| • FL-Sen: It looks like the Club for Growth has decided to weigh in on the Florida Senate primary, and they're doing so with a vengeance, with a TV spot going after Charlie Crist's embrace of the Obama stimulus package. Crist himself has been trying for the last few days to walk back his stimulus support -- despite statements on the record from February saying that if he'd been in the Senate, he'd have voted for it. Crist now says he wasn't "endorsing" it and just playing along so Florida would get a good share of the bennies. (I'm sorry, but my 5-year-old comes up with more convincing excuses than that.)
• NY-Sen-B: Former Gov. George Pataki is reportedly telling friends he's not that interested in becoming Senator at age 64, and has his eye set a little higher: a presidential race in 2012. The idea of the wooden, moderate Pataki going up against Huckabee and Palin seems a little far-fetched, but a clue in support of that idea is that Pataki joined the Romneys and T-Paws of the world in calling new Manchester, New Hampshire mayor Ted Gatsas to congratulate him. (In case you aren't connecting the dots, Manchester's mayor has an outsized influence on NH's first-in-the-nation presidential primary.)
• AZ-Gov: Appointed incumbent Republican Governor Jan Brewer says she'll run for a full term in 2010. She already faces several minor primary opponents, and may face off against state Treasurer Dean Martin. Her likely Democratic opponent, AG Terry Goddard, who has had a significant lead over Brewer in recent polls, has to be feeling good about this.
• CA-Gov: Capitol Weekly, via Probolsky Research, takes another look at the primaries in the California gubernatorial race, and find free-spending ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman opening up a lead on her opponents. Whitman leads with 37, against ex-Rep. Tom Cambell at 15 and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner at 6. (Their previous poll, in June, gave a small lead to Campbell at 13, with 10 for Whitman and 8 for Poizner.) On the Dem side, ex-Gov. Jerry Brown led SF Mayor Gavin Newsom 46-19; the sample was completed shortly before Newsom's dropout last Friday.
• MD-Gov: A poll of the Maryland governor's race from Clarus Research has a mixed bag for incumbent Dem Martin O'Malley. He defeats ex-Gov. Bob Ehrlich without too much trouble in a head-to-head, 47-40, and he has decent approvals at 48/40. Still, on the re-elect question, 39% want to see him re-elected and 48% would like someone new. That would potentially present an opportunity for the Maryland GOP -- if they had someone better than Ehrlich to offer, but he's really the best they have. (By contrast, Barb Mikulski, who's also up in 2010, has a 53/36 re-elect.)
• OR-Gov: Moderate Republican state Sen. Frank Morse -- who, without Rep. Greg Walden or state Sen. Jason Atkinson in the race, might actually have been the GOP's best bet -- said no thanks to a gubernatorial race despite some previous interest; he'll run for re-election in 2010. Former Portland Trail Blazers center Chris Dudley has formed an exploratory committee to run in the Republican field, though.
• PA-Gov: Here's an interesting development in the GOP primary field in Pennsylvania: a very conservative state Rep., Sam Rohrer, is scoping out the race and has formed an exploratory committee. Rohrer isn't well-known outside of conservative activist circles and his Berks County base, but against the moderate Rep. Jim Gerlach and the generally-conservative but ill-defined AG Tom Corbett, he seems like he could peel off a decent chunk of votes on the far right.
• VT-Gov: Add two more Democratic names to the lengthening list in the governor's race in Vermont. Former state Senator Matt Dunne officially got in the race, and another state Senator, Peter Shumlin, is planning to announce his bid in several weeks. Dunne lost the Lt. Governor's race in 2006 to current Republican LG Brian Dubie, who is the only declared Republican candidate to replace retiring Gov. Jim Douglas.
• WI-Gov: Rumors keep flying of the Obama administration leaning on ex-Rep. and Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett to run for Wisconsin governor. WH political director
Tom Patrick Gaspard met with Barrett. With Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton having recently and surprisingly dropped her bid, Barrett has a free shot if he wants it.
• AZ-03: Dems seem close to pinning down a candidate to run against Rep. John Shadegg in the Phoenix-based 3rd. Lawyer, businessman, would-be-novelist, and former Gary Hart staffer Jon Hulburd is prepping for the race.
• FL-05: The blood is already flowing down Republican streets in the wake of the NY-23 debacle, even a thousand miles away. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, hardly the first name that comes to mind when you think of moderate Republicans (although she is a Main Street member), is now being challenged by a political newcomer in the GOP primary, Jason Sager. One of Sager's key talking points is Brown-Waite's support of Dede Scozzafava, on whose behalf Brown-Waite campaigned last week. And more generally, RNC chair Michael Steele (who one week ago was supporting Scozzafava) is flexing his muscles, telling moderates to "walk a little bit carefully" on health care or "we'll come after you."
• FL-08: The NRCC has found a couple willing patsies to go up against Rep. Alan Grayson, whom they've been interviewing this week. The two contenders are businessman Bruce O'Donoghue (who owns a traffic-signal business... odd, but I guess somebody has to make them) and first-term state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle. (Carpetbagging real estate developer Armando Gutierrez Jr., radio talk show host Todd Long, who nearly beat then-Rep. Ric Keller in last year's GOP primary, and three anonymous teabaggers are all in the race, but clearly not striking the NRCC's fancy.) Attorney Will McBride (whose name you might remember from 2006, when he ran in the GOP primary against Katherine Harris) also talked with the NRCC this week, but just pulled his name from contention today.
• MN-01: Another potential challenger to Rep. Tim Walz popped up: former state Rep. Allen Quist. Quist, who ran in gubernatorial primaries twice in the 1990s, is from the state party's right wing and is a key Michele Bachmann ally (his wife used to Bachmann's district director). Republican Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau has also been interested in the race.
• MS-01: After all that work to clear the path for state Sen. Alan Nunnelee in the GOP primary in the 1st, the Republicans may still see a contested primary. Former Eupora mayor Henry Ross is seriously considering the race, and making preparations. This may not result in a pitched rural vs. suburbs battle like the previous primary, though; Eupora (pop. 2,400) is near the district's southern end, near Columbus. Nunnelee is from the Tupelo area, which is also Democratic Rep. Travis Childers' base.
• NH-02: Katrina Swett has been slow to get into the field in the Democratic primary for the open seat in the 2nd, letting Anne McLane Kuster raise more than $200K unimpeded and secure the EMILY's List endorsement. Swett may be ready to make a move, though, as she's been touting a GQR internal poll giving her a 20-point lead in the primary over Kuster. (The actual polling memo hasn't been released, though, as far as I know.)
• NY-23: Doug Hoffman already has a key House leadership backer for a 2010 race: Indiana's Mike Pence endorsed Hoffman.
• PA-06: Looks like we have a real race in the Dem primary in the 6th. State Sen. Andy Dinniman, one of the biggest fish in the district and someone who had considered running himself, endorsed physician Manan Trivedi instead of presumed frontrunner Doug Pike. One advantage that Dinniman sees is that Trivedi hails from Reading in Berks County, the part of the district where Dems have traditionally been the weakest.
• Turnout: If you're wondering what the crux of what happened on Tuesday is, it boils down to terrible turnout. (And it's pretty clear that higher turnout benefits Democrats, as younger and/or non-white voters who tend to be less likely voters are more likely to vote Democratic.) In Virginia (where the outcome seemed clear long ago), turnout was the lowest in 40 years, including a 10% falloff in key black precincts. And in New Jersey, turnout was also a record low for the state, even though the race was a tossup -- indicating a lack of enthusiasm for either candidate. If you want to dig into exit polls for a post-mortem, the New York Times has them available for New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.
• 2010: The White House (or at least David Axelrod) wants to nationalize the 2010 elections, as a means of fixing the Dems' turnout problems from this week. Expect to see Obama front and center in the run-up to next year's elections.
• Illinois Filings: With Illinois's first-in-the-nation filing deadline for 2010 having passed, as usual, our filings guru Benawu is on the scene with a recap in the diaries; check it out.