• FL-Sen: The Miami Herald has a long post-mortem on the short campaign of Mike Haridopolos for Senate, but if you've been following along with us all cycle, almost none of this will be new to you. There's the ridiculous book and pay-for-play advance he earned; the ethics violations and admonishment before the state Senate; the debacle in trying to deal with Ryan's Curse; and more recent issues, like the departure of top campaign staff and the sharp drop-off in fundraising. But plenty of campaigns have floundered much worse before collapsing; plenty have come back from similar nadirs. So we're still left wondering why Haridopolos pulled the plug so quickly. Was there something else at work here?
• IN-Sen: Here's the Dick Lugar ad we mentioned the other day, and it ain't a pretty one. First off, he definitely looks old. Second off, he's reinforcing that with video of him walking beside Ronald Reagan. And thirdly, doesn't it feel like this ad is missing a musical soundtrack? Without anything playing in the background, it sounds like some weird PSA. Anyhow, you be the judge.
• MA-Sen: Scott Brown and the NRSC are touting a late-June poll (conducted on their mutual behalves by Public Opinion Strategies) showing Brown leading Alan Khazei (54-24), Elizabeth Warren (53-28), and Setti Warren (57-21). I'm not sure those numbers are all that awesome for Brown, considering it's an internal poll and his opponents have minimal name recognition.
• ME-Sen: With birtherism at a low if not permanent ebb, Scott D'Amboise, Olympia Snowe's teabagging primary challenger, tries to garner some attention by resurrecting one of its cousins. Of Barack Obama, says D'Amboise, “I don’t know if he is or isn’t, but I don’t believe he’s a Christian.”
• MI-Sen: Both Aaron Blake and Dave Catanese say their sources confirm it: ex-Rep. Pete Hoekstra has indeed made a complete about-face and will challenge Dem Sen. Debbie Stabenow, as first reported by the Michigan Information & Research Service (aka MIRS, a subscription-only publication). Hoekstra, who badly lost a gubernatorial primary last year, turned down the race some time ago, but was recently thought to be reconsidering. Given his weaknesses on the trail (including less-than-stellar fundraising) and his arch-conservative record, I'm not so sure this is a great get for the GOP.
• NM-Sen: Republican pollster Magellan is out with a surveys of both Senate primaries in New Mexico. On the GOP side, they find Heather Wilson at 56, John Sanchez at 21, Greg Sowards at 5, and Bill English at 2. In a matchup featuring just Wilson and Sanchez, she leads 60-26. While the gap is wide, Wilson is actually down three points and Sanchez up four since Magellan first tested the race back in April.
As far as the Dem field goes, Magellan is still at it with this "Democrat primary" shit. What's next from the Rush Limbaugh lexicon? "Do you define yourself as a lib?" Gah, anyway, they also have a Dem half of that primary poll, finding Martin Heinrich leading Hector Balderas 52-19, with Some Dude Andres Valdez at 4. One other thing Magellan is doing wrong is asking secondary matchups that leave out the most minor candidates. In this case, Heinrich leads 54-21. That's completely uninteresting. In a race like this with two serious declared candidates, it doesn't matter, but PPP will typically ask permutations that leave off big names, in order to see where their support winds up. No one cares where Valdez's 4% goes.
• PA-Sen: Tom has a crazy kitchen sink for the Republican Senate primary, one which has Rick Santorum (who ain't runnin') at 47 and everyone else (including Reps. Charlie Dent and Jim Gerlach) in single digits.
• TX-Sen: I can understand why Hamlet took his time making up his mind: After all, he was contemplating the murder of his own uncle. But all David Dewhurst has to do is decide whether to run for Senate, and really, why should that be so hard to figure out? After endless delays without apparent reason, he'll supposedly announce "by midweek."
And while Dewhurst has been dithering on the parapets, his chief rival for the GOP nomination, Ted Cruz, continues to cement his position as the movement conservative standard-bearer. Cruz just picked up the backing of another key figure in the right-wing pantheon, SC Sen. Jim DeMint.
• KY-Gov: GOP gubernatorial nominee David Williams is out with his first ad of the general election, with a buy of $103K, according to the Hotline's Sean Sullivan. The spot, which you can see here, is a soft bio-ish piece in which Williams praises his father and says that some days he "has not" met his goal of living up to his dad's standards.
• CT-05: A nice score for state House Speaker Chris Donovan, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed Rep. Chris Murphy: The Connecticut Laborers’ District Council, a 7,500-strong union representing construction and building trade workers, just gave him their endorsement.
• FL-16 (?): Here's a name we just ran across while compiling the second quarter fundraising reports: GOP state Rep. Paige Kreegel, who filed — quite a long time ago! — to run in Florida's 16th CD... kinda-sorta. Kreegel is term-limited, and when he initially sent his paperwork (PDF) into the FEC back in January, he didn't list any district number at all. That makes sense, since the 16th is home to Republican Rep. Tom Rooney, and I can't imagine Kreegel intends to primary him, especially since he raised only $62K last quarter. So this is probably just a placeholder committee, in case redistricting comes up boxcars for him.
• FL-22: What a freak.
• FL-25: Hah! Great catch by Marc Caputo at the Miami Herald. An invitation to a mega-high-dollar NRCC event features the names of new fewer than 18 Florida GOP congressmembers... but the problem is that there are, in point of fact, 19 Republicans in the state's delegation. The odd man out? David Rivera, whom the GOP has been itching to get rid of almost before he was first elected last year. Few sitting reps are ever this far on the outs with their own party, which makes this a pretty interesting case. But in any event, if Rivera doesn't get the shaft in redistricting, then you gotta believe he'll be hung out to dry in a primary. P.S. Late yesterday, Republicans re-printed the invite, claiming it was a "typo." Uh-huh.
• IA-04: Christie Vilsack, as expected, formally launched her campaign against GOP Rep. Steve King yesterday. You can watch her welcome video at the link.
• IN-05: Are you serious? Do we need to get John Nash out to Indiana to explain basic game theory to Republicans? Actually, best that we don't: If the GOP wants to ensure Dan Burton's continued survival, that's just fine with me. In their continued efforts to do so, Burton just acquired his third serious primary challenger, former U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks. Former Rep. David McIntosh and 2008 challenger John McGoff (who nearly beat Burton that year) are already in the race, giving Burton a very good chance of skating with a bare plurality once more.
• ME-01, ME-02: Jonathan Riskind at the Portland Press Herald runs through a litany of possible challengers to the state's two Democratic representatives: Chellie Pingree in the 1st and Mike Michaud in the 2nd. The most interesting name that we haven't previously mentioned is GOP state Senate Majority Leader Jon Courtney, who says he is "seriously discussing" a run against Pingree.
• MO-01, MO-02: The best laid plans of mice and men, yes? The essentially district-less Russ Carnahan says he's "100% focused on running for Congress," but of course he only has bad choices: a primary challenge against fellow Dem Lacy Clay in the 1st, or a run in the open but very red 2nd. I'm skeptical he'll follow through, though, because he weirdly added that he'll only announce where he's running when "we know what the final lines look like, which could be several months." What is he talking about? Redistricting was finished over two months ago, and there's no DoJ preclearance to worry about. I'm also not aware of any plausible lawsuits challenging the map. So what's going on here?
• NE-02: Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing (whom we mentioned last month as a possible candidate) formally announced a challenge to GOP Rep. Lee Terry. Ewing is a former deputy police chief who, back in 2006, became the first African American ever elected to county-wide office. (He was re-elected unopposed last year.)
• NV-0?: Dem ex-Rep. Dina Titus, who lost by less than 1% last year, just resigned her post on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, saying it's "becoming more imminent that I'll become a candidate" for Congress. Thanks to redistricting and the fluid open seat situation, it's not quite clear where Titus will run.
• NY-09: Surprise! the top issue on voters' minds is not, despite GOP fantasies, Israel, but rather the same stuff everyone else cares about everywhere else: Medicare, Social Security, the economy. That's from a NY1 report catching up with Dem David Weprin at a campaign stop which took place, as Colin Campbell points out... at the Jewish Center of Kew Gardens Hills. BTW, props to Weprin for having the guts to go in the exact opposite direction on Social Security, saying we should increase benefits.
• NY-10: If Ed Towns is planning on staying in Congress, he's definitely doing it wrong. The oft-primaried congressman is very likely to face a strong challenge from Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, a fellow Democrat, but he has just $53K cash-on-hand after spending $240K so far this cycle.
• NY-19: Here's another former Dem Rep. who lost last year but isn't getting back in the game: John Hall, who says he won't seek a rematch against freshman GOPer Nan Hayworth but will help his fellow Democrats to defeat her. I'm not terribly surprised, since Hall sounded extremely weary when he discussed the possibility of running again several months ago.
• OK-02: Though he initially said he would serve out his full term, Shira Toeplitz's sources say that retiring Dem Rep. Dan Boren might depart early, in order to take a university job (probably the presidency of Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK). Such a move would of course force a special election, but that might actually favor Democrats, who would be able to run without anyone else on the ballot in this Obama-unfriendly district. Shire also mentions a few new possible names: On the Dem side, in addition to ex-state Sen. Ken Corn (whom we've noted before), Muskogee County Commissioner Gene Wallace says he is "very" interested. State Rep. George Faught is already running for the GOP, but he could be joined by attorney Dustin Rowe and plumbing company owner Mark Wayne Mullin.
• PA-06: Terrific news: Physician Manan Trivedi just announced yesterday that he'll seek a rematch against GOP Rep. Jim Gerlach. Trivedi ran a solid campaign (and raised a good sum of money) last year — plus he defeated a self-funding primary opponent — but the red tide was just too much for him, and he wound up losing by 14 in the general. Gerlach is undoubtedly hoping to get shored up in redistricting, but there are probably limits on how much redder this CD can get, given how GOP-heavy PA's delegation became in 2010. This ought to be a good race.
• PA-15: Lehigh County Democratic Chairman Rick Daugherty says he'll challenge Rep. Charlie Dent, regardless of whether Bethlehem Mayor (and 2010 nominee) John Callahan runs again. Daugherty says he'll make a formal announcement in the fall, and based on an earlier interview, it sounds like Callahan plans to make up his mind around September.
• SD-AL: David Montgomery of the Rapid City Journal has an interview with Minnehaha Commissioner Jeff Barth, whom we noted became the first Democrat to announce a challenge to freshman Rep. Kristi Noem just the other day. It's worth checking out if you'd like to learn more about him. One note: Barth had previously said he'd step aside if ex-Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin decided to seek a rematch, but has since dialed that back a bit. (It's not looking like Herseth Sandlin will run again anyway.)
• VA-02: Hedge fund manager Paul Hirschbiel says he plans to challenge GOP first-termer Scott Rigell as a Democrat. This is Hirschbiel's first run for office, though he had some involvement in Mark Warner's gubernatorial administration. He's donated a bunch to both Dems and Republicans over the years, and presumably he's rich as hell and can self-fund.
• WI Recall: A group called the American Federation for Children has a new 60-second spot out touting GOP Sen. Alberta Darling's record on education. The AFC's chair is none other than Betsy DeVos, wife of super-rich right-wing mega activist Dick DeVos, whose foundation is very hostile to public schooling. Anyhow, I'm not impressed with the ad's production values, and it's also way too long. Who wouldn't get bored by this one?
• New Hampshire: The usual miscellany from PPP on the Granite State: generic legislative ballot, gay marriage, approval for Senators... plus 2016 (!) Dem primary numbers.
• Voter Suppression: After a string of Democratic vetoes of voter ID bills (in MO, NC & NH), we have yet another piece of possible good news on the voter suppression front, this time out of Maine. An effort is under way to collect signatures to put a measure on the ballot that, if passed, would repeal a new law that eliminates election day registration of new voters. Organizers are hoping to get the measure on the ballot this fall, but if they cannot, it could go before voters next year.
• MD Redistricting: A piece by Josh Kurtz at a publication called Center Maryland suggests that Democrats are turning their sights on GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, rather than freshman Andy Harris, as they draw new maps. Supposedly, this reflects a difference of opinion between Steny Hoyer (who wants to give Frank Kratovil a chance to make a comeback) and Donna Edwards (who apparently would prefer to create a bluer district). Of course, as readers of this site are well aware, we can very likely have both... but it just seems that Maryland Democratic legislators have not spent enough time in the DKE diaries.
• MN Redistricting: Tony Petrangelo has a helpful rundown of the court schedule for the legal battle over redistricting in Minnesota (necessary because the GOP-held legislature could not reach agreement on new maps with Dem Gov. Mark Dayton). He speculates that a final plan could be reached by February (based on how things went in court a decade ago).
• NC Redistricting: Republicans released a new congressional map, and it's quite a bit different from their first draft, at least in how it goes about trying to screw Democrats. Click the link for our full analysis (plus a copy of the map) at Daily Kos Elections.
• TX Redistricting: Gov. Rick Perry signed his state's new congressional map into law yesterday... but I wouldn't count on it sticking. There are at least a dozen redistricting lawsuits underway in Texas right now, and the map as passed has some serious VRA-related defects.