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Leading Off:

KY-Sen: Late on Thursday, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes released her own internal polling, showing her with a narrow lead on GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell, just as PPP's did earlier in the day. Grimes's survey, from the Mellman Group, has her up 44-42 over McConnell, similar to the 45-44 edge PPP gave her. However, McConnell's job approvals are considerably worse, at an abysmal 38-58, as opposed to PPP's merely lousy 40-51 score.

As Taniel puts it, there are two ways of reading this pair of polls. One is that a five-term incumbent stuck at in the low-to-mid 40s is screwed; the other is that a Democrat getting 44-45 percent of the vote is still a long way from 50 in Kentucky. Still, there's always the matter of the dog that didn't bark—that is to say, we haven't seen any contradictory numbers from legitimate GOP sources. Until we do, the proverbial ball is in McConnell's court.

P.S. Three very conservative senators, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, and Mike Lee, have all declined to endorse McConnell over businessman Matt Bevin, who's challenging him in the GOP primary. I think this may say more about this reluctant trio (who would only be courting tea partier ire if they backed McConnell) than it does about McConnell himself, but it's pretty sad when a Republican Senate leader doesn't even command the support of members of his own caucus.


MI-Sen: GOP Rep. Dave Camp, who just the other day made an about-face and announced he was seriously considering a Senate run, certainly isn't making things any easier for himself. Camp just said that he'll decide by January. Yes, successful Senate campaigns have been launched in the same year as the election before, but Camp already faces tough demographics, a contested primary, and a well-prepared opponent in Gary Peters, who has the Democratic nomination to himself. For Camp to voluntarily shrink his available ramp-up time, especially while ex-SoS Terri Lynn Land makes the rounds of county fairs and party gatherings, doesn't make a whole lot of sense.


AK-Gov: Former Valdez Mayor Bill Walker, who had been challenging Gov. Sean Parnell in the GOP primary, has decided instead to run as an independent. In explaining the move, Walker sharply criticized his Republican colleagues, particularly over a newly enacted oil tax cut that may be subject to a "people's veto" next year. And it seems like he has at least a few credible supporters: A former state GOP chair and the current head of the state AFL-CIO joined him at the news conference where he announced this change of plans.

Back in the 1990s, Democrat Tony Knowles twice rode to victory as governor because of splits in the Republican ranks. Could something similar happen again? So far, Democrats are still waiting on a gubernatorial candidate, though this development may make the race more enticing. However, if labor is more interested in backing Walker than a Democrat, that would make a tough bank shot even tougher.

VA-Gov: The Washington Post reports that the SEC is investigating GreenTech Automotive, an electric car company co-founded by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, over allegations that the company may have defrauded foreign investors. Specifics on the inquiry are thin, and McAuliffe, who resigned as chair of the company last year, says he has "no knowledge of any investigation," according to a spokesman.


NH-Sen, -01, -02: The mercurial UNH also has some new favorability numbers for the Granite State's three Democratic members of Congress who are up for re-election next year—Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, and Rep. Annie Kuster—and also for several potential Republican challengers, though most have very low name recognition.

Other Races:

AK Ballot: By a 46-30 margin, Alaska voters are opposed to Senate Bill 21, which, as PPP explains in its question on the subject, would "cut taxes on oil profits." Organizers have submitted signatures to place the new law on the ballot next year for a possible "people's veto" and are waiting for the Secretary of State to verify their petitions. Assuming that happens, energy companies will undoubtedly spend millions of dollars to defeat the effort, and these poll numbers are likely to change. But for a conservative state, this is a bad initial showing for a tax cut.

Grab Bag:

Twitter: Here at Daily Kos Elections, we have our folkways—our tropes, our in-jokes, our very own patois, if you will. It can occasionally be a little daunting to newcomers (people still often ask me what "WATN?" means), but we also offer guides to the perplexed in the form of our Living Glossary and Guide to DKE Memes. However, a far weirder species of junkie, the Political Reporter, spends time on Twitter making all sorts of cracks that may be inscrutable to outsiders, so Business Insider has helpfully put together a list of themes this crowd regularly runs with. Some of these appear in our pages (like nos. 2 & 3; no. 4 definitely sounds like a variant on loserspeak), but some are new to me. A smart take, for sure.

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

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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