• MA-05: Progressives are lucky in the MA-05 special, since for once, it seems like we have a Democratic primary without your classic corporatist "centrist" threatening to muck things up (though state Sen. Will Brownsberger is definitely an odd duck in sort of a Russ Feingold mold). To get a sense of where the various candidates stand, David Kravitz at Blue Mass Group has helpfully rounded up data from a group called Progressive Massachusetts, which has highlighted 37 state Senate roll calls where they've identified a "progressive" position.
That allows for a direct comparison between the three senators running: Brownsberger, Karen Spilka, and Katherine Clark. Progressive Mass. has also done the same for the state House so that you can check out state Rep. Carl Sciortino's voting record; most of the votes don't line up with what the Senate voted on, but Kravitz identifies the areas of overlap.
And since we now have the data for both the state House and Senate, I also thought it would be interesting to see how each legislator's district went in last year's presidential election. I'm also including county-level results for the fifth candidate in the race, Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian:
Spilka (2nd Middlesex and Norfolk: 59-39 ObamaI don't necessarily know that these numbers track ideology in any reliable way in this particular case, but it is worth pointing out that Sciortino, who has been trying to sell himself as the most progressive option, also represents the bluest seat.
Clark (5th Middlesex): 59-39 Obama
Brownsberger (2nd Suffolk and Middlesex): 71-26 Obama
Sciortino (34th Middlesex): 78-20 Obama
Koutoujian (Middlesex County): 63-35 Obama
• AR-Sen: So we have two new Republican polls out on the Arkansas Senate race, and both tell slightly different stories. One is from the Polling Company, on behalf of the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website; they have Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor up 45-43, which is actually one of his best scores to date. The NRSC, meanwhile, has new numbers from OnMessage (PDF), which has Cotton ahead 44-42. One thing we haven't seen, though, are any Democratic surveys here that might contradict the notion that Pryor is in the low-to-mid-40s.
• KY-Sen: I'm not sure we ever figured out whether Progress Kentucky was run by agents provocateurs conducting a false flag operation, or just a bunch of stone-cold morans, but either way, the super PAC has bit the dust.
• MA-Gov: There are several weird things about this new Suffolk University poll of next year's gubernatorial race. First off, it was commissioned by state Rep. Dan Winslow, who says he's interested in running for attorney general, but he released no information about himself. Second, since when does Suffolk conduct internals? Media clients are one thing, but it's rather unusual to see a school take work from candidates.
Third, as for the actual numbers Winslow did share, they're all about proving that businessman Gabriel Gomez (who beat Winslow badly in the special GOP Senate primary earlier this year) would boost the Republican ticket were he to serve as 2010 nominee Charlie Baker's running mate. However, AG Martha Coakley (whose job Winslow is eyeing), still leads a Baker/Gomez ticket 50-39; Baker does even worse—"the low 30s"—when lesser lights are included for lieutenant governor.
Treasurer Steve Grossman, meanwhile, trails the Baker/Gomez duo, 41-38, though he leads the other pairings by 5-7 points. I can't really tell if Winslow is trying to push Coakley or Gomez into running, or both. Like I say, weird poll.
• SC-Gov: A little while back, GOP Gov. Nikki Haley goofed around and pretended like she might not run again, trying to squeeze out some sympathy by claiming a re-election bid might be "too much on the family." Unsurprisingly, she's not bowing out: A spokesman now says he has a formal kickoff planned for Aug. 26. Haley will likely face a rematch against state Sen. Vincent Sheheen next year.
• CA-17, HI-Sen: The liberal activist group MoveOn has issued its first endorsements of the cycle, in both cases on behalf of Democratic incumbents who are facing primary challenges from less progressive opponents. In the Silicon Valley area, they're backing Rep. Mike Honda, whom former Commerce Dept. official Ro Khanna is hoping to unseat, while in Hawaii, they're supporting Sen. Brian Schatz, who is being challenged by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.
• ID-02: Better elections through chemistry: The American Chemistry Council is firing up the Bunsen burners on behalf of Rep. Mike Simpson, who faces a challenge from Club for Growth-backed attorney Bryan Smith in the GOP primary. They're running a rather generic TV ad praising Simpson, who is "working to protect and create jobs" and whose top priority is to "cut government to grow our economy." There's no word on the size of the buy, though Idaho of course is a very cheap state to advertise in.
• LA-05: Rep. Steve Scalise has endorsed state Sen. Neil Riser to replace soon-to-resign Rep. Rodney Alexander, making him the third GOP congressman in Louisiana to do so. If any other Republicans still want to run in this fall's special election, they'll be facing a serious establishment headwind. That's not stopping state Rep. Jay Morris, though. Morris, a conservative who, in his brief tenure as a legislator, regularly opposed GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget priorities from the right, says he plans to join the race and will make a formal announcement later.
• MA-06: The NRCC has provided toplines to Roll Call from their latest Harper Polling survey, which have ex-state Sen. Richard Tisei up 42-40 over Dem Rep. John Tierney in a hypothetical rematch. Of course, the polling was badly off in this race last year, and we don't have any crosstabs or other data with which to examine this poll, so there's not much to say here. However, as Darth Jeff reminds us, the last time Harper publicly released a poll from the Bay State, the NRSC sneered: "It might as well have been written in crayon." (Amusingly, though, the Crayolas turned out to be right in that case.)
• NC-06: Though North Carolina's 6th District is very red (it went 58-41 for Mitt Romney last year), it sounds like Democrats have landed a potentially credible candidate in the form of Laura Fjeld, a former top administrator for the University of North Carolina system. Veteran GOP Rep. Howard Coble, who has experienced health issues in recent years, has not yet said whether he'll seek re-election. If he doesn't, a Republican free-for-all could ensue, which might include Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger, Jr., son of state Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger.
• NYC Mayor: The candidates for mayor have just filed new fundraising reports, but this is a topic we haven't discussed very much simply because everyone who matters is abiding by a $6.7 million spending cap for the Democratic primary, in order to qualify for public financing. That means there's also a maximum amount of fundraising anyone will bother to do, since there's no point in raising money you can't spend. Both City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio are close to maxing out, though former Comptroller Bill Thompson is about $1 million shy. (Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner's in a somewhat different situation, since he got into the race so late.)
The reports also tell us that Quinn has spent $600,000 on her initial round of television advertising; de Blasio is the only other candidate on the air, but he went up after the filings were due. (He's reportedly spending $800,000.)
And while we're on the topic, the folks at CUNY have published an awesome new NYC Elections Atlas, complete with the kind of detailed maps they've become known for. Focusing on this year's crop of candidates, they have the results of the last time each ran in a primary for citywide office (in 2009 for everyone but Weiner, who ran for mayor in 2005), with all kinds of filters you can include, like race, income, and occupation.
• Demographics: If you're a regular Daily Kos Elections reader, you're probably already intimately familiar with two arguments: one, that Texas is on a steady trajectory toward becoming a blue state but that it'll take several long, irritating decades to come to full fruition (requiring the state's many young Latinos to age into the voting pool) ... and two, that the Kentucky Senate race is polling pretty evenly right now but that the contest probably still narrowly favors incumbent Mitch McConnell because of the state's overall reddish hue and sharp move toward the GOP in its once-strongly-Dem western and eastern corners.
What do these arguments have in common? Just that they're both the subject of interesting new articles (the former from the New Republic's Nate Cohn, the latter from Real Clear Politics' Sean Trende) where the takeaways aren't surprising, but the infographics really make the storylines come alive. In Cohn's case, it's graphs of different scenarios (different Latino turnout levels, or the impact of comprehensive immigration reform) and how that affects when the Texas tipping point occurs; in Trende's case, it's maps of the different cultural regions of the Bluegrass State and how they've trended in recent decades. (David Jarman)
• OR GOP: Hahah!