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Leading Off:

House: Good news! Sam Wang does some extrapolation work on those PPP polls of 24 GOP-held districts that MoveOn released over the weekend. He finds that the average swing in those seats projects to a 12-point Democratic advantage on the overall House ballot next year, which he says would be good for a 30-seat pickup—and the majority. (That's based on an average 10.9-point swing in these polls, added to Dems' 1.5 percent advantage in total House votes in 2012... though that runs into the problem of expecting a 2012 turnout model in a midterm.)

Bad news! Mark Blumenthal points out that there is a problem with making any sort of dramatic leap based on "generic Dem" polling, and he demonstrates that by looking back at two similar rounds of PPP polling on behalf of House Majority PAC in Oct. 2011 and Jan. 2012. In 18 of those 20 races, most of which were based on testing incumbents against "someone else" rather than a named opponent or even a generic Democrat, the results were overly favorable for Team Blue, based on the Democrats' actual performances in Nov. 2012. It's worth noting, though, that Democrats nevertheless won 9 of those 20 races, just mostly by margins smaller than those predicted a year earlier.

Doesn't matter! As Harry Enten observes, regardless of whether or not you think the PPP results have any generalizability to what happens in Nov. 2014, MoveOn succeeded, in that they got large media outlets suddenly talking about the possibility of Dems flipping the House. The real victory, in fact, is that these polls may have spurred more interest among potential Democratic recruits, as reported Tuesday by Greg Sargent. (And see our NE-02 bullet below.) So far, the lack of more than, say, a dozen imposing recruits has been the main problem with Democratic plans to capture 17 House seats, but coverage of better Dem House odds creates something of a virtuous circle where better odds means better recruits and better recruits mean better odds. (David Jarman)

3Q Fundraising:

GA-Sen: Michelle Nunn (D): $1.7 million raised, $1.4 million cash-on hand; Jack Kingston (R): $800,000 raised, $2.9 million cash-on-hand. Very impressive first haul from Nunn.

CA-17: Rep. Mike Honda (D): $385,000 raised, $550,000 cash-on-hand; Ro Khanna (D): $504,000 raised, $1.9 million cash-on-hand.

CA-25: Rep. Buck McKeon (R): $209,000 raised, $624,000 cash-on-hand; Lee Rogers (D): $227,000 raised, $170,000 cash-on-hand. Interesting to see the unheralded Rogers, who is waging a rematch, outraise McKeon, who may retire.

ID-02: Rep. Mike Simpson (R): $437,000 raised, $600,000 cash-on-hand; Bryan Smith: $275,000 raised, $300,000 cash-on-hand. Looks like Simpson is taking his Club for Growth-backed primary challenger seriously.

MN-07: Rep. Collin Peterson (D): $82,000 raised, $227,000 cash-on-hand. Another soft quarter from Peterson, who hasn't decided whether to seek re-election, but this kind of off-year fundraising is typical for him.


AR-Sen: Sen. Mark Pryor and his Republican opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton, are out with dueling ads, and the most notable aspect is that Pryor's directly addresses the shutdown while Cotton avoids mentioning it altogether.

In Cotton's spot (his first of the campaign), he tries to make the spurious claim that Pryor voted for "special subsidies" so that he'd be "protected from Obamacare." On the merits, this is absolute bullshit. (Short version: The ACA requires lawmakers and congressional staffers to get their healthcare through the new exchanges, even though those are designed for people who do not get health insurance through their employers. Like typical employers, the federal government had always paid for part of its employees' health coverage, so these "special subsidies" are simply a continuation of those premium contributions.) Whether this bogus attack gains any traction is a different question.

Meanwhile, the first half of Pryor's ad tries to denigrate Cotton's commercial as "silly" and untruthful, while the second accuses him of missing votes to attend a fundraiser in Texas when Congress "was debating whether to shut down the government." The two roll calls Cotton missed were on non-controversial bills that came to the floor just days before the shutdown. There's no word on the size of either buy.

KS-Sen: Tea partying radiologist Milton Wolf, who has parlayed his status as a second cousin of Barack Obama's into a bit of minor celebrity on the right-wing media circuit, has decided to go forward with his challenge to Sen. Pat Roberts in the GOP primary. Aside from that slim claim to fame, though, Wolf is a longshot.

LA-Sen: Unfortunately there's no link, but local Louisiana tipsheet Fax-Net reports that Republican state Rep. Alan Seabaugh is considering a bid for Senate. Conservatives have long been unhappy with Rep. Bill Cassidy, the establishment choice, but retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, the likeliest tea party alternative, hasn't gained a lot of traction. Could Seabaugh be the answer that movement conservatives are looking for?

Perhaps, but it won't be easy, particularly because Maness' presence in the race means they'd likely be splitting the same pile of votes. However, Seabaugh hails from the exact opposite corner of the state as Maness, so he might be able to carve out his own base in the Shreveport area in Louisiana's northwest. (Both Maness and Cassidy are from the southeastern part of the state.) Seabaugh's still weighing his options, though, but he says he "would like to have the decision made by the first of next year."

NJ-Sen: Rasmussen Reports: Cory Booker (D): 53, Steve Lonegan (R): 41 (June: 50-33 Booker). Fairleigh Dickinson: 45-29 Booker. Note that FDU is using the same sample for its Senate and gubernatorial polls (see below), even though each race will have a different electorate.


NJ-Gov: Fairleigh Dickinson: Gov. Chris Christie (R): 58, Barbara Buono (D): 25.

VA-Gov: Three more Virginia polls, three more pieces of bad news for Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Democrat Terry McAuliffe continues to lead, as he has for months, and penniless Libertarian Robert Sarvis keeps racking up a surprisingly high share of the vote:

PPP/Harper: McAuliffe 44, Cuccinelli 35, Sarvis 12

Christopher Newport: McAuliffe 47, Cuccinelli 38, Sarvis 8

Roanoke: McAuliffe 40, Cuccinelli 34, Sarvis 9

And yep, that last poll is from the notoriously GOP-leaning Roanoke College. Ordinarily I don't even pay attention to their results, but if Roanoke finds Cuccinelli trailing.... Anyhow, as for that first poll, yes, dogs and cats are living together: PPP and Harper Polling collaborated on a survey for Politico (though it's actually not the first time they've worked together).

Christopher Newport University and Roanoke both have downballot numbers as well, though at least in CNU's case, they differ considerably from those we've seen elsewhere. CNU has Democrat Ralph Northam leading Republican E.W. Jackson 48-37; most other pollsters have found a tighter race, as Roanoke does, with Northam up 39-35. The contest for attorney general is much closer all around. CNU finds Democrat Mark Herring leading Republican Mark Obenshain 45-42, while Roanoke goes the other way, with Obenshain on top 38-35.

And while it might feel like Terry McAuliffe could win at this point even if he started paying to air clips of his Hawaiian-shirt-clad, rum-bottle-hoisting TV appearance in 2008, he's still forging ahead with actual ads. In fact, he rolled out three new spots on Tuesday: two separate 15-second clips featuring Average Joe Businessmen endorsing McAuliffe as a job creator (here and here), and a 30-second ad hitting Ken Cuccinelli on his school-funding policies. (David Nir & David Jarman)


FL-10: Democrats talked about recruiting former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings for a rematch with GOP Rep. Dan Webster almost immediately after her tough three-and-a-half-point loss last November. Demings still hasn't decided, but now she's also talking about a possible bid for Orange County mayor. That post is up next year and is currently held by a Republican, Teresa Jacobs, but it offers much friendlier turf: Obama won the county 59-40 in 2012, while he lost FL-10 by a 53-46 margin.

FL-18: A shot at the GOP nomination to go up against Democratic freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy seems to be catnip for penny-ante local officials, though Republicans may still be holding out hope for someone higher up the food chain in what should, on paper, be one of their best House pickup opportunities. Former Tequesta (pop. 5,629) City Councilor Calvin Turnquest just jumped into the race, no doubt brimming with confidence, seeing as how his name rec is likely to be nearly double that of Juno Beach (pop. 3,176) City Councilor Ellen Andel. (David Jarman)

MI-03: Just a day after state Sen. Mark Jansen said he was thinking about challenging Rep. Justin Amash in the GOP primary, businessman Brian Ellis formally launched his campaign to do just that. A report last month said Ellis was likely to kick off his bid in October, so the move is not a surprise. But it also makes sense that he'd want to get ahead of Jansen, since Ellis' odds of unseating Amash are almost certainly higher in a two-way race than in a three-way.

NE-02: Good news, sports fans: In the wake of GOP Rep. Lee Terry's "dang straight" gaffe, Omaha City Councilman Pete Festersen, who had previously declined to challenge Terry, now says he's reconsidering. Terry, who won by just two points last year, received heapings of abuse for blithely insisting he'd collect his paycheck while hundreds of thousands of government workers go without, but Democrats hadn't yet landed a candidate to take him on. Terry soon apologized (and changed his mind about those paychecks), but the damage was done, and Democrats renewed their entreaties to Festersen. Festersen says his "phone is ringing off the hook," but he hasn't offered a timetable for a (new) decision.

Other Races:

Seattle Mayor: It appears that, for the first time ever, PPP has polled the Seattle mayoral race, on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters, which is supporting state Sen. Ed Murray. However, everything's pretty much the same as what we've seen before. Much as SurveyUSA found last month, Murray leads incumbent Mike McGinn by over 20 points, having consolidated most of the non-McGinn votes from the primary. PPP puts Murray's edge at 52-28, while SUSA had it at a very similar 52-30. (David Jarman)

Grab Bag:

Census: The Pew Research Center has put together a comprehensive list of links to sites that offer work-arounds for accessing Census Bureau data while the bureau's website is offline during the shutdown.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I see Republicans setting us up (9+ / 0-)

    For a 2006 style election if they go full on tank the economy again. I don't think they mind doing it either, heck remember they are the ones who rejected TARP the first time and now the party is full of even more nuts than then.

    Hey you, dont tell me theres no hope at all Together we stand, divided we fall.

    by marcvstraianvs on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 05:04:05 AM PDT

    •  They are delusional... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, ColoTim, Christopher Walker, askew

      at least the Tea Partiers are, and for whatever reason the rest of the Party seems determined to follow them to the cliff's edge - possibly right over it.

      Sen. Toomey (R-PA) was on Morning Joe spouting the party line: it won't matter if we default on our debts, Oct 17 is an arbitrary date, we have enough money on hand to cover most of our immediate debts, etc.

      He said it all with a straight face. It was hard to tell if he actually believed what he was saying or if he's just a really good liar. Probably a bit of both.

      Cognitive Dissonance, thy name is GOP.

      As for rising inequality, many on the right don’t even think it’s a problem...Conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less ~ E.J. Dionne

      by AuroraDawn on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 06:00:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's bad enough when they deny basic science (4+ / 0-)

        from climate change and evolution to women's health, but to have them now deny Economics 101 and what happens to countries that default on their debts is mind-boggling.

        I'm not sure if they are lying or just willfully ignorant.

        I hope the Chamber of Commerce types who helped bankroll these nuts can either reel them in or are prepared for the outcome.

        Filibuster reform, 2013 - woulda, coulda, shoulda.

        by bear83 on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 06:34:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some of the Tea Partiers (if not all)... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim, bear83

          genuinely believe that defaulting on our debt won't harm the economy. In fact, some are arguing that it might actually be a good thing. I can't remember which lunatic congressman made the latter claim. He insisted it would "send a message to the world" that we are economically prudent, and serious about reducing our debt. Then there was the guy who told Chris Matthews that he understood complex international economics because he had "raised a family", and that he didn't trust economists, left or right.

          The true believers are terrifying.

          John Boehner, however, isn't a true believer. He's just a mendacious, cowardly opportunist. So are the other "moderates" in the Republican Party. John McCain claimed to be "ashamed" yesterday. He should be. The moderates may be (comparatively) sane, but they're gutless.

          I hope the Chamber of Commerce types who helped bankroll these nuts can either reel them in or are prepared for the outcome.
          This is my hope, too, because if our economy's well-being is dependant on Boehner growing a spine, we're doomed. He doesn't have the courage to do the right thing. It will take some figurative arm-twisting.

          As for rising inequality, many on the right don’t even think it’s a problem...Conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less ~ E.J. Dionne

          by AuroraDawn on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 06:47:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  he is sort of right (0+ / 0-)

        From what I hear the major problems wouldn't happen until Nov 1st. After that they pay the interest on the debt and pick and choose what else to pay.
        Eventually SS checks would probably stop and we would have anarchy. Nothing worse than irate senior citizens.

        •  Even if it is an "arbitrary date"... (0+ / 0-)

          and they have another two weeks (hardly a big difference), there is no possible way that things will be just fine and dandy - as he claimed - if we default. Picking and choosing what to pay, possibly leaving Medicare and SS recipients in the lurch, is not "fine". He's nuts.

          As for rising inequality, many on the right don’t even think it’s a problem...Conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less ~ E.J. Dionne

          by AuroraDawn on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 07:29:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Chris Matthews actually made a good point on that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Ok, so lets grant them that Oct. 17th isn't the REAL date.

        That gives us what, another week? What's the difference if the date is Oct. 17th or Oct. 24th? What's going to happen in that week if they're not going to pass a debt ceiling raise anyway?

        The real problem is that a lot of these Rand Paul types IMO actually believe this Ayn Rand nonsense. It's not just a political ploy.

        Conservative ideology is basically a religion. Facts are irrelevant.

        When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

        by PhillyJeff on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:28:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The real date (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The real date might make a difference in the state election in VA, NJ, and NC if it comes just before election day.

          In VA, remember, a lot of federal workers will have to start paying their personal bills, and will have the day off to vote.

        •  Well said. (0+ / 0-)
          Conservative ideology is basically a religion. Facts are irrelevant.
          And if we do default, they'll just blame Obama and liberals for whatever follows.

          As for rising inequality, many on the right don’t even think it’s a problem...Conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less ~ E.J. Dionne

          by AuroraDawn on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 07:51:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  tarp didn't happen until 2008 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The 2006 election was pretty much about how unpopular the Iraq war was and they had a few scandals thrown in also.
      The house is more gerrymandered now than back then but the hardcore tea party nuts have stated they don't mind losing the house to complete their goal of destroying the govt.

  •  MI-Gov: Snyder deposed in Detroit bankruptcy (5+ / 0-)

    This has to be exceedingly rare: a sitting governor having to answer to union lawyers over a municipal bankruptcy filing.  Looks like the expanded EM law cuts both ways, huh?  This is what happens when you directly insert the state into the day-to-day governance of a city the size of Detroit.

    Snyder is smart, so he'g going to utter as few words as possible, but you can't ever be 100% immune from getting caught up saying something pulled out of you by a skilled lawyer.

  •  3 more ledes on Lee Rogers (3+ / 0-)

    1. His "waging a rematch"-- should be done by every first-time Dem candidate (unless their first run shows them to be incompetent), because typically more than one cycle is needed to sufficiently narrow the 'familiarity gap' enjoyed by incumbents.

    2. He exceeded expectations in his first run, which was underfunded, against a very well-funded long-time incumbent.

    3. He is a Doctor (specialist in amputation prevention), which is a good profile for Dem candidates in the era of ACA roll-out.

  •  While you people obsess... (6+ / 0-)

    over facts, numbers and such, some of us have REAL problems to worry about.

    I saw Mark Sanford on Morning Joe today, and I have to say, I was impressed by his fortitude. Not a tear in sight. The least Joe and Mika could have done was offer their condolences. Didn't they understand what a personal tragedy this shutdown is for Sanford?

    He can no longer hike the Appalachian Trail!

    The Appalachian Trail is now officially closed across the approximately 700 miles managed by the National Park Service. Because of the shutdown, all National Park Service – Volunteers In Parks (VIP) and USDA Forest Service - Volunteer In Forests (VIF) volunteer programs will be terminated. Therefore, for the duration of the shutdown, the ATC will not be able to engage with volunteers in activities on the Trail, Trail facilities, or Trail lands. We also are required to close our visitor center in Boiling Springs, PA.
    Have you Liberals no shame? First you force these people to use stinky gym towels. (You don't expect them to bring their own towels from home, do you? That would be such a plebian thing to do. ) Now you take away this man's last refuge.

    As for rising inequality, many on the right don’t even think it’s a problem...Conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less ~ E.J. Dionne

    by AuroraDawn on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 05:51:57 AM PDT

  •  Poll all you want (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Until I see apathetic democratic voters actually turnout for an off year election, I'm still skeptical about us taking the House in 2014.

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 05:55:27 AM PDT

  •  Another poll shows Repub slaughter over shutdown (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This one from AP/Gfpk, which is the first poll they have taken via the internet. Not good numbers for Obama or the dems either, but atrocious for the repubs:

  •  I'll believe it when I see it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Republicans actually vote, most of the Democrats I know just like to complain about Republicans but only vote in Presidential elections.  That being said, I reminded about 20 people I ran into yesterday that it was election day in Albuquerque for Mayor and City Council.  I may not be buying all this hype, but I do try and get out the vote.

    Clevinger, the Corporal and Colonel Korn agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything. -Joseph Heller, Catch-22

    by SW Thinker on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 07:10:44 AM PDT

  •  Maybe this polling might get the national (0+ / 0-)

    groups (DCCC, DSCC and DNC) to get off their collective asses and have them support more candidates.  I don't think they'll ever resurrect the 50 state strategy - too many of them are friends with Republicans (looking at DNC chair Wasserman-Schultz) to want them out across the board, but maybe they'll actually try and compete more places by putting their dollars there instead of sitting in bank accounts.  That would also make the Dems more competitive, which would make more and better Dem candidates run, which could result in better results - hey!  That's a good prescription.  I wonder why the national groups refuse year after year to do that?

  •  Tom Jensen of PPP (0+ / 0-)

    does a good job of pushing back at criticism of his recent House polls by Mark Blumenthal and Nate Cohn. Jensen points out that the October 2011 PPP polls that Blumenthal and Cohn point to are not really comparable to the October 2013 polls.

    And it's true. They are apples to oranges. The 2011 House polls from PPP were standard "will you reelect this Congressman or give someone else a chance" whereas the 2013 House polls were "will you reelect this Congressman or vote for a Democrat".

    There's significantly more incentive for respondents to say they want to "give someone else a chance" than "vote for a Democrat". Thusly, the 2011 polls had a significantly higher chance of being inaccurate than do the 2013 polls.

  •  Whether it counts in Nov. of '14 (0+ / 0-)

    depends to a great degree how deeply we tie the particular GOP reps with the debacle.

    If you live in a red district, then you sort of have your target picked out. Send him a gift-wrapped anchor.

    If, like me, you live in a blue district, then you have a choice. Don't fight over the choice, choose somebody near or some district to which you have historical ties. then make your voice heard in tying him to the chutdown and threatened default.

  •  "Polls that are a year before the election are ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MetroGnome, Jorge Harris

    ...unreliable." I've been hearing that a lot, but it's not necessarily true.

    For example, I remember looking at presidential election polling in the summer of 2007 and was able to see that the Democratic nominee (whether that be Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama) would have the upper hand on the Republican in the states of Iowa and Virginia.

    Speaking of Clinton vs. Obama, I remember looking at the polling for the Democratic Iowa caucuses in early 2007 and was able to conclude Iowa was one of Clinton's weakest states. I remember Obama's win (or perhaps rather Clinton's loss) came as a surprise to many, but it wasn't to me.

    My point is: early polling (like a year before) can be accurate.

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