• 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.)
• AK-Sen: All signs are pointing to Lisa Murkowski winning this race, and joining Strom Thurmond in the won-a-Senate-write-in-race club. At the end of yesterday's counting, which took us up to nearly half of all the write-in votes analyzed, the state Division of Elections is reporting that nearly 98% of all write-ins are being successfully counted for Murkowski. Even the rate of challenges, even if they were all successful (and few of them are), is inadequate for Joe Miller to make up all the needed ground (he'd need to shave off 12%, and isn't even challenging at quite that rate). 45,132 write-ins have been analyzed so far, and only 1.52% have been successfully challenged by the Miller camp. Seemingly realizing the gap can't be made up, the Miller camp, while still harping on the spelling issue and keeping that line of argument alive, is now turning to nebulous claims of voter fraud as their next line of attack, threatening a second potential lawsuit. His team is setting up a voter fraud hotline for people to report fraud, voter intimidation, and voter bullying. (Kind of a strange angle to explore, when you're the campaign that has its own paramilitary goon force.)
• HI-Sen: The Republican bench in Hawaii basically begins and ends with outgoing Gov. Linda Lingle. As far as her running against octogenarian Dan Akaka in 2012, she says she's going to take six months off from thinking about politics, and then give the race some "serious consideration" at that point.
• IN-Sen: Baron Hill is also looking for work in a few months, and he's one of the biggest names on the Dems' bench in Indiana. However, even with his potential choice of running for the Senate, for Governor, or his old seat in 2012, it sounds like he doesn't plan on any of those.
• MO-Sen: Could we see a 2006 rematch in the 2012 Senate election in Missouri? Ex-Sen. Jim Talent seems to be prepping toward that, with GOP operatives saying he's "furthest along" of all potential challengers to Claire McCaskill, who beat him in 2006. Other potential GOP names include ex-Treasurer Sarah Steelman, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (who's probably likelier to run for Governor in 2012), and Ann Wagner, wealthy person (former RNC vice-chair and Ambassador to Luxembourg, the kind of goodies doled out to itinerant rich donors) and former campaign manager to Roy Blunt.
• ND-Sen: Jeremy Jacobs lists a few possible challengers for Kent Conrad, who looks vulnerable after Republicans ran up the score in North Dakota this year. Mentioned are Jack Dalrymple (the Lt. Governor, who's about to become Governor once John Hoeven resigns, although he may be likelier to run for a full term as Gov. in 2012), AG Wayne Stenehjem, and Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk.
• Chicago mayor: And here I thought I was done with having to laboriously type out "Alexi Giannoulias" every day, like I have for the last few years. The recently vanquished Senate candidate is now at least considering the idea of pivoting over to the Chicago mayoral race, presumably under the principle of striking while the iron is hot in terms of his name recognition and donor base. He's getting urging from several anti-Rahm Emanuel aldermen. (UPDATE: OK, scratch that. A Giannoulias spokesperson now says no, he's not running for mayor.)
• DSCC: I think we've gotten closer to getting someone willing to hold the burning bag of dog doo than we have so far: Harry Reid personally asked Michael Bennet to lead the DSCC next cycle, and Bennet "didn't say yes and he didn't say no."
• DCCC: Dan Boren is moving the anti-Nancy Pelosi push to a new front: demanding that the position of DCCC chair be up for a true vote by the whole caucus, not a de facto appointment by leadership. He's being seconded in the effort by Larry Kissell, of all people (the same guy who got $1.7 million in DCCC aid this cycle after stinking it up on the fundraising front, and may be worried that another Pelosi ally might cut bait with him next time and make him catch his own fish). It's not clear who they'd rather see than likely chair Steve Israel, especially since they both had praise for departing chair Chris Van Hollen.
• Redistricting: Guess who's leading the push for Utah to switch to a independent redistricting commission, instead of it being done by the heavily Republican legislator? Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, who may figure he'll be given an even worse version of UT-02 in 2012 than he currently has. (Interestingly, there's the possibility that a commission might give him a worse district, though; it's also possible that a GOP gerrymander might decide to concede a swing seat to him (probably the best Matheson could hope for) and go for three safe GOP seats, instead of risking a push for a 4-0 map.) Also on the redistricting front, here's a good overview from Real Clear Politics' Sean Trende, who goes state-by-state with possible outcomes.
• WATN?: Ashwin Madia (whom you probably remember for losing the MN-03 race in 2008) is taking over the helm for VoteVets for the time being while its current head, Jon Soltz, is deployed to Iraq. Also in the news is Andy Dillon, who lost the 2010 Dem gubernatorial primary after being termed-out as state House speaker. Turns out the centrist Dillon is crossing the aisle one last time: he just signed on as state Treasurer at Rick Snyder's request (it's an appointed position in Michigan).
• Money: When they write the tale of the 2010 election, the role of the Chamber of Commerce (and other third-party GOP backers, but especially the Chamber) will probably loom a lot larger in retrospect than it does right now. The Chamber spent $32 million, almost entirely on GOP candidates. The Fix also takes a look at self-funders, and calculates how much they spent per vote. The biggest fail was probably Linda McMahon, spending $97 per vote in a losing effort, outpacing Meg Whitman who spent only $57 per vote to lose by a similar margin (albeit for a much bigger price tag overall). Rick Scott spent "only" $29 per vote to win; the biggest bargain may have been Ron Johnson, who won spending only $7 per vote (although he did a lot of conventional fundraising too). In House races, Tom Ganley spent $29 per vote to lose ignominiously; the biggest spender was the victorious Scott Rigell in VA-02, at $30 per vote.
• Post-mortem: If you're still feeling down about last week's losses in the House and need some rationalization about it, here are a couple pieces that don't really try to put a happy face on the results but still show how very predictable the whole thing was. Alan Abramowitz, certainly no mindless cheerleader for the Dems, points out some of the ways in which it was something of a mile-wide, inch-deep victory for the GOP. And while the teeth-gnashing that accompanies the graph is worth a read too, here's a piece built around an amazing scatterplot from John Sides that shows how Democratic House candidate performances tracked presidential preferences district by district.
• Maps: If you're tired of looking at glitzy, state-of-the-art political maps, here's an amusing look back at the New York Times' earliest attempts at mapping the nation's political geography, going back as far as 1896. (As you might expect, their graphics capacity has evolved considerably.)
• IL-Gov: The DGA is sending 'round a press release congratulating Pat Quinn on his who'da-thunk-it re-election victory. No official call yet, but the trendlines in the count (with a margin now of 20,000 votes) make it pretty clear what's happening. Bill Brady says he isn't ready to concede... yet. UPDATE: CNN has called it.
• CT-Gov: More vacillation in the Connecticut count, this time with Dan Malloy back on top by about 6,000 votes. This doesn't seem to have anything to do with actual counting, but simply with the AP getting its facts straight (it seemed to be missing a large slab of urban and assumedly heavily Democratic votes, mostly from New Haven). Final tallies remain unknown because we're still waiting on Bridgeport (another Dem stronghold), although SoS Susan Bysiewicz has promised results by the end of the day. (Doesn't seem like she'll make it, though.) Relatedly, Dan Debicella in CT-04 is "waiting and seeing" what the Bridgeport situation is before conceding, although that race has already been called against him.
• FL-Gov: This was pretty well decided yesterday, but Alex Sink officially conceded, finalizing the transaction on Rick Scott's self-financed purchase of the gubernatorial election.
• NE-Sen: Ben Nelson says he won't switch parties. (Why the heck would he want to, considering that the Dems still have a Lieberman-proof majority in the Senate, that he's part of? He'd just get teabagged to death in the 2012 GOP primary a la poor Parker Griffith.) It's worth wondering, though, if any House Dems are considering a switch... but, with the possible exception of Dan Boren, all of the most likely suspects have already lost, saving us the trouble of such speculation. UPDATE: Although here's an interesting post-script to the Nelson story: GOP Gov. Dave Heineman, who's led a few hypothetical polls against Nelson for 2012, has already announced that he won't run for the Senate in two years.
• NV-Sen: The one major race where the polls really seemed off was Nevada, where Harry Reid's 4-pt average deficit turned into a 5-point victory and in retrospect, that's easy to explain: pollsters weren't reaching Latinos. Exit polls suggest that Latinos did turn out well in Nevada (thanks in no doubt to the Reid-friendly hotel unions in Las Vegas). Nate Silver graphs the variance in other states with large Latino populations: it may also have played a role in Colorado, although the poll variance wasn't as bad there, though it was enough to predict a Ken Buck victory... and Latino turnout didn't seem to work in Texas, where Rick Perry exceeded polling predictions (and which explains the sudden and probably brief appearance of Rep. Blake Farenthold).
• KY-06: Here's a race that's definitely going to recount. Andy Barr, trailing Ben Chandler by about 600 votes, has formally requested a "routine recanvass."
• NC-02: Here's one more race where we're not quite dead yet. Bob Etheridge hasn't conceded, it turns out, nor should he: he's down only 1,646 votes, after cutting his deficit against Renee Elmers by more than 500 in late counting yesterday.
• NC-11: When Heath Shuler announced that he'd challenge Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, the proper response was laughter, although my main question at the time was whether he planned to challenge her for minority leader. It sounds like, yes, he does still plan to go through with his kooky gambit (made all the kookier because there aren't any core Blue Dogs left besides him who need to follow through on their promises to not vote for Pelosi). Anyway, the scuttlebutt seems to be leaning toward a voluntary sword-falling and a painless transition to Steny Hoyer, in which case the Shuler challenge would be even more pointless.
• WV-01: After maintaining for most of yesterday that he wasn't dead yet (given the narrow margin, currently 1,357), Mike Oliverio did wind up conceding eventually late yesterday.
• Redistricting: As much as the mess in the state legislatures really messes up hopes of wresting an advantage out of the redistricting process, here's some good news: Amendment 6 in Florida surprisingly passed, clearing the super-high 60% hurdle at 63%. This doesn't create a commission, but it does impose requirements that redistricting be done without political consideration (but without violating federal law, namely the Voting Rights Act). However, two U.S. Reps... probably the two in Florida who have the most to lose from having less friendly districts drawn for them... Corrine Brown and Mario Diaz-Balart, are challenging the law in court. With the passage of Proposition 20 in California, though, which creates an independent redistricting commission there, it's all kind of a wash, as a less-bad Florida map is balanced out by not being able to aggressively redistrict California. (Similarly, while it takes some sting out of Alex Sink's narrow loss, it also deflates the impact of Jerry Brown's victory.)
• AK-Sen: Wasn't that Lisa Murkowski announcement about whether she was going to pursue a write-in bid supposed to be yesterday? It never materialized, but we did get some statements from local gadfly and Murkowski ally Andrew Halcro that make it sound pretty likely.
"It's going to be the kind of campaign you should have seen in the primary," said Andrew Halcro, an Alaska political consultant who is a longtime friend of the senator. "It's going to be no-holds-barred, pedal-to-the-metal stuff."
• DE-Sen: After putting out a public wish for real Sarah Palin backing instead of just a cryptic retweet, Christine O'Donnell finally got her wish yesterday. O'Donnell got added to the gigantic list of Mama Grizzlies yesterday during a Palin appearance on Sean Hannity's show. The real question, though, is it too little too late? It might help raise some funds this weekend, but it smells a little like Palin's 5 pm-on-Tuesday endorsement of "Angela McGowen." Meanwhile, O'Donnell seems to be doing everything she can to dance right up to the edge of calling Castle gay without going over it: she just blasted his campaign tactics as "unmanly" and also telling him "get your man-pants on."
• ME-Sen: PPP's poll of Maine has some buried details that should lead to some soul-searching for Olympia Snowe, who could be headed down Arlen Specter Boulevard if the right-wing decides to wade into her 2012 GOP primary. (Or she might take the opportunity to retire.) Overall, she's fairly popular at 50/40, but that's based on 59/29 among Democrats. She's only at 40/51 among Republicans, and by a 50-37 margin, Republicans say she really should be a Democrat. Susan Collins sports similar numbers, although she has until 2014 to deal with that, by which point the Tea Party thing may be a footnote in AP US History textbooks. PPP says they'll have 2012 hypothetical Senate matchups out on Monday. (One other note: they find opinions on gay marriage basically unchanged since last November's referendum: 43 in favor, 49 against.)
• NH-Sen: Once he got the Manchester Union-Leader's backing, that led to a lot of speculation that Ovide Lamontagne (as he did in the 1996 GOP gubernatorial primary) would close fast. It looks like that's happening: he's out with an internal poll showing himself only 10 points behind Kelly Ayotte. He trails Ayotte 34-24, with Bill Binnie (considered the real threat to Ayotte until the last couple weeks) tied at 12 with Jim Bender. It's very close to the Magellan poll that came out last week giving Ayotte a 13-point lead. I wonder if Lamontagne would actually be able to pull out the upset if the Tea Party Express had decided to weigh in here for Lamontagne, instead of in their likely-futile efforts in Delaware?
• NV-Sen: Ralston smash! The intrepid political reporter is on a rampage across the twittersphere today, after Sharron Angle previously said on Jon Ralston's TV program "Face to Face" that she wanted to debate Harry Reid there, then arranged the debate, and then yesterday abruptly canceled the Oct. 21 shindig. The two will still meet in an Oct. 14 debate, which should be one of the most popcorn-worthy events of the year.
• OH-Sen: Who let the Big Dog out? Bill Clinton, who'll be in Ohio soon shoring up Ted Strickland's gubernatorial bid, will also hold a fundraiser on behalf of another long-time ally, Lee Fisher.
• MI-Gov: Another day, another poll showing the Michigan gubernatorial race looking DOA. The newest poll by the Glengariff Group for the Detroit News gives Republican Rick Snyder a 56-36 lead over Virg Bernero.
• VT-Gov: With the numbers having barely budged after the recount in the Democratic primary (the gap between Peter Shumlin and runner-up Doug Racine widened by 6 votes, all the way up to a whopping 203-vote margin), Racine conceded today. Shumlin, the state Senate president pro tem, will face GOP Lt. Governor Brian Dubie in the general.
• CO-04: I'm tempted to put this in the "good news" file, inasmuch as she isn't getting blown out as conventional wisdom would assume: the Betsy Markey campaign rolled out an internal poll, from Bennett, Petts, and Normington, that shows her in a 38-38 tie with Republican Cory Gardner (with 7% going to assorted third-party candidates). However, feeling like you need to release your own internal that's a tie doesn't exactly seem like a big sign of confidence...
• IA-01, IA-02, IA-03: On the other hand, here's a poll, considering the source, that's pretty clear "good news" for Leonard Boswell. A poll for the conservative American Future Fund (who commissioned that avalanche of Whit Ayers polls), this time by Voter/Consumer Research, found Boswell leading Brad Zaun 48-39. That's a complete reversal from Zaun's couple of internals. Still, they have numbers from the 1st and 2nd that show that we need to keep at least one wary eye on these sleepy races: Bruce Braley leads Ben Lange 50-39 in the 1st, while David Loebsack leads Mariannette Miller-Meeks 47-39 in the 2nd (not far off from the one internal that MMM leaked).
• NH-01: This is interesting: the state Democratic party is out with two different mailers in the 1st, attacking Sean Mahoney. There's just one catch... Mahoney isn't the GOP nominee yet, and we won't know if he is or not until Tuesday, when he faces off with ex-Manchester mayor Frank Guinta. It's unclear whether they have info leading them to believe Mahoney has the nomination locked down, or if they'd trying to sandbag Mahoney pre-primary so that the heavily-baggage-laden Guinta (about whom the ads write themselves) wins.
• NY-13: With a lot of people in local GOP circles still holding ex-Rep. Vito Fossella in high esteem (despite his boo-hoo-funny fall from grace), this is one endorsement that may carry a lot of weight as we race toward the conclusion of the GOP primary in the 13th. Fossella gave his backing to Michael Allegretti. That sets up a showdown with the other big power behind the throne in this district: Staten Island borough president Guy Molinari is backing Michael Grimm.
• OK-02: If we have to worry about this race, geez, better start making camel reservations for our 40 years in the desert. On the other hand, it's pretty clear that we don't have to worry about this race. Dan Boren is out with an internal poll, via Myers Research, that gives a jumbo-sized 34-point lead over little-known GOPer Charles Thompson: 65-31.
• Mayors: In sharp contrast to yesterday's We Ask America poll of the Chicago mayoral race, today's Sun-Times poll finds Rahm Emanuel just one of the crowd, in high single digits. This poll finds Cook Co. Sheriff Tom Dart leading at 12, with state Sen. James Meeks at 10. Luis Gutierrez is at 9, Jesse Jackson Jr. is at 8, and Emanuel is at 7. "Don't know" led the way at 35.
• DSCC: Jeremy Jacobs, the man who always seems to know the Size Of The Buy, is out with a helpful breakdown of where the DSCC has made its $18 million worth of reservations so far. Right now, it's $1.6 million in Kentucky, $5.1 million in Missouri, $5.2 million in Pennsylvania, $4 million in Colorado, and $2 million in Washington.
• NRCC: The NRCC, currently only running independent expenditures ads in one district (IN-02), rolled out a list of ten more districts where it'll start paying for ads. They're staying on the air there, plus adding AL-02, AZ-01, CA-11, FL-02, KY-06, MS-01, TN-08, TX-17, VA-05, and WI-07. (The only "surprise," inasmuch as it wasn't on the NRCC's big list of 40 districts from last month, is AZ-01.)
• SSP TV:
• IL-Sen: Not one but two ads from Mark Kirk, one touting his independence and the other attacking Alexi Giannoulias on taxes, but maybe more importantly, trying to lash him to the increasingly-anchor-like Pat Quinn
• CA-Gov: Meg Whitman's new anti-Jerry Brown ad cleverly lets Bill Clinton do most of the talking, with highlights from the 1992 Democratic presidential primary campaign
• WI-Gov: Tom Barrett, who's been fairly modest so far about having gotten badly beaten while intervening in a domestic dispute last year, is finally playing the "hero card" with his new ad
• NM-01: Anti-Martin Heinrich ad from American Future Fund, focusing on the Pelosi boogeyman; it's the first IE in the district and a $250K buy for four weeks
• TN-08: Dueling ads in the 8th, with two Roy Herron ads out (one a positive bio spot, the other an anti-Stephen Fincher spot aimed at his campaign finance disclosure foibles... together they're a "six-figure" buy for the next week), and an anti-Herron ad from the 60 Plus Association (the AARP's anti-HCR doppelganger), who're spending $500K on the buy.
• IE tracker:
• DE-Sen: Tea Party Express spending $72K on media buys, direct mail, and e-mail blast for Christine O'Donnell
• MO-Sen: AFSCME spending $43K on anti-Roy Blunt mailer
• NV-Sen: Patriot Majority spending $309K on new ad against Sharron Angle
• NV-Sen: Patriot Majority spending another $49K on another anti-Sharron Angle ad titled "Oye, Sharron" (a Spanish-language market ad, maybe?)
• CT-Sen: Richard Blumenthal (D) 53%, Linda McMahon (R) 44%
• NC-Sen: Elaine Marshall (D) 38%, Richard Burr (R-inc) 54%
• OR-Gov: John Kitzhaber (D) 44%, Chris Dudley (R) 49%
• SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-inc) 47%, Kristi Noem (R) 45%
• AK-Gov (R/D): Anything other than slam-dunk wins tonight for incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell and ex-state House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz would have to be considered a surprise. Parnell has led his two highest-profile challengers, ex-state House Speaker Ralph Samuels and attorney and ex-Valdez Mayor Bill Walker by huge margins, as has Berkowitz against state Sen. Hollis "October Surprise" French. (JL)
• AK-Sen (R): Could Lisa Murkowski bite it in a intra-party challenge from little-known attorney Joe Miller? In Miller's corner are the Palins, Mike Huckabee, and a half-million from the Tea Party Express. In her corner, Murkowski has the backing of about 1.9 million dead presidents, and a 62-30 lead over Miller in a late July Ivan Moore poll. Of course, that was before the TPX started unloading, but the odds are always long for Some Dudes... (JL)
• AZ-Sen (R): This looked like it was going to be one of the all-time great Republican primary slugfests when it first appeared on the horizon: Mr. Maverick himself, John McCain, versus fiery conservative ex-Rep.-turned-radio-talk-show-host J.D. Hayworth. Some of the initial polling, in fact, was fairly close, before the novelty wore off... but then the novelty wore off, and we were left with three basic realities: a) John McCain had a ton more money than Hayworth and was willing to use it, b) John McCain had absolutely no shame about taking all that Maverick stuff, throwing it in the trash can along with many of his previous policy positions, and remaking himself as a right-wing ideologue in order to survive his primary, and c) J.D. Hayworth is a complete and total clown. The turning point seemed to be the revelation in June that Hayworth had shilled for a Matthew Lesko-style free-government-money infomercial, which destroyed any remaining credibility he may have still had. Polling from July gave McCain leads ranging from 20 to over 40 points. (C)
• AZ-Sen (D): At this point, the Democratic Senate primary in Arizona looks a good bit more unpredictable than the Republican one. The seeming frontrunner is former Tucson vice-mayor Rodney Glassman, a former Raul Grijalva aide and a young up-and-comer with some family money as well. Glassman seemed to have the field to himself after the NRSC's desired candidate, wealthy businesswoman Nan Stockholm Walden, begged off... but once the specter of a race against J.D. Hayworth instead of John McCain appeared, some other late entrants arrived, most notably civil rights activist Randy Parraz and former state Rep. Cathy Eden. What little polling we've seen of this race (a Rasmussen poll from July and a Parraz internal) has given Glassman the lead, but he didn't rise above 20% in either poll. More-frequent polling of the general election has actually given Glassman a good chance against Hayworth... but unfortunately, a McCain match is looking much likelier. (C)
• AZ-01 (R): Eight Republicans have jumped into the race for the right to challenge freshman Dem Ann Kirkpatrick. Notably, rogue dentist Paul Gosar has spent the most, but the field also includes former State Senate majority leader Rusty Bowers and 2008 nominee Sydney Hay (whose abysmal campaign netted her a 56-40 defeat). Gosar seems to have most of the establishment support, including endorsements from the Grizzly Momma and (even though the district doesn't enter it) Maricopa County Sheriff and xenophobe extraordinaire Joe Arpaio. Gosar's internal polling has him in the lead, ahead of Hay by a 30-10 margin. Primary voters would be doing themselves a favor by not nominating Hay; we'll see if Gosar can live up to his polling. (JMD)
• AZ-03 (R): Crowded GOP primaries seem to be the norm in Arizona, with a 10-man field for the open seat of retiring GOPer John Shadegg. Several qualify beyond Some Dude status, including former northern Phoenix State Rep. Sam Crump, former State Senator Pamela Gorman (who represented the same district as Crump), former northern Phoenix/Scottsdale State Senator Jim Waring, attorney Paulina Morris, Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker, and Parker's predecessor as Mayor, Ed Winkler. The two largest warchests, however, belong to Ben "Son of Potatoe" Quayle and self-funding businessman Steve Moak. Moak and Quayle have gone hard after each other, with recent revelations about Quayle's history with what eventually became TheDirty.com taking their toll and Quayle's responses being, perhaps hereditarily, ineffectual. Moak seems ready to occupy the vacuum that Quayle's implosion has left, but the sheer number of credible candidates leaves room for surprise. (JMD)
• AZ-05 (R): Two-term Dem Harry Mitchell will face one of five GOPers, a field that includes a rematch between 2008 candidates David Schweikert and Susan Bitter Smith. Schweikert prevailed then by a 1,000-vote margin out of 48,000 cast and went on to a 53-44 loss to Mitchell. Complicating this rematch are other credible candidates in doctor Chris Salvino and self-funded businessman Jim Ward, both of whom have outraised and outspent Bitter Smith. Schweikert seems to have assumed frontrunner status, going as far as cancelling his last-minute ad buy...before opting in for one again. Will Schweikert's hubris come to haunt him today? (JMD)
• AZ-08 (R): In a common pattern that we've seen this cycle, the primary for the right to challenge sophomore Dem Gabby Giffords has a clear establishment v. outsider rift. However, there is only one teabagger here, Jesse Kelly, who squares off against the "establishment's" former Tucson-area State Senator, Jonathan Paton. Perhaps owing to the fact that there's only one teabaggish-type here, Kelly seems to be favored against Paton, posting a hefty 36-17 lead in recent polling. However, this poll was taken before third wheel Brian Miller headed for the exit, endorsing Paton on his way out. Given Miller's low share of support and Kelly's sole claim to the Holy Teabag, we might finally see the upset of an NRCC golden child here. (JMD)
• FL-Gov (R): All good things must indeed come to an end - and I am going to be very sad when this primary is over. Until mid-April of this year, Bill McCollum, the colorless, unlikeable, ambiguously hairpieced state AG and former House impeachment manager, at least had one thing to keep his sorry ass happy at night: He was guaranteed to be the Republican nominee for governor of Florida. Then, a funny thing happened: Zillionaire asshole Rick Scott decided he wanted the nod more - a whole lot more. In fact, about $40 million more, which is what he and allied groups (aka his wife's checkbook) have spent on the race. McCollum and his allies (if you can imagine such a thing), undoubtedly stunned to have to start spending so early, have fired back, but they've only mustered some $14 million. (Check out this great graphic of both camps' spending.)
Anyhow, this race has gone more negative than googolplex divided by minus one. There isn't much consensus among pollsters on how much damage has been done to both candidates (some show McCollum with worse favorables, others show Scott deep in the doghouse), but I'm going to guess the answer is "a lot." There's also some divergence over who the frontrunner actually is. For a while there, Billy Mac's toplines utterly bombed - you can almost see him in his kitchen, sobbing into his cornflakes, as your eyes traverse that mid-July nosedive. But the problem with zillionaire assholes is that it's very hard for them to stop being zillionaire assholes, and they've also probably done quite a few somethings to deserve that reputation in the first place. McCollum's hit Scott hard over his ultra-shady past in the healthcare business, and while we can't say for sure, it seems to have turned the race around. Most recent polls have show McCollum taking back the lead, with PPP's seven-point Scott lead the main outlier.
It's hard to know whom to root for, though. Do we take Scott, with his deeply tarnished background but willingness to spend every last dime, or McCollum, with his coffers depleted but less scandal-plagued and still the establishment favorite? I think we have to be happy no matter what happens. And either way, I can hear the sound of that cat fud tin popping open: McCollum's already saying it would be "very difficult" for him to endorse Scott should he lose. Let's only hope Scott is willing to return the favor! Anyhow, this one was definitely a primary for the ages. God bless you, Florida Republicans. (D)
• FL-Sen (D): Forget the actual Democratic candidates in this race -- the real star of the summer-long Florida Democratic primary saga was not a person, but an inanimate object: Summerwind, the notorious party yacht belonging to billionaire scuzzball Jeff Greene (also known as the Levi Johnston of boats). If there was one factor that helped turn this race upside-down, it was the steady barrage of drug-fueled, vomit-caked, and used condom-strewn stories of Jeff Greene's adventures on the high seas. Those stories, along with a barrage of hits against Greene's shady practices as a derivatives pioneer, have completely stunted Greene's momentum and returned the lead to congressman Kendrick Meek. A Meek primary win undoubtedly complicates things for Charlie Crist, who has to hope that he can marginalize the Democratic nominee in order to drink their milkshake steal their votes in November, but three-way races are notoriously difficult to forecast. (Oh, and as a footnote, technically, ex-Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre is still in this race, but his campaign has been totally eclipsed by the Jeff Greene freakshow.) (JL)
• FL-02 (D/R): Despite that Rep. Allen Boyd is a pretty entrenched Blue Dog facing a potentially hard race in November in this GOP-leaning Panhandle district, the real race to watch tonight is the Democratic primary. Boyd faces a challenge from the left from term-limited state Senate majority leader Al Lawson. Lawson isn't a raging liberal himself (and, unlike many Dem primary challenges this year, Boyd deprived him of a key piece of ammo by voting "yes" on the second round of health care reform), but he's hoping that the fact that the district's Democratic electorate, which is substantially African-American, can keep him competitive with the much-better-funded Boyd. Lawson posted a small lead in an internal poll way back in Nov. 2009, but we haven't heard any polling details about the primary since then. The likeliest GOP nominee is funeral home owner Steve Southerland, whose fundraising has been adequate enough for the NRCC's Young Guns program and who even put out an internal also showing him leading Boyd. However, there are four other even-less-known GOPers standing in Southerland's way in the primary (with David Scholl the best fundraiser of the bunch, although even he hasn't broken into the six digits). (C)
• FL-05 (R): I don't know about you, but I've got a bad case of Cat Scratch Fever, and there's only one cure... a primary victory tonight by the Rock 'n' Roll Sheriff, the Hernando County Madman, the Ten Terrible Fingers of Local Law Enforcement: Richard Nugent. Current Republican Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, facing only an uneventful challenge from teabagger Jason Sager (whose impetus for getting into the race was Brown-Waite's support for Dede Scozzafava!), unexpectedly bailed out on filing day, letting her designated successor Nugent pick up the flag and sneak into office without a top-drawer Republican opponent, of which there are potentially many in this red district. Nugent still has to get past Sager, though; we'll have to see if Sager is beneficiary of people's discontent over the "selection process." (C)
• FL-08 (R): Rep. Alan Grayson should be a tempting target, given his shoot-from-the-hip style and his freshman-in-a-swing-district status, but his huge stash of netroots cash seemed an active deterrent as the NRCC tried vainly to find a top-tier recruit. Eventually, they settled on businessman Bruce O'Donoghue, who had some self-funding potential, as their go-to guy. Unfortunately, one of the other guys they'd been unenthusiastically flirting with, social conservative state Rep. Kurt Kelly, decided he was going to get in anyway, and that was compounded by the fact that attorney/talk radio host Todd Long, who nearly beat then-Rep. Ric Keller in the '08 GOP primary, wasn't going away. Finally, the guy they wanted all along but who initially blew them off, state Sen. Daniel Webster, decided he wanted to run after all, but came back much too belatedly to clear the field or even get much of a fundraising foothold. Webster does have some key backers (Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush), but with not so much as a leaked internal of the primary from any of the players, there's no clue as to whether he'll emerge from tonight's primary. (C)
• FL-17 (D): This nine-way primary to succeed Kendrick Meek has largely been off the national radar - and that's too bad, because it probably represented a good chance for progressive groups to get involved, seeing as it's an 87% Obama district. In any event, the race features several elected officials, a local community figure, and one wealthy self-funder with a proverbial "colorful past," Rudy Moise. The only recent poll of the race was taken on behalf of a group supporting activist Marleine Bastien, which had her at 22, while state Sen. Frederica Wilson was at 21. Moise was back at 10, and Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson was at 9. No one (apart from Moise) has raised much, with state Rep. Yolly Robertson leading the pack at $336K. The Miami Herald has a helpful run-down on each of the candidates in this wide-open race. (D)
• FL-24 (R): National Republicans have run through a succession of favored candidates in this primary, starting with former Winter Park Commissioner Karen Diebel. Diebel turned out to be crazy (in a call to 911 a few years ago, she said political opponents placed a snake in her pool - and were spying on her home and hacking her computer), so attention turned to state Rep. Sandy Adams. Adams, however, turned out to be a sucky fundraiser, so the GOP recruited Ruth's Chris Steakhouse chief Craig Miller, a first-time candidate. Miller has self-funded less than you might have expected (only about $350K), which might explain his last-minute mailer attacking Diebel's sanity over the Snakes In A Pool incident. If Miller hasn't in fact sealed the deal, then race could be very much up in the air, especially since we haven't seen any recent polling. (D)
• FL-25 (R): State Rep. David Rivera, despite a week of horrible press, is still the favorite for the Republican nomination to succeed district-hopping GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, but it will still be interesting to see if any of the ugly headlines will make a dent at the ballot box. First, we learned that Rivera once ran a truck off the road back in 2002 because it was carrying flyers printed for his opponent, in the hopes of preventing it from reaching the post office on time. Next, Rivera's Republican opponents have resurrected allegations that Rivera was involved in a domestic violence dispute. Damaging as stories like those may be, Rivera enjoys a huge fundraising lead over attorney Mariana "Marili" Cancio and Marine Corps veteran and public-relations consultant Paul Crespo. The real fireworks will have to wait for November, where the GOP nominee will face Tea Partier Roly Arrojo, Whig nominee (!!) Craig Porter, and '08 candidate Joe Garcia, who is the heavy favorite to beat union leader Luis Meurice for the Democratic nod tonight. (JL)
• OK-02 (R): The last we checked in on this race, underfunded GOPers Charles Thompson and Daniel Edmonds received 34% and 28% respectively, setting the stage for a runoff. Both candidates seem to have improved their financial position, with Edmonds now able to claim $1,300 in his campaign account and Thompson up to a whopping $13k! Given this, whoever stumbles out of the runoff tomorrow will end up quite the underdog to incumbent (and oft-frustrating) Dem Dan Boren. (JMD)
• OK-05 (R): In the first round, Christian camp director Jim Lankford edged out establishment pick former State Rep. Kevin Calvey, 34-32, a development that left some at NRCC headquarters scratching their heads. Third-place finisher State Rep. Mike Thompson, who earned 18%, has endorsed Lankford and not his former colleague. This just might give Lankford's more grassroots-oriented campaign the extra push it needs to overcome Calvey's financial advantage; since we last checked in, Calvey's plunked out $780k's to Lankfords $415k. While November in this district won't likely be exciting, true SwingNuts would never give up a chance to see egg on the NRCC's face. (JMD)
• VT-Gov (D): Democrats have a challenge ahead of them in knocking off reasonably well-liked Republican Brian Dubie in November, but they have a giant, five-way primary to get through first. The players include former Lt. Gov. Doug Racine, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, state Sens. Peter Shumlin and Susan Bartlett, and ex-state Rep. Matt Dunne. Markowitz and Shumlin have had the strongest fundraising, while Bartlett has raised the least of the major players. Without any public polling of the Democratic primary -- or even a leaked internal -- it's impossible to say what will happen here. (JL)
• KY-Sen: The Louisville Courier-Journal has something of a compendium of Rand Paul's Greatest Hits, selecting the dodgiest bits from his public appearances from the last decade. While the whole thing's worth a look, the highlight most likely to attract the most attention is his criticisms of the current health care system and how it "keeps patients from negotiating lower prices with their doctors." Bwack bwack bwack bwack bwack bwack...
• LA-Sen: A key David Vitter aide has resigned after his long rap sheet was revealed, perhaps most significantly that he pled guilty in 2008 to charges associated with a "knife-wielding altercation" with an ex-girlfriend, as well as that he's still wanted on an open warrant in Baton Rouge on DWI charges. Perhaps most disturbingly, this was an aide that Vitter had been assigned to "oversee women's issues."
• MO-Sen: I'll bet you'd forgotten that Roy Blunt had a teabagging primary challenger, in the form of state Sen. Roy Purgason (I had). Well, Purgason wants you to know that, despite complete silence from the DeMint/RedState/CfG/FreedomWorks axis, he's still hanging in there; he just rolled out an endorsement from one of his Senate colleagues, Matt Bartle.
• NV-Sen: Well, this doesn't look good for John Ensign. Staffers, in depositions, have told the Senate Ethics Committee that, yes, they knew that the one-year lobbying ban was being broken when they helped set up former Ensign staffer and cuckolded husband Doug Hampton with a cushy lobbying gig.
• NY-Sen-B: After Quinnipiac didn't even bother polling him this week, Joe DioGuardi (who holds the Conservative ballot line and its trying to petition into the GOP primary) wants you to know he's still in this thing. He released an internal poll from the ubiquitous POS showing that he's within 11 points of Kirsten Gillibrand (49-38), and, more plausibly, that he has a big edge in the GOP primary, at 21 against Bruce Blakeman's 7 and David Malpass at 3.
• OR-Sen: Rasmussen has been working hard to convince people that there just might be a competitive race in Oregon for Ron Wyden, against little-known law professor Jim Huffman. Looking to head that off at the pass, Wyden rolled out an internal poll today from Grove Insight that should be a bucket of cold water for the Huffman camp: Wyden leads 53-23.
• CA-Gov: I'm not sure how much of this is Politico just, as is its wont, looking for drama where there isn't much, and how much of this is genuine discontent. But they have an article today about an increasing sense among Dem insiders of wondering when Jerry Brown is going to drop the Zen approach and, if not attack Meg Whitman, at least work on some of the infrastructural aspects of the campaign.
• CT-Gov: Ned Lamont got a key labor endorsement, from the state's largest teachers' union, the Connecticut Education Association. Lamont and Dan Malloy have split the endorsements from the various trade unions. Meanwhile, on the GOP side, Tom Foley got an endorsement that may help him with that all-important demographic bloc of Massachusetts expatriates; ex-Gov. William Weld gave Foley his backing.
• MI-Gov: Peter Hoekstra got an endorsement from his next-door neighbor in the House, outgoing (and considerably more moderate) Rep. Vern Ehlers, who had earlier said he wouldn't endorse but qualified that by saying "If there is an exceptional candidate that appears to be lagging" he'd endorse. Hoekstra in fact does seem to be lagging, facing a seeming surge from AG Mike Cox in the GOP gubernatorial primary.
• MN-Gov: This seems odd; when she pulled the plug on her campaign after the DFL convention, Ramsey Co. DA Susan Gaertner said she didn't want to get in the way of the historic prospect of a female governor and didn't want to be a spoiler for Margaret Anderson Kelliher. So what did she do today? She endorsed Matt Entenza in the DFL primary instead.
• NM-Gov (pdf): Magellan (a Republican pollster, but one who've started releasing a lot of polls where they don't have a candidate) is out with a poll of the New Mexico governor's race, and like several other pollsters are finding the Diane Denish/Susana Martinez race to be in tossup territory. They find the Republican Martinez leading Denish 44-43. There's a huge gender gap here: women support Denish 48-36, while men support Martinez 53-36. One other item from the crosstabs, which either casts some doubt on the findings or else is the key to why Martinez may win this: while Martinez is losing in Albuquerque-based NM-01, she's actually winning in NM-03 (45-41), the most liberal of the state's three districts but also the most-heavily Latino.
• AL-07: Local African-American organizations (the same ones who threw their backing to Ron Sparks in the gubernatorial primary) seem split on what do to in the runoff in the 7th. The Alabama New South Coalition (who'd backed Earl Hilliard Jr. in the primary) has now endorsed Terri Sewell, while the Alabama Democratic Conference is backing Shelia Smoot.
• OH-05: Rep. Bob Latta languishes as one of the GOP's most obscure back-benchers, but he's in the news because of two different things that happened at a town hall meeting. First, he went birther-agnostic at the meeting in response to a participant's questions, only to try to walk that back later when talking to a reporter. And second, he didn't immediately respond to another participant's suggestion that the President be "shot in the head."
• OK-02: State Sen. Jim Wilson is challenging Rep. Dan Boren in the Democratic primary in the 2nd; he's out with an internal poll from Lake Research with a dismal topline (Boren leads 62-17) but with better numbers on the "informed ballot." The topline numbers aren't that different from Boren's own internal poll released last week. Still, between Boren releasing an internal, airing an anti-Wilson ad, and rolling out an endorsement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it's clear Boren is taking the threat seriously.
• Census: The Census Bureau is out this week with its 2009 population estimates of the nation's cities, the last estimate it'll provide before releasing the numbers from the actual 2010 count. Perhaps most notably, they found the population of New York City is up another 45,000 over the last year. NYC's growth over the last decade accounts for two-thirds of the state's population growth over the last decade; as we've discussed before, this means that in the next round of redistricting (Congressional, but especially legislative) the city is going to continue to gain strength at the expense of dwindling Upstate.
• LA-Sen: Two different polls have very different pictures of the Louisiana Senate race, which is moving into the foreground with Charlie Melancon getting a lot more media exposure criticizing BP while David Vitter acts as one of their biggest defenders. PPP (in a poll leaked to Roll Call, although I'm not sure if it's a Melancon internal or on someone else's behalf) finds Melancon within single digits, trailing Vitter 46-37. On the other hand, Republican pollster Magellan gives Vitter a 51-31 lead. (Magellan has been doing a lot of recent public polling of Republican primaries; this is for the general, though, and I'm not sure if they're working for Vitter, for some other GOP interest, or just acting sua sponte.) Both polls find extremely high continued support for offshore drilling, not a surprise since that's Louisiana's bread and butter.
• NH-Sen: Yesterday was Kelly Ayotte's day to testify before the state legislature about what she did and didn't know about the collapsed mortgage banker FRM; for the most part, she staked out claims of not knowing anything about them (saying that the buck stopped with her, but the buck never made it to her AG's desk). Legislators seemed underwhelmed by her responses, and even GOP state Rep. Rip Holden criticized her, saying she needed to accept some blame for the state's failings.
• PA-Sen: Politico, always hungry for inside-baseball campaign drama, is highlighting a story titled "Sestak silence worries Pa. officials," detailing concerns the local establishment has with Joe Sestak not sufficiently linking up with them as he pivots toward the general election. It's actually an interesting article, but Pa2010's Dan Hirschhorn captures the overarching tone of it with his own meta-piece, "The Sestak-as-crazy-campaigner meme returns."
• SC-Sen: Today's 538 look at the South Carolina puzzle focuses on how Census microdata suggests that the Greene/Green difference may not have been the racial dogwhistle that people think it is: nationwide, a higher percentage of Greenes are white than are Greens. (H/t to our commenter KCinDC, who pointed out this same data point over the weekend.) In fact, the first name "Alvin" may be a clearer dogwhistle instead. (And, of course, there's the danger in extrapolating national data to the state level, where things may be much different in South Carolina.)
• WA-Sen: As I've opined before, attacking Dino Rossi for having made money off foreclosed properties, and teaching other people how to do it, has a whiff of "what else have you got?" But what's really weird here is that he just keeps scheduling more appearances at more real estate seminars, as he'll being doing today. (Today's burning question: "Is now the time to buy a waterfront home?") If I were the NRSC, I'd be worried about how committed he is to a race he seemed to get dragged kicking and screaming into in the first place, if he's still doing real estate seminars instead of campaigning 24/7. Is the Senate race a way to keep his name in the spotlight so he can get more money for more real estate seminar appearances?
• AK-Gov: P'oh! Former state official Bob Poe was the first Dem to get in the gubernatorial race (back when it would have been against Sarah Palin). But not having made much progress on the fundraising front against the higher-profile Ethan Berkowitz and Hollis French in the Democratic primary, he pulled out of the race yesterday.
• CA-Gov, CA-Sen: There's a poll of the California races out from CrossTarget research on behalf of right-wing new media outlet Pajamas Media, so you might keep the salt shaker handy (especially remembering their decidedly optimistic polling of the MA-Sen special). That said, though, the gubernatorial numbers look perfectly plausible, with Jerry Brown leading Meg Whitman 46-43. The Senate race may be a little further off the mark, pegged at a 47-47 tie between Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina. Speaking of Whitman, she just wrote herself a check for another $20 million from her seeming bottomless reserves, bringing her total self-funding investment to $91 million. The main Whitman story that's in the news today, though, presents a different picture of her from the rather serene Queen Meg that appears in all her advertising: it turns out she settled with an eBay employee for six-figures after shoving her during an argument.
• FL-Gov (pdf): When you're reduced to leaking your own internal poll that has you tied with your opposition, well, let's just say you're in a world of hurt. But that's what Bill McCollum is doing today to prove his continued relevance in the Florida GOP gubernatorial primary. His poll by McLaughlin & Associates has McCollum tied at 40-40 with Rick Scott.
• IA-Gov: As expected, the religious right isn't planning to do much of anything to help Terry Branstad defeat Chet Culver in November. The Iowa Family PAC, who had backed Bob Vander Plaats, confirmed (as they'd threatened months ago) that they won't endorse Branstad.
• CO-04: Credit GOP nominee Cory Gardner with having some sense of decency (or at least knowing when it's not expedient to hitch his wagon to the crazy train). After Iowa Rep. Steve King's comments about Barack Obama's racist "default mechanism," Gardner abruptly canceled a $100/person fundraiser he had scheduled for Saturday with King. (King, for his part, is doubling down on the crazy, with his impassioned defense of racial profiling yesterday.)
• KY-06: The Andy Barr campaign is out with an internal by the Tarrance Group showing him within sorta-striking distance of Democratic Rep. Ben Chandler. Chandler leads Barr 45-38. Chandler's spokesperson said that Chandler "has a strong double-digit lead" in his own polling, but didn't offer a polling memo.
• NC-08: The list of GOP Beltway figures piling on to support Harold Johnson instead of Tim D'Annunzio is a veritable House GOP who's who. John Boehner and Eric Cantor are headlining a Thursday Capitol Hill fundraiser for Johnson, with Pete Sessions and Greg Walden also atop the list. Obviously plans for this must predate today's PPP poll showing the huge disparity in viability between Johnson and D'Annunzio, so the NRCC has clearly had their eye on this one for a while.
• OK-02: Rep. Dan Boren is out with an internal poll as he faces a tough fight in a dark-red district... but he doesn't seem concerned enough with his minor GOP opposition to even poll on that. Instead, he's focused on a late-breaking primary challenge from the left from state Sen. Jim Wilson. His poll from Myers Research gives him a 68-24 lead over Wilson.
• OR-01: Tis the season for internal polls, I guess: there's also one floating around out there from Rob Cornilles, the little-known but NRCC-touted businessman running against Rep. David Wu in the Portland suburbs. The Cornilles poll, by local Republican pollster Moore Information, gives Wu a 46-40 lead over Cornilles, suggesting that Wu is at least in for a tougher-than-usual challenge even if he has the district's D+7 lean working in his favor.
• SC-06: The strange saga of the South Carolina Democratic primary is also playing out in the 6th, where Democratic House Whip Jim Clyburn easily beat Gregory Brown. Clyburn, who's led the charge that Senate candidate Alvin Greene was a plant, is crying "foul" here as well, though, pointing out that Brown has been linked to a Republican consulting firm. The Brown campaign paid $23K to Stonewall Strategies (run by former Joe Wilson aide Preston Grisham) for "marketing;" Brown says he worked with them because they were the only ones willing to take him on as a client. Several African-American state legislators tell TPM that they've talked with Brown and figure that his campaign, while quixotic, was still "on the level."
• TN-08: Allegedly humble gospel singer Stephen Fincher has gone negative against his opposition in the GOP primary, not the usual sign of a confident frontrunner. He's launched a new ad against physician Ron Kirkland, attacking Kirkland for allowing thousands of dollars in contributions to Democratic candidates when he was head of the American Medical Group Association. He's also charging that the Jackson Clinic, which Kirkland ran at the time, gave $8K to state Sen. Roy Herron, who's now running for the Democratic nod in the 8th.
• VA-05: The hope of party unity for state Sen. Robert Hurt seems to be running into quite a few hitches, in the wake of his 48% victory in the GOP primary against fractured teabagging opposition. The Lynchburg Tea Party leadership says they won't back Hurt (although they seem to be not backing anyone rather, than supporting right-wing indie Jeffrey Clark). TPM also claims that Jim McKelvey, who courted Tea Party support en route to finishing a distant second in the GOP primary, won't be backing Hurt either.
• NRCC: Rep. Mike Rogers has a pretty easy job this year: he's in charge of incumbent retention for the NRCC. He says there are, at this point, only nine incumbents who are in need of continued financial support: Dan Lungren, Mary Bono Mack, Charles Djou, Joseph Cao, Pat Tiberi, Jim Gerlach, Charlie Dent, and Dave Reichert. (You'd think he's been looking at our House Ratings page or something.) There's one other stray bit of good news for the NRCC: they've finally settled their several-years-old embezzlement case, paying a $10K civil penalty for improper reporting; they've also received a payout from their insurance company, covering $500K of their lost $724K in funds.
Meanwhile, wags have been having some great fun at the expense of the name of the NRCC's offense program, named, of course, "Young Guns." Despite the fact that the average Young Gun is 50 years old. Only 7 of the 105 members of the program are women, so maybe at least the Gun part is right.
• DCCC: Roll Call looks at the DCCC's continued outreach to K Street. An "adopt a member" strategy is being cooked up where sympathetic lobbyists will work directly with the most embattled members to shepherd them through the electoral cycle.
• WATN?: If you're wondering whatever became of ex-Rep. John Doolittle, who retired in shame in 2008 after getting caught up in the Jack Abramoff scandal, it turns out he won't be facing any charges. The DOJ has finally closed the case on Doolittle, who had previously been named as a co-conspirator in the case against aide-turned-lobbyist Kevin Ring.
Note: This digest was written entirely by DavidNYC.
AR-Sen: SEIU has a new ad out hitting Lincoln for her TARP vote and for her disloyalty during the health care debate. Props to CQ's Matthew Murray for trying to nail down the size of the buy from SEIU, which would only say that the run is "comprehensive." SEIU has gone pretty large in this race from day one, so they probably aren't going cheap on us now.
CA-Sen: Carly Fiorina, in a move which will no doubt endear her to the teabaggers but embarrass her in the eyes of the state of California, has taken to decrying concerns about climate change as "worrying about the weather" in a new ad.
CO-Sen: I Do. Not. Care. about this stupid non-story. Why are journalists so damn breathless about crap like this? It's like they've never heard of politics.
NV-Sen: According to an analysis by the WaPo, Chicken Lady may have spent $100K on her primary out of funds that were designated for the general election only. Lowden bought $220K worth of ad time, but had only about $100K of primary money (mostly a loan from herself) on hand, so that extra hundred grand had to come from somewhere. God, you know, I just can't decide whom I'd rather face more: this crazy lady, or the other crazy lady. Harry Reid, you are one lucky dude. Just pray Danny Tarkanian doesn't pull an Alice Kryzan/Creigh Deeds.
NV-Gov: A district court judge enjoined a shadowy conservative group, Alliance for America's Future, from running ads until it registers with the Secretary of State, saying that voters have the right to know who is behind political advertising. The group, which has ties to Dick Cheney, had planned to spend $250K on behalf of GOPer Brian Sandoval.
AR-02: In the AR-02 runoff, state House Speaker Robbie Wills, a white male, has been arguing that he's "more electable" than state Senate Majority Leader Joyce Elliott, who is black and a woman. The chair of the Arkansas NAACP sees that a "code word for racism." Wills responded by saying that Elliott has "extreme views" which are out of step with the district. I hope this primary doesn't get much uglier, because words like that will be used by Republicans against whomever our nominee is.
CA-19: Dick Pombo is trying to win a GOP primary by reminding voters that he's a longtime creature of Washington, DC. No wonder he lost.
ID-01: Dear Vaughn Ward: socks before shoes. Also, hire publicists to get your side of the story out before election day, not after. Actually, no - we love you, don't change a thing!
MI-08: This is unfortunate. Kande Ngalamulume, the only Democrat running against GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, is dropping out of the race, just three weeks after formally announcing his candidacy. Though Ngalamulume hadn't filed any FEC reports, Obama actually won this district 53-46 (a major swing from Bush's 54-45 win over Kerry), and even being able to pin Rogers down just a bit would have been helpful. Michigan's filing deadline was May 11th, and I'm not sure if local Dems can nominate a replacement.
NH-02: Some Teabagger Andrew Hemingway says he won't get into the GOP primary in NH-02. Meh.
NY-13: It's always confusing in NY-13, but here's the deal: The state Conservative Party has given its backing to GOPer Michael Grimm, who was also endorsed by the Brooklyn wing of the party - even though the Staten Island Cons recently got behind Dem Rep. Mike McMahon. (Party chair Mike Long wasn't going to let McMahon get their nod, though.) To make things even more complicated, the SI Republican Party endorsed Grimm's primary opponent, Michael Allegretti, as we mentioned last week, and the Brooklyn GOP did as well the week before. But Grimm has at least one big player on his side: Rudy Giuliani, who did a fundraiser for him earlier this week. Anyhow, I'm sure you can sniff the cat fud: Grimm has already locked up the Conservative line, but Allegretti could definitely win the Republican primary. There's already a lot of bad blood between the two Republican Mikes, which means we could see something of an NY-23 redux here.
NY-18: Biden Alert! The VPOTUS squeezed in a fundraiser yesterday for... Nita Lowey? She has over $1.1 million on hand, and I'm not aware of any meaningful Republican challenger in this race. (Obama/Kerry: 62/58.) So what gives?
OK-02: This is interesting: Democratic state Sen. Jim Wilson says he's going to launch a primary challenge to conservative Rep. Dan Boren. Wilson specifically cited Boren's opposition to the healthcare reform bill in launching his campaign. The primary here is pretty soon, July 27th, though there's also a run-off on August 24th. However, as of now, there are only two candidates in the race.
TN-08: The internal warfare continues in the GOP primary to replace retiring Rep. John Tanner. Though the NRCC is still touting agribusiness kingpin Stephen Fincher, ex-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott is doing a fundraiser for Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn. An establishment divided against itself... yields to a teabagger?
WI-07: Hah! We mentioned the other day that establishment efforts to clear the primary field for Dem Julie Lassa hit a snag when Some Dude Joe Reasbeck said he was going to run. Well, turns out he's run for office before: as a write-in (wait, there's more) in Texas (heh, there's still more) as a Republican (not done yet), earning 89 votes. Hold on, hold on - more! Who was he running against? Well, only the most famous write-in candidate of all time, Snelly Gibbr! Shit like this is why I love politics.
• AR-Sen: Bill Halter's netroots haul has crested $1 million, between MoveOn and ActBlue (led by the PCCC and Daily Kos). On top of all that, the Sierra Club is joining the fray, with its own attack ads against Blanche Lincoln over her attempts to limit EPA regulation. The ads don't mention Halter by name, though.
• AZ-Sen: John McCain is getting the newest GOP sensation, Scott Brown, to come to Arizona to stump for him. Because, you know, nothing says "Hey teabaggers, vote for me instead of J.D. Hayworth!" than bringing in the New England RINO who gladly took all the teabaggers' money and support and turned around and voted for a Democratic piece of legislation on his first week on the job.
• CO-Sen: Having seemingly scored big time with his public option letter (at least to the extent of raising his previously very low profile), Michael Bennet seems to be getting very ambitious. The freshman Senator just unveiled a comprehensive package of Senate reforms that he's authored that's aimed squarely at undoing the quagmire that the Senate has become, including filibuster reform, eliminating anonymous holds and private-sector earmarks, and barring lawmakers from lobbying... for life.
• KS-Sen: Rasmussen finds that (big surprise) all the action in the Kansas Senate race is the GOP primary (although they didn't bother polling the hotly-contested primary). Rather than test possible candidate state Sen. David Haley, they just take the "Generic D" route, and find both Reps. Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt beating G.D., 51-26 and 50-29 respectively.
• ND-Sen: The Dems' leading candidate for contesting the likely takeover of the open Senate seat in North Dakota by Republican Gov. John Hoeven decided against a run, probably sensing the long odds. Former AG Heidi Heitkamp said no (on her brother's radio show), although rumors suggest she's interested in running for Governor in 2012, meaning she probably wouldn't want a big defeat as people's last memory of her. State Sen. Tracy Potter is already in for the Dems, and businesswoman Kristin Hedger may also get in, as she said she'd defer only to Heitkamp.
• NY-Sen-B: Is Kirsten Gillibrand going to actually be able to waltz to re-election, or will some other moneybags celebrity pop out of the woodwork next week? After having sent Harold Ford Jr. packing, now billionaire publisher Mort Zuckerman decided against a Republican bid (couching it oddly, in that being a Senator would take up too much time from his actual day job). Zuckerman is wise to save his money, as Rasmussen finds Zuckerman losing to Gillibrand 47-36 (not as bad as Marist yesterday, but still not encouraging). Rasmussen also finds Gillibrand beating even George Pataki, 44-42 (although for some reason they don't poll actual candidate Bruce Blakeman).
• NY-Gov: When it rains, it pours, for David Paterson. The New York State Commission on Public Integrity just released its finding that he violated state ethics laws for securing World Series tickets for himself and friends and then falsely testifying under oath about it. That gets sent over to Andrew Cuomo's desk on top of the whole meshugas about the state police, which kept building today with the resignation of state police superintendent Harry Corbitt. Maurice Hinchey just publicly said what I'll bet most other New York Dems are privately thinking: he's glad he won't have to run with Paterson upticket from him.
Meanwhile, there's a ton of snap polling out today about Paterson, of varying degrees of badness for him. Quinnipiac finds his approval at an all-time low of 24/62, although voters say 61-31 he should finish his term rather than resign. SurveyUSA, however, finds a plurality for resignation: 47 say resign, 44 say stay. Rasmussen finds 28 say resign, 53 say stay. Rasmussen also threw in some numbers for the gubernatorial election in November, finding Cuomo winning against Republican Rick Lazio, 55-30. They also tested out gadflyish businessman Carl Paladino, who's made noises about running. With Paladino as the R, Cuomo wins 56-27, and with Paladino as an I, Cuomo is at 50, with 19 for Lazio and 15 for Paladino.
• OK-Gov: Here's a path for Democrats to win the Governor's race in Oklahoma, according to Rasmussen: find a way for state Sen. Randy Brogdon to win the GOP primary. Unfortunately, it seems like the very conservative Rep. Mary Fallin is well on her way to winning the primary against the ultra-conservative Brogdon. Fallin beats Democratic Lt. Gov. Jari Askins 51-37, and AG Drew Edmondson 51-36. Brodgon, however, loses to Askins 42-39 and beats Edmondson 42-41.
• PA-Gov: Quinnipiac released the gubernatorial half of its Pennsylvania poll, and Arlen Specter's bounce doesn't seem to have rubbed off much on the Democrats running for Governor... although their main problem, as always, seems to be that no one knows who they are. In the primary, "don't know" dominates at 59, followed by Dan Onorato is at 16, Jack Wagner at 11, Joe Hoeffel at 10, and Anthony Williams at 2. AG Tom Corbett has no problems on the GOP side, beating state Rep. Sam Rohrer 43-5. In head-to-heads, Corbett beats Onorato 42-32, Wagner 42-30, and Hoeffel 41-30.
• TN-Gov: Here's another state where it's still just too damn early to be polling the gubernatorial race. MTSU doesn't even bother with head-to-heads in the Tennessee race, but finds that Republican Knoxville mayor Bill Haslam (who's been spending heavily on advertising) has a bit of a leg up, in that he's the least unknown of the myriad candidates (19% of respondents were actually able to name him). Mike McWherter is the best known Dem (although that may be because he shares a last name with his dad the ex-Gov.).
• HI-01: We've gotten confirmation that the May 22 special election to replace resigned Rep. Neil Abercrombie will be an all mail-in affair, saving the state some money but possibly scrambling the parties' GOTV plans. This election and the special election in PA-12 four days earlier pose a quandary for the NRCC -- spend money they don't really have, in order to take advantage of what seems to be nationwide Republican momentum... or fess up that they really don't have much chance in either of these districts and save their money for November (or worse, spend the money and lose anyway, as with NY-20 and NY-23). NRCC spokesperson Paul Lindsey seems to telegraph which way the NRCC is leaning: "Considering that one district is the birthplace of President Obama and the other gives Democrats a voter registration advantage of more than 130,000, it is not lost on anyone that we face an incredible challenge in both races."
• NY-15: Charles Rangel has finally put down his gavel as Ways and Means chair, after he was found to have violated ethics rules. He says it's a temporary "leave of absence," but the House's presiding officer said "the resignation is accepted," suggesting something more permanent. This comes in the face of a growing wave of opposition within his own party, with a number of members returning his PAC money (ranging from the very vulnerable, like Walt Minnick, to the theoretically vulnerable, like Niki Tsongas). Also, perhaps symbolically important, it came after Artur Davis (running for Alabama governor) became the first CBC member to call for Rangel to give up his gavel.
• OK-02 (pdf): The 2nd seems like a strange choice of a place to poll, but I guess it's a good test case in terms of a Democratic Rep. in a dark-red district that hasn't been on anyone's radar screen as being vulnerable (in the face of utterly no-name challengers). True to form, Dan Boren doesn't have much to worry about this fall. He's having no trouble against his anonymous opponents, beating Dan Arnett 49-22, Daniel Edmonds 44-28, and Howard Houchen 48-26. (Teabagging independent Miki Booth pulls in 7 or 8 in each matchup.) Much of that has to do with the level of opposition, but Boren is the first incumbent Rep. PPP has found who's polling above 50 in terms of approval, at 51/33. Boren's occasional, um, departures from the party line can be better understood in terms of Barack Obama's disturbingly low 27/65 approval in the district.
• PA-11: Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O'Brien got some help from the left as he fights a primary battle against crusty Rep. Paul Kanjorski; he got the endorsement of two local unions: the Northeast Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council, and the Scranton Building and Construction Trades Council.
• PA-12: Bill Russell released an internal poll showing him beating Tim Burns in the GOP primary in the 12th. That's not really the newsworthy part; what's interesting is his internal pollster is Zogby. The pollster that everyone treated as an oracle in 2004 has been reduced to polling on behalf of BMW Direct's direct-mail-scam frontman? Lord, how the mighty have fallen.
• Census: Guess who's finally learned to love the Census? Michele Bachmann! Probably after some of her staffers showed her a puppet show spreadsheet showing how a combination of not enough residents in her district + a Democratic governor and legislature = no more MN-06. At any rate, she's planning to vote for a largely symbolic resolution to encourage Americans to participate in the Census.
• Redistricting Contest: A reminder - if you haven't sent in your .DRF.XML file to Jeff, please do so ASAP - jeffmd [at] swingstateproject [dot] com. Please be sure to include your SSP username and a link to your diary. Thanks! (D)
• AR-Sen: Alleged United States Senator Blanche Lincoln is whinging that actually doing her job in December cost her $300,000 in fundraising receipts. This is probably her way of saying her numbers will be lighter than expected this quarter. Why on earth would you go public with this, though? This is not exactly the kind of message you want to communicate to the public - or your opponents. (D)
• CA-Sen: A lot of Republicans seemed dismayed by Carla Fiorina's suggestions a few months ago that she wasn't going to be dipping into her personal money in order to fund her Senate bid - I mean, that was the whole point of her running, wasn't it? At any rate, she's just reversed course, with her latest finance report, which reveals that she loaned her campaign $2.5 million. Having burned through most of her outside donations, that leaves her with $2.7 million on hand.
• FL-Sen, FL-Gov: Charlie Crist's message discipline seems to be gotten completely unglued, as he searches for the just-right pitch that's moderate enough and yet conservative enough. Today, he's acknowledging support for the stimulus package and "being nice" to Barack Obama, and not apologizing for either one. Meanwhile, there's still that persistent rumor out there involving Crist bailing on the Senate race and going back to another term as Governor. That's not happening if GOP AG Bill McCollum has anything to say about it; he says he won't stand down for Crist.
• MA-Sen: Everyone's still milling around waiting for that rumored close Boston Herald poll, but in the meantime, a new Democratic internal poll floated to the surface this morning, and it seems to give some credence to that Boston Globe/UNH poll that gave a solid 15-point margin to Democratic AG Martha Coakley. The internal, conducted by Mark Mellman's firm, gives Coakley a 50-36 lead over Republican state Sen. Scott Brown, with Libertarian candidate Joe Kennedy (no relation to the Kennedy clan) pulling in a surprisingly-high 6 (which may be coming out of Brown's share). If Brown has internals showing the race a dead heat like he claims, now would be the time for him to lay them on the table. Also today comes word that Barack Obama has no plans to campaign for Coakley, although I don't know whether to interpret that as a sign of Democratic confidence, or of Obama not wanting to risk political capital on something that's less than a slam dunk.
• ND-Sen: Gov. John Hoeven had said he needed a few weeks to get some stuff out of the way before saying anything official about the Senate race, but it looks like the stuff was more easily cleared away than anticipated: he's now expected to announce his candidacy at an appearance at a GOP district convention in Bismarck tonight.
• NY-Sen-B: Republican Rep. Peter King announced, for something like the third or fourth time, that he is no longer considering running for the Senate, and instead will run for another term in NY-03. Stay tuned for next month, when King will at some point remember that he hasn't been on cable news for a while and will reveal that he's considering a run for the Senate. Meanwhile, the political establishment is continuing to take seriously the possibility of a Harold Ford Jr. primary challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand, going all the way up to the White House, which today confirmed that it will back Gillibrand over Ford. Ford, meanwhile, is doing some serious remodeling of his image to better comport with New York codes: he's now done a complete 180 on gay marriage, which he's now for, and on abortion, where he claims that when he said he was pro-life, it was to "take back" the term from its right-wing appropriators. Finally, the Republicans will have to look elsewhere than ex-Rep. Susan Molinari for their nominee; after a brief flirtation, Molinari (who's making big money consulting and probably doesn't want the pay cut) just declined.
• UT-Sen: This should come as no surprise, but the NRSC, tasked with defending incumbents, confirmed that it's supporting Bob Bennett in his re-election bid against several right-wing primary challengers. The Club for Growth has painted a bullseye on Bennett's back, although they haven't settled on which challenger to support.
• CO-Gov: Denver mayor John Hickenlooper hasn't leaped as quickly into the Governor's race (following the withdrawal of Bill Ritter and demurral of Ken Salazar) as many had expected; he's saying he'll make a decision within the next five days, so stay tuned. Former House speaker Andrew Romanoff, currently an invisible presence in the Senate primary, has also been consulting with Democratic officials about getting in, although it sounds like he'd do so only if Hickenlooper didn't. Another rumor getting bandied about: Romanoff joining forces and running as Hickenlooper's Lt. Gov. candidate; at any rate, it sounds like Romanoff is looking for an exit from the Senate race. Hickenlooper's decision may get helped along by a certain Barack Obama, who apparently called Hickenlooper to encourage him to get into the race (Hickenlooper says that doesn't change his decision, though).
• KS-Gov: Kansas Democrats are getting way, way down the totem pole as they look for a gubernatorial candidate, with Tom Wiggans' recent withdrawal. Board of Regents chair Jill Docking, whose name frequently appears as Democrats' Plan B in a variety of races, said she won't run, and now the fickle finger seems to be pointing at Lawrence-area state Sen. Marci Francisco. (H/t Campaign Diaries.)
• MA-Gov: The Boston Globe/UNH poll of the Senate race also asked about 2010's gubernatorial race, and it's more confirmation for the apparent trend that Dem incumbent Deval Patrick seems bolstered by the presence of state Treasurer Tim Cahill's independent bid (despite Patrick's 39/50 favorables and Cahill's 39/15). Rather than Cahill dominating the middle, as he may have expected, instead he just winds up splitting the anti-Patrick vote, leaving the race's GOPers a distant third. A Patrick/Cahill/Charlie Baker ballot plays out 30-23-19, while Patrick/Cahill/Christy Mihos is a similar 32-23-19.
• CA-11: The GOP hasn't quite found a top-tier candidate to take on Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney, the only Golden State Dem who's even remotely vulnerable. But they might get something of an upgrade with the newly-announced candidacy of David Harmer, the Republican attorney who acquitted himself fairly well in the special election last year in much bluer CA-10. He can bring residual name rec and fundraising connections to the race, and one of the race's lesser lights, former San Jose city councilor Larry Pegram, is already moving to get out of the race. Still, Harmer doesn't live in the district, and he exposes himself to the same carpetbagging charges he brought to his race against John Garamendi in the 10th.
• CA-19: Kevin McCarthy looks a little flaky after this whole incident: it was reported last Friday that the Bakersfield-area Republican was sticking with his earlier endorsement of state Sen. Jeff Denham in the 19th while admitting a bit of a man-crush on ex-Rep. Richard Pombo. But now the Fresno Bee is reporting that McCarthy has gone all the way, spurned Denham, and is now endorsing Pombo.
• HI-01: The local political establishment weighed in heavily on the side of state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa in the upcoming special election to replace resigning Rep. Neil Abercrombie. The decision of Sen. Daniel Akaka to endorse Hanabusa over his nemesis Ed Case should be no surprise, but this was accompanied by endorsements from the state's other Senator, Daniel Inouye, and a variety of labor leaders as well. Case does have one endorsement which he's touting in ads, though, from ex-Governor Ben Cayetano.
• NY-23: Doug Hoffman won't have the GOP primary field to himself in the 23rd after all. He'll face a fight with a fellow conservative, albeit more of a team player: Assemblyman Will Barclay, who passed on a run in the special election in the 23rd, says he's begun exploring the general election race.
• OK-02: Rep. Dan Boren can always be counted on to say something douchey, and today's no exception. He tells the Tulsa World (in an article titled "Boren: Democrats May Lose Congress") that Dems are likely to lose seats in Congress, and that's good news for Oklahoma and especially for him personally. ""In the 112th (Congress), I probably will have the most influence I have ever had, no matter who has the majority," he says.
• TN-08: It remains to be seen how much of an impact this will have on the race to succeed retiring Dem Rep. John Tanner, but the Republican primary just shrunk by one: computer consultant Donn Janes has announced that he's going to run instead as a Tea Party-aligned independent. (J)
• Mayors: That Rahm Emanuel-running-for-Chicago-mayor thing seemed to last a whole couple days. Emanuel yesterday praised Richard Daley and backed him for another term starting in 2011.
• Florida: For all the general black clouds hanging over the Democrats regarding 2010, there's always a lot of nuts-and-bolts numbers that somehow still look favorable, such as party committee fundraising and registration numbers. In Florida, both are actually advantage Team Blue, as the state Democratic party is sitting on $2.6 million cash on hand, $1 million more than state Republicans. Democrats have also built up their registration advantage over Republicans in Florida, to a margin of more than 800,000.
• Tea Partiers: TPM has an interesting look at the civil war growing within the Tea Party movement, a microcosm of the larger civil war within the Republican party. Front and center today is the big teabaggers' convention in Nashville (with Sarah Palin as keynoter), which is too expensive for many of the teabagging rank and file to attend, leading some to question whether there's a usurpation of the movement by the Republicans' Beltway professional class. Meanwhile, Think Progress has some new additions to its ongoing compendium of teabagger primary challenges to establishment GOPers.