| • AR-Sen: Talk Business Net has occasionally polled Arkansas for approvals of its local political figures, and they see Blanche Lincoln sinking further into oblivion: she's currently at a 38/56 approval, down from 42/46 in October. One Arkansas Dem who isn't suffering is Governor Mike Beebe, who's at an inhuman 82/9. Beebe obviously plans for re-election and isn't in a position to relieve us of Lincoln in a primary, but Accountability Now is looking a little further down the totem pole and launching drafthalter.com to try and get Lt. Gov. Bill Halter into the race (although he's been sounding more interested in the open seat in AR-02).
• AZ-Sen: This is good news! For John McCain! However, it has to be bad news for the hordes of teabaggers who had about one day of thinking they'd elected one of their own to the Senate before finding out they'd gotten just got another New England RINO. Newly-elected Scott Brown's first act was to record a robocall in favor of the insufficiently zealous McCain, who may or may not field a challenge from the raving right from J.D. Hayworth. Believe it or not, this wasn't even Brown's first endorsement (the guy's doling out the political capital without having even been sworn in yet). The Hill had a piece this morning titled "Brown's First Endorsement May Backfire," which I assumed was about McCain - but it turns out his first endorsement was of William Hudak, a nobody running in MA-06 against John Tierney. Hudak is a loud-and-proud birther, and now Brown's camp is already trying to figure out how to walk that one back (and getting blasted by Hudak for doing so).
• IN-Sen: With rumors flying about Rep. Mike Pence checking out a possible Senate race against Evan Bayh, key Pence ally Tony Perkins (head of the Family Research Council) said that he doubts there'll be a Pence run for the Senate, and he alluded vaguely to the "possibility" of a 2012 presidential run instead. The Club for Growth, seeing a kindred spirit in Pence, though, has been joining in the chorus pushing him to run.
• NC-Sen (pdf): Not much change in the North Carolina Senate race since PPP's last visit, although there's some fluctuation upward in Richard Burr's head-to-head numbers. The faceless Burr's approvals are still very ho-hum, at 36-33 (with 31 still not sure), but he's still holding his own against Generic D (45-36, up quite a bit from a one-digit gap last month, which was probably too optimistic). Encouragingly, though, SoS Elaine Marshall is starting to overperform Generic D; she trails 44-37. Ex-state Sen. Cal Cunningham trails 45-36, and attorney Kenneth Lewis (who was recently endorsed by Rep. G.K. Butterfield) trails 46-34.
• NY-Sen-B: Harold Ford Jr.'s Senate campaign-type-thing seems ill-timed to coincide with the Democrats' belated and tentative moves to try and tap into anti-bankster anger. Sensing some trouble on that front, he's been refusing to say exactly what kind of work he's been doing for Merrill Lynch. Politico previously described his role ("senior policy adviser") as sort of a nothing-and-everything job: "rainmaker and image buffer, there to impress clients, make connections and put a politic foot forward in public settings."
• AL-Gov: More general douchery from Rep. Artur Davis as he tries to run to the right of Ag Comm. Ron Sparks in the Democratic primary, saying of health care reformer supporter Sparks: "Ron Sparks, who supports the flawed health care legislation in Washington, should realize that he is not only out of touch with the state he wants to lead, Ron Sparks would even be out of touch in Massachusetts."
• CO-Gov: Here's one sign that the John Hickenlooper camp was caught flat-footed by Gov. Bill Ritter's retirement announcement: they don't own johnhickenlooper.com. Wanna buy it? It'll only cost you $995, and the Hickenlooper camp doesn't seem to have plans to try to buy it.
• IL-Gov: Dan Hynes, who's been running some hard-hitting (some might say "Willie Horton-esque") ads against incumbent Pat Quinn in the Democratic primary, is now touting an internal poll that has him quickly closing the gap to within 7, down 44-37. (Quinn is also getting hit from the right by anti-tax ads from GOPer Andy McKenna.) Hynes's poll also claims that Quinn's approval is down to 36/60 among primary voters - if that doesn't turn around for Quinn after the primary once he isn't getting squeezed from both sides (if he even survives, as his trendline is pointing down), that would certainly bode ill for the general. One other plus for Hynes: he has a cash advantage of more than $1 million against the incumbent.
• NY-Gov: The NYT reports on mounting impatience among New York Democratic leaders for AG Andrew Cuomo to get over it and declare his gubernatorial bid already. Insiders say he's already made up his mind to run and is waiting possibly as late as April to announce, though - and already holding a $16 million to $3 million funds edge over David Paterson, he doesn't have to hustle. Still, Stuart Applebaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, is publicly endorsing Cuomo today, as a subtle nudge to get him off his butt.
• PA-Gov: Businessman Tom Knox got a lot of early attention in the Democratic governor's primary, but hasn't made much an impression in the polls since then. Rumors have been abounding that Knox was about to drop out of the race and endorse rival Dan Onorato instead, after meeting with Onorato this week. Knox's campaign manager has been tamping those rumors down, today, though.
• TX-Gov: With Dick Cheney already offering his endorsement (of questionable value), another Bush administration veteran is about to endorse Kay Bailey Hutchison too in the Texas gubernatorial primary: George Bush himself. Now before you start sputtering, that's Bush the Elder (aka 41, aka Poppy, aka H.W.).
• AR-01: In a piece on Rep. Marion Berry sounding pessimistic about passing health care reform, there's also an even more unsettling tidbit buried, saying Berry sounds "a little unsure" about whether he'll even bother running for re-election this year, even though he's not facing much in the way of a GOP challenge (yet). The quickly reddening 1st is not somewhere we want to be defending another open seat.
• NY-19: Conservative Republicans who've been looking for an alternative to the country-clubbish Nan Hayworth as a challenger to Democratic Rep. John Hall may have found someone to fit that bill. Thomas DeChiaro, owner of a local winery, says he'll run. As an indication of where he's coming from, he said he's already met with Conservative Party leader Michael Long and "plans to" meet with Republican party leaders soon.
• PA-06: It's official: Steven Welch is staying in the GOP primary in the 6th, despite Rep. Jim Gerlach pulling his gubernatorial ripcord and plummeting back into his old seat. Welch may be motivated by nothing more than sunk costs at this point, but he claims he's bolstered by a decent 40% showing at a recent insider straw poll. Looking for an angle in a moderate-vs.-moderate duel, he's also been reaching out to the local teabaggers, but they may be very suspicious of his past support of Democrats.
• PA-08: Ex-Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick had sounded kind of coy about a rematch with 2006 victor Rep. Pat Murphy, but all signs are now pointing toward a 2010 run. He's scheduled a Saturday press conference in the district to talk about his plans.
• MA-AG: Martha Coakley, now that she has some time on her hands, is planning to run for re-election as Massachusetts Attorney General. It remains to be seen whether she'll draw any primary challengers, now that it's been exposed that she has a glass jaw and turned off a lot of former supporters; some of the county DAs who'd been planning to run to succeed her may be interested in forging ahead anyway.
• Governors: Josh Goodman looks at the link between what happened in gubernatorial races in midterm elections where there was a wave at the congressional level. As you'd expect, the party gaining in Congress gains state houses too, although seemingly mostly through open seats.
• Filing deadlines: Don't forget to check out our handy SSP calendar, which covers filing deadlines and primary election dates. Kentucky and West Virginia have filing deadlines next week - and then Illinois has its freakishly-early primary in just two more weeks.