| • CO-Sen: It looks like the Michael Bennet camp, and his Beltway backers, are taking the recent polling surge by Andrew Romanoff in the Dem Senate primary, very seriously. Barack Obama just did a remote appearance on behalf of Bennet, for five minutes at a Bennet town hall.
• KY-Sen: Well, he finally got around to it. It was buried in the fifth and final paragraph of a press release. Nevertheless, Dan Mongiardo finally endorsed Dem primary victor Jack Conway. Despite previous rumors that he was holding out on his endorsement to get his $77K campaign debt paid off, a Mongiardo spokesperson says he didn't receive anything in exchange for the nod.
• PA-Sen: Bill Clinton will be in Scranton to campaign for Joe Sestak next Tuesday. Frankly, that's a really good fit of candidate, backer, and locale. I wonder if Paul Kanjorski will be allowed to tag along, though? Seems like he could use some Clinton love, too. (No, not that kind of Clinton love.) On the GOP side, Pat Toomey got some campaign fundraising help in Philly from moderate Maine GOP Senator Susan "Comrade of the Month" Collins, who seems to have forgiven or conveniently forgotten all those Club for Growth attempts to knife her in the back.
• WA-Sen: Patty Murray seems to be taking a page from the John Hickenlooper campaign in Colorado, dropping a huge amount of money right now on advertising reservations, all the way through November, while they're still cheap. She spent $3.4 million, nearly half her CoH, on ad buys in July. She can count on her coffers being replenished, though, as Barack Obama will be hosting a fundraiser for her later this month.
• WI-Sen: Dueling ads in Wisconsin. Russ Feingold is out with a sobering ad rattling his saber at Wall Street, while Ron Johnson levels accusations of being a "career politician" at Feingold. Double NWOTSOTB.
• CO-Gov: Is there blood here in the water, or what? Colorado Ethics Watch just filed a complaint with the state bar, which could lead to disciplinary action against Scott McInnis's license to practice law in Colorado, over his plagiarism scandal. McInnis's former campaign manager (until last December, so he was out long before the scandal) also just asked McInnis for a refund of all the contributions he's given him. The DGA is also starting to pour money into this race, striking while the iron is hot; they've plowed $100K into a new third-party group airing a new anti-McInnis attack ad. And if you were thinking that Dan Maes might turn out to be a reasonable alternative to McInnis, guess again. He ventured not just into Michele Bachmann territory (about how we'll all have to live in tenements and take mass transit to work) but clear into UN-black-helicopters-are-fluoridating-my-water territory. And what's the nerve center of the one-world-government's scurrilous plot against Coloradan sovereignty? Denver's program for public bike shares and more showers for bike-riding commuters!!!!1!
"At first, I thought, 'Gosh, public transportation, what's wrong with that, and what's wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what's wrong with incentives for green cars?' But if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty."
• GA-Gov: This seems like a big Deal for Nathan: the third-place finisher in the gubernatorial primary, state Sen. Eric Johnson, is backing ex-Rep. Nathan Deal in the runoff. (Oddly, Johnson hasn't said anything about it himself, but Rep. Jack Kingston, another Johnson backer-turned-Deal backer, made the announcement.) Johnson's support should help Deal in the Savannah area, where Johnson seems to have a strong base.
• MD-Gov: I wonder if Sarah Palin is playing three-dimensional chess here, in some sort of strange gambit to help Bob Ehrlich in the general election... or just playing tic-tac-toe, and losing badly at it. At any rate, she endorsed Ehrlich's barely-registering primary rival, businessman Brian Murphy, in the GOP gubernatorial primary. (Which, if you think about it, doesn't jibe at all with her endorsement of centrist and likely victor Terry Branstad in Iowa instead of wingnut Bob Vander Plaats... but then, Maryland's not an early presidential state.) Ehrlich is now publicly doing the happy dance over her endorsement of his rival, saying that it just confirms his moderate credentials for the general, where he has a shot at knocking off incumbent Dem Martin O'Malley.
• AZ-01: Rogue dentist Paul Gosar has a lead in the Republican primary in AZ-01 for the right to take on freshman Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, if his own internal is to be believed. The poll from Moore Info puts him at 30, with '08 candidate Sydney Hay at 10, Some Dude Bradley Beauchamp at 7, and, surprisingly, former state Sen. majority leader Rusty Bowers back at 6. Gosar seems to have consolidated many big-name movement conservatives behind him, ranging from Sarah Palin to Joe Arpaio. My main question, though, is: Sydney Hay is running again?!? Why weren't we informed? (You may remember her legacy of fail from her 2008 run.)
• AZ-03: This is at least the second time a childless GOP candidate has gotten busted for playing up his "family man" credentials by romping with children in advertising (the first time was Kevin Yoder in KS-03). At least Yoder was able to claim the kids were his nieces and nephews... Ben Quayle apparently had to borrow some of his aides' kids for his photo shoot.
• IL-17: After seemingly no one found their internal poll from last week credible (which gave the previously-unheralded, if not unknown, Bobby Schilling a lead over Democratic Rep. Phil Hare), there's another Republican poll out that seems to at least be on the same temporal plane as reality, in this swing district where the GOP hasn't competed hard in a while. POS (on behalf of a state party committee... Magellan did the Schilling internal) gives Hare a 33-31 lead over the political novice and pizza restauranteur. The poll also gives 7% support to the Green Party candidate, which somehow doesn't seem likely to hold.
• WV-01: As heartburn-inducing Mike Oliverio will probably be in terms of his voting record, here's some confirmation that we at least got an electoral upgrade here from the guy he defeated in the Dem primary, Rep. Alan Mollohan, who had ethical clouds following him and seemed to be phoning in his campaign. Oliverio is out with a new internal from Hamilton Campaigns that gives him a 52-36 lead over GOP opponent David McKinley. With Joe Manchin at the top of the ticket in a November special election, now, too, here's one Tossup seat where our odds seem to be getting noticeably better. (As a bonus, they find Manchin leading John Raese 62-30 in the district, which is West Virginia's reddest.)
• DCCC: CQ looks at the DCCC's attempts to enforce dues-payment this cycle. While their "Frontline" members (the ones in the trickiest races) are exempt from paying dues, they're winding up giving de facto passes to a number of other vulnerable incumbents, not having had any luck at stopping them from hoarding their own cash in preparation for tough races. 88 House Dems haven't paid any dues at all this cycle, while many others are in arrears. There's also, buried in the article, a statement that the DCCC doesn't plan to further extend its Frontline program, even as the number of potentially vulnerable Dems seems to keep increasing.
• California: For people who just can't get enough campaign finance reports, the Sacramento Bee has a helpful table of filings for all the candidates for the downballot statewide races. Dems have a cash on hand lead in most races, except for two (Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner). It's particularly pronounced in the Lt. Governor race, where Gavin Newsom leads GOP incumbent Abel Maldonado $495K to $91K. In the very tight AG's race (also the downballot race that's seen by far the most expenditures), Dem Kamala Harris leads GOPer Steve Cooley $186K to $121K (and Cooley also has $170K in debt).
• Redistricting: Ohio, unfortunately, won't be having a referendum on a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November, that would limit parties' ability to gerrymander by requiring bipartisan support for new maps. The problem? The parties in the state legislature couldn't agree on the exact framework for the plan. At least there's good news on the better-districts front in New York, where the state Senate just passed legislation that will make sure that incarcerated persons are counted in their home communities, when legislative lines are redrawn next year.
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 31%, Bill McCollum (R) 27%, Bud Chiles (I) 20%
• FL-Gov: Alex Sink (D) 31%, Rick Scott (R) 35%, Bud Chiles (I) 16%
• OH-Sen: Lee Fisher (D) 40%, Rob Portman (R) 44%