After Tuesday brought one of the lengthiest Wraps in the history of Western Civilization, let us herald the return of a more abbreviated Wrap, and bless the hour or so of reading time we get back on this Wednesday evening....
CT-Sen: Is Simmons still a stealth candidate for Senate?
That's the question that Chris Cillizza's The Fix pondered today, as Simmons once again refused to rule out returning to the Senate campaign that he suspended last month in the wake of the Republican state convention that endorsed rival Linda McMahon. Given how badly McMahon is stumbling in recent polling, it isn't the most outlandish idea.
WA-Sen: Murray leads all comers, including Rossi
Dino Rossi's splashy entrance into the Senate race (diffused slightly by a less-than-robust welcome at last week's GOP convention) has not propelled him into the lead, according to a new Elway Poll. The pollster has incumbent Democrat Patty Murray up seven points (47-40) on Rossi, and also leading Tea Party favorite Clint Didier (46-32) and businessman Paul Akers (47-33). Now, while those numbers do represent a solid lead for the Democrat, they are several points worse than the last Elway Poll in the state, where Murray held leads ranging from 17-26 points. In a potentially bad sign for the GOP, though, Elway also polled the "open primary" that Washington utilizes, and found Murray up 43-31 over Rossi, with Didier and Akers way back in single digits. The combined GOP vote came out to 38%, meaning that even a candidate capable of consolidating the Republican vote would start from behind, if these numbers hold.
Didier, for his part, is in the district this week, trying to get some Washington DC love to take back to Washington State.
CT-04: Republican field narrows with petition faux pas
He entered the race a couple of months back amid a smattering of fanfare, but the Congressional candidacy of local selectman Tom Herrmann is over. His petitions had a number of invalidated signatures, which put him below the threshold necessary to earn a place on the ballot. The favorite to take on Democratic freshman Jim Himes remains state legislator Dan Debicella. Debicella still might face a primary, as a pair of Republicans are still in the petition stage.
NH-01: Guinta takes shot as successor endorses the other guy
Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, who won the office last year, had a chance to endorse his predecessor, former Mayor Frank Guinta, in his bid for Congress against Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter. Instead, the GOP frontrunner got pretty squarely dissed, as his successor elected to endorse Guinta's rival for the nod, instead. Gatsas endorsed Sean Mahoney, who entered the race a couple of months back to challenge Guinta, who entered in 2009 but endured a series of stumbles.
NC-11: Add Shuler to the target list? A P.O.S. poll says so
While bearing in mind the traditional caveat about internal polling, a new poll conducted for the GOP nominee in Western North Carolina seems to indicate that there might be a race in this swing district. Democratic sophomore Rep. Heath Shuler leads Republican nominee Jeff Miller by a dozen points (46-34), according to the poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (which I affectionately have dubbed P.O.S, a nickname perhaps earned if you buy Nate Silver's ratings). Shuler's district leans Republican at the presidential level, but not overwhelmingly so.
UT-02: Operation Chaos in the Democratic primary?
A brief piece in the New York Times raises an interesting possibility. Given the fact that the GOP in UT-02 has already selected a nominee for November (Morgan Philpott), might the GOP seize this opportunity to wreak a little havoc on the Democratic side of the ballot? Given the open primary process in Utah, it is actually plausible. In that primary, longtime incumbent Jim Matheson is getting quite a scare from Claudia Wright, the liberal insurgent candidate who held Matheson to under the requisite 60% convention vote threshold to avoid a primary. The one saving grace for Matheson, as Crisitunity over at Swing State Project noted, is that the GOP has its own toss-up primary that day, the one between Bridgewater and Lee for the U.S. Senate.
AL-Gov: Recount expected to end tomorrow, with little change thus far
The recount to determine the runoff challenger for Bradley Byrne in the GOP gubernatorial race in Alabama should be done by Thursday, and the early indicators are that nothing has happened to suggest that Tim James will move into the coveted second slot. Both campaigns apparently agree that the vote margin has barely changed since the recount began on Tuesday. Robert Bentley, the state legislator currently in the runner-up spot, is actually considered the favorite in the runoff, given his status as the more conservative candidate in the head-to-head battle with Byrne.
IL-Gov: Incumbent Democrat trails slightly; A Green spoiler?
Governor Pat Quinn is faring quite poorly in his bid for re-election, according to a new survey out this week from PPP. Repubican nominee Bill Brady holds a four-point edge (34-30) over Quinn, while Green Party nominee Rich Whitney plays a potential spoiler role by holding down 9% of the vote (and taking twice as many Obama '08 voters than McCain '08 voters). There are still plenty of undecideds, of course, but sitting at 30% (with 50% disapproval) is not where an incumbent wants to be in June.
MI-Gov: GOP pollster thinks Hoekstra will be the choice
Magellan Strategies, a relative newcomer that has been almost Ras-esque in their output this cycle, turns its attention to the Industrial Midwest, polling the very competitive (PDF file) GOP primary for Governor in Michigan. They have uber-conservative Congressman Peter Hoekstra leading the field with 26% of the vote, businessman Rick Snyder running second at 20%, and Attorney General Mike Cox continuing his comeback of sorts with a close third place at 16%.
Ras gets really Ras-esque in Iowa, where (conservative grumbling be damned!) the Republican nominee apparently has a 26-point lead over the Democratic incumbent.
And that...shockingly...is the only horse race poll Ras lays out on this Wednesday (although they do find the time to survey the Garden State, in order to report that New Jersey's Republican Governor is far more popular than any other pollster seems to think).
IA-Gov: Terry Branstad (R) 57%, Gov. Chet Culver (D) 31%