The Battle for America: Around the Nation, Sept 8, 2010

Pajamas Media is covering the historic November elections on the ground in battleground states all over America. We have correspondents in more than a dozen states and are looking for more. The following is our first weekly round-up from our coast-to-coast Battle for America 2010 correspondents.


Bill Baar reports:

The Chicago Tribune’s latest poll showed Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias stalemated. Each took 34% of those polled. Both campaigns seem stuck despite charges of resume puffing, mob bankers, and starting today: Kirk lied on WMDs in Iraq.

Over a fifth of Illinois voters seem to be singing “mom didn’t raise me to vote for Mark Kirk” or Alexi Giannoulias -- depending on Mom’s politics -- and refusing to side with any candidate, while sideshow candidates threaten to drain votes away from the main battle. The Green’s LeAlan Jones took 6% and Libertarian Mike Labno another 3% in the Trib poll, and Randy Stufflebeam of the Constitution Party fights on in the courts for ballot space.

Stu Rothenberg wrote a “clunker” economy surfs Kirk to the Senate for the GOP. Yesterday’s announcement from Mayor Daley that he'll not run for re-election in 2011 raises fears donors will hold back on giving to Giannoulias and instead save their money for the big mayoral race in 2011, further draining the money pool to fuel any wave for Giannoulias. That's the only race that really counts for Chicago Democrats.


Michael Swartz reports:

With primary voting already underway, signs are pointing toward the long-awaited "grudge match" for governor between incumbent Democrat Martin O'Malley and Republican Bob Ehrlich, whom O'Malley ousted in 2006.

Ehrlich finally joined the air war this week, debuting his first campaign television ad after nearly two months of O'Malley being unchallenged on Maryland's televisions. And in more good news for the former governor, Ehrlich's fundraising swamped O'Malley's during the most recent reporting period by a nearly 3:1 margin.

The mere formality for Ehrlich is getting by insurgent conservative candidate Brian Murphy once the primary voting closes next week; however, respected state political commentator Blair Lee thinks Murphy could get a third of the GOP vote. This begs the question of whether conservative grassroots support for Ehrlich will sag again as it did in his 2006 re-election effort. Since Ehrlich still has a significant disadvantage in cash on hand against O'Malley, the grassroots will be more important to his cause.


Tim Daniel reports:

September 1, 2010, was the one and only debate night.

Debate highlights: Carly Fiorina was attacked for her $100,000,000 golden parachute. Boxer was long on talk and short on achievement. She defended yes ma'am and was boxed-in during the combative debate.

However, in this bluest of blue states, the Fiorina v. Boxer match is still essentially a statistical tie.