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CA-Sen: While she's been easily reelected throughout her long career in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein tends to draw her fair share of grumbling (particularly in the netroots, where it's assumed that her successor could be more liberal than she is). Is that grumbling becoming more widespread? The latest Field Poll has only 43% of registered voters in California "inclined" to re-elect her, with 39% "not inclined." (That 4% spread is the same as a March 2011 poll; compare that with this point in 2005, where the re-elect numbers were 56-37.) She gets solid but not red-hot 66-19 support among Democrats, and only 15-70 among Republicans. Compare that to 2005, when she was at 74-12 among Democrats and 30-47 among Republicans. Unless Republicans can actually cough up a real opponent, she's just as likely to skate next year as in previous years, but it's still worth noting some of the bloom coming off her rose. (David Jarman)

MO-Sen, IA-04, MN-06: What does this weird assemblage of races have in common? The Republican candidate in each case — Todd Akin, Steve King, and Michele Bachmann — spent taxpayer money on a Nov. 2009 tea party rally, according to House expense reports dug up by Roll Call. (GA-06 Rep. Tom Price also chipped in, but he's not in any kind of competitive race.) Bachmann tried to call the event a "press conference" (because activists screaming "KILL THE BILL!" = press conference), but of course, spending government money on political activities is prohibited. A prior CREW complaint was dismissed in a House ethics investigation, but CREW says they didn't know at the time that these members had spent five figures on a sound system rental.

NV-Sen: Harry Reid is looking for any way he can to derail the candidacy of wealthy lawyer Byron Georgiou, so he dispatched an unnamed aide to gripe to the Las Vegas Sun about Georgiou's supposed ethical lapses as a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission — a spot he was appointed to by Reid. Georgiou of course fired back, blaming "Washington insiders who are desperate to deprive Nevada’s voters of a choice." Obviously this little spitball wasn't going to dislodge ol' Byron, but I imagine it's Reid's way of saying, "There's more coming." I have a feeling this whole thing won't end well.

VA-Sen: Rep. Bobby Scott says he's sticking to his timetable and will decide in early July whether to challenge Tim Kaine in the Democratic primary. Scott had previously called such a run "unlikely," but has made some tweaks to his website in recent days which, if you really enjoy reading dreggy tea leaves, could indicate an openness to a Senate run.


FL-Gov: Is Rick Scott following Newt Gingrich's lead? Two top aides are leaving his administration, his chief-of-staff and a key policy advisor. The Miami Herald's Mark Caputo also tweets that Scott's deputy CoS and scheduler may bail, too.

KY-Gov: Not a shocker, since it just continues a long-standing trend, but Gov. Steve Beshear keeps brutalizing his Republican opponent, David Williams, on the fundraising front. At the conclusion of the May primary, Beshear had $2.7 million on hand, compared to just $90K for Williams. Beshear says he's raised another $1.5 mil since then, but Williams refused to specify a figure.

NJ-Gov: Chris Christie scores his first-ever negative job approval rating in a Quinnipiac poll, edging downward to 44-47 (from 47-46 in April).

WA-Gov: The AP busts GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna for using math so dumb it must be making his 8th grade algebra teacher blush with embarrassment. Of course, using fuzzy math is a classic Republican trick and one which they usually get away with, so it wouldn't surprise me at all to see McKenna keep it up.


IL-17: State Sen. Dave Koehler may not have the Democratic primary in the new 17th all to himself: former state Rep. Mike Boland says he's also thinking about running here. Boland said he'll decide whether to form an exploratory committee (i.e., decide whether to start deciding) in a month. Other Dems are hovering around the race as well and may yet get in.

MN-06: Minnesota's state GOP chair offers some possible replacement names for Michele Bachmann, should she not seek re-election, in particular Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and former state Rep. (and 2010 gubernatorial loser) Tom Emmer. T.W. Budig of Hometown Source also mentions three candidates who ran against Bachmann in the primary when this seat was open in 2006: ex-state Reps. Jim Knoblach and Phil Krinkie, as well as businessman Jay Esmay. (Knoblach said he wouldn't rule it out.)

MT-AL: Dem state Sen. Kim Gillan, who has served in the legislature since 1997, is throwing her hat into the ring for Montana's open at-large seat.

NM-01: Props to Heath Haussamen for getting it straight from the horse's mouth. Several sources had told him that former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish wouldn't seek the open 1st CD House seat, but Haussamen got Denish herself on the phone, and the Democrat told him a run is "still on the table."

NV-02: The size of the buy for that nutbag Mark Amodei ad we mentioned yesterday? $2,000. In terms of getting media attention, it sure worked. In terms of helping Amodei's image? Well, it is a pretty red district….

NY-10: City Councilman Charles Barron tells The Perez Notes that "it's a good possibility" he'll run against Rep. Ed Towns in the Democratic primary.

NY-25: While ex-Rep. Dan Maffei seems like a good bet to stage a rematch with freshman GOPer Ann Marie Buerkle, Roll Call mentions two other names. One, attorney Brianne Murphy, is already running, while Onondaga County Legislator Tom Buckel is thinking about the race.

Grab Bag:

WATN?: For sale: One vomit-caked yacht. Asking price: $7.9 million. Ask for Jeff.

Redistricting Roundup:

Louisiana: We're starting to get our first bits of preclearance news, though it's on the state legislative level. The DoJ signed off on Louisiana's new state House map, even though black lawmakers have insisted it should contain four (rather than three) minority districts in the Shreveport area. A federal lawsuit is still possible.

Texas: The state Senate accepted amendments to the federal map proposed by the House, sending the final plan off to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature. Once that happens, we'll then have to wait for the half-a-bajillion lawsuits filed over redistricting to wend their way through the courts.

Virginia: Virginia's state House and Senate maps were also both precleared. However, unlike in LA, it doesn’t seem as though anyone has vocal concerns about minority representation with the new lines, at least on the state level, so we may not see any litigation. (But a VRA suit over whatever congressional map winds up passing is very likely, I'd say.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Jun 22, 2011 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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