The Cycle 7/11/2012

The Cycle 7/11/2012

POTUS

American Crossroads: Rove's super PAC has reserved a jaw dropping 40 million dollars worth of ads in 8 battleground states (Florida 10M, Ohio 7M, Virginia 6.5M, North Carolina 4M, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire). 

The locations of these buys really take me back to watching Rove dig his heels in and target his 270 EV strategy in 2004. 

Florida: Romney 46, Obama 45 (Rasmussen). Florida is the perennial swing state.

North Carolina: PPP corrected it's modeling errors which allowed a Republican to come out ahead in North Carolina. Obama 47, Romney 46. Once again, PPP has produced a result that is the most pro-Obama of any public polling.

Romney: Despite being outspent and facing repeated attacks on his record at Bain, Mitt Romney remains tied with President Obama in the latest WaPo poll. 

Team Obama has thrown everything not bolted to the ground at Gov. Romney and have been unable to slow him down. Democrats should start to worry, because they are running out of ammo and he's still approaching.

Virginia: Obama 50, Romney 42 (PPP). Once the hooting and hollering from Democrats about Obama's huge lead in Virginia dies down, I'd like to remind everyone that PPP is the most favorable firm to Democrats and the last time they looked at Virginia they found the same result. Nate Silver referred to this as "a ground rule double and not a homer". I concur. 

I'm sure Romney would like to be doing better for the purposes of spinning a narrative, but PPP has dropped all pretense of objectivity this year and is turning out some wacky stuff.

Senate

CT-SEN: He'll never be able to outraise Linda McMahon, but Chris Murphy simply needs to raise enough money to get his message out. The link is worth a click through because his campaign is really laying the grassroots message on thick. We get it, Linda McMahon has a lot of money and you don't. Get over it already.

FL-SEN: A pro-Mack super PAC is collecting huge amounts of money to level the playing field against the well financed incumbent Bill Nelson. My biggest fear about this race has been the possibility of Nelson using his massive warchest to run wall to wall ads saying Connie Mack eats puppies, or some other nonsense, while Mack is unable to respond due to a lack of funds. Sheldon Adelson has chipped in a million bucks. 

MT-SEN: When Democrats are able to get the support of pro-gun organizations it's a major coup. Denny Rehberg has landed himself in the dog house with the Montana Hunters and Anglers Leadership Fund who are running a $350K ad attacking him for being anti-hunter. 

In a bizarre twist, the League of Conservation voters (who hates hunters) funded this ad because of Rehberg's support of the Keystone Pipeline. Politics makes strange bedfellows.

ND-SEN: Oh sweet irony. The DSCC is running an ad in North Dakota attacking freshman Rep. Rick Berg for having "Washington priorities". An organization based out of Washington DC, formed to grow their influence within Washington DC, is attacking a longtime North Dakota resident with a short tenure in the nations capitol for not caring about his home state. The entire line of attack is groan inducing, even for a nerd such as myself who has a high tolerance for political hypocrisy.

NE-SEN: It's not good when the wife of a candidate comes out and mocks the simplistic way of life in Nebraska, with it's anti-abortion billboards, hunting of deer and fascination with the silly game of football. Sarah Paley, Kerrey's wife, is doing her part for the Fischer campaign by acting like a New York liberal.

NM-SEN: Democrat Martin Heinrich raised an impressive 1.4 million in the second quarter, a huge improvement over the $490K raised in the previous reporting period. He should be able to rally the Democratic base now that the primary is behind him. No word on his Republican opponents fundraising numbers. 

NV-SEN: An ethics investigation is never a good thing, especially in the middle of a difficult election in a swing state, so I'd assume the downside to this is self explanatory. Nevertheless, we are seeing a series of pieces in political media explaining the ramifications of the investigation into Rep. Shelley Berkley.

Ethics questions are NEVER a good thing. The best case scenario is you survive them and people move on.

The only question with Berkley's campaign is whether or not this proves fatal to her candidacy or is simply a headwind she can overcome.

WI-SEN:

Thompson 45, Baldwin 45 (PPP)
Hovde 46, Baldwin 45 (PPP)

House

CA-26: In the battle for the highly contested race, Democratic challenger Assemblymember Julia Brownley raised $637,000 this quarter but only has $320,000 in the bank following the primary. Nevertheless, National groups will keep her afloat financially and the 4700 individual donors is quite impressive.

CO-3: State Rep. Sal Pace is determined to be a thorn in the side of freshman Rep. Scott Tipton, raising $410K with $790K cash on hand. It's still a seat Republicans are likely to retain, but it could be more of a challenge than they'd like.

FL-18: One of the left's dogmas is Allen West's lunacy. They have convinced themselves that he is too polarizing to win re-election. West may be a lot of things, but a fringe politician is not one of them. Check out how Allen West handles a tracker being sent to follow him and ask him why he hates old people.

Despite the annoyance of an attempted ambush for a "gotcha" moment, West remains poised. He calls the gentleman following him on the stunt and tells him he's embarrassing himself. These are not the actions of a wingnut. West remains the adult in the room, even when he is the center of controversy.

The absence of anger from his public comments is his most notable characteristic. While his words are strong, his tone is always measured and this ability to passionately disagree with someone on an issue, without malice, is why he'll win a second term.

IL-10: Despite the 10th's tradition of sending a Republican to Congress since 1980, I get the feeling that one of these days the Grand Ole Party's luck is going to run out. Rep. Bob Dold won his first term because of a great year for Republicans, his predecessor Mark Kirk's statewide senate bid driving turnout, and an exceptionally weak Democratic opponent with two previous losses under his belt.

Dold's luck appears to have changed. Businessman Brad Schneider is no slouch and raised $583K last quarter with $563K in the bank

IN-2: Jackie Walorski raised a solid $330,000 with $720,000 in the bank. It's a very impressive number in GOP-leaning district being vacated by Rep. Joe Donnelly. Her solid organization could scare off national money who could try to offset this Democratic loss elsewhere.

KY-6: The Barr campaign is doing everything in it's power to make me consider moving this race into the toss up category. They matched Chandler in 2nd quarter fundraising and trail in cash on hand $758,102 to $1,345,663. The financial disparity is small enough that a "throw the bums out" electorate could hand the GOP a much needed pick up early in the evening.

NH-2: Ann Kuster raised 480K, but no word on her cash on hand. In this rematch of the 2010 showdown, Rep. Charlie Bass had better bring his best effort or he's going to find himself out of a job. 

PA-7: Pat Meehan raised over $500,000 and he's not even facing a serious challenge. He's got statewide potential.

WA-10: Denny Heck (D) is making it rain with $310K raised and over a million in the bank.

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