• AK-Sen: Is there anyone other than Joe Miller left who wants Joe Miller to keep contesting the Senate race? The state GOP organization is now saying it "stands ready to embrace Lisa Murkowski" as the winner of the race, despite her not having won its primary. I'm sure they were secretly ready all along to do so... recall that the person issuing the statement, state party chair Randy Ruedrich, was the guy that Joe Miller was trying to orchestrate a palace coup against, which got him fired from his Fairbanks borough job. I can't imagine much love lost between Ruedrich and Miller.
• IN-Sen: Richard Lugar, who just announced that he's running for re-election, is laying down a pretty big marker (and one that probably helped convince him to run again). He's out with an internal poll from American Viewpoint that, while it doesn't specifically poll the 2012 GOP Senate primary, shows him with huge approvals, though apparently among all voters and not just registered Republicans. He's at 66% favorable. Two of his potential GOP opponents, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock and state Sen. Mike Delph, have faves of 14% and 7% each.
• ND-Sen, NM-Sen: This Politico article doesn't actually contain any hard facts that are newsworthy, but it does contain one alarming sentence, that both Kent Conrad and Jeff Bingaman are "weighing retirement" (without anything beyond that). Conrad and Bingaman, though both long-timers, are still in their early 60s. Buried deep in the article is also a throwaway line that Jon Kyl is also the subject of retirement "speculation."
• NJ-Sen: That tea party push to have a recall election for Bob Menendez (despite, of course, the universally accepted legal principle that you can't recall federal officials) seems to have finally died, courtesy of the New Jersey Supreme Court. I'm just surprised the case rose that far through the courts before, y'know, someone thought to crack open their 1L Con Law textbook, but the bright side is that every dollar right-wingers spend on pointless appellate legal fees is a dollar not spent on actually electing somebody. Menendez is up for a regularly scheduled election in 2012, anyway.
• NV-Sen: Everyone seems in a fit of instant nostalgia for Sharron Angle today, with the revelation that in the course of the campaign she said "Sometimes dictators have good ideas" (in reference to Augusto Pinochet and privatized pension systems), and the leaked release of the ad that she cut that never got released, probably because it takes a minute to make a point that should take five seconds and because the 70s-disaster-flick-style overacting overshadows any possible message. (You can click here to see the ad, bearing in mind that it opens in Windows Media Player.) The real news that got leaked today that might impact the 2012 race, though, is that none other than John Ensign helped Sharron Angle prep for her debate by playing the part of Harry Reid. I wonder if that'll be the last nail in the coffin for the reputed Reid/Ensign non-aggression pact?
• RI-Sen: Add one more potential name to the roster for a Republican challenger to Sheldon Whitehouse: the state's GOP chair, Giovanni Cicione (who has been encouraging outgoing Gov. Don Carcieri to run, as well as floating his own name as a last resort), is touting John Robitaille as a possible candidate. Robitaille (Carcieri's former communications director) performed above expectations in the gubernatorial race in which he was supposed to be a sacrificial lamb, finishing second (though helped along by Frank Caprio's last-minute implosion).
• VA-Sen (pdf): PPP's Virginia Senate poll had a GOP primary portion that just got released separately; right now, George Allen is the consensus pick, although that may have more to do with the ex-Gov. and ex-Sen.'s broad name rec compared with the rest of the field. Allen is at 46, with the very-unlikely-to-run Eric Cantor at 18, right-wing AG Ken Cuccinelli at 16, Lt. Gov. Bill Boling and ex-Rep. Tom Davis both at 4, and state Del. Bob Marshall (who almost sneaked into the 2008 Senate nomination) at 2.
• NY-01, NY-25: Good news in the 1st, bad news in the 25th. Tim Bishop has made up some ground, as of the second day of absentee counting. Bishop picked up 108 votes on Randy Altschuler, cutting Altschuler's lead down to 275, and that's with Smithtown, Altschuler's strongest area, having almost entirely reported. Bishop's strongest turf is East Hampton, which will begin counting tomorrow. Ann Marie Buerkle, however, gained a small amount of ground in the 25th, contrary to expectations. Her lead is up to 824 votes, after a batch of small batch (230) of challenged ballots from Monroe County got opened and counted. The county to watch, though, will be Onondaga County, which is Dan Maffei's base and where 7,000 absentees are yet to be counted.
• Redistricting: There are three different redistricting articles out today that are worth a read. One is about Texas, where it seems like the GOP is extended about as far as it can go (thanks to victories in TX-23 and likely TX-27); compounding the problem there is something that I've been pointing out for years, which is that at least two, possibly three, of its expected four new seats are going to have to be VRA seats, seeing as how the vast majority of Texas's growth in the past decade has been among Hispanics. Trying to limit the creation of new Hispanic-majority seats will only make it harder to protect Quico Canseco and Blake Farenthold.
There's also a piece looking at Nevada, more specifically the fight within the Dem-controlled legislature about for whom to tailor NV-04 (which will probably be a Dem-leaning suburban district, conceding a GOP-leaning NV-03 to Joe Heck). Both state Senate majority leader Steven Horsford and new state Assembly speaker John Oceguera have their eyes on the new seat. Finally, there are questions in Florida about just who's behind the lawsuit, fronted by a bipartisan coalition of Mario Diaz-Balart and Corrine Brown, to stop implementation of Amendment 6, the one bright spot from Florida on Election Day (a new initiative that makes gerrymandering more difficult). The Orlando Sentinel traces the money trail back to a number of state legislators' groups, including one led by GOP state Sen. Don Gaetz, the guy who... big surprise... is tasked with leading redistricting for the state Senate.
• Idaho: The only state holding primaries tonight is Idaho, where the only race that's captivating is the Republican primary in ID-01 between Vaughn Ward and state Rep. Raul Labrador. Ward has quickly turned into one of this cycle's SSP favorites, parlaying early establishment backing and financial advantages into a dead heat with the teabaggish Labrador through repeat instances of plagiarism and general cluelessness. In fact, the latest incident came just today, when Idaho's senior senator Mike Crapo asked Ward to clarify an inaccurate e-mail that implied Ward had Crapo's endorsement. In a Mason-Dixon poll from several days ago, Ward led Labrador 31-28. Politico has some extra background on the race today, focusing on the bizarre intramural rivalries within the Tea Party movement, as local Labrador-backing teabaggers have split off into the Tea Party People's Front and the People's Front of Tea Party over the national Tea Party Express's backing of Ward.
The Republican primary in the Governor's race is also tonight, with incumbent Butch Otter facing challenges from wacko businessman Rex Rammell (whom you may remember from the 2008 Senate race, where he ran as an independent) and Ada Co. Commissioner Sharon Ullman. Otter, who was a libertarian-leaning House member prior to being Governor, hasn't really drawn the wrath of the Tea Party though, and is polling well; the same Mason-Dixon poll finds him at 60%, with no opponent over 6%. Most polls in Idaho close at 8 pm Mountain time (10 Eastern), with some closing at 8 pm Pacific (11 Eastern).
• AR-Sen: The AFSCME is up with an $855K ad buy with a negative ad throwing the kitchen sink at Blanche Lincoln, even making fun of her absentee ballot screwup on Election Day. In Arkansas's cheap media markets, that's enough to keep the ads running all the way through the runoff.
• CA-Sen: While we at SSP are pleased and even a little honored that political insiders seem to be not only reading us but actually taking seriously things that we say, we also realize that they might not be familiar with all internet conventions. SSP allows (and encourages) user diaries. What is said in these diaries is not reflective of the opinions of the site's editors. So, for instance, if a user diary says that CA-Sen is a "Tossup," that does not mean that Swing State Project is calling CA-Sen a "Tossup," which is precisely what the Carly Fiorina campaign was busy tweeting today.
• NC-Sen: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Third-place Democratic primary finisher Kenneth Lewis has signed on as campaign chair for Elaine Marshall. Marshall faces a runoff against Cal Cunningham, who got a good endorsement of his own yesterday, from Jim Neal (who you might remember lost the 2008 Senate primary after running to Kay Hagan's left).
• WI-Sen: You see allegations of this kind of thing in small-ball state legislative contests a lot, but usually when you get up to the U.S. Senate level, you have your staffers do this kind of thing. Well, I guess Ron Johnson is a man of the people, willing to go out there and get his own hands dirty tearing down his opponents' signs (as seen on this video).
• AL-Gov: Artur Davis is out with a last-minute hit on Ron Sparks, throwing around "corruption" in reference to the thorny issue (in Alabama) of gambling. Usually campaigns like to close on a happy note; is Davis worried about a last-minute Sparks surge?
• MN-Gov: With Margaret Anderson Kelliher having announced a running mate pick, the other two guys in the Democratic primary have now, too. Mark Dayton picked state Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon. She represents Duluth, an important but oft-overlooked Democratic stronghold in the state's north. Matt Entenza seems to be going for star power rather than geographical balance, though, reportedly asking retiring news anchorwoman Robyne Robinson.
• CA-36: Looks like the Democratic primary between Rep. Jane Harman and activist Marcy Winograd is getting nationalized. Democracy for America (the descendant of the Dean campaign) is endorsing Winograd over the centrist Harman in this D+12 district.
• HI-01: A day after sounding noncommital about running in the regularly-scheduled primary in the 1st after finishing a surprising 3rd in the jungle-style special election, Ed Case is now confirming that he will keep running. Case has challenge Colleen Hanabusa to jointly commission a poll on who's more competitive against Charles Djou (who was sworn in today, by the way) and the loser would drop out. Um, maybe the time to do that would be before the weird special election, not before the conventional primary where Hanabusa's probably the favorite.
• OH-18: State Sen. Bob Gibbs and ex-state Agriculture Director Fred Dailey will have to wait a while longer for a conclusion to their super-close GOP primary, as SoS Jennifer Brunner ordered a recount. Gibbs finished ahead of Dailey by 156 votes, out of 52,700 (so it falls within the half a percentage point margin where an automatic recount is ordered by state law).
• VA-02: The GOP primary in the 2nd seems to be following a familiar pattern this cycle: the establishment candidate wins with a plurality after the Tea Partiers and assorted other hard-right constituencies can't unite behind any one standard-bearer. A POS internal poll from wealthy auto dealer Scott Rigell (who has a bipartisan contibution record that must be dismaying to the local teabaggery) has Rigell way in the lead at 47, followed by 10 for Bert Mizusawa, 9 for Scott Taylor, 6 for Ben Loyola, and 1 each for Ed Maulbeck and Jessica Sandlin. Virginia's primary is on June 8, but remember that, unlike most Southern states, they don't employ runoffs.
• WI-07: EMILY's List is getting involved in the open seat race in the 7th, now that state Sen. Julie Lassa has the Democratic field to herself. Their endorsement give her access to a nationwide donor base.
• Nevada: Democrats in Nevada have been able to point to a steadily increasing registration advantage over the last few years, but that petered out in the state's newest release of numbers. The GOP increased its share, not by gaining more new registrations than the Dems, but by losing fewer registrations! Dems lost 42K since January, the GOP lost 20K, and nonpartisans went down 13K. I doubt people are burning their registration cards in a fit of pique, which instead suggests that there's a lot of migration out of Nevada this year as it's particularly hard hit by unemployment and foreclosures.
• Redistricting: Here's some bipartisanship you can believe in: GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown -- both beneficiaries of minority-majority districts, including an ugly gerrymandered one in Brown's case -- joined together to sue to stop the Fair Districts initiative that will be on Florida's ballot in November.
• FL-Sen: Everything's coming up Milhouse for Rep. Kendrick Meek these days: Rep. Corrine Brown decided not to challenge him in the primary, he's watching Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio go hammer and tongs at each other on the GOP side, and now he has the endorsement of Florida's currently most successful Democrat, Sen. Bill Nelson.
• NH-Sen: Oh please oh please... the geniuses at the Club for Growth are considering getting involved in the New Hampshire Senate race, where the position-less campaign of Kelly Ayotte doesn't seem to be capturing their fancy. (This is buried at the end of an article on how they're still weighing involvement in FL-Sen.)
• NY-Gov: David Paterson is playing a different tune than before, sounding less defiant and ready to "reassess" if his numbers stay in the tank on into early 2010. Meanwhile, this may be a tea leaf that Rudy Giuliani isn't planning to run -- or simply one Suffolk County resident doing a favor for another one -- but Suffolk County (on Lon Gisland) GOP leader John Jay LaValle endorsed Rick Lazio last week, and now Orange County (in the Hudson Valley) GOP leader Bill DeProspo is also endorsing Lazio. (And with Lazio poised to get demolished in a Rudy primary, you wouldn't likely make that endorsement and risk the Rudy's wrath unless you had a sense that he wasn't running.) Finally, Erie County Exec Chris Collins had been considered a post-Rudy Plan B for the GOP, but he seems to have taken himself out of the running with bizarre remarks last weekend comparing Democratic Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver to both Hitler and the anti-Christ.
• VA-Gov: Two more Virginia polls to add to the pile today: Roanoke College (in its first and apparently only poll) finds Bob McDonnell with a 53-36 lead over Creigh Deeds. In another bit of bad news, Republicans lead Democrats 43-33 on a generic ballot question concerning the House of Delegates. Research 2000 also looks at the race, finding a 54-44 lead for McDonnell -- one of Deeds' best performances recently, although that's not saying much.
• IA-03: Republican state Sen. (and former mayor of the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale) Brad Zaun says he's seriously considering a run against Rep. Leonard Boswell in the 3rd next year. Mike Mahaffey, former state GOP chair, is set to decide by next week whether or not he'll run too.
• IL-18: Democrat D.K. Hirner will run for the nomination to face off against Rep. Aaron Schock in the Peoria-area 18th (who benefited from Democratic recruitment problems in his initial run in 2008). Hirner is the executive director of the Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group.
• MN-03: Democratic psychiatrist Maureen Hackett filed campaign papers to run in the 3rd against freshman Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen (who won with only 49% of the vote in 2008). Minnesota PTA president Jim Meffert-Nelson is also planning to announce his bid soon, while state Sen. Teri Bonoff, the district's heavyweight Dem, is still weighing the race.
• NH-02: EMILY's List has one more endorsee: attorney Ann McLane Kuster, in the open seat race in the 2nd. You may be wondering "Wait, isn't Katrina Swett going to run there?" While Kuster is officially in the race and has been fundraising well, Swett hasn't committed to a bid yet, though... and more importantly, supports parental notification for abortion, making an endorsement unlikely.
• OH-15: Here's a positive development at both the micro and macro levels: little-known anti-abortion Ron Paul-supporter David Ryon dropped out of the Republican primary field against state Sen. Steve Stivers (who's seeking a rematch against freshman Democratic Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy), and he's going to go the third party route. This is good at a micro level because it's similar to what happened in 2008, when two minor right-wing candidates siphoned off 9% of the vote, allowing Kilroy to get past the pro-choice Stivers despite an underwhelming performance (and without Obama on the ballot driving turnout in a university-dominated district, Kilroy is poised to underwhelm again in 2010). And at a macro level, it may be an indication that various wingnuts are taking stock of the Doug Hoffman situation and saying "Hey, that could be me!" (Thus further exacerabting the rifts in the GOP.)
• OH-16: Buried at the end of an article that's mostly profiling alleged GOP frontrunner Jim Renacci, there's news that conservative former Ashland County Commissioner Matt Miller is planning a third run in the primary in the 16th. Miller, if you'll recall, got 42% in the 2006 primary against long-time Rep. Ralph Regula (which was probably instrumental in prompting Regula's 2008 retirement), and then almost won the 2008 primary against state Sen. Kirk Schuring. So it's hardly a foregone conclusion that freshman Democratic Rep. John Boccieri will be facing Renacci next year.
• VA-07: Democratic real estate developer Charles Diradour has decided to scrap his nascent candidacy against Eric Cantor, so it's back to the drawing board for Dems in the reddish 7th. Cantor has the biggest bankroll of any House Republican, so it'd be an uphill fight, to say the least.
• NY-St. Sen.: With state Sen. Hiram Monserrate intending to stay in the Senate despite having been convicted of misdemeanor assault last week, the Queens Democratic Party (led by Rep. Joe Crowley) is taking the unusual step of recruiting and endorsing a primary challenger to him. Assemblyman Jose Peralta will be running against Monserrate with the local party's blessing. The Senate is also still considering whether to begin expulsion proceedings against Monserrate.
• PA-S. Ct.: Josh Goodman has a good catch on how the lone Supreme Court race on the ballot in Pennsylvania next week is actually a key race, in terms of state legislative redistricting in 2010. The state's legislative redistricting board has 5 seats, with two seats from each legislative chamber and the remaining seat chosen by the first 4. But if the two legislative chambers are controlled by different parties (as is currently the case), there's a deadlock, and the 5th member is chosen by the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court is also currently deadlocked between the parties (3-3, with the victor of next week's race the tiebreaking vote), so the Supreme Court race essentially is for control of state legislative redistricting for the next decade. In the one poll I've seen of the race, Democrat Jack Panella led GOPer Joan Orie Melvin 38-35.
• Polling: PPP is asking for your help again: they'd like to know what you'd like to see for a release schedule over the next week.
• AZ-Sen: This is good news for John McCain... 's opponent. Rodney Glassman, Tucson city councilor, has formed an exploratory committee to vie for the 2010 Democratic Senate nomination. With the state's top-tier candidates avoiding the race, an up-and-comer looking to increase his statewide profile like Glassman is probably the best we'll do here. (H/t Nonpartisan.)
• CT-Sen: You just know that the moment pro wrestling CEO Linda McMahon launched her Senate run, the nation's Democratic opposition researchers all started doing a merry jig knowing how much work would be available for them. The first wave is already out, leading off with a clips reel of "PG-rated" (McMahon's words) WWE highlights including simulated rape and necrophilia. Meanwhile, newly minted teabagger ex-Rep. Rob Simmons, realizing that he doesn't have a lock on the necrophile vote any more, has continued his march to the right, begging forgiveness for his previous support of EFCA and cap and trade.
• FL-Sen: I always thought the idea of a Corrine Brown challenge to Kendrick Meek in the Democratic Senate primary was weird from the outset, but despite putting up some decent fundraising numbers in the third quarter, last Friday she pulled the plug on any bid. Rep. Brown will run for re-election in the dark-blue 3rd, where she's been since 1992.
Meanwhile, Charlie Crist is actually starting to sweat his once sure-thing Senate bid. Although no one has actually leaked it, rumors keep persisting about that Chamber of Commerce poll that has Crist posting only a 44-30 lead over Marco Rubio in the GOP primary. Also worrisome for the Crist camp: much of that $1 million that Rubio pulled in was from in-state small donors -- you know, the kind that actually vote -- rather than out-of-state movement conservative bigwigs. With that in mind, Crist is already tapping into his big cash stash, airing radio spots in the conservative Ft. Myers market touting his government-slashing abilities.
• IL-Sen: Departing (well, maybe) Rep. Danny Davis gave his endorsement in the Democratic primary to former Chicago Urban League head Cheryle Jackson, rather than to establishment candidate state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Fellow Rep. Bobby Rush has already endorsed Jackson.
• KS-Sen: Dan Glickman, who teased Politico earlier this summer with some vague whispers of suggestions of hints that he might run for Senate, says he'll step down from his current gig (chairman of the MPAA) in September 2010. If he sticks to that timetable, that clearly puts him out of the running for any return to politics this cycle. At 64, and facing what is now an almost implacably red state back at home, Glickman sounds like he's done with elective office for good, saying he thinks he'll "end up in the nonprofit or academic world." (D)
• MA-Sen: Rep. Michael Capuano is way behind the polls of the actual voters, but he's closing in on a majority of the state's House delegation in his corner for the Democratic Senate special election nod. Today, Rep. Stephen Lynch, the state's least liberal House member and a surprise non-participant in the Senate primary, endorsed Capuano; he joins Reps. Jim McGovern, John Tierney, and Barney Frank.
• SC-Sen: Democratic attorney Chad McGowan made it official; he launched his Senate candidacy against Jim DeMint. He's the most credible candidate who has stepped up so far.
• IL-Gov: The Paul Simon Institute on Public Policy issued a poll last week of the Democratic gubernatorial primary, finding a lot of undecideds (and "someone elses") but that incumbent Pat Quinn leads state comptroller Dan Hynes 34-17.
• KS-Gov: Democratic state party chair Larry Gates squashed earlier rumors; he won't be getting into the gubernatorial race (or any statewide race), leaving the Dems still candidate-less.
• NJ-Gov: More golden admissions from Chris Christie, from a video recorded several years ago but released right now for maximum effect by Team Corzine. In Christie's words:
Listen, I plead guilty to having raised money for Governor George W. Bush because I thought he was the best person to be President of the United States. And I did it in a completely appropriate fashion and enthusiastically for the President....
There's no mystery to the fact that I was appointed to this job because, in part, I had a relationship with the President of the United States.
Anybody who receives a political appointment -- I am a political appointee -- there's going to be some measure of politics involved with that appointment.
And Christie may be sending the wrong message right now, as revelations fly about his luxurious travel overspending while US Attorney: now he's saying as Governor, his top advisers will be able to travel with fewer restrictions than under the current administration, at taxpayers' expense, naturally. Meanwhile, over the weekend Jon Corzine picked up the endorsement of the two biggest fish in the news pond, the New York Times and the Phildelphia Inquirer. (Christie can boast about the East Brunswick Home News Tribune, however.)
• VA-Gov: Speaking of endorsements, Creigh Deeds got the big one too, from the Washington Post, and in very unambiguous fashion as well (recall, of course, that the WaPo endorsement in the primary was the corner-turning moment for Deeds). Meanwhile, while it doesn't seem set in stone, there are reports that Barack Obama will campaign on Deeds' behalf after all.
• FL-08: With the current field against Rep. Alan Grayson looking pretty underwhelming, Republican Winter Park physician Ken Miller, who had been considering a run in the 24th (where the primary opposition is of a higher-caliber), has decided to move over to the 8th instead. Which isn't to say that the never-before-elected Miller seems terribly, uh, whelming.
• FL-19: One of the likeliest candidates to run for the seat being vacated by Robert Wexler has already declined the shot: state Sen. Jeremy Ring won't run. While he cited family concerns, he did also point to the fact that little of his district overlaps with the 19th. Fellow state Sen. Ted Deutch is starting to take on front-runner status.
• IN-07: Butler University professor and perennial candidate (including the 2004 Senate race against Evan Bayh) Marvin Scott is back, and this time he's going up against Rep. Andre Carson in the Indianapolis-based 7th.
• NY-23: The independent expenditures are flying in the 23rd, with $100K from the SEIU in favor of Bill Owens, $9,700 from the Club for Growth $9,500 from the Susan B. Anthony List, both on behalf of Conservative Doug Hoffman, and $123K from the NRCC against Owens (which includes $22K for a poll from aptly-named POS -- so if we don't see that soon, we'll know the NRCC doesn't like the results). The SEIU money is paying for anti-Dede Scozzafava radio spots, another blow for GOPer Scozzafava, who had been expected to get some labor support. Scozzafava did get the somewhat belated endorsement of Long Island's Rep. Peter King, though, one of the few other remaining labor-friendly GOPers. Finally, rumors abound in the rightosphere (starting with the Tolbert Report) that Mike Huckabee, who'll be addressing the state Conservative Party in Syracuse soon, won't actually be endorsing Hoffman.
• OH-02: Rep. Jean Schmidt, who had to beat back a primary challenge in 2008 from state Rep. Todd Brinkman, will face another primary bid from an elected official in 2010: Warren County Commissioner Mike Kilburn. Kilburn says "there's a movement to elect more conservative politicians to Washington." Because, uh, Schmidt isn't conservative enough?
• OK-05: A sort-of big name is getting into the field in the open seat race left behind by Rep. Mary Fallin (running for Oklahoma governor): Corporation Commissioner Jeff Cloud, who opened up his exploratory committee. He starts off lagging behind in fundraising, though, as state Rep. Mike Thompson and former state Sen. Kevin Calvey have already been running for a while now.
• Mayors: After a closer-than-expected primary, Boston mayor Tom Menino is still leading in the polls. The 16-year incumbent leads city councilor Michael Flaherty 52-32 in a Boston Globe poll (down from a 61-23 lead in a May poll).
• DSCC: Barack Obama seems like he's finally shifting into campaign mode. He'll be headlining a DSCC fundraiser in Miami next week.
• Voting Rights: After spending years as a political football that gets kicked around from bill to bill, it looks like the push to get Washington DC a full voting Representative is resurfacing again. This time, it may be attached to the 2010 defense appropriations bill. (Watch the Republicans vote against it anyway.)
• Fundraising: Pollster.com has some handy graphics displaying 3rd quarter receipts, expenditures, and cash on hand graphed against each other for Senate candidates. (We'll have our own Senate chart up today, hopefully; if you missed James's House chart over the weekend, it's here.)
• AZ-Sen: It's been a rumor all year, but it just won't die: ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth is reportedly still interested in challenging John McCain in the GOP primary next year. McCain already has a primary challenge from the fringey right, in the form of former Minutemen leader Chris Simcox.
• FL-Sen: Although Rep. Corrine Brown doesn't seem to be taking any steps to get into the Dem field, it looks like Rep. Kendrick Meek still may not get the primary all to himself: former Miami mayor Maurice Ferre is signaling his interest in the race. Ferre is 74; he was the first Hispanic (he's Puerto Rican) to be elected Miami mayor. Meanwhile, Meek is the beneficiary of yet another Bill Clinton fundraiser; this is the Big Dog's fourth on behalf of Meek, a prominent Hillary Clinton endorser in 2008. Finally, Karl Rove is weighing in on the Florida senate primary, albeit just with a $1,000 donation and no loud public pronouncement: he's backing Marco Rubio.
• IL-Sen: Rep. Mark Kirk says he's raised $1.6 million for the 3rd quarter, leaving him with $2.3 million cash on hand. State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias hasn't made any report yet, but ended the 2nd quarter with $1.65 million on hand.
• NV-Sen: The heat is getting turned up on John Ensign; Barbara Boxer confirmed today that the Senate Ethics Committee will be taking up the little matter of getting a lobbying job for cuckolded ex-staffer Doug Hampton and then steering him clients as a parting gift. Meanwhile, the GOP's new candidate in the 2010 Senate race, Sue Lowden, is still clinging to Ensign, standing by earlier pro-Ensign comments at an Elko appearance on Friday, saying that she hopes to have Ensign campaigning on behalf of Republican candidates (including, presumably, herself) next year.
• WI-Sen: Russ Feingold seems to be sitting pretty, with high favorables and little in the way of GOP opposition. His likeliest opponent is Madison real estate developer Terrence Wall, but Wisconsin's Blogging Blue makes a nice catch about Wall: he loves doing business in Wisconsin so much that all 16 of his business entities are incorporated in Delaware.
• AZ-Gov: Another minor GOP player is jumping into the gubernatorial primary against appointed incumbent Jan Brewer. Former state GOP chair (during the early 1980s) and former member of the university system Board of Regents John Munger is in the race. He joins Brewer and Paradise Valley mayor Vernon Parker, with state Treasurer Dean Martin and some other higher-profile figures considering it too.
• CA-Gov: Maybe this explains why alleged Republican Meg Whitman is running for governor and not for senate: turns out she endorsed Barbara Boxer in 2004 as part of Technology Leaders for Boxer, and gave her $4,000. No word yet on whether Whitman actually got around to voting for her, though.
• MN-Gov: A straw poll at the Minnesota GOP convention sees former state House minority leader Marty Seifert in pole position; he pulled in 37% of the vote among nine candidates. Little-known state Rep. Tom Emmer finished second at 23%, and former state Auditor Pat Anderson was third with 14%. Norm Coleman was also seen mingling with convention-goers (he got a few write-in votes although his name wasn't on the ballot); he says he hasn't fully ruled out running, saying he'll make a decision early next year.
• SC-Gov: Republican AG Henry McMaster, who's running to succeed Mark Sanford as governor, has run into his own little ethical snafu. He's having to return $32,500 in illegal contributions that came from five attorneys after he had hired them to work on cases for the state.
• SD-Gov: Republican Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard officially kicked off his campaign for the 2010 gubernatorial race. In an apparently all-Scandinavian-American rumble, he'll face off against state Senate majority leader Dave Knudson in the GOP primary, and the winner will face Democratic state Senate minority leader Scott Heidepriem.
• VA-Gov: The money keeps pouring into the Virginia governor's race. The DNC is throwing another $1 million into Creigh Deeds' kitty. Also, the RGA is going on the air with a huge ad buy in the DC market with an ad featuring a testy post-debate Deeds interview.
• WI-Gov (pdf): The Univ. of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Policy Research Institute poll the Wisconsin governor's race, but primary fields only. Unknowns rule the day: on the Dem side, Milwaukee mayor and ex-Rep. Tom Barrett (who hasn't confirmed his interest) beats Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, 38-16. On the GOP side, Milwaukee Co. Exec Scott Walker beats ex-Rep. Mark Neumann 39-14, with 4% to Tim Michels. (Barrett is the best known of all the candidates, with a 36/12 favorable.) Current Gov. Jim Doyle heads out of office in net negative territory, with a 43/52 approval, although that still beats a lot of other governors right now.
• WY-Gov: Most of the major players seem to be standing around and waiting to see whether current Gov. Dave Freudenthal challenges the state's term limit laws in court in order to grab a third term. One Republican isn't waiting though, becoming the first announced big-ticket opponent: rancher Ron Micheli. He was a state Representative for 16 years and state Agriculture Director under Republican Gov. Jim Geringer.
• NV-03: It looks like the GOP may successfully trade up in the 3rd District. With banker John Guedry bailing out of the race for personal reasons, now it looks like they've coaxed former state Sen. Joe Heck out of the gubernatorial primary (where he initially looked like he had a shot at taking out unpopular incumbent Jim Gibbons, but turned into a long shot with the likely inclusion of ex-AG, ex-judge Brian Sandoval in the primary) and into the race against Dem freshman Rep. Dina Titus instead. Heck is still officially mum, but will have an announcement later this week.
• PA-11: Democratic Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O'Brien had been a long-rumored primary challenger to long-time Rep. Paul Kanjorski in the 11th, and he made it official over the weekend. O'Brien is clearly emphasizing what a young go-getter he is (compared with the aging Kanjorski), kicking things off with 30 straight hours of campaigning.) Kanjo remains undeterred though, reiterating that he's running for re-election and looking forward to the debate.
• Generic Ballot: PPP fires up another warning flare about 2010, looking at some of the generic ballot crosstabs. Among voters who don't like either party, they opt for the GOP 50-14. But there's a disparity by party line among unhappy voters. The unhappy Republicans will still vote GOP, 66-18, but the unhappy Democrats say they'll cross over to the GOP, 48-26. On the plus side, there aren't as many unhappy Democrats as there are unhappy Republicans (20% instead of 33%).
• House: Biden Alert! The VP has been working overtime in the last month appearing at fundraisers for vulnerable House members, helping nearly a dozen members haul more than a collective $1 million. He's also been assisting with recruiting efforts, most notably with the successful score of Bethlehem mayor John Callahan in PA-15.
• CA-10: Lt. Gov. John Garamendi's candidacy for Ellen Tauscher's old House seat received a boost this week from the editorial page of the San Francisco Chronicle.
• FL-Sen: The Corrine Brown for Senate exploratory train is chugging along, but Brown says that she'll need to raise "several million dollars" to be seen as a legitimate contender. The longtime Democratic lawmaker says that she hopes to raise $500,000 by the end of September.
• FL-13: A man who claims that he was coerced by business associates into making illegal donations to GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan and the Florida Republican Party says that key evidence was stolen from his home earlier this month. Police are investigating the burglary, and have sent unidentified DNA evidence to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for further analysis.
• IL-11: Joe Biden's been on a tear lately, hosting fundraisers for vulnerable House Democrats as "part of a White House effort to safeguard about 70 House seats" targeted by the GOP. After helping out Florida Reps. Alan Grayson and Suzanne Kosmas earlier this week, Amtrak Joe made an appearance at a luncheon fundraiser yesterday for Debbie Halvorson, who's being challenged by upstart Iraq Vet and ex-McLean County Commissioner Adam Kinzinger.
• LA-Sen: When asked, by a constituent, why he favors prescription drug re-importation from "countries that have socialized medicine", GOP Sen. David Vitter responded by saying that his goal was for re-importation to "implode" Canada's cheaper perscription drug regime by swamping it with excess demand from the States. David Vitter sure is one breathtakingly cynical son of a bitch.
• NV-Sen, NV-01: Las Vegas Rep. Shelley Berkley says that she would "take a good look" at a run against disgraced GOP Sen. John Ensign in 2012, but she wouldn't be eager to give up her safe seat and committee assignments in the House. Needless to say, if Ensign does try for a third term next cycle, I don't think his non-aggression pact with Harry Reid can stop a serious Democratic opponent from emerging.
• NY-Lt. Gov: Bummer for David Paterson. A four-justice panel from the Second Judicial Department of the Appellate Division unanimously decided that his appointment of Richard Ravitch as the state's Lt. Governor was unconstitutional. The panel did grant leave for the case to be argued before the Court of Appeals, but it's not expected that Paterson will find that court, which is still dominated by Pataki appointees, to be a friendlier venue for his arguments.
• TN-04, TN-06: GOP Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Lynn Westmoreland touched down in Tennessee earlier this week to meet with prospective challengers to two Democratic incumbents in reddening seats, Lincoln Davis and Bart Gordon. Rutherford County Republican Chairwoman Lou Ann Zelenik and state Sen. Jim Tracy are both in the mix for challenging Gordon, with Zelenik, who lost a primary race for a state legislative seat last year, "seriously, seriously considering" the race. Already challenging Lincoln Davis is South Pittsburg physician Scott DesJarlais, whom McCarthy and Westmoreland met with in order to screen him for fleas.
• UT-Sen, UT-03: GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz says that he's "focused on the House" for now, but that didn't stop him from registering ChaffetzForSenate.com. The freshman Chaffetz, who hasn't ruled out a challenge to incumbent Republican Sen. Bob Bennett, says that he merely reserved the domain name (as well as similar URLs for several other offices) as a precautionary measure against cyber-squatters, and will make an announcement on his 2010 plans "shortly after the new year". It looks like ChaffetzForZoningBoard.com and ChaffetzForDogcatcher.com are still available, though.
• WI-Gov: Milwaukee's Democratic mayor, Tom Barrett, who was recently assaulted by a creep with a tire iron after he attempted to break up a domestic dispute at the state fair, is still staying mum on the question of whether or not he'll run for Governor next year.
• FL-Sen: Although Rep. Corrine Brown, who's expressed interest in running in the Democratic Senate primary, has been pretty inactive on the fundraising front, she did get at least one prominent donor to her Senate exploratory account: Rep. Donna Edwards, who gave her $1,000. (Edwards also gave to Rep. Kendrick Meek's account on the same day -- but only $250 to him.)
• KY-Sen: Jim Bunning finally released his fundraising numbers, and they're still "lousy." He raised $285K for the quarter, with $595K CoH, which is less than half of the amount raised by the guy who says he won't run against Bunning in the primary, SoS Trey Grayson (who raised $603K). Both, of course, are dwarfed by Democratic AG Jack Conway, who raised $1.32 million for the quarter and is increasingly looking like the man to beat. (Conway's primary rival, Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, pulled in a lukewarm $303K.) Meanwhile, in another indication of Bunning's dwindling power, lots of elected GOP officials seem willing to out themselves as Grayson supporters: Grayson got contributions from three state Reps., city councilors from Louisville and Lexington, and executives from three large counties.
• NH-Sen: One more indicator that there's still going to be a contested GOP primary in New Hampshire: local political insider and long-time friend of AG Kelly Ayotte Mike Dennehy isn't going to be working for Ayotte. He's been working with businessman Fred Tausch on his anti-tax STEWARD organization since last fall, and will continue to do so.
• NC-Sen: Kenneth Lewis, a Durham corporate attorney who's planning to run for the Democratic Senate nomination in 2010, made a big hire: Joe Trippi. It suggests, if nothing else, Lewis plans to spend a lot of money on the race, and maybe also that he's interested in reaching out the netroots (although he may have some competition on that front, if he runs, from former state Sen. Cal Cunningham).
• NM-Gov: If ex-Rep. Heather Wilson doesn't get in, the New Mexico GOP is left with a bunch of third-stringers for the governor's race. Here's a newly interested potential candidate, though, who's at least interesting from a demographic perspective: Susana Martinez. She's the DA of Dona Ana County, location of Las Cruces and New Mexico St. Univ., the state's second-most populous county and one of its Democratic anchors. Running a Latina against an Anglo (likely Dem nominee Lt. Gov. Diane Denish) might also help the GOP peel off some ordinarily-Dem votes.
• NY-14: Roll Call previews the many possible Democratic replacements for Carolyn Maloney, if she follows through on her planned Senate race. On the Manhattan side of the East River, state Sen. Liz Krueger is at the top of the list. Younger up-and-comers, though, include city councilor Dan Garodnick, state Assemblyman Jonathan Bing (both of whom are Maloney allies and unlikely to run against each other), and city councilor Jessica Lappin. On the Queens side, there's also city councilors Eric Gioia and Peter Vallone Jr. (son of the former council speaker), and Assemblyman Michael Gianaris. Karenna Gore Schiff (Al Gore's daughter) has also been rumored, although she told TPM today she won't run.
• PA-06: With Rep. Jim Gerlach gone, the primary opponents are descending on this open seat... but contrary to what I would have expected a few months ago, it's happening on the GOP side. While state Rep. Curt Schroder got in, as expected, he didn't clear the field: Chester County Recorder of Deeds Ryan Costello also said he's likely to get in. Also, Guy Ciarrocchi, Gerlach's former chief of staff, is interested, and Chester County Commissioner Carol Aichele's name has been floated, although she's already exploring a Lt. Gov. race. On the Dem side, Doug Pike's early fundraising dominance may have locked things down for him, although the Hill says potential heavyweight state Sen. Andy Dinniman is still "eyeing" the race, as well as Manan Trivedi (a former health care policy advisor to the Obama campaign).
• VA-05: One last fundraising tidbit, that apparently couldn't fit in James's fundraising wrap-up because it rounds off to $0. Ex-Rep. Virgil Goode raised sub-Roland Burris totals last quarter: $154. Not the kind of money that suggests a rematch against Rep. Tom Perriello.
• Demographics: Two interesting reads you'll want to check out: one from Ruy Teixeira, on how the rise of the millennial generation, more "seculars," and more Latinos all point to an imminent end to the "culture wars." And also an important 538 piece from Nate Silver, where he somehow got his hands on polling data on uninsured voters broken down by CD, finding that -- unlike voting against cap-and-trade, where their districts tend to be more carbon-reliant and voting against the measure might seem short-term rational -- Blue Dogs are disproportionately from districts that are heavy on uninsured voters and voting for the bill would, if framed correctly, be a big boon for their districts' voters. With the public option still hanging in the balance, if you're represented by a Blue Dog (although, if you're reading SSP, chances are that you aren't), this would be a great piece to forward to them.
Charlie Crist (R): 55
Corrine Brown (D): 24
Not really sure what to say about these numbers, given how similar they are to those from other pollsters. Taegan Goddard notes: "Among Republican voters who recognize both candidates, Crist barely edges Rubio, 33% to 31%." That's good news for Rubio, though the margin of error among this tiny sub-sample (which can't number more than about 150, given the internals) would be at least 8%. Still, Florida's late primary is over a year away, giving Rubio plenty of time.
Here's some food for thought: Would Charlie Crist have a better chance at winning this Senate seat if he ran as an independent - or switched to the Democrats?
• MO-Sen: In an e-mail to local TV affiliate KY3, former Treasurer Sarah Steelman seems to be walking back her comments to the Hill yesterday, not wanting to appear to shut the door on a GOP primary bid against Rep. Roy Blunt. She says she's still "very seriously considering" it.
• PA-Sen: Here's an interesting development: a state legislator in Pennsylvania has introduced a bill to switch Pennyslvania from closed to open primaries. This seems like a nakedly pro-Specter bill: it would have helped him survive his GOP primary against Pat Toomey, and now it would have the opposite effect, helping him survive a Democratic primary against Joe Sestak by opening the door to independents and moderate Republicans.
• AK-AL: Unless the indictment fairy has a present for him soon, Rep. Don Young looks to have a much easier go of it in 2010 than last cycle. Not only is his Dem challenger ex-state House minority leader Ethan Berkowitz likely to run for governor instead, but now it sounds like his primary opponents, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell and ex-state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, aren't going to run again either. Unlike last time, Parnell would need to give up his LG job to run, and he may instead be running for Governor if Sarah Palin declines to run again. Businessman Andrew Halcro, who ran for Governor as an independent in 2006, also sounds likely to run for Governor rather than challenge Young. State Senator Hollis French, who sounded like a likely Governor candidate for the Dems until Berkowitz showed up, may be the Dems' best bet.
• AL-07: The field to replace Artur Davis got bigger, as Jefferson Co. Councilor Shelia Smoot officially launched her campaign. She joins lawyer Terri Sewell, state Rep. Earl Hilliard Jr., and former Selma mayor James Perkins in the primary (which is the only real race in this D+18 district).
• CA-11: Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren Rupf turned down the chance to run as a Republican in the upcoming CA-10 special election, but that seemed to ignite his interest, as now he's considering running in 2010 in next-door CA-11 against sophomore Rep. Jerry McNerney, at R+1 a more plausible race than the D+11 CA-10.
• FL-08: Republican state Representative Steve Precourt is considering making the race against Rep. Alan Grayson in this R+2 Orlando-area seat. His strongest words seemed to be reserved for likely primary opponent Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty, who Precourt doesn't see as a "fresh face" or viable, although Precourt said he'd stand down if former state Sen. Daniel Webster got in.
• ID-01: The Republican field in ID-01 is filling up, as state House majority leader Ken Roberts announced he's in. He'll have to get past veteran and McCain ally Vaughn Ward before facing off against Rep. Walt Minnick, though. Ex-Rep. Bill Sali occasionally makes threatening noises about a rematch, but he hasn't said anything definite.
• NH-02: Former state Rep. Bob Giuda (not to be confused with Frank Guinta, running in NH-01) is the first GOPer to launch an exploratory committee in the race to fill Rep. Paul Hodes' open seat. He may still be joined by the 2008 candidate, Jennifer Horn, and, more remotely, a return by ex-Rep. Charlie Bass.
• NY-23: Douglas Hoffman, the head of a local accounting firm, has thrown his hat into the GOP nomination contest for the special election to replace Rep. John McHugh. Republicans also announced their schedule for picking a nominee, involving four regional meetings around the districts where candidates would speak to the Republican county committee members over a two- to four-week period once there's an official vacancy.
• PA-03: Freshman Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, representing the swingy R+3 district based in Erie (won by John McCain by 62 votes), has managed to secure a hot ticket in view of its self-imposed membership cap: she joined the Blue Dog Coalition.
• Redistricting: A petition drive is underway in Florida to get an initiative on the ballot for 2010 that, while not creating an independent redistricting campaign, would at least place some non-partisan limitations on the creation of House and legislative districts. Most of the money behind the petition drive is coming from Democrats, but two prominent Democrats aren't on board with the drive: Reps. Alcee Hastings and Corrine Brown, both of whom stand to inherit more difficult districts if they're made less convoluted.
• PA-Sen: Ex-Rep. Pat Toomey says that he raised $1 million in 60 days toward his Senate run, with more than 11,000 donors. It's still a drop in the bucket compared with the bankrolls of Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak, but it ought to help dissuade anyone else from jumping into the GOP primary. Another tidbit that ought to discourage any Republican line-crashers: $5,000 of that money came from John Cornyn's PAC, suggesting that he's done looking for another candidate and is bringing establishment power to bear behind Toomey.
• FL-Sen: It's not much of a surprise, considering they're close neighbors, but Rep. Kendrick Meek nailed down the endorsements of two key members of Florida's House delegation -- Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ron Klein -- which will come in handy if he does wind up facing off against Corrine Brown in the primary.
• LA-Sen: Democratic New Orleans city councilor Arnie Fielkow decided, after some speculation, not to wade into the Louisiana Senate race. More plausible would be a challenge to Rep. Anh Cao in LA-02, as Fielkow is well-known in NoLa but has no statewide presence, but Fielkow also declined that, leading to speculation he may be eyeing the next mayor's race instead.
• GA-Gov: With an eye on Roy Barnes, Ed Kilgore takes aim at the claim that Georgia governors have a long track record of failure when it comes to comebacks. It turns out that past probably isn't prologue. (D)
• TX-Gov: We're reluctant to ascribe a whole lotta meaning to the phrasing of this particular letter, but Kay Bailey Hutchison seems to be moving pretty explicitly toward making official her run for Governor. Glenn Thrush points to a letter sent to potential donors saying "I am running for Governor."
• AZ-05: Is Congress ready for its first gamer (or at least its first out-of-the-closet gamer)? Jim Ward, the former president of video game maker LucasArts, announced that he'll be running for the GOP nomination to go up against Rep. Harry Mitchell. Ward brings a lot of wealth to the table, but he'll have an uphill fight against former Maricopa County Treasurer David Schweikert, who lost the 2008 election to Mitchell by 9 points and is looking for a rematch.
• TX-32: Dems have landed a good candidate in TX-32 to go up against Rep. Pete Sessions: Grieg Raggio, an attorney and husband to Judge Lorraine Raggio. The 32nd, in north Dallas, is still a red district but has seen rapidly declining GOP numbers, both for Sessions and at the presidential level, and is down to R+8.
• NY-AG: Nassau Co. Exec Tom Suozzi published an editorial in the New York Times where he publicly discusses having changed his mind on the gay marriage issue (he's now for it). With New York one of the few states where gay marriage has become an issue with majority support, Suozzi looks to be repositioning himself for, well, something (probably, as often rumored, Attorney General, but maybe Governor if Andrew Cuomo continues to dither).
• Redistricting: The Hill has an interesting piece about redistricting; while it doesn't delve into too many specifics, it does shed some light on what districts the GOP is rushing to try to take back before they get strengthened for the Dems (like Bobby Bright's AL-02), and what districts are unlikely to draw top tier challengers because everyone is willing to sit back and wait for new open districts to pop up in 2012 (like Dina Titus's NV-03).
• Race Tracker: Benawu is already back doing what he does best: chronicling the Dems' efforts to field candidates in all 435 districts. Right now, we're still looking in 124 GOP-held districts (although, of course, it's still early in the cycle). Check out the RaceTracker 2010 wiki for more.