| • AR-Sen: Another day, another random conservative guy running for the Senate in Arkansas. Today, it's the turn for Stanley Reed, the former president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau and former president of the University of Arkansas board of trustees, who says he's considering the race for the Republican nod. (H/t CongressDaily.)
• FL-Sen: The Police Benevolent Association, friendly with Charlie Crist from his law-and-order days as Attorney General, commissioned a poll via McLaughlin & Associates that paints a slightly rosier picture of Crist's race against Marco Rubio than we've seen from several other pollsters last week. They find Crist up against Rubio 53-29, with a 67% approval.
• IA-Sen: It looks like Christie Vilsack (the former Iowa first lady, and political heavyweight in her own right) won't be challenging Chuck Grassley after all. She'd sounded receptive to the idea in the last few weeks, but today she's telling the Des Moines Register that she won't run. Lawyer and former gubernatorial candidate Roxanne Conlin had sounded close to running last week, so the ball's in Conlin's court now.
• LA-Sen: Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne is the only prominent Republican left who hasn't ruled out a challenge to David Vitter in the Republican primary, and, although he hasn't taken any steps, he's still not shutting the door on it. Last week on a radio show he confirmed that he hasn't ruled it out. While a primary between the two hasn't been polled since March (with Vitter leading 43-32), a recent poll had Dardenne overperforming Vitter against Charlie Melancon in the general.
• MA-Sen: A poll of the Democratic primary, from Western New England College Polling Institute, in the special election in Massachusetts finds that AG Martha Coakley is still in the driver's seat, but that some of her competitors are gaining ground as they get better-known. Coakley is at 37, with Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca at 14 (that's what spending all that money on ads will get you), Rep. Michael Capuano at 13, and City Year founder Alan Khazei at 4. The general election is shaping up to be a non-event, as Coakley beats Republican state Sen. Scott Brown 58-32 and Capuano beats him 49-33.
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold finally has a noteworthy challenger: Terrence Wall, a Madison-area real estate developer who seems to have lots of money, although he's never been elected before and it's not clear what poltical skills he brings to the table. Wall is a frequent GOP donor, although he's also given money to his local Dem, Rep. Tammy Baldwin.
• MI-Gov: Rasmussen took a look at the Michigan governor's race, but without a clear sense of who the nominees will be, they just did a generic ballot test. Generic R leads Generic D by only a point, 37-36 -- suggesting that Lt. Gov. John Cherry, who hasn't polled well in general election matchups, is underperforming Generic D. Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm's approval is 40/60.
• NJ-Gov: Suffolk University takes its first poll of the New Jersey governor's race, and while it would be nice to say this was the new reality, it's probably more likely an outlier: Jon Corzine leads Chris Christie 42-33, with Chris Daggett pulling in 7. Suffolk did an interesting experiment: they listed all 12 minor candidates, and they ate a bit into Daggett's numbers, pulling in a cumulative 3%. Corzine also has surprisingly high favorables, at 45/46, with Christie at 34/46. Monmouth, however, explains what might have happened with this sample (apparently a simple mistake that out-of-state pollsters often make): Suffolk weighted party ID by registration, but because of NJ's semi-open primary system, many unaffiliateds are actually partisan and should be polled as such.
Meanwhile, with most polls still pointing to a tossup, Barack Obama is back for one more rally with Corzine next weekend. Chris Christie can ill-afford one more scandal in the news, but that seems to be happening anyway, as stories about his seemingly politically-motivated hiring of the son of Christie patron and mentor Herbert Stern as an assistant US Attorney, despite Stern Jr.'s mediocre interviews.
• NY-Gov: This is the kind of courtesy call you don't really want -- the kind that says "I'm taking the job you want." According to the NY Post's Fred Dicker (so add salt according to taste), Andrew Cuomo contacted Rudy Giuliani through intermediaries to let him know that he will, in no uncertain terms, be running for Governor.
• CA-11: One more Republican sounds like he's ready to join the strangely crowded field to go up against Rep. Jerry McNerney next year. Former San Jose city councilor Larry Pegram says he'll move into the district to take on McNerney -- but it seems like he may want to do a little research before getting too committed, as he claimed that McNerney is weak because he was just swept in as part of the "Obama wave." (McNerney, of course, was first elected in 2006.)
• FL-19: The special election in the 19th is shaping up to be pretty uneventful: over the weekend, not only did outgoing Rep. Robert Wexler endorse state Sen.
Peter Ted Deutch to take over for him, but so too did everyone else representing the Gold Coast: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Ron Klein, and Alcee Hastings.
• MI-02: A whole lot of Dutch-American conservative Republicans are jostling to take over from Rep. Peter Hoekstra in the solidly-red 2nd, and one of the field's heavy hitters made his entry official: state Sen. Wayne Kuipers. He faces former state Rep. Bill Huizenga, former NFL player Jay Riemersma, and businessman Bill Cooper.
• NY-23 (pdf): There have been rumors of private polls out there given a small lead to third-party Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman in the 23rd, and now his sponsors at the Club for Growth have openly released one. Basswood Research finds Hoffman in the lead with 31, with Democrat Bill Owens at 27 and Republican Dede Scozzafava lagging at 20, with 22 undecided (although with a huge 6% MoE, anything could be happening). That must have something to do with the DCCC's new strategy; their new negative ad is going after Hoffman, rather than Scozzafava. Also, Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty finally got off the fence and decided to throw his lot in with the movement: he endorsed Hoffman.
• NY-24: The New York Times, in a broader piece on GOP targeting of New York House Democrats, has an interesting tidbit we hadn't seen before: the GOP is trying to coax
Michael Richard Hanna, the businessman who performed surprisingly well against Rep. Mike Arcuri last year, into a rematch.
• KY-St. Sen.: We're moving one step closer to another vacant seat and special election in Kentucky's Senate (which is controlled 21-17 by Republicans right now). Republican Dan Kelly was nominated for a state circuit court position, and he just needs Gov. Steve Beshear's approval to get the job. Competitors are already lining up for the special, including Republican state Rep. Jimmy Higdon and Democratic former state Rep. Jodie Haydon. (In case you were wondering if Kentucky, which votes for statewide offices in odd-numbered years, is having legislative elections next week, the answer is no; state legislators are still elected in even-numbered years.)
• VA-St. House: One more good piece in the diaries breaking down the individual races in Virginia's House of Delegates into Tossup, Lean, and Likely, thanks to our Johnny Longtorso. One particularly interesting race is the 51st District in exurban Prince William County, where Republican Rich Anderson, challenging Dem incumbent Paul Nichols in a very competitive race, may face criminal charges for giving out Nichols' Social Security number on a mailer to over 15,000 area residents.
• ME-Init: Another poll from Pan Atlantic SMS of Question 1 in Maine on gay marriage. They find 42 yes and 53 no (with "no" being a vote in favor of continuing gay marriage), not much changed from their September poll (43-52) but the most optimistic numbers we've seen yet here.
• Mayors: In New York City, Quinnipiac finds incumbent Michael Bloomberg (the $85 million man) with a sizable edge against Democratic comptroller William Thompson, leading 53-35 with a lead in every borough. (Not much change from 52-36 a month ago.) In what looks to be the first poll of the Atlanta mayoral race, SurveyUSA finds city councilor Mary Norwood with a big lead, although not quite enough to avoid a runoff with the 2nd place finisher. Norwood is at 46%, followed by state Sen. Kasim Reed at 26% and city councilor Lisa Borders at 17%. Norwood leads 6:1 among whites, independents, and Republicans; Reed leads among African-Americans. Also worth a read is a piece from our own diaries about major (and minor) mayoral races from elections09, which gets into the weeds on some tight races not on anybody's national radar screen (with Vancouver, WA and Stamford, CT as particularly interesting examples).