Florida Democrats are counting on Charlie Crist and a ground campaign that seeks to replicate the voter outreach that twice carried President Barack Obama to victory.
Ohio Looking Very, Very Red: While several election battles are waging in Ohio, the fight appears to be over for one Democrat: Senatorial candidate Lee Fisher, the state’s Jewish lieutenant governor. Even after boosts from actors Matthew Morrison and Martin Sheen, Fisher turned over his small lump of $100,000 in campaign cash over to the Democratic party. Fisher maintains this doesn’t mean he’s quitting. Polls show Republican opponent Rob Portman a good 17 points ahead. (Talking Points Memo)
Ohio, Deep Red: Even the extra help from ‘Glee for Lee’ with Mr. Schu (or, as non-Gleeks know him, actor Matthew Morrison) isn’t doing much for Ohio Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher, the Democratic candidate in the U.S. Senate race. The double-digit lead of Republican Rob Portman only continues to grow. (Cincinnati.com)
Pushing to the Finish Line: Today, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee was supposed to add 10 more races to its “Essential Races” list, but instead, plans to add 15, including state senate races in New York and Pennsylvania. With over 6,000 state legislative races across the country — many of which rarely receive attention or public polling — the list strives to bring attention to the ones the DLCC considers “most significant in 2010.” (Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee)
This could be the biggest single injection of Jewish organizational money into the mid-term campaign so far.
POTUS, Hammering Away: While on the campaign trail, Barack Obama chided the GOP’s private donations, suggesting that some of the cash came from abroad. “Groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections, and they won’t tell you where the money for their ads come from,” he said. (The New York Times)
A Story You Can Bank On: Illinois senatorial candidate Alexi Giannoulias, a former official at his family’s Chicago area bank, is “consistently vague” about just what he did there, the Chicago Tribune finds. In the words of his opponent Mark Kirk, “First he said he was the senior loan officer and ran much of the bank in order to be elected state treasurer. Then, when it was revealed that the Tony Rezko loans were made, he said, ‘Well, I left in 2005.’ Then when it was revealed that he took a $2.7 million tax deduction that required him to justify 500 hours of work (in 2006), he said that he actually was there in 2006.” (Chicago Tribune)
Glass Half Full: With the election 29 days away, Democrats are gaining hope as polls make them out to be more competitive than they seemed over the summer. Or at least talking heads are saying so: As Axelrod said last week in Google/Politico’s election preview, “You’re going to see Democrats winning in places that you didn’t expect them to win…. I think we are going to win some races that you guys perhaps don’t think we’re going to win.” Strategists still expect Republican gains, but say their projected impact has diminished. This change in tone comes just as the Democratic National Committee posts record fundraising stats in this election cycle: $16 million in September. (Politico)
Former congressman Robert Wexler has been out of politics for nearly a year, but in his home state of Florida he still has a say, especially with the state’s large Jewish community.
Florida Heat: According to Politico’s Alexander Burns, Gov. Charlie Crist, running in Florida’s senatorial contest as an independent, is about to get “the full Arlen Specter treatment” as the state’s Democratic party supports an ad from Democratic opponent Kendrick Meek that points to Crist’s Republican — no less, his “Jeb Bush Republican” — past. It includes footage of Crist praising Sen. John McCain for choosing Sarah Palin as his 2008 running mate. (Politico)