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Senate:

CT-Sen: A very weak haul from ex-SoS Susan Bysiewicz, who comes in behind her two competitors in the Democratic primary. Her takes of $427K puts her back of not only Rep. Chris Murphy ($925K) but also state Rep. William Tong, the essentially unknown Lieberman acolyte who brought in $550K in his inaugural quarter.

Meanwhile, on the GOP side, Kevin Rennie says that ex-Rep. (and ex-CT resident!) Chris Shays is waiting on "the results of a public poll" to see if he can beat Linda McMahon for the Republican nomination. What poll could Rennie mean? Something from Quinnipiac?

FL-Sen: Sean Sullivan at the Hotline has a good summary of Mike Haridopolos's recent travails as he seeks the Republican Senate nomination, including the departure of his campaign manager and another top advisor. I always urge caution when trying to analyze staff shakeups like this, especially where, as here, a new CM is already in place. (That to me suggests "orderly transition" rather than "upheaval.") But it is a little curious when key people leave the campaign of a supposed frontrunner this early on.

Also, Sullivan flags this report in the Miami Herald which goes a long way toward explaining why Haridopolos's fundraising plummeted from $2.5 million in Q1 to just $900K in Q2: Huge chunks of his early money came from special interests with business before the state legislature (where Haridopolos runs the Senate). The legislative session ended in early May, though, so it would make sense if these moneybags simply shut their coffers at that point.

MA-Sen: President Obama nominated former Ohio AG Richard Cordray to become the first director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, passing over interim chief Elizabeth Warren (who immediately endorsed Cordray for the job). Presumably, this means Warren is now free to pursue a senate run in Massachusetts, though I'm unclear how long she might remain in her current role (technically, she's a special advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury) while Cordray's nomination is pending. (Republicans predictably hate Cordray, too, so it may be a while before he gets confirmed, if ever.)

MI-Sen: A couple of interesting developments in the Michigan Senate contest. First, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner John McCulloch, who had been mulling a run for a little while, officially entered the race on Friday, making him the most prominent Republican by far to jump in. But a second, much bigger name, is apparently reconsidering: ex-Rep. Pete Hoekstra, who previously declined a run, is apparently having second thoughts, according to Dave Catanese's sources. I guess that turtle fence must be nearing completion.

MO-Sen: I can't say I'm impressed with Republican fundraising in the Missouri Senate race. While Sen. Claire McCaskill pulled in a strong $1.4 million, her two chief GOP rivals didn't fare nearly so well. Rep. Todd Akin managed $500K (and has $1.2 mil cash-on-hand), while ex-Treasurer Sarah Steelman took in just $200K (and has $181K in the bank after spending more than she raised this quarter).

MT-Sen: Montana Republican Senate candidates seem to have remarkably douchey attitudes towards firefighters (click the link for details about how both Conrad Burns and Denny Rehberg have treated them), so it's no surprised that the Montana State Fireman's Association is backing Jon Tester for re-election.

NM-Sen: Aww yeah, baby. Now the New Mexico Republican Senate primary can really begin. After dancing around the issue for weeks and weeks, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez finally uttered those magic words: "I would vote for Rep. Ryan’s plan." And with that, he started hammering ex-Rep. Heather Wilson, ensuring that she'll either be forced to play ball, or wind up failing this key conservative litmus test. Let the cat fud fly!

OH-Sen: GOP Treasurer Josh Mandel's continued attempts to pretend that he's not running for Senate have reached truly comical heights. In his press release touting his 2Q fundraising haul ($2.3 million), Mandel refers to himself as a "Senate challenger"… but a spokesman still insists he isn't actually running (yet). Come on!

UT-Sen: Speaking of sucky numbers, Rep. Jason Chaffetz raised just $124K in Q2 — as Aaron Blake notes, just a tenth of what the guy he's likely to primary (Orrin Hatch) took in. Now, Chaffetz doesn't necessarily need to win a primary — he can send Orrin packing posthaste as long as he gets 60% of the delegates at the GOP convention. But even that will take some money.

WA-Sen: While a couple of big names haven't formally ruled it out, the GOP is getting down to stems and seeds in the search for a challenger to Sen. Maria Cantwell. The latest name is one you probably have never heard of: Scott Stanzel, a one-time deputy press secretary for none other than George W. Bush.

WI-Sen: Republican robopollster Magellan is out with surveys of both primaries in the open Wisconsin Senate race. Unbelievably (for a polling company that wants to be taken seriously), they actually describe (PDF) the Dem respondents as "likely Democrat primary voters" and asked them if they'd "choose to vote in the Republican primary or the Democrat primary?" Groan.

Anyhow, they asked two tests on the D side: Tammy Baldwin vs. Ron Kind, and Baldwin vs. Steve Kagen. The results favored Baldwin in both cases: 41-19 for the former, and 46-21 for the latter. For the Republicans, they also tested twice. The first matchup had Tommy Thompson at 41, Mark Neumann at 26, and Jeff Fitzgerald at 15, while the second was Thompson 44 and Neumann 36.

Gubernatorial:

LA-Gov: With the election less than four months away, Democrats may finally have found a challenger to Gov. Bobby Jindal: state Sen. Rob Marionneaux, who will soon be term-limited out of office.

MO-Gov: Gov. Jay Nixon is still keeping a good distance between himself and his likely Republican opponent when it comes to fundraising. Nixon took in $1.5 million in the most recent quarter, compared to Peter Kinder's $1 mil, and has twice the cash-on-hand: $3.2 million to $1.7 mil.

NC-Gov: PPP tests their home-state gubernatorial race every month, and I'm impressed that Tom Jensen always finds something to say about it. But things are pretty stable, and I'm out of ideas.

House:

CA-03: Though Democrats already have a strong challenger to GOP Rep. Dan Lungren, Assemblywoman Alyson Huber says she's thinking about running, too, depending on the outcome of redistricting. If she gets into the race, she'd first have to get past the well-funded Ami Bera, who is seeking a rematch.

CA-Long Beach Port: Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong, a Republican, is setting up a congressional exploratory committee and may run if the final maps place him in the a new LB-centered district. Democratic state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, has already said he plans to run here.

CT-05: It's a confusing story, but the bottom line is that Dan Roberti is engaging in a bullshit attack against fellow Dem Chris Donovan. The short version is that in the wake of the collapse of a $1.6 billion concession package negotiated with state unions, Gov. Dan Malloy sought the authority to make budget cuts on his own (including layoffs of state workers and reductions in aid to cities and towns). Donovan, the Speaker of the House, successfully fought to limit this plan... but somehow Roberti decided that preventing cuts in funding for cities constituted "protecting special interests," and sent out a press release attacking Donovan for doing just that. That's both deeply weird and dishonest, and I think shows you where the ideological fault lines are likely to run in this primary.

FL-10: We've seen this movie a few times before, but is this just a re-run, or a sequel? Ancient GOP Rep. Bill Young raised just $8,700 in the second quarter, but no one is dumb enough to say the small take is "fueling retirement speculation," because you just never know with this guy. Joshua Miller also mentions a couple of possible Democratic candidates in this swingish (but subject-to-change) district: state Sen. Charlie Justice, the once-touted candidate who flopped miserably with just 34% of the vote last year; state Rep. Rick Kriseman; former State Rep. Janet Long; and Pinellas County Commissioner Kenneth Welch.

IA-04: It's the announcement of the announcement: Former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack will, according to a source, formally enter the race against GOP Rep. Steve King tomorrow. (By the way, Vilsack totally housed King in fundraising this quarter, $424K to $169K.)

IL-17: East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos, who had been contemplating the race for a while, formally threw her hat into the ring last week. Several other Democrats are also seeking the nomination.

ME-02: Republican state Senate President Kevin Raye says he's considering a run against Dem Rep. Mike Michaud, which would be a rematch of the 2002 race Raye narrowly lost when the seat came open in 2002. Interestingly, Raye ran to Michaud's left on the issue of abortion, which makes me wonder if 2010 candidate and teabagger fave Jason Levesque (also mentioned as a possible rematch contender) could give Raye serious trouble in a primary.

MI-05: Dem state Sen. John Gleason, who contemplated a primary challenge to Rep. Dale Kildee back in 2008, says he's taking a "very serious look" at seeking the seat now that Kildee is retiring. Meanwhile, as we had speculated, Dan Kildee (nephew of Dale) also says he's thinking about the race. And on the GOP side, both former Lt. Gov. John Cherry and 2010 candidate John Kupiec say they are possible candidates.

NM-01: Republican Janice Arnold-Jones, who has been in "exploratory" mode since forever, has finally gotten into the race for real… I think? Click the link and tell me if you can make sense of this latest nonsense.

OR-05: Dem Rep. Kurt Schrader just caught a break: 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee Chris Dudley, who came very close to winning the governor's mansion last year, said he wouldn't run for Congress. That's good news, because Dudley did quite well in the 5th CD. The guy who actually did run against Schrader last year, Scott Bruun, also sounds pretty unlikely, saying "I am not" the strongest candidate. (Who is? Dudley, says Bruun.)

SD-AL: Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth became the first Democrat to file paperwork for a challenge against freshman GOPer Kristi Noem, but he says he won't formally announce his campaign until September. Minnehaha, located in the southeastern part of South Dakota, is actually the state's largest county (pop. 183K) and contains the state's biggest city, Sioux Falls.

Other Races:

WI Recall: Wisconsin's Democratic Party released a poll by the Mellman Group showing Dem Rep. Sandy Pasch edging GOP Sen. Alberta Darling 47-46 — a pretty surprising result, if accurate, since Darling is pretty much our toughest target in the upcoming recalls.

Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso:

We have not one, not two, but three specials in Georgia on Tuesday. First, in SD-26, located in Macon and some surrounding rural territory, the incumbent Senator has resigned to run for mayor of Macon. Three candidates have filed, including two Democrats, realtor Miriam Paris and ex-State Rep. David Lucas (who resigned to run for this seat), and one Republican, minister Bobby Gale. This is a majority-black, safely Democratic seat (about 70-30 Obama), so one of the two Democrats is likely to win here, regardless of who gets into the runoff.

Second, there's a runoff in HD-113, where Republican Charles Williams and Democrat Dan Matthews advanced from the first round. This is a heavily Republican seat, so Williams is definitely favored to win here.

Finally, HD-139, which was held by the aforementioned David Lucas, is up, and one of two Democrats will be taking the seat, optometrist James Beverly or chiropractor/college professor Anissa Jones. No Republicans filed here.

Grab Bag:

FEC: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) took in a monster haul this past quarter — $3.1 mil, good for $5.8 cash-on-hand — but the real reason I want to flag this story is because she's taking up the cause of legislation to finally, finally, finally force Senate campaigns to file their campaign finance reports electronically. It's absolutely insane, but the way it works now (and has for many years) is that Senate candidates file paper reports, which are then scanned in. Not only is this ridiculously cumbersome and wasteful, and not only is quality of the scanned documents poor, but it also leads to serious lagtime in getting these reports online. For insane reasons, it's been impossible to get this legislation through Congress in previous sessions, but here's hoping Gillibrand has better luck.

Pennsylvania: PPP has their miscellaneous roundup for the Keystone State, the most interesting number of which is the generic ballot, which shows Democrats leading 46-40 in the state. Says Tom of this result and a similar one from Florida last week: "I think Democrats' chances of retaking the House are being significantly undervalued by most experts right now."

WATN?: Criminal charges against 2010 OH-13 GOP candidate Tom Ganley, who was accused of sexually assaulting a prospective campaign volunteer, were dropped by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office. The charges derailed Ganley's candidacy almost overnight, but the victim no longer wished to go to trial.

Redistricting Roundup:

North Carolina: Republicans are saying that they plan to release a new congressional map soon — supposedly as early as this past weekend, but I'm not sure that actually happened.

New Jersey: Former state Attorney General John Farmer will reportedly be tapped to serve as the tiebreaking vote on the state's congressional redistricting commission. Farmer served as AG, which is an appointed position in New Jersey, under Republican Govs. Christie Whitman and Donald DiFrancesco. He also served as counsel earlier this year to Prof. Alan Rosenthal, who was the tiebreaking vote for the legislative remap.

Ohio: Another redistricting competition with cash prizes on the line, this time in Ohio. While the software isn't up and running yet, organizers specifically suggest using Dave's App to get started in the meantime.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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