| • FL-Sen: Marco Rubio continues to rack up goodwill among the far right, pulling in an endorsement from Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe. Rubio has already gotten a Jim DeMint endorsement; can Tom Coburn be far behind?
• LA-Sen: Southern Media and Opinion Research has a poll (conducted on behalf of local businessman Lane Grigsby, a big Republican donor -- you might remember he personally dumped a ton of money into LA-06 last year) of the LA-Sen race that shows numbers remarkably similar to what else we've seen. They have David Vitter beating Charlie Melancon 48-36 (while Rasmussen had it at 46-36 a couple weeks ago, and a Melancon internal from last month was 47-37).
• NC-Sen: Erskine Bowles, the guy so pathetic he managed to lose to both carpetbagger Liddy Dole and anonymous Richard Burr, now has nothing but praise for his one-time opponent, saying "I've had a chance to work with this guy for four full years and nobody works harder or smarter for North Carolina than Richard Burr does." At least the DSCC remembers how the game is played, taking Burr to task for voting against the stimulus and now touting his delivery of $2 million in grant money to a local fire department from the stimulus funds that he didn't vote for.
• NV-Sen: In an indication of just how deep the non-aggression pact between Harry Reid and John Ensign goes, now John Ensign's parents (who apparently just love to bail out troubled politicians) both contributed the maximum amount to Reid in the third fundraising quarter. Meanwhile, Ensign himself says he's still willing to campaign on behalf of the Republican nominee against Reid, if he or she just asks. (My advice to Ensign: don't sit by the phone waiting for those calls.)
• SC-Sen: This is the kind of praise you might not really want: two Republican party chairs from rural counties wrote an op-ed in the Times and Democrat defending Jim DeMint from charges that he didn't bring enough pork back to South Carolina, saying that Jews got wealthy by watching their pennies and that DeMint was doing the same. The authors later apologized, and, to his credit, DeMint deplored the remark.
• WA-Sen: Here's some help from Joe Biden for someone who probably doesn't need the help: Patty Murray, who's facing very little in the way of opposition and is sitting on more than $4 million CoH. Biden will be appearing at a Seattle fundraiser on Nov. 6. (If you're wondering who's stepped up to go against Murray so far, it seems like the GOP's best prospect right now is Chris Widener, a motivational speaker and president of personal development company Made for Success who's currently exploring the race. He'll have to sell a whole lot of Successories posters to be able to compete financially.)
• FL-Gov: Fresh off a disappointing third fundraising quarter, Florida AG Bill McCollum may be facing another dose of bad news -- state Sen. Paula Dockery says she is now "leaning very heavily" toward challenging McCollum for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. (J)
• MN-Gov: One more name on the already excruciatingly-long list of gubernatorial candidates in Minnesota: former DFL state Sen. Steve Kelley (who lost the 2000 Senate primary to Mark Dayton in an almost-as-large field). It sounds like he's trying to brand himself as the "green" candidate this time.
• NJ-Gov (pdf): One more New Jersey poll to add to the pile today, from Monmouth University. They find the race a flat-out tie, with 39 for Jon Corzine and Chris Christie, and 14 for Chris Daggett. (Christie led 43-40-8 one month ago.) In terms of favorables, they both suck: Corzine is at 37/51 and Christie is at 40/41. Corzine did make at least one new friend, though: Michael Kenneth Williams (better known as Omar from The Wire) offers his endorsement.
Meanwhile, Christie now is suffering from a further expansion of the Michele Brown story (remember, she's the one who got an undisclosed $46K loan from Christie), and, already losing ground in the polls, the timing couldn't be worse. The New York Times revealed today that, despite their claims otherwise, Brown in fact used her position as Christie's deputy at least two times to aid the campaign, taking control of a FOIA request about Christie's stint as US Attorney and pushing up the schedule on the arrests for the 40-person corruption sting so that the arrests would occur before Christie's permanent successor took over, so he could get the credit.
• NY-Gov, NY-Sen-B (pdf): Yet another Siena poll shows David Paterson in deep doo-doo. The most noteworthy thing about this poll may be that Rudy Giuliani seems to be improving his lot, although he still isn't taking any steps toward running for anything; Giuliani trails Andrew Cuomo only 50-43 (and beats Paterson 56-33, naturally), and also matches up well against Kirsten Gillibrand for the Senate race, winning that one 53-36. (Other matchups: Cuomo beats Paterson 70-20 in the primary. Cuomo and Paterson both beat Rick Lazio, 66-21 and 39-37. And George Pataki beats Kirsten Gillibrand, 46-41.)
• SC-Gov: Could the end of the road finally be approaching for Mark Sanford? (Assuming that Sarah Palin suddenly shows up and does something else stupid yet captivating, probably not.) A resolution of impeachment will be introduced in the GOP-held legislature during a special session next week. However, actual proceedings, if any, won't occur until the full session in January.
• VA-Gov (pdf): Two new polls are out in Virginia, and neither one offers Creigh Deeds much cause for optimism. Clarus finds a 49-41 advantage for Bob McDonnell (up from a 42-37 edge last month). And Christopher Newport University for WVEC and the Virginian-Pilot finds, in their first poll of the race, a 45-31 lead for McDonnell (with a lot of undecideds). Meanwhile, former governor Doug Wilder continues to somewhat less than useless in this race, saying that Virginia "won't sink into the seas" if McDonnell wins.
• AL-07: An internal poll from state Rep. Earl Hilliard Jr. gives us our first insight into the Democratic field in the open seat in this dark-blue district. Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot leads the field with 24, followed by Hilliard at 17, former Selma mayor James Perkins Jr. at 9, and attorney Terri Sewell at 4. Smoot, who may be the most progressive candidate in the field, benefits from high name recognition (68%), thanks to also being a radio talk show host. Sewell has much lower name recognition (32%) but a big fundraising advantage over everyone else; she's probably the most moderate option, as seen in her close links to outgoing Rep. Artur Davis and her connections to Birmingham's business community.
• CA-44: There seems to be some confusion as to whether or not the FBI is investigating GOP Rep. Ken Calvert. Calvert's investment group apparently bought land that had been slated for development as a public park, which a grand jury found was in violation of state law. Whether or not the FBI is now involved, it's the kind of publicity that can't be good for Calvert, who's facing a tricky rematch against Bill Hedrick in California's Inland Empire.
• KS-04: One other internal poll to discuss, this time in the Republican field in the 4th. State Sen. Dick Kelsey (who paid for the poll) leads the field at 17, trailed by state Sen. Jean Schodorf at 15, businessman Wink Hartman at 8, and RNC member Mike Pompeo at 6. Whoever wins faces off against Democratic state Rep. Raj Goyle, who's been on a fundraising tear all of a sudden.
• MN-03: State Sen. Terri Bonoff, who lost the endorsement to Ashwin Media in 2008, is still "open" to running against freshman Republican Erik Paulsen in 2010, which would boost this race back into the top tier. Other Democrats interested in the race include Jim Meffert and Maureen Hackett.
• ME-Init (pdf): PPP polls Maine on Question 1 (the gay marriage initiative) and finds the state evenly split. 48% are in favor, and 48% are against. With a clear party line vote set, it looks like it'll come down to independents, and they're currently 50-44 in favor of the initiative (and thus against gay marriage).
• NJ-St. Ass.: While everyone has been focused on the governor's race, there are also races for all the state Assembly seats in New Jersey in a few weeks as well. Republicans need to pick up eight seats in order to tie the Assembly (with a current Democratic advantage of 48-31). However, the fundraising advantage falls to the Democrats: taken together, Assembly Democrats have raised $6.8 million and spent $4 million, while Republicans have raised $2.9 million and spent $1.2 million. The financial disparity is especially pronounced in the "sleeper" districts where Republicans are counting on being able to make gains.
• Fundraising: There's an interesting CQ piece on the sudden burst of fundraising among the Indian-American community, as that affluent and educated group gradually becomes more politically engaged. As you might have guessed, strong nationwide fundraising among Indian-Americans is what's driving the surprisingly strong hauls from Ami Bera in CA-03, Manan Trivedi in PA-06, and Raj Goyle in KS-04.