Welcome back to Hotline Sort. The Club for Growth makes its first foray into the ad war in Ohio's Senate race, Warren and Scott Brown have tough new ads out, Obama and Romney show off their lighter sides, and Rendell blasts Casey for running a lackluster campaign.
15) Former Democratic Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey didn't mince words on MSNBC's "Hardball" last night. Kerrey, on Senate opponent Deb Fischer: "She won the Republican nomination because a guy named of Joe Ricketts basically put a bullet in the head of the attorney general and killed him just before the primary."
14) More than 100 staff members of the Seattle Times signed a letter to the newspaper's publisher protesting the decision to launch an ad campaign supporting Republican gubernatorial nominee Rob McKenna.
13) It's never too soon to start thinking about Election Day ... 2013. A new NY1-Marist poll out Thursday night shows a fairly wide-open race for the Democratic nomination in next year's New York City mayoral race. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn still leads the field, but her support has dwindled since the spring, the poll shows. The 2009 nominee, former city Comptroller Bill Thompson, continues to be the second choice of Big Apple Democrats. The current, scandal-ridden comptroller, John Liu, shares third-tier status with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
12) The Congressional Leadership Fund GOP super PAC is up with a new ad campaign in five districts, targeting Reps. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio, Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., Lois Capps, D-Calif., Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y. and Texas Congressional candidate Pete Gallego, who is running against GOP Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco, R-Texas.
11) Florida GOP Senate nominee Connie Mack has decided he wants to debate again.
10) Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., is up with a new ad where he says it's time for our men and women in uniform to come home, and "time to make Iraq and Afghanistan take care of themselves."
The ad comes after Sen. Rand Paul's, R-Ky., PAC launched a commercial attacking Manchin for voting against an amendment to cut off foreign aid to nations including Egypt, Pakistan and Libya.
9) Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, perhaps a little off-message talking about Democratic Sen. Bob Casey's reelection campaign:
"Casey? He hasn't run a campaign. He's run one ad, a stupid Tea Party ad," Mr. Rendell said. "The Tea Party ad isn't bad, but that's all they've run. They've run a non-campaign up until now and Smith has put a lot of money into the campaign. ... You start spending money, that'll change."
8) Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle
released her internal tracking numbers to reporters on Wednesday, seeking to overcome the assumption that she was trailing badly in the Aloha State's Senate race (the last week of tracking shows Lingle behind by 4 points, the campaign said). But Democratic Rep. Mazie Hirono
is pushing back this morning with a recent internal memo from pollster Pete Brodnitz
. The Oct. 9-11 Benenson Strategy Group poll shows Hirono leading Lingle by 18 points, 56 percent to 38 percent. That's exactly where the race was last month, Brodnitz writes.
The poll surveyed 500 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.4 percentage points.
7) Big night for Senate debates last night: Candidates faced off in Virginia
, and Missouri
6) Sen. Scott Brown
, R-Mass., and his Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren
are both up with new attack ads.
goes after Warren's work for LTV Steel, saying she "sided with yet another big corporation against working people." The announcer concludes that Warren's "just not who she says she is."
focuses on Senate control. "Just one vote, just one Senator, could put Republicans in control of the United States Senate," says the announcer before ticking through a list of issues that could be affected by which party holds the majority in the Senate.
5) We wrote last week that Nevada Democrats are convinced that this year will be a repeat of 2010
, when public polls showed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
behind in his Senate race right up until Election Day -- when we won by nearly 6 points. To wit: After two automated polls
released Thursday showed GOP Sen. Dean Heller
leading Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley
by a high-single-digit margin, the Berkley camp released their second internal poll in as many weeks showing her with a statistically-insignificant, 3-point lead, 41 percent to 38 percent. That is virtually identical to their poll last week, which she led, 42 percent to 39 percent. The latest poll was conducted Oct. 15-17, surveying 600 likely voters, for a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.
In the memorandum released to reporters, Berkley pollster Mark Mellman
-- who also polled for Reid last cycle -- writes, "As you know, every public poll in the 2010 Senate race proved to be far off the mark. So it is with the 2012 polling." Democrats seem content to put their money on Mellman's modeling, but it remains to be seen if the public pollsters learned anything from their failure two years ago.
4) The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $29.2 million during the third quarter of the year, Politico reports
. The DSCC had $30 million cash on hand at the end of September.
3) President Obama
and Mitt Romney brought out their best jokes
at the Al Smith charity dinner last night. A sampling:
Romney (clad in black tuxedo and a white bow tie): "It's nice to finally relax and wear what Ann
and I wear around the house."
Obama: "As some of you may have noticed, I had a lot more energy in our second debate. I felt really well-rested after the nice long nap I had in the first debate."
2) Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Romney, is making
a $12 million ad buy in nine states.
1) Club for Growth Action will announce a big buy to run exclusively in the Columbus, Ohio media market: $800,000 targeting Sen. Sherrod Brown
, D-Ohio. The spot
calls Brown "foolish with your taxes." The ad says he "cleared the way for a cap and trade energy tax," "supported the death tax," and "six times voted to raise his own pay."
The buy marks the Club's first foray into the ad war in Ohio's Senate contest.