• Pennsylvania: There seems to be a little bit of reluctance among some Republicans for the plan that first emerged on Tuesday, under which PA would award its electoral votes by congressional district rather than via winner-take-all — a nakedly partisan move which would give a big assist to GOP hopes of taking back the White House.
There are two main reasons why some are getting cold feet, though. For one, potentially vulnerable GOP congressmen in swingish districts, like Jim Gerlach and Charlie Dent, are reluctant to bring down a full-bore Democratic presidential campaign trolling for votes on their individual turf, rather than the state as a whole. For another, some politicos think that the GOP can win the state outright next year and don't want to appear as though they are conceding a loss this early on. By the same token, the plan would also undermine Pennsylvania's traditional swing state status. Only Republicans can stop this legislation from coming to pass, so we have to hope that these anxieties win out.
• CT-Sen: This is ridiculously sketchball. A "Republican source" tells local reporter Kevin Rennie he's seen an internal poll for Linda McMahon which shows her up 19 points over ex-Rep. Chris Shays in the GOP primary. That's it. No polling memo, no field dates, no pollster name — and of course, no general election numbers. Hey, if McMahon wants to spend heavily to kick Shays's ass and then spend even more heavily only to have her ass kicked (again), I'm all for it!
• IN-Sen, IN-05: More good news for John McCain, my friends. State Sen. Mike Delph, who first started talking about a run all the way back in February, says he won't seek federal office. That's a boon to Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who is trying to unseat Sen. Dick Lugar in the Republican primary and now won't have to contend with a fellow insurgent potentially splitting the "throw the bums out" vote. Delph also won't pile into the clown car in the 5th CD, where a whole mess of candidates look ready to hand GOP Rep. Dan Burton another plurality win.
• PA-Sen: Republican businessman Steven Welch confirms that he will indeed seek the GOP nomination to run against Sen. Bob Casey. Welch doesn't have much of a resume — he bowed out of not one but two congressional races last year — but he does have one asset: money. He's personally wealthy and apparently is willing to self-fund. That alone shoots him to the top of the very meager Republican field that's emerged so far.
Welch isn't the only newcomer to the race. I don't know if retired Col. John Vernon is much more than a Some Dude (on the senatorial scale), though from what I understand he may have some money, but anyhow, he's also getting in.
• NH-Gov: Dem Gov. John Lynch will announce his future plans Thursday morning at 11am, but pretty much everyone is reporting that he won't seek a fifth two-year term. Stay tuned.
• MI-01: This seems like a good get for Team Blue: Former state Rep. Gary McDowell just announced plans to seek a rematch against GOP freshman Dan Benishek in the Upper Peninsula seat long represented by Democrat Bart Stupak. McDowell seemed like a classic case of "right candidate, wrong year" in 2010: His profile fit the district well, but he lost by 11 points in the red tide. Benishek hasn't fundraised very strongly this year (around $300K total) and had only $140K in the bank at the end of June.
• NY-09: Man. Read this line from Rep. Joe Crowley, the Queens party leader who anointed David Weprin as our nominee in the special election, and tell me it doesn't make you want to slap him across the face:
“We won Queens County 52-48. I had a good day yesterday in Queens.”
No, *sshole, you did NOT.
• OH-09: Now it's game on for reals. Dennis Kucinich said he'll seek re-election in the new 9th CD — that's Ohio's 9th CD — which contains much of his base on the west side of Cleveland but then races a hundred miles out along the Lake Erie shoreline to take in fellow Dem Rep. Marcy Kaptur's home territory of Toledo. (It's a district fit for the name "baconmander.") Kaptur, for her part, also says she'll run here. Kucinich says that 57% of the registered Democrats in the new district live in his current district, but I'm not sure that figure is so great for him: In 2008, he won his primary with just 52% of the vote. I'm also willing to bet that Kaptur has greater cross-over appeal to voters in Cleveland than Kucinich does with those in Toledo. Still, should be a fun race (even if it sucks that we have to deal with Dem-on-Dem violence).
P.S. Commenter RBH points out that the Ohio primary is actually before Washington state's candidate filing deadline, so good ol' Special K still has an escape hatch if Kaptur whoops him. Washingtonians, you ain't out of the woods just yet!
• WI-02: Dane County Treasurer (an elected position) Dave Worzala says he'll join the already-busy Democratic field to replace Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who is of course running for Senate.
• Baltimore Mayor: As expected, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake handily won the Democratic primary with 52% of the vote. (Her nearest opponent had 25%.) In Baltimore, winning the Dem nod is tantamount to winning office outright. Click the link to see what I mean. The winning Republican nominee for mayor got 828 votes — in a city of 621,000 people. More on the race here.
• Special Elections: At least last night didn't suck as far as the half-dozen New York state Assembly special elections were concerned. Johnny Longtorso wraps up our six-for-six night:
• In AD-23 (Queens), Philip Goldfelder defeated Republican Jane Deacy by a 54-46 margin.
• In AD-27 (Queens), Michael Simanowitz defeated Republican Marco DeSena by a 76-24 margin.
• In AD-54 (Brooklyn), Rafael Espinal won with 44%, while Working Families nominee Jesus Gonzales came in second with 32%. Deidra Towns, running on the Community First ticket, came in last with 23%.
• In AD-73 (Manhattan), Dan Quart defeated Republican Paul Niehaus 66-34.
• In AD-116 (Utica/Rome), Anthony Brindisi defeated Republican Gregory Johnson 57-43. It's interesting to note that Johnson and Niehaus both ran in 2010; Johnson did slightly better than his 40% performance last time, but Niehaus didn't improve much on his 33% showing in 2010.
• In AD-144 (Buffalo/Grand Island), Sean Ryan easily defeated Republican Sean Kipp by a 71-21 margin, with Green Party nominee Gregory Horn picking up 8%. Remember, the Democrat only got 53% here in 2010; just goes to show what happens when Carl Paladino isn't on the ballot.
• Nebraska: That's interesting. While the Pennsylvania GOP is trying to push a plan to award the state's electoral votes by congressional district (see "Leading Off" bullet), Nebraska Republicans are busy trying to revive their plan to terminate that system for their own state. Not that it's likely to happen again, but GOPers there don't want to give Barack Obama the chance to pick up Omaha-based NE-02's lone electoral vote, as he did in 2008. A proposal to go to a winner-take-all method died in the legislature earlier this year, but now the New Nebraska Network reports that the state Republican Party is considering adding a plank to their platform which would require that state legislators support ending the EV-by-CD system or else forfeit party backing.