• OH Redistricting: Guess who really, really, really loves the new Republican-drawn map of Ohio? And guess whose any remaining shreds of credibility as a useful member of the Democratic party went up in smoke? That's right: Dennis Kucinich. The eight-term Rep. is so fond of the map—and of further Republican efforts sway the legislature's black caucus to vote for it, in order to get over the two-thirds support mark and circumvent a statewide referendum against the map—that he's been lobbying Cuyahoga County legislators to vote in favor of it. Not only that, but he's also robocalling voters, asking them to lean on the same legislators! The weird thing is... the new GOP map isn't even close to a guarantee of Kucinich's return to Congress. While he'd have a safely blue seat if he survived the primary, he probably starts at a disadvantage in the Dem primary against the labor-friendly, less-flaky Rep. Marcy Kaptur, whose district was partly merged with his.
Even more disturbing, Republicans are planning a vote on a new map in the state House later today. Roll Call reports that the GOP isn't sure it has sufficient votes for the plan, but certainly Special K hasn't helped matters. (David Jarman/David Nir)
• FL-Sen: State Senate President Mike Haridopolos was briefly the frontrunner in the GOP Senate primary, to the extent that he had the most money and was polling a bit higher in the mid-teens than the other passengers in that particular clown car... then he dropped out after a series of weird missteps and a closet's full of shoes apparently waiting to drop. At any rate, he's back in the news, but this time he's endorsing Rep. Connie Mack, who abruptly entered the Republican field last week.
• ME-Sen: We've now officially got two options to go against Olympia Snowe (or a teabagger to be named later, although that's looking less likely these days according to PPP), as the state's former Secretary of State, Matthew Dunlap, filed today with the FEC. (SoS is a position appointed by the legislature in Maine.) Democratic state Rep. Jon Hinck also has an exploratory committee up.
• NE-Sen: Sen. Ben Nelson is continuing to hedge about seeking re-election, saying he'll make a decision around Christmastime, and he's not evoking much fire in the belly, saying he "didn't want to be a candidate any longer than he had to be." If he doesn't run, someone at the Nebraska Democratic Party is going to have a lot of egg on their face. They've been forking out piles of money (most of it apparently funneled through the DSCC) on pro-Nelson advertising, including another blitz just revealed: $139K this week and $140K next week, bringing the total spent on Nelson this cycle already up to $1.2 million.
• NV-Sen: The DSCC is going on the air in Nevada with an anti-Dean Heller ad. No word on the size of the buy, but it's gotta be a pretty inexpensive: It's radio only, and it's airing on Spanish-language stations in Vegas and Reno, targeting Heller for pulling out of a summit with the Latin Chamber of Commerce.
• AR-04: Here's one more Republican running for what's one of the GOP's best House pickup opportunities, the southern Arkansas seat being vacated by Blue Dog Mike Ross. John Cowart is a Lt. Colonel in the Marines, who hasn't run for office before. (A fellow vet, Tom Cotton, seems to have vacuumed up much of the establishment support here though.)
• MD-02: Republican state Sen. Nancy Jacobs is out as minority leader, apparently to give her more time to prepare for a run for some other office. Oddly, the top option that the article lists is running in the 2nd CD against Dutch Ruppersberger; this is a pretty solidly Democratic district (we don't have data on the new lines, but 60% Obama under the old lines), and would have to be considered a suicide run in anything but a 2010-style year. Other possibilities include Governor (in '14) and Harford Co. Executive.
• MI-06: Rep. Fred Upton is one of the last remnants of the GOP's moderate rump, so it's odd that the primary challenge to him in 2010 from right-wing former state Sen. (and 2008 Carl Levin opponent) Jack Hoogendyk never emerged on the radar amidst the year-of-the-teabagger media frenzy. Hoogendyk, in fact, wound up holding Upton to 57% of the vote despite spending very little... and now it's looking like he might try again in 2012. Hoogendyk may have some actual financial backing this time, though: the Club for Growth says they met with him, were impressed, and may get involved on his behalf. This district went 53% for Obama in its newly-reconfigured form, so this is one district where Dems could have a shot in the general, if Upton were out of the picture.
• MN-01: Former state Rep. Allen Quist says he may join the Republican primary field looking to take on third-term Dem Rep. Tim Walz. Quist's name may sound familiar: He sought the GOP nomination last year but failed to win his party's endorsement at the district's convention. State Sen. Mike Parry is already in the race, and this time, Quist is saying he might not abide by the results of the party endorsement process. (David Nir)
• NC-07: In today's news from the video press-release department, the NRCC is out with a new ad targeting Blue Dog Dem Rep. Mike McIntyre, over his support for the 2009 stimulus package. The ad is a rehash of an earlier one used to target Iowa's Dave Loebsack and it's got a whopping $21K behind it (on cable only in the Raleigh and Wilmington markets).
• ND-AL: Here's some clarity on the overstuffed Republican primary race to succeed Rep. Rick Berg, vacating the Flickertail State's at-large seat after one term for a Senate run. State Sen. Tony Grindberg, usually on the short list of potential candidates, says he won't run. (Two different state Public Service Commissioners, Brian Kalk and Kevin Cramer, are in the primary, as well as state Rep. Bette Grande. Dems, on the other hand, seem to have coalesced around ex-state Rep. Pam Gulleson.)
• NY-15: Former state Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV—who lost the Dem primary to ethically-challenged octogenarian Charles Rangel in 2010—is sniffing out the race again, just a day after news of a likely bid by former Clinton administration veteran Clyde Williams (about whom Powell said, "I've never heard of him," by way of criticizing Williams' links to DC and lack of links to Harlem). Powell, however, says he's unlikely to run if Rangel runs again (wary of splitting the anti-Rangel field once more), but is definitely running if Rangel decides to retire.
• SC-03: I'm losing track of all the times Republican office-holders have compared the poor and/or immigrants to animals, but here's one more to add to the pile: freshman Rep. Jeff Duncan. (Of course, this isn't going to do much to hurt Duncan's standing in his blood-red district; it's just worth keeping tabs on this style of rhetoric.)
• WA-01: Democrat Darcy Burner, who a was recipient of a lot of netroots support back in '06 and '08, is back for a third try at a House race. This time, instead of a difficult run at the well-entrenched Dave Reichert in the 8th (which will probably be made more Republican in redistricting), she's looking at the open 1st further north, being vacated by Jay Inslee, which is ideologically probably a better fit for her and will stay, after redistricting, a pretty safely blue seat. However... she's setting herself up for a very difficult primary where there are already four big names, and where her entry seems likely to only further dissipate the liberal vote shared with state Reps. Marko Liias and Roger Goodman, increasing the odds that sorta-moderate ex-Rep. Laura Ruderman or moderate-to-the-point-of-being-major-pain-in-the-ass state Sen. Steve Hobbs gets through.
But if you're ready to believe Burner's own polling, she starts the race as the front-runner. Horse's Ass has obtained a polling memo (PDF) from Lake Research, for a survey taken on behalf of Darcy Burner, who just announced a third run for Congress earlier today. The memo only shares a handful of data but says that Burner is at 47% in a hypothetical Democratic primary, while the unnamed next-closest candidate is at 12%. (I'd presume they tested all known legit candidates, but we have no way to know for sure.) Thing is, there is no Democratic primary as such in Washington, which uses a top-two system. (The two candidates who get the most votes in the primary, regardless of party, advance to the general.) Among all voters, Burner scores 27% while the next-best Dem gets 7%, though it's not clear whether any potential Republican opponents were included in this test. The only other name mentioned in the memo is that of ex-state Rep. Laura Ruderman (Burner's biggest concern?), who has 14% name rec, while Burner has 55%, and 50-11 favorables among Democrats. (David Jarman/David Nir)
• Charlotte Mayor: One of the biggest cities with a mayoral race up for grabs next week is Charlotte, North Carolina. It's looking like an easy re-election for first-term Democrat Anthony Foxx, who won narrowly last time. Foxx leads Republican Scott Stone 58-32, according to PPP, who polled the race for NC Policy Watch.
• MI Recall: Joshua Spivak of the excellent Recall Elections Blog offers a detailed run-down of next Tuesday's recall election of GOP state Rep. Paul Scott. (By the way, Spivak's site is a must-read for serious junkies. He covers recalls of all stripes—and there are an amazing number of them at all levels of government.) (David Nir)
• Hawaii: PPP dumped out the cart on its Hawaii odds and ends leftover from a couple weeks ago; probably the most interesting number here is that only 14% of Hawaiians (and 38% of those identifying as "Native Hawaiian") support secession from the U.S. Interestingly, that's the same percentage of Texans who'd also prefer to be independent.
• Maine: PPP is out with a slew of Maine miscellany today. Most importantly, their poll shows a narrow lead for the good guys on Question 1, the referendum seeking to return Maine to allowing same-day voter registration, which will be decided next Tuesday. The measure leads 48-42, with Dems supporting it 60-33 and GOPers, always the vigilant guardians of the sanctity of the (elderly white) people's vote, against it 29-64. They also find the same rapid movement in favor of gay marriage as seen in other states; despite narrowly rejecting it at the ballot box two years ago, now there's 51-42 support for it. Meanwhile, they find 54/35 approvals for GOP Sen. Susan Collins (who isn't up until 2014), and 43/48 approvals for GOP Gov. Paul LePage, who would lose a rematch against independent Eliot Cutler 43-38 (with 16 to the woeful Libby Mitchell).
• Polltopia: Looks like we'll get some actual data on the never-polled-since-the-primary Mississippi gubernatorial race this weekend, as well as the hotly-contested SD-18 race in Iowa where the state Senate's control hangs in the balance. PPP will be polling both races; they're looking for question suggestions.
• Wisconsin: PPP also cleared the decks on its Wisconsin sample today with its usual batch of odds and ends. They find Paul Ryan's numbers have rebounded a bit since he disappeared from the limelight over the last half a year (up to 40/35). Retiring Dem Sen. Herb Kohl seems to be the most popular figure in the state, at 51/31, while junior GOP Sen. Ron Johnson generates a lot of "meh," at 37/34.
• AZ Redistricting, AZ Recall: While Democrats sounded very bellicose about threatening to recall Republican state Senators before yesterday's vote to impeach redistricting commissioner Colleen Mathis, there was no mention of recalls in the press release the state party issued immediately afterward. Why was that? The answer isn't too surprising. For one, Aaron Blake catches up with a Dem spokesperson who says, "Right now, we are focused on the unfolding legal challenges" to the impeachment vote. For another, the entire state Senate is already up for re-election next year, which means that any recalls would at best take place just a few months ahead of the regularly scheduled elections—in other words, difficult to justify in terms of bang-for-the-buck. (David Nir)
• NC Redistricting: This is disappointing, because you can make a pretty good case for VRA violations with the over-packing of the black-majority 12th CD and retrogression issues in the 1st—but it looks like the Obama DOJ is saving all its powder for the biggest redistricting fight of them all, in Texas. The DOJ granted preclearance yesterday to the North Carolina map passed by the GOP-controlled state legislature (Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue has no veto power under NC law). A coalition of Democratic groups still plans to sue, though, so those flaws may still be addressed in federal court.