| • CA-Sen: Does Meg Whitman seriously not have anything better to do with her money? Rumors are bubbling up that she's actually considering a return to politics... which, if it's going to be in 2012, would mean a run against Dianne Feinstein (which, of course, would mean a run against the state's most popular politician in a presidential year, instead of an open seat run in a down year for Dems).
• MT-Sen: Republican businessman (and one-time LG candidate) Steve Daines did some serious fundraising in the last few months since announcing his candidacy, hauling in $225K since his announcement, with the majority of that money coming from in-state. The main target he's probably trying to scare with that money isn't Jon Tester (who has about $500K CoH), but Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, who's usually the GOPer most associated with this race but has sounded noncommittal so far; I'm sure Daines would like to see Rehberg stay out of the Senate primary. Rehberg has $594K. One other Montana Senate item, although it hopefully won't be an issue any time soon: the Montana legislature is considering whether, in the event of a Senate vacancy, to switch over from gubernatorial appointment to a fast special election instead.
• OH-Sen: Quinnipiac has a poll today of the Ohio Senate race, but, like their Pennsylvania poll last month, the lack of an obvious Republican opponent means the matchup is just against Generic R. Sherrod Brown does pretty well against G.R., especially considering that actual named candidates tend not to do as well as generics at least at this stage in the game; Brown leads 45-33, and has an approval of 45/25. This is definitely a race where we shouldn't start celebrating short of the end zone, though, considering that PPP recently found Brown in much more of a pickle, and even Qpac points out he's far from the 50% mark and in "decent but not overwhelming" shape. The Cleveland Plain Dealer's writeup of the poll spends a lot of ink talking up Rep. Steve LaTourette as a possible GOP candidate; while he'd bring some geographic strengths to the race that other GOPers might not, there hasn't been any indication so far that he's interested.
• RI-Sen, RI-Gov: Sheldon Whitehouse looks like he's dodged at least one credible candidate in 2012; John Robitaille, who came close in the 2010 gubernatorial race (although that was only because of the center-left vote split between Lincoln Chafee and Frank Caprio) and has expressed interest in running for something else, now seems focused on a retry in the 2014 gubernatorial race. Partly, he admits, that's because running statewide as a Republican in Rhode Island in a presidential year would be a kamikaze mission.
• WV-Gov: SoS Natalie Tennant has gotten endless mentions as a likely gubernatorial candidate, but with the clock ticking to the now-only-nine-months-away special election, she's made her candidacy official as of yesterday.
• FL-25: OK, here's a trivia question for you all (which I genuinely don't know the answer to)... which House freshman holds the record for the shortest partial term, before having to resign in shame? (I'm wondering if Eric Massa actually holds the record, but I'd bet there's some historical example of someone accomplishing it in less than one year.) The reason I ask is that things seem to be moving into a new phase in the investigation into David Rivera, and whether piles of money paid from a dog track that he helped, to his mother's marketing company, found their way into his pockets. The Miami-Dade County's state's attorney, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, just turned the case over to the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement. Although that sounds ominous, some observers are seeing the move as a downgrade, though, as the FDLE may not devote the same level of resources to it; Rundle has been viewed as a possible Dem challenger in this district, and may be punting the case to avoid it becoming a liability for her later.
• MI-15: Rep. John Dingell (84 years old) says he'll be back for an unprecedented 30th term in the House, running again in 2012. One important detail, though: whatever district he's running in, it won't be the 15th next time, as Michigan is about to lose a seat. Dingell has survived multiple bad redistrictings over the decades, including beating fellow Democratic Rep. Lynn Rivers in a 2002 primary mashup. (Thanks to Greg Giroux, we know now that Dingell will pass Robert Byrd in all-time legislative service in June of 2013.)
• Mayors: Two mayoral races are in the news today, although both aren't up for grabs until 2012. Two-term incumbent Buddy Dyer (who used to be the Democratic leader in the Florida state Senate) says he's going to run for another term as mayor of Orlando. He also mentioned some vague gubernatorial aspirations. Also, Portland, Oregon will elect a new mayor in '12; all the action will be in the Democratic primary, where it's not certain that Sam Adams (damaged by a sex scandal several years ago) will run for a second term. One interesting possibility mentioned: former Senate candidate Steve Novick, who gained a lot of netroots attention during his '08 Dem primary run, is seriously considering a run.
• Votes: As you're probably already aware, the Dems held the defections down to three on yesterday's HCR repeal vote. It was the three likeliest suspects, given the combination of their dark-red districts and previous statements on the matter: OK-02's Dan Boren, NC-07's Mike McIntyre, and AR-04's Mike Ross. UT-02's Jim Matheson has the reddest district of any "no" vote, but he's a member of leadership and may be sanguine about getting a better district out of redistricting next year (or just figuring that the worst is past).
• Redistricting: Arizona legislative Republicans sort of succeeded with their quest to get three members of the state redistricting panel kicked off (on the grounds that they were serving in other political offices); however, it was a partial success because only two of the three challenged members got kicked off by the state supreme court and the one they were really targeting the most didn't get kicked off. Also, if you're in Virginia and you're a college student, the state is having a redistricting contest. No word on whether you absolutely have to be part of a team or can do it individually, but the winners get a cash prize and get to present the design for new congressional and legislative maps to the Governor's entirely-nonbinding advisory panel. (Actually, it looks like it's too late to start a team if your college doesn't already have one, but your college probably already has a team which you might be able to join. See here for the details.)