• AR-Sen: Blanche Lincoln is getting yet another challenger, except this time it’s a Democrat: Bob Johnson (no, not that Bob Johnson… he’s the Arkansas Senate President, and former Arkansas House Speaker). Surely the netroots will rejoice that conservadem Lincoln, known for her foot-dragging on EFCA, is getting a primary challenge. Um, except there’s the small fact that Johnson would be running against Lincoln from the right. (Johnson held a fundraiser for Republican state Senator Gilbert Baker last fall, who may well be the Republican Senate nominee.)
• FL-Sen: One more fossil got unearthed by Charlie Crist as he seeks applications for potential Senate replacements for Mel Martinez: former Representative Lou Frey, a 75-year-old who served in the House from the Orlando area from 1968 to 1978. Crist is still planning to interview current Rep. Bill Young, as well as former Reps. Clay Shaw and Mike Bilirakis. Follow the link to see all 10 current possible replacements.
• IL-Sen: With the Democratic Senate field suddenly down to two candidates, Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and local Urban League president Cheryle Jackson, there’s still some of the inevitable casting-about for someone else going on. An unnamed “top Dem” is reportedly encouraging Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart to make the race. Dart is a former state legislator who made big news recently for suspending foreclosure evictions.
• MO-Sen: Michael Steele just referred to Roy Blunt as crap. Well, not in the most literal sense. There was an extended toilet metaphor on a conservative radio talk show and Steele went along with the host’s anti-Blunt anti-insider arguments. Still, the Carnahan ads write themselves.
• NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand got yet another endorsement from her House colleagues, from freshman Rep. Eric Massa. Siena is also out with a new New York poll. Gillibrand trails the unlikely-to-run ex-Gov. George Pataki in a hypothetical head-to-head, 42-39 while whomping the only slightly-less-likely-to-run Rep. Peter King, 46-24. (They didn’t poll the Dem primary, where Jonathan Tasini is Gillibrand’s last challenger standing.)
• CA-Gov: Meg Whitman’s campaign strategy seems to be to duck debates and let her money do her talking for her instead. Here’s another eyebrow-raising development, that’s potentially a good line of attack for Dems (or her primary challengers): Whitman didn’t register to vote in California til 2002 (or as a Republican until 2007), and has missed voting in more than half the elections since then, including the 2003 recall.
• MA-Gov: Rasmussen looks at the Massachusetts Governor’s race, and finds I-turned-R Christy Mihos leading incumbent Dem Deval Patrick 40-35, up from a 41-40 lead in June. Patrick leads Republican Charlie Baker 40-39. The utility of this poll is close to zero, though, seeing as how it leaves out likely D-turned-I candidate Tim Cahill, whom polls have found either absorbing enough anti-Patrick votes to let Patrick squeak through, or else winning outright.
• NY-Gov: There’s a certain role about holes, shovels, and not digging that David Paterson seems to be forgetting. He lashed out at critics saying he should stand down for re-election, accusing them of racial bias, and even launched into the media for their coverage (which I don’t think has ever ended well for a politician). The aforementioned Siena poll finds Paterson losing the Dem primary to Andrew Cuomo 65-23, and the general to Rudy Giuliani 56-33 (although he does beat Rick Lazio, 38-37). Cuomo beats Giuliani 53-40, and beats Lazio by a hilarious 66-16 (OK, that’s not as hilarious as the GOP primary, where Giuliani beats Lazio 73-6, with 8 for Erie Co. Exec Chris Collins).
• SC-Gov: Cue up the “frequent flier” jokes. Turns out Mark Sanford, already known for his little jaunt to Argentina and his overeager use of state planes, has also failed to disclose at least 35 flights on private planes that should have been listed on ethics forms or campaign disclosures as ‘things of value.’
• IN-09: Could we really see Hill/Sodrel 5.0? American politics’ most repetitive rivalry may well continue on into 2010, as GOP ex-Rep. Mike Sodrel says he’ll weigh another bid against Rep. Baron Hill in the 9th as soon as he’s done with the book that he’s
• MI-13, 14: Detroiters are feeling surly about their Representatives, it seems. A poll by Deno Noor Polling finds both Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and John Conyers with negative re-elect numbers: 27/58 for Kilpatrick and 40/44 for Conyers. Not a surprise for Kilpatrick, whose son got bounced out as Detroit’s mayor and who barely survived a primary herself last year, but it’s a new development for Conyers, the second-longest-serving House member; assumedly, this has a lot to do with the conviction of his wife, ex-city councilor Monica Conyers, on bribery charges.
• OR-04: I’d be sad too if I was watching my once-promising House bid crash and burn more than a year out from the election. Republican Springfield mayor Sid Leiken teared up repeatedly during a news conference where he finally announced that he didn’t have documentation for the $2,000 in cash that somehow found its way from his campaign to his mother. He’ll repay the $2,000 out of pocket, he says, but the Sec. of State investigation continues.
• PA-07: Here’s a good photo op for Dem state Rep. Bryan Lentz, running to succeed Rep. Joe Sestak. He’s appearing at the White House to discuss energy policy with Obama administration officials and other energy policy leaders.
• VA-05: Conventional wisdom seems to be coalescing around state Sen. Robert Hurt as GOP nominee; one GOP operative says he’s “60% leaning toward the race.” His state Senate district overlaps about one-quarter of the 5th. State Del. Rob Bell, who was frequently mentioned earlier, seems hard-pressed to win his off-year re-election this year and turn around and take on Rep. Tom Perriello. Two other state Senators sound interested, Frank Ruff and Steve Newman, but sound likely to defer to Hurt if he gets in.
• Seattle Mayor: Primary elections in Seattle were last week, and in typical Washington fashion, ballots from the all-mail-in election are still being counted. In a serious surprise, two-term mayor Greg Nickels won’t be coming back, as he finished third in the top-two nonpartisan primary at 25%. No worries, as he’ll be replaced by someone just as, if not more so, liberal, although someone who’s never held elective office before: the top 2 are local Sierra Club president Mike McGinn (at 28%) and T-Mobile VP and big-time Obama bundler Joe Mallahan (at 27%).
Meanwhile, the King Co. Executive race is down to two. It’s the first time it’s been an officially nonpartisan position (after a GOP-led initiative to change it to nonpartisan passed, as this is the only way a Republican will ever get elected), but everyone still knows that former news anchor Susan Hutchison (who got 37%) is the Republican and county councilor Dow Constantine (who got 22%) is the Democrat. That looks daunting at first, but there were no other major Republicans and three other top-tier Dems in the race (county councilor Larry Phillips, state Sen. Fred Jarrett, and state Rep. Ross Hunter). The four Dems put together got 56%, so, no, King County isn’t going to elect a Republican in November.
• Polltopia: Where should PPP poll next: New Jersey or Virginia? You decide. (Tom Jensen says they’d planned to do New Jersey but skipped it to do Arkansas this week, where he hints at some blood-curdling numbers.)