The Live Cycle 7/9/2012

The Live Cycle 7/9/2012

4:25 PM PST- RI-1: I've been sleeping on this race. Embattled Rep. David Cicilline's race against Brendan Doherty is now considered a toss-up by most national analysts but I've simply changing it from "Likely D" to "Leans D". Cicilline may be struggling in the polls now, but it's a very Democratic district and defeating him will be no small feat.

4:18 PM PST- MN-2: John Kline raised 428K in 2Q, while his opponent fmr state Rep. Mike Obermueller raised $252,976. Not enough to put Kline in danger, but enough to guarantee he will need to spend more money here than he'd like.

4:15 PM PST- NY-25, NY-27: Louise Slaughter and Kathy Hochul are making Team Blue proud by each posting very solid numbers this quarter, half a million for each.

4:05 PM PST- FL-18: Businessman Patrick Murphy raised $508K of "We hate Allen West" money. Considering the polarizing nature of West, I'm not blown away by this number and expect West to exceed this total when he releases his number.

4:00 PM PST- NC-GOV: Pat McCrory raised 2.2 million last quarter and has 4.4 million in the bank. No word on the number posted by Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton. 

2:35 PM PST- NV-SEN: House Ethics Committee will move forward with it's investigation of Rep. Shelley Berkley. In response to this development, I'm moving the race from "Toss Up" to "Leans R".

2:30 PM PST- Senate Outlook: Mitch McConnell is telling folks he believes Republican chances at taking the Senate are 50-50. This view has quickly become the conventional wisdom and it assumes Democrats will win, through superior organization, the majority of close races throughout the country. 

I'm hesitant to write off Republican chances at a large majority because, if the national race between Romney and Obama turns into a 4 point (or greater) victory for Romney, there are going to be quite a few new Republican senators who will win narrow victories as a result. We could easily be looking at a Republican majority of 55+ seats. Easily.

2:20 PM PST- VA-SEN: Tim Kaine dropped another million into ad reservations this fall, bringing his total to 3.5 million. George Allen, by contrast, has reserved 3 million worth of ads.

2:10 PM PST- NV-SEN: More troublesome news for Shelley Berkley. She only leads amongst Latino voters by a 53-30 margin, while Obama holds a 49 point victory over Romney. 

Heller is aggressively courting the support of Latino voters, an effort destined to pay dividends in future elections as well. 

2:05 PM PST- ND-SEN: American Crossroads has also reserved $800,000 of ad time this fall to be used to influence the Senate race.

2:00 PM PST- ND-SEN: Even though DKE has moved this race to a "toss up" today, I'm keeping this race as "leans R" because of the health care issue. American Commitment is running $115,000 (a lot by ND standards) to hit Heidi Heitkamp on this issue. Heitkamp has already run ads saying Obamacare has "good and bad" parts, comments that won't protect her from an electorate demanding repeal.

1:55 PM PST- MI-SEN: Sen. Debbie Stabenow raised a very respectable 1.48 million this quarter for her defense against her TBD Republican challenger.

1:35 PM PST- Virginia: Everyone's favorite Democratic pollster is hinting that Virginia's polling will be really super duper good for Obama. PPP was rated by number's guru Nate Silver as the second most favorable poll for Dems, so bear this in mind.

1:28 PM PST- KY-6: Andy Barr (R) is out with a poll showing him trailing in the rematch with Rep. Ben Chandler (D) 42-47, an improvement from the 42-49 deficit in February. Chandler survived the 2010 wave, despite very Republican territory, because of his ability to project an image of independence from the national party. It's a positive development for Team Red, but Chandler is going to be very difficult to unseat.

1:22 PM PST- Utah: 538 has a very informative piece on the nuance of Utah politics. While perhaps the most Republican state in the nation, Utah is not a bastion of conservatism. Nonetheless, social issues keep the GOP dominant here.

1:15 PM PST- IL-13: Some much needed good news for Republican efforts at holding control of the US House of Representatives. Rodney Davis, GOP replacement for retiring Rep. Tim Johnson, hauled an impressive $400K. No word on whether or not Democrat David Gill has been able to ratchet up his fundraising in light of the competitive race.

11:09 AM PST Romney: The challenger outraised the incumbent 106M to 71M (or by 35 million for those following at home) in June. 

10:54 AM PST CA-SEN: A Field poll shows Diane Feinstien leading by 19 points, but only 51-32 against a relatively unknown Elizabeth Emken. The Autism Speaks founder has a compelling story and could far outperform a traditional Republican in a deep blue state.

10:47 AM PST- Iowa: Republicans now hold a narrow 21,000 voter registration advantage in the swing state, up from 4,000 a month ago. Democratic spin blames competitive Republican primaries for the switch, and it is true to an extent, but folks don't go through the hassle of switching their registration in May to vote for the opposite party in November.

10:35 AM PST- FL-7: Harsh words from Rep. Sandy Adams in her member v. member with Rep. John Mica. "Twenty-year incumbent John Mica, who calls himself President Obama’s biggest cheerleader, will join his "soul mate" Barbara Boxer for President Obama's signing of their budget-busting transportation bill.  As Mica stands with the president today, does he also agree with fellow big-government Republican, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, that “The Chinese are more successful [in building infrastructure] because in their country, only three people make the decision?” h/t: Politico

10:00 AM PST MA-SEN: Elizabeth Warren's money vacuum has sucked up a ridiculous 8.67 million in the 2nd quarter. This is the best haul I have ever seen.

While Scott Brown should be concerned, national Republicans should smile when they see her numbers. Warren is sucking the oxygen out of the room and making it difficult for other Democrats to raise netroots money. Rep. Joe Donnelly attempted to raise money via the netroots, but had a disappointing quarter because folks kept throwing their money at Warren. 

Money won't be Warren's problem, but her fundraising national operation is taking precious dollars from local candidates in $25 and $50 chunks.

9:45 AM PST IN-SEN: I've resisted the DSCC spin telling us we'd better consider Indiana a "toss up". I feel vindicated by the second quarter fundraising numbers released today. Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock raised a respectable, but not eye popping, 1.6 million this quarter, while Democrat Rep. Joe Donnelly raised an unimpressive $900,000. 

Simply put, Donnelly had the opportunity to garner some real momentum when Mourdock defeated Lugar and hasn't capitalized. A strong quarter would have forced national donors to give him another look. His failure to post a good number undermines his efforts to show this seat to be competitive.

9:30 AM PST WA-GOV: Jay Inslee is up with his first TV spot. As a Washingtonian, I can tell you it will play well in the suburbs and eastern Washington (two areas where Inslee has been struggling).

9:15 AM PST NV-SEN: Rep. Shelley Berkley, who has had an ethics cloud weighing down her candidacy for the better part of a year, should find out today if allegations about using her office to help her husbands business will go to the full House Ethics Committee. It would require at least one Democrat to vote for this to continue.

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