Senate races

Senate races

Warren, Brown tied in Dem poll

Democrat Elizabeth Warren is locked in a dead heat with Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), according to a poll released Tuesday and commissioned by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).

Warren and Brown each took 46 percent in the poll by Democratic firm Harstad Strategic Research.

Multiple polls over the past few months have suggested the race is tied. But Republicans have been hoping that a major flap over Warren's claim to Native American heritage would nudge the numbers in Brown's direction.


Indiana Democrats compare Mourdock to a 'schoolyard bully'

The Indiana Democratic Party is up with its first ad of the election cycle against Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R), who beat Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) in a primary two weeks ago.

The ad compares Mourdock to a "schoolyard bully" for his opposition to bipartisan compromise.

"Disturbingly, Richard Mourdock's a 'my way or the highway' kind of guy. Mourdock's even said, 'The highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else,' " the ad's narrator says. "By rejecting bipartisan cooperation, how can Mourdock stop unfair trade agreements that ship Hoosier jobs overseas, or save Hoosier manufacturing and auto jobs?"


McCaskill late on DC property taxes

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) missed the deadline to pay her property taxes on her Washington condo by three weeks, incurring a nominal penalty for filing late.

McCaskill paid a $197 penalty plus interest on the $1,514 she owed for a six-month period, the Kansas City Star reported. McCaskill was also late paying the bill in 2010 and 2008.

{mosads}"Unlike other jurisdictions that bill just once a year, they bill twice a year," McCaskill told the paper. "Somehow the second bill that came to my condo in D.C. slipped through the cracks, and it got paid late."

McCaskill's campaign spokesman, Erik Dorey, said the senator immediately repaid the back property taxes — and even overpaid by $1,600 to cover all her bases.

"This petty political attack, planted by pathetically desperate Republican operatives over a simple misunderstanding that amounts to a couple hundred dollars and couple of weeks, is old news," said Dorsey.

He added that the attack was an attempt to distract from an extreme and underwhelming field of three Republicans vying to unseat McCaskill.

Republicans have already made a major issue out of unpaid back taxes McCaskill owed on a private plane. The first-term senator eventually repaid almost $300,000 and later sold the plane. Crossroads GPS, a Karl Rove-backed conservative outside group eager to oust McCaskill, launched ads in Missouri attacking her on the issue.

- This post was updated at 11:29 a.m.


McMahon wins state GOP endorsement for Lieberman seat

Former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, in her second bid for the Senate in Connecticut, is calling on her Republican opponent to bow out and support her after winning the endorsement at the state GOP convention.

“I respect Congressman Chris Shays and the many years he has served our state,” McMahon wrote in an email to supporters. “I hope the congressman will reflect on last night's results and work to unify the party, so we can come together to defeat Chris Murphy in November.”

McMahon won the Republican nomination in 2010, but lost in the general election. She and Shays are vying in 2012 for the seat held by retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

McMahon took 60 percent of the delegates on Saturday at the state convention, with Shays taking 32 percent, the New Haven Register reported.

One week earlier, Rep. Chris Murphy (Conn.) won the state Democratic Party’s endorsement. Murphy’s primary opponents have vowed to stay in the race.

- This post was updated at 12:48 p.m.


Texas Senate candidate predicts a Nebraska repeat in GOP primary

Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (R) predicted a Nebraska-like surprise in his Senate race against the front-running Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R), a Tea Party favorite, on May 29.

"More and more people see we’re taking the high road," he told The Hill. "You've got two people helping it with all the junk they’re throwing. Like in Nebraska we think a positive message will resonate."

Leppert has long been seen as the third wheel of the race, with Dewhurst polling well ahead of him and Cruz, who has the backing of a number of national organizations, receiving most of the attention. But he's spent millions of dollars on the race, and has been close enough in polls to Cruz that he thinks he could overtake him and make it to the runoff against Dewhurst — a surprise that would be as big as Nebraska state Sen. Deb Fischer's (R) primary win in her own Senate bid earlier this week.


Dem super-PACs going back on air in Montana, Missouri Senate races

Two Democratic super-PACs are going back on the air with buys in Montana and Missouri, a Republican ad-buy tracker told The Hill.

Patriot Majority will spend $200,000 on broadcast ads in Montana beginning on Friday and running through June 5, while Majority PAC will spend $160,000 on ads in St. Louis and Kansas City beginning Friday and running through May 31.

The groups did not immediately respond to requests for comment on what types of ads they will run.

The states are expected to have two of the closest Senate races in the country, with Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) locked in tough reelection fights. They already been deluged with outside group attacks — Montana alone has seen $3 million in outside group spending.