8:44 AM PT: Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso recaps Tuesday's legislative action:
Missouri HD-67: Democrat Alan Green easily held this seat for his party, winning a four-way race with 68 percent of the vote. Independent Tony Weaver and Republican Dwayne Strickland tied for second, each taking 15 percent, while Libertarian Jeff Coleman brought up the rear with 2 percent.
Missouri HD-120: Republican Shawn Sisco won a short-lived victory, defeating Democrat Zech Hockersmith by a 71-29 margin while at the same time losing the GOP primary for the regularly scheduled November general election to Jason Chipman.
Missouri HD-151: Republicans also held this seat, with Tila Rowland Hubrecht defeating Democrat Ryan Holder by a 64-36 margin.
10:04 AM PT: Tuesday night brought us primaries in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. Here's a recap of all the action, with Daily Kos Elections' race ratings appended to the end of each summary.
Daily Kos released a late poll of the primary, using Google Consumer Surveys, and found Roberts ahead 53-39. For a primary, this result was quite reasonable: just 5 points off for Roberts and only 2 for Wolf. A SurveyUSA poll a couple of weeks earlier, by contrast, had Roberts ahead 50-30.
What's also interesting is that the Google poll was conducted entirely in a single morning the day before the election, a method that traditional polling could not have replicated (and which would have cost far more had anyone even tried). If voter preferences are moving quickly toward the end of a volatile campaign, which may well have been the case here, this approach allows researchers to capture that shift as closely as possible. For a strictly online poll, these results are a promising sign for the future.
In November, Roberts will face Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor, who narrowly beat attorney Patrick Wiesner, 53-37, for the Democratic nomination. Kansas hasn't elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1932, but wealthy independent Greg Orman is also in the mix, and he's already been spending freely on TV ads. (Safe R)
• KS-01 (R): Rep. Tim Huelskamp turned in a pathetic showing against his Some Dude opponent, Alan LaPolice, winning by just 55-45. Big agribusiness was unhappy with Huelskamp's tea-fueled enthusiasm for cutting their precious federal subsidies, but they failed to put real oomph behind the underfunded LaPolice. Next time, Huelskamp could well go down.
Incidentally, Huelskamp's own polling utterly failed to show the danger he faced: A month ago, The Polling Company had him up 50 points. Even a more recent Remington Research poll for a super PAC that had backed LaPolice had Huelskamp winning 50-29. Yeah, the race probably closed late, and polling primaries is hard, but it shouldn't be this hard. (Safe R)
• KS-04 (R): Under other circumstances, Rep. Mike Pompeo's 63-37 win wouldn't seem hugely impressive. But his opponent was the man he succeeded in Congress, ex-Rep. Todd Tiahrt, so his victory was actually quite decisive—and humiliating for Tiahrt. SurveyUSA had Pompeo up just 46-39 with a couple of weeks to go, so they missed this one. (Safe R)
• MI-03 (R): Rep. Justin Amash has long infuriated establishment Republicans with his glibertarian propensities, but he nevertheless held on to fight another day. Businessman Brian Ellis fell short, losing 57-43. A furious Amash refused to accept Ellis' concession call, citing ads Ellis ran calling Amash "Al Qaeda's best friend in Congress." Amash demanded an apology from Ellis, and he also called ex-Rep. Pete Hoekstra, who had endorsed Ellis, a "disgrace." (Safe R)
• MI-04 (R): State Sen. John Moolenaar, the establishment choice, wound up handily turning back self-funding businessman Paul Mitchell, 52-36, in this solidly red open seat. Two pollsters blew the race, though: Strategic National (a Republican firm) and Mitchell Research (non-partisan) both had the contest as a straight-up tie between Moolenaar and Mitchell with just a week to go. (Safe R)
• MI-08 (R & D): Former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop beat state Rep. Tom McMillin by a convincing 60-40 margin to secure the GOP nomination for this open seat. Bishop will be the clear favorite against Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing, who held off Susan Grettenberger 43-38 for the Democratic nod. (Lean R)
• MI-11 (R & D): Accidental Congressman Kerry Bentivolio proved himself worth of the epithet. Bentivolio, who lucked into a House seat last cycle after Rep. Thad McCotter got thrown off the ballot for filing fraudulent signatures, can now go back to raising reindeer. Foreclosure attorney Dave Trott tossed him off his sleigh by a 66-34 margin, handing Bentivolio the third-worst primary defeat for an incumbent in the last two decades. (In an amusing aside, John Boehner had headlined a fundraiser for Bentivolio last year, and none other than Eric Cantor gave him $10,000!)
Democrats, meanwhile, nominated former State Department official Bobby McKenzie, who narrowly edged physician Anil Kumar 34-32. While the DCCC at one point offered McKenzie a bit of an attaboy, Trott starts the general election with a decisive advantage in this red-leaning district. (Likely R)
• MI-14 (D): Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence and state Rep. Rudy Hobbs were neck-and-neck for much of the night, but right at the end, a final batch of votes gave Lawrence a decisive 36-32 lead. (Ex-Rep. Hansen Clarke finished with 31.) Lawrence declared victory and says that Hobbs conceded, but at least at one point overnight, there were discrepancies between the AP's tally and those of local election officials. Detroit's no stranger to wonky election results (remember last year's mayoral race?), so we may not have our answers yet. (Safe D)
• WA-04 (2): Republicans won both spots in Washington's top-two primary for this dark red open seat. Former NFL player Clint Didier took first with 30 percent while former state Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse was finished second with 27. (The rest of the field was far behind.) Didier and Newhouse will now square off again in November. (Safe R)
• In Missouri, a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a "right to farm" appears to have passed by an incredibly narrow three-tenths of a percent. Though it sounds charmingly pastoral, the amendment actually purports to exempt farming from regulation (even to the point of permitting puppy mills) and was heavily backed by big agribusiness.
10:46 AM PT (Jeff Singer): Primaries: Thursday brings us primary races in Tennessee (Why Thursday? Nobody knows). We have our guide to the key races here. There's a lot to watch, with Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, Republican Reps. Chuck Fleischmann and Scott DesJarlais, and Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen all facing credible primary challengers.
11:01 AM PT: FL-Gov: SurveyUSA's newest Florida poll gives GOP Gov. Rick Scott a 45-43 lead on Democrat Charlie Crist, but two weeks ago, they had Crist up 46-40, so if you believe these numbers, then the race has shifted 9 net points in half a month—bloody unlikely. In fact, SUSA's trendlines have shown a lot of inexplicable gyration: In their last seven polls, Crist has led three times and Scott four. But that's pretty typical when it comes to SurveyUSA.
1:05 PM PT (Jeff Singer): MI-Sen: Tim Alberta of the National Journal takes a look at Republican Senate nominee Terri Lynn Land's campaign, and what he finds should not inspire confidence in her supporters. Land had frequently appeared in over her head on the campaign trail, something that even her supporters privately acknowledge. The whole thing is a good read, but this passage at the end sticks out:
But none if it – awkward interviews, sloppy campaign finances, debate performances – may end up mattering. Even with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder atop the ticket this year and poised to win reelection, Land's allies acknowledge her climb is a steep one. Her best chance of winning, they suggest, is keeping her head down and hoping for a GOP landslide.Wishful thinking is not a great campaign strategy, though it may still be better than running ads like this.
1:14 PM PT (Jeff Singer): LA-05: With the field finally forming in this north Louisiana seat, The Glascock Group takes another look at this crowded jungle primary. They find scandal-tarred Republican Rep. Vance McAllister out in front with 27 percent, with Democratic Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo just behind at 21. Physician Ralph Abraham and businessman and Duck Dynasty relative Zach Dasher (both Republicans) aren't too far back at 18 and 14 respectively. All the candidates will compete on one ballot in November: In the likely event no one takes more than 50 percent, the top-two candidates will advance to a December runoff regardless of party.
As with all Glascock Group polls, there is one massive caveat here: The pollster does not appear to have offered respondents the chance to say they were undecided. This is a major no-no in polling and anyone reading this survey should take these numbers with an ocean-full of salt.
1:19 PM PT (Jeff Singer): VA-Sen: Hampton University takes a look at the contest between Democratic Sen. Mark Warner and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. They give Warner a 53-28 lead, with Libertarian Robert Sarvis taking five. A day may come when the courage of Virginians fails, when they forsake Mark Warner and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.
1:41 PM PT (Jeff Singer): KS-Gov: It's been clear for a while that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is in trouble in dark red Kansas, but his allies at the RGA have finally gotten around to propping him up. The RGA's new spot ties Democratic nominee Paul Davis to Obama as closely as possible, mentioning Obama's name an impressive six times in only thirty-seconds. They may have had time for a few more, except that the narrator keeps stretching out the president's name.
Fresh off his 63-37 primary win over a no-name foe, Brownback himself got some more bad news Wednesday. The S&P cut the state's credit score, stating that Kansas was continuing to bring in less revenue than expected. Brownback's tax cuts are very much to blame for the loss of revenue, though of course Brownback takes a page from the RGA and blames Obama. Brownback also blamed the president for his weak primary victory, though he missed a golden opportunity to just sarcastically declare, "Thanks Obama!"
2:14 PM PT (Jeff Singer): MI-Sen: And it looks like Land will have to wait a while for the hypothetical GOP wave to carry her to her hypothetical Senate seat. A new poll from Republican pollster Marketing Resource Group finds Democratic Rep. Gary Peters in the lead 47-40. In March, MRG had Land up 40-38. These numbers are in line with most recent polls.
2:19 PM PT (Jeff Singer): MI-Gov: Republican pollster MRG takes a look at the gubernatorial race and finds things are very tight. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Democratic nominee Mark Schauer are pretty much neck and neck, with Snyder up 45-44 (Or as the memo puts it, 44.6 to 44.3). In March, MRG had Synder up 47-39. Most recent polls give Snyder a small single-digit lead, with Huffpost Pollster's average putting Snyder up 46-43.
2:20 PM PT (David Jarman): WA-01, WA-04: Washington elections enthusiasts know that the vote-counting is a leisurely, multi-day affair (it's an entirely vote-by-mail state, and votes postmarked on Election Day are valid), requiring a patient watch of each day's ballot drop. Wednesday morning's drop saw little change in the 4th, where Republicans Clint Didier and Dan Newhouse finished well ahead of everyone else in the large field and will face of in an all-R November fight.
In the 1st, the only other remotely competitive House race in the Evergreen State, there's a close fight for 2nd place, and things still aren't improving for Pedro Celis, a wealthy ex-Microsoft exec and the NRCC's preferred pick to challenge Dem freshman Suzan Del Bene; Celis trails unheralded (and unfunded) Robert Sutherland 15.9-15.1 (with a 720-vote margin). At first whiff, it seems like another case of the Republican base not getting on board with a Hispanic-surnamed primary frontrunner (a la Todd Long beating John Quinones in 2012 in FL-09, or Will Hurd beating Quico Canseco this year in TX-23), but it may also have something to do with effort. Joel Connelly reports on how Celis seemed to treat the primary as a cakewalk, while Sutherland worked on building under-the-radar support.
2:31 PM PT (David Jarman): MT-Sen: Vox Populi, a Republican polling firm (though not apparently acting on a client's behalf), is out with a Montana Senate poll, taken on Sunday and Monday so that it reflects the news from one-and-a-half weeks ago about the John Walsh plagiarism scandal. On the one hand, it shows Walsh has little chance of winning the election: it finds Walsh trailing Republican Steve Daines 47-34. On the other hand, the poll's trendlines allow us to make the case that Walsh's plagiarism greatly improved his chances of winning in November, as in late May, he trailed Daines 56-33!
2:31 PM PT (Jeff Singer): Ads & Independent Expenditures:
• GA-Sen: Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn highlights her service as a non-profit executive.
• HI-Sen: Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz touts his local endorsements ahead of the Aug. 9 primary.
• IA-Sen: NextGen Climate goes after Republican Joni Ernst on renewable energy jobs. Thankfully the group has lost the overblown theatrics that defined their very strange first ad here. On the other side of the aisle, Crossroads GPS portrays Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley as disinterested in helping veterans.
• AK-Gov: Republican Gov. Sean Parnell touts his jobs record.
• FL-Gov: The Florida Republican Party goes after Democrat Charlie Crist on property taxes.
• NH-Gov: Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan talks about her successes in office in her first ad.
• RI-Gov: Providence Mayor Angel Taveras hits Democratic primary rival and former Obama Administration official Clay Pell. The spot portrays Pell as someone who barely spent time in the state before running for governor. Until now Taveras and fellow primary contender state Treasurer Gina Raimondo had been going after each other on the air, leaving Pell alone. Pell has been running a series of positive ads, and Taveras's camp has seems to have finally decided he's a threat.
On the Republican side, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung goes over his biography and accomplishments in office. The spit ends with the tagline "Conservative Allan Fung," which I'm guessing they won't keep if Fung makes it to the general in this very blue state.
• WI-Gov: Republican Gov. Scott Walker contrasts his job record as governor with job losses when Democratic Mary Burke was commerce secretary.
• IA-03: Democratic Staci Appel touts her biography, with the narrator praising her for her hard work and determination.
• NY-24: Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei emphasizes his work ethic.
2:32 PM PT: AK-Sen: A new poll from Moore Information, which blogger Amanda Coyne says was not conducted for Dan Sullivan or anyone involved in Alaska's Senate race, finds Sullivan leading Mead Treadwell 35-27 in the GOP primary, with Joe Miller at 16. (Note that Coyne also calls robopolls "a suspicious polling method.") That's virtually unchanged from June, when Sullivan was up 36-27, and it's also very close to PPP's new poll, which put Sullivan ahead 35-29.
The primary is now less than two weeks away, so Treadwell doesn't have much time to make a move. The real question for Democratic Sen. Begich is whether he'd actually prefer Treadwell to Sullivan, though. That's been our assumption all along, given how badly the GOP establishment wants Sullivan to win, and how poor a fundraiser Treadwell is. But the Republican nominee, no matter who he is, will have access to plenty of money and outside support, and Treadwell isn't a carpetbagger like Sullivan. Maybe he has his own weaknesses, but on further reflection, Begich's best option isn't quite so clear.
2:45 PM PT (David Jarman): NJ-Sen: New Jersey Senate polling has always had this odd tendency to create mirages during summertime, that lures in Republican ships and then dashes their hopes on the rocks in November. This year's no different: Quinnipiac's newest poll of the New Jersey Senate race offers up some vaguely tantalizing flickers for the GOP, with Cory Booker under 50 and leading throwback candidate Jeff Bell by only 10, 47-37. (Bell was the Republican Senate candidate in 1978, when he shocked moderate incumbent Clifford Case in the GOP primary and then got stomped by Bill Bradley in the general -- you might say he's a hipster tea partier; he was teabagging decades before teabagging was cool). The NRSC is well-familiar with the wrecks of the SS Dick Zimmer and the SS Doug Forrester, though, and doesn't seem likely to get pulled into the shallows again.
2:46 PM PT: OH-Gov: GOP Gov. John Kasich widely outraised his Democratic challenger, Ed FitzGerald, between June 13 and Aug. 5, $2.3 million to $545,000, though FitzGerald had more individual contributors. Kasich also has a considerable cash-on-hand lead, with $11.4 million to FitzGerald's $2.4 million. But in three of the other four statewide races (for treasurer, attorney general, and auditor), Democrats actually raised more than Republicans during the same period, even though all three Republicans are incumbents.