• CT-Gov (R): Two notable Republicans are competing to take on Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy, who appears vulnerable. Businessman and former ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley, who narrowly lost to Malloy in 2010, is widely viewed as the frontrunner over state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney. There have been no public polls since May, but Foley started the race far better known and with a good deal of institutional support.
McKinney is taking advantage of a recent Foley misstep, where he told employees at a soon-to-be-closed paper goods plant that they were responsible for the closure. However, McKinney's past support for gun control legislation is a major liability for Republican voters. A surprise is always possible, but Foley is the man to beat Tuesday.
Head below the fold for more.
• MN-Gov (R): Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton looks like the favorite to win re-election this fall, but four credible Republicans think they have a chance here. Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson won the influential state party endorsement. However, businessman Scott Honour has spent much of his own money to try and even the score. Former Senate Republican Leader Marty Seifert and former state House Speaker Kurt Zellers are also in the mix. There is no recent primary polling and it's anyone's guess how this will turn out.
• MN-06 (R): The one-and-only Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is calling it quits in this suburban Twin Cities seat. Former state Rep. Tom Emmer, who came very close to being elected governor in 2010, quickly entered the race and was largely able to clear the field. Emmer has the local party's endorsement and holds a considerable financial advantage over his primary opponent, Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah. Romney won this seat 57-42, and it should be safe for any Republican not named Michele Bachmann.
• WI-06 (R): Longtime Republican Rep. Tom Petri is retiring, setting off a competitive primary to succeed him. State Sen. Glenn Grothman was already planning to challenge Petri, and he is joined in the Republican primary by state Sen. Joe Leibham and state Assemblyman Duey Stroebel. All three candidates are quite conservative but Grothman is a special class onto his own. Among many other things Grothman has stated that he doesn't believe there is a wage gap between men and women, spoken out against Kwanzaa, and authored a bill to declare single parenthood a factor in child abuse.
Democrats would love to face Grothman, but it's unclear who will advance. Thanks in large part to self-funding, Stroebel has spent the most in the last month: Stroebel leads Leibham $277,000 to $182,000 in spending, with Grothman at a distant $99,000. The Democratic candidate will be Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, who faces no primary opposition. Harris's fundraising has been very weak and he'd be the clear underdog against Stroebel or Leibham in this 53-46 Romney seat. However, if Grothman makes it through the primary, Team Blue may take a second look here.
• WI-AG (D): Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is retiring, and a competitive battle to replace him is expected. On the Republican side, Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel has the field to himself. Three Democrats are competing in their primary: state Rep. Jon Richards; Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ; and Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne.
Richards has raised the most money and has a base in voter-rich Milwaukee, but has faced criticisms for not being a career prosecutor. Happ has the backing of EMILY's List and AFSCME, and has been stressing her ability to win in conservative rural areas. Ozanne has proven to be a poor fundraiser but does have name recognition in heavily Democratic Dane County. The winner will start out with a big cash deficit to Schimel, but both parties are expected to fight hard to win here.
• Other statewide races: In Connecticut, four Republicans are running for the lieutenant governor nomination. The state holds separate primaries for governor and lieutenant governor, but the two run together on one ticket in the fall in the so called "shot-gun marriage" system. In Minnesota, incumbent Democratic state Auditor Rebecca Otto faces a primary challenge from former House Minority Leader Matt Entenza. Entenza ran for governor in 2010 and took third-place with 18 percent, far behind winner Mark Dayton's 41 percent. In Wisconsin, a pair of Republicans are facing off for their party's nomination for both secretary of state and treasurer.