• KS-Gov: A big bunch of former GOP office-holders has formed a new group to oppose the re-election of Gov. Sam Brownback, a fellow Republican. The organization includes a number of ex-legislators, many of whom were defeated in primaries last year by conservative allies of Brownback's, as well as former U.S. Sen. Sheila Frahm, who lost to Brownback himself in a 1996 primary. Brownback faces an above-average challenge from Democratic state House Minority Leader Paul Davis.
• HI-Sen, HI-01: The Hawaii State Teachers Association has endorsed Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in her bid for Senate. The HSTA, as well as the National Education Association, is also giving its support to state Rep. Mark Takai in the wide-open Democratic primary to replace Hanabusa in the 1st District.
• LA-Sen: State Rep. Paul Hollis, who first said he was considering a bid for Senate in October, has filed paperwork with the FEC. He's the third Republican to enter the race against Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, along with Rep. Bill Cassidy and Air Force vet Rob Maness.
• MT-Sen: Montana's largest union, the 18,000-strong MEA-MFT, has endorsed Lt. Gov. John Walsh for Senate. MEA-MFT represents teachers and other state employees. Walsh faces ex-Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger in the Democratic primary.
• NC-07: State Sen. David Rouzer was a natural to seek a rematch against Rep. Mike McIntyre after he lost the closest House race in the country in 2012, but he may have company in the GOP primary. New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White says he's considering a bid and expects to decide by the end of January.
• NE-02: It's very thin, but Joe Jordan at the Nebraska Watchdog says that unnamed sources have told him that attorney David Domina, who had been looking at Nebraska's open Senate seat, is considering a run against GOP Rep. Lee Terry in the state's 2nd Congressional District instead. This would actually be a winnable race for Domina, and he'd also really help Democrats, who lost their only candidate when Omaha City Councilman Pete Festersen dropped out earlier this month. Domina, however, missed a self-imposed mid-November deadline to decide on a Senate bid.
• VA-10: Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama has declined a comeback bid under the Republican banner for the open seat of retiring GOP Rep. Frank Wolf. Meanwhile, another dweebus—reality TV clown Tareq Salahi—says he will seek the GOP nomination in Virginia's 10th. (James L & David Nir)
• House: On behalf of Americans United for Change, PPP has new polls of five House districts, mostly focused on extending unemployment insurance protection. (It's broadly supported.) There are no horserace numbers, but we do have job approvals for four potentially vulnerable Republicans: Gary Miller (CA-31), Mike Coffman (CO-06), Rodney Davis (IL-13), and Dan Benishek (MI-01). (John Boehner's district was also surveyed.) Everyone is under water, but nothing dramatic.
• VA State Senate: GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell has scheduled the special election for Attorney General-elect Mark Herring's 33rd District state Senate seat for Jan. 21. So even if Democrats hold Lt. Gov.-elect Ralph Northam's Senate seat on Jan. 7, Republicans would still control the chamber 20-19 until the second special could be held.
• Census: Unsurprisingly, Florida is about to overtake New York to become the third most-populous state in the nation, perhaps when the Census Bureau releases new population estimates on Monday. New York, however, still has a huge edge in GDP, and ranks seventh among all states in GDP per capita. Florida is 39th.
Meanwhile, BuzzFeed has some animated GIFs showing changes in the U.S. since 1990 on the county level, based on Census data, across several different demographic categories.
• Maps: New York Times graphics editor Joshua Katz has taken his data collection on dialects to the next level, with a new quiz that tries to pinpoint where you're from, linguistically speaking, depending on your answers to a battery of questions about vocabulary and pronunciation. It had me utterly nailed as a New Yorker, but come on, people. Are you really playing tennis in those shoes? You are obviously using them for sneaking, duh!
• Money: Kent Cooper lists how much cash the 17 members of Congress who are retiring at the end of next year still have in their campaign accounts. All told, it's $13 million, with Montana Sen. Max Baucus leading the way with $3.3 million.
• SCF: One lesser-known way PACs can support candidates is by acting as pass-through entities, which means they can solicit contributions from donors who earmark them for specific campaigns. As Kent Cooper explains, the gifts count only against the contribution limits of the original donors, who get credit for making the donation; the PAC, meanwhile, gets credit for collecting the money and passing it along. (I believe this is how ActBlue operates, legally speaking.)
Cooper discusses all this in the context of the Senate Conservatives Fund, which has forwarded nearly $500,000 to four different outsider Senate candidates this year. The largest recipient has been Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin, with $304,000. Also receiving funds are Rob Maness (Louisiana), Chris McDaniel (Mississippi), and Ben Sasse (Nebraska).