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9:01 AM PT (Jeff Singer): LA-Gov: On behalf of the conservative website The Hayride, GOP pollster MarblePort Polling gives us a glance at the Oct. 24 jungle primary. Like pretty much everyone, they find Republican Sen. David Vitter and Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards looking good to secure the top-two spots and advance to the Nov. 21 general. They give Vitter and Edwards 38 and 27 percent respectively, with GOP Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne pretty far back with 15, and Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle bringing up the rear with 6.

These results are very similar to a recent Southern Media and Opinion Research poll, which also showed Edwards easily beating Dardenne for the second place spot. Given how Republican Louisiana has become in the last few cycles, it's hard to see Vitter losing a runoff to Edwards, though a Republican versus Republican contest between Vitter and Dardenne (or less likely, Vitter and Angelle) could be very interesting.

The gubernatorial field looks pretty set, but there's still one potential wildcard out there. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré has been considering the race, and he tells LaPolitics that he's still thinking about it. Honoré rose to prominence during Hurricane Katrina when he led the relief effort to New Orleans, and he shouldn't struggle for name recognition. In recent years, Honoré has decried the oil industry and opposed fracking, but his environmental positions haven't turned him into a Democrat: Honoré says if he runs, he'll likely do it as an independent.

It's possible that if Honoré gets in, he'll take enough Democratic voters away from Edwards to allow Dardenne to advance to a runoff with Vitter. However, MarblePort took a look at a hypothetical five-way jungle primary and found the opposite outcome. Vitter is still clearly in front with 34, while Edwards leads Dardenne by a wider 26-13. Honoré starts off making very little impact, taking only 7 to Angelle's 6.

MarblePort argues that because Honoré does so well among independents, he takes swing voters away and keeps someone like Dardenne from expanding his support. This is just one early poll and things could change, especially if Dardenne or his allies run some ads reminding Democratic voters that they have a lot in common with Honoré. But right now, a Vitter-Edwards runoff continues to look like the most likely scenario.

9:26 AM PT (Jeff Singer): NV-Sen, 01: Well, maybe Democratic Sen. Dina Titus is serious about a Senate bid after all. Titus had previously expressed interest in running to succeed Harry Reid, but after Reid, the DSCC, and EMILY's List rallied behind ex-state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, it looked unlikely she'd give up her safe House seat for a risky Senate bid. But Titus is once again saying that she's looking at the Senate race, and promises "a decision will be coming soon." Maybe Titus is just enjoying some extra time in the spotlight, but it does sound like she's really considering a "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" bid against the establishment-favored Masto.

If Titus goes ahead with it, it will open up her safely blue 1st District. There are no shortage of Democrats who could seek this Las Vegas seat, and a few of them may be already running for Congress. State Sen. Ruben Kihuen and ex-Assembywoman Lucy Flores are currently challenging GOP freshman Cresent Hardy in the 4th District, but they may be tempted to switch over to the 1st if Titus leaves (Kihuen ran for the 1st in 2012 but dropped out when he decided he couldn't beat Titus). Kihuen and Flores' legislative districts are mostly contained in the 1st, and if they won, they'd be insulated from even the worst GOP wave in this Obama 66-32 seat.

9:42 AM PT (David Jarman): Demographics: The Census Bureau has released its newest population estimates for the nation's major cities, many of which are still quickly growing. The biggest numeric gain was New York City, gaining 52,700 people between mid-2013 and mid-2014; San Jose, California, gets top billing in that it crossed the one million mark, bringing the total number of million-plus cities to 10. The biggest gainer, percentage-wise, though, was the fairly obscure San Marcos, Texas (up 7.9 percent over the year). Texas, in general, saw the biggest gains: 5 of the 10 largest population gains were in Texas (Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Fort Worth), and 6 of the 13 biggest percentage-wise gains were also in Texas (in suburban/exurban places).

Jed Kolko, now writing for FiveThirty Eight, has a worthwhile critique of the whole enterprise, though; how populous a "city" is, has nothing to do with how "urban"-feeling it is, but rather is mostly about where the city limits arbitrarily got drawn. His maps of the Houston, New York City, and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, that show which portions are urban, suburban, or rural, illustrate this point.  The "urban" portions of New York spill over the city limits into surrounding municipalities, while in Houston the "urban" portion stops well short of the city limits, leaving the city itself only 63 percent urban.

He does so using a neat method; his starting point for the urban/suburban divide -- which the Census Bureau doesn't make, as they only differentiate between urban and rural -- was to survey individuals and ask whether they considered themselves as living in an urban or suburban setting. From there, he was able to merge their responses with density data from the Census, to assign each ZIP code as urban, suburban, or rural.

9:46 AM PT (Jeff Singer): CO-Sen: National Republicans have not been remotely subtle about their goal to recruit Rep. Mike Coffman to challenge Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet. Coffman has won twice in a suburban Denver swing seat, and he's proven to be a very impressive fundraiser, though he's occasionally had his glitches. Coffman knows that he's the NRSC's top choice in the Centennial State and tells Roll Call that he'll probably decide "within the next month." Coffman didn't give any real hint as to which direction he's leaning, saying that he's "[s]till thinking. Never say never. But I haven’t ruled it out."

If Coffman says no, the GOP has some other possible candidates, but none of them exactly set the world on fire. El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn has been running for a while, but he's attracted little attention from anyone. State Sen. Ellen Roberts has expressed interest, though her eclectic mix of social views could be a liability in a GOP primary. Coffman's wife state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman could conceivably run if the congressman says no, but she hasn't shown much inclination to leave the job she was just elected to. Rep. Scott Tipton initially expressed interest, but he sounds unlikely to give up his seat now. There are some other names to watch, but there's no doubt the NRSC badly wants Coffman to be their standard bearer.

10:39 AM PT (Jeff Singer): AK-Sen, AL: Last week, Roll Call reported that state Sen. Mike Dunleavy may be interested in challenging Sen. Lisa Murkowski or Rep. Don Young in the GOP primary. On Tuesday, Dunleavy spoke to the Alaska Dispatch News about his plans: He didn't mention Young at all, but acknowledged that he is looking at facing Murkowski.

Dunleavy conceded that Murkowski has "always treated me decently, and I think vice versa," but he criticized her record in the Senate on national security. Dunleavy also previewed a possible attack line when he accused the federal government of working to “basically strangle the development of the state of Alaska and make us a dependent.”

Dunleavy said that he'd start considering more seriously when the legislative session ends, but that may take a little while: Gov. Bill Walker is likely to call another 30-day special session once the current one ends this week. If Dunleavy runs, he could definitely draw some blood from Murkowski. The incumbent has a reputation as a moderate Republican, and she actually lost her 2010 primary to little-known businessman Joe Miller in a complete shocker (Murkowski won the general election with a write-in campaign).

Murkowski is laying the groundwork early to prepare for another challenge, and her new position as chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee gives even skeptical Republicans a good reason to keep her in office. But if well-funded conservative groups decide to take aim at her, we could have a real race. Dunleavy also hails from the Mat-Su Valley, which is full of conservative primary voters. Dunleavy's chances will be a lot better if no other well-known Republicans get in, and he may be in luck. Roll Call previously reported that if Dunleavy opposes Murkowski, Miller is likely to take on Young.

Democrats know that they wouldn't have much of a shot at beating Murkowski but if it looks like she could lose her primary, it's possible that we'll see ex-Sen. Mark Begich try for a comeback. Even if Begich says no, Team Blue will probably try and recruit a respectable candidate if Murkowski looks like she's in trouble, though their bench is thin in the Last Frontier.

11:10 AM PT (Jeff Singer): KY-Gov: Tea partying businessman Matt Bevin emerged from Tuesday's GOP primary with only an 83-vote lead over state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, and it's no surprise that Comer is requesting that the results be recanvassed. However, as Al Cross of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues reminds us, the recanvass is unlikely to change much even in a contest this tight. Most of the voting process is electronic, so there's less room for mistakes. We saw that in 2010 in the state's 6th District, where just one vote moved after the recanvass.

The recanvass is scheduled for the morning of May 28 and we'll see where things stand after that. However, while Comer has promised to get behind Bevin if things don't change, he hasn't ruled out seeking a recount if he gains votes next Thursday. A recount would take a lot longer to finish and Democratic nominee Jack Conway would love it if Comer dragged things out, but it doesn't sound like Comer's going to try unless he thinks he has a real path to victory after May 28.

11:28 AM PT (Jeff Singer): PA-Sen: The Democratic primary to face Republican Sen. Pat Toomey has been locked in stasis for a while. National Democrats are dreading the idea of having Joe Sestak serve as their nominee again, and his weak first quarter haul didn't assuage any of their fears. However, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, the only other notable candidate, didn't impress anyone with his 2014 gubernatorial bid.

The DSCC has been reaching out to Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro but he's been non-committal. Meanwhile, potential candidates state Sen. Vincent Hughes, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, and ex-Rep. Chris Carney haven't said anything about their plans in months. Maybe a Shapiro decision can break the logjam, but it's anyone's guess when he'll make his 2016 plans clear.

Politico tells us that Democrats are looking for other potential candidates, and one of them may be Katie McGinty. McGinty ran for governor in 2014 and took only 8 percent of the vote, but she impressed eventual winner Tom Wolf. McGinty serves as Wolf's chief of staff and if she ran for Senate, she could count on more institutional support then she enjoyed last year. Of course, that's a big if, and there's no word if McGinty is even interested.

11:40 AM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-18: Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino came close to unseating Maryland Democrat John Delaney last year, but he decided to move to Florida rather than seek a rematch. But Bongino isn't putting his political ambitions on hold, telling Sunshine State News that he's considering running for this light red open seat. Bongino does have a good fundraising network, so he could stand out if he gets into what should be a crowded GOP primary. Of course, his opponents aren't going to hesitate to portray him as a carpetbagger. But even if the blows land, Bongino could still slip through if this contest is packed enough.

11:45 AM PT (Jeff Singer): MD-08: Hotel executive Kathleen Matthews has been talking about running for this safely blue open seat for a while, and it looks like she's all but in. Matthews just resigned from her post at Marriott, and it's very unlikely her decision isn't a prerequisite to a House bid. Four notable Democrats are already running for this suburban D.C. seat, and several more could join them before too long.

1:53 PM PT (Jeff Singer): Site News: The Daily Kos Elections Live Digest will be taking Friday and Monday off for the extended Memorial Day weekend. We'll be back here on Tuesday: In the meantime, have a great holiday!

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KY-Gov: We were expecting a tight GOP primary, but not this tight! With all precincts reporting, tea partying businessman Matt Bevin leads state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer by just 83 votes, a 0.04 percent margin. Former Louisville Councilor Hal Heiner took third with 27.1 percent of the vote, while former state Supreme Court Justice Will Scott brought up the rear with just 7.2 percent. Comer says he'll ask to have the results recanvassed, which won't take place until May 28. The Lexington Herald-Leader's Sam Youngman describes the process:
In a recanvass, printed vote totals are checked against figures sent to the state Board of Elections. No individual votes are actually recounted.
It's rare for election outcomes to change after the fact, but you never know what will happen in a race this close. However, Comer says that if he's still behind when all is said and done, he'll back Bevin.

Tuesday's vote brings an end to an incredibly nasty primary. A few weeks ago, Comer's college girlfriend came forward and accused him of abusing her two decades ago and taking her to get an abortion, and her former roommates confirmed parts of her story. Comer denied everything and in turn accused Heiner of paying her to lie. Comer also claimed that a blogger connected to Heiner threatened his running mate's children, a charge local prosecutors are investigating. Bevin managed to stay out of the slugfest, though Heiner ran a last-minute spot that sought to drag him into the muck with Comer.

Bevin's apparent victory comes just one year after his primary challenge against now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went down in flames. When Bevin entered the gubernatorial race at the last minute, he appeared to have a better shot of winning than he did in his prior attempt, but he was still the underdog. However, Bevin had the personal resources to join Heiner and Comer on television, and while McConnell was able to portray Bevin as a big-spending hypocrite, Bevin benefited from having the spotlight trained on his two major rivals. Heiner's allies ran ads against Bevin that rehashed some of McConnell's old attacks, but they weren't quite enough this time. However, if he proceeds to the general election, he can expect Team Blue to zero in on his many flaws.

The eventual Republican nominee will face Attorney General Jack Conway, who easily won the Democratic primary. While Kentucky is a conservative state, voters there have been much more willing to elect Democrats at the state level even as they've spurned them federally. A recent SurveyUSA poll gave Conway a hefty 48-37 lead against Bevin, though things may get closer once the wounds from this primary start to heal. At the very least, Conway won't mind if his would-be Republican foes spend a little extra time fighting with one another. (Jeff Singer)

Jacksonville Mayor: Voters went to the polls in the mayoral runoff in Florida's largest city, and Republican businessman Lenny Curry narrowly unseated Democratic incumbent Alvin Brown by a 51-49 margin. Brown was always in for a tough campaign in this conservative city, and the state GOP made winning city hall back a major priority. Brown did his best to appeal to crossover voters even though he was always at risk of jeopardizing his popularity with his party's base; in the end, he simply came up short. (Jeff Singer)

Philadelphia Mayor: Former City Councilor Jim Kenney won a decisive victory in Tuesday's Democratic primary, defeating state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams 56-26. Williams' pro-charter school allies heavily outspent Kenney's labor backers, but Kenney was able to win over key endorsements from notable African-American politicians, even though Kenney is white and Williams is black.

Kenney also benefited from ex-District Attorney Lynne Abraham's steep drop in support. While Abraham started the contest with high name recognition, she didn't have much money or any high-spending super PACs on her side, and in the end, she only took 8 percent of the vote.

A late gaffe by Williams also appears to have contributed to his defeat. Williams called for the dismissal of Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, arguing that he was the architect of Philadelphia's stop-and-frisk policies. However, Ramsey was incredibly popular across racial lines, and Williams had no time to recover from this misstep. Philadelphia hasn't elected a non-Democratic mayor since the 1940s, and Kenney will be the heavy favorite in November. (Jeff Singer)

8:08 AM PT (Jeff Singer): Special Elections: Via Johnny Longtorso:

New Hampshire House, Rockingam-32: This was a Republican hold; Yvonne Dean-Bailey defeated Democrat Maureen Mann by a 52-48 margin.

Pennsylvania SD-05: Democrats easily held this seat, no doubt due in part to the mayoral primary occurring at the same time. Democrat John Sabatina Jr. defeated Republican Tim Dailey by a 76-24 margin.

The New Hampshire contest would have attracted little attention if it was held in almost any other state, but GOP presidential candidates couldn't resist the chance to wave the red flag for party activists. Rick Perry and Carly Fiorina stumped for Dean-Bailey, a 19-year old attending college in Massachusetts. Americans for Prosperity also got involved in get-out-the-vote efforts. Romney won this seat 54-45 so Dean-Bailey's win wasn't a huge surprise in the end.

8:25 AM PT (Jeff Singer): CA State Senate: Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer pulled off a 55-45 win over Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla in the special election to succeed Rep. Mark DeSaulnier. While both candidates are Democrats, this contest attracted $7 million worth of spending. While Glazer has served a close advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown, he has a terrible relationship with labor groups.

One major issue in the contest was whether Bay Area Rapid Transportation (BART) union workers should be allowed to strike. Glazer came down strongly against it, and he struck a chord with voters in this East Bay seat. A recent SurveyUSA poll, which gave Glazer a 45-35 lead just days before the vote, found that respondents said that BART workers should not be allowed to strike by a 60-30 margin. Two 2013 BART walkouts caused problems for local commuters, and the issue helped Republican Catherine Baker win a local Obama 58-40 Assembly seat last year. Glazer's reputation as am moderate also helped him make inroads with the seat's Republican minority, which appears to have overwhelmingly backed him against Bonilla.

8:39 AM PT (Jeff Singer): Charlotte Mayor: Republican ex-Councilor Edwin Peacock lost the 2013 race to Democrat Patrick Cannon by a respectable 53-47 margin, and he announced on Tuesday that he's trying again. Peacock should be favored against 2011 nominee Scott Stone in the GOP primary, and he may have a good chance to prevail here in November. Charlotte is a Democratic-leaning city, but Peacock's last race proved that city hall isn't out of reach for Republicans.

Peacock may not learn the identity of his opponent for a while though. Interim Mayor Dan Clodfelter, who replaced Cannon after his arrest and resignation last year, will face Councilors Michael Barnes and David Howard and former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jennifer Roberts in the Sept. 15 Democratic primary, and an Oct. 6 runoff will be held if no one takes more than 40 percent of the vote.

8:49 AM PT (Jeff Singer): Colorado Springs Mayor: Voters in Colorado's second-largest city went to the polls in Tuesday's runoff and to no one's surprise, former state Attorney General John Suthers defeated ex-Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace by a 68-32 margin. Suthers outpaced the moderate Makepeace by a 46-24 margin in the primary and with two conservative candidates taking most of the remaining vote, she didn't have much room to expand. Over the years, the GOP has attempted to convince Suthers to run for Senate or for governor but he's always declined, and it seems he's now found his dream job.

9:02 AM PT (Jeff Singer): Toledo Mayor: The special election to fill the final two years of the late Mayor Michael Collins' term is getting interesting. On Wednesday, his widow Sandy Drabik Collins announced that she would run as an independent, pledging to carry out his agenda.

Interim Democratic Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson is already running and she appears to have consolidated her party's support, but she could face another well-known Democrat. Former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said this week that he's seriously thinking about another campaign, and he'll make a decision by the late summer. Finkbeiner voluntarily left office in 2009 and love him or hate him, he's not a boring guy. There will be no primary for this special election, and all the candidates will run together on one non-partisan ballot in November: The filing deadline is Sept. 4.

9:09 AM PT (Jeff Singer): DE-Gov: Democrats had been wondering why former state Attorney General Beau Biden hasn't made his 2016 plans clear, and it looks like we may have to keep waiting. On Tuesday, his father Vice President Joe Biden announced that Beau is receiving treatment at Walter Reed for an undisclosed illness. The younger Biden suffered a stoke in 2010 and had a small lesion removed in 2013.

9:25 AM PT (David Jarman): WA-Gov, WA-Sen: Washington's Democratic Governor Jay Inslee won only a narrow victory when first elected in 2012, but Public Policy Polling suggests he'll have an easier time of it when he runs for re-election, even if it's a rematch against ex-Attorney General Rob McKenna. Inslee sports a 41-42 job approval, consistent with an uneventful first few years and an improving economy; his strength in head-to-head matchups seems more about the fact that the Republicans don't have any top-tier options who seem interested in challenging him.

• 46-34 vs. Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant

• 45-31 vs. state Sen. Andy Hill

• 43-38 vs. ex-Attorney General/2012 opponent Rob McKenna

• 45-34 vs. Rep. Dave Reichert

The only potential opponent who comes within single digits is McKenna, who seemed like he was interested in a rematch right after the 2012 election but lately has seemed uninterested in re-emerging from the private sector. The only candidate who has actually declared, Bryant, trails by 11, and that's not purely an artifact of Bryant being largely unknown (with 5-12 favorable): you can see that Inslee polls at 43 vs. McKenna, while at 46 vs. Bryant, so McKenna's presence seems to change a few minds.

What's perhaps most surprising is that Dave Reichert, long considered the best option on the GOP's bench for a statewide run (an option he never exercises, preferring to keep his House seat, which got much safer after redistricting), performs closer in line with the nobodies than with McKenna. You can also see that in PPP's poll of Washington's 2016 Senate race, where he's also down by double digits against Patty Murray, who'll be seeking her fifth term. Perhaps some of the novelty of his "tough-guy-who's-also-moderate" shtick has worn off, as he's gotten more entrenched as a part of the national GOP's house.

• 47-37 vs. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler

• 46-41 vs. McKenna

• 48-37 vs. Reichert

• 48-35 vs. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

While McKenna also comes within single-digits of Murray, Reichert performs about as well as Herrera Beutler. Bear in mind, though, that none of these named opponents has expressed any interest in running; McMorris Rodgers isn't going to give up her House GOP leadership slot for a suicide mission, and party elders would probably discourage Herrera Beutler from running anyway, since an open WA-03 would be at serious risk of flipping in a presidential year. Basically, any Republican with any juice would focus on the potentially-winnable gubernatorial race instead, meaning the person with the thankless task of opposing Murray will probably be either a random rich guy or a state legislator looking to build up some name rec.

Part of the unremarkable-ness of Inslee's tenure is that he and the legislature haven't really done much other than just keep the lights on (nothing big is going to happen as long as Republicans control the state Senate). Instead, the momentous changes have happened through the initiative process -- which is usually the case in the west coast states anyway, even when one party holds the trifecta. PPP also polled the recently passed initiatives legalizing recreational marijuana, recognizing same-sex marriage, and expanding background checks on gun purchases.

They found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that voters now approve of those choices by wider margins now than the original vote. For instance, while same-sex marriage was approved by an 8-point margin, respondents now approve of it by a 56-36 margin, and 53 percent say it's had no impact on them at all. Interestingly, gun purchase background checks are even more popular than either same-sex marriage or marijuana: respondents now approve of background checks by a 68-24 margin, and in a sample where 41 percent of respondents own guns, only 18 percent say the measure has had a negative impact on them.

9:32 AM PT (Jeff Singer): ME-02: Freshman Republican Bruce Poliquin will be a top Democratic target in his 53-44 Obama seat, but Team Blue knows it won't be easy to beat him. Maine's 2nd District hasn't ousted an incumbent member of Congress since 1916, and Poliquin has proven to be an incredibly good fundraiser. 2014 nominee Emily Cain, who lost to Poliquin by a 47-42 margin, is running again, but her $136,000 haul last quarter isn't scaring off one potential primary foe.

Bangor Councilor Joe Baldacci, the brother of former Gov. John Baldacci, has been mulling a campaign for a while. Last week, Baldacci released part of a mid-April PPP survey that he says shows him "in a statistical dead heat" with Poliquin. Baldacci hasn't committed to anything, but he's been meeting with local Democratic groups. But it appears we won't be seeing a rerun from former state Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson. While he has yet to rule anything out, he tells Roll Call that he's less likely to run since Cain is getting national Democratic support already. Jackson badly lost last year's primary to Cain, so it's not too surprising he doesn't have much of an appetite for another go.

9:50 AM PT (Jeff Singer): NV-Sen, 03: After initially ruling out a Senate run, Republican Rep. Joe Heck is now reportedly leaning strongly toward a bid. However, Roll Call reports that Heck is likely to wait on finalizing his plans until Gov. Brian Sandoval has completely and utterly ruled out a campaign. Sandoval is likely to make his announcement after the legislative session ends in early June. There's little reason to expect that Sandoval will jump in, but he hasn't said no yet.

Speculation has begun to turn to who would run to succeed Heck in the swingy 3rd District. GOP state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson looks likely to go for it, and tea partying Las Vegas Councilor Bob Beers may drop down from the Senate race to this contest. Beers hasn't attracted much attention in his year-long Senate bid, but he could draw some blood from Roberson if he can turn the spotlight on his support for Sandoval's proposed tax increases. Democrats will want to contest this seat especially if Heck leaves, but their top recruit philanthropist Susie Lee just kicked off her campaign for the neighboring 4th District.

10:06 AM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-06: Duval County Sheriff John Rutherford is about to leave office, and he seems to have his next campaign in mind. Rutherford tells First Coast Connect that he's "eyeing" this safely red open seat, and is "looking at putting a team together as we speak."

None of Jacksonville's Duval County is in the 6th, and only about one-third of the district is located in the Jacksonville media market. However, if enough Orlando-area candidates run, Rutherford might have a good shot in the GOP primary. And sure enough, former New Smyrna Beach Mayor Adam Barringer is already in, and ex-Rep. Sandy Adams looks likely to take the plunge soon. However, state Sen. Travis Hutson's office has announced that he will not be joining them.

10:20 AM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-18: Palm Beach County Commissioners Priscilla Taylor and Melissa McKinlay are already facing off to succeed Senate candidate Patrick Murphy, and lawyer Jonathan Chane is reportedly considering joining them in the Democratic primary. It's often difficult to tell if these various attorneys are legit candidates or Some Dudes, but the fact that Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg is the one relaying Chane's interest makes it sound like he has some connections.

Three Republicans are already running in this Romney 52-48 seat, and they may also be about to get come company. Stephen Leighton, who serves as the Community Operations & Emergency Management director at the Martin County sheriff's department, says he's interested. However, while his call for a "bipartisan, moderate representative" probably isn't going to gain much traction, he could hold back fellow Martin County moderate Rebecca Negron if he gets in.

K.C. Ingram Traylor, who has been active in opposing a proposed Miami-to-Orlando rail service, is also publicly considering, but she has her own apostasy. Traylor appeared in a spot for Murphy last year, arguing that the Democrat was "independent, like me." Something tells me that's not going to sit well with GOP primary voters.

10:43 AM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-Sen: GOP Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera recently said that he wouldn't make a final decision on whether or not to run until the late summer, but according to the National Journal, it's not indecision that's delaying him. Instead, Lopez-Cantera is using his time as a non-candidate to attract donors to his super PAC Reform Washington, which can raise unlimited amounts of money. Once Lopez-Cantera actually becomes a candidate he can't coordinate with the group, but right now there's nothing stopping him from working on building it up ahead of what will be an expensive race.

Jeb Bush is trying this approach in the presidential race, and a lot of politicians are going to be watching both men closely to see if it's worth trying something like this in future cycles. However, one downside is that would-be candidates can't hire campaign staff, so a long delay could cost them critical talent.

11:02 AM PT (Jeff Singer): KY-Gov: Matt Bevin's apparent 83-vote win in Tuesday's GOP primary wasn't just one of the tightest contests we've ever seen, it was the closest major party gubernatorial primary in Kentucky history. Smart Politics takes a look at both parties' history since the early 1900s and finds that before this, the closest Republican primary was in 1991, when Rep. Larry Hopkins beat lawyer Larry Forgy by a 50.6-49.4 margin. However, Hopkin's 1,945 vote win feels like a landslide compared to the cliffhanger we saw on Tuesday! Ultimately, Hopkins lost to Lt. Gov. Brereton Jones by a decisive 65-35 margin.

On the Democratic side, the closest gubernatorial primary was in 1983, when Lt. Gov. Martha Collins beat Louisville Mayor Harvey Sloane 34.0-33.3, or by 4,532 votes. The tight primary didn't keep Collins from defeating former Major league Baseball player and future Sen. Jim Bunning by a 55-44 margin though.

While Attorney General Jack Conway's primary was just an afterthought compared to the messy GOP race, he did make history on Tuesday. Smart Politics reports that Conway's 79-21 margin over perennial candidate Geoff Young was the most decisive showing in any contested Democratic gubernatorial primary. Because Democrats traditionally dominated the Blue Grass State, it makes sense that they'd have plenty of up-and-comers looking for promotions. But while Team Blue still holds the state House and most statewide offices, the party rallied behind Conway in preparation for what could be a tight race.

12:02 PM PT: NY-01: So it turns out that Long Island Democrats will have to fight it out for the right to take on freshman GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin, but the latest entrant isn't exactly a Democrat herself. Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst is a member of the Independence Party who has, in the past, received the backing of the Democratic Party under New York's fusion voting rules. However, she'll have to switch her registration to run in the Democratic primary, something she says she's doing.

Venture capitalist Dave Calone, who joined the race earlier this month, took a subtle dig at Throne-Holst after she announced her bid on Wednesday, calling himself a "lifelong Democrat." It's the kind of issue that could come up in a primary, but the DCCC isn't bothered by her party switch, though, as the committee has already met with her in D.C., as has EMILY's List. (The D-Trip has met with Calone, too.) Two other candidates are also considering the race, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn and former Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko.

12:08 PM PT (David Jarman): Philadelphia mayor: If you're wondering how Jim Kenney wound up winning the Democratic primary in the Philadelphia mayoral race with surprising ease, take a look at Philadelphia magazine's lengthy recap of the race, which touches on every nuance of this race. Kenney's feat initially seems surprising, since he was running against a well-known African-American state Senator in a city that's plurality-black, and he was splitting the blue-collar white vote with a former District Attorney with a law-and-order reputation.

Nevertheless,  here's their summary of how he won:

•Large numbers of black voters were unsatisfied with Williams, the only high-profile black candidate in the race. Many were looking for an alternative.

•Kenney locked up union support early — and not just the Electricians. He won the backing of the city employee unions, the teacher’s union, the hospital workers union, to name just a few. These are unions with large numbers of middle-class black voters, many of whom seem to have voted for Kenney.

•He secured what proved to be a critical early endorsement from a group of influential black political leaders in Northwest Philadelphia, headed by State Rep. Dwight Evans.
On top of that, Kenney managed to position himself well with middle- and upper-middle-class whites as the most progressive candidate on issues like LGBT rights and marijuana decriminalization. And Kenney was helped along by Williams' own problems, including ineffective ads from his pro-charter school backers (who never went negative against Kenney), and a late implosion when Williams went after the city's popular police chief.

1:29 PM PT: NY-02: Democrats would love to oust veteran GOP Rep. Peter King from his Long Island House seat, but he's held in with ox-like stubbornness for years even though his district gave 52 percent of its vote to Barack Obama. Will 2016 finally be the year that King is deposed? It would take a hell of a lot, but Suffolk County Legislator DuWayne Gregory, the chamber's presiding officer and an Army veteran, is going to give it a shot.

King has been in office since 1993 and has always won re-election handily. Even though he's quite conservative by his own admission, he's managed to carve out a reputation as a security-obsessed loudmouth who knows when to break with his party and support local interests. In other words, he knows how to appeal perfectly to worried New York suburbanites.

But lately, he's been making goofy noises about running for president—he even claims he's "50-50"!—and that's the kind of thing that never endears you to your constituents. It could also be a sign that King, who is 71, has finally gotten bored of the House. So whether he does or doesn't actually run (what a thing to type), Gregory will have the chance to make the case that the 2nd District deserves someone more engaged representing it. Add in a Hillary Clinton nomination at the top of the ticket and a surprise isn't impossible.

1:42 PM PT: MD-Sen: Here's an interesting bit of inside baseball that impinges on the Democratic primary for Senate in Maryland: According to a report in the New York Times, Rep. Donna Edwards joined a diverse group of fellow House members who tried to make the case to Nancy Pelosi earlier this year that Chris Van Hollen would have enough support from the caucus to succeed her as party leader, rather than Steny Hoyer, the current number two.

The lobbying effort failed, though. Pelosi reportedly refused to offer any assurances that she'd offer her own backing to Van Hollen, who then decided to run for Barbara Mikulski's open Senate seat instead. All this is trivia for junkies, of course, but as one nameless Van Hollen backer suggests to the Baltimore Sun, Edwards' criticism of Van Hollen's progressive credentials is "undermine[d]" by her support for his leadership bid. However, is this the kind of thing Van Hollen's camp will really push, though, and would voters even care? Probably not. Still, it's a rare look inside back rooms branching off the halls of power, and it shows that appearances can be very deceiving when it comes to political relationships.

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8:17 AM PT (Jeff Singer): IN-Gov: Less than a year ago, it looked quite possible that GOP Gov. Mike Pence would forgo his re-election campaign in order to run for president. But over the last few months, Pence sounded reluctant to risk his day job. In any case, the national firestorm over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act pretty much ended any chance Pence had at running a serious bid for the White House, and turned his once-safe re-election campaign into a much tougher slog. So it comes as no surprise that Pence's campaign says that he will announce on June 18 that he will seek a second term as governor.

8:37 AM PT (Jeff Singer): IL-08: Democratic state Sen. Tom Cullerton formed an exploratory committee shortly after Rep. Tammy Duckworth announced that she would run for Senate, and he made his campaign official this week. Cullerton comes from a powerful family (his cousin is the state Senate president) and is well-connected to labor. Cullerton will face businessman and 2012 candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi, and fellow state Sen. Mike Noland has also formed an exploratory committee. The Democratic nominee should be favored in this Obama 57-41 Chicagoland seat.

12:20 PM PT (Jeff Singer): NH-01: In what passes for good news for Rep. Frank Guinta these days, the New Hampshire Republican Party’s Executive Committee decided not to call for his resignation on Monday. Their statement wasn't exactly warm, saying that Guinta "[u]nless further information comes to light, the Executive Committee of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, will take no further action."

Guinta has been in hot water since last week, when he paid a fine to the FEC over an illegal six-figure 2010 donation from his parents, and prominent Republicans like Sen. Kelly Ayotte have called for his departure. Guinta has maintained that the donation was legal but hasn't convincingly explained why, and he awkwardly refused to answer questions from Roll Call on Monday.  

Guinta looks very likely to face a credible primary challenger if he follows through with his plans to seek another term, but, at least for now, his base isn't calling for his head. According to GOP pollster Reach Communications, registered Republicans in NH-01 agree Guinta should not resign by a 61-39 margin. It's unclear if Reach (whom we've never heard from before) allowed respondents to say if they were undecided or not. There's a big difference between saying that Guinta shouldn't resign in disgrace and saying that he should be renominated, but this survey may encourage him to keep hanging on. Democrats are going to contest this swing seat regardless, but they'd rather face a damaged Guinta than a fresh opponent.

12:26 PM PT (Jeff Singer): CA-17: Former Obama Administration official Ro Khanna came close to unseating fellow Democrat Mike Honda last year, and he's set to make a "special announcement" on May 30. It's probably too much for Honda fans to hope that Khanna raised $801,000 only to decide not to run again.

1:11 PM PT (Jeff Singer): PA-AG: Two years ago, Democratic state Attorney General Kathleen Kane was a rising star in Pennsylvania politics who looked likely to serve in the Senate or governor's mansion before too long. Now, Kane is facing an indictment for allegedly leaking secretive information to embarrass political enemies. Over at Philadelphia Magazine, Robert Huber gives us a fascinating look at Kane's rise and fall.

2:01 PM PT: FL-Sen: Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson's divorce settlement with his estranged wife, which would reportedly have annulled their marriage, has fallen apart. We don't know why, though supposedly Grayson signed the agreement but his wife did not. Why is this even news, though? Because Grayson couldn't resist taking an ugly, public swipe at his wife—the mother of their five children—on his way into court:

"I'll sum it up for you. Gold diggers gotta dig. That's all I gotta say," Grayson said on Monday. "We had an agreement. She's trying to renege."
And Grayson's gotta grayse. Lately he's sent his acerbic rhetoric into turbo mode: He dubbed one local reporter a "shitting robot," berated two others, reportedly cursed at DSCC chair Jon Tester, and allegedly called Rep. Patrick Murphy, his would-be primary rival, a piece of shit. So Grayson's latest outburst is far from surprising, but it certainly doesn't help his hot-headed image, and this isn't exactly the kind of remark your average woman voter will like.

Meanwhile, we have a new name emerging on the GOP side. Marc Caputo reports that wealthy businessman Randy Fine might drop his bid for the state House and take on a much more ambitious Senate campaign. Supposedly, Fine is willing to self-fund "seven figures," though even at the higher end of the range, that's not terribly impressive for Florida (Gov. Rick Scott spent $70 million of his own money in 2010). Right now, the only declared Republican is Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Club for Growth acolyte, so you know that the establishment is looking for an alternative. Whether that's Fine or, say, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, remains to be seen.

Discuss
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) announces she will run for the U.S. Senate seat of vacating California Senator Barbara Boxer during an event  in Santa Ana, California May 14, 2015. Sanchez said on Thursday she would take on California Attorney General Kamala Harris for the Democratic nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, the Los Angeles Times reported.   REUTERS/Mike Blake . - RTX1D0AX
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
Unreal. This is one of the grossest things we've seen from a Democratic candidate in a long while. Here's California Rep. Loretta Sanchez, demonstrating a "war whoop" to describe an East Indian supporter she once met with:
"So I'm going to his office, thinkin' that I'm going to go meet with a," she said, holding her hand in front of her mouth and making an echo sound. "Right? ... because he said Indian American."
Fellow Democrats pounded Sanchez, a newly minted Senate candidate who stumbled badly in her first week, until she coughed up an apology, but this is the kind of display that could (and probably should) prove disqualifying. What makes this more problematic is that Sanchez, whom the Sacramento Bee politely labeled as "unscripted," has an unfortunate history of racially clueless remarks: In her 2010 re-election campaign, she said that "Vietnamese and Republicans" were attempting "to take this seat from us … and give it to this Van Tran, who is very anti-immigrant and very anti-Hispanic." (Tran is Vietnamese, and Sanchez had to apologize then, too.)

One thing Sanchez may actually understand, though, is how precarious her situation is. She waited months to get into the race for retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer's open seat, a delay that allowed state Attorney General Kamala Harris to raise millions and consolidate support from the Democratic establishment. After her dismaying blunder, Sanchez was asked if she might instead seek re-election to the House. Her response was very telling:

"I am running for the United States Senate, and we're running full bore to talk to people up and down California, and we think that by the time we finish, and [the June 2016 primary] rolls around, we're going to be moving into the general election."
Sanchez's failure to actually answer the question put to her means she hasn't ruled out the possibility of a quick about-face. It would be a humiliating climb-down, but it wouldn't be any more humiliating than what Sanchez has already put herself through.
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KY-Gov: Tuesday's GOP primary has been dominated by accusations that James Comer abused his girlfriend Marilyn Thomas in college. Along with Thomas, two of her former roommates have publicly stated that Comer abused her either physically or mentally. On Friday, GOP state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, who supports primary rival Hal Heiner, told the Courier-Journal that she has three lifelong friends who have known about Comer's actions for the last two decades, and Forgy Kerr says she "knows" that the allegations are true.

One of them, Tim Janes, said that he was best friends with Jim Coursey when he was dating Thomas in the mid-1990s, before Comer's political career started. Janes says that Thomas "confided to me in 1995 that Jamie Comer had abused her, how he controlled and how domineering he was to her." Coursey's sister also says that she knew for years that Thomas had been in an abusive relationship in college, though she wasn't aware of Comer's involvement. So far, Thomas' story doesn't appear to have knocked Comer out of contention, but he can't be happy that this is getting more oxygen right before the primary. (Jeff Singer)

NH-01: GOP Rep. Frank Guinta has been in hot water since he paid a huge fine to the FEC last week over a mysterious six-figure donation from 2010. Prominent Republicans aren't doing much to support him, and the Boston Globe's James Pindell reports that they're actively looking for another candidate. Guinta reiterated on Friday that he's running again in 2016, but it's likely that he's going to get a lot of pressure from the NRCC to resign or retire so they can have a candidate without his baggage. (Jeff Singer)

8:53 AM PT (Jeff Singer): LA-Gov: Sen. David Vitter continues to scoop up big GOP endorsements, with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise joining the pile. Unlike his House colleagues John Fleming and Charles Boustany, the powerful Scalise probably isn't looking for a Senate appointment (though he likely wouldn't say no if it were offered). Freshman Rep. Ralph Abraham endorsed Vitter last month, leaving Garrett Graves as the only GOP member of the delegation who isn't backing the senator yet.

10:06 AM PT (David Jarman): Demographics: The discussion of demographics and politics has taken a rather morbid turn lately, with a number of stories talking about the role of death (or, more broadly, generational replacement). Daniel McGraw, writing for Politico magazine, has a provocative addition to that trend, with a piece titled "The GOP is dying off. Literally." His article is based on some interesting math, combining exit polls with mortality data from the Census Bureau. He uses that to conclude that of the 61 million people who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, 2.75 million of them will be missing from the electorate in 2016 (inasmuch as they'll be dead). Of course, that's a two-way street, but only 2.3 million of the 66 million people who voted for Barack Obama instead (who are disproportionately younger) will die in that same period, a disparity of 453,000.

There are some nuances here that McGraw's article doesn't go into, though. For one thing, you may remember the discussion only a few weeks ago of how premature death rates among African-Americans have their own negative impact on Democratic political fortunes. Also, there's simply the matter that this is an ongoing, perpetual problem; the same trend of Republican-leaning voters dying at a greater rate applied in 2008 ... and yet, Mitt Romney got more votes than did John McCain. The slow erosion doesn't happen at a rate fast enough to outweigh other, bigger shifts in the electorate.

10:24 AM PT (David Jarman): Votes: The House voted on the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" last Wednesday; the bill passed with 238 Republican and 4 Democratic yes votes, to 180 Democratic and 4 Republican no votes. The four Dems who voted yes were three of the 'usual suspects,' Henry Cuellar, Dan Lipinski, and Collin Peterson, along with Rhode Island's Jim Langevin. The four Republicans were also three of the ones likeliest to break ranks (Bob Dold, Charlie Dent, and Richard Hanna) along with Rodney Frelinghuysen.

As a reminder of how far the Democrats have come, in terms of being nearly united on this issue, think back to our post from earlier this year on what happened to the 64 Dems who voted yes on the Stupak Amendment in 2009. Of that 64, only 12 remain (between losses and retirements -- though, of course, if the Dems still had a majority in the House, it'd probably include significantly more Blue Dogs in rural districts, meaning that we wouldn't likely have that same level of unity). And of those 12, only three voted 'yes' on a similar bill in 2015 to exclude abortion coverage from ACA plans. Who were those three? Once again, it was Cuellar, Lipinski, and Peterson.

10:32 AM PT (Jeff Singer): Jacksonville Mayor: Voters head to the polls Tuesday, and a new poll indicates we're in for a barnburner. VancoreJones Communications takes a look at the contest on behalf of a conservative business group, and gives Republican Lenny Curry a 44-43 edge over Democratic incumbent Alvin Brown. The only other recent poll we've seen comes from St. Pete Polls, and they showed Curry up 49-45. (Hat-Tip Marc Caputo).

Jacksonville is a conservative city, and Brown always knew he was in for a tough race. However, as Tyler Yeargain reminds us in a great preview to this contest, Brown may have alienated too many Democrats. While Brown's reluctance to back Obama in 2012 and refusal to side with Charlie Crist in last year's gubernatorial contest could have earned him some cross-over support, there's a real chance it will depress base turnout when all is said and done. We'll find out Tuesday if Brown can pull off a second win in this red area.

10:56 AM PT (Jeff Singer): Nashville Mayor: We have a while to go before the Aug. 6 non-partisan primary, but two candidates just released internal polls. First up is a May Greenberg Quinlan Rosner survey from wealthy developer Bill Freeman, which we've summarize below:

• Real estate executive Bill Freeman: 20

• Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry: 16

• Councilor Megan Barry: 16

• Businesswoman Linda Eskind Rebrovick: 9

• Attorney Charles Robert Bone: 5

• Former Metro Nashville School Board Chairman David Fox: 4

• Charter school founder Jeremy Kane: 4

A previously unreleased Freeman poll from early April showed Gentry beating Barry 27-13, with Freeman at 11. Freeman has been airing ads, though it's unclear how much he's spending.

Gentry has also released his own poll, also conducted in May. The results of the Mellman Group survey are below:

• Gentry: 21

• Freeman: 19

• Barry: 10

• Rebrovick: 8

• Bone: 6

• Fox: 4

• Kane: 2

Most of the candidates haven't spent very much yet, so expect things to change before August. As the only African American candidate in the contest, Gentry has a good chance to advance to the runoff, but a lot is up in the air here.

11:02 AM PT (Jeff Singer): Special Elections: Via Johnny Longtorso:

New Hampshire House, Rockingham-32: This is an open Republican seat encompassing the towns of Candia, Deerfield, Northwood, and Nottingham. The Democratic candidate is Maureen Mann, who won this seat in 2012 by 21 votes but lost it 55-45 in 2014. She also held this seat from 2007 to 2010 when it elected five representatives; it's a single-member floterial seat now.

The Republican nominee is Yvonne Dean-Bailey, a 19-year-old college freshman at a school in Massachusetts (Scott Brown has apparently started a trend here). Mitt Romney carried this seat 54-45 in 2012, while Scott Brown and Walt Haverstein both won it 54-46 in 2014.

Pennsylvania SD-05: This is the seat vacated by Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, located in northeast Philadelphia. The candidates are Democratic state Rep. John Sabatina Jr. and Republican Tim Dailey, a high school teacher. This district went 63-36 for President Obama in 2012.

11:20 AM PT (Jeff Singer): Primaries: Tuesday brings us one of the year's biggest election nights, with Kentucky's unpredictable and nasty GOP gubernatorial primary headlining. We also have a Democratic mayoral primary in Philadelphia and a general election in Jacksonville, Florida to watch. Check out our primary preview for a rundown of each contest, as well as poll closing times: We'll be liveblogging the proceedings Tuesday starting at 6 ET.

11:20 AM PT (Jeff Singer): CA State Senate: Tuesday's runoff in California's 7th Senate District in the East Bay features two Democrats facing off against one another, but don't be fooled into thinking this isn't a high-stakes race. Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla has the support of labor and environmental groups, who have spent big for her. On the other side is Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer, a longtime advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown. Despite that connection, Glazer has a terrible relationship with labor, and plenty of Democrats are furious at him for endorsing Republican Catharine Baker's successful Assembly bid last year.

Altogether, a monstrous $7 million has been dropped here. While Obama won this seat 61-37, the district's Republican minority could decide this contest, and they're likely to overwhelmingly back Glazer.

11:26 AM PT (Jeff Singer): NC-Gov: Sometimes, a candidate has been all-but-running for so long that you just can't muster up any excitement when they actually get in. So it is with Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, who finally confirmed on Saturday that he's going to challenge Republican Gov. Pat McCrory next year. Cooper is unlikely to face any real primary opposition, and polls forecast a tight general election.

11:37 AM PT (Jeff Singer): LA-03: Rep. Charles Boustany is one of a few Republicans hoping that David Vitter will appoint them to the Senate should he win this year's gubernatorial contest. If Boustany departs, it's a good bet that we'll see a crowded GOP contest in his Romney 66-32 southwest Louisiana seat, and one local politician is already taking a look here. The Advocate's Will Sentell reports that state Rep. Brett Geymann is publicly expressing interest in succeeding Boustany. Louisiana holds its legislative elections this year, so Geymann wouldn't need to sacrifice his seat to run.

12:40 PM PT (Jeff Singer): MD-Sen: It's been a long time since we heard anything from Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, but he's still keeping his name in contention. Ruppersberger tells Capital News Service that he's likely to decide by the summer, adding that his "popular polling is very high in the Baltimore area. If I’m the only one from Baltimore, I’ll consider it." Of course, that's a big if. While both announced candidates, Reps. Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen, hail from the D.C. area, Baltimore-based congressman Elijah Cummings is mulling a bid and fellow congressman John Sarbanes has yet to rule anything out either.

12:52 PM PT (Jeff Singer): VA-10: Despite Barbara Comstock's easy win last year, Democrats are hoping to target the freshman Northern Virginia Republican in this Romney 50-49 seat before she can become entrenched. Roll Call recently noted that state Sen. Jennifer Wexton, Del. Kathleen Murphy, and non-profit director Cathleen Magennis Wyatt are being recruited, though Wexton and Murphy are unlikely to decide on anything until this year's legislative elections are over on November. The Washington Post's Rachel Weiner also tells us that local Democrats see Shenandoah University professor Karen Schultz as a potentially strong candidate. Schultz considered running here in 2014 but she deferred to eventual nominee John Foust. Schultz acquitted herself well in 2007, with her only narrowly losing a state Senate bid.

1:14 PM PT: CA-Sen, 46: Unreal. This is one of the grossest things we've seen from a Democratic candidate in a long while. Here's Rep. Loretta Sanchez, demonstrating a "war whoop" to describe an East Indian supporter she once met with:

"So I'm going to his office, thinkin' that I'm going to go meet with a," she said, holding her hand in front of her mouth and making an echo sound. "Right? ... because he said Indian American."
Fellow Democrats pounded Sanchez, a newly minted Senate candidate who stumbled badly in her first week, until she coughed up an apology, but this is the kind of display that could (and probably should) prove disqualifying. What makes this more problematic is that Sanchez, whom the Sacramento Bee politely labeled as "unscripted," has an unfortunate history of racially clueless remarks: In her 2010 re-election campaign, she said that "Vietnamese and Republicans" were attempting "to take this seat from us … and give it to this Van Tran, who is very anti-immigrant and very anti-Hispanic." (Tran is Vietnamese, and Sanchez had to apologize then, too.)

One thing Sanchez may actually understand, though, is how precarious her situation is. She waited months to get into the race for retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer's open seat, a delay that allowed state Attorney General Kamala Harris to raise millions and consolidate support from the Democratic establishment. After her dismaying blunder, Sanchez was asked if she might instead seek re-election to the House. Her response was very telling:

"I am running for the United States Senate, and we're running full bore to talk to people up and down California, and we think that by the time we finish, and [the June 2016 primary] rolls around, we're going to be moving into the general election."
Sanchez's failure to actually answer the question put to her means she hasn't ruled out the possibility of a quick about-face. It would be a humiliating climb-down, but it wouldn't be any more humiliating than what Sanchez has already put herself through.

1:56 PM PT (Jeff Singer): NH-01: Rep. Frank Guinta has certainly seen better days. Last Wednesday, the New Hampshire Republican paid a fine to the FEC over a mysterious (and illegal) $355,000 campaign loan from his parents, perhaps thinking that he could put this long-running story behind him. However, Guinta's move only led to more questions about his honesty, and his own party wants him out of this swing district.

Last week, Sen. Kelly Ayotte did little to defend the incumbent, but she ditched any subtlety on Monday and publicly toldGuinta to get lost. State Senate President Chuck Morse and state House Speaker Shawn Jasper also called for his resignation, while state party chair Jennifer Horn called his situation "serious and extremely troubling." The hacks at the NRCC didn't exactly get Guinta's back either, saying only that they're "continuing to evaluate this very complex situation."

Guinta is at least acting like he doesn't care, saying on Monday that he won't resign, and that he'll fundraise to pay back the questionable loan (good luck finding donors). However, if Guinta won't go quietly, his party sounds ready to throw him into the shark tank. The Boston Globe reported on Friday that influential Republicans have already started discussing possible recruits, and they certainly have a lot of options. The Globe's James Pindell mentioned 14 different potential candidates, though it remains to be seen who's actually serious. One more notable name belongs to 2014 candidate Dan Innis, who lost the primary to Guinta and says he'd be interested in a second bid, but only if there's an open seat situation.

There's also been some speculation that ex-Massachusetts Sen. and 2014 New Hampshire Senate nominee Scott Brown could try again. However, given that a recent PPP survey gave Brown an atrocious 30-56 statewide favorable rating, it's unlikely the NRCC will be thrilled to have him as their standard-bearer. (It doesn't help that Brown has already dispensed with last year's comic fiction that he's a New Hampshirite: He recently reestablished his Masshole credentials by applying for a Massachusetts state pension.)

For the moment, Guinta seems determined to stick it out and perhaps go down fighting, but it's very hard to see him getting to the general election ballot unless a clown car full of over-eager Republicans runs against him in the primary. Democrats are going to target this swing seat no matter what happens, but right now, as unlikely as it may be, they're rooting for Guinta to hang on for dear life.

2:00 PM PT (Jeff Singer): NV-04: Three Democrats are already challenging freshman Republican Cresent Hardy in this Obama 54-44 seat, and we might be about to have our fourth contender. Via Jon Ralston, former state Assembly Speaker John Oceguera says that he's "north of 90 percent" for getting in. Hardy's going to have a tough time next year no matter who he faces, but Oceguera may give him his best shot at victory. Back in 2012, Oceguera ran a disastrous campaign overt in the neighboring 3rd District, spending months refusing to say if he'd have voted for Obamacare. If he runs this time, maybe we'll finally find out?

2:04 PM PT (Jeff Singer): CA-Sen: A strong Sanchez campaign launch may have persuaded Xavier Becerra, another Latino House member from Southern California, from running. But Becerra is definitely still looking at the contest, and he says he expects to make up his mind by August.

Discuss
Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party, reacts surrounded by candidates and supporters at a counting centre in Glasgow, Scotland, May 8, 2015. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne - RTX1C1FP
Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon was one of the big winners of the night,
with her party taking 40 of Labour's 41 Scottish seats
Across the pond, both the Labour Party and British pollsters had a terrible election night on Thursday. The final polling averages (which included numbers from a lot of different outfits) called the race a dead heat at 34 percent each for Labour and the Conservatives, which in practice would have meant an end to Tory rule because the incumbents wouldn't have had enough seats to retain a majority, even via coalition. While the polls showed that Labour wouldn't have won a majority either, they could have counted on informal backing from the Scottish National Party, which loathes Tory Prime Minister David Cameron.

Instead, the Conservatives won the overall popular vote by 6.5 points, taking 36.9 percent to just 30.4 for Labour. That led to a 28-seat increase for the Tories, something almost no one was predicting, giving them 331 overall—an outright majority in the 650-seat chamber. At the same time, Ed Miliband's Labour lost 24 seats, taking the party from 256 to 232. The fate of Ed Balls, one of Labour's most prominent members, underscores how awful the night went. Before the polls closed, Balls looked like he was on track to become the next chancellor of the Exchequer, a powerful post similar to Treasury secretary here. Instead, Balls lost his seat to the Tories in a shocker. Unsurprisingly, Miliband resigned as party leader the day after the election.

But as badly as things went for Labour, the Conservatives' former partners, the Liberal Democrats, fared far worse. The Lib Dems had long been expected to lose a significant number of seats, but few predicted they would shrink from 56 to a pitiful eight. The party's leader, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, managed to hold his seat in the face of a Labour offensive, but he unsurprisingly stepped down as head of what was left of the Lib Dems. The party had long occupied a mostly barren middle space between the two big parties, but presumably, anti-Tory voters deserted them for putting Cameron in power, and pro-Tory voters probably figured they were just better off voting for actual Tories.

But the Tories weren't the only big winners on Thursday. Head below the fold for more.

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9:29 AM PT (Jeff Singer): NC-12: Freshman Democrat Alma Adams defeated then-state Sen. Malcolm Graham 44-24 in the 2014 Democratic primary for this safely blue seat, and Graham wasted little time talking about a rematch. And on Thursday, Graham tweeted a photo of him standing behind a "Malcolm Graham for Congress" sign, with the caption "at first you don't succeed," though he hasn't said anything else about his plans.

Graham's definitely going to have his work cut out for him if he gets in. Last time, Graham was hampered by weak fundraising, and now that she's the incumbent, Adams should be able to widen the gap. Adams also hasn't done anything to alienate primary voters, so it's hard to see Graham getting traction this time.

10:48 AM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-Sen: If you're looking for the next big GOP primary battle, it may just be in the Sunshine State. Rep. Ron DeSantis quickly consolidated support from big-named anti-establishment groups like the Club For Growth, FreedomWorks, and the Senate Conservatives Fund, and they're already preparing to go to war with likely contender Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a close friend of retiring Sen. Marco Rubio.

Politico's Marc Caputo tells us that DC Republicans aren't happy to see their old intra-party rivals mucking around in another race. Last year, this group targeted now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and came close to unseating Sen. Thad Cochran. To add insult to injury, DeSantis' consulting firm Jamestown Associates was blacklisted by the NRSC for trying to torpedo McConnell. But it's unclear what, if anything, national Republicans will actually do to stop DeSantis besides anonymously complain.

Senate Conservatives Fund chieftain Ken Cuccinelli is already hitting Lopez-Cantera's record in the state House, accusing him of raising taxes, backing in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, and voting for a 2009 budget that accepted stimulus money. Lopez-Cantera said that the state House tried to keep tax hikes and stimulus money out of the budget, which may be true but probably won't deter any attack ads.

But this primary probably won't shape up to be just a duel between the establishment-flavored Lopez-Cantera and the tea partying DeSantis. Potential candidate Rep. Jeff Miller is very socially conservative, and he could eat into DeSantis' support. But Miller, a 14-year congressional veteran and chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, can't exactly sell himself as an enemy of the establishment the way someone like the sophomore member DeSantis can. Ex-state Attorney General Bill McCollum, Rep. David Jolly, former Sen. George LeMieux and state Sen. Don Gaetz have also talked about running, and they could further complicate things.

11:40 AM PT: UK General: Across the pond, both the Labour Party and British pollsters had a terrible election night on Thursday. The final polling averages (which included numbers from a lot of different outfits) called the race a dead heat at 34 percent each for Labour and the Conservatives, which in practice would have meant an end to Tory rule because the incumbents wouldn't have had enough seats to retain a majority, even via coalition. While the polls showed that Labour wouldn't have won a majority either, they could have counted on informal backing from the Scottish National Party, which loathes Tory Prime Minister David Cameron.

Instead, the Conservatives won the overall popular vote by 6.5 points, taking 36.9 percent to just 30.4 for Labour. That led to a 28-seat increase for the Tories, something almost no one was predicting, giving them 331 overall—an outright majority in the 650-seat chamber. At the same time, Ed Miliband's Labour lost 24 seats, taking the party from 256 to 232. The fate of Ed Balls, one of Labour's most prominent members, underscores how awful the night went. Before the polls closed, Balls looked like he was on track to become the next chancellor of the Exchequer, a powerful post that's similar to Treasury secretary here. Instead, Balls lost his seat to the Tories in a shocker. Unsurprisingly, Miliband resigned as party leader the day after the election.

But as badly as things went for Labour, the Conservatives' former partners, the Liberal Democrats, fared far worse. The Lib Dems had long been expected to lose a significant number of seats, but few predicted they would shrink from 56 to a pitiful eight. The party's leader, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, managed to hold his seat in the face of a Labour offensive, but he unsurprisingly stepped down as head of what was left of the Lib Dems. The party had long occupied a mostly barren middle space between the two big parties, but presumably, anti-Tory voters deserted them for putting Cameron in power, and pro-Tory voters probably figured they were just better off voting for actual Tories.

The SNP, meanwhile, saw their fortunes head in the opposite direction and surged from just six seats to 56 under leader Nicola Sturgeon, mostly by crushing Labour. This explosion was fueled by extreme resentment over opposition on the part of the big three "Westminster parties" (Labour, the Tories, and the Lib Dems) to last year's Scottish independence referendum, but since Labour had by far the strongest presence in Scotland, the SNP's gains were taken out of their hide.

What makes these numbers even more impressive is that the SNP only runs candidates in Scotland and captured all but three seats there—but the SNP may have affected elections south of the border, too. That's because some English voters may have been put off by the prospect of even a loose alliance between Labour and the SNP, something Labour was definitely concerned about since Miliband had taken pains to publicly distance his party from the SNP.

Fortunately, the xenophobic UK Independence Party failed to make gains—they actually lost one of their two seats—and their leader, Nigel Farage, stepped down as well. But the news isn't as good as you might think. UKIP saw their vote share surge 9.5 percent compared to the last election in 2010, by far the biggest gain for any party. But thanks to Britain's "first past the post" system, where the leading vote-getter in any seat wins no matter how few votes he or she takes, the party struggled to win any pluralities. Right now, the UKIP's support is geographically diffuse, but in the future, if they can build up any regional strength, they could become dangerous.

So what the hell happened? There's two ways of looking at that question: 1) Why did Labour do so poorly and 2) why were the polls so far off? For the former, if Labour's internals matched the public polls, then it's hard to say they did much wrong, since they looked like they were in a good position to win. (Put another way, why would you change your campaign tactics if your polls are positive?) Given how stunned Labour appeared on Thursday night, this was probably the case. A common critique on the left is that Labour failed to present a sufficiently liberal alternative to Tory austerity, but there isn't much evidence to support that thesis. An analysis of Labour's failure will require a much deeper examination of why the party did not connect with as many voters as it thought it would.

As for the latter, that's a similarly difficult question. FiveThirtyEight's Harry Enten thinks there's some indication that pollsters may have been guilty of "herding"—that is, weighting their results to match those of other firms, lest they look like outliers. Indeed, one outfit, Survation, admitted to just that: The company's CEO claims that his final poll had the Tories up 37-31 on Labour, but he says he "chickened out" of publishing it because it appeared to be "out of line" with the consensus.

That's not entirely true, though. There was one firm that did release final numbers that were very close, online pollster SurveyMonkey. Their last poll had the Conservatives up 34-28, the same spread as the final Tory margin. It's particularly notable because traditional telephone pollsters performed somewhat better than their online counterparts, but still, the UK polling industry has to do some serious soul-searching to find out what went wrong—just like Labour.

12:12 PM PT (Jeff Singer): NV-04: Democratic North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee sought this seat in the 2012 cycle before dropping out, and he's looked like a potential contender for 2016. Lee has yet to confirm or deny his interest, but he may have bigger things to worry about now. Former police Chief Joseph Chronisterm, who had a poor relationship with the mayor, tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Lee got special treatment after suspected child pornography was found on his iPad. This is a messy case with lots of conflicting and confusing events. But suffice to say, Lee can't run a credible campaign if this kind of thing is hanging over his head.

12:31 PM PT (Jeff Singer): WV-Gov: Democratic billionaire Jim Justice has been publicly mulling a gubernatorial bid for the last few weeks, and he will announce his 2016 plans on Monday afternoon. He didn't give much more information but Justice has invited hundreds of family members and friends to the White Sulphur Springs Civic Center, which isn't something you normally do if you're not running. Justice's wealth could help Team Blue hold onto the governor's office, though the GOP and his primary rivals are going to scrutinize his business background very closely if he jumps in.

12:40 PM PT (Jeff Singer): KY-Gov: The May 19 GOP primary has devolved into an incredibly nasty affair. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer's ex-girlfriend is publicly accusing him of abusing her in college, and Comer is claiming that rival Hal Heiner paid her to lie. The third main candidate, tea partying businessman Matt Bevin, is taking advantage of the situation in his new spot. Bevin's ad features actors playing Comer and Heiner having a food fight, with the narrator accusing them of "acting like children." The commercial then talks about Bevin's positive, conservative, and "grown up" leadership. There's no word on the size of the buy, but Bevin's camp says it's running in every market.

12:44 PM PT (David Jarman): WA-Sen, WA-Gov: Roll Call spends an oddly large amount of ink on what's shaping up to be one of the least interesting Senate races in 2016: the race in Washington, where Patty Murray is unlikely to draw a competitive opponent in her bid for a fifth term. They get the reason quite right, though: any Evergreen State Republican with any juice is likely to focus on Governor Jay Inslee instead, who's up for his first re-election and won only narrowly in 2012. It also goes beyond relative seniority; as with many other blue states, Washington voters are simply more tolerant of moderate Republicans at the state level than they are of sending GOPers to Washington to caucus with other members of the national party.

The article does get an on-the-record quote from Rep. Dave Reichert, who'd probably be the GOP's dream candidate here ... but it may be the most boilerplate non-answer I've ever seen: "My entire career I have always kept my options open. I have considered every possibility that has been put in front of me." Beyond that, the article cites several lower-tier options, who no doubt would both rather be the gubernatorial nominee (and whom we've mentioned in that context several times before): state Sen. Andy Hill and Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant. They also add one other moderate Republican from Seattle's Eastside suburbs to the list whom we haven't seen Great Mentioned anywhere else before: state Sen. Steve Litzow. (One disincentive for Litzow, though, is that, unlike Hill, who was re-elected in 2014, he would have to give up his seat -- a 60% Obama seat that Litzow is able to hold by virtue of pleasant personality --  in 2016 to run statewide.)

12:56 PM PT (Jeff Singer): NY-21: Democrats may have a candidate against freshman Republican Elise Stefanik, though he's going to have a lot to prove. Retired Army Col. Mike Derrick says he's met with the DCCC and he'll decide whether to run "in the next several months." Derrick is originally from this rural Upstate New York seat, but he only moved back from Colorado recently. It's often hard to tell if first-time candidates will be able to run a real race or just turn out to be Some Dudes, though one county party chair sounds excited about Derrick. Obama won this district 52-46 but it's quite red downballot, and Stefanik will definitely have the resources she needs if this contest gets competitive.

1:06 PM PT (Jeff Singer): MS-01: On Friday, former GOP Sen. Trent Lott endorsed businessman Sam Adcock, a former aide. Adcock has 12 opponents in the May 12 non-partisan primary, and he'll welcome any chance to stand out from the pack.

1:43 PM PT (Jeff Singer): NY-24: National Democrats should be able to give GOP freshman John Katko a real challenge, but they'll need to do it without their first choice candidate. On Friday, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner announced that she would sit the contest out. Obama won this seat 57-41 and the DCCC will want to beat Katko next year before he can secure his hold on the seat, but it's unclear who else they're looking at.

1:56 PM PT (Jeff Singer): WV-Gov: Things are also on the move on the GOP side. State Senate President Bill Cole has filed pre-candidacy papers in preparation for a statewide run. Cole hasn't committed to anything yet, but says he'll make a final decision within the next two weeks.

2:12 PM PT (Jeff Singer): KY-Gov: We haven't seen any polling of the GOP in months, but PPP takes a look on behalf of the Democratic group Kentucky Family Values. They find a very close contest, with Comer leading Heiner 28-27, and tea partying businessman Matt Bevin just behind at 25 (ex-state Supreme Court Justice Will Scott was not tested).

The poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday, just after Comer held a press conference denying the abuse allegations, so there wasn't much time for the story to sink in. But so far, Comer's image appears to be intact with GOP voters. Comer posts a 50-25 favorable rating, not too different from Bevin's 48-24 but far ahead of Heiner's 44-33. We should see some more polling before the primary so we'll get a better idea if Comer is weathering the storm, or if GOP primary voters are ready to cast him aside.

2:26 PM PT (Jeff Singer): MO-02: At 57-41 Romney, this suburban St. Louis seat hasn't been on many Democratic target lists. However, Team Blue may have just landed a legit candidate against Republican Rep. Ann Wagner. State Rep. Bill Otto hasn't announced anything yet, but he has opened a campaign account with the FEC. Otto narrowly won a second term in a 51-48 Romney seat during last year's GOP wave, so he does have some experience winning tough races. Still, if he runs he's going to have his work cut out against Wagner, a well-connected former RNC co-chair who is more than capable of raising real money. (Hat-Tip: Politics1)

2:34 PM PT (Jeff Singer): NY-21: It's also worth noting that Derrick served as a senior adviser at the State Department after leaving the military, and has been registered as a Democrat, Republican, and independent. Derrick was last stationed in Colorado and lived there since he retired in 2013, so attacking him as a carpetbagger won't be incredibly easy.

Discuss
James Comer
James Comer
Leading Off:

KY-Gov: There are ugly races, and there's Kentucky's May 19 GOP gubernatorial primary.

This contest dove into the gutter last week, when we learned that a blogger named Michael Adams was accusing Agriculture Commissioner James Comer of abusing his girlfriend back in college, something Comer vigorously denied. Adams was in communication with the campaign of Comer's primary rival, businessman Hal Heiner, who subsequently apologized for any role his team had played in spreading unfounded rumors. But on Monday night, Marilyn Thomas, who Comer says he dated for four months when they attended Western Kentucky University, came forward and told the Courier Journal that the candidate had in fact abused her, and had also taken her to get an abortion.

Comer has once again denied that he ever harmed Thomas, and he is now accusing Heiner's campaign of paying her to lie. However, Comer acknowledges he has no proof of this. Thomas is insisting she's telling the truth, and her mother and college roommate confirm what she says (Comer's old roommate says he never saw any abuse). Thomas also says she has documentation that she had an abortion in the early 1990s, but says the papers are in a bank that she doesn't have immediate access to. Comer continues to insist that her story isn't true and is challenging her to produce the document.

To make things even messier, Adams is being investigated over claims that he threatened the children of Comer's running mate, state Sen. Chris McDaniel. Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders, who is conducting the inquiry, wouldn't offer much about how things are progressing, except to say that the Comer campaign has provided "voluminous documentation" about the situation.

A third candidate, tea partying businessman Matt Bevin, has managed to stay out of this whole mess, and he may be able to benefit if he stays unscathed. But Heiner's allies have been running ads against Bevin, accusing him of inflating his resume and taking bailout funds. Bevin challenged Sen. Mitch McConnell is the 2014 primary and his team is still angry, but it's unclear what, if anything, they'll actually do to stop him (though their old attacks are getting recycled by Heiner's buddies).

There's one remaining candidate, former state Supreme Court Justice Will Scott. Scott has raised little money no one has spent any real resources helping him or attacking him. If things get messy enough, it's possible Scott could do better than expected, but he doesn't seem to be strong enough to emerge as the last man standing.

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway has no real competition in his primary, and he can't be displeased as his top potential opponents nuke each other, nor would he be unhappy if the Heiner-Comer smackdown allowed Bevin to slip through, as he's the weakest-polling Republican in the general election. Team Blue is going to need to work hard to hold this seat this fall, but the GOP seems to be doing everything they can to make life easier for the blue team.

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Thu May 07, 2015 at 06:00 AM PDT

Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 5/7

by David Nir

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8:20 AM PT (Jeff Singer): CO-06, Sen: National Democrats are hoping to give Republican Rep. Mike Coffman a tough challenge in this Obama 52-47 seat, and they may have a new candidate in mind. The Denver Post reports that state Senate Minority Leader Morgan Carroll will meet with the DCCC and EMILY's List next week, something Carroll did not deny. While Coffman beat Denver-based politicians in his last two contests, most of Carroll's seat is located in the suburban 6th District. However, at 60-38 Obama, Carroll's constituents are well to the left of CO-06 as a whole.

Centennial Councilor Rebecca McClellan and ex-state Rep. Ed Casso have also been mulling bids against Coffman. The incumbent is a formidable fundraiser and both sides know that he won't be easy to unseat, but it's hard to see a path to a Democratic House without this seat. There is the possibility that Coffman runs for the Senate instead, which would almost certainly give Team Blue a better shot here (Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet would be less delighted). Coffman seems more interested in seeking re-election, but he has yet to rule anything out.

8:30 AM PT (Jeff Singer): MS-AG: Jim Hood is the only Democrat who still holds statewide office anywhere in the Deep South, but he may be around a bit longer. A new Mason-Dixon poll gives Hood a 55-40 lead over Republican former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst in this year's attorney general race. There don't appear to be any other vaguely competitive statewide races in Mississippi (the gubernatorial contest is a snoozer) so maybe the GOP will make beating Hood a priority. But Hood won his last term 61-39 as the GOP was sweeping the state, and his 70-22 approval rating just emphasizes how tough he's going to be to dislodge.

8:51 AM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-Sen: Rep. Ron DeSantis jumped into the race on Wednesday, and it looks like he'll soon have company in the GOP primary. Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a close friend of retiring Sen. Marco Rubio, has been preparing for a bid for a while, and the Miami Herald reports that he's calling donors and activists to let them know that he's likely in. His allies are also setting up a super PAC in preparation for his bid. Of course, state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater was telling people he was running but ending up sitting out the contest, so we can't be sure Lopez-Cantera is in until he makes his announcement.

Lopez-Cantera doesn't start with much statewide name recognition, but he may have the resources to fix that quickly. Norman Braman, who used to own the Philadelphia Eagles, sounds prepared to spend real money to help him. Other Republicans publicly considering the race include Reps. Jeff Miller and David Jolly, ex-state Attorney General Bill McCollum, and former state Senate President Don Gaetz.

9:27 AM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-06: Senate candidate Ron DeSantis leaves behind a safely red coastal seat, and several Republicans are mulling bids here. Former Rep. Sandy Adams, who represented about a quarter of this district from 2011 to 2013 before losing the primary in another seat, has already said that she's looking at a comeback. Now, Adams confirms that she's shopping for a home in the district, so it looks like she's in.

But Adams can't expect an easy path back to the House. Former New Smyrna Beach Mayor Adam Barringer says he "plans to run for the vacated seat." Barringer's old constituency isn't huge (population 23,230) but if he's well-connected enough he could raise the money he'll need to win here. State Rep. David Santiago also is interested, and he tells the Daytona Beach News-Journal that he's talking to party members. Most of Santiago's seat is located in the neighboring 7th District so he also probably can't count on too much initial name recognition.

Outgoing Duval County Sheriff John Rutherford also says he's interested. None of Duval (Jacksonville and surrounding areas) is in the district and only one-third is even in the Jacksonville media market, so Rutherford also may not start out with too much initial support.

9:27 AM PT (Jeff Singer): UK General: Tonight, we'll be watching one of the most suspenseful general elections Britain has ever seen. Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party are locked in a tight race with Labour's Ed Miliband, and no one's sure who will be able to form the next government. Polls close at 5 PM ET and the first critical seats are expected to report at 8, with the bulk of the results starting to come in at 10. We'll be liveblogging this historic night at Daily Kos Elections starting at 5 ET and continuing well into the night.

9:52 AM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-18: Republican state Rep. Pat Rooney announced on Thursday that he won't run for this open light red seat. Rooney never seemed incredibly excited about the idea, and he's citing his "duties here at the Palm Beach Kennel Club" as a reason to stay put. Finally, a politician who isn't running in order to spend more time with his dogs!

Martin County School Board member Rebecca Negron and 2014 nominee Carl Domino currently have the GOP field to themselves, but now that the wealthy Rooney is definitely out, other Republicans might start to look at this seat with renewed interest. Bill Castle, the general counsel to Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, has been reportedly meeting with consultants in preparation for a possible run. Castle's father is a well-connected local businessman, which should come in handy if he jumps in.

Conservative pundit Noelle Nikpour was reluctant to oppose him, but she may go for it now. Some other potential GOP candidates include state Rep. Gayle Harrell, St. Lucie County Commissioner Tod Mowery, Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith, and businessman Gary Uber. On the Democratic side, Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor is in while her colleague Melissa McKinlay is considering. St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky has also been mentioned, though he hasn't said much about his plans. Romney won this seat 52-48 and both parties are expected to work hard to win it.

9:57 AM PT (David Jarman): Philadelphia mayor: Former judge Nelson Diaz has languished as the distant fourth-wheel in the polls of the Democratic primary in Philadelphia's open mayoral race; it may be too late for him to do anything about that, but he's finally rolling out an ad that'll run on broadcast TV, backed by a "six-figure buy." It's one of those kitchen-sink type ads that campaigns with limited money put together, with 15 seconds of biographical intro and 15 seconds of hitting everybody else (Anthony Hardy Williams on school vouchers, Jim Kenney on police brutality).

10:18 AM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-18: Auctioneer and real estate agent Reed Hartman is also a possibility on the GOP side.

10:22 AM PT (David Jarman): Demographics: While much of the discussion that followed in the wake of the New York Times's "1.5 million missing black men" story focused on the role of the prison pipeline, more than half of that number is driven by the difference in mortality rates. A new study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine (written by a mix of health behavior, economics, and geography professors) looks closer at the mortality side of the equation, and the implications that may have had on recent elections.

Vox's condensed version points out that the mortality gap between whites and blacks is greatest between ages 40 and 65, when probability of turning out to vote is highest. (Click through for the startling graph on age of death for the two races.) The study re-ran the math on the 2004 election, wondering if the outcome would have been different if there was no mortality gap. Although there would have been 1.74 million more African-Americans of voting age alive in 2004 if it weren't for that gap, they aren't concentrated enough in any one swing state to have flipped any of them that year. (For instance, it would have resulted in 24,000 more black votes in Ohio, but that's not enough to have pushed John Kerry into the lead there.)

1:15 PM PT (Jeff Singer): MS-01: Thirteen candidates are facing off in the April 12 non-partisan primary in this conservative northern Mississippi seat. There's absolutely no telling which two contenders will advance to the June 2 runoff, but each contender's fundraising gives us some small clues as to their viability. These reports cover the entire special election up to April 22. Note that with the exception of Democrat Walter Zinn, all these candidates are Republicans.

Boyce Adams: Businessman, 2011 Public Service Commission nominee, ally of Gov. Phil Bryant: $114,000 raised, $245,000 loaned, $305,000 spent, $54,000 cash-on-hand

Sam Adcock: Airbus Helicopters executive, former aide to then-Sen. Trent Lott: $121,000 raised, $120,000 loaned, $124,000 spent, $117,000 cash-on-hand

Nancy Collins: State senator: $56,000 raised, $142,000 loaned, $163,000 spent, $35,000 cash-on-hand

Ed Holliday: Dentist, tea partier: $5,000 raised, $47,000 spent, $59,000 cash-on-hand

Starner Jones: Physician, tea partier: $21,000 raised, $15,000 self-funded, $350,000 loaned, $327,000 spent, $59,000 cash-on-hand

Trent Kelly: Multi-county district attorney: $118,000 raised, $61,000 spent, $57,000 cash-on-hand

Chip Mills: Itawamba County prosecutor: $71,000 raised, $30,000 loaned, $16,000 spent, $19,000 cash-on-hand

Greg Pirkle: Attorney: $191,000 raised, $100,000 loaned, $144,000 spent, $147,000 cash-on-hand

Henry Ross: Attorney, former Eupora mayor, 2010 and 2012 candidate: $17,000 raised, $76,000 self-funded, $33,000 spent, $59,000 cash-on-hand

Daniel Sparks: Attorney: $18,000 raised, $9,000 loaned, $16,000 spent, $11,000 cash-on-hand

Mike Tagert: Transportation commissioner, ally of former Gov. Haley Barbour: $329,000 raised, $245,000 spent, $127,000 cash-on-hand

Quentin Whitwell: Attorney, former Jackson city councilor: $122,000 raised, $98,000 spent, $25,000 cash-on-hand

Walter Zinn: Former Jackson mayoral aide, only non-Republican: $12,000 raised, $9,000 spent, $3,000 cash-on-hand

This is not exactly an expensive contest. Only Boyce Adams and Starner Jones have spent more than $300,000, with Mike Tagert at $245,000. This trio may be best positioned to advance but in a race this packed, really anything can happen.

2:01 PM PT (Jeff Singer): KY-Gov: There are ugly races, and there's the May 19 GOP gubernatorial primary.

This contest dove into the gutter last week, when we learned that a blogger named Michael Adams was accusing Agriculture Commissioner James Comer of abusing his girlfriend back in college, something Comer vigorously denied. Adams was in communication with primary rival Hal Heiner's campaign, and Heiner apologized for any role his team had played in spreading unfounded rumors. But on Monday night, Marilyn Thomas, who Comer says he dated for four months when they attended Western Kentucky University, came forward and told the Courier Journal that the candidate had in fact abused her, and taken her to get an abortion.

Comer has once again denied that he ever harmed Thomas, and he is now accusing Heiner's campaign of paying her to lie. However, Comer acknowledges he has no proof of this. Thomas is insisting she's telling the truth, and her mother and college roommate confirm what she says (Comer's old roommate says he never saw any abuse). Thomas also says she has documentation that she had an abortion in the early 1990s but the paper is in a bank that she doesn't have immediate access to. Comer continues to insist that her story isn't true and is challenging her to produce the document.

To make things even messier, Adams is being investigated over claims that he threatened the children of Comer's running mate state Sen. Chris McDaniel. Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders wouldn't say much about how things are progressing, but says that the Comer campaign has provided "voluminous documentation" about the situation.

A third candidate, tea partying businessman Matt Bevin, has managed to stay out of this whole mess, and he may be able to benefit if he stays unscathed. But Heiner's allies have been running ads against Bevin, accusing him of inflating his resume and taking bailout funds. Bevin challenged Sen. Mitch McConnell is the 2014 primary and his team is still angry, but it's unclear what, if anything, they'll actually do to stop him.

There's one remaining candidate, former state Supreme Court Justice Will Scott. Scott has raised little money no one has spent any real resources helping him or attacking him. If things get messy enough it's possible Scott could do better than expected, but he doesn't seem to be strong enough to emerge as the last man standing.

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway has no real competition in his primary, and he can't be displeased as his potential opponents nuke each other. Team Blue is going to need to work hard to hold this seat this fall, but the GOP seems to be doing everything they can to make it easier.

2:03 PM PT: CA-25: Democrats have landed their first potentially legit candidate to challenge freshman GOP Rep. Steve Knight, Santa Clarita water board member Maria Gutzeit, who announced a bid on Thursday. Gutzeit had reportedly spoken with the DCCC last month, and she actually has experience winning office (the water board is an elected body), which is not insignificant given how thin the Democratic bench is around these parts.

Knight's also a pitiful fundraiser, and since Mitt Romney only carried this blue-trending district by 2 points, it's possible Gutzeit could put it in play. But last year, Democrats were shut out of the general election because poor primary turnout allowed Knight and another Republican to move on to November. There's a risk this could happen again, particularly if other Democrats pile into the race, so if Gutzeit winds up being the favorite, she'll have to work hard to make sure she performs well enough in the primary.

2:10 PM PT (Jeff Singer): UK General: Polls have closed across the pond, and the liveblog begins here.

Discuss
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8:59 AM PT (Jeff Singer): NY-11: As expected, the GOP easily held this seat in Tuesday's special election to replace disgraced ex-Rep. Michael Grimm. Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan defeated City Councilor Vincent Gentile 59-40 in a race that Democrats had written off at the beginning of the year.

When Grimm announced in late December that he was resigning from this Staten Island district, there was some brief optimism from Democrats that they could put this seat into play. Obama carried it 52-47, and Team Blue had a few potentially strong candidates eyeing the contest. However, it was always clear that this would not be an easy pickup. Grimm's departure came as tensions were rising between law enforcement and Mayor Bill De Blasio over his calls for police reform, tensions that were best exemplified when NYPD officers turned their backs on the mayor at a funeral for two of their murdered colleagues.

While most of the city was sympathetic to De Blasio, Staten Islanders were a lot more likely to side with the officers. And while Donovan attracted plenty of criticism after he did not secure a conviction for the officers who killed Eric Garner, Staten Islanders agreed that the grand jury made the right call.

Local Democrats knew that they would need to run against a popular Republican in a race where the GOP wouldn't hesitate to tie them to De Blasio, something not too many of them were keen to do. Former Rep. Michael McMahon passed on a comeback bid, though it was never clear how interested he really was. But while Democrats hoped that Assemblyman Michael Cusick could make this contest competitive, it soon became clear that even he would be the clear underdog against Donovan. An unknown person even leaked a DCCC poll in January showing Cusick losing by a brutal 48-28 margin, and he unsurprisingly sat the contest out.

Gentile wasn't a bad candidate, and he managed to draw some blood from Donovan after the Republican embarrassed himself at a debate. But both parties knew that this seat wasn't going anywhere in May, and neither side spent any real money trying to contest it. Ultimately, it was no surprise that Donovan dominated on Tuesday.

Team Blue began talking about putting this seat back in play next year even before Donovan's victory was official. Democrats hope that with presidential turnout, the prospect of New Yorker Hillary Clinton leading the ticket, and a stronger candidate with better ties to Staten Island, they can give Donovan a real race. If De Blasio's tensions with the NYPD have also faded from the headlines, it should also give them a better shot here.

Party operatives tell Roll Call that they'll be looking at McMahon and Cusick again, as well as state Sen. Diane Savino. But Donovan will have incumbency on his side, and his blowout win might scare off top-tier opponents. We have a long way to go till the general, but it's going to take a lot for Democrats to flip this seat this time.

9:42 AM PT (Jeff Singer): Anchorage Mayor: An unusually nasty runoff in Alaska's largest city ended in a clear 59-41 win for Democrat Ethan Berkowitz. Berkowitz held a big financial edge over GOP city Assemblywoman Amy Demboski, who edged out two better-funded conservatives in the April non-partisan primary. Berkowitz will replace GOP Mayor Dan Sullivan (not to be confused with the freshman senator of the same name) and will become one of the Last Frontier's most prominent Democrats.

The contest entered the gutter in the final week when a prominent pastor accused Berkowitz of endorsing father-son marriages on his radio show. Berkowitz denied the accusations, but Demboski suggested that her opponent seriously supported incest. Audio of the show finally surfaced just a day before the election, but it didn't settle much. There were no public polls of the runoff so we can't know if the controversy had any real effect on voters one way or another, but it definitely wasn't enough to stop Berkowitz from winning decisively.

Berkowitz's victory finally gives him a high-profile win after three big losses. In 2006 he served as ex-Gov. Tony Knowles' running mate during his comeback bid, but the ticket lost 48-41 to none other tan Sarah Palin. Two years later, Berkowitz challenged longtime GOP Rep. Don Young, who was under federal investigation. While polls showed Berkowitz winning, it appears that Alaskans decided they couldn't sacrifice Young at a time when powerful Sen. Ted Stevens was about to lose his seat.

Berkowitz also ran for governor in 2010 but this time there wasn't much optimism that he could beat Republican Sean Parnell, and he lost 59-38. But Berkowitz's victory on Tuesday gives Alaska Democrats a high-profile figure in a state where they don't have much of as bench, and it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see him on another statewide ballot before too long.

10:13 AM PT (Jeff Singer): Columbus Mayor: Ohio's largest city held its non-partisan primary on Tuesday and as expected, Columbus City Council President Andrew Ginther easily advanced to November with 51 percent. The fight for the second place spot was a lot closer, with fellow Democrat and Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott leading Republican Terry Boyd by only 147 votes. The primary will need to be certified by May 26, and the elections board will decide if it's close enough for a recount. Still, it's going to be hard for either candidate to beat Ginther in the fall. Ginther has the backing of outgoing Mayor Michael Coleman and a formidable warchest, and if the primary result is any indication, he's very much the favorite.

10:23 AM PT (Jeff Singer): NY State Assembly: Johnny Longtorso brings us the results of one this bizarre special election, where Democrats were unable to field an official nominee in a safely blue seat:

New York AD-43: In the end, it wasn't close. Diana Richardson, running on the Green and Working Families Party lines, easily won this four-way race with 50 percent of the vote. Coming in second was the Independence Party nominee, Shirley Patterson, with 25 percent. Republican/Conservative nominee Menachem Raitport was third with 21 percent, while Geoffrey Davis, running on his "Love Yourself" line, apparently couldn't get anyone else to love him; he came in last with only 4 percent of the vote.

10:35 AM PT (Jeff Singer): UK General: Thursday will bring one of the most chaotic and suspenseful general elections the United Kingdom has ever seen. David Beard gives us a preview of what's to come, flagging 16 constituencies to watch for clues on whether the next prime minister will be Conservative incumbent David Cameron or Labour's Ed Miliband. We'll be liveblogging the election Thursday starting when polls close at 5 PM ET and continuing into the night, and we're expecting a historic night one way or another.

10:55 AM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-Sen: Rep. Ron DeSantis kicked off his bid for this open seat on Wednesday, making him the first credible Republican to jump in. DeSantis is close to well-funded anti-establishment conservative groups, and the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, and Senate Conservatives Fund immediately endorsed him. But DeSantis' tea party background could be a liability in a general election, and not all Sunshine State Republicans are keen to have him as their standard bearer.

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and ex-Attorney General Bill McCollum have also been talking about running in the GOP primary, and one of DeSantis' House colleagues also sounds like he's laying the groundwork. Rep. Jeff Miller, who represents the Pensacola area, told reporters on Wednesday that he's a "couple months away" from a decision. But Miller is meeting with Republican activists in Palm Beach County, far away from his district, and stressing his conservatism. Weirdly, the man who arranged Miller's meet-and-greet is none other than ex-Rep. Mark Foley... who resigned from Congress in 2006 when news broke that he exchanged sexually explicit messages with teenage House pages. If even Foley can work his way back into the party's good graces, I guess anyone can!

11:21 AM PT (Jeff Singer): Jacksonville Mayor: St. Pete Polls takes another look at the May 19 runoff and they find good news for the GOP. They give Republican challenger Lenny Curry a 49-45 lead over Democratic incumbent Alvin Brown, a switch from Brown's 49-46 edge in their late March survey. We've had issues with St. Pete Polls' accuracy before but unfortunately, there isn't much other data out there. A mid-April poll from an unidentified pollster gave Brown a 44-41 advantage but that's really it, though Politico's Marc Caputo said that the mysterious survey matched what both sides were seeing.

12:34 PM PT: NH-Sen, Gov: A new Dartmouth poll of New Hampshire mostly offers a ton of undecideds in the state's two big races coming up next year. On the Senate side, if Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan challenges GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte, she'd trail by a 38-33 margin; alternatively, if ex-Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (an unlikely option for Team Blue) were to run, she'd find herself behind by a much larger 45-25 spread.

If Hassan instead decides to seek a third two-year term as governor, she'd lead Executive Councilor Chris Sununu 44-26 and Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau 43-13. Needless to say, given how many voters have no opinion on these matchups, the data here is not especially useful.

12:36 PM PT (Jeff Singer): KY-Gov: The May 19 GOP primary has turned incredibly ugly especially in the past few days. On Monday night, a woman who said she used to date state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer back in college publicly accused him of physically and mentally abusing her and taking her to get an abortion. Comer is denying everything and is arguing that he's the victim of a smear campaign.

Comer says he's planning to sue the Courier-Journal for printing the story, and went after primary rival Hal Heiner, calling him the "Christian Laettner" of Kentucky politics. In the Bluegrass State, comparing someone to the Duke player who scored the tournament winning shot against Kentucky in 1992 is the ultimate insult. In fact, it's basically the sports version of Godwin's Law.

Comer's also airing his first real negative ad of the contest, though he's unsurprisingly not focusing on the recent story. His spot instead stars a coal miner, who says he doesn't think that Heiner will stand up to Barack Obama to protect state coal jobs. The commercial never goes into any detail whatsoever about why Heiner will wilt in the face of the Obama Administration while Comer will stand firm.

Heiner's allies are also launching a negative ad, but they're so far ignoring Comer. Instead, the Bluegrass Action Fund targets the third candidate, tea partying businessman Matt Bevin. The narrator goes after Bevin for claiming to attend MIT when he didn't really. The attack is a relic from Bevin's 2014 race against Sen. Mitch McConnell. The rest of the spot goes after Bevin for taking a bailout when his family company got into trouble, another leftover from last cycle.

12:57 PM PT (Jeff Singer): WV-02: Freshman Republican Alex Mooney came surprisingly close to losing to Nick Casey last year, prevailing only 47-44 even as the GOP wave devastated Mountain State Democrats. Now, Roll Call's Simone Pathe reports that the DCCC is trying to recruit Casey for another campaign. Casey isn't ruling anything out, saying "Oh you never say ‘never'."

It's not going to be easy to beat Mooney even in a better political climate though. Last time, Casey was able to take advantage of the fact that Mooney only moved to the state in 2013 to run for Congress, something that's going to matter less now that Mooney's the incumbent. This seat also went for Romney by a brutal 60-38 margin. Even if Democrats can rebound, this central West Virginia seat is still likely to easily back the GOP presidential nominee.

Still, if West Virginia Democrats are going to have any shot at Mooney, they'll want to attack him before he's entrenched. Mooney may also need to fight off a well-funded primary challenge from 2014 foe Ken Reed, which could deplete his warchest a bit.

1:10 PM PT (Jeff Singer): AK-Sen: Former Democratic Sen. Mark Begich recently took a job with a lobbying firm, something you normally don't do if you have any intention of running for office soon. Still, Begich isn't quite closing the door on a campaign against Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski next year. When Politico asked him about a possible run, Begich told them, "I think you never say never in politics." But DSCC head Jon Tester isn't holding his breath on a Begich comeback, saying (on the record!) the chances that Begich runs next year are "pretty slim," adding "I think his life is headed in a different direction, but I could be wrong on it."

1:27 PM PT (Jeff Singer): NV-Sen: The GOP field for this open seat remains undefined, with only Las Vegas Councilor Bob Beers actually in. Jon Ralston takes a look at where things stand and gives us some tea leaves about who might be interested and what they might be waiting for.

The GOP has never given up hope that they can recruit popular Gov. Brian Sandoval, and Rep. Joe Heck is beginning to reconsider his plans to stay in the House, but it still looks unlikely that they'll land either man. State Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson and Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison are both more interested, but Ralston says Hutchison might defer to Roberson.

But Roberson's Senate chances may come down to how the ongoing legislative session goes. So far, everything's coming up Milhouse for Roberson, but the Assembly may still rain on his parade. Ralston points out that he has few friends in the lower house and legislative Democrats aren't exactly going to be in a hurry to help him if his agenda runs into problems, especially with taxes. If things remain calm until the session ends in June, Roberson is likely to leave Carson City stronger than ever. But if things go haywire, the NRSC isn't going to be so happy with him as their standard bearer.

Ralston also mentions state Attorney General Adam Laxalt. Laxalt has given little indication that he's looking at a Senate run, but he might be persuaded if the establishment favorite looks weak after the session is over.

1:48 PM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-06: Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis' Senate campaign sets off an open seat race in this safely red coastal district just south of Jacksonville, and one familiar name sounds interested. Former Rep. Sandy Adams said on Tuesday that she's "exploring the idea."

Adams used to represent about 23 percent of this seat from 2011 to 2013 so she'd start out with some name recognition, but not an incredible amount. Adams' old seat was taken apart by redistricting and she chose to run in the neighboring 7th District in 2012 instead of here, which proved to be a big miscalculation. She lost the primary to fellow incumbent John Mica by a 61-39 margin, despite representing more of the new seat than Mica. If Adams runs, she'll start out with support from state Rep. Fred Costello, who lost the 2012 open-seat primary to DeSantis but made it clear he won't be trying again.

Other local Republicans have been a lot more quiet about their plans, but Roll Call and the Daytona Beach News-Journal give us some potential candidates to watch. They mention former New Smyrna Beach Mayor Adam Barringer; state Sen. Dorothy Hukill; state Sen. Travis Hutson; state Rep. Doc Renuart; and state Rep. David Santiago. We'll probably see some other local politicians sniff out this contest before too long.

1:54 PM PT (Jeff Singer): Houston Mayor: After spending months as an almost candidate, Democratic Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia officially kicked off his bid for this open seat on Wednesday. Garcia is required to immediately resign his post and the Commissioners Court is likely to appoint a Republican in his place, which won't make local Democrats happy. But Harris has the name recognition and connections to make a splash here, and he's likely to be one of the candidates to watch in November.

2:23 PM PT: Deaths: Former Democratic Rep. Jim Wright of Texas died on Wednesday at the age of 92. Wright hailed from the Fort Worth area and ultimately rose to the pinnacle of power, winning election as speaker of the House in 1986 after the legendary Tip O'Neill retired. But Wright's tenure was brief, as he resigned in 1989 after a House Ethics Committee investigation pushed by Newt Gingrich suggested he'd improperly accepted gifts from a developer and had also received royalties for a book he wrote as a way to evade gift limits. Wright was succeeded as speaker by Washington Rep. Tom Foley.

2:56 PM PT (Jeff Singer): Alberta: Tuesday's provisional election in Alberta was nothing short of momentous. Not only did the ruling right-wing Progressive Conservative Party lose power for the first time since 1971, the New Democratic Party will give the province its first left-wing government in 85 years. To add insult to injury for the PCs, they don't even get to be the official opposition party. Instead, the even more right-wing Wildrose Party, a group left for dead just months ago, will get that honor.

So how did the PCs go from dominant to electoral road kill in just a few months? As our own James L explained in the leadup to the vote, collapsing oil prices did a number on the government's popularity in this petroleum friendly-province. The PC's now former leader Jim Prentice also put forward an unpopular budget and made a few costly gaffes. Canada's electoral system also played a huge role. While in the past, left-wing voters were divided between the Liberals and NDP, the collapse of the Liberals only left one viable outlet for this group. By contrast, right-wingers angry with the PCs could choose Wildrose.

Ultimately, it appears that the NDP will go from holding just four seats on Monday to 53 now, while Wildrose went from five to 21. As for the PCs, they cratered from 70 to just 10. Stephen Wolf has created an interactive map of the province based on the 2012 and 2015 contests, and the devastation is just a thing to behold.

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8:38 AM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-09: With Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson continuing to flirt with a Senate bid, potential candidates are laying the groundwork to succeed him in the House. Obama won this Orlando-area seat 62-37, and most of the action is expected to be on the blue side.

State Sen. Darren Soto has already said that he'll run for this seat if Grayson leaves, and Susannah Randolph, the congressman's district director, is also eyeing the contest. Randolph told Politico that "I wouldn’t say I’m interested. Yeah, I’d consider it for sure." However, Dena Minning, who runs MedExpert Consulting and is also Grayson's girlfriend, is also reportedly mulling a bid behind-the-scenes. Minning has yet to say anything publicly and both Soto and Randolph said they had no idea she was considering until Politico asked them. On Monday, Grayson said he'd decide on his Senate plans "in the next 30 days," so we shouldn't need to wait too long to find out if we'll have a primary fight here.

8:49 AM PT: Alberta: It's Election Day in the Canadian province of Alberta, and a 44-year Tory ruling streak looks set to come to an end in dramatic fashion. Our own James L. provides a preview of what to look for tonight as the returns roll in. We'll be liveblogging when polls close at 8 PM local time / 10 PM ET.

9:01 AM PT (Jeff Singer): KY-Gov: On Monday night, a woman who used to date says she used to date state Agriculture Commissioner and GOP primary candidate James Comer publicly accused him of hitting her and taking her to get an abortion while they were together in the early 1990s. Comer is denying the allegations and will hold a press conference today at 1 PM ET.

10:21 AM PT (Jeff Singer): AZ-Sen: PPP surveys both the GOP primary and general elections in Arizona, and let's just say they don't exactly bring good news for John McCain.

McCain, who is seeking a sixth term, has never had a great relationship with his party's base, and he posts a terrible 41-50 approval rating with GOP primary voters. So far McCain doesn't have a credible intra-party challenge, but PPP takes a look at a few hypothetical matchups. While McCain's ahead in all of them, his leads are not robust:

• 40-39 vs. Rep. David Schweikert

• 42-40 vs. Rep. Matt Salmon

• 44-31 vs. state Sen. Kelli Ward

• 48-27 vs. 2014 gubernatorial candidate Christine Jones

It's never a good sign for an incumbent to be far from 50 percent against lesser-known primary opponents, especially when a majority of your own party's voters already say they don't like you.

Still, there are a few problems for anti-McCain Republicans. Arizona doesn't have a runoff, so if two or more notable candidates go up against the incumbent, they could split the vote enough to secure him renomination with just a plurality. Ward hasn't committed to anything but she has formed an exploratory committee, and she might not be willing to get out of the way if a stronger contender gets in.

What's more, she's also barely known (she has a 12-15 statewide favorable rating) and she hasn't exactly impressed well-funded conservative groups who'd like to unseat McCain. (Last year, Ward held a hearing focusing on whether non-existent "chemtrails" are poisoning the air, an idea that's only embraced by conspiracy theorists.) Ward simply might not be strong enough to beat even a weak McCain, who is still a formidable campaigner.

In a perfect world for anti-McCain forces, Ward would stay out and Salmon would get in. After spending months showing little interest in taking on the incumbent, Salmon has started to change his tune a bit, recently telling The Hill "I'm not saying that I'm in. I'm not saying that I'm not in." Salmon, who served as the GOP's unsuccessful 2002 gubernatorial nominee, already has a healthy 40-12 favorability score with primary voters, but who knows if he'll actually run.

If Salmon sits it out, don't expect his friend and fellow congressman, David Schweikert, to take his place. Schweikert hasn't officially said no, but he sounds extremely unlikely to pull the trigger. Schweikert recently said that his wife is against a Senate bid, and he "would like to keep her around." Christine Jones also seems more interested in running for the House, which is just as well for her given how poorly she polls here.

So far, no credible Democrats have shown much interest in running in conservative Arizona, but PPP finds that Team Blue would have a good chance to put this Senate seat in play whether or not McCain advances to November. McCain is even more unpopular with the general electorate than he is with his own party, sporting an ugly 36-51 statewide approval score. PPP tested him against 2012 Senate nominee Richard Carmona, 2014 gubernatorial nominee Fred DuVal, and Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema.

• McCain 40, Carmona 34

• McCain 40, DuVal 36

• McCain 42, Kirkpatrick 36

• McCain 42, Sinema 36

They also tested McCain's potential primary foes against just Carmona:
• Jones 36, Carmona 42

• Salmon 43, Carmona 35

• Schweikert 39, Carmona 39

• Ward 36, Carmona 39

While McCain leads all comers by 4-6 points, he's stuck at around 40 percent. Democrats haven't won a Senate seat in the Grand Canyon State since Dennis DeConcini was re-elected in 1988, but Carmona only lost 49-46 in 2012 while Mitt Romney was carrying Arizona 53-44. A combination of an unpopular incumbent and a better Democratic performance at the top of the ticket could give Democrats the chance to score an upset here. However, as PPP points out, the undecideds in these matchups strongly lean Republican, so the eventual GOP nominee should be able to make up some ground.

Right now, it's far from clear who Democrats will be able to land. Carmona hasn't announced anything publicly one way or another about his 2016 plans. DuVal recently said he wanted to run statewide, but he didn't say what office or what cycle he was thinking about. (Businesswoman Nan Walden, who was not tested in this poll, has also been name-dropped, but she's also been silent about her intentions.)

As for Reps. Kirkpatrick and Sinema, they've been quiet about their Senate aspirations, but their allies say they're waiting on the outcome of a key U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer that could invalidate the state's independent redistricting commission. If the court allows the GOP legislature to redraw the congressional lines, either or both members are likely to wind up in redder seats, and a Senate campaign would look a lot more appealing.

We haven't seen any other recent polling of either the GOP primary or general, so we can't make any definitive conclusions about McCain's strength. If PPP is right, McCain is in real danger of being denied renomination, and Team Red could very well lose this seat in November with or without him. However, McCain proved in his dominant 2010 primary victory that he's more than capable of exploiting his opponent's weakness, and we can never count him out. Arizona is also still a red state, and Democrats have had trouble making inroads here for the last several cycles. But if the right candidates show up, it looks like we're in for an intense contest next year.

10:56 AM PT (Jeff Singer): KY-Gov: The May 19 Kentucky GOP gubernatorial primary may be one for the books. Last week, we learned that a blogger named Michael Adams was accusing state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer of violent abusing his girlfriend in college, but he did not provide any evidence. Comer denied the allegations and threatened legal action after it was revealed that Adams had been in communication with primary rival Hal Heiner's campaign. It looked like Heiner was part of a smear campaign that was about to backfire... until Monday night. Marilyn Thomas, who says she dated Comer in college in the early 1990s, wrote a letter to the Courier-Journal claiming that Comer physically and mentally abused her, and took her to get an abortion.

Thomas says that a paper proving the abortion took place is in a bank lock box that she doesn't have immediate access to, but Thomas' college roommate is backing up her story. The roommate recalls that Thomas would frequently return home with bruises, and that Thomas would always claim they were from accidents. Thomas' mother also says that Comer once called her home one morning and "he said something about your daughter's going to be killed. ... It was something like that." However, Comer's old college roommate says that he never saw any abusive behavior from the candidate at all.

Comer's camp is denying everything, and his lawyer is promising a "devastating lawsuit" against the Courier-Journal. In a Tuesday press conference, Comer denied all of Thomas' allegations and said that "[a]ll legal options are on the table." Needless to say, this is an ugly situation and there's no way to know what will happen next. But it's safe to say that one way or another, this story will define the final two weeks of the race between Comer, Heiner, and tea partying businessman Matt Bevin.

11:25 AM PT (Jeff Singer): IL-18: State Sen. Darin LaHood looks like he'll have an easy time in the July 7 primary against political consultant and Breitbart News editor Mike Flynn, but he's taking no chances. LaHood tells Roll Call that he's raised $500,000 since getting into the race in mid-March, a very solid sum. This seat is heavily Republican, and LaHood should have little trouble holding it for Team Red in the Sept. 10 special.

But the eventual winner should probably hold off on inviting ex-Rep. Aaron Schock to his swearing in. Schock resigned from this seat in disgrace after the world found out about his habit of billing taxpayers for his luxurious life, and possibly charging the government thousands of dollars for phony millage reimbursements. As Politico reminds us, Schock is legally required to fill out a financial disclosure statement within 50 days of leaving office... which he hasn't done. A grand jury is looking into his practices in office, and campaign donors are accusing him of misusing their money.

But if you're hoping to ask Schock for his side of the story, good luck: An attorney for one of the donors has filed court documents saying he can't find the ex-congressman. Schock quickly let off a snarky tweet geotaged from Illinois, so whatever he's doing, at least he's not hiking the Appalachian Trail.

11:39 AM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-18: On Tuesday, former state Rep. and 2014 GOP nominee Carl Domino announced he would once again run for this light red seat. Domino lost to Democratic incumbent Patrick Murphy (who is vacating this seat to run for Senate) by a brutal 60-40 margin despite having a wave at his back, so the NRCC isn't exactly going to be jumping for joy. But in fairness to Domino, Murphy's strong campaign seems to have done more to defeat Domino than any actual mistakes he made. In fact, Domino did run a pretty good ad, so maybe he can do better with national party support and no Murphy to worry about.

Domino says he's willing to spend another $1 million of his own money this cycle, so it could help him in a primary. Right now, Domino will only face Martin County School Board Member Rebecca Negron, though state Rep. Pat Rooney is expected to announce his plans soon, and other Republicans are mulling the contest.

12:21 PM PT (David Jarman): Philadelphia mayor: State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams is out with another ad, this time going negative against ex-city councilor Jim Kenney, hitting Kenney over a quote he gave in 1997 complaining about restrictions on what the police can do. It's a little surprising that Williams is releasing a negative ad from his own campaign (instead of staying positive and relying on his Super PAC friends to smack Kenney), but the subject matter is consistent with his campaign's previous ad, where one of his selling points was his stance against police brutality. It's a potentially effective ad, but the size of the buy is only $40,000, so it won't be seen much.


2:04 PM PT: IL-Sen: Though much of Illinois' Democratic establishment has expressed support for Rep. Tammy Duckworth's Senate bid, the National Journal's Andrea Drusch reports that some African-American leaders (and former Obama chief of staff Bill Daley) are trying to recruit a black candidate into the race. Interestingly, they're focused on Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp, whose name has surfaced only recently, rather than Rep. Robin Kelly, who's been weighing a bid for months.

Zopp sounds quite eager, saying she's currently polling the contest and " if that poll comes out positive, then I have every strong expectation that I am going to get into the race." But she's a political unknown and would start off with a deficit against Duckworth in both name recognition and money. It's also not clear just how much enthusiasm there is for a primary fight. The only Zopp supporter Drusch even cites by name is Daley, who thinks Democrats would be "idiots" not to nominate an African American lest turnout among black voters suffer—concerns that Zopp herself waved off. If she has other backers, though, they apparently aren't speaking up yet.

2:16 PM PT (Jeff Singer): NJ-02: This South Jersey seat has frustrated Democrats for a long time. Obama won this district 54-45, but GOP incumbent Frank LoBiondo has always won with ease. Democrats ran a credible candidate last cycle, but LoBiondo still dominated 62-37. Local and national Democrats believe that state Sen. Jeff Van Drew can put this district on the map, and PolitickerNJ reports that the DCCC is "actively recruiting" him. Van Drew confirms he's met with DCCC staffers, but all he would say about his plans is that he's "honored they would consider me," but that he's focusing on this year's local Assembly race.

Landing Van Drew would be a huge recruiting coup for the DCCC, but we shouldn't hold our breath. Van Drew has said no to House bids in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014. Van Drew may be waiting for LoBiondo, who is about to turn 69, to retire. But while LoBiondo's fundraising has been weak this year, there's no indication that he's ready to call it quits. We'll see what happens, but it may be too much to hope that Van Drew makes the jump this time after staying put for the last five cycles.

2:31 PM PT (Jeff Singer): FL-Sen, 06: The Associated Press reports that Rep. Ron DeSantis will kick off his campaign on Wednesday, which will make his the first credible Republican in the race. DeSantis is close to well-funded anti-establishment groups like the Club For Growth, so he should have the financial firepower to get through the primary. DeSantis is very unlikely to have the field to himself though, with several other Republicans mulling bids. DeSantis' departure from the House could set off a crowded GOP primary in his coastal seat, which includes St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, but it should stay red at Romney 58-41.

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Florida Democratic Senate candidate Patrick Murphy
Leading Off:

FL-Sen: On Monday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee offered its endorsement to Rep. Patrick Murphy, making him the third candidate to earn the group's formal backing this year. The committee also joins a long list of Murphy supporters, including several members of Congress, approximately half the Democrats in the state legislature, and ex-Gov. Charlie Crist.

The move might be aimed at dissuading Rep. Alan Grayson from pursuing a Senate bid of his own, but the wealthy Grayson, who has a big donor list and can also self-fund, isn't likely to be deterred by such a development. Indeed, his only response was to scoff:

"Florida Democratic voters choose our party nominee, not out-of-touch party bosses sipping cognac in a smoke-filled room in Washington, D.C."
D.C.'s had a smoke-free workplace law in effect for almost a decade, so this Tammany-esque imagery is probably as alien to average folks as rotary phones and 8-tracks. Be that as it may, despite his characteristic brashness, Grayson is proceeding cautiously. He went on Fox News Radio on Friday to tell Alan Colmes he'll decide whether to run "in the next 30 days," and he recently informed Roll Call that he's "doing the kind of due diligence that one does before announcing, looking at polls, things like that."

So while Grayson may profess not to care about what the DSCC thinks, he evidently does care—somewhat surprisingly—about what the polling says. But there's a lot polls can't tell you, particularly because both Murphy and Grayson have limited name recognition, and that's where historical knowledge, pattern recognition, and intuition all come in. Most strategists believe the centrist Murphy would make the stronger general election candidate, while many progressive activists are convinced the outspoken Grayson would motivate voters better. It's clear which side the DSCC comes down on.

But more worrisome than the possibility that Democrats might put forward the weaker of two candidates is the prospect of a nasty primary sapping resources from the eventual nominee and damaging his reputation, making it that much harder for the party to pick up this open seat. Grayson has already publicly sniped at Murphy, so the idea that we might see a clean fight focused on the issues doesn't seem especially likely. That's why Murphy and the DSCC are still hoping that Grayson will stay out. Grayson has said he'll "probably" run, but who knows? Maybe he won't like what his polls have to say after all.

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