• NV-Sen: John Ensign's once potent fundraising has gone decidedly flaccid in the wake of the Hampton affair, dwindling approval ratings, and a likelihood of not coming back in 2012. He raised less than $33K in the third quarter (and managed to spend more than that, on various legal fees and consultants).
• PA-Sen: Joe Sestak's fundraising for the third quarter was half of what Arlen Specter raised: $758K for Sestak (also less than half of his 2Q number), vs. $1.8 million for Specter. Take out the money that Obama raised for Specter at their fundraiser, though, and they're close to parity on last quarter's numbers. Meanwhile, the allegedly fiscally-disciplined Pat Toomey raised $1.6 million in 3Q, but has been burning through cash quickly, spending $861K and ending up with $1.8 million CoH.
• IL-Gov: This is good news for John McCain... 's former media guy. State GOP chair Andy McKenna made clear he's going to, if nothing else, spend a lot of money on his gubernatorial campaign. He just hired ad guru Fred Davis, creator of the infamous "Celebrity" ad last summer. President McCain, of course, will confirm how well that one worked out for him.
• PA-Gov: Rasmussen polled the Democratic and Republican fields in the gubernatorial race, finding what most other pollsters have seen: AG Tom Corbett is mopping up on the GOP side, while nobody has a clue who the Democratic candidates are. Corbett leads Rep. Jim Gerlach 54-10 (with 6 for some other and 30 not sure). For the Dems, "not sure" is kicking ass at 37, followed by Allegheny Co. Exec Dan Onorato at 19, state Auditor Jack Wagner at 14, ex-Rep. Joe Hoeffel at 11, Scranton mayor Chris Doherty at 6, rich guy Tom Knox at 4, and "some other" at 10.
• VA-Gov: One last look at how the candidates are faring financially in the Virginia governor's race. Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds raised about the same amount in September ($3.8 mil for McD, $3.5 mil for Deeds), but McDonnell enters the home stretch with a lot more cash on hand ($4.5 mil for McD, $2.8 mil for Deeds).
• FL-08: Among the contributors to liberal firebrand Rep. Alan Grayson's one-day haul of $60K at the end of the fundraising quarter (and after his "die quickly" speech) were two prominent Blue Dogs: Reps. Bart Gordon and Collin Peterson.
• FL-19: State Sen. Ted Deutch wasted no time. The leading contender to take over FL-19 in the wake of Rob Wexler's departure officially entered the race yesterday.
• IN-01: Nobody has really regarded long-time Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky as vulnerable in his bluish district, but he's laboring under an ethical cloud from his role in the PMA lobbying firm scandal, and now out $100,000 in legal fees resulting from subpoenas in the matter. He's sitting on $916K CoH, down from $1.47 mil at this point in the 2007-08 cycle.
• NY-15: Rep. Charlie Rangel, facing some ethical problems of his own, may face another primary challenger with a famous family name: Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV (who previously ran against Rangel in 1994). With a former staffer already in the race, though, this could fracture the anti-Rangel vote and inadvertently let Rangel slip through again.
• NY-19: Looks like the free-spending Ophthalmologists' PAC has one sure target for their largesse this cycle: Nan Hayworth, a Westchester County eye doctor, says that she'll run for the GOP nomination. This is despite the presence of a high-profile (if somewhat questionable and controversial) recruit in the field already, Assemblyman Greg Ball. Hayworth starts with $318K CoH, half from her own wallet and half apparently from her eye doctors friends, giving her a sizable edge over Ball's $213K CoH. The winner will face off against incumbent Dem Rep. John Hall.
• NY-20: Thursday was the official Last Day of Tedisco. Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, the loser of this year's special election filed a notice of termination of his exploratory committee, seemingly ending any plans for a re-run in 2010.
• NY-23: Dinged by reports that the RNC wasn't getting adequately involved in the 23rd (or involved, period), Michael Steele announced that the RNC will be making an unspecified "six-figure" contribution to the NRCC in support of efforts in the 23rd, as well as $85K to the state party. Also seeking to quell reports of civil war, Newt Gingrich -- who passes for the GOP's voice of sanity these days -- went ahead and endorsed Dede Scozzafava, which may not move many votes on the ground but may move some Beltway dollars into her kitty.
• OH-16, 18: Biden alert (again)! The VP will be heading to Ohio to host a joint fundraiser for sorta-vulnerable Democratic Reps. John Boccieri and Zack Space in several weeks.
• SC-02: Rob Miller got a huge boost in his fundraising in the wake of "You lie!" and pulled in $1.7 million. Unfortunately, he seemed to peak early after an initial outpouring of support, with little follow-up with the netroots; contrast that with Rep. Joe Wilson, who continued to push his newfound celebrity with the GOP base and, despite being initially outraised, wound up the quarter with $2.7 million.
• NY-St. Sen: State Senator Hiram Monserrate was convicted yesterday of assault, but instead of the felony charge that was sought, he was only convicted of a misdemeanor -- which means that he isn't automatically out of the Senate. That means Dems are stuck with the coup-joining convict until next year's primary... unless he resigns, something that fellow Sen. Liz Krueger is already pushing, or is expelled.
• Mayors: In not much of a surprise, Shelby County mayor A.C. Wharton won the special election to take over as Memphis mayor. His 60% share (against 24 other opponents) is pretty impressive, though. Wharton argues his margin is a mandate for his pet project, uniting Memphis and Shelby County governments into one entity.
• Polling: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner has a fascinating polling memo titled "The Very Separate World of Conservative Republicans" out, based on focus groups of GOP base voters in Georgia that look at what's driving the accelerating freakout among the hard right. The diagnosis seems to be acute paranoia with persecution complex: while few couched their viewpoint in an explicitly racist way (which may surprise some), there is a sense among them of being a "mocked minority" and a overarching sense of an Obama administration "secret agenda" to bankrupt the country and exert government control over all aspects of our lives. I don't know if Ed Kilgore had advance knowledge of this study, but it dovetails exactly with his remarkable piece earlier this week focusing on how the roots of the screamers and teabaggers isn't so much overtly racist as motivated by a growing out-of-control sense of loss of the 'old ways' (i.e. replacement of small-town, homogeneous, traditional America with a multiracial, globalized future).