| • CO-Sen: The field is slow to take shape for the Republicans in the Colorado Senate race, where they should theoretically have a decent shot at the never-before-elected and uncharismatic appointee Michael Bennet. One more candidate seems to be moving to join the field: former state Sen. Tom Weins, from the exurban GOP stronghold of Douglas County. Weins is the CEO of a real estate finance company, so he brings self-funding to the table (although some of that may be contingent on finding a buyer for his $38 million ranch). Inexperienced Aurora city councilor Ryan Frazier and grumpy Weld Co. DA Ken Buck are the leading candidates for the GOP nod for now.
• NH-Sen: The Nashua Telegraph points to some skepticism from the conservative wing of the GOP about newly minted candidate Kelly Ayotte; apparently, her joining Gov. John Lynch in urging communities to apply for stimulus funds makes her not sufficiently fiscally conservative for some in the rightosphere, who are wondering if they've got another Susan Collins on their hands here. With the presumably-more-conservative businessman Fred Tausch and former gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne still checking out the race, it seems like she may not have a clear primary path. Sensing some trouble here, the state party establishment is pushing back, rolling out ex-Sen. John Sununu to offer some promises that she's a conservative, including that he "believes" that she opposes abortion rights.
• NY-Sen-B: Rep. Carolyn Maloney has apparently been holding off on her Senate primary announcement so that she won't drive Bill Clinton off from her upcoming fundraiser. Clinton has vowed neutrality in the likely primary with Kirsten Gillibrand, and everyone is taking pains to point out that the fundraiser is for Maloney's House account and intended as a 'thank you' for her support of the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008. (Of course, she'll still be able to transfer her House funds to a Senate race.)
• CO-Gov: Strange that the Colorado GOP is throwing all its top talent at Gov. Bill Ritter while leaving the Senate race with the second-stringers. Today 33-year-old state Senate minority leader Josh Penry made it official: he's running for Governor, setting up a big primary collision with ex-Rep. (and Penry's former boss, when he was a staffer) Scott McInnis.
• NJ-Gov: Dueling leaks of internal polls from the New Jersey governor's race, as expected, paint very different pictures. The Corzine camp offers a poll showing a 4-point lead (42-38) for Chris Christie when factoring in independent Christopher Daggett (who polls at 4%). The RGA, however, has a poll giving Christie a showy lead of 15 pts. The polls were both conducted before Corzine hit the airwaves with an attack ad focusing on Christie's ethical troubles.
• SC-Gov: The State, Columbia's newspaper, takes a look at why, all of a sudden, Mark Sanford seems poised to survive his tango de la muerte, despite his dire straits before Sarah Palin stole the show. It's broken down helpfully into bullet points: his wife is defending him for the first time, state law enforcement investigations found he broke no state laws, and state party leadership opted for censure rather than asking him to resign.
• MI-St. Sen.: If you haven't seen Menhen's diary rating our prospects in each of the upcoming Michigan State Senate races in 2010, take a peek. (The diary got some notice over at the DLCC's blog.) With the entire Senate up for re-election and control over Michigan redistricting in the balance, this is one of the key legislative battles in 2010... and with term limits hitting hard, there are only 8 incumbents running, with a whopping 30 open seats, so this is very much a wide-open battle.
• CfG: Roll Call takes a look at the Club for Growth under the new leadership of ex-Rep. Chris Chocola and finds, unfortunately for us, a slightly saner version of the CfG that seems more interested in playing in the general election rather than mucking up the primaries... although they did just put out that call for primary challengers against the 8 cap-and-trade defectors. For Tom Cole fans, the former NRCC head gets in some nice digs at the CfG.