8:34 AM PT: AR-02: Well, with Thursdasy's filing deadline upon us, it seems Democrats won't get their man in AR-02. Former state Rep. Jay Martin, who had looked like a likely candidate, says he won't challenge freshman GOPer Tim Griffin, and state party chair Will Bond won't run either. (I'm guessing ex-LG Bill Halter also won't make a last-second bid.) Instead, former state Rep. Herb Rule will run... and in this case, let me emphasize "former." Rule, an attorney with the Rose Law Firm (where Hillary Clinton once worked), last served in the legislature in 1970.
8:42 AM PT: NY Redistricting: For some reason, the court's docket sheet isn't listing all the maps that were submitted on Wednesday, but you can find additional maps in this directory, including those from the Assembly and Senate.
8:57 AM PT: MI-03: We mentioned former state Rep. Steve Pestka's possible challenge to GOP freshman Justin Amash just a day earlier; now, unknown Democrats (the DCCC, perhaps?) have leaked a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll conducted a couple of weeks ago to Dave Catanese to try to tempt Pestka into the race. The initial ballot has Amash up 50-39, but of course subsequent informed tests are more positive for Pestka.
9:03 AM PT: FL-13: A second Democrat is entering the race to take on longtime (long, long, longtime) GOP Rep. Bill Young: Former Pinellas School Board member Nina Hayden says she'll run, joining attorney and former congressional aide Jessica Ehrlich.
9:18 AM PT: TX Redistricting: In case you missed it, David Jarman put together a comprehensive analysis of the new Texas interim congressional map, focusing on the districts which were changed the most (or which look like they might some day become promising for Democrats). The bottom line, though, as we've been saying, is that this map is pretty terrible for Team Blue: It yields a net of two Dem seats and 2 GOP seats, but it also weakens another seat that should lean Dem, and ultimately gives minorities—who are responsible for the bulk of Texas's population growth—no more seats than they had before. How this is acceptable, I cannot understand. In any event, in addition to our run-down, you'll also find our patented population redistribution chart at the link.
9:54 AM PT (David Jarman): MA-Sen: It's a private poll and most of a month old, so take it with the requisite grains of salt, but there's word of a leaked poll that, like the Suffolk poll from a few weeks ago, has Scott Brown in the lead over Elizabeth Warren by 9 points (here, 52-43) . It was taken by Opinion Dynamics on behalf of "market-driven solutions" think tank Mass Insight in early February; while the details here are sketchy (like whether it was a throw-in question in a poll on non-political topics), it does make it harder to consider the Suffolk poll a true outlier, which is how most peole have been treating it.
9:59 AM PT (David Jarman): IA-03: Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell, who faces a redistricting-created member-on-member battle against Tom Latham, has been Crossroads' favorite punching bag so far, and they're back with another hit. The cheaply-animated, Obamacare-centered ad -- $77K worth of time in both the Des Moines and Omaha markets -- is their third one of the cycle (bringing the Rove-linked Super PAC's spending so far here to $373K).
10:06 AM PT (David Jarman): ME-Sen: Here's the latest roundup from Roll Call on the Maine Senate field, though today's news doesn't really tell us much that we didn't know yesterday: on the Dem side, Rep. Chellie Pingree, Rep. Mike Michaud, and ex-Gov. John Baldacci have all pulled papers and are gathering signatures. On the GOP side, there's simply a list of about a dozen guys (which you can see at the link) who all seem to be waiting for each other to budge. (Peter Cianchette gets the top billing on the list, which, based on other people's murmurings, seems correctly placed.) Finally, the story gives us some clarification on Eliot Cutler, the indie who nearly won 2010's gubernatorial race, and whose presence in the Senate race could scramble the calculus (all we had to go on yesterday was year-old reports that he wasn't interested in running in a hypothetical Senate race against Olympia Snowe). A Cutler operative says Cutler is "considering" but remains "undecided," but probably wouldn't run if ex-Gov. Angus King (the state's other prominent indie, who said went on the record yesterday that he's "actively considering").
10:12 AM PT (David Jarman): OH-09: So Bob Dole, Tom Hanks, and John Dingell walk into a bar together and say... "I'm supporting Marcy Kaptur over Dennis Kucinich?!?" Not a very funny punch line, I suppose, but there's some logic behind their joint endorsement: the three of them worked together with Kaptur on the creation of the World War II monument on the Capitol Mall. Dole and Hanks don't seem to have put any money behind the backing, but Dingell is Kaptur's neighbor (across the Ohio/Michigan state line) and could probably lend some field staff for GOTV.
10:17 AM PT (David Jarman): MO-Sen: Mediocre fundraising by the two non-self-funding Republican candidates in the Missouri Senate race may have something to do with insiders standing back and asking "is that all there is?" But one key in-state Republican player has finally gotten off the fence, and thrown his support behind ex-state Treasurer Sarah Steelman: state house speaker Steve Tilley. (Dave Catanese says that Tilley is, after Roy Blunt, the state's best Republican fundraiser, so this may help Steelman -- who raised all of $83K in Q4, bad even for a House race -- show some signs of financial life.)
10:25 AM PT (David Jarman): UT-Gov, UT-Sen: This might have some indication of how the relative positions of strength of Gov. Gary Herbert and Sen. Orrin Hatch have changed over the cycle. At the outset, Hatch was considered very vulnerable to a primary challenge, while Herbert was kind of an afterthought... but at this point, Hatch seems to have weathered the worst of the storm (having dodged a Jason Chaffetz challenge) while Herbert's woes have grown. And now, Hatch has felt he had enough political capital to extend an endorsement to Herbert... but Herbert has been unable to respond in kind, declining to endorse Hatch.
11:39 AM PT: IL-10: Though pre-primary FEC reports aren't due in Illinois for another week, the books have already closed on the most recent fundraising period, which ran from Jan. 1 through Feb. 29. Democrat Ilya Sheyman is therefore touting his haul, which he says was over $200K, making this his best fundraising report so far, despite the shortened timeframe.
12:00 PM PT: NC-06: It's very much a longshot, but we've got an actual former legislator running here now: Democrat Tony Foriest, who served two terms in the state Senate before losing in 2010, is running in the 6th Congressional District, a seat currently held by GOP Rep. Howard Coble. But Coble, as we've noted, is vulnerable to a primary challenge, so this race could wind up being more interesting than meets the eye.
Speaking of Coble's primary, one non-Some Dude candidate seems to have screwed up his efforts to get on the ballot. Forsyth County Republican Party chair Nathan Tabor showed up just moments too late to submit his paperwork by Wednesday's noon deadline. (Tabor says he'll appeal.) Still, Coble may yet get saved by the clown car effect, since there are two seemingly plausible guys in the race against him even without Tabor: former radio announcer Bill Flynn and Guilford County Commissioner Billy Yow.
12:06 PM PT: MN-Sen: Minnesota Republicans have landed a new candidate in the race to unseat the extremely popular Amy Klobuchar: Army National Guard Capt. Pete Hegseth, whom The Hill's Cameron Joseph describes as an "upgrade" over the current field. Now, given the state of that field, that really isn't saying much, but Joseph points out that Hegseth "has a national fundraising network from his time running Vets for Freedom, a hawkish foreign policy advocacy group." Still, I can't see Hegseth attracting the support he'd need from the NRSC in order to unseat Klobuchar; national Republicans simply have too many higher priorities.
12:13 PM PT: NJ-Sen: I'm really not sure what's up with the sudden deluge of polls we're seeing in the New Jersey Senate race, though I've gotta guess it's just happenstance. But regardless, SurveyUSA is now out with the third survey in a week of this rather sleepy race, following on the heels of Rutgers-Eagleton and Quinnipiac. Though the margins have all differed from poll to poll, SUSA also shows Dem Sen. Bob Menendez with a sizable lead over state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, 46-31. They also find him beating former Highlands mayor Anna Little 38-49, though Little's status in the race still seems ambiguous. She's had an "Anna Little for Senate" website up for a while now, but recent news reports say she's still in the "considering" phase.
12:35 PM PT: ME-Sen, ME-01, ME-02: The Portland Press-Herald has what they say is a complete list of all candidates who have taken out papers to start the signature gathering for all three federal offices in Maine. There are some minor discrepancies with prior media reports, but with the situation so fluid and the filing deadline just two weeks away, this list is just going to keep on changing constantly. (A minor respite came on Thursday afternoon, since a snowstorm shuttered the Secretary of State's office.) Republican consultant Matthew Gagnon, who blogs for the Bangor Daily News, also offers his latest scuttlebutt on the House scene.
Speaking of Gagnon, on the Senate front, he had described Republican state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin as "likely to very likely" to enter the race, but does he really want to run with headlines like this? The lede kind of says it all:
The Maine House of Representatives unanimously passed an order Thursday requesting the state’s highest court to issue an opinion on whether Treasurer Bruce Poliquin has violated the state constitution by engaging in commerce while in office.
1:01 PM PT: AR-01: Prosecutor Scott Ellington entered the Democratic field in the 1st Congressional District at the filing deadline, joining state Rep. Clark Hall and Arkansas State econ prof. Gary Latanich for the right to take on freshman GOPer Rick Crawford. Ellington achieved some notability over the last couple of years because he was responsible for the unusual plea deal which set the West Memphis Three free. (If you're unfamiliar with this complex and long-running case, you'll want to check out Wikipedia's entry.)
1:09 PM PT: MA-Sen: Just in time to help fuel a narrative that Scott Brown was desperate to feed, Rasmussen is out with a poll showing him up 49-44 over Democrat Elizabeth Warren. That makes three polls in a row (at least, by release date, not necessarily field date) to show Brown ahead, but for various reasons, it's hard to trust each of them.
1:42 PM PT: NJ-Gov, NJ-Sen: It's starting look like Newark mayor Corey Booker, who has had the "up-and-comer" label affixed to him practically since birth, might have nowhere left for his star to actually rise. Dem Sen. Frank Lautenberg, despite his 88 years of age, sounds like he'll run for yet another term in 2014, and Booker doesn't seem interested in a primary challenge. Booker also doesn't appear to be eager to run against Republican Gov. Chris Christie, whom he's long been allied with. So what's left? Well, it may be a third term as mayor, when he's next up in two more years.
2:00 PM PT: Texas: With maps in the Lone Star State seemingly settled (I guess the plaintiffs are figuring an appeal to the SCOTUS would be pointless?), the candidate filing period will reopen on Friday and continue through March 9. The primary will now be held on May 29 and any runoffs on July 31.
6:47 PM PT: ME-Sen: Hel-lo! After an absolutely frenzied couple of days filled with endless maneuvering and speculation, Dem Rep. Mike Michaud has announced that, in the end, he's decided not to run for Senate. This means two things for sure: (1) Michaud's fellow Rep. Chellie Pingree is now the undisputed front-runner for the Democratic nomination; (2) all those hopefuls who started gathering signatures for a run in Michaud's 2nd Congressional District are now out-of-luck, especially former SoS Matt Dunlap, who previously was running for Senate.
The bigger question is whether state Senate President Kevin Raye, a Republican who had been looking at the Senate contest, will opt for that race, or whether he'll stick with his plans to challenge Michaud for the House seat. In other words, will Raye become Pingree's problem, or will he remain Michaud's? I'm sure we'll find out soon.