Busy night in Texas last night, although both sides in the gubernatorial race turned out being pretty anticlimactic. Incumbent Republican Rick Perry just barely managed to cleared the 50% hurdle and avoid a runoff; he got 51 to Kay Bailey Hutchison's 30 and Debra Medina's 19. Medina's 19 is higher than anyone would have imagined a few months ago, but it also may reflect there's a ceiling on what teabaggers can accomplish, and she may have reached that; that's confirmed with the range of teabagger challenges to Republican incumbents in the House and the state legislature. Challenges to Ron Paul (81%) and Pete Sessions (84%) barely made a ripple, and while self-funding teabagger Steve Clark racked up 30% in TX-04, that's mostly by virtue of running against the mummified remains of Ralph Hall rather than a vigorous opponent. In what seems like the two most competitive House races in November, the Republicans are headed to runoffs: Quico Canseco vs. Will Hurd in TX-23, and Bill Flores vs. Rob Curnock in TX-17. (Considering how uncontroversial incumbent Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo surprisingly lost a one-on-one to an underfunded unknown with an Anglo surname, I wonder if Canseco and Flores should be worried going into the runoffs.)
Bill White doesn't get the advantage of a facing a runoff-addled Rick Perry in the general, but he's coming into it with a head of steam, racking up 76% in the Dem primary to 13% for Farouk Shami. He's likely to get a boost from Latino turnout as he's backed up by two Latino ticket-mates who won last night: Lt. Governor candidate Linda Chavez-Thompson and Land Commissioner candidate Hector Uribe (who ended at 52% after trailing most of the night). (He'll also be backed up by a non-annoying Ag Commissioner candidate, in the form of Hank Gilbert, who narrowly defeated Kinky Friedman.)
Further down the ballot, in what many considered the most important race of the night, in the GOP primary for District 9 of the state Board of Education, incumbent wingnut Don McLeroy lost narrowly to moderate Thomas Ratliff. Moderate Geraldine Miller lost in a surprise to George Clayton, though (although he says he wants books to be "agenda-free"). The balance of power between creationists and "moderates" (by Texas standards) on the SBOE may yet come down to a runoff in one other race, between Marsha Farney and Brian Russell.
Two other states had special elections in their state House of Representatives, with the Dems and GOP each holding seats they'd previously occupied. It was a nail-biter in Virginia's HD-41 in suburban Fairfax County, where Democrat Eileen Filler-Corn prevailed by 42 votes over Republican Kerry Bolognese to keep the seat vacated by now-state Sen. Dave Marsden. (Theoretically, that was close enough for a recount, but the GOP won't request one and Filler-Corn is being seated today.) In Connecticut, Republican Laura Hoydick defeated Democrat Janice Anderson to keep in GOP hands the seat vacated by Stratford's new mayor John Harkins; the two will face off again in November.
• AR-Sen: We're up to eight Republicans packed into the GOP Senate field in Arkansas, none of whom are exactly top-tier but many of whom seem to have the capability to win both the primary and the general against Blanche Lincoln. The new guy is Stanley Reed, and although he hasn't held elective office before, he seems to have the insider connections to make a serious go of it: he is former president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau, and before that was chair of the Univ. of Arkansas Board of Trustees.
• CA-Sen/Gov: Here's an interesting rumor, courtesy of Chris Cillizza: moderate ex-Rep. Tom Campbell, probably the GOP's greatest threat in the general but an underfunded third-wheel in the gubernatorial primary, is considering moving over to the Senate race. Perhaps the news that Insurance Comm. Steve Poizner was planning to spend $15 million of his own moolah on his stalled gubernatorial bid was the last straw? It vaguely makes sense for Campbell (who has already run for Senate twice before, most recently in 2000), as he'd face off against underwhelming Carly Fiorina (who has lots of her own money, but no inclination to use it) and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, who has nothing but the wrath of the teabaggers powering him.
• IL-Sen: The Chicago Tribune has released polls of the primary fields in the Illinois Senate race, revealing no surprises but also still a lot of people left to make up their minds. The Democratic field finds Alexi Giannoulias in the lead at 31, with Cheryle Jackson within kind-of striking distance at 17, David Hoffman at 9, and free-spending attorney Jacob Meister at 1 (with 38% undecided). For the GOP, the most notable number may be that Patrick Hughes, who's gotten all the buzz as the guy behind whom all the right-wingers are coalescing, is actually getting nowhere at all. Hughes is at 3, tied with virtually unknown Kathleen Thomas (a former school board member from Springfield). Mark Kirk is at 41, but with 47% undecided, he still has a lot of selling to do. Speaking of which, the DSCC has a new website devoted solely to the man and his nonstop campaign-trail flip-flops: Two-Faced Kirk.
• IL-Gov: The same Chicago Tribune sample also looked at the gubernatorial primary fields. Incumbent Pat Quinn seems to be having little trouble on his path to the Dem nomination, beating Comptroller Dan Hynes 49-23. (Hynes may be second-guessing himself for getting into this race instead of the Senate field.) On the GOP side, it looks like former AG Jim Ryan (and 2002 loser) is in pole position despite his late entry to the race, thanks to being the only figure with statewide name rec. He's at 26, with state party chair Andy McKenna at 12, downstate state Sen. Bill Brady at 10, suburban state Sen. Kirk Dillard at 9, businessman Adam Andrzejewski at 6, and DuPage Co. Board President Bob Schillerstrom at 2.
• PA-Gov: Rasmussen's poll from last week of PA-Sen had a governor question too, and it shows all of the Dems getting thumped by Republican AG Tom Corbett. That probably has a lot to do with name recognition (Corbett gets his face in the news every day with Bonusgate, which is good for a bizarrely-high favorable of 59/18, while Auditor Jack Wagner is the only Dem with a statewide profile), but the Dems are starting out in a hole here once campaigning starts in earnest. Wagner fares best against Corbett, losing 43-30, while Corbett beats Allegheny Co. Exec Dan Onorato 44-28, ex-Rep. Joe Hoeffel 48-26, and Scranton mayor Chris Doherty 46-23.
• NY-Gov (pdf): Breaking! David Paterson is still in deep trouble. He's at 23/76 approval, and 19/65 re-elects. He loses the Democratic primary to Andrew Cuomo 67-23 (and opinion is certainly solidifying behind Cuomo: 50% want him to run for Governor, while 31% want him to run again for AG). The good news is that Paterson still beats hapless ex-Rep. Rick Lazio in the general, 42-40, while Cuomo beats Lazio 68-22. Siena doesn't look at Rudy Giuliani at all, making his disappearance from the governor's race pretty apparent. Siena also takes a look at the Comptroller's race (although without any William Thompson or Eliot Spitzer permutations), and find Dem Thomas DiNapoli beating GOPer John Faso, 40-24.
• RI-Gov: One state where the gubernatorial race looks less and less likely to go the Republicans' way is Rhode Island, where their only announced candidate, businessman Rory Smith, quietly backed out of the race on Friday afternoon, citing his "limited political experience and political network." Maybe state Rep. Joe Trillo could get coaxed back into the race for the GOP -- or they could just throw their backing behind former Sen. and former Republican Lincoln Chafee's independent bid (although based on his recent comments about the state party, it doesn't sound like he'd want anything to do with their backing).
• SC-Gov (pdf): One more gubernatorial poll, leftover from last week. PPP polled South Carolina, and found numbers very similar to Rasmussen's numbers from last week. Basically, Democrats need to hope for a matchup between Jim Rex (the Superintendent of Education, and only statewide Dem officeholder) and hard-partying, car-racing, plane-crashing Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer; Rex wins that matchup, 37-36. Dems lose every other permutation. Bauer manages to beat state Sen. Vincent Sheheen 38-33, and Robert Ford 37-33. AG Henry McMaster beats Rex 40-31, Sheheen 41-27, and Ford 42-27. And Rep. Gresham Barrett beats Rex 40-33, Sheheen 41-26, and Ford 42-28. (By way of comparison, Rasmussen finds Rex beating Bauer 36-35 and losing his other matchups.) PPP didn't poll the primaries, but based on favorables, McMaster may be the likeliest GOP nominee, at 30/20, compared with Barrett, little-known outside his district at 14/17, and Bauer, toxic at 22/43. PPP also ran a generic D ballot against GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, who has no-name opposition so far, finding DeMint winning 47-38.
• TX-Gov: As expected, Kinky Friedman ended his Democratic gubernatorial primary bid today. Friedman declined to endorse either Bill White (whose entry probably precipitated Friedman's exit) or Farouk Shami, despite some connections to Shami. What may not have been expected was that Friedman dropped down to the Agriculture Commissioner race, where he'll join fellow gubernatorial race refugee Hank Gilbert. While Friedman doesn't seem to have an agricultural background, he does have as an advisor and backer former Ag Comm. and populist pundit Jim Hightower.
• ID-01: I hadn't heard any rumblings about this happening, but in case anyone was wondering, Larry Grant (the former software exec who barely lost the 2006 ID-01 race to Bill Sali) said he wouldn't primary Democratic freshman Rep. Walt Minnick in 2010. Minnick has raised some hackles for being the most conservative member of the Democratic caucus (not that that shouldn't be a surprise in an R+18 district, but he's been taking that to extremes lately, leading the way to scrap the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency). Grant also denied that he'd be running in 2010 as a moderate Republican (conceivably to Minnick's left?), although he seemed to suggest that he could prevail against that field of wannabes, accusing Vaughn Ward of being a "Sarah Palin Republican" and Raul Labrador a "Bill Sali Republican." (I wonder what that would make Bill Sali, if he decided to jump in?)
• IL-10: In the Democratic primary clash in the open 10th, state Rep. Julie Hamos scored a big labor endorsement today, from the AFSCME.
• IL-14: Ethan Hastert a moderate? Either the apple falls far from the tree, or the Main Street Partnership is having to greatly expand their definition of "moderate" is order to stay relevant in a GOP intent on purging itself into oblivion. At any rate, the Main Streeters' PAC gave to Hastert (making clear where the ideological fault lines lie in his primary against state Sen. Randy Hultgren), along with OH-15's Steve Stivers, OH-16's Jim Renacci, and NH-02's Charlie Bass.
• KS-03: The specter of Republican civil war in the open seat race in Kansas's 3rd is abating, as state Sen. (and 2008 loser) Nick Jordan has the respect of both the moderate and conservative wings of the state's party. Maybe most significantly, state Sen. Jeff Colyer, from the fire-breathing camp, said today that he won't challenge Jordan in the primary. Moderate state Rep. Kevin Yoder is still exploring the race, though.
• PA-10: Sophomore Democratic Rep. Chris Carney has been one of the juiciest targets with only token Republican opposition, but the GOP may have found an elected official willing to take him on: state Rep. Michael Peifer, who represents a rural portion of the district.
• SC-01: Another Dem is in the hunt in the 1st, for the right to go up against Rep. Henry Brown (assuming he survives his primary). Retired Navy officer and accountant Dick Withington is getting in; his only political experience is losing a state Rep. race in 2004.
• TN-03: The open seat in the 3rd should be attracting at least some Democratic interest, but following the withdrawal of establishment candidate Paula Flowers last month, now even the race's Some Dude bailed out: businessman (and 2006 loser) Brent Benedict got out, citing family health concerns. A few other potentially-credible Democrats are now looking at the race, though, including Chattanooga city councilor Andrae McGary and Hamilton County Democratic party chair Jeff Brown.
• TX-10: Democratic businessman Jack McDonald has gotten lots of buzz for solid fundraising for a potential run against GOP Rep. Michael McCaul, who looks increasingly shaky in the demographically-changing 10th. Last week, he removed the "exploratory" part of his campaign account, making it official, although clearly he's been acting like a candidate all year.
• VA-05: The Virginia GOP decided on a primary, rather than a convention, to pick the person who takes on endangered freshman Rep. Tom Perriello in the 5th. In a weird way, the primary is better news for the party's establishment, as the conventions tend to be dominated by the extremists who pick pure but unelectable candidates (recall last year's Senate flap, where the decision to have a convention drove out moderate Rep. Tom Davis and left them with ex-Gov. Jim Gilmore). With their top contender, state Sen. Rob Hurt, coming from the sane wing of the party, that increases his odds of getting through to the general -- but the downside is that this may drive dissatisfied teabaggers to the third-party right-wing candidacy of Bradley Rees in the general.
• WA-03: A journeyman Democrat is considering the open seat race in the 3rd, potentially setting up a primary with early entrant state Rep. Deb Wallace. Denny Heck was a state Rep. in the 80s, lost a Superintendent of Education race, became Gov. Booth Gardner's chief of staff, and then founded TVW, the state's local equivalent of C-SPAN. The article also mentions a couple other Dems interested in the race not previously mentioned, including state Sen. Brian Hatfield.
• Mayors: In a runoff election that had an undercurrent of homophobia thanks to the involvement of outside groups, city controller Annise Parker won on Saturday, making Houston by far the largest city to ever elect an openly LGBT mayor. She defeated former city attorney Gene Locke 53-47.
• Redistricting: The Texas Tribune takes a look at the many moving parts in legislative redistricting post-2010 in Texas. Factors include whether the Dems will be able to pick up the state House next year (sounding less likely), and which state officials are on the Legislative Redistricting Board (which takes over if the legislature can't agree, which seems likely anyway since there's a 2/3s requirement for the maps to clear the Senate and the GOP is short of 2/3s there).
• Demographics: Governing Magazine has an interesting piece on Gwinnett County, Georgia, which is as good an example as any of how suburbs, even in some of the reddest states, are becoming bluer as they become more diverse thanks to immigration. Gwinnett County has fallen below 50% non-Hispanic white, and it gave Obama 44% of the vote last year.
• Polltopia: PPP is asking for help yet again on which congressional district to poll next. This time, it'll be a GOP-held district: Michele Bachmann's MN-06, Lee Terry's NE-02, or Pat Tiberi's OH-12.
Has anybody heard anything about there being an election of some sort today? I'll look into it, but this is the first I've heard. In the meantime...
• AR-Sen (pdf): Talk Business Quarterly had a strange poll earlier in the year where they had a huge disparity between Blanche Lincoln's favorables (mediocre) and her re-elect (terrible), and now they're back with another poll showing pretty much the same thing. Her favorable is 42/46, but she gets a 25/61 on the oddly worded question "Would you vote to re-elect Blanche Lincoln as your United States Senator no matter who ran against her?" Gov. Mike Beebe doesn't have much to worry about, though; he may be the nation's most popular politico these days, with a favorable of 71/15.
• NC-Sen: Research 2000 did another poll on behalf of Change Congress, this time looking at North Carolina. They see the same pattern as PPP and most other pollsters: tepid re-elect numbers for Burr (21 re-elect/45 someone new, with 39/46 favorables), but a decent lead for Burr against SoS Elaine Marshall (42-35) and Rep. Bobby Etheridge (43-35).
• NJ-Gov (pdf): One last poll straggled across the finish line yesterday afternoon, from Fairleigh Dickinson University. They give Jon Corzine a 43-41-8 edge over Chris Christie and Chris Daggett, but it's a very large timeframe (Oct. 22 to Nov. 1). Unusually, this incorporates the smaller sample that was the basis for the standalone poll that FDU released over the weekend (which was in the field from Oct. 22 to Oct. 28) had a topline of 41-39-14 for Christie)... which is good news, I suppose, as it showed either movement to Corzine in the last few days or just that more Corzine voters were picking up their phones over the weekend, but a strange technique (why not release the Oct. 29-Nov. 1 data as a separate poll?). Because of the sample overlap, Pollster.com didn't add this one to the pile, leaving their final regression line total at a remarkable 42.0-42.0.
Meanwhile, this being Jersey, both parties are engaged in some last-minute chicanery: the Democrats are reportedly robocalling Republicans to encourage them to vote for Daggett, while Republicans are seeing what we're all seeing -- a race that's within a percentage or two, and one that's possibly to be decided in the post-game of recounts and even litigation -- and are getting a jump on the post-election framing by leveling allegations of 'election fraud' (without proof, or even specifics, of course).
• TX-Gov, TX-Sen: The first Univ. of Texas/Texas Tribune poll of the GOP gubernatorial primary gives a bigger edge to incumbent Rick Perry than other pollsters have; he leads Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison 42-30, with a surprisingly large 7% going to Debra Medina from the party's Paulist contingent. (Rasmussen has the most recent poll of the race, from September, and actually found KBH ahead, 40-38.) On the Democratic side, they find only chaos, with Kinky Friedman actually in the lead with 19, followed by Tom Schieffer at 10, Ronnie Earle at 5, and Hank Gilbert at 3. In the general, Perry is surprisingly vulnerable to Generic D (34-33, with 8 going to "Generic third party"), while Hutchison performs better (36-25, with 9 to third party) against Generic D. Against actual human Democrats, though, Perry seems safe (beating Friedman 38-23 and Schieffer 36-25).
They also look at the Senate race that may or may not ever happen and get more inconclusive results; polling all participants together in one pool, they find Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Democratic Houston mayor Bill White tied at 13 each, followed by Democrat John Sharp at 10 and a gaggle of other Republicans, none of whom break 3. Here's the poll's one heartening tidbit: Barack Obama actually has a better favorable (41/52) than either Perry (36/44) or Hutchison (39/27).
• MD-04: Here's one more potential challenge to Rep. Donna Edwards in the safely Democratic 4th. (Delegate Herman Taylor is already scoping out the primary.) Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey, a former senior staffer on the Hill, is now considering a run in the Dem primary too. The bulk of the district's votes are in mostly-black Prince George's County in the DC suburbs. It sounds like members of the local business community are looking for a more establishment challenge to the fiercely progressive Edwards.
• NY-23: New York State, the last state in the nation to comply with the Help America Vote Act, is finally switching over to optical scan machines from its ancient (but awesome) lever machines. The 2009 election is just a "pilot" run, so the entire state hasn't adopted the new machines yet, but most of the counties which make up the 23rd CD have. This means one of two things: results will come in more quickly than usual thanks to speedier and more reliable equipment... or results will come in more slowly that usual, thanks to the inevitable learning curve. (D)
Meanwhile, this seemed inevitable: overzealous electioneering by revved-up teabaggers. Police have been called to several locations in the North Country for violations of the 100-foot polling barrier by rabid Doug Hoffman fans.
• SC-05: Republican State Sen. Mick Mulvaney today made official his race against veteran Democratic Rep. John Spratt. Mulvaney is one of Mark Sanford's closest allies, so in the next year expect to see lots of the photo that's at this link.
• Mayors: One last mayoral poll out, in a close race between two different flavors of progressive. Joe Mallahan leads Mike McGinn 45-43 in the Seattle mayoral race, according to SurveyUSA. SurveyUSA also finds Democrat Dow Constantine surging into a comfortable lead over stealth Republican Susan Hutchison in the King County Executive race, 53-43. Previous SUSA polls had given a small edge to Hutchison, suggesting that a lot of voters weren't paying much attention yet and hadn't found out that she was a Republican.
• Illinois Filings: Yesterday was the filing deadline in Illinois, and lots more names trickled in after yesterday's digest. For starters, we actually did get a Dem on the ballot in IL-06 (and all the other GOP-held House districts), although it really seems to be Some Dude: the heretofore unknown Benjamin Lowe. In IL-07, more electeds eventually showed up, in addition to state Sen. Rickey Hendon. So too did alderwoman Sharon Dixon, alderman Bob Fioretti, and former state Rep. Annazette Collins. And I'm left wondering about the weird saga of Patrick Hughes, the great wingnut hope in the Senate race; after rumors of not having enough signatures, he withdrew around 10 am yesterday, but then filed again after 4 pm. Most likely that was a ploy to get the last line on the ballot (which was why Cheryle Jackson waited so long to file on the Democratic side) -- but I'm preferring to envision a scenario where he had to hold a benefit show to scrape together those last few signatures, then rush back to Chicago along Lower Wacker Drive, trashing about 80 police cars while trying to get to the Cook County Assessor's Office Board of Elections before it closed.
• Teabaggers: Could it be that the legacy media are finally noticing that the rise of the teabaggers, as seen in their decapitation of the Republican establishment candidate in NY-23, could spell only deeper trouble for Republicans in 2010? Politico and Roll Call both take notice today, that this dynamic is poised to repeat itself in the crucial Senate race in Florida... and, for that matter, Connecticut, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Nevada, Missouri, Arkansas, Colorado, and Illinois. In fact, the real question may be: where are the Senate races where there won't be a hot establishment/movement Republican primary? (Weirdly, Pennsylvania may be that place, where running the teabagger that nobody loved may actually turn out to be an asset for the GOP.)
• Babka: Hey! Do you want not just bragging rights among your fellow electoral junkies, but also a delicious chocolate babka? Don't forget to submit your entries in the SSP elections prediction contest! Do it in the prediction thread, though, not in the digest, at least if you want it to count.
• FL-Sen: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen says she won't endorse in the GOP Senate primary or in the general election, out of deference to Kendrick Meek. Says IRL: "Kendrick was a gentleman and I'm a lady back to him," because he didn't lift a finger to help Annette Taddeo last year, "despite all the nasty bloggers egging him on." Next time, we'll just have to egg harder. (D)
Meanwhile, in the contest purely in Charlie Crist's mind over who to appoint to replace Mel Martinez, Crist will reportedly name someone by week's end from his not-so-short list of eight or so names.
• OR-Sen: John Frohnmayer, the former head of the National Endowment for the Arts under Bush I, was reportedly considering a bid for the Senate against Ron Wyden, but has now decided against it. (You may remember Frohnmayer had tried running as an Indie in the 2006 Smith/Merkley Senate race, but decided against that too.) Interestingly, the story makes it completely unclear whether he was planning to run as a Democrat or an Independent (probably not as a Republican, despite that he's from one of the state's brand-name GOP families, considering that the once-dominant moderates have been routed from the state party), but it sounded like he'd be going after the usually-liberal Wyden from the left, as he'd been reaching out to Democratic activists upset over Wyden's foot-dragging on health care reform. No GOPer has stepped forward to take on Wyden from the right.
• NJ-Gov: One more wheel popped off the suddenly overloaded Chris Christie bus: the woman who allegedly received the undisclosed loan from Christie while working for him has resigned. Michele Brown was the acting first assistant U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, but she quit yesterday, saying she didn't want to be a distraction for the campaign.
• NY-Gov: Politico's Alex Isenstadt offers a rebuttal to the NYT's speculations that Rudy Giuliani is prepping for a gubernatorial run. Close associates say that while he's not saying no, he isn't fundraising either, and that his bids for attention may have more to do with paying down campaign debts from his epic presidential fail.
• SC-Gov: Two Republican state Reps, Nathan Ballentine (known as a Mark Sanford ally) and Gerry Simrill met privately with Sanford to let him know that if he doesn't step down, the GOP-held legislature will impeach him. (Sanford told them he's staying.) Also, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer publicly called for Sanford to resign today (and, by the way, give him his job). Bauer said he'd drop his 2010 gubernatorial bid if he were to become governor, though.
• TX-Gov: It looks like there'll be an alternative to Bush-backer Tom Schieffer and weirdo self-promoter Kinky Friedman in the Democratic primary after all: Hank Gilbert, a cattle rancher who lost the 2006 Agriculture Commissioner race (although he did do the best of any Dem statewide candidate that year), says he'll run. Burnt Orange Report sounds very pleased. Meanwhile, Kay Bailey Hutchison faced down a truckload of pigs brought to one of her rallies by snout-wearing pro-Rick Perry, anti-pork activists. KBH is also looking to sell her mansion in McLean, Virginia, a tea leaf that a) she's serious about bailing out of the Senate and b) she needs money.
• WI-Gov: There's already a Republican internal poll from the Scott Walker camp done by the Tarrance Group, reflecting the new post-Jim Doyle configuration of the Wisconsin governor's race. As one might expect from a Walker poll, he leads all comers, although the Milwaukee Co. Exec barely beats Milwaukee mayor and ex-Rep. Tom Barrett, 44-43. Walker posts bigger numbers over Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, 48-40 and Rep. Ron Kind, 49-39, and an even-bigger number against GOP primary rival ex-Rep. Mark Neumann, 57-21. Barrett leads a Dem primary over Lawton and Kind, 39-25-19 (only Lawton has committed to the race so far, though).
• NYC-Mayor: The mayor's race in New York seems to be in a holding pattern, with I/R incumbent Michael Bloomberg beating Democratic Comptroller William Thompson, 50-35, not much change from last month's 47-37 spread. Thompson leads city councilor Tony Avella 45-10 in the primary. Further down the ballot, it looks like Air America head Mark Green is poised for a comeback as Public Advocate (a job he held 1994-2001), with 38% in a 4-way Dem primary field.
• Ads: The DNC has launched a series of radio ads providing cover for 13 potentially vulnerable Dems, regarding their earlier stimulus and SCHIP votes: Berry, Himes, Donnelly, Kissell, Teague, Rodriguez, Perriello, Ross, Hill, Etheridge, Brad Miller, Pat Murphy, and Inslee. (OK, those last four don't seem vulnerable at all, but whatever.) Also, a coalition of MoveOn, Americans United for Change, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters launched TV spots against 5 Republicans over cap-and-trade: McCotter, Rehberg, Blunt, Wolf, and Cantor... and print ads against 2 Dems who also were 'no' votes: Jason Altmire in the Pittsburgh suburbs and Ann Kirkpatrick in rural Arizona.