• Nassau Exec: This story is from the New York Post's Fred Dicker, so the usual level of skepticism applies, but it's worth a read nevertheless. Unnamed Democrats are claiming that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to undermine fellow Democrat Tom Suozzi, who is making a comeback bid for Nassau County executive, and there are actually a few concrete things they point to. For one, it's been two weeks since the primary (which Suozzi won handily), but Cuomo still hasn't endorsed him in his bid to unseat Republican Ed Mangano, who upset Suozzi four years ago.
For another, Cuomo recently sacked Ronald Stack, the independent-minded head of the special state agency created to monitor Nassau's shaky finances, replacing him with someone regarded as a Cuomo loyalist; Stack had been a frequent critic of Mangano's. What's more, Cuomo has recently made several appearances with Mangano while spurning local Democrats.
So what's behind all this? One nameless "Suozzi ally" says that Republicans are afraid that a victorious Suozzi could help Long Island Democrats retake seats in the state Senate, which is currently run by minority Republicans and a handful of renegade Democrats. Cuomo has made his preference for GOP control of the chamber quite clear over the years, so I could definitely believe this.
• GA-Sen: This is awfully thin, but Politico's Manu Raju reports that D.C. Republicans are considering the possibility of spending money to stop Rep. Paul Broun from winning the GOP Senate primary in Georgia. Broun is easily the craziest Republican running, but if an establishment group like the American Action Network or Karl Rove's new Conservative Victory Project opened fire on him, that might only motivate his supporters more. And even if it worked, Republicans could still get saddled with someone like Rep. Phil Gingrey, who isn't much better.
• IA-Sen: We've written a few times about the possibility that Iowa Republicans may be forced to choose their Senate nominee at a statewide convention, if no candidate gets 35 percent in the crowded June primary. State party chair A.J. Spiker has also earned establishment wrath for delaying the convention until mid-July, ostensibly to allow election officials to certify the results of the primary first. But some Republicans (including one state representative on the record) think that Spiker, a former Iowa co-chair for Ron Paul's presidential campaign, wants more time to "to sneak a Paul-allied candidate through a brokered convention."
It's a genuine possibility, too. Spiker successfully manipulated Iowa's chaotic convention process last year to ensure that 22 of the state's 28 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa were Paulists, even though Paul only finished third in the caucuses. Spiker called the notion "absolutely ridiculous," though he refused to rule out the possibility that he himself could wind up as the party's nominee, saying the prospect was only "very unlikely." Sounds like Spiker's keeping his options for mischief open. Democrats have to be pleased.
• KY-Sen: Some Dude Ed Marksberry was never going to be more than a minor irritant for Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in next year's Democratic primary, but now he's poised to become a much bigger irritant. Marksberry says he dropping out of the primary to pursue a bid as an independent, which might harm Grimes in a close race. Marksberry has criticized Grimes for her stance on coal, with lines like "You may be a friend to coal, but I like to say I'm a lover for Mother Earth," so he could draw some votes from disaffected liberals and play spoiler.
• NC-Sen: Despite spending a reported $100,000 to air a TV ad fluffing his name earlier this month, state Senate President Phil Berger has decided against a Senate bid next year. That means state House Speaker Thom Tillis is still the only prominent Republican in the race to unseat Sen. Kay Hagan, but keep your eye on state Sen. Pete Brunstetter, a Berger ally. Last week, Berger and Brunstetter strongly indicated that they had a deal worked out whereby they wouldn't run against one another in the primary, and Berger indicated he'd support Brunstetter if the latter did make a go of it. Now the path is clear for Brunstetter to jump in, and with some big-name backing from Berger.
• NJ-Sen: In their first poll of next month's special election for Senate, Stockton College finds Democrat Cory Booker smashing Republican Steve Lonegan by a 58-32 margin. That's in line with the numbers most other pollsters have seen.
• MD-Gov: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown just earned another big-name establishment endorsement in his bid to win the Democratic nomination for Maryland's open governor's race. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who apparently does not often get involved in primaries, threw her support behind Brown on Sunday. Brown is vying for the Democratic nod with Delegate Heather Mizeur and state Attorney General Doug Gansler, who will formally launch his campaign on Tuesday.
And just ahead of Gansler's entry, Brown is releasing a new internal poll from Garin-Hart-Yang showing his lead in the race increasing slightly. Brown holds a 43-21 edge over Gansler, while Mizeur takes just 5 percent. A year ago, Brown was up 37-23 in a three-way matchup that featured Howard County Executive Ken Ulman instead of Mizeur. (Ulman also got 5 percent in that poll, but now he's Brown's running-mate.) Almost a third of voters are still undecided, though, and the primary is not until June.
• VA-Gov: Sen. Mark Warner stars in Democrat Terry McAuliffe's newest ad, referencing his tenure as Virginia governor (during which he enjoyed considerable popularity) and insisting that McAuliffe will "work with Democrats, Republicans, and independents to create jobs and move Virginia forward."
One stop further downballot, Republican lieutenant governor nominee E.W. Jackson is doing his best to scare off Democrats and independents (and probably some members of his own party, too). From a sermon he gave on Sunday at a Northern Virginia church:
Any time you say, 'There is no other means of salvation but through Jesus Christ, and if you don't know him and you don't follow him and you don't go through him, you are engaged in some sort of false religion,' that's controversial. But it's the truth.House:
• CA-17: The Planned Parenthood Action Fund just endorsed Rep. Mike Honda in his Dem-vs.-Dem battle with former Obama official Ro Khanna in California's 17th District, centered in Silicon Valley. Planned Parenthood's various campaign arms spent over $11 million on outside expenditures last year, though most of it was on the presidential race. This cycle, congressional races will of course take center stage, so this endorsement could involve some real financial support for Honda as well. Also amusing: Khanna sits on the board of his local Planned Parenthood.
• NH-01: Ex-Rep. Frank Guinta, who had been looking at a comeback bid for some time, announced on Monday that he'd seek a rematch against Democrat Carol Shea-Porter. It would be the rubber match between the two: Guinta unseated Shea-Porter by 12 points in the 2010 Republican wave, only to lose to her by 4 just two years later. But Guinta will first have to deal with a contested Republican primary, as outgoing University of New Hampshire business school dean Dan Innis is already seeking the GOP nomination.
• NY-19: Investor and activist Sean Eldridge, who has been gearing up for a congressional bid since February, has finally made his challenge to GOP Rep. Chris Gibson official. Eldridge is married to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and is, as you'd expect, well-connected and very wealthy. However, his candidacy offers some downsides, too: Eldridge is only 27 years old, has never run for office before, and only recently bought a home in the district. But he's already raised an impressive $750,000 and the DCCC seems to think he can give Gibson a very stiff challenge.
P.S. Eldridge also has a welcome video here.
• OR-02: Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum says he's considering a challenge to Rep. Greg Walden in the GOP primary, a longshot bid that might nevertheless help Democrats. That's not because Dems would have a chance at this dark-red seat if Walden were to lose, but rather if Walden is pinned down back home fighting for re-election, that means he'll have less time to spend helping his own party nationally in his role as NRCC chair. Something similar happened in 2006, when then-NRCC chief Tom Reynolds faced a serious general election challenge from Jack Davis that threw him off his game, helping Democrats win back the majority that year.
• NJ Legislature: With Gov. Chris Christie remaining stubbornly popular at the top of the ticket, will he offer coattails to fellow Republicans running for the legislature this fall? New polling from Rutgers-Eagleton suggests that Christie's downballot effect will be limited. Likely voters say they plan to support Democratic candidates by a 49-32 margin for the state Assembly and a similar 50-35 spread for the state Senate. Of course, generic ballot questions such as these don't address the circumstances of individual races, and Republicans would need only four pickups to deadlock the Senate at 20 seats apiece.
To ward off that possibility, some well-connected D.C. Democrats have created a new state-level super PAC with the non-descript name of "the Fund for Jobs, Growth and Security" that has begun been spending heavily in New Jersey. One of their biggest outlays so far was a $312,000 television ad buy attacking Republican Niki Trunk, who is running against state Senate President Stephen Sweeney. According to our preliminary calculations, Obama took about 55 percent last year in Sweeney's 3rd District, so given the tendency of Democratic turnout to drop off in off-year elections, this could be a competitive seat.
• SD Mayor: Nineteen candidates submitted the required 200 signatures in order to appear on the Nov. 19 ballot for the special election for mayor in San Diego, necessitated by Bob Filner's resignation last month. The list includes the four expected big names: former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, and City Councilmen David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer. Faulconer is the lone Republican in the field. (We mis-identified Aguirre as a Republican in a previous Digest.)
With this lopsided lineup, Democrats have to hope that Faulconer can't clear 50 percent in the first round, which would force a runoff. Fortunately, given the size of the field, an outright win in the first round seems like a tough task for Faulconer, but the actual number of candidates won't be known until Wednesday, when election officials expect to have finished verifying the signatures they've received.
• Special Elections: From Johnny Longtorso:
California AD-52: This is the runoff for the seat formerly held by Democrat Norma Torres. The candidates are Democrat Freddie Rodriguez and independent Paul Leon. Normally a Dem-Indy runoff would not be very noteworthy, but Leon is a Republican who bolted from his party after losing to Torres for a special election to the state Senate.Democratic candidates combined for 61 percent of the vote in the first round back in July.
• Congress: As a counterpoint to its "50 richest members of Congress" piece, Roll Call takes a look at the ten "poorest" members as well. "Poorest" is in quotation makes, though, because most of those who makes the list own considerable assets in addition to their (larger) debts, typically mortgages. Deepest in the hole is California Republican Rep. David Valadao, who owns farms worth more than a $1 million but also owes over $5 million in loans. At the end of the piece, there are also seven members who list having no assets whatsoever—an alternative and perhaps more realistic definition of "poorest"—the worst off of whom is Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert, who's in hock for $610,000.
• Demographics: Pew Research's Hispanic Trends Project takes a look at the population of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. and finds that the numbers are starting to creep up again, after several years of decline in the late '00s concurrent with the financial crisis. Estimates for 2012 were 11.7 million, up from 11.3 million in 2009, which in turn was a drop from the peak in 2007 at 12.2 million. The implication is pretty clear: Immigration varies based on the strength of the economy.
One interesting sidenote: While Mexico is the most common country of origin among unauthorized immigrants, the number of Mexican unauthorized immigrants has been steadily falling since peaking in 2007, down to 6.0 million from 6.9 million. The current small growth in the numbers is driven entirely by migration from places other than Mexico.
Pew also includes charts with the growth trends broken down by specific states; unauthorized immigrant populations continue to grow in Texas, while they've fallen appreciably in other large states. And perhaps you're wondering what the electoral angle is on all this, since these immigrants aren't eligible to vote? Many of them have children who are citizens, who'll be voting once they come of age. (David Jarman)
Fundraising: Here are the August fundraising numbers for the six major party committees (July's are here):
|Committee||Aug. Receipts||Aug. Spent||Cash-on-Hand||CoH Change||Debt|