TPM News

Colorado Republicans sure can pick 'em. Voters thwarted the party's plan in both the Senate and gubernatorial primaries yesterday, dismissing the establishment party's choices in each race, and making tea party-backed newcomers Ken Buck and Dan Maes their nominees.

Democrats seem to have gotten their wishes with both Republican nominees. Tom Tancredo's disruptive presence in the gubernatorial race means Republicans will need to broker some kind of deal if they hope to have any chance against John Hickenlooper. But it appears Maes is unlikely to play ball. Meanwhile, Buck brings paltry fundraising numbers and a loose mouth into his battle against Sen. Michael Bennet's formidable war chest and national Democratic support.

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The Minnesota primary has only just ended, but the state Republican Party is already out with an attack against the Democratic nominee, former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, slamming him for his performance in Washington -- and his personal demeanor.

"He was absolutely positively, one of the worst Senators in America," the announcer says, referring to an "honor" that was bestowed on Dayton and several other Senators by Time magazine in 2006. "And Mark Dayton agrees -- Dayton gave himself a failing grade. Time magazine called Dayton 'erratic' after he closed his office, fearing a nonexistent terrorist threat. Dayton's behavior was called 'a strange aberration,' 'perplexing,' 'panicky.'"

This ad is mostly true. The Time cover with Dayton's photo and the word "erratic" is a mock-up, but otherwise it's fairly accurate. In the years since he left office, Dayton has openly discussed his struggles with alcoholism, saying that he had relapsed before the end of his Senate term, and has also disclosed that he has been medicated for depression.

Then again, as we've all been figuring out, Republican nominee Tom Emmer isn't exactly all that together, either. The TPM Poll Average gives Dayton a lead of 42.9%-32.4%-10.2% over Emmer and Independence Party nominee Tom Horner.

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A new PPP (D) poll of the Colorado governor's race shows the Democratic mayor of Denver John Hickenlooper out in front -- with or without third-party candidate Tom Tancredo in the mix. In a one-on-one match-up with Republican nominee Dan Maes, who won last night's GOP primary, Hickenlooper leads 50%-38%. With Tancredo in the race, Hickenlooper leads with 48%, Maes 23%, and Tancredo 22%.

As past polling has shown, the addition of Tancredo effectively splits the GOP vote, giving Hickenlooper a considerable advantage.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has a new ad out, featuring a police officer sharply criticizing Sharron Angle for her infamous comment about people looking to their "Second Amendment remedies" as a check on Congress.

"It's crazy, but what she's actually talking about is armed resistance," says Bill Ames, president of the Peace Officers Research Association of Nevada. "Look, I'm a member of the NRA, and a Republican. But that kind of talk is dangerous, and way too extreme."

The TPM Poll Average currently gives Reid a lead of 45.1%-42.7%.

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Alright people, settle down -- there's nothing to see here. Oh, wait, yeah there is: it's all going straight to Crazytown in the Republican gubernatorial primary in Florida.

"In short, Bill McCollum is the Tonya Harding of Florida politics," frontrunner Rick Scott said of his opponent at a press conference yesterday.

This came after Scott was "served with a subpoena -- "by a man in a guayabera decorated with a Martini glass" -- at the beginning of said press conference.

OK, so what's going on?

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Let's just put this in perspective right off the bat: the people who run the annual political jamboree at Fancy Farm are very sensitive about Fancy Farm. And Rand Paul got himself in trouble yesterday with organizers of Fancy Farm for suggesting that beer was served at the event.

In an interview with Sean Hannity, Paul said this about the crowd at the annual political church picnic in the western Kentucky hamlet of Fancy Farm:

"We were in a place called Fancy Farm, which is just a wild picnic where they boo your entire speech...And it's a very partisan thing, and you do worry about people throwing beer on you and throwing things at you, so it is kind of wild thing to run for office."

That did not sit well with organizers of the event. "We have never known of any objects being thrown, and especially we've never heard of any problems with beer being thrown," Fancy Farm host Mark Wilson, a parishioner at the Catholic church that hosts the event, told the Louisville Courier-Journal. "It's the perception that we just have a bunch of rowdy, beer-drinking folks there, and that's a perception we don't want at St. Jerome."

Paul's campaign apologized for the remark today, an event flagged by Democrats in the state as important for some reason. Most likely because it took the heat off of their Senate nominee, Jack Conway, who found himself on the wrong side of Fancy Farm organizers' feelings after the 2009 picnic.

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Ben Quayle, son of the former vice president and one of several Republican candidates for retiring Rep. John Shadegg's House seat from Arizona, has admitted to writing comments on the web site Dirty Scottsdale back in 2007.

Dirty Scottsdale -- which has spread to other cities and is now -- is a collection of pictures, usually of well-endowed women, that readers take while out clubbing. The pictures are followed by snarky comments from the site's users and owner. (You can look, it's safe for work.)

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It turns out that Tom Tancredo, a man not known for his moderation when it comes to immigration policy, actually opposes changing the Constitution in order to end birthright citizenship. In an interview with CNN, the former Republican congressman and current Colorado gubernatorial candidate said that the debate over the 14th Amendment is "almost a ruse." Instead of changing the Constitution to put a stop to so-called "anchor babies," Tancredo says he would instigate a good old-fashioned court battle.

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Tea Party Express, the right-wing group that recently parted ways with their former spokesman Mark Williams over his racially-loaded writings and comments, is getting back into the Nevada Senate race with a radio ad for Sharron Angle.

"Sharron Angle knows we can't sustain the out of control spending and growth in the size and power of government. Nevada's leading anti-tax advocate, she led the fight to stop the biggest tax hike in state history," the announcer says.

The announcer also takes on the touchy issue of Social Security -- in which Angle has been hammered for saying she wants to "phase out" the program: "She has the guts to point out our Social Security system is broken, and she's ready to fix the system before it fails -- honoring the commitment we've made to seniors."

The TPM Poll Average currently gives Reid a lead of 45.1%-42.7%.

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