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Leading Off:

IL-08, IL-14: One regular feature of this job is that I'll often come across a link and say to myself, "That just doesn't make any sense." Well, toss another one on to the pile. According to Roll Call, erratic GOP freshman Joe Walsh, who had been planning to seek re-election in the new 14th, is supposedly considering a switch back to the 8th CD. While this would allow Walsh to avoid a primary with fellow first-termer Randy Hultgren, this is a crazy move because the redrawn 8th went for Obama by an extremely lopsided 62-37 margin. Even if my polling showed a difficult race against Hultgren, I'd much rather take my chances in the 14th than go on a suicide run in the 8th (where either Raja Krishnamoorthi or Tammy Duckworth await, both forces to be reckoned with). Anyhow, Walsh's camp is refusing to confirm or deny the story, so obviously that means he really is thinking about it. Could mean we won't have Joe Walsh to kick around for much longer!


AZ-Sen: A very good get for Richard Carmona: Former Sen. Dennis DeConcini, the last Democrat to hold the seat Carmona is now seeking, just gave his endorsement to the former Surgeon General. In fact, DeConcini immediately preceded Republican Jon Kyl in Arizona's Class 1 Senate seat before retiring in 1995, and amazingly enough, he's the state's only living ex-senator. (On that note, for the trivially-inclined, Wikipedia has a great page listing all living former U.S. senators.) Carmona faces former state party chair Don Bivens in the Democratic primary.

PA-Sen: This is unexpected: Republican state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says he's considering a run against Dem Sen. Bob Casey, who heretofore has only drawn very minor-league opponents. Pileggi has reportedly met with national and local GOP bigwigs, but he isn't offering any timetable for a decision. If the name sounds familiar, that's because he was the guy behind Pennsylvania's ill-fated plan earlier this year to change the way it allots electoral votes, from winner-take-all to CD-by-CD.

WA-Sen, WA-Gov: SurveyUSA takes its occasional look at Washington state for KING-TV, finding the governor's race completely unchanged over the last couple of months. But for the first time, they also tested the Senate race, and they find Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell in good shape. Click the link for our complete post at Daily Kos Elections.


MO-Gov, MO-02: In the wake of one of his aides mass-emailing an opposition research memo on fellow Republican Dave Spence to the entire universe, Ed Martin told a radio host on Tuesday that he is indeed considering a switch to the governor's race, where Spence is seeking the GOP nomination. Martin, a conservative favorite, is currently running for the open 2nd Congressional District, and before that had been making a bid for the Senate.

WI-Gov: Not too shabby: Just 12 days into their 60-day window, organizers say they've already collected 300,000 signatures to put Scott Walker on the ballot for a recall election. They need 540,208 by law, but are shooting for 600 to 700K as a cushion against challenges. Hopefully this also means that state senate recall petition-gathering is going well, too.


AZ-06: The Club for Growth just gave their backing to ex-Rep. Matt Salmon in his bid to win the GOP nomination for Jeff Flake's open seat. His main opponents are former state House Speaker Kirk Adams and former state Senate majority leader Chuck Gray, though Salmon seems to be doing better on the endorsement front, seeing as he's also garnered support from Rep. Trent Franks and Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio.

FL-08, FL-27: Ex-Rep. Alan Grayson, who is mounting a comeback bid in an Orlando-area district to be determined later, says it's too early to comment on redistricting—but if something like the state Senate map passes, he's in a pickle. The 8th CD (which he represented for a single term) was made more Republican, going from 53-47 Obama to 50-49. Meanwhile, the neighboring new 27th CD is much more hospitable at 59-40 Obama, but it's a 40% Hispanic district where Grayson would have a tough time winning the primary. For the same reason, the 8th is now a problem for former Orlando police chief Val Demings, who launched her campaign there over the summer. Demings is African American, so she'd also face the same issues Grayson would if she tried her hand at the Democratic nomination in the 27th.

LA-03: Citizens United (yes, that Citizens United) just gave their endorsement (and a $5,000 check) to GOP freshman Jeff Landry, a man without a district but one whom Tea Partiers want to see take on veteran Rep. Charles Boustany in the Republican primary. I should add that CU, despite having the best-known name in dark money, isn't actually a major player. It 2010, it only spent $2.6 million. By contrast, Karl Rove's American Crossroads shelled out ten times as much last cycle.

MA-04: Here's another possible Democratic name who might run for Barney Frank's open seat: Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan, who didn't rule out a bid, but claimed that running for Congress "is not even on my mind." In the same breath, he said he thought he'd "do very well" if he did enter, but he also just won re-election to his current post a few weeks ago. (Last year, Flanagan suggested he was looking at a challenge to Sen. Scott Brown, but never followed through on it.)

ND-AL: Shane Goettle, who resigned earlier this month as state director for Sen. John Hoeven, just became the fourth Republican to enter the race for North Dakota's open House seat.

Redistricting Roundup:

CT Redistricting: Mark Pazniokas at the Connecticut Mirror offers some insight on why Connecticut's redistricting negotiations are at risk of going off-track. The panel actually handling the issue is made up of an equal number of Democratic and Republican legislators, four apiece; while a ninth member, former state auditor Kevin Johnston, is in fact also Democrat, he's not involved in the process and is purely a figurehead. (He was selected as someone mutually agreeable to both sides, and obviously the GOP wasn't going to allow a tiebreaker who might vote against them.)

So as you might expect, things are deadlocked, mostly because the GOP is demanding that the open (and swingy) 5th District be reshaped to their liking. While they are nominally whining that it constitutes some kind of ugly gerrymander, that's obviously just cover for the fact that they want a seat they can more easily win next year. In any event, if the commission can't reach agreement by Wednesday, the matter stands a good chance of getting kicked to the courts, though the map-makers could potentially ask for more time.

FL Redistricting: Wow. Thanks to some ingenious hacking by user Tallahasset, we now have complete election data for all statewide races from 2006 through 2010 for the Florida state Senate's proposed new congressional districts. This includes Obama-McCain numbers for 2008, but you'll probably want to check those out in this spreadsheet, which compares the old district lines to the new ones. We've also got racial statistics for all the districts as well.

The St. Petersburg Times' blog The Buzz has a good roundup of exactly who would get moved where under the new map. Technically speaking, five districts lack an incumbent, but a little carpetbagging never hurt anyone. Click the link for the full details on which members got double-bunked.

KY Redistricting: Republican state Sen. Damon Thayer has released a redistricting proposal which he says is his own plan, not something authored by his caucus. It stays pretty close to current boundaries but mostly tries to screw Dem Rep. Ben Chandler in the 6th. Click the link to see the map.

TX Redistricting: It's not clear why he delayed, but AG Greg Abbott just amended the stay request he filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to include the new interim congressional map, along with the legislative maps he already asked the court to block.

On a related note, the indispensible Michael Li makes a great point: Abbott told the Texas Tribune that if the SCOTUS denies his request for a stay, he'll try to have the DC court hearing the preclearance case throw out the interim maps produced by the San Antonio court. Why is this meaningful? As Michael explains: "A requirement of a stay is a showing of ‘irreparable’ harm—something Abbott seemingly undercuts his case for by arguing to the press that he has a viable second path for getting what he wants." Not the first stupid thing Abbott's done, and not the last.

Finally, Dave has uploaded the new Texas court-drawn interim congressional map to DRA. (He also has a couple of other updates.) Go nuts!

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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