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— A new poll out of Nevada shows margin-of-error races for Senate and governor next year, when the often-overlooked battleground state could be pivotal for both parties.
— Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is courting Latino voters, hoping to avoid the mistakes of President Joe Biden’s campaign in 2020.
— Iowa Democrat Liz Mathis, who is running against freshman Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), raised more than $640,000 in the third quarter of the year.
Days until the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections, the OH-11 and OH-15 special elections and the FL-20 special primary: 29
Days until the 2022 midterm elections: 400
Days until the 2024 election: 1,128
POLL POSITION — Both Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) are in for tough reelection campaigns according to a new poll released Sunday night by The Nevada Independent.
First, the governor’s race: Sisolak holds a narrow lead in head-to-head match-ups with the Republicans running against him, but voters are split on his job performance, according to the poll, which was conducted by the Mellman Group (a Democratic firm not working for any of the principals). Only 46 percent of voters approve of Sisolak, while 48 percent disapprove. Sisolak got particularly poor marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Nevada is and will be a competitive battleground state. It was in 2018, it was in 2020 and it will be in 2022,” Sisolak pollster John Anzalone told Score in a text message after the poll was released. “It will be a very competitive race that we are not taking for granted.”
Republicans are flocking to the governor’s race. Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) is “torn” about whether to run for governor, The Nevada Independent’s Humberto Sanchez reported, and plans to announce a decision by the end of October.
Among the Republicans who are running, former Sen. Dean Heller led the primary field with 31 percent of support, according to the poll, although 27 percent of voters are undecided. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo was in second place with 23 percent of support.
In general-election matchups, both Heller and Lombardo are neck-and-neck with the first-term Democrat. Sisolak leads Heller, 46 percent to 44 percent, and Lombardo, 46 percent to 45 percent.
Like Sisolak, voters are essentially split on Biden’s job performance: 49 percent disapprove, versus 48 percent approval, as Democrats struggle to pass Biden’s agenda in Congress and brace for the 2022 midterms.
That could put Cortez Masto in a tough spot against former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the Republican endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Cortez Masto holds a slight lead over Laxalt, 46 percent to 41 percent.
OLD DOMINION — After Republicans saw gains with Latino voters in 2020, McAuliffe is trying to win over the voter group and drive turnout in the November gubernatorial election, POLITICO’s Sabrina Rodriguez wrote. Trump ran six points ahead of his 2016 performance with Virginia Latinos, according to exit polls, and the population makes up 11 percent of the state. Polls show a tight contest between McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin.
Virginia leaders say they’re pleased with how McAuliffe has handled his campaign’s Latino outreach program. Still, there are some worrisome signs for Democrats, Sabrina reports.
FIRST IN SCORE: THE CASH DASH — Mathis raised more than $640,000 for her bid against Hinson in the third quarter. Mathis has more than $550,000 in cash on hand, after launching her campaign at the end of July. Third-quarter FEC reports cover July 1-Sept. 30.
— New York Democrat Matt Castelli raised more than $255,000 for his campaign against Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.). Castelli entered the race less than a month ago.
POLL POSITION (PART 2) — Political solidarity in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has grown significantly, POLITICO’s Rishika Dugyala And Beatrice Jin reported. Two in 10 adults are now more likely to identify with the broader “AAPI” label, according to an extensive POLITICO/Morning Consult poll across nearly 50 ethnic groups. The poll found that “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are more likely to be mobilized by a shared fear of violence and discrimination — and as the fastest-growing demographic, they’ve become consequential in swing states like Georgia and Arizona.”
GETTING IN — Colorado Republican Gino Campana officially launched a campaign against Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) today. In his campaign launch video, Campana highlights his father’s life story of immigrating from Italy to the United States. Campana, a partial self-funder, joins a crowded Republican primary. At the end of his term, Trump nominated Campana to the Public Buildings Reform Board, although he was not confirmed.
— Oregon state Treasurer Tobias Read launched a campaign for governor on Friday. In his announcement video, Read pitches vaccine mandates for workers and children. Read joins a crowded Democratic primary, which includes state House Speaker Tina Kotek.
FIRST IN SCORE: ENDORSEMENT ALERT — Elect Democratic Women, a PAC chaired by Rep. Lois Frankel and dedicated to increasing the number of women in Congress, released its first endorsements of the 2022 cycle. The group is backing Mathis in Iowa, Kirsten Engel, who is running to replace retiring Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.); Yadira Caraveo, who is running in Colorado’s new congressional district; Michele Rayner, who is running to succeed Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.); Iowa Democrat Christina Bohannan; Illinois Democrat Nikki Budzinski; Maryland Democrat Heather Mizeur; and Texas Democrat Rochelle Garza, who says she is running for outgoing Rep. Filemón Vela’s (D-Texas) seat (more on that later).
The PAC is also endorsing special election candidates: OH-11’s Shontel Brown, OH-15’s Allison Russo and FL-20’s Barbara Sharief.
NOTABLE FLOATABLES — Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) is considering leaving his newly competitive district for a nearby safe blue seat, POLITICO’s Ally Mutnick reported. Gonzalez said Friday he’s strongly mulling running for Vela’s seat if the map Texas Republicans released last week is enacted.
“If in fact these are the final maps I will very seriously consider running in [TX-]34 and continuing my representation of South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley,” Gonzalez told POLITICO in a statement.
LANDMARK LEGISLATION? — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is talking behind the scenes with Republicans about voting reform legislation, but so far no members of the GOP have come on board for the compromise voting bill, POLITICO’s Marianne LeVine reported. Manchin has spoken with Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) about the longshot bill, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is giving Manchin time to negotiate before he brings the bill to the floor, where it’s likely to fail.
THE MAP LINES — Colorado’s new congressional map was met with legal challenges from several groups after the state’s independent redistricting commission sent it to the state Supreme Court, The Colorado Sun’s Thy Vo and Sandra Fish wrote. The Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy and Research Organization and Campaign Legal Center are among the groups that plan to argue against the map.
RONJON WATCH — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) paid little in state taxes in 2017, despite having an income of at least $450,000, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Daniel Bice reported. Johnson paid $2,105 in state taxes in 2017, about the same as what a couple making $40,000 would pay in Wisconsin. Johnson’s staff didn’t say why he paid such a small tax bill that year.
EVERYTHING’S BIGGER IN TEXAS — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is pushing to put new penalties on illegal voting, but even some Republicans are against the idea, Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider reported. Lawmakers are meeting in a special session this month, and Abbott requested they revive language that was dropped from the state’s new voting law, which originally would have made illegal voting a second-degree felony. The final bill downgraded the offense to a Class-A misdemeanor.
MONEY MOVES — Oregon Republican Alek Skarlatos launched a nonprofit to help veterans after losing to Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), but the nonprofit has spent thousands to boost Skarlatos’ rematch campaign, according to The Associated Press’ Brian Slodysko. Skarlatos used $93,000 in leftover 2020 campaign funds to launch the group, which in turn has given $65,000 to his 2022 campaign. Candidates may donate campaign cash to nonprofits, but they cannot give money to nonprofits they operate.
THE PROCESS — The 2020 election “audit” in Arizona was inaccurate, according to election experts. The hand count of 2.1 million Maricopa County ballots did not match other election data from the state Senate, and analysts found the review was short 16,000 ballots, the Arizona Republic’s Robert Anglen wrote. The analysts published their findings in a blog post.
— Wisconsin attorney Michael Gableman issued subpoenas “demanding records and interviews with officials from the state and at five cities about private funds used to help run the election,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Molly Beck and Patrick Marley wrote. The request for information is part of Republicans’ 2020 elections probe, and marks the first subpoenas issued by state lawmakers in decades. Gableman, a former state Supreme Court justice, is seeking information about private grants to help conduct elections.
MIDTERM MESSAGING — Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams will be a featured speaker at Voto Latino’s annual power summit this week. The two-day event, which begins Wednesday, will also include labor leader Dolores Huerta, Color of Change President Rashad Robinson and APIAVote Executive Director Christine Chen. This year’s summit is titled “Our New Era, Building the Leadership for the Now Generation.”
THE EMPIRE STATE — New York state Attorney General Tish James’ decision on whether to run for governor is “coming very, very soon,” she told Ulster County Democrats in a closed-door event Thursday. James has been inching toward a primary challenge to Gov. Kathy Hochul in public and in private, The New York Times’ Katie Glueck wrote. “James and her allies have made it clear to donors, elected officials and other Democratic power brokers that she is weighing a bid and is nearing a final decision,” and is close to making additional political hires. New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is considering a run for governor, as is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
FLORIDA MAN — Trump said he’d beat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 presidential primary, POLITICO’s Jesse Naranjo reported. Trump said in an interview with Yahoo Finance set to publish today that “most people would drop out” if he seeks another term in the White House. In early primary polls, DeSantis has support from Republican voters but does not have as much support as Trump.
CODA — QUOTE OF THE DAY — “I actually think that in many respects running for president requires qualities that would make you a terrible leader.” — Andrew Yang, 2020 presidential candidate, in POLITICO Magazine.