Oct. 08

Click for www.electoral-vote.com

New Senate: DEM 48     Ties 1     GOP 51

New polls: GA MI MN VA
Dem pickups: (None)

Previous | Next

Republicans Abandon Terri Lynn Land

As crunch time approaches, both parties are starting to triage their candidates. Republican Senate hopeful Terri Lynn Land in Michigan didn't make the cut as the NRSC is canceling $1 million worth of ads that were scheduled on her behalf. As a result, Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) is almost certain to fill the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI). This also means the Democrats can redirect at least part of the money they were planning to spend in Michigan to Colorado, Iowa, Alaska, and other states where it is close.

Rural Voters Abandon Roberts in Kansas

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) has always been popular in the small town around the famous Dodge City, KS, but his popularity is dropping and the population of these areas is declining. His challenger, independent Greg Orman, is focusing on younger, better educated voters in and around Kansas City, Topeka, and Witchita. He is also aiming at the 24% of the voters who are Democrats and who don't have a candidate since theirs dropped out. Roberts is hastily trying to set up a campaign in small towns around the state, but it is hard to do that overnight and until now he has been overconfident and neglected his base. Playing catchup may be hard at this late date.

Nunn and Perdue Engage in a Slugfest

Georgia Senate candidates Michelle Nunn (D) and David Perdue (R) really lit into each other in their debate yesterday. Nunn accused Perdue of outsourcing American jobs to 16 countries. Perdue didn't exactly deny it but called her a liberal lapdog. Nunn blasted Perdue for opposing the farm bill and immigration reform. Perdue hit Nunn for supporting "Obamacare." Nunn then reminded him that he was running against her, not against Harry Reid or Barack Obama.

Also on stage was Libertarian Party candidate Amanda Swafford, who has been polling at about 5%. She could keep the other candidates from hitting 50%, in which case there will be a runoff on Jan. 6, 2015. Heaven help us if control of the Senate depends on the runoff.

Judge Throws Out Gerrymandered Virginia Congressional Map

Yesterday a district judge threw out the gerrymandered map of Virginia's 11 congressional districts. The judge said it was racially motivated, in violation of the law. Republicans got 51% of the vote in the most recent House election, but ended up with 73% of the House seats (8 of 11), a classic case of gerrymandering.

The state legislature will now have to draw a new map before the 2016 elections. Although the Republicans control the state legislature, if they try to draw a new gerrymandered map, it will be vetoed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA), so they will be forced to work with the Democrats to draw up a neutral map, unless an appeals court throws out the lower court decision.

Gubernatorial Contests Could Affect House Races

While contests for the governor's mansion seem separate from those for the House, they are inextricably linked by one thing: turnout. If there is a hot contest for governor, more people turnout to vote and that can affect downballot races, including those for Congress. Roll Call has made a list of six states where the race for governor could affect House races, as follows.

Arizona. Doug Ducey (R) and Fred DuVal (D) are the gubernatorial candidates in the race to replace Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ). DuVal is a Tucson native and his presence on the ballot could help Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ), whose district covers Tucson.

Colorado. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) is in a tight race with former representative Bob Beauprez (R). The turnout could affect the race between Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Democrat Andrew Romanoff.

Florida. As Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) battles former governor Charlie Crist, once a Republican, now a Democrat, the race could have fallout in the panhandle, where Rep. Steve Southerland II (R-FL) is in a tight race with Gwen Graham (D).

Illinois. Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL) is extremely unpopular, and this could hurt Democratic candidates downballot. In particular, if Democratic turnout drops because Democrats don't want to vote for either Quinn or his Republican opponent, Bruce Rauner, it could hurt Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Bill Enyart (D-IL).

Kansas. Kansas is a mess. Both Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) are deeply unpopular in the state. Anything could happen here.

Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) is in a very tight race with former congressman Mark Schauer (D). Turnout could affect whether Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) in MI-01 can hold his own against retired Gen. Jerry Cannon (D). Mitt Romney carried the district with 54%.

Ted Cruz Poaching on Huckabee/Santorum Territory

For the most part, Republican leaders and candidates had no comment about the Supreme Court's refusal to take up a same-sex marriage case Monday. They understand in the long run (and maybe the short run), it is a losing issue. One exception is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who blasted the Supreme Court for "judicial activism" for not making a ruling. Cruz wants to ingratiate himself with social conservatives for 2016. If former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee or former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum run, they would normally get the social conservative vote, but Cruz is positioning himself in their territory in case neither one runs. While declarations like today's could help in the Republican primaries, they could easily come back to bite him in the general election, but first he has to become the Republican nominee.

Republican Presidential Candidates Audition before Donors

In a $75 million apartment on Fifth Avenue in New York, many of the potential Republican presidential candidates lined up for inspection by the wealthy Republican donors assembled there. They all failed. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) talked about penal reform. Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) talked about his program for treating the mentally ill. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) recited his biography, which all the donors already knew. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) talked about the nuts and bolts of various gubernatorial races. Perhaps most telling was the presence of Mitt Romney in the background. While he is not running, he is also not not running.

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Georgia Michelle Nunn 43% David Perdue 45%     Oct 02 Oct 05 PPP
Michigan Gary Peters 47% Terri Land 36%     Sep 30 Oct 01 Marketing Resource Grp.
Minnesota Al Franken* 55% Mike McFadden 37%     Sep 30 Oct 02 SurveyUSA
Virginia Mark Warner* 51% Ed Gillespie 39%     Sep 29 Oct 05 Christopher Newport U.

* Denotes incumbent

Back to the main page