Hotline Sort: Congressman Says He's Not A Crook
Welcome back to Hotline Sort. Tim Bishop says he's not a crook, American Crossroads blasts Obama's record in battlegrounds, a new poll shows Cory Booker would give Christie a run for his money, and Michelle Obama wowed the convention hall Tuesday night.
13) An internal poll conducted for state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, the Democratic nominee in California's 47th Congressional District, finds him up 51 percent to 31 percent over Republican Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong in an open seat matchup. DeLong is a social moderate with deep local roots, and Republicans are hopeful of contending for the seat despite the district's Democratic lean. But Lowenthal's new poll shows him staked to a wide lead while showing President Obama leading Mitt Romney 56 percent to 35 percent, a slight drop-off from what the president won against John McCain in that area in 2008.
The poll was conducted by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research from Aug. 16-19 and surveyed 400 likely voters. The margin of error is 4.9 percentage points.
12) Freshman Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-N.Y., launches her first TV ad of the 2012 campaign today. Like the opening spots for a few other endangered incumbents, Buerkle's ad makes no mention of her service in Congress, instead focusing on her family's story and her work as a nurse and health care attorney. Though presidential-year turnout will not help Buerkle in New York's Democratic-leaning 24th District, the GOP is hopeful that she can contrast her personal biography with ex-Rep. Dan Maffei's government experience to pull off another upset victory for a second term.
11) It looks like freshman Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., is assured of a second term in Congress. His Democratic opponent, Michael Herrington, dropped out of the race Tuesday. Palazzo's seat was held by conservative Democrat Gene Taylor for over 20 years before he lost in 2010; he was already heavily favored for re-election.
10) The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has for months highlighted scandal-plagued Republicans in the hope of pushing a wider corruption angle for this year's elections. Boosted by recent stories about Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., and other members, the National Republican Congressional Committee is getting into the act today, launching a "Corrupt Democrats" site on their Web page and highlighting Nevada state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, the Democratic nominee in Nevada's 4th District. Horsford has some unflattering stories in his legislative history, but whether GOP nominee Danny Tarkanian (who also has baggage) can capitalize in a Democratic-leaning district is another story. The Tarkanian camp has released internal polls showing him leading early, and today's video release is another sign the GOP isn't abandoning what once looked to be a safe Democratic seat.
9) Meanwhile, Bishop says he is not a crook in a new television advertisement that shows how damaging the hits to his ethical standing have been over the summer. Bishop's Republican opponent, Randy Altschuler, has been all over Bishop after the New York press reported he asked for campaign contributions in exchange for a constituent to get approval for a bar mitzvah fireworks display.
"My opponent, Randy Altschuler, says I'm a criminal. You know me and you know for Randy Altschuler to say that is just despicable," Bishop says to camera in the ad. "I'm proud of my service to this district and for Randy Altschuler to say I'm a criminal just shows he'll do anything to get elected."
8) Former Republican Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson will be co-chairing a new political action committee that's designed to help Democrats - but those that are willing to work with Republicans. The political action committee is being formed by ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Grayson said he's still a Republican, but that he's doing it in her honor because he's a good friend of hers.
7) A newly-released Quinnipiac poll in New Jersey shows GOP Gov. Chris Christie leading Newark mayor Cory Booker, 47 to 40 percent, in a battle of the state's political titans. There's a big gender gap: Men back Christie 55 to 36 percent; Booker wins women, 44 to 40 percent. Booker has hinted he may run for governor, but he'd face a safer path if he ran for the Senate, assuming Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg retired.