TEXAS: NRA Boosts Lampson With Its Endorsement
Rep. Nick Lampson (D) received the backing of the National Rifle Association on Monday, an endorsement likely to bolster his re-election prospects in the Republican-leaning 2nd district.
“Hunting is a hobby I share with many other southeast Texans and rest assured I will continue to protect the rights of gun owners and sportsmen in Congress,” Lampson said in a news release.
Lampson faces former state district judge Ted Poe (R), who won a crowded March primary without a runoff.
The Houston-area district was drawn by GOP legislators to favor a Republican candidate; it would have provided statewide GOPers with an average of 61 percent of the vote in 2002.
Lampson is one of five Democratic incumbents whom the Republican-led redistricting plan has jeopardized.
Lampson has performed well on the fundraising front with $807,000 on hand through June 30; Poe had just $336,000 on hand at that time.
— Chris Cillizza
Voter Rolls Moving Gallagher’s Way in 3rd
There are almost as many active Democratic voters as Republican in the Silver State’s 3rd district, according to new figures released by the Clark County elections department — a trend that Democrats are touting.
As of July 1, there were only 55 more GOP active voters than Democrats in the competitive district, while Democrats still enjoy an advantage in overall voter registration.
Active voters are defined as people who have voted in at least one of the previous two federal elections.
There are 166,792 registered Democrats in the 3rd, a suburban Las Vegas district entirely within Clark County, and 162,948 Republicans.
The campaign of former gaming executive Tom Gallagher (D) heralded this as good news.
The voter registration numbers come on the heels of a recent Gallagher poll showing him gaining on freshman Rep. Jon Porter (R).
Porter now leads 46 percent to 40 percent.
The Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group survey of 400 likely voters with a 5 percent error margin showed Gallagher with a 6-point lead over Porter among independent voters.
Gallagher’s name ID almost matches Porter’s, according to Democratic sources. The new poll came after Gallagher reportedly spent $330,000 on television commercials.
— Nicole Duran
Bowles Maintains Lead of 10 Points Over Burr
A new Mason-Dixon poll in the Tar Heel State Senate race showed Erskine Bowles (D) maintaining a 10-point lead over Rep. Richard Burr (R).
The poll, conducted for a group of news outlets in the state, showed Bowles leading Burr 48 percent to 38 percent. It surveyed 625 likely voters and was taken July 12-13. The margin of error was 4 points.
The last Mason-Dixon poll released in May showed Bowles leading Burr 45 percent to 35 percent.
Since then, both candidates have aired a series of television ads. The new poll still shows Bowles, who ran and lost to now-Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) in 2002, with a 20-point name-identification advantage.
— Lauren W. Whittington
Two Senate Polls Differ on Republican Outcome
With just a week to go in the race for the GOP Senate nomination, the contest between Rep. Tom Coburn and former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys appears too close to call, according to a new poll published Sunday.
Coburn narrowly led Humphreys, 37 percent to 34 percent, while 21 percent of voters were undecided. Both Coburn and Humphreys had wide leads in their respective bases of Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
The poll, sponsored by the Tulsa World and KOTV, was conducted July 8-12 by Tulsa-based Consumer Logic. The survey questioned 291 registered Republicans and had a margin of error of 6 percent.
The poll was in stark contrast to another survey released last week by the Club for Growth, the conservative, anti-tax group that is supporting Coburn in the primary.
That poll of 500 likely Republican voters showed Coburn with 51 percent of the vote and Humphreys with just 23 percent. Taken July 11 and 12, the poll had a 4.4 percent error margin.
The gloves came off last week when Humphreys aired a TV ad attacking Coburn’s votes against military spending while in Congress. Coburn responded by airing a spot that said Humphreys had broken a campaign promise not to go negative and accused the former mayor of distorting his votes.
State Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony is also seeking the GOP Senate nod, but the new poll shows he has fallen well behind the two frontrunners. Still, Anthony, who focused his television ads on attacking Humphreys, could force an Aug. 24 runoff if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote next Tuesday.
The winner of the primary or runoff will likely face Rep. Brad Carson (D) in November for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Don Nickles (R). Carson faces only token opposition in next Tuesday’s primary.
Upton Bucks Colleague to Endorse Joe Schwarz
Rep. Fred Upton (R) has officially endorsed GOP candidate Joe Schwarz in the contentious open 7th district Republican primary.
Upton has also taped a radio spot supporting Schwarz in the six-way primary, despite the presence of Brad Smith, son of the 7th district’s retiring Rep. Nick Smith (R), in the race.
“I’ve known Joe for many years and he has proven himself a thoughtful, hard-working, common-sense Republican,” Upton said in a Schwarz press release.
The winner of the Aug. 24 GOP primary is expected to win the general election in the heavily Republican district.
Krug Decision to Quit Boosts Moore’s Chances
State Rep. Shirley Krug has dropped her bid for the Democratic nomination in the open 4th district race.
Krug’s departure leaves state Sen. Gwen Moore (D), who is already backed by EMILY’s list, as the only woman in the race.
Moore still has two opponents in the Sept. 14 primary, state Sen. Tim Carpenter and former state Democratic Party Chairman Matt Flynn.
Krug has yet to endorse a candidate.
On the Republican side, Corey Hoze, a former Health and Human Services official, will square off against attorney Jerry Boyle.
Rep. Jerry Kleczka (D) is retiring, opening the seat for the first time in two decades.
Meanwhile, in the Dairy State’s Senate race, Saulk farmer Marc Gumz (R), a frequent candidate, did not have enough valid petition signatures to qualify for the September ballot.
Boehlert Spends Liberally to Ward Off Challenger
It cannot be said that Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R) isn’t taking his primary challenger, former Cayuga County Legislator David Walrath (R), seriously this time.
After almost being upset by the more conservative Walrath two years ago, Boehlert has stepped up his fundraising at a furious pace, and his cash-on-hand total now dwarfs that of his challenger’s. Boehlert was surprised by Walrath’s strength in 2002 and seems determined to spend what it takes to ensure a 12th term.
Boehlert, who reported $618,000 in the bank as of June 30, has already spent more than $600,000 this cycle. Walrath raised just $10,000 in the past three months.
The primary will take place Sept. 14.
In a related development, one of the two Democrats seeking to take on the Republican winner in November, bus driver and former union leader Brian Goodell, dropped out of the race last week. Goodell endorsed his primary foe, Utica College professor Jeffrey Miller (D).
Unless Walrath upsets Boehlert in the primary, Democrats are not expected to compete for the seat in the fall. But the district did split evenly between Al Gore and George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election, and Democrats believe they can take it back when Boehlert retires.
— Josh Kurtz
Factory Owner Foe Blasts Reynolds on Trade
Factory owner Jack Davis (D) continues to relentlessly attack Rep. Tom Reynolds (R), even as new Federal Election Commission numbers show Reynolds with an overwhelming fundraising lead.
Last week, Davis, who has made opposition to free trade the centerpiece of his campaign, blasted Reynolds’ vote in favor of a free-trade agreement with Australia, arguing that it will hurt Western New York dairy farmers and senior citizens. He noted that two other Western New York House Members, Reps. Jack Quinn (R) and Louise Slaughter (D), voted against the measure.
“Tom has a perfect voting record — a perfect disaster for Western New Yorkers,” said Davis, who switched parties and became a Democrat just so he could run against Reynolds this fall.
Although Democrats like Davis’ ability to bash Reynolds and — potentially — tie the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee down in his district more than the GOP would like, there is still little evidence that Davis is going to run a competitive race.
Through June 30, Reynolds had $2.6 million in his campaign account. Davis, who has pledged to spend $500,000 of his own money on the race and has already given $90,000, was operating a $19,000 deficit.