Wednesday, October 17, 2012

MOScout Forecast

The “cheat sheet” with revised forecasts on the state-wide, state senate and state house races can be found under Special Reports this morning.  Find it here. The spreadsheet in addition to picking a winner also notes my “level of confidence.”  Changes from the previous review are noted with a highlighted yellow.  And yesterday’s October numbers have been integrated into this file.




Sticking pretty much to consensus calls here.  I am picking Rep. Jason Kander over Rep. Shane Schoeller in the secretary of state’s race based on his considerable his fundraising advantage.  There’s been speculation that the GOP big-time donors would swoop in and help Schoeller out, but so far – other than Rex Sinquefield – they haven’t been too engaged.


Thus Peter Kinder is the only Republican I’m picking on the statewide ticket.




Two changes in the state senate predictions.

Senate 3

I’m now picking Gary Romine over Rep. Joe Fallert.  This is in-line with what most observers expect.  Romine has put together a very strong campaign.


Senate 25

And I’m now picking Rep. Terry Swinger over Doug Libla.  This is not a consensus pick.  However, one reader explained why an upset could happen here.  “Libla is ignoring the science on how to run a campaign.  Typically Republicans have run text book campaigns and not relied on their ‘gut’ instinct.  Conversely, Swinger is running his race based on science and not his gut, which is against the grain for historic Dem senate races.  Democrats often run races based on what they ‘felt’; the district’s issues were, not what the polling (science) says they are. Swinger’s commercials don’t miss a beat on hitting the motivational issues.”


I’d also note that Swinger has been diligent in his fundraising (over $300K on-hand) and swept up bell-weather endorsements from the NRA, the Farm Bureau and Missouri Right to Life.




House 14

Bumping up my confidence in Rep. Ron Schieber holding from “low” to “average” based on Democrat Erin Pendell’s weak campaign.


House 29

Switching to Republican Noel Torpey.  It’s like a 60% Dem district and yet Torpey has done everything right while Democrat John Sutton disappointingly filed a Limited Activity report.


House 44

I’m sticking with Caleb Rowden.  Everyone calls this a toss-up, but I think HRCC comes in heavy for Rowden and helps him close the deal.  Also interesting to note that Jacob has plenty of haters from his time in the legislature.  Note: in his 2004 LG bid, he lost Boone County in the primary.


House 51

Switching Dean Dohrmann.  This is a Democratic district where a lackluster candidate will likely fall to a strong Republican candidate.


House 114

Downgrading TJ McKenna to a “low” confidence on reports that he isn’t working very hard.  And see “Jefferson County” below.  I’m still picking him because I don’t think it’s wise to bet against a McKenna in Jefferson County.  However Sen. Ryan McKenna’s senate race last year (he won with a mere 52.6%) show that everyone is vulnerable given the right circumstances.


House 132

I’m switching to incumbent Melissa Leach here.  I had been picking former Rep. Charlie Norr.  Norr wins on personality, but Leach’s fundraising will carry the day.


Jefferson County

Jefferson County is the wildcard in this election.  Republicans swept the area in the 2010 wave, and Democrats are now trying to make a comeback. Right now I’m picking Dems to return in this area.  However with HRCC’s substantial resource advantage, some of the Dems may not be successful.  Former Rep. Sam Komo – going against an incumbent – would be the weakest at this point.   And I think former Rep. Jeff Roorda is one of the safest.



Susan Goes Negative

Susan Montee unveiled her second TV commercial yesterday.  It’s a rehash of Peter Kinder’s summer of troubles – reimbursing the state for staying at some hotels, Tammy Chapman etc.

See it here.


From Montee’s Email Pitch

If my television ads keep playing until the election, I promise you I will win the race for Lieutenant Governor… A :30 second commercial in a top rated newscast in St. Louis can cost $1,200. That's $40 a second. Can you help by covering the cost of a 1/10 or 1/2 or even a whole

spot? Three weeks from today the election will be decided. A Democratic victory in the Lieutenant Governor's office is within our grasp.


What it Means

Montee’s campaign, presumably trailing Kinder due to his high name ID, made the strategic decision to go on the air early even though they didn’t have enough money to sustain it.  Now they’re trying to pump fuel into the gas tank on the run.


The recent numbers which showed the two campaigns even with cash on-hand was likely misleading because Montee had since started running television.  In fact her actual cash on-hand by the time the report came out may have been half what was reported.


With three weeks left, she needs fresh fundraising to make it to the finish line.



New Ads

Jay Nixon

“Growing up in a small town, I saw how people come together when times are tough… As governor I’ve brought Democrats and Republicans together to make the tough choices, to cut spending and balance the budget without raising taxes.  As a result our unemployment rate has been consistently below the national average…”  See it here.


Yes on Prop B (Cig Tax)

Supporters of the tobacco tax increase released two TV commercials yesterday.



“If we pass Proposition B, we can have a healthier Missouri and give our schools a boost… It’s the right thing to do for Missouri kids.”    See it here.



“Big tobacco companies are trying to deceive us about Prop B.  Wouldn’t be the first time they lied to us…” See it here.




Rep. Jason Kander is telling donors that he raised as much in the first two weeks of October as he did during all of September.  According to his October report that would be about $180K!



One Democrat, in talking about the state of the House Democratic Campaign Committee and House races, says that House Dems appealed to Jay Nixon earlier in the cycle for funds.  At the time Nixon’s campaign war-chest was over $7 million.  They asked if he could help fund their efforts with a $100K contribution.  The answer: he could not.



The extremely low expenditures by Democrat Sandra Reeves in Senate 17 has given rise to the rumor that she may be holding back, and plotting to use her funds to run again for county collector which is up in 2014.




Sen. Claire McCaskill says her polling has Akin down 14 points.  Read it here.



St. Louis Public Schools regained provisional accreditation (here); and two new charter schools were approved (here).



And St. Louis Police Officers Association clarified its position on Prop A.  The press release:

The Board unanimously reaffirmed its neutral position on Prop A today, describing it as a “compromise that transfers day-to-day operation of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department over to the City but retains state control over critical issues like health insurance,

survivor benefits, residency and most importantly, pension benefits.”     The Executive Board and the Association President, Dave Bonenberger, dismissed concerns over a personal letter that had surfaced from Bonenberger as the “personal opinions of an individual member.”  Bonenberger, speaking on behalf of the association, said this of the ballot proposal, “We reached a compromise that represents the best interest of the commissioned, civilian and retired members of the department, that protects their benefits, guarantees them collective bargaining rights and fully-funded a $2.5 million increase to the salary matrix.  When a policeman gives you his word it means something.  We reached the best compromise for our members and retirees.  We’re not ashamed of that and we’re certainly not going back on our word now.” 



$5K+ Contributions

MO House Democratic Campaign Committee - $7,500 from StudentsFirst.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $10,000 from Cape Radiology Group.

Missourians for Health and Education - $38,822 from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc.

Montee for Missouri - $7,500 from James Nutter Sr.

McKenna for Missouri - $8,507 from The Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Spence for Governor - $300,000 from RGA Missouri PAC.

Realtors Political Action Committee MO - $73,500 from National Association of Realtors.

Realtors Political Action Committee MO - $59,000 from National Association of Realtors.

Planned Parenthood Votes St. Louis - $12,500 form Planned Parenthood Action Fund Inc.

Montee for Missouri - $10,000 from CHIPP Political Account.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Committee to Elect Dean Dohrman.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $16,000 from Committee to Elect Jim Hansen.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $8,000 from Friends for Paul Fitzwater.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Friends for Tim Remole.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Friends of Todd Richardson.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $25,000 from QC Holdings Inc.

Lembke for Senate - $36,000 from Missouri Republican Party.

Schoeller for Missouri - $10,000 from Missouri Soybean Association.

Schoelller for Missouri - $10,000 from Cape Radiology Group.

Schoeller for Missouri - $7,000 from Rudolph Farber.




Happy birthdays to Sen. Scott Rupp (39), Sen-to-be Jamilah Nasheed (40), and Ray Hefner.