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Let's jump right into a very busy day on the campaign trail. It's time for the Wrap on this, the 278th birthday for the First President of the United States, George Washington...

THE U.S. SENATE

IN-Sen: Hill Expressing Some Interest In Senate Opening
In what could create an uncomfortable and awkward decision for Indiana Democrats, 9th district Congressman Baron Hill has spoken up, saying he might want his name considered for the Senate opening created by the retirement of two-term Senator Evan Bayh. Hill is looking at a much more perilous House election than neighbor Brad Ellsworth, and that might be serving as an incentive in this case.

IA-Sen: Ras Says Grassley Leads, But Not Overwhelmingly
Here is a headline that one will not see often in the campaign news cycle--Rasmussen has the Iowa Senate race closer than Research 2000. Indeed, incumbent Republican Charles Grassley still has a solid lead over Democrat Roxanne Conlin, but he was held to just 53% of the vote against Conlin (53-36). Remember, Grassley has never been under 60% in any of his electoral bids since his first run for the Senate in 1980. In a sign of Grassley's relative weakness this time around, he only gets 55-56% against two lesser-known Democratic candidates, as well.

NV-Sen: Reid Might Enjoy The Tea Party, According to Poll
A new survey by GOP pollsters Public Opinion Strategies confirm some of the worst fears of Republicans in Nevada. Remember, of course, that the "Tea Party" qualified for the ballot in Nevada a few weeks back. P.O.S. runs the numbers, and finds that when Tea Partier Jon Ashjian is added to the mix, Harry Reid is more competitive than he has been in months. Former state party chair Sue Lowden leads the GOP primary field, and has the biggest lead over Reid. That lead, however, is down to just five points (42-37), with Ashjian locking down 9% of the vote. Danny Tarkanian's lead evaporates almost entirely (40-39), with Ashjian at 11%.

THE U.S. HOUSE

AZ-08: GOP Senator Confirms Challenge To Democrat Rep. Giffords
It had long been in the planning stages, but now it is official--Republican state Senator Jonathan Paton resigned from the legislature today, in order to challenge sophomore Democrat Gabby Giffords for her seat in the Congress. Paton needed to make a move, as businessman Jesse Kelly had already raised over a quarter of a million dollars for his bid in the 8th, which is a classic swing district centered in the Tucson suburbs and southeastern Arizona.

FL-10/MI-14/MI-15: Three Octogenarians In The 112th Congress?
You read that right: in the past several days, three Congressman who at the end of this term will have a combined 141 years of Congressional experience. In Florida, Bill Young, who turns 80 at the end of this year, and has been in the House since 1971, announced that he will seek his 21st term in the House. It was a good weekend for such statements, as Young was joined by Michigan Congressman John Conyers (80 years of age, elected for the first time in 1964) also confirmed that he will seek re-election.

While these young whippersnappers made their plans known, they were joined by no less than the Dean of the House, John Dingell (83 years of age and in the House since 1955) who also announced that he would seek re-election.

OH-06/OH-16/OH-17: Traficant Still Mulling '10 Bid
He can no longer do it as either a Republican or a Democrat (the filing deadline for major party candidates lapsed last week), but that doesn't mean that disgraced former Congressman Jim Traficant is out of the 2010 electoral sweepstakes. Traficant is now saying that if he runs, he will do so as an Independent (this buys him an additional two months--the deadline for Indie candidacies is May 3rd). For what it's worth, he is still not saying in which district he would run.

PA-12: Lots Of Movement in Murtha Special Election
A huge amount of movement since the last Wrap in the May 18th special election to replace the late John Murtha in southwestern Pennsylvania. Several candidates had tentatively entered the fray, promising to defer to Murtha's widow, Joyce Murtha. As of today, that doesn't appear to be an issue--Joyce Murtha is a no-go, releasing a statement this afternoon. Two other candidates went the other way, making noises that they are heading into the race. They are Murtha district director Mark Critz and Cambria County Controller Ed Cernic, Jr.

THE GUBERNATORIAL RACES

GA-Gov: Ras Gives GOP Lead, But Barnes Within Striking Distance
Rasmussen also lands in the Peach State this week, and they find former Democratic Governor Roy Barnes within single digits of any of the leading candidates for the Republican nomination. Even though she is a longshot right now in the GOP primary, Secretary of State Karen Handel does the best against Barnes, leading him by nine points (45-36). Republicans John Oxendine (45-37) and Nathan Deal (43-37) do incrementally worse when paired with the likely Democratic nominee, who served as the state's governor from 1999-2003.

IA-Gov: Branstad Leads Culver, According to Rasmussen
Rasmussen's new numbers in the Hawkeye State (already addressed vis-a-vis the Senate race earlier in the Wrap) confirm virtually every pollster on the gubernatorial matchup between incumbent Democrat Chet Culver and Republican Terry Branstad, who held the office for a decade-and-a-half. Indeed, Ras shows a lead identical to last weeks R2K poll in the state--sixteen points for Branstad (53-37). Ras being Ras, however, they do have one result a little different than the others: they have conservative alternative candidate Bob Vander Platts with a pretty solid lead (46-40) over Culver. Recent polls have either had Vander Platts up or down by three points or less.

In other Iowa Guv news, a quick headline, though not a critical one, that the Wrap missed last week--longshot Republican Chris Rants dropped out of the race late last week. The one potential loser in that could be Branstad. As has been reported here before, there is at least some discontent with Branstad on the right, owing to his days as Governor. Clearly, he benefits from a large primary field. The smaller the field gets, the fewer ways an anti-Branstad vote gets split.

NE-Gov: Democrats Finally Get Candidate in Gubernatorial Race
Given the recent history of statewide politics in the Cornhusker State, it is pretty tough to win as a Democrat unless your name is Ben Nelson. An Omaha-area businessman, Mark Lakers, is looking to change that. Lakers became the first Democrat of note to challenge the re-election of Nebraska's GOP Governor Dave Heineman. Heineman, who was elected in 2006 with 73% of the vote, is a strong favorite for re-election.

NV-Gov: GOP Poll Shows Tight GOP Primary, Wide Split on General
The same poll out of the Silver State alluded to earlier has to be a cause of significant consternation for the GOP in this race, as well. The poll, done by respectable GOP pollster Glen Bolger, shows that the lead for former federal judge Brian Sandoval over embattled incumbent GOP Governor Jim Gibbons has dropped (PDF File) to just six points. Sandoval is sitting on 38% of the GOP vote, with 32% for Gibbons and 9% for North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon. More intriguing, among those who are certain of their vote, the Sandoval lead drops to a single point. The danger for the GOP? In a general election, Sandoval has a double digit lead over presumptive Democratic nominee Rory Reid (50-34). Gibbons, meanwhile, is down by double digits to Reid (47-36).

NM-Gov: Domenici Leads In First GOP Primary Poll
This won't come as a surprise, seeing how he undoubtedly has the highest name recognition of any of the candidates in the field. That said, Pete Domenici Jr. leads the GOP primary field for Governor in the Land of Enchantment. Undecided is the real leader, since 42.5% of the voters are expressing no preference. Domenici leads with 29%, with Dona Ana County DA Susana Martinez running second with 12% of the vote. The poll was conducted by New Mexico State University, and was conducted before the revelation (of sorts) that Domenici used drugs in college.

NY-Gov: Paterson Continues To Hurt, According to Siena Poll
Was there any good news for Governor Paterson in the latest incarnation of the Siena Poll (PDF)? Well, voters didn't buy the variety of negative rumors about the incumbent. That's the only good news, however, as the poll shows that little has changed in Paterson's electoral fortunes. He continues to trail state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo badly in the Democratic primary (64-22), and he continues to trail likely GOP nominee Rick Lazio in the general (46-39). Meanwhile, Cuomo continues to blast Lazio in a prospective general election match-up (63-26).

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:48 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Question... this Traficant goofball says... (0+ / 0-)

    he is interested in running for congress again, after serving 7 years in jail.  Convicted felons are not allowed to vote, and you need to be registered to vote to run for public office.  How does all of this jive?  Thanks.

    "There is no red America, or blue America, there is the United States of America." 2004 DNC Speech

    by BarackStarObama on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:54:05 PM PST

  •  I think it's fair to say that... (5+ / 0-)

    Scott Brown's presidential campaign took a hit today.

    :-)

  •  Patterson (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheUnknown285, James Allen

    should just give up.  He wont even make it past the primary.

    Such a damm shame.  

    Laughter is a force for democracy - John Cleese

    by GlowNZ on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:56:01 PM PST

  •  Will AZ-08 be very competitive? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen

    I would think with a state senator, it would, but from what I understand Gabrielle Giffords is a pretty good rep and a strong fundraiser.

    •  Yes. Good chance this seat flips. (0+ / 0-)

      The smart money says Paton takes the GOP nomination easily.  He will be by far the most formidable candidate that Giffords has faced since first running for Congress in '06.  Giffords doesn't really excite the base, which is a problem in a base election like this one looks like it will be.  Paton is very well liked around here, and he's also a reservist who had to interrupt his term in state office to go serve in Iraq.  This is a district with a ton of military, both active duty and retirees.  (We have Davis Monthan Air Force Base and Fort Huachuca here, along with various Guard installations.  Also, the district covers Green Valley, which is home to tens of thousands of retirees.)  You have someone who is liked and respected, and with the military background. Then add in that the voter registration numbers are not that friendly to a Democrat.  Top it all off with what looks like a really anti-incumbent mood.  Expect to see both parties dump a lot of attention and cash on this race.

      •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingofSpades, piratedan

        Giffords faced a former State Senate President last time around and dispensed with him easily. Paton has to spend money fighting a self-funder, Giffords is loaded, and she's generally popular among moderates and in Tuscon. She's a juggernaut. I don't see what she has to worry about, with her being such a good campaigner and all.

        "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread". -Alexnader Pope

        by ArkDem14 on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 10:10:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Paton does have name recognition (0+ / 0-)

          but I thought that I had heard that the scuttlebutt was that he was having to move onwards and upwards because he was going to be facing his own challenges to his state senate seat.  

          AZ does have a rabid teabagger faction but Tucson is pretty liberal when compared to the rest of the state (despite the gerrymandering crap that has been pulled by the Rethug state legislature). To be honest, with the way that the Republican state legislature has run the state budget into the ground (talk about cratering, they're closing state parks for cryin out loud), he's not gonna have a leg to stand on when he shouts out about being fiscally conservative when the state can't even balance it's own damn books with the Republicans in charge of both the state house and the senate as well as holding the Governors chair.

          I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused

          by piratedan on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 10:41:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Potential upside (0+ / 0-)

            She seems to be in a strong position, but given the political winds and a lack of polling, who knows. However, if polls begin to show her trailing, there's a potential upside. A strong challenge for her House seat could give her incentive to run for the Senate, if it begins to look like Hayworth will be the nominee. Like you said, Paton may be moving up because of a lower-down challenge, Giffords could do the same.

            Similar argument in Indiana for choosing Hill over Ellsworth for Bayh's seat.

  •  Thanks for GA-gov coverage! (4+ / 0-)

    So if Rasmussen says Barnes is a only a little behind, does that mean he's really even?

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:00:15 PM PST

  •  Re NV-Senate, even without the TP candidate, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14, licorice114, KingofSpades

    there is a heightened interest in third party alternatives this cycle that will draw from Republicans more than Democrats. And Reid is probably gaining on Lowden anyway. She is a gaffe machine, hated by the Ron Paul faction and already had to amend her second ad which lied about the Democratic incumbent she defeated for state senate.  It aired the week after he died, enraging his widow and also Republican state senators who served with him.
       And Reid has collected plenty of positive ink thiw week with the presidential vist, foreclosure help and now the jobs bill.
     

    ....the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. FDR 1933

    by Tailspinterry on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:03:19 PM PST

  •  Go Jim Gibbons! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tailspinterry

    "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

    by James Allen on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:05:17 PM PST

  •  Branstad = uber homophobe (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14, TheUnknown285, Predictor

    He has already pledged to order County Clerks to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Be ready for a courtroom showdown.

  •  I loves me some politics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predictor, KingofSpades

    but i want your donation more.....

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Shelterbox http://www.shelterboxusa.org/

    by TexMex on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:06:31 PM PST

  •  The obvious Indiana question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predictor

    First, have both Ellsworth and Hill filed their paperwork for their respective House seats?

    Second, if either is put on the ballot, may I assume that they are replaced by the same method that Bayh's ballot slot is being filled?

    Third, if Hill is in that much danger, doesn't that also make him a more vulnerable senate candidate than Ellsworth?

    © sardonyx; all rights reserved

    by sardonyx on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:19:12 PM PST

    •  It's past the filing deadline. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sardonyx, TheUnknown285, Predictor

      The party will vote on and approve a candidate to run for the Democratice platform in early May.  The Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party said he wanted the vote to be unanimous to make sure they pick a candidate they all agree on.

      Cold hearted orb/That rules the night/Removes the colours From our sight/Red is gray and/Yellow white/But we decide/Which is right/And/Which is an Illusion

      by KingofSpades on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:23:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Answers...To The Extent That I Know 'Em :) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sardonyx, KingofSpades
      1. As far as I can tell, they both filed for their House seats.
      1. This is the question I have been unsure of all day. My guess (and it is just that) is that they will be replaced in the same way, assuming they win their May primaries. One note: Ellsworth has no Dem primary opponents...but Hill has two of them. Don't know if that is an issue here or not.
      1. No. Hill is probably as good a Senate candidate than Ellsworth (he ran statewide, and respectably, during the 1990s). But Hill has a serious House opponent (Mike Sodrel, who has run against him four times--three of the four have been pretty close). Ellsworth's closest rival would be a guy sitting on $80K on hand.

      "You share your young with the wolves of the nation...
      Theres nothing left til you pray for salvation"
      Black Rebel Motorcycle Club "American X"

      by Steve Singiser on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:17:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

        I knew about Hill's many runs against Sodrel, including 2008, when he finally pasted the guy, but not his other political runs.

        In terms of their politics, are they about equal, or is one more progressive than the other. In short, which would be more likely to support the policies and bills we support?

        © sardonyx; all rights reserved

        by sardonyx on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 11:35:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  RE: Three Octogenarians In The 112th Congress? (0+ / 0-)

    Time for mandatory retirements and term limits. Why the hell isn't the left talking about this????

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