Let's wrap this Wednesday up.
THE BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE PART I: Dems Lead Generic Ballot
Rasmussen, as they do weekly, are out with their Congressional ballot poll. 41% of respondents intend to vote for the Democratic candidate, versus 38% of respondents who will vote for the Republican. This is an improvement of two points for the Democrats over last week.
THE BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE PART II: Lots of New Candidates
Both Swing State and DC’s Political Report bring news of a raft of new House candidates declaring their intent to seek seats in 2010. There are seven new candidate announcements in all. In GA-09, state Rep. Tom Graves (R) moves into an already crowded field to take over for Republican Congressman Nathan Deal, who is running for governor. In IL-17, Democratic incumbent Phil Hare drew a Republican challenger in restaurant owner Bobby Schilling. Hare criticized Schilling off the bat for declaring his candidacy on Memorial Day, injecting politics into a day of remembrance. In MO-07, the crowded field to replace Republican Whip Roy Blunt got a little more crowded, as state Senator Gary Nodler (R) got into the race. In NC-07, as longtime Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre contemplates jumping into the Senate race, a Democratic candidate has emerged. Army veteran Nathaniel Cooper is waiting to jump in, and indicated he might run as an Independent if his candidacy lacks support within the Democratic Party. A pair of major league primary challenges could be emerging in the Keystone State, where Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty (D) refused to rule out a challenge to longtime Rep. Paul Kanjorski in PA-11, while John Murtha is getting primaried in PA-12 by Naval officer Ryan Bucchianeri. Finally, a potentially serious challenge to Democrat Ron Kind has emerged in WI-03, where state Senator Dan Kapanke (R) is talking about getting into the race.
NATIONAL/CALIFORNIA: New Numbers on Support for Same-Sex Marriage
With same-sex marriage becoming a national story, given the CA Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8 yesterday (and the announcement of a pending federal law suit filed by onetime rivals Ted Olson and David Boies today), both Gallup and SurveyUSA decided to poll the issue. Gallup did it nationally, and found that support for same-sex marriage is neither growing nor shrinking—a spread of 40% support and 57% opposition, virtually unchanged from the last time they surveyed the issue, which was last year. SurveyUSA polls just in California, and finds support for same-sex marriage in the same position (narrow defeat) that it was in during the 2008 election cycle.
WHITE HOUSE 2012: A Couple of Republican Boomlets??
With likely GOP White House hopeful Mike Huckabee deciding to make some news today, it is worth noting that two other potential WH 2012 suitors have had their names in lights over the last few days. The Clarion Ledger reports that even high school students think that Haley Barbour is going to run for President (by the way, he isn’t denying it). Meanwhile, Governing Magazine reports on the Mitch Daniels boomlet, as the governor of Indiana and former Bush budget head has been getting some positive press in the conservative media recently.
AZ-GOV: Democratic State Rep. Contemplating Gubernatorial Bid
The Democratic field to challenge newly-minted Republican governor Jan Brewer may be widening. Democratic State Representative David Bradley is contemplating retiring from the legislature in order to focus his efforts on a gubernatorial bid. Other likely candidates are state attorney general Terry Goddard (himself the son of a former governor) and businessman/former state chair Jim Pederson (who held Sen. Jon Kyl to 53% in 2006).
CT-SEN: New Quinnipiac Poll Shows Dodd Rebounding, But Still Down
It is pretty rare that being down by a half-dozen points is GOOD news for a political incumbent, but today’s new poll out of Connecticut by Quinnipiac is just that. Incumbent Democrat Chris Dodd, thought to be circling the drain after the previous Q poll showed him down double digits, has tightened the gap against former GOP Congressman Rob Simmons. Simmons now leads Dodd by six points (45-39), while Dodd now leads state Senator Sam Caligiuri by a pair (41-39), after trailing him previously. Dodd does have to worry about a Democratic primary first, and the early numbers show that Dodd leads Democratic challenger Merrick Alpert by double digits, but that he is under the 50% "threshold" of safety (44-24).
GA-GOV: Democrats on Verge of Landing Major Contender?
According to this article, it appears that former Governor Roy Barnes might be interested in a political comeback. He delivered a scathing indictment of the "pro-secession" crowd in the Georgia GOP polity, which sounded a little bit like a campaign speech. If Barnes gets in, he automatically becomes the favorite to be the Democratic nominee, according to a recent Insider Advantage poll. The Republican field is a bit more of a crapshoot, with the strongest contenders being Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, Congressman Nathan Deal, and Secretary of State Karen Handel.
NYC-MAYOR: Weiner Bows Out of Mayoral Race
Not a shocker here, but fifth-term Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner made it official, dropping out of the mayoral race against GOP incumbent Michael Bloomberg. This leaves city comptroller Bill Thompson as the overwhelming favorite to take on Bloomberg in November.