| • IL-Sen: AG Lisa Madigan is still under a lot of pressure from inside the Beltway to move over from her preferred race (Governor) to the Senate race instead. Thing is, the pressure seems to be working (and the fact that Pat Quinn remains pretty popular also helps): she says she's "seriously considering it" and will decide within "four to six weeks" whether to run for gov, senate, or another term as AG.
• KY-Sen: SoS Trey Grayson is still treating Jim Bunning as undecided about running for a third term, despite the crotchety Bunning's many protestations, Abe Simpson-style, that he ain't dead yet. While saying that he has "no plans to run against him right now," Grayson says he'd have a better answer to the question "after next month, when Bunning makes a decision...." Still, he says "I don't suspect that (having to run against Bunning) would be a problem," if Bunning stays in the GOP primary. The remarks were made at a poorly-attended (as in less than 50) Grayson fundraiser in Corbin.
• MO-Sen: Rep. Roy Blunt can't catch a break. No sooner than professor Tom Schweich bailed out and former Treasurer Sarah Steelman's message discipline came completely unglued, along comes yet another likely primary challenger: state Senator Chuck Purgason, who formed an exploratory committee. It sounds like he'll be going at Blunt from the right (Purgason is known for his "country-western fashion sense and iron-clad fiscal conservatism," and said we must "stop the 'changing' of America").
• NC-Sen (pdf): Good polling news out of North Carolina, according to PPP: Generic Democrat leads Richard Burr, 41-38. (There's still the little matter of nailing down a candidate, of course.) Only 29% overall (and 49% of Republicans) think he deserves another term, while 49% say give someone else a chance. Burr's approval is 34/35, with a 31% "not sure," which is still crazily high for a sitting senator.
• NH-Sen: Senatorial speculation for the GOP in the Granite State has turned to AG Kelly Ayotte. (AG is an appointed position in New Hampshire; Ayotte was appointed by ex-Gov. Craig Benson, but retained by John Lynch.) Still, everything seems to be on hold until fall, when the younger John Sununu is supposed to make known his senate intentions. Dean at Blue Hampshire observes ex-Rep. Charlie Bass (another possible Senate, or NH-02, candidate) getting a little testy about having to wait for Sununu Jr. to make up his mind (or for Sununu Sr. to make up Jr.'s mind).
• NY-Sen-B: Rep. Carolyn Maloney keeps ratcheting up her attacks on Kirsten Gillibrand, focusing increasingly on character and credibility. She hit Gillibrand's "evolving" stances and said "She's, to my knowledge, never passed anything. She spends all her time fund-raising. I spend my time doing things." Meanwhile, Gillibrand rolled out the endorsements of 52 of the 62 Democratic Party county chairs in New York. That seems huge, but only half the population of New York state is accounted for, as they have yet to endorse in New York, Kings, Queens, Bronx, Richmond, and Suffolk Counties.
• CA-Gov: Rep. John Campbell from CA-48 in Orange County endorsed Insurance Comm. Steve Poizner a few months ago, but he recently dropped that endorsement and then this week endorsed ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman instead. Campbell's explanation is that when he first endorsed Poizner, Whitman wasn't in the race yet and he had never met her. (This Campbell, of course, is not to be confused with ex-Rep. Tom Campbell, who's the third wheel in the GOP gubernatorial primary.)
• LA-03, LA-Sen: GOP state Rep. Nickie Monica, who has recently met with officials at the NRCC, is telling his contacts that he's planning on running against Democrat Charlie Melancon. Meanwhile, faced with the prospect of a strong challenge and the looming uncertainties of redistricting, Melancon is still giving a race against GOP Sen. David Vitter a "pretty hard" look, according to a "Democratic insider." (J)
• NY-23: Republican state Senator Joe Griffo, who's based outside the district in Rome but whose turf overlaps part of the 23rd, said he won't run in the special election. For the Dems, veteran Danny Francis (who ran twice against McHugh in the 1990s) said he'll seek the nomination. Dem state Senator Darrel Aubertine shot down speculation that he'd fielded a call from Barack Obama about the seat, although he did cop to talking to DCCC recruitment guru Steve Israel about it.
• OH-15: '08 candidate/ex-state Sen. Steve Stivers says that he'll make up his mind on a rematch against Mary Jo Kilroy by the 4th of July, but Ohio Republicans apparently feel very confident that he'll jump into the race. (J)
• PA-06, PA-Gov: Rep. Jim Gerlach has set a deadline of "this summer" for deciding whether to jump into the 2010 governor's race -- although he certainly seems to be moving to do so, positioning himself message-wise as the only GOPer who's dealt with fiscal issues in a legislature. In the meantime, GOP power brokers are getting antsy that Gerlach's delay in announcing his plans are complicating their efforts to hold this D+4 seat (although GOP state Rep. Curt Schroder is already warming up in the bullpen, having opened an exploratory committee).
• Votes: The war supplemental passed the House 226-202 yesterday, with 32 Democrats and 5 Republicans breaking ranks. The GOPers fall under the 'moderate' umbrella: Cao, King, Kirk, Candace Miller, and John McHugh (for whom a 'no' vote would be awk-ward, as the incoming Sec. of the Army). The Dems are generally the most liberal few dozen, although with a few eyebrow-raising exceptions (Eric Massa, maybe most notably): Baldwin, Capuano, Conyers, Doggett, Donna Edwards, Ellison, Farr, Filner, Grayson, Grijalva, Honda, Kaptur, Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Lofgren, Massa, McGovern, Michaud, Payne, Pingree, Polis, Serrano, Shea-Porter, Sherman, Speier, Stark, Tierney, Tsongas, Waters, Watson, Welch, and Woolsey.