| • CT-Sen: You know you're in trouble when the trade publications that cover you start asking what your exit strategy is. CQ has an interesting piece that delves into the how, when, and where of how Chris Dodd might excuse himself from his not-getting-any-better Senate race, and it also asks who might take his place.
• DE-Sen: CQ has another speculative piece about another troublesome seat for Dems: what happens if Beau Biden doesn't show up for his planned Senate race (he's been mum so far, although most people expect him to run). The uncomfortable truth is there just isn't much of a Plan B there, but options could include New Castle County Exec Chris Coons, or elbow-twisting Ted Kaufman to actually stand for re-election.
• CO-Gov: Considering how deep a hole Michael Bennet was in vis-a-vis Jane Norton, it shouldn't be a surprise that Rasmussen's gubernatorial numbers from last week's Colorado sample aren't very appetizing either. Republican ex-Rep. Scott McInnis leads incumbent Dem Bill Ritter 48-40, despite Ritter having 50% approval. (The thing is, he also has 50% disapproval. Rasmussen still managed to find 1% of all likely voters who don't know. Which, of course, adds up to 101%.)
• HI-01: Rep. Neil Abercrombie is saying he'll resign in a matter of weeks, not months. He still wouldn't give a specific date, citing the uncertainty of timing of major votes coming up in the short term (not just health care reform, but also the locally-important Native Hawaiian recognition act).
• IA-03: Another Republican is getting into the field against Rep. Leonard Boswell, who's never quite gotten secure in this swing district. Retired architect Mark Rees will join state Sen. Brad Zaun and former wrestling coach Jim Gibbons in the GOP primary; Rees seems to be striking a lot of moderate notes, in contrast to the rest of the field.
• IL-10: With state Rep. Julie Hamos having gotten the AFSCME's endorsement yesterday, her Democratic primary opponent, Dan Seals, got his own big labor endorsement today, from the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
• MS-01: Despite having a painstakingly-cleared field for him, state Sen. Alan Nunnelee is still getting a primary challenge, apparently from the anti-establishment right. Henry Ross, the former mayor of Eupora, made his campaign official. Eupora, however, is tiny, and nowhere near the Memphis suburbs; remember that Tupelo-vs.-the-burbs was the main geographical fissure in the hotly contested and destructive GOP primary last year that paved the way for Democratic Rep. Travis Childers to win.
• NJ-03: Here's another place where the Republican establishment got hosed by a primary-gone-bad last year, and where they'd like to avoid one next year: New Jersey's 3rd. This is one where the county party chairs have a lot of sway, and candidates aren't likely to run without county-level backing. Burlington County's chair William Layton is already backing NFL player Jon Runyan, so the real question is what happens in Ocean County. Other possible GOP candidates include Toms River councilman Maurice Hill, assistant US Attorney David Leibowitz, Assemblyman Scott Rudder, and state Sen. Chris Connors.
• NY-19: Another report looks at the discontent brewing in the 19th, where Assemblyman Greg Ball bailed out, leaving wealthy moderate ophthalmologist Nan Hayworth in command of the GOP field. Much of the discontent seems to be less teabagger agita and more about a personal dispute between the Orange Co. GOP chair and Hayworth's campaign advisor, but there are also concerns that Hayworth's country-club positioning won't work well in the blue-collar counties further upstream from her Westchester County base. Alternative challengers being floated include Tuxedo Park former mayor David McFadden and Wall Street guy Neil DiCarlo, as well as state Sen. Vincent Leibell, who may be unethused about running a GOP primary to hold his Senate seat against Ball and looking for something else to do.
• TN-06: The newly-open 6th may not be as much of a lost cause as everyone thinks; despite its dwindling presidential numbers, Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen won the district in both 2002 (with 52%) and 2006 (with 67%). The article also names some other Republicans who might show up for the race, besides state Sen. Jim Tracy and former Rutherford Co. GOP chair Lou Ann Zelenik (both already in): businessman Kerry Roberts, state Sen. Diane Black, Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Dave Evans, and real estate agent Gary Mann. One other Dem not previously mentioned is former state Sen. Jo Ann Graves.
• TX-17: Although they didn't get the state Senator they wanted, Republicans seem pleased to have lined up a rich guy who can pay his own way against Rep. Chet Edwards: businessman Bill Flores. Flores has also made a name as a big contributor to his alma mater Texas A&M, a big presence in the district. 2008 loser Rob Curnock also remains in the GOP field.
• WA-03: Lots happening in the 3rd. One official entry is no surprise, given what we'd already heard this week: young Republican state Rep. Jaime Herrera is in. On the Dem side, as I expected, state Sen. Craig Pridemore is telling people he's in, although hasn't formalized anything. (H/t conspiracy.) Pridemore, who's from central Vancouver, is probably one or two clicks to the left of state Rep. Deb Wallace (who's already running), as befits his safer district; in recent years, he'd been the recipient of lots of arm-twisting from local activists eager to find someone to primary the increasingly uncooperative Brian Baird. Speaking of local activists, someone named Maria Rodriguez-Salazar also plans to run; she sounds like she's on the moderate side of the Dem equation, though. Finally, for the GOPers, there have been persistent rumors that conservative radio talk show host Lars Larson is interested, although he may have debunked that.
• WV-01: Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan is already facing state Sen. Clark Barnes (whose district has little overlap with the 1st), but that's not stopping other GOP entrants: today, it's Mac Warner, a lawyer and former West Point grad.
• DCCC: The DCCC is playing some offense against vulnerable GOP House members, with radio spots in five districts: Charlie Dent, Dan Lungren, Mary Bono Mack, Lee Terry, and Joe Wilson. The ad attacks the GOPers for voting for TARP last year but then voting against financial services reform now. The DCCC is being coy about the actual cost of the ad buy, though, suggesting it's more about media coverage of the ads than the actual eyeballs.
• House: Bob Benenson has a lengthy piece looking at House retirements, finding that the pace really isn't that much different from previous years, and talking to a variety of Dems who can't decide whether or not it's time to panic. The article suggests a few other possible retirees, some of whom shouldn't be seen as a surprise (John Spratt, Ike Skelton) and a few more that seem pretty improbable (Baron Hill?).
• NRSC: The NRSC is doing what is can to shield its hand-picked establishment candidates from the wrath of the teabaggers, often by denying their transparent efforts to help them fundraise. Here's one more example of how the NRSC isn't doing so well at hiding those ties, though: they've set up joint fundraising accounts for some of their faves, including Kelly Ayotte, Trey Grayson, Carly Fiorina, and Sue Lowden, which is sure to fan more teabagger flames.
• AK-Legislature: Alaska's tiny legislature (20 Senators and 40 Reps.) is looking to grow (to 24 and 48), hopefully before the next redistricting. As you can imagine, the small number of seats leaves many districts extremely large, geographically, and also stitching together many disparate communities of interest.
• Redistricting: I know everyone here likes to play redistricting on their computers, but for Californians, here's an actual chance to get your hands on the wheel! California's new redistricting commission is soliciting applications from members of the public to become members. Anyone who has worked for a politician or been on a party's central committee is excluded, but there are seats for 5 Democrats and 4 "others" (including decline to state), so there are lots of slots that need progressives to fill them.
• Polltopia: PPP wants your input yet again. Where to next? Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, or Massachusetts? (Although it looks like the poll has already been overwhelmingly freeped in favor of Kentucky by Rand Paul supporters...)