OK

Tonight will mark the end of the first six months of 2010. Aside from musing in wonderment about time and how it flies and all of that, you might take this opportunity to show some love for those Orange to Blue candidates. You all are so great, of course, that our bar for the day has already been cleared with room to spare. So let's get 4000 contributors total before the clock strikes midnight on the East Coast (we are about 35 away, at last count).

Also, you might want to show some love to any additional candidates you feel are deserving (Tom Perriello and Patrick Murphy will see some of my money personally before the deadline, for example).

For those who hate the campaign cash appeals, there is a bright side. In less than 90 minutes, we'll stop asking. For a while, at least.

On with the Wrap....

THE U.S. SENATE

IL-Sen: Kirk tries to hit Giannoulias, who hits back. Hard.
For fans of aggressive Democratic politicians, this is pretty good to see. As was expected, Mark Kirk followed up his "I'm back" press conference with new ads, one of which resurrected the tired old "mob banker" meme that he had used on Democratic nominee Alexi Giannoulias in the past. The Democrat hit back today with an ad reminding people of the breadth of Kirk's biographical embellishments. As you can see, it is one hell of a shot.

KY-Sen: Mongiardo rules out 2011 run, 2010 endorsement
Stuff like this just reminds you why Jack Conway was put on the Orange-to-Blue list in the midst of a competitive primary: Conway's vanquished rival in that primary, Lt. Governor Dan Mongiardo, has decided that he will not endorse either candidate in the 2010 general election. From the looks of things, though, this does not look like genuine indecision over whether he prefers Rand Paul or Conway. Rather, it looks like a bit of personal pique: Mongiardo noted that he has not heard from Conway since immediately after the primary. Mongiardo also ruled out a 2011 gubernatorial bid, in which he would have been a decided underdog to the ticket of Governor Steve Beshear and his new running mate, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.

WV-Sen: Might there be a 2010 special elex, after all?
The semi-definitive word from West Virginia Sec. of State Natalie Tennant this week regarding the special election to replace the late Robert Byrd might not be the final word. There are now rumblings that the concept of a November 2010 special election might not be dead, after all. There are both legal questions (regarding the application of the election laws, something state AG Darrell McGraw is still reviewing) and political questions to consider. Here is a political theory, for example: Democratic Governor Joe Manchin might be a better bet to hold the seat for Democrats now rather than 2012. His approval is sky-high now, with no guarantee that it will remain that way for 30 months. Furthermore, having President Obama at the top of the ticket, even in a good Democratic climate, is not necessarily an asset in West Virginia, given his weak performances there in both the 2008 primary and general elections.

THE U.S. HOUSE

NJ-07: New internal poll implies GOP freshman can be had
From the diaries here at Daily Kos this afternoon came a potentially interesting addition to the 2010 electoral target list: freshman Republican Congressman Leonard Lance. A new internal poll conducted on behalf of Democratic nominee Ed Potosnak shows that Lance is well under 50% in his re-election bid against Potosnak. Lance holds a 43-30 lead over the Democrat, but an "informed trial heat" cuts the lead down to four points (47-43). In 2008, when the seat was a top-tier open seat race, Lance defeated Linda Stender by a surprisingly wide 50-42 margin.

WA-02: Best internal poll. Ever.
This is awesomeness, squared: the campaign of Republican contender John Koster is flogging an internal poll claiming a lead over Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen. Now, Koster did hold Larsen to a 50-46 margin in their first battle for this seat back in 2000, and this is a tough climate. Two things foster a bit of skepticism about the poll, though. Numero Uno: the results revealed by Koster's pollster says that the toplines were "in the neighborhood" (WTF?) of a 53-47 Koster lead. Not only no undecideds, but..."in the neighborhood"?! Numero two-o, though, is even better: at least one polling question identified Larsen as a Republican. How do we know this? Because Larsen himself was one of the 700-ish people polled! How do you like those one-in-one-thousand odds?!

THE GUBERNATORIAL RACES

AZ-Gov: Local personnel dispute latest bizarre Brewer claim
Now that she has apparently sewn up the Republican nomination through her anti-immigrant crusade, Governor Jan Brewer might be creating an opening in the general election from her inability to close her own mouth. Her latest outlandish claims are being refuted by medical examiners in her home state. Brewer claimed over the weekend that border-region law enforcement are finding beheaded bodies in the desert, a sign of the violence that is visited upon Arizona by immigration along the Mexican border (right up there with the drug mules comment from last week). Her problem: six county medical examiners are disputing that assertion, saying that they have never encountered such a case.

WI-Gov: PPP sees modest leads for GOP contenders vs. Barrett
Falling in line with virtually every poll in the state, the crew over at PPP find that either Republican contender for Governor holds the lead against the likely Democratic nominee, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker leads the Democrat by seven points (45-38), while former Congressman Mark Neumann holds a slightly smaller advantage (41-36). One aggravating factor is that this is one of a handful of states where favorability for President Obama has taken a real downfall in the 20 months since his election. Elected in the state by a 56-42 margin, he now faces a 45/50 approval spread. Barrett also doesn't benefit from the Democrat in charge of the statehouse: Governor Jim Doyle's approval rating languishes in the high 20s.

THE RAS-A-POLL-OOZA

The House of Ras hits two high-profile Dem Senate targets for 2012, and has the Dems trailing (shocking, I know). Notably, though, both Democrats are within striking range. Meanwhile, one Democratic pickup seems assured, even by Team Rasmussen--Republican Linda Lingle will apparently be replaced by a Democrat.

HI-Gov: Neal Abercrombie (D) 58%, Duke Aiona (R) 32%
HI-Gov: Mufi Hannemann (D) 52%, Duke Aiona (R) 30%
HI-Gov: Neal Abercrombie (D) 59%, John Carroll (R) 30%
HI-Gov: Mufi Hannemann (D) 57%, John Carroll (R) 23%
KY-Sen: Rand Paul (R) 49%, Jack Conway (D) 42%
MO-Sen: Roy Blunt (R) 48%, Robin Carnahan (D) 43%

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 07:56 PM PDT.

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