| • NJ-Gov: The latest poll of the New Jersey governor's race shows that things aren't getting any worse for Jon Corzine, but he is settling into a deep rut. Fairleigh Dickinson finds that he loses 42-33 to Chris Christie, the same 9-pt margin as their previous poll one month ago (41-32). Corzine's approval rating is 40/49, and he beats even nuttier GOPer Steve Lonegan by only 37-36. There is some good news, though: he'd still win in a Democratic primary, if for some reason senate president Richard Codey or Newark mayor Corey Booker challenged him.
Could An incumbent Democratic governor of New Jersey come back after trailing by double digits in the polls for most of the campaign? It happened once before, when Gov. Brendan Byrne beat Republican Raymond Bateman, despite being down as much as twelve points in September of 1977. "Hopeful" at Blue Jersey does some excellent digging through the archives to tell Byrne's story. (D)
• VA-Gov: National politics just injected itself into the Virginia governor's race in a big way, as the GOP-held House of Delegates rejected $125 million in federal stimulus funds that would have extended unemployment benefits. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell supported his party's callous move.
• AK-Sen: Ted Stevens just filed his exploratory paperwork to get his old job back, by running for senator in 2014 (when he'll be 91). Don't actually expect to see Ted 2.0, though; his spokesman says it's just a receptacle to receive donations that came in after the November election.
• FL-Sen, NH-Sen: In other unlikely comeback news, though, this one appears to be for real: Bob Smith, the former senator from New Hampshire, has filed the paperwork to run for Senate again... in Florida, where he now lives. This seems odd, since there are political titans jostling for the Florida nomination while the New Hampshire nomination still seems to be pretty much free for the asking. (As an indication of how far down the totem pole the NH GOP is looking, Ovide Lamontagne, last seen losing the 1996 gubernatorial race, is now eyeing NH-Sen.)
• AR-Sen: Mediocre polling and pressure on EFCA seem to have gotten Blanche Lincoln worried, but she may be able to breathe a little easier after her first quarter fundraising haul: $1.7 million, with $1 million of that coming at a campaign kickoff event headlined by Joe Biden.
• MI-Gov: Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has announced that he won't seek the GOP nomination for the governor's race next year. Patterson narrowly led the primary field in a recent poll, so that leaves a wide-open field with a possible advantage to 2nd-place finisher Rep. Pete Hoekstra.
• TN-Gov: State senator Roy Herron entered the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, joining former state house majority leader Kim McMillan and Nashville businessman Ward Cammack. Mike McWherter, son of former governor Ned McWherter, also seems a likely candidate.
• PA-06: We have at least a warm body lined up in PA-06: Doug Pike, who hasn't held elected office but wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer for a number of years, was an aide to Paul Tsongas, and is the son of Rep. Otis Pike (of New York). A better-known candidate may still crop up, especially if Rep. Jim Gerlach follows through on his likely plans to bail on his increasingly-Democratic seat (Obama won 58-41) and run for Pennsylvania governor instead.