• FL-Sen: This is awfully thin, but could GOP Rep. Connie Mack be thinking about getting back into the Senate race, now that Mike Haridopolos is out? Actually, Mack was never in in the first place — he just pulled the plug on a widely-expected run at the last second. But the St. Pete Times notes that Mack was seen "meeting with political strategist Arthur Finkelstein" in DC the other day… and another tea-leaf is his vote against his own party's "Cut, Cap, and Balance" legislation. Mack was one of only nine Republicans to do so, and his stated reasons are clearly from the right. Is he hoping to position himself as a conservative standard-bearer? Why else stick his neck out there like this? (Hat-tip: Zornorph)
• MA-Sen: Here's a cute one for ya: The Koch Industries PAC has now maxed out to Sen. Scott Brown, giving him $10K for his re-election (after giving him $5K before the Jan. 2010 special). Brown may have called this the people's seat... but he didn't say which people.
• MI-Sen: I told you I thought Pete Hoekstra wasn't exactly fearsome. Just a day after he changed his mind and decided to run against Debbie Stabenow, it's looking likely that the Republican ex-congressman will face a serious primary challenge. That challenge comes in the form of Clark Durant, the founder of a company called Cornerstone Schools, which developed a network of Christian private schools in inner-city Detroit. Cameron Joseph of The Hill ads that Durant has a "deep donor network" that he cultivated to launch these schools. (And remember, also, that Hoekstra managed a cruddy 27% second-place finish in the gubernatorial primary last year, plus his fundraising was sucky, too — just $1.3 million.)
But don't get cocky. After posting a mediocre 41-43 job approval rating in EPIC-MRA's May poll, Stabenow now sinks to 38-51 in their newest survey (PDF). With numbers like these, Stabenow concerns me, even if her opposition is not top-shelf.
• NJ-Gov: PPP also has a gubernatorial half to their Garden State poll (see our Senate writeup here), and they find Chris Christie's approvals predictably slipping, from 48-45 in January to 43-53 now. And though it's a long way away, they also see him trailing several Democrats, while also tying 2009 opponent Jon Corzine and, for kicks, The Boss — aka Bruce Springsteen, probably the best thing to ever come out of New Jersey.
• OH-Gov, OH SB5: Another day, another bad poll for GOP Gov. John Kasich — and a good one for opponents of SB5, Ohio's new anti-collective bargaining law. Quinnipiac pegs Kasich's approvals at 35-50, down from 38-49 in mid-May. As for SB5, voters now want to repeal it by a 56-32 spread, up from 54-36.
• WI-Gov: A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned that septuagenarian ex-Rep. David Obey refused to give a straight answer when asked if he'd run for governor in a potential Scott Walker recall. In a new interview with Politico, he's still refusing to rule it out, though Alex Isenstadt says that "Democrats familiar with Obey’s thinking" say he is "mostly interested in filling out the remainder of Walker’s four-year term and would likely forgo a longer stay in office."
• FL-25: State Rep. Luis Garcia really meant it when he said he'd formally announce his run against ethically troubled GOP freshman David Rivera before the end of the summer. The Democrat made his entry into the race official yesterday, and man does he have an awesome nickname: el bombero, the firefighter, thanks to his service as fire chief of Miami Beach.
• IL-10: State Rep. Carol Sente, who said she was thinking about the race last week, said she won't join the Democratic field in the re-drawn 10th CD. Attorney Bob McKenzie is out as well. That leaves just two Dems: Activist Ilya Sheyman and consultant Brad Schneider. Sheyman raised about $108K in Q2, while Schneider pulled in $321K (all in the final month).
• NC-07: Rep. Mike McIntyre says he'll run in the latest iteration of the 7th CD (his current district), even though his home in Robeson County was moved into fellow Dem Larry Kissell's district, and even though the district was made a good bit redder (it's now 58-42 McCain). Meanwhile, Ilario Pantano, McIntyre's 2010 challenger who was already staging a rematch bid, confirms that he, too, will still run in the 7th. Also on the GOP side, state Sen. David Rouzer says he plans to run in the re-drawn district. Rouzer previously worked for Sens. Jesse Helms and Liddy Dole, and also served in the Bush administration.
• NV-0?: As expected, Dem ex-Rep. Dina Titus officially launched her comeback bid on Tuesday, but of course we still don't know exactly where she'll run. By my count, that makes her the sixth Democrat who lost in 2010 to do so. The others: Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Alan Grayson (FL-26, formerly held FL-08), Bill Foster (IL-11, formerly held IL-14), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), and Ciro Rodriguez (TX-23).
• RI-01: This doesn't sound too good: Aaron Swartz, the co-founded of a PAC called Demand Progress, was just arrested for allegedly hacking into a subscription-only database of academic articles called JSTOR and downloading four million articles (nearly the entire catalog). Why am I writing about this here at Daily Kos Elections? Because Demand Progress's other founder is ex-state Rep. David Segal, a candidate for last year's RI-01 open seat Democratic primary who is weighing a second run for the seat (now held by Dem Rep. David Cicilline). Segal appears to be defending Swartz (who had access to JSTOR through his academic affiliations), saying the arrest “makes no sense,” and is equivalent to “trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library.”
• Special Elections: A recap of Tuesday night's special elections in Georgia, from Johnny Longtorso:
• SD-26 will go to a runoff between Democrats Miriam Paris and David Lucas. Paris came in first with 45%, Lucas with 39%. Republican Bobby Gale was a distant third, with 16%.
• HD-113 was, as expected, a Republican victory: Charles Williams defeated Democrat Dan Matthews by a 62-38 margin.
• HD-139 was a D-on-D fight, and James Beverly was the victor, winning 65-35 over Anissa Jones.
• Votes: Speaking of that "Cut, Cap and Balance" vote (see FL-Sen item above), five usual-suspect Democrats voted in favor: Dan Boren, Jim Matheson, Mike McIntyre, Heath Shuler, and Jim Cooper. I guess Cooper's a little less expected, but he's a flaming d-bag on so many things.
The GOP nays are a little harder to figure: Michele Bachmann, Paul Broun, Quico Canseco, Scott DesJarlais, Morgan Griffith, Walter Jones, Ron Paul, Dana Rohrabacher, and the aforementioned Connie Mack. I suspect most of these are straight up votes against from the right, though Jones and Paul are definitely members of the weirdo caucus. Not sure what Quico is thinking; he's the one guy on this list in a genuinely vulnerable district, but his statement sounds just like Mack's – i.e., also opposing the bill from the right.
• NC Redistricting: I guess the North Carolina GOP is trying to sow dissension among Democratic ranks, because they're "blaming" the new map on Dem Rep. G.K. Butterfield, who they say insisted that five Section 5-covered counties be returned to his district. That, they claim, forced all the other changes, like screwing Mike McIntyre even harder. Butterfield hotly denies this, but all of these Republican protest are nonsense, of course — it's like the redistricting equivalent of taunting your kid brother with "Why are you hitting yourself?"
• WI Redistricting: Well, there you have it, folks. The state Assembly passed the Republican-drafted legislative and congressional plans almost strictly along party lines yesterday, with all Democrats voting against both sets of maps. The state Senate did the same thing a day earlier Now it all goes to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.