers we have. There is NO comparison between this effort and the Coakley campaign.

      "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

      by fenway49 on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 12:25:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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