4:55 PM PST- MO-SEN: A received a tweet telling me my article on 1980 v. 2012 is wrong because McCaskill has asked the White House to stay away in Missouri. If this is to be believed, triage helps some Democrats chances this fall. The theory sounds nice.
The problem is that this rarely works. Elections are won when you unite your side and your opposition is divided. Betraying your base to move to the center produces mixed results. Persuading independents accomplishes nothing if members of your base stay home. Furthermore, she's going to need to support of every single African American voter she could possibly win in St. Louis and Kansas City if she wants to pull this thing off. Obama could be very helpful in maximizing turnout here.
2:03 PM PST- Enthusiasm: Republicans are downright excited about voting this November. 51% say they are more excited than usual about this election, a total matching Republican enthusiasm in 2004. Democrats, however, are far less jazzed about going to the polls. Only 38% of Democrats are more excited than usual, the lowest total on record. I expect this gap to narrow in coming months, but Democrats won't have the level of enthusiasm they've had for the last 5 presidential elections.
The election could easily turn into a blowout.
1:25 PM PST- Florida: Alvin Brown (D), Jacksonville's mayor and an African American, will not be endorsing President Obama this year. In 2008, Barack Obama ran essentially even with McCain here and the refusal of the mayor to stand with the president here speaks volumes about the president's chances in this swing state. There is a lot of reluctance on the part of Democrats in anything close to a competitive region to back the president.
1:10 PM PST- PA-18: Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi (D) has made a $494,000 reservation for this fall. This is more than Maggi had on hand as of the end of June. I suspect this designed to grab headlines in an attempt to attract donors to his campaign. I have this race rated as "Safe Republican".
1:00 PM PST- Ron Paul: I gave Ron Paul a lot of grief in the primaries about being a do-nothing blowhard, but his years of yelling in the wilderness has resulted in today's 327-98 passage of an audit the Fed bill. It passed with enough bi-partisan support to pressure Harry Reid to bring it up for a vote in the Senate. Whether or not it happens is to be seen, but this legislation will be Paul's legacy. Persistence paid off for the long time Congressman.
For the record, I oppose this bill because it politicizes the money supply. This is a recipe for disaster.
12:35 PM PST- NY-24: A somewhat surprising poll taken for the House Majority PAC (D) has former Rep. Dan Maffei leading Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle 44-40. Barack Obama won the district by 14 points, Buerkle has been a staunch conservative, Maffei was barely unseated in 2010, and this seat is routinely projected as "Leans D" by prognosticators so a hometeam poll showing Maffei up 8-10 was more expected.
I take this as a sign Buerkle is more resilient than I expected and cements this race as a toss up.
12:17 PM PST- CA-26: Assemblywoman Julia Brownley released a poll showing her ahead 48-44 against State Sen. Tony Strickland in the open 26th. This seat is widely considered the Democrats best chance at a pick up in California.
11:37 AM PST- Romney: The challenger continues to press attacks on the president's anti-business comments. He's galvanized small business owners and has found a new energy. Plus, Obama is still trying to put this behind him after 10 days meaning he's failed to convince voters this was an isolated incident.
11:28 AM PST- MI-11: Another political ad that makes me feel like I need a shower.
I understand Nancy Cassis is playing the disqualification card on her opponent because she is waging a difficult write-in campaign. Nevertheless, rampant negativity lowers your own approval rating and she still has a general election to win.
10:53 AM PST- Priorities USA: Want to see an ad destined to backfire?
First, the ad reminds everyone that Romney saved the 2002 Olympics. This doesn't help Obama.
Second, the outsourcing/tax havens attacks are old and haven't worked. If anything, they've hurt the president because it makes him look petty.
Third, the tone of the ad is wrong. The seriousness of the charges leveled is undermined because the mood is sarcastic. It reeks of schadenfreude.
Finally, the Olympics is an event that brings Americans together. Candidates should go aggressively positive. Families watching the Olympics don't want their family time invaded by nasty political ads. Bitter attacks, and sarcasm can thinly mask bitterness, are more likely to blow up in the face of the attacker than they are to hurt the intended target.
10:45 AM PST- FL-18: Allen West's latest ad deserves to be watched. It features a soldier who served under West telling us that West gave him his own body armor and this armor saved his life in an ambush.
West's personal story is very powerful and it's hard to deny his greatness as a man. Democratic attempts to pain him as a loon are going to fall on deaf ears.
10:30 AM PST- IN-SEN: Tsk, tsk. Joe Donnelly's latest ad attacks Richard Mourdock for trying to kill Indiana jobs by trying to stop the bailout of Chrysler. Of course, Chrysler was owned by a private equity firm (Cerebrus)and was bailed out before. Attacking Republicans on this is good issue for Democrats, because Chrysler will need to get bailed out in the future as well.
9:44 AM PST- Pennsylvania: For once, I find myself not shredding a PPP poll at first gland. Obama leads Romney 49-43 which is slightly tighter than the 50-42 result in March. This shift is a fairly accurate representation of the national trend over the last few months where the election has broken toward Romney ever so slightly.
Even as national polls are close, Barack Obama remains a favorite on a state by state level.
9:27 AM PST- NY-SEN: Quinnipiac shows Wendy Long languishing in the mid TWENTIES. Way to pick her over Rep. Bob Turner NY GOP. Really smart.
9:23 AM PST- MI-SEN: Meanwhile in Michigan's senate race, Rasmussen shows a result 5 points more favorable to the GOP than we are seeing from anyone else. Sen. Stabenowe leads Pete Hoekstra 46-40 and Clark Durant 47-39. To be fair, we are talking about a likely voter model rather than a registered voter model, something probably worth a few points.
Both Hoekstra and Durant are positioned to make the Senate race more competitive than currently forecasted (which is not very).
9:10 AM PST- Michigan: PPP continues to see/doctor results in Michigan, with their latest poll being 8 points more favorable to Mr. Obama than any other recent polling. Because they are so far out of the mainstream here, I find it difficult to take them seriously. I find it hard to believe Obama truly leads Romney 53-39. Fortunately, the non partisan Mitchell Research released a survey of their own showing Mr. Romney with a 45 to 44 lead.