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Leading Off:

MI-11: So this is how it's going to end for Thad McCotter: A week after he failed to file a sufficient number of signatures to appear on the ballot for re-election, followed by a pledge to run a write-in campaign to capture the Republican nomination, the five-term veteran is now giving up and will instead retire from Congress. While the debacle that led him here remains as shocking as ever, it's not too surprising to see McCotter fold now, given that he faced a hostile GOP establishment, a criminal investigation over the signatures he submitted, a rather pitiful warchest, and a write-in campaign being waged by at least one other local Republican, former state Sen. Loren Bennett.

So now what? It remains to be seen whether GOP power players coalesce around Bennett—something he'd likely need to have happen in order to prevail, since there's an actual name on the primary ballot, tea partier Kerry Bentivolio, which will be difficult to overcome with a write-in effort. But there's also the possibility that one or more other local Republicans might jump in with their own write-in bids, which would throw this already-topsy-turvy primary into utter chaos. As for Democrats, they have a credible candidate here in the form of physician Syed Taj, who raised $200K before news of the McCotter disaster even broke. First, though, he'll have to defeat LaRouchie nutball William Roberts in his own primary.

Given that this swingish district went for Barack Obama by a 50-48 margin, and given the extremely unsettled nature of the GOP contest, this once off-the-radar race looks more competitive than ever. Therefore, Daily Kos Elections is changing its rating on this race for the second time in a week, moving it from Likely R to Lean R.


CA-Sen: I'm honestly amazed that SurveyUSA got 1,232 respondents to sit through a question in which they rattled off all twenty-four names of candidates running for Senate in the top-two primary. The results, of course, are a total joke: Dem Sen. Dianne Feinstein leads with 42% while no one else is above 4%. SUSA also asked a few head-to-heads, pairing Feinstein with some of the more "prominent" (I use that word loosely) Republicans, and of course she dominates there. Against Elizabeth Emken (the party's official endorsee), she leads 50-34; birther queen Orly Taitz, 54-29; businessman Dan Hughes, 52-31; and businessman Al Ramirez, 52-32. The poll also finds Prop 29, which would institute a new tobacco tax, passing by just 42-38.

ME-Sen: Oops: State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, one of six Republicans vying for their party's Senate nomination, recently sent out a mailer featuring a photo of Gov. Paul LePage, captioned "two conservatives fighting for Maine's future." The only problem is that LePage hadn't endorsed him, and after the flyer went into circulation, LePage issued a statement clarifying that he had in fact endorsed no one. That prompted Attorney General William Schneider, another GOP hopeful, to criticize Poliquin for trying to mislead voters.

But that may not matter much to Poliquin, who is leading the field in fundraising, according to newly-filed pre-primary reports. He pulled in $229K between April 1 and May 23, while everyone else was in five figures (though Scott D'Amboise hasn't made his numbers public yet). However, Poliquin is rich, and it's not clear how much, if any, of his haul came from his own bank account. Meanwhile only one Democrat has provided totals, state Rep. Jon Hinck, who took in just $26K. Independent ex-Gov. Angus King was the overall leader for the time period, but his haul was nevertheless a fairly unimpressive $295K. However, he doesn't have to worry about a primary.

MO-Sen: Majority PAC has re-upped their pro-Claire McCaskill ad campaign with a fresh $227K buy. (James L)

MT-Sen: The League of Conservation Voters just spent another $70K on "field campaign consulting" behind their GOTV effort on behalf of Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. The total tab for their field effort to date has reached a quarter of a million bucks. (James L)

ND-Sen: Democrat Heidi Heitkamp outraised her Republican rival for North Dakota's open Senate seat in the pre-primary fundraising period (April 1 through May 23), $497K to $433K. Rick Berg has more cash-on-hand, $1.6 mil to $760K, though he's been in the race longer.

NV-Sen: Dem Rep. Shelley Berkley outraised GOP Sen. Dean Heller in the pre-primary period, $637K to $438K. Heller has $4.3 million in the bank versus Berkley's $4.1 mil, thanks to heavier spending by Berkley over the last couple of months.

TX-Sen: The flurry of also-rans endorsing in run-offs now begins in Texas, though I'm not really sure anyone genuinely wants the support of the guy kicking it all off. That would be hated former college football analyst Craig James, who pulled in less than 4% of the vote running a vanity campaign in the Republican Senate primary. I have to admit, I wasn't familiar with James before his entry into politics (I'm an NFL guy), but the level of animus I've seen displayed toward him is truly remarkable. I once asked if there was a figure outside of the sports world who might be considered analogous to James, but pretty much everyone agreed that there is simply no one loathed that much and in that particular way, even in politics. So I hope first-place finisher David Dewhurst is just absolutely thrilled to get James' backing, because really, James is one-of-a-kind.


NC-Gov: When the DGA released its first ad attacking Republican Pat McCrory (the one which made him go absolutely bonkers and unsuccessfully try to threaten TV stations in removing it from the air), they titled it: "Pat McCrory's Questionable Ethics: Case Number One." Well, now it's time for Case Number Two, in which the narrator says that McCrory kept a full-time job at Duke Energy while mayor of Charlotte (which is, in fact, a part-time job), but never disclosed his hours, salary, or duties. The ad goes on to say that he also testified before Congress as mayor "about a regulation worth $600 million" to Duke. I'm sure this spot will make McCrory flip, too. Size of the buy: $300K.


AZ-08: The DCCC is out with a closing ad hitting Republican Jesse Kelly on his anti-Medicare stance. I think it's a pretty effective spot, and it's backed by a $69K expenditure. Meanwhile, the GOP-aligned American Action Network is spending another $8K on GOTV phonebanking on Kelly's behalf. If you'd like an overview of all the spending to date in this race, the Arizona Daily Star has the scoop. (James L)

CA-51: Did you know that there's a Republican running for Democrat Bob Filner's open seat? I hadn't heard of him either, but his name is Michael Crimmins. I wish I could tell you more about Mr. Crimmins, but my browser tells me that his website "may harm my computer." No Republican is worth that risk! Anyways, this dude is actually getting some PAC love in the form of direct mail postcards paid for by the "Citizens for Prosperity and Good Government." Size of the buy: $12K. (James L)

CT-05: This is not good news for Democrat Chris Donovan's campaign:

The finance director for House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan's congressional campaign was arrested Wednesday by FBI agents and charged with illegally concealing the source of two $10,000 contributions for his campaign, authorities said Thursday.

Donovan fired the fundraiser, Robert Braddock Jr., and his campaign manager, Josh Nassi, and hired Tom Swan of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group to take over his campaign just 10 weeks from the Democratic primary on Aug. 14.

Braddock, 33, of Meriden, was arrested at his apartment on a criminal complaint that says he conspired with others to hide contributions from a person who wanted to kill a tobacco tax bill before the General Assembly. Nassi was not charged, but an unnamed campaign aide was implicated by the authorities.

The money came from an interest opposed to a proposal to tax roll-your-own cigarettes, according to an affidavit on file in U.S. District Court. The tax bill never came to a vote.

Donovan says he is "cooperating fully with the investigation," and as of now, there's nothing that implicates him in his staffers' purported wrongdoing. There's much more at the link, including details on the legislative backstory behind the tobacco tax bill. Swan, Donovan's new campaign manager, held a press conference on Friday afternoon, and Donovan himself addressed the media on Sunday evening, denying any knowledge of the alleged scheme and saying he would stay in the race.

IL-12: Remember Jay Hoffman? He's the former state rep. who was our original candidate in IL-13, then started thinking about IL-12, and then ultimately quit the congressional race to make a comeback bid in the state House. Based on that peripatetic record, it's no surprise that he says he's not interested in being tapped as a replacement for Democrat Brad Harriman, who just dropped out of the 12th District race himself, due to health reasons.

NJ-09: This seems to be Barack Obama's most pointed retort yet to Bill Clinton's now-rather-irritating insistence on stumping for just about everyone in a contested Democratic primary who happened to support his wife's presidential bid, regardless of any other merits they might possess (or lack). Clinton, as you know, has endorsed Rep. Bill Pascrell and appeared at a rally with him on Friday—in spite of the fact that Pascrell's Democratic primary opponent, Rep. Steve Rothman, was one of Clinton's most ardent defenders during the impeachment mess.

In response, Team Obama previously dispatched their top surrogate, advisor David Axelrod, to campaign with and fundraise for Rothman. But ahead of Clinton's scheduled Friday visit, they took it up a notch, and earlier in the day, Obama invited Rothman to meet with him in the Oval Office. Here's how the Rothman camp framed it:

Asked directly if Obama was endorsing Rothman, [spokesman Josh] Earnest said, "As the head of the party, the president has not weighed into primary contests with two incumbent members of Congress."

Rothman said this morning that his visit with the president was a sign of support.

"The president invited me to the Oval Office to express his support. One doesn't invite oneself," Rothman said.

NM-01: Progressive Kick is up with another $14K expenditure on radio ads attacking Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham. (James L)

NY-18: Hey, if freshman GOPer Nan Hayworth wants to screw up her campaign, I'm not gonna stop her. On Thursday, one of her spokesmen, Jay Townsend, was busted writing on Facebook, "Let's hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators who won't abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector." Instead of just ditching Townsend and letting him quietly fall on his sword (the obvious move), Hayworth's digging in. On Friday, a different spokesman tried to claim that Townsend's words were "clearly not meant to be taken literally." Of course, that's hardly the point. He used violent rhetoric to agitate against women. That's a problem whether he meant it "literally" or not.

WA-01: SurveyUSA is out with a poll of the 1st District that, at first glance, is pretty alarming: John Koster has a substantial lead not just in the top-two primary (to be expected, since he's the only GOPer against a herd of Democrats), but also in the head-to-heads in November. In the top-two, Darcy Burner looks like the Dem most likely to advance: It goes Koster 46, Burner 19, Laura Ruderman 6, Suzan DelBene 4, Steve Hobbs 4, independent Larry Ishmael 4, and Darshan Rauniyar 1. Koster leads a Burner head-to-head 48-39, vs. DelBene 49-32, vs. Ruderman 49-32, vs. Hobbs 47-31, and vs. Rauniyar 50-28.

If you read a little further down, though, the poll's credibility takes a major hit when you see the presidential numbers: Romney leads Obama 45-44. This is a district that, adjusted for the new boundaries, went for Obama 56-42 over McCain. This is also the state's median district (Obama went 57% in all of Washington in '08), so Rob McKenna should probably be leading by a couple points in the gubernatorial race, but instead he's up 52-38 over Jay Inslee. Either this sample is way off, or else Obama and Inslee are finding some way to get, say, 120% of the vote in WA-07 in statewide polls to compensate for such a steep falloff in Dem fortunes in the new 1st. (Despite all that, gay marriage is still passing in this sample, 40-37.) (David Jarman)

Grab Bag:

Fundraising Reports: As per usual, we have a full roundup of pre-primary FEC reports for candidates in Maine, North Dakota, Nevada, and Virginia, where primaries are being held on June 12. We also have figures for the Arkansas runoff and the Arizona 8th District special, which are the same day. In AZ-08, Democrat Ron Barber continues to pound Republican Jesse Kelly on all fronts: Barber outraised Kelly during the period of March 29 through May 23, $640K to $455K. He outspent him considerably as well, $716K to $500K, and has much more cash for the stretch run, $390K vs. $83K.

Michigan: PPP's Michigan miscellany includes a very hopeful number on the generic legislative ballot, which Democrats lead by a hefty 50-35. That's the same margin as the firm saw in February, 48-33. Only the state House is up for election this year, and of course, Republicans gerrymandered the map as best they could. But with spreads like these, even that might not be enough for them to hold on.

Redistricting Roundup:

MD Redistricting: Republican opponents of Maryland's new congressional redistricting plan just filed their first batch of signatures to put the map up for a voter referendum this fall, but it looks to me like they might be off the pace. They submitted an "estimated 25,000" petitions but need 55,736 valid signatures by July 1. That's just a month away, and even if they can get 30K more by then, some of those sigs will get declared invalid. Interestingly, one of the organizers of the drive says that a referendum did once succeed in overturning a map, 50 years ago. But I'd be at least a little surprised if Maryland voters get a chance to do so this November.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Doing GOTV for the overshadowed NJ-05 (4+ / 0-)

    Right next to that Rothman vs. Pascrell ugliness; no one seems to be paying attention to us, and a lot of people in the new parts of the district think they're voting in that one.

    This is our opponent's campaign video:

    And our candidate's:

    (But we don't have the line in the Bergen, the largest county. At least we have wind in our sails, apparently.)

    How does homeopathy work? | SSP/DKE | (NJ-05 (2.5 blocks from NJ-09)) | #ows since August | -9, -7.79 | Young black progressive, former Newarker, ginning up discontent with Cory Booker.

    by gabjoh on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:02:09 AM PDT

    •  Good luck to you lot in NJ-05 (8+ / 0-)

      Always a shame to see so much money get spent on a Dem primary rather than beating a right wing douche like Garrett.

      I see you have a LaRouche candidate in the primary. I wish you all the best on beating that misguided individual shortly.

      Jason Castle sounds like a pretty good candidate all in all - I hope he gets some help post primary as Garett seems to have a couple of million to spend.

      Good luck

      Town Planner, 30 years Old, Election Junkie, Thinks John Boehner is starting to be worried about holding the House...

      by CF of Aus on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:22:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Could Somebody, I Mean Anybody (11+ / 0-)

    explain to me how Thad McCotter fucked shit up as bad as he did? I mean I get the dude is a total tool, but my gosh this was just epic. I am pretty sure my three year old niece could have managed this better. She can at least count to ten.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:20:00 AM PDT

    •  None of us can explain how (7+ / 0-)

      The damage is done, and a race that should have been buttoned up is now "in play." We have a candidate that can at bare minimum force the RNCC to spend lots of attention, effort and money on a race they should have been able to assume was on "cruise control."

      And frankly, if Dr. Taj happens to prevail, it would only mildly surprise me.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:59:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Additionally, there was a Libertarian... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541, Christopher Walker

        ...candidate last cycle, which probably means a standing Libertarian ballot line this time around.

        The Libertarians held their convention over the weekend, and I'm not sure they would (let alone could, as it was a nominating convention) modify their process to accommodate the "sore loser" of the GOP Primary. There is also a Constitution Party that has not yet held their process. This may bear watching because (as the McCotter debacle demonstrates) ballot access in Michigan is one of the more restrictive among all states.

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:45:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Charlie Wilson (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingTag, DCCyclone, cany

      Of Ohio had to run in a write in campaign in a Congressional primary since his campaign manager (and son) decided to get his signatures from a county not in the district...

      So yes it's possible.

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

      by marcvstraianvs on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:28:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  McCotter (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevenaxelrod, killjoy

      I think he basically burned out and lost interest in being in the House some time after the last election. Running a no-hope presidential "campaign" isn't the sort of thing people do if they're looking to move up within the House, it tends to be something they do when they're ready to quit. See Duncan Hunter in 2008. It doesn't surprise me that McCotter half-assed the signatures. When people lose interest, they half-ass a lot of things.

      SSP poster. 42, CA-5, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 08:29:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  massive fraud (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, stevenaxelrod

      And we'll find out if he was its unknowing victim, or a perpetrator.

    •  One of Two Possiblites (0+ / 0-)

      The Person on his staff who was in charge of managing the Petitions royally screwed up. Maybe the people sent out with them didn't take is seriously because they thought someone else was doing it, or maybe a bunch of the petitions were lost or were destroyed when they got soaked in the rain. The other possibility is somebody who really, really doesn't like McCotter got access to them at some point and screwed him over by replacing most of the sheets with photocopies. I'm betting though somebody just screwed up and hoped that nobody actually bothered to go though all of the signatures.

  •  DCCC should be doing this in all swing districts (4+ / 0-)
    The DCCC is out with a closing ad hitting Republican Jesse Kelly on his anti-Medicare stance.
    iirc - ALL Republicans voted to END Medicare, privatize it, turning it into Obamacare, which they'd ALL campaigned against.
    But hey - it's just Seniors, so it's OK if a big chunk of their benefits go to Wall Street.

    GOP = Goodluck Old People

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 05:37:07 AM PDT

  •  Nearly 40k have turned out in Clark County... (6+ / 0-)

    For our primary. Far from zero, but still quite low. As I've said before, this means NV-04 may yet surprise you.

  •  Thad McCotter s/b running in Alabama/Mississippi (0+ / 0-)

    with a name like that, or maybe South Carolina.  But that was a huge mistake, sloppy, not paying attention to details.  How hard would it have been to get those sigs anyway?

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:36:36 AM PDT

  •  A bit surprised at RAss tracking (0+ / 0-)

    Has Romney up 47-44 in its Friday, Saturday, Sunday sample.  All after the jobs report came out.  Though it would be wider.

    “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

    by Paleo on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:42:00 AM PDT

    •  same today (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Obama's approval up2% though. As much as the media has tried to make a big deal about these numbers it's still way to early to get alarmed.

      •  None of this is valid (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itskevin, sapelcovits

        Rasmussen is junk and not legitimate to rely upon for anything.

        It's entertaining, yes.  I still visit purely out of polling withdrawal when nothing interesting to me has come out in awhile.

        But Rasmussen isn't valid polling, its numbers signify nothing and reflect nothing.

        44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 09:25:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  is Dennis Kucinich running in Washington house? (0+ / 0-)

    He'll probably move to DC and be be a retired congressman, which can be pretty lucrative.

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:42:14 AM PDT

  •  Add AZ - (3+ / 0-)

    Full run-down of all Arizona races at Blog for Arizona.
    The Barber campaign hopes to attract volunteers with a concert Saturday night. His former employer Gabrielle Giffords will make an appearance.

    The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

    by Azazello on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:30:40 AM PDT

  •  NM-01: Manzano Calls it For Griego (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Per Joe Monahan's blog, polling outfit Manzano Strategies sticks their neck out and say Griego will win, based on his ability to turn out a motivated liberal base.

    "And once again, the forces of niceness and goodness have triumphed over the forces of evil and rottenness." --Maxwell Smart

    by emobile on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:42:47 AM PDT

    •  Griego has some serious personal issues. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I hope he doesn't win. He'll make this a much closer race then it has to be.

      20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

      by ndrwmls10 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:48:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aside from the traffic tix? (0+ / 0-)

        I know that's a drag and the other side will pound him relentlessly on it, but if that's the best they can do then I'm not worried about it.  Unfortunately traffic problems dog a lot of NM pols.  The fact that he is the only actual progressive candidate among the three I think works in his favor.

        "And once again, the forces of niceness and goodness have triumphed over the forces of evil and rottenness." --Maxwell Smart

        by emobile on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 07:54:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Maryland and Redistricting (0+ / 0-)

    The map that was overturned 50 years ago occured in a very different world in terms of congressional and legislative districts. We take as a given today (thanks to baker v. carr) that all congressional districts should have the same number of people and that state districts must be close to that (even in the NY Senate, which we viewed as very twisted) all districts have to stay within 5% of the average).

    Prior to the 1960 census, Maryland had 7 congressional districts, none of which crossed a county line. District 1 was the entire Eastern Shore, (Cecil and South), District 2 was Baltimore, Carroll and Harford County, Districts 3,4 & 7 were Baltimore City, District 5 was Anne Arundel county and South and District 6 was Montgomery County North and West.

    In the 1960 census, Maryland went from 7 to 8 congressional districts and handled it (after a great deal of legislative wrangling by simply splitting Prince Georges and Howard County out of the 5th District into the new 8th without adjusting any of the other congressional districts at all. Montgomery County (which had grown considerably and hadn't gained anything) was the source of most of the signatures to put it on the ballot.


    •  The only ones really negatively affected by the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      new map are Republicans in MD-06. The eastern shore is a safe for Republicans for the forseeable future. And the population of MD-06, had it not been lumped in with part of MoCo would not be enough to sustain one man one vote moving into the future.

      •  There are alternative approaches (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They could have kept 6 roughly as it is now, which was basically as a GOP vote sink with lots of rural and exurban Republican territory in Frederick, Carroll, Harford, and northern Baltimore Counties that was redistributed into other districts and replaced with Montgomery Democrats.  But that would probably have either kept 1 at least semi-competitive for Democrats or, if not, only cemented the current 6-2 split.

        Of course, some in the GOP woyld argue for "cleaner" lines on "good government" grounds.  To that I say redraw maps in North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas to reflect that and we'll talk.

        36, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

        by Mike in MD on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 10:58:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To be honest they should be happy they went with a (0+ / 0-)

          7-1 map. It could have easily went to an 8-0 if they had drawn part of PG county and MoCo into Andy Harris' district, but that would have been even "uglier" and most definitely been open to charges of partisan gerrymandering (which is just how the game is played, until you appoint a bipartisan redistricting commission)

  •  Quite an impressive performance by (0+ / 0-)


    "I want to be President of the United States! Wait, no, I guess I don't, because my campaign is invisible and I have nothing to offer to voters anywhere."  

    Presidential campaign = dead on arrival.  

    Still dead weeks later.  

    "Ok, what the heck, I'll just run for my Congressional seat. Should be a cakewalk. Wait, no, I haven't seemed to qualify for the ballot."  

    Kind of a problem.  

    "Nevermind that darn ballot anyway -- I'll run as a write in candidate!"  

    Oops.  No solid footing there either.  No appeal.  No organization.  No focus.  No chance.  

    Nicely done, Thad.  You wowed us with this one.  

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