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Leading Off:

NYC Mayor: In a tough bit of timing, Quinnipiac's new mayoral poll was in the field just before the latest developments in the Anthony Weiner saga, so the Formspring-addicted former congressman is actually still in first place, with a 26-22 lead over City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. That's all but unchanged from his 25-22 edge ten days ago, even though Quinnipiac is now pushing leaners for the first time. But that change in methodology may have had a bigger impact on former Comptroller Bill Thompson, who shot up from 11 to 20, his highest share so far. (In late June, he was at 16, so perhaps that middle poll was a bit of an outlier.)

And the survey has plenty of more good news for Thompson. Smartly, Quinnipiac asked Weiner supporters who their second pick was; recalculating without him in the mix, Quinn leads with 30, but Thompson is close behind at 26, while Public Advocate Bill de Blasio shoots up to 21. Weiner certainly doesn't seem like he'll drop out, but if he fades, Thompson and de Blasio (who gets 15 with Weiner in the race) seem like they'll benefit the most.

Quinnipiac also checked in on three possible scenarios for a runoff, which would be necessary if no candidate gets 40 percent in the primary. Thompson leads both Weiner (52-41) and Quinn (51-42) by legitimate margins, while Quinn only edges Weiner 46-44. But I expect those Weiner matchups start looking a bit different once his latest newest mishugas gets processed by the electorate.

Intro

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Senate:

GA-Sen: The Republican primary field for Georgia's open seat Senate race just got even more crowded, with former Dollar General CEO David Perdue now joining the contest, as he'd been expected to for a while. (Perdue is also a cousin of ex-Gov. Sonny Perdue.) Already running for the GOP are Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, and Jack Kingston, and former SoS Karen Handel, while nonprofit founder Michelle Nunn just got in on the Democratic side.

KY-Sen: Let the cat fud fly! Sen. Mitch McConnell and businessman Matt Bevin are already both out with new TV ads attacking one another (and gladdening progressive hearts). McConnell's spot is better-produced, hitting "Bailout Bevin" for accepting $200,000 from the state to help rebuild his family's bell making business in Connecticut after its main facility burned down in a fire. (Obviously McConnell doesn't mention the whole fire bit.) He also paints Bevin as a tax delinquent, since the company had been hit with liens for unpaid taxes in recent years.

Bevin, meanwhile, tries to cram in far too many hits on McConnell into one spot, literally listing five totally disparate things McConnell allegedly supports on the screen at once (everything from "higher taxes" to "liberal judges.") Bevin also slams McConnell as a bailout lover, thanks to his vote for TARP, so we'll see who gets the better of this particular slapfight. Also mentioned in the ad: Bevin has nine kids!

MA-Sen: In the unlikely event that Scott Brown were to try to return to his old digs by challenging newly-elected Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, MassINC finds he'd start off in a 43-38 hole.

Gubernatorial:

AZ-Gov: Treasurer Doug Ducey, who is also the former CEO of the ice cream chain Cold Stone Creamery, just filed paperwork to explore a gubernatorial bid. Other prominent Republicans in the race include former Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman, state Sen. Al Melvin, and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, though several more are still considering.

CA-Gov: Field Research finds Dem Gov. Jerry Brown with solid approvals (PDF) at 51-33, even if they're down from an outlier-ish 57-31 in February. Oddly, there's a big gap between Brown's job approval rating and his re-elect score, which stands at just 43-38. But note that he wasn't tested against generic Republican, which I think would have produced a much wider spread. Democratic-leaning voters may prefer that Brown not run again for a variety of reasons, but in a D vs. R race, it's hard to imagine they wouldn't come home.

OR-Gov: Oregon Republicans have not had much luck recruiting anyone for governor, but now they've at least gotten someone a step above Some Dude. State Rep. Dennis Richardson, who hails from the southern part of the state, announced his entry into the race on Wednesday. Richardson doesn't have much of a profile, though, and he has a very conservative record, so in a matchup against Dem Gov. John Kitzhaber, it's tough to imagine him with a real path to victory.

WY-Gov: Cindy Hill, Wyoming's apparently unhinged Superintendent of Public Instruction, decided to challenge Gov. Matt Mead in the GOP primary back in January after he stripped her of her duties given her many failures on the job. Since then, far more has emerged about what a piece of work Hill truly is, including a huge investigative report that alleged she "may have illegally used federal funds to pay for pet programs banned by state law, improperly used the state aircraft, and bullied and drove out employees."

So it's little surprise that Mead leads Hill 69-15 in PPP's new Wyoming poll, and honestly, you have to wonder how Hill gets even that much support. Mead also looks like a lock for re-election, with a 47-36 lead over ex-Gov. Dave Freudenthal and 62-20 over two-time congressional candidate Gary Trauner.

Tom Jensen also finds that Wyoming voters support background checks for gun buyers by a 55-33 margin, despite the state having the highest rate of gun ownership in the nation. As Tom puts it, this probably means that majorities favor background checks in every state.

House:

AL-01: GOP Rep. Jo Bonner has decided to resign two weeks earlier than originally planned, on Aug. 2 instead of Aug. 15. Bonner says he's moving the date up so that a replacement can be elected and sworn in before the start of the second session of the current Congress, which begins in January.

IA-01: After exploring the race for a while, conservative former state Sen. Swati Dandekar has made it official, joining state Rep. Pat Murphy, Cedar Rapids City Councilwoman Monica Vernon, and attorney Dave O'Brien in the Democratic primary. State Rep. Anesa Kajtazovic is also looking at a possible bid.

LA-06: Elections often seem to take a long time to get started in Louisiana, and the race to replace Rep. Bill Cassidy in the 6th is following that pattern. Usually when an incumbent in a safe red (or blue) seat seeks a promotion, plenty of candidates pile into the primary to succeed him or her, but so far, only software company owner Paul Dietzel has announced. Roll Call's Matthew Lowe says that several others are considering bids, though, including state Reps. Erich Ponti and Hunter Greene (whom we've mentioned before), and state Sen. Rick Ward, who only switched to the GOP a week or so ago. Ex-Rep. Jeff Landry is also still looking at the contest.

MI-01: Hrm. A Facebook page for a group called Northern Michigan Progressives says that retired National Guard Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon, who has reportedly met with the DCCC about running against GOP Rep. Dan Benishek, "will introduce himself as a candidate" when the group next meets on Tuesday. I'm not seeing confirmation of that anywhere else, though, but I guess we can just wait and see. (Hat-tip: RVKU)

MN-07: Realtor and former congressional aide Scott Van Binsbergen tells Roll Call he's met with the NRCC about a possible run against Dem Rep. Collin Peterson but says he doesn't have a timetable for making a decision. Binsbergen may also have some political connections, since a quick Google search shows he was once appointed to a state panel by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Republicans are badly hoping Peterson will retire, since they'd have a great pickup shot in this red-leaning district, but so far, he hasn't confirmed his plans one way or the other.

TN-04: Despite the salacious personal scandals that have enveloped him since late last year, GOP Rep. Scott DesJarlais says he'll seek re-election in 2014 and plans to formally kick off his campaign in early August. DesJarlais certainly hasn't seemed very serious about sticking around though, since he's raised very little this cycle and has actually gotten outraised by not one but two primary challengers, state Sen. Jim Tracy and state Rep. Joe Carr.

Other Races:

Special Elections: Here's Johnny's recap of Tuesday night's action in California:

California SD-16: It appears that Republican Andy Vidak has won for real this time. He currently has a 54-46 margin over Democrat Leticia Perez, which is likely just a bit too big a margin for late-counted votes to swing the election. Perez conceded late on Wednesday.

California AD-52: No surprise, this one is going to a runoff. Republican-turned-independent Paul Leon came in first with 25 percent, while Democrat Freddie Rodriguez got the second runoff slot with 22 percent. Republican Dorothy Pineda came in third with 15 percent, while none of the other Democrats in the race hit double digits.

SD-16 is a depressing reminder of how badly Democratic performance can drop off in non-presidential years, especially in some Hispanic communities: Barack Obama won this district 59-39 in 2008! Meanwhile, AD-52 showcases once again how absurd the top two primary is. The seven Democratic candidates combined for 60 percent of the vote overall but the establishment-backed Rodriguez only made it to the second round by coming in second place. It wouldn't have been hard to imagine a runoff between Pineda and Leon.

Grab Bag:

Fundraising: When members of Congress retire, they can do a few different things with their remaining campaign funds. They can give the money to charity, they can donate it to other campaigns and party committees, they can refund it to donors... or they can hang on to it for as long as they please. Some people do this with the idea that they might run for office again some day, but others seem to keep their cash for no discernable reason. Greg Giroux takes a look at some of the most notable hoarders, at the top of the list is former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, who shafted the Democratic Party when he abruptly decided not to seek re-election in 2010. He's remained just as selfish in retirement, holding on to almost $10 million that could actually be used to help elect other Democrats, if he even cared.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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