Today, especially on the polling front, is considerably more quiet than the smorgasboard that was available on Monday. There is news, however, mostly on the candidate front.
WI-Gov: Partisan Poll Claims Walker Lead For Now-Open Govs Race
The only poll released today comes out of the gubernatorial race in Wisconsin, which became an open-seat race last week when two-term Democrat Jim Doyle elected to retire rather than seek a third term. It is a partisan poll, conducted by the Republican firm the Tarrance Group, so bring the salt. The pollster claims that Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker leads all three potential Democrats, although he is in a virtual tossup with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (44-43). The leads over Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton (48-40) and Congressman Ron Kind (49-39) are a bit more secure. The same survey has Walker easily besting former Congressman Mark Neumann in a GOP primary (57-21), while it also has Barrett with a double-digit lead over Lawton and Kind in a Democratic Primary. Barrett leads the Dem primary with 39%, to 25% for Lawton and 19% for Kind. The poll, conducted last week, did not measure Neumann against the three Democrats.
NJ-Gov: AUSA At Center of Christie Controversy Tenders Her Resignation
Saying that she did not want to be a distraction to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Brown offered her resignation today. Brown, you will recall, was the recipient of a $46,000 loan from former US Attorney (and current GOP nominee for Governor) Chris Christie, which raised questions about conflict-of-interest, as well as caused headaches for Christie, who refused to report the loan either in his public financial disclosure forms or his tax returns.
OR-Sen: Wyden Flirting With A Primary Challenge?
An interesting rumor (that appears to have already been shot down): recently word began to bubble up that Senator Ron Wyden might face a primary challenge from former Independent (and, before that, former Republican) John Frohnmeyer. Frohnmeyer nearly ran for the U.S. Senate in 2008 as an Independent, going after incumbent Gordon Smith from the left. Frohnmeyer talked to Jeff Mapes of the Oregonian, however, and confirmed that Wyden has angered him a bit on the health care issue, but also declared that he was not planning on channeling that anger into a primary challenge.
NY-Gov: Giuliani Sending Mixed Signals About Governor's Race
The odds on whether or not Rudy Giuliani will seek the Republican nomination for Governor depend upon whether you were reading The New York Times today, or Politico. The NYT makes it appear as if Giuliani is laying the groundwork for a bid, while Politico chats with members of his inner circle, who are skeptical about the prospects of Rudy making the race. One of the doubters points out a lack of fundraising on his part (although one has to imagine he could raise whatever resources he needs).
UT-Sen: The Club For Growth Finds Their Latest Target
...And he is longtime Utah Republican Senator Bob Bennett. Bennett, facing a primary challenge from state Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (and possibly, also, from freshman Congressman Jason Chaffetz), has become the latest Republican to stray far enough from GOP orthodoxy to earn the emnity of the folks at CfG (of course, in Bennett's defense, straying three-and-a-quarter inches from GOP orthodoxy is enough to get the CfG's undies in a twist).
TX-Gov: GOP Primary Getting Ugly, Early
This is not necessarily breaking news, but it makes the cut for the wrap-up based on sheer entertainment value alone. Apparently, as U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison began her gubernatorial campaign with a kickoff tour last week, she got an unusual welcome from incumbent Republican Rick Perry. Perry, evidently, had some supporters crash her tour stop in Austin, bringing along two live pigs in a truck, and wearing pig snouts themselves. They handed out KBH "Bailout Bucks" and flaunted a sign which read "Pork: Washington's Other Financial Mess." Democrats, if they can coalesce around a serious candidate, could benefit from what promises to be an absolutely vicious primary between these two, who seem to have a genuine antipathy for one another.
CA-10: Special Election Now One Week Away
Californians in the 10th Congressional District head to the polls in exactly one week. A quartet of Democrats have emerged as the "lead pack" to earn the Democratic nomination in this (mostly) blue district. Lt. Governor John Garamendi has had a lead in the polls, but he is being chased by state Senator Mark DeSaulnier, state Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, and political rookie and Iraq War vet Anthony Woods. David Dayen over at Calitics gives a solid rundown with seven days to go in the campaign.
KY-State Senate: Dems Pick Up Another Senate Seat in Special Election
If you rely solely on the traditional media for your political coverage, you might think that, at this point, the Democrats will never win another election. Ever. In the real world, however, the Democrats actually picked up a State Senate seat tonight in, of all places, rural Northern Kentucky. Democrat Robin Webb scored the narrow (282 vote) win over Republican Jack Ditty in the 18th Senate district. This was a closely-watched contest in a competitive Senate district. Is this indicative of a Democratic wave? Of course not. Special elections with low turnouts (this one had a 23% turnout) are rarely indicators of anything rather than the ability of the candidates to turn out their home base (although the press, and one DK diarist, tried to make them into a great deal more than that when the GOP scored some special election wins earlier in the year). In this case, Webb's entire margin of victory was owed to her 3-to-2 victory in her home county (Carter County), a county that went 58-42 for the Republican incumbent when this seat was last contested in 2006.
The Battle For the House: New Names Joining the 2010 Field
Crisitunity over at Swing State has a number of new challengers for 2010 in the battle for control of the U.S. House of Representatives. In OH-16, Democratic freshman John Boccieri gets a potentially legitimate (and, almost certainly, self-funded) challenge from nursing home owner Jim Renacci, who also was a co-owner of the local Arena Football franchise. Meanwhile, in CA-18, the GOP takes aim at the historically Democratic district of Dennis Cardoza. Republican Mike Berryhill is looking to take this seat, which has been in Democratic hands for decades. There are also a pair of potentially legitimate primary challengers, as DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May is pondering a challenge to Hank Johnson in GA-04, while Lee Terry is looking at a potential self-funder in businessman Matt Sakalosky, who already signalled his intention to make the race.