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Leading Off:

NY-09: Gotta say I like this. Democratic Assemblyman Rory Lancman is already hammering just-sworn-in Rep. Bob Turner, over his vote to prohibit the NLRB from blocking Boeing from relocating a factory to North Carolina in retaliation for workers in Washington going on strike. As Colin Campbell says, Lancman almost certainly would have been a better candidate than David Weprin, and he could be eager to run against Turner if for this district doesn't get blasted to smithereens.


CA-Sen (PDF): Sen. Dianne Feinstein just recorded her lowest-ever job approvals in the newest Field poll, which has been faithfully testing her numbers non-stop since she first took office — all the way back in 1993. Feinstein scores a 41-39 approval rating, down sharply from 46-31 in June. What's more, her re-elects are underwater at 41-44; a year out from her prior re-election campaign in 2006, she stood at 52-38.

Fortunately for Feinstein, Republican fortunes in California have been absolutely abysmal for quite some time, even during last year's red tide, and she doesn't have a challenger yet. The San Francisco Chronicle reports, though, that Michael Reagan, son of the former president and currently a conservative talk radio host, is considering a bid. Weirdly, in an email responding to the paper asking him about whether he was thinking about it, Reagan said: "Yes, but can't talk about it now."

CT-Sen: Quinnipiac released a lengthy poll testing the Democratic and Republican primaries, as well has four general election matchups, for the open-seat Connecticut Senate race. Click the link for all the numbers at Daily Kos Elections.


NH-Gov: James Pindell (behind paywall) suggests a few more names who might be thinking about getting into the gubernatorial race, now that John Lynch has announced his retirement. (We mentioned several here.) On the GOP side:

• John Lyons, state Board of Education Chair

• Bill Binnie, 2010 Senate candidate

• John Stephen, 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee

Notably, he leaves John "Baby" Sununu off his list. (We had him in our initial roundup.) He also has some more Democrats:

• John Kacavas, U.S. Attorney

• Jackie Cilley, former state Senator

• Mark Fernald, 2002 Democratic gubernatorial nominee

Meanwhile, state Sen. (and ex-Rep.) Jeb Bradley will not seek the GOP nomination for the open gubernatorial seat, which is good news for Democrats, since Bradley's supposedly the "reasonable one." That really leaves the major nutcases left as the major contenders for the Republican crown, and while I know we need to be careful what we wish for, Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell are living proof that teh crazy can be a big boon for our side.

UT-Gov: While "tea party leader" is almost always synonymous with "Some Dude," I'm not ready to write off David Kirkham. The Republican businessman, who is weighing a primary challenge to Sen. Orrin Hatch, now says he's also thinking about taking on Gov. Gary Herbert instead. Whichever way he goes, an upset is certainly possible. Utah's unusual convention system gives insurgent conservatives a chance even if they lack a prominent public profile. Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater, the two men who faced off in last year's senate primary, both out-performed incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett among convention-goers, and they were simply known as "attorney" and "businessman" respectively.


CA-36: Erica Felci at The Desert Sun has an interesting piece on a possible Democratic primary battle brewing in the new 36th CD, where Assemblyman Manuel Pérez and physician Raul Ruiz are both interested in taking on GOP Rep. Mary Bono Mack. Local Democratic leaders had hopes of uniting around a single candidate, but that may not happen now.

KS-04: Even before Mike Pompeo won the GOP nomination when Kansas' 4th CD opened up last year, I figured for sure this guy would get primaried. The hatred his rival candidates felt for him was so palpable I could almost feel it through my computer screen. After he won the primary, the second-, third-, and fourth-place finishers all held back on endorsing him. One, Wink Hartman, even went so far as seriously considering a third-party bid. But now it looks like Pompeo dodged at least one bullet: state Sen. Jean Schodorf, the runner-up, just said she'd seek re-election, which means no primary run for her. Still, I wonder what Hartman's up to.

MI-02: Anti-Sharia crusader Dave Agema previously said he'd decide on a primary challenge to freshman GOPer Bill Huizenga in October. Now, in talking to Shira Toeplitz, the state Rep. says he's taking a poll and has moved his timeframe back to November.

OH-03: This article was actually published before the new map came out, but it suggests two other possible Democratic names for the new Columbus-centric 3rd CD: former SoS Jennifer Brunner and 2010 OH-12 candidate Paula Brooks, both of whom have also been mentioned a bunch in comments here.

TX-14: State Rep. Randy Weber followed through on his promise to announce his plans this week, and he will indeed be joining the GOP field to replace retiring Rep. Ron Paul. I believe that makes him the third Republican in the race, but a whole host of others are still considering.

Redistricting Roundup:

CA Redistricting: It sounds like Republican efforts to overturn the new congressional map at the ballot box are getting crushed under a truckload of cat fud. As we mentioned the other day, while quite a few GOPers are deeply unhappy over the redrawn lines, a roughly equal number are rather pleased. Thus it seems that things have ground to a halt. Darrell Issa, one of those in the "sitting pretty" camp, says "My understanding is that there is not a signature gathering."

OH Redistricting: Unsurprisingly, the new Republican-drawn congressional map sailed through the GOP-held state House and now goes before the Senate. Distressingly, a handful of Democrats violated the #1 rule of redistricting, which is never vote for the other side's gerrymander. Three African-American Dems from Cleveland all voted in favor; Sandra Williams, the head of the Legislative Black Caucus, specifically cited her support for the majority-minority Cleveland-to-Akron 11th CD — even though she called the rest of the map "horrible."

While you're busy groaning at that bit of illogic, consider this much more welcome news:

"I am here today to tell you that we are prepared to use every tool at our disposal to fight this unfair, anti-voter congressional map," [state Democratic Party Chairman Chris] Redfern said. "We are weighing our options for a legal challenge and a referendum campaign."

As you may know, legislation in Ohio is subject to a "people's veto," if enough signatures can be gathered to place a law on the ballot for a referendum. This is exactly what's happening right now with the anti-collective bargaining bill called SB5 and, as Redfern says, could very well happen with the new redistricting plan. The problem, as I see it, is that the GOP could just draw a new, equally bad map if this one got overturned, so perhaps a ballot measure proposing an independent redistricting commission would have a more permanent effect. (Note: This was unsuccessfully tried in 2005 as part of a package of measures called Reform Ohio Now.)

TX Redistricting: I'm linking this one for the lulz. If the first graf of this article hadn't told you that John Alford was an expert witness for the state of Texas (i.e., the defendants) in the big San Antonio redistricting lawsuit, you'd have thought for sure he was working for the plaintiffs. Under questioning by the three-judge panel hearing the case, Alford made a series of admissions that undermine a lot of GOP arguments about the fairness and legality of their maps. Not sure how many Republican politicos are gonna hire this guy again, that's for sure.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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