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)
Vetting for 2012: With less than a week to go until midterms, it’s safe to say the 2012 presidential race is warming up. The Democratic National Committee has already approached the Pentagon to learn about potential Republican opponents—part of its early stage opposition research. According to ABC News, The DNC has filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Defense Department for any communications between military agencies and nine potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates: former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin; former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney; Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi; Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty; former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; South Dakota Senator John Thune; Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana; and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. (ABC News)
Finding Jewish Candidates Where You’d Least Expect Them: Forward Washington correspondent Nathan Guttman takes us beyond the usual suspects New York in Florida and into … well, other places where Jews are running for office. Hint: think “beyond the lower 48.” (MitzVote)
Counting on Labor: Two candidates included in our Races to Watch are the subjects of negative union-backed ad campaigns: Pat Toomey for Pennsylvania senate, and Mark Kirk for Illinois senate, Republicans both. In Pennsylvania, the union will announce $2 million in campaign efforts, including a push for voter turnout for Democrat Joe Sestak. In Illinois, a union PAC is running an ad against Kirk. (YouTube via Politico’s Morning Score
Joe Sestak, the Democratic Pennsylvania senatorial candidate, just can’t seem to shake off attacks from right-wing Jewish groups.
This could be the biggest single injection of Jewish organizational money into the mid-term campaign so far.
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)
Is the discovery of George Soros’ donations to J Street beginning to take its political toll?
-The Jewish Wife Gambit: Gov. Charlie Crist, the independent in the three-way race for Florida’s senate seat, is gunning for the Jewish vote. In front of a crowd of 600 mostly Jewish retirees, he called his wife, Carole, a “nice Jewish girl who grew up on Long Island.” (Sun-Sentinel)
-Philanthropist and liberal activist George Soros has been funding J Street, the Washington Times has revealed. Though J Street’s executive director, Jeremy Ben Ami, has denied any donations to the dovish group by Soros in the past, tax records reveal that Soros and his two children have contributed a total $245,000 to J Street from a Manhattan address in New York from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009.