Debbie Stabenow (D-inc): 53 (51)Republican primary (MoE: ±5.2%):
Pete Hoekstra (R): 37 (37)
Undecided: 10 (12)
Debbie Stabenow (D-inc): 53 (50)
Clark Durant (R): 31 (33)
Undecided: 16 (16)
Pete Hoekstra (R): 42 (42)Not a whole lot to see here. Perhaps the most interesting observation regards the Republican primary, about which Tom Jensen observes:
Clark Durant (R): 11 (9)
Gary Glenn (R): 4 (4)
Randy Hekman (R): 4 (2)
Peter Konetchy (R): 0 (1)
Undecided: 38 (34)
There is one caveat with Hoekstra's early lead, which is that much of it is based on superior name recognition. 65% of likely primary voters are familiar with him, compared to only 22% who know Durant. With that small subset of voters that does have an opinion about Durant, whether they like him or not, he leads Hoekstra 31-29. That suggests some possibility for another Nebraska or Indiana style GOP primary upset where a candidate who starts out well behind in the polls ends up overtaking the frontrunner as they become better known. It's just a question of whether Durant will have the kind of resources and outside help necessary to make that sort of climb.The problem for Durant is that no major outside groups have really gotten involved on his behalf. But Michigan's primary is not until August, so there's still time. I'm thinking I'd almost rather face the wounded Hoekstra, though, if I were Stabenow, especially since he just went ultra-birther:
Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), who is running for Senate to take on Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, told a tea party town hall last month that the federal government should establish an official committee to review presidential candidates' birth certificates. [...]In a subsequent interview with CNN, where he was grilled aggressively, Hoesktra defended his proposal, then got huffy when the interviewer tried to link this outbreak of High Birtherism with Hoekstra's infamously racist "Debbie Spend-it-now" ad. He ain't handling himself too well.
"But I do now believe that I'd like to establish a three-person office in Washington, D.C., OK — knowing it, we'll go to five (audience laughs). But there's no reason why we should have this kind of question, you know, for the president of the United States. So that at any future election, all right, that someone would have to walk into that office, and prove that they meet the minimum qualifications to be president of the United States."
• MT-Sen: Republican Denny Rehberg rejiggers his earlier "baloney" ad, with reg'lar Montanans stiffly attacking Dem Sen. Jon Tester. My favorite, utterly chutzpahdik line: "He even used our tax dollars to give bonuses to Wall Street executives!"
• NM-Sen: Dem Rep. Martin Heinrich helps a bunch of normal-looking folks win a match of tug-of-war against a gang of Wall Street stand-ins dressed in suits. (Reminds me a little bit of this promotional ad for Markos Moulitas's book Crashing the Gate.)
• NY-Sen: Quinnipiac may want to reconsider its plans to test the New York Senate race each and every month, because as per usual, there's just nothing to see here.
• OH-Sen: Rasmussen: Sherrod Brown (D-inc): 47 (44), Josh Mandel (R): 42 (41)
• WI-Gov, WI-LG: Marquette's new poll of the Wisconsin recall finds Gov. Scott Walker leading Democrat Tom Barrett 52-45, a one-point widening from the 50-44 margin they saw back on May 12. In the LG race, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch leads Democrat Mahlon Mitchell 46-41, one point tighter than her prior 47-41 edge. According to Marquette, there's something of an enthusiasm gap:
Republicans are more likely to say they are "absolutely certain to vote" on June 5, at 92 percent, while 77 percent of Democrats say this. Eighty-four percent of independents say they are absolutely certain to vote.Meanwhile, Democratic internal polling continues to paint a different picture. A new Lake Research survey for the labor-backed Greater Wisconsin Committee finds the race all tied at 49. That's in keeping with several other Dem polls from last week which also showed a very tight race. Of course, we still have no Republican polls against which to compare them.
Fundraising reports are also out, and Walker nearly doubled up Barrett, pulling in $6 million over the last five weeks vs. $3.4 mil for the Democrat. And on the ad front, the RGA's new spot spends 30 seconds discussing the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's endorsement of Gov. Scott Walker, which includes a couple of mild Barrett dings (it's his "hometown newspaper").
• AZ-08: I believe they call this "Dialing for a D-bag". The American Action Network filed a pair of IE reports (see here and here) totaling $25K for "early vote calls" on behalf of Republican Jesse Kelly. Meanwhile, Karl Rove's American Crossroads throws another $66K in direct mail expenditures into the jambalaya (see here and here). (James L)
• CA-03: A new PAC billing itself as the "Americans for Accountability in Leadership" is putting $14K into mailers supporting Republican Colusa County Supervisor Kim Dolbow Vann, who'll be facing Dem Rep. John Garamendi in the state's upcoming top-two primary. (James L)
• CA-08: The spirit of democracy is strong in this one... Spirit of Democracy America throws another $17K in campaign lit and mail boosting GOP Assemblyman Paul Cook, followed by $50K in TV buys and another $24K in direct mail. (James L)
• CA-26: The EMILY's List spending spree on behalf of Democrat Julia Brownley has now topped off at an even $100K. Their latest filing was $19K on direct mail, on top of $19K a day earlier for the same expense. (James L)
• CA-30: The Committee to Elect an Effective Valley Congressman has spent so much money telling voters that "Howard Berman is effective" that even I'm starting to believe it! Their latest buy is $122K. Shit, I'm even starting to like Comic Sans, too! (James L)
• CA-52: Democrat Scott Peters has a generic positive spot, his third of the race (the other two are available here). Note that Peters just loaned his campaign $1.25 mil out of his own pockets, so I'd expect him to be hitting the airwaves pretty hard.
Meanwhile, Progressive Kick administers a roundhouse to Peters with this ad, which pounces on comments that Peters made in a TV interview suggesting he'd be open to modifying Social Security entitlements. The production values of the ad are quite poor, and the voiceover artist sounds a little Nyquil'd to my ears, but they've put the non-negligible sum of $55K behind this ad. (James L)
• FL-07: I never understood why freshman Rep. Sandy Adams was willing to go up against veteran Rep. John Mica in the GOP primary, and if this new Mica internal from Conquest Communications is anything to go by, she's now probably wondering the same thing herself. The poll puts Mica up 55-25... though hey, there's still a week until the filing deadline! Adams could still switch over to the 6th. (I'm kidding—she'd probably get killed in that primary, too.) Given that Adams' own internal from February had her down 16, I'm really not seeing a path to victory for her here.
• FL-26: Even though Florida law enforcement officials shamefully closed an investigation into GOP Rep. David Rivera's dodgy campaign finances last month, there are still many unanswered questions, and the Miami Herald isn't letting go. They're focusing on a questionable $50,000 payment to Rivera's mother in 2006 which Rivera claims was for a "voter outreach program." The problem is that no one remembers any such campaign. It's a complicated story—and indeed, this complexity is something Rivera has hid behind—so if you'd like to learn more, I suggest you click through.
• IL-12: State Rep. Jerry Costello II (son of retiring Rep. Jerry Costello) says he isn't interested in running for his dad's seat in the wake of Democrat Brad Harriman's unexpected decision to drop out of the race due to health reasons. St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern is also out. However, another state Rep., John Bradley, says he's "intrigued" by the possibility; Bradley's name came up last year after Costello announced he wouldn't seek re-election but he declined to run.
• IL-17: Freshman Republican Bobby Schilling has a new internal poll from Public Opinion Strategies which shows him up 51-35 over Democrat Cheri Bustos. Here's the thing, though: When Obama underperforms his 2008 share on a Democratic survey, that means the sample isn't overly favorable to the Dem sponsor. But when he underperforms on a GOP survey, the opposite is true: The Republican candidate in question is indeed painting a positive picture for himself. And in this case, the sample is exceedingly favorable toward Schilling: Obama won the redrawn 17th by a hefty 60-38 margin; in this poll, he leads Romney by just 51-41, which the memo claims is "down a bit" from Obama's 2008 score. Yeah, 12 points. Just a bit.
• MI-11: Columnist Nolan Finley in the Detroit News writes that Thad McCotter's in even more precarious shape than perhaps we realized. After revelations about his petition debacle surfaced, Republican officials in Oakland County (which makes up the bulk of the district) attempted a "weekend mutiny," only to watch it quickly fall apart when their preferred alternative, attorney David Trott, backed off the idea of staging his own write-in effort. It seems like there's a territorial beef here, as Oakland GOPers apparently have felt that McCotter, who hails from Wayne County, has "spent too little time on their side of Eight Mile," the famous highway which runs across Detroit's northern border.
But Oakland Republicans aren't giving up and are looking at alternatives. One is state Sen. Mike Kowall, whom we've already mentioned and who has in fact expressed interest. A new name is former state Sen. Loren Bennett, but no word from him yet. Bennett is actually from the other end of the district, Wayne County, so to the extent you can say anything about Oakland Republicans as a whole, it seems like they're looking for an "anyone but McCotter" candidate.
One other possibility is 2010 MI-09 GOP nominee Rocky Raczkowski, who has done an about-face and now says he is considering a write-in campaign of his own. (When the story first broke, Raczkowski said he wouldn't run but, like other Oaklanders, wanted Trott to do so.) Incidentally, Raczkowski is a client/victim of churn-and-burn direct mail firm Base Connect (f/k/a BMW Direct), so he could wind up with enough money to seriously get up in McCotter's grill, if Base Connect lets him keep any of it.
On a final note, I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you all of what political analyst Stuart Rothenberg wrote about McCotter back in 2002 (not available online):
I've interviewed hundreds of candidates for office, and most of the lost causes and serious contenders stand out immediately. But sometimes it's not so easy to separate the winners from the losers.• MI-13: This is probably bad news rather than good for veteran Dem Rep. John Conyers: State Rep. Shanelle Jackson was just bounced from the ballot for filing insufficient signatures (come on, people, how hard is this? You only need 1,000!). But the fewer opponents Conyers has, the less likely that the anti-Conyers vote will get split in the primary. However, quite a few challengers are still in the mix, including Sens. Glenn Anderson and Bert Johnson, and Wayne-Westland school board member John Goci. Anderson's raised the most, about $134K; Johnson and Goci have raised much less, and Jackson nothing at all (apparently).
As evidence, I present Republican Thaddeus McCotter....
A former Wayne County commissioner who was elected to the Michigan state Senate in 1998, McCotter, 36, will win the August Republican primary in Michigan's newly created 11th district. That will make him a prohibitive favorite for November, since President Bush carried the district two years ago and the Democrats haven't recruited a credible nominee.
But if I've interviewed a candidate who was less communicative, more arrogant and more difficult to like, I can't think of one. And I've tried.
I thought my assessment of McCotter might be unique until I asked others. I found I had plenty of company, both in Michigan and Washington, among both reporters and Republican politicos.
• ND-AL: A pro-life PAC calling itself "Life and Marriage" (tell me, brother, do they go together like a horse and carriage?) is putting $10K behind a radio ad buy on behalf of Republican Kevin Cramer. (James L)
• NJ-09: In a minute-long radio ad, Steve Rothman likens fellow Dem Rep. Bill Pascrell to "a Republican" (generically) for his various apostasies, like voting to repeal the estate tax and for once saying Democrats were becoming a "fringe party" for supporting gay marriage.
• NM-01: There've been a ton of mostly negative new ads in the Democratic primary, though the plot is getting a little tricky to follow. Super PAC Progressive Kick (which is supporting Eric Griego) briefly ran an ad attacking Michelle Lujan Grisham's record as head of the New Mexico State Agency on Aging, but they quickly took it down. Lujan Grisham's campaign had threatened legal action, but the organization's founder, Josh Grossman, says they stopped running the spot because Griego himself started airing a harsh ad that's also about Lujan Grisham's stewardship of nursing homes and they did not want to duplicate efforts. (Progressive Kick still has a related radio ad up.)
Grisham responded to the Progressive Kick ad with an attack ad of her own, slamming Griego over 11 mostly driving-related arrest warrants that were issued for him, a story that popped up in the local media a few days ago. (The New Mexico Telegram explains that Griego's nursing home spot was actually a response to Grisham's arrest warrants ad.) There's one last ad to mention, in which Griego says: "The last thing we need to send to Washington is a Democrat who's a kinder, gentler version of the Republicans."
On the direct mail front, EMILY's List just dished out another $10K in direct mail on behalf of Lujan Grisham, on top of an earlier $12K. Meanwhile, Progressive Kick answers with a $25K expenditure for ground canvassing in support of Griego. (David Nir & James L)
• NY-06: As we saw, retiring Rep. Gary Ackerman endorsed Assemblywoman Grace Meng as his successor on Tuesday. But City & State makes a really good point: Ackerman is a co-owner of a consulting firm, Queens-based Multi-Media, which Meng is apparently relying heavily on as she seeks the Democratic nomination. In response to questions, City & State says Meng "expressed strong displeasure" that the press had the temerity to ask questions about this. Oh, sorry, would you like your politics gentler? Sheesh, do I really have to recite the famous beanbag maxim?
• NY-13: Pretty much the entire New York City political establishment is going to appear at Rep. Charlie Rangel's birthday party/mega-fundraiser—including Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who last I checked was not even a Democrat), as well as most of the people hoping to succeed him in 2013. One prominent absence on that score: Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, who presumably is making a play for the Latino vote by not rallying around Rangel. Speaking of which, if I were state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (Rangel's main primary challenger), I'd make a big deal out of Rangel relying on Republicans like Bloomberg to bail him out. I suspect El Bloombito is not all that popular among the folks who make up Espaillat's base.
• VA-11: At long last, reporters will no longer be able to turn to Artur Davis when they want quotes from a "disaffected Democrat": The former congressman from Alabama, who apparently plans to stage a comeback in Virginia, has finally, formally switched his party affiliation and is now an out-and-proud Republican. He's all yours, GOP! (And to think, this piece of shit was a top DCCC official just a couple of cycles ago.)
• WI-02: State Rep. Kelda Roys, who has been outraised every quarter by fellow state Rep. Mark Pocan, is getting a big shot in the arm: EMILY's List just endorsed her in the Democratic primary.
• MD-Init: Looks like a referendum to overturn Maryland's new same-sex marriage law will indeed wind up on the ballot this fall, as organizers just submitted 113,000 signatures, more than twice what they needed. Fortunately, polling has shown majorities in favor of preserving the law.
• Netroots Nation: Just a reminder for those of you attending Netroots Nation in Providence, RI next week: The crew at Daily Kos Elections (Steve, Arjun, Jeff and myself), along with our Daily Kos Labor colleague Laura Clawson, will be conducting our usual horserace Q&A panel. It'll be held on Thursday, June 7 at 3pm in Ballroom B at the Rhode Island Convention Center. For those of you who cannot attend in person, it will also be webcast live. We'll be sure to post a link on the day of the panel.
• Texas Primaries: Tuesday night was primary election night in Texas, although (with the exception of Beto O'Rourke's upset win in TX-16's Dem primary) most questions remain unanswered, with most of the big-name races going to runoffs (starting with both sides of the Senate race). Click through for our full recap of the results, as well as a look ahead to July's runoffs. (David Jarman)