Special Teabaggers’ edition of the digest…
• NY-20 (pdf): The morning update on the NY-20 absentee count finds Scott Murphy padding his skimpy lead a bit, up to 168. There was a partial report of absentees from Warren County (one of the strongholds of the Murphy clan), and the expected report from Saratoga County (Tedisco country) didn’t materialize, so this may be only a temporary surge. Democratic number crunchers, starting with Nate Silver, are sounding increasingly sanguine about the direction the absentee ballots are taking, though. Nate projects about a 500-vote margin for Murphy when all is said and done.
The Albany Project has been all over the sudden increase in ballot challenges by the Tedisco camp (who’ve moved to challenge second-home voters and student voters in the last few days). In the battle of perceptions, however, the GOP may have gone a fridge too far with their latest step, challenging the absentee ballot of NY-20’s favorite resident, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Gillibrand visited the Great Orange Satan and HuffPo to blog about her experience.
• MO-Sen: Polls have given SoS Robin Carnahan a commanding position in the open Missouri senate race, and now she has fundraising numbers to match, posting $1,048,000 in the first quarter.
• OH-Sen: There’s one other SoS running for an open senate seat who didn’t fare so well, though. Jennifer Brunner pulled in a surprisingly low $200,000. That may pick up once she gets the expected EMILY’s List endorsement, but it leaves her lagging behind Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who raised more than $1 million and is already wearing the mantle of ‘establishment’ Dem candidate.
• PA-Sen: Joe Torsella, who’s never held elective office before but is well-connected in Philadelphia’s corridors of power, reported a solid $584,000 in an abbreviated Q1 (only since mid-February).
• OK-Sen: Are you there, God? It’s me, Tom Coburn. I can’t decide whether or not to run for re-election. (He says he’s not playing games; it’s a “spiritual thing.”) The Club for Growth, in their first act since Chris “Count” Chocola took over, endorsed Coburn today, though.
• TX-Gov: Kinky Friedman, who got 12% of the vote as an independent in the chaotic 2006 Texas governor’s race, is doing it again, and this time he’s running in the Democratic primary. It’s unclear whether this will work to Friedman’s advantage, since a lot of his support comes from Paulists, Naderites, and other assorted weirdos who may not be registered Democrats, and Tom Schieffer gives Dem voters a ‘normal’ option.
• FL-10: Bill Young is always on ‘most likely’ to retire lists, but the 78-year-old is giving a little more fodder for that mill with today’s fundraising report. He raised only $7,100 in the first quarter, sitting on $412K CoH. (He only raised $15K in Q1 of 2007, though, and won easily in 2008.)
• MI-09: Joe Knollenberg won’t be back for a rematch against Gary Peters, who unseated him in 2008, but his former chief of staff will. Paul Welday, who’s also a former Oakland County GOP chair, will challenge him in 2010. Welday lost a race for the state house in 2008.