• AZ-Sen: Fuck this guy.
• FL-Sen: Remember George LeMieux? I do, but only barely. Anyhow, some reporter he spoke with says now that an announcement for a Senate run “is imminent, and could come within a few weeks.” The article says basically the same thing about former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, but we’ll see when we see.
• NJ-Sen: According to a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll, Bob Menendez’s approvals are 34-28 – better than I would have thought! Chris Christie’s numbers keep getting worse (yay!), while Obama is at +21.
• IN-Sen: Like their counterparts in the Wisconsin state Senate, Democrats in Indiana’s House are holed up in Illinois, boycotting their chamber over anti-union legislation. This has had the effect of delaying work on redistricting, which in turn seems to be delaying Rep. Joe Donnelly’s decision about whether to run for re-election or seek higher office; Donnelly obviously would prefer to look at the new map before choosing.
On the other side of the aisle, Dick Lugar engaged in a brutally embarrassing flip-flop that suggests to me he might be reconsidering his approach to the teabaggers and adopting a more Orrin Hatch-style form of supplication. After first saying he’d vote against the House GOP’s budget bill (which contains huge spending cuts), he then changed his mind an hour later and said he’d vote for it… and blamed his earlier answer on supposedly not being able to hear the question he’d been asked. The fact that he flip-flopped right after a weekly Republican lunch meeting had nothing to do with his arm being put in a vice behind closed doors.
• MA-Sen: This is an odd set of tweets from the Boston Globe’s Glen Johnson. He asked Newton Mayor Setti Warren if Obama had asked him to run for Senate (Obama happens to be in the area for a fundraiser – see DCCC item below), and Warren was silent in response. Warren apparently later called Johnson and said that yes, the president had spoken with him about the race, but no, hadn’t asked him to run. Weird.
In other news, ex-Rep. Joe Kennedy said once again that he has no interest in running against Scott Brown next year, saying he feels “ill” at the thought. Bear in mind that Kennedy still has a pretty hunormous $2.1 million in his campaign account, left over from his representin’ days, so he’s gotta do something with it at some point.
• NM-Sen: Heather Wilson had a bunch of relatively big backers at her campaign launch: ex-Sen. Pete Domenici, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, former U.S. Reps. Bill Redmond and Manuel Lujan, and one-time GOP gubernatorial hopefuls Allen Weh, Pete Domenici, Jr., and Janice Arnold-Jones. I’d be shocked out of my socks if Wilson has the Republican primary field to herself, though; reporter Gwyneth Doland says now that Rep. Steve Pearce, who had sounded pretty reticent before, “isn’t ruling out a run” himself, but those are her words, not his.
• NV-Sen: This is the best news I’ve heard all day: A former Sharron Angle consultant “talked up the possibility” of another Senate run to Ben Smith, touting her UNPRECEDENTED TEA-FLAVORED POWER. Hmm, that’s probably the label on some Japanese soft drink, but that’s still pretty much the gist of what this guy said. Sadly, though, Jon Ralston is here to drink my weird made-up Japanese soft drink – drink it up – because he thinks both Angle and Lt. Gov. Krolicki (also considering a Senate bid) will instead run in NV-02, which would be open if Rep. Dean Heller decides to move up.
On the Dem side, Greg Giroux – who I think must be wired, Matrix-like, into all the key election databases – spots a filing from Byron Georgiou, an attorney who was one of Harry Reid’s picks to serve on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. It can be a little tricky to tell with attorneys, but it sounds like Georgiou may be pretty wealthy, given that Wikipedia describes his career as generally involving major plaintiff-side litigation. (By the way, Dem Ross Miller told Ralston he would wait to see what Rep. Shelley Berkley does before making plans of his own.)
Also, UMN has another one of their typically fascinating posts up, this time about the Nevada Senate race. It turns out that in the state’s 100-plus year history, there have only been five open seat races, and only once (in 1942!) was the seat held by the same party. The same piece also points out that only one Nevada senator, Richard Bryan (D), has ever left office on his own terms – those who didn’t lose in the general were driven from office by reasons of scandal (like Ensign), health, or failure to win renomination.
• PA-Sen: Remember Sam Rohrer? I definitely didn’t. But the former state Rep., who got killed in the gubernatorial primary against now-Gov. Tom Corbett last year, said he hasn’t ruled out a challenge to Sen. Bob Casey. His party may need him, since pretty much no serious Republican seems interested in running.
• VT-Sen, VT-Gov: Thom Lauzon, the Republican mayor of Barre (pop. 9,000), says he’s considering running for either governor or Senate, but neither sounds likely, especially the latter, since he says he’s tight with state Auditor Tom (not Tim) Salmon, who has said he’s leaning toward a run.
• WV-Sen: Gonna be a long two years if we have to put up with this on a regular basis.
• FL-22: I can’t really tell if this guy rises above Some Dude level, but Gulf War vet Patrick Daniel (D) says he’s challenging Allen West, and that he’s been “preparing to run for office for at least five years” (in the words of his interviewer, Kenneth Quinnell).
• MN-08: A wide net sure is right. A source tells Joe Bodell of the MN Progressive Project that one possible Democratic candidate to take on Rep. Chip Cravaaaaaack is state Rep. Ryan Winkler. The only problem is that Winkler represents a district in suburban Minneapolis, while the 8th CD covers Minnesota’s northeastern reaches. So what gives? Winkler is a native of Bemidji, some 200 miles north of the Twin Cities, and he told Bodell that he’s thought about moving home, “but nothing is in the works.” I’ll also point out that Bemidji is actually in the 7th district (right near the border with the 8th).
• NY-26: Jack Davis was always just about the worst imaginable fit for the Democratic Party since Lyndon LaRouche, so it’s no surprise that he’s trying to court teabaggers in pursuit of his doomed fourth run for Congress (this time as an independent). The best part is that the mainstream (lol) teabaggers are rejecting him, but a splinter group (yes, another Judean People’s Front/People’s Front of Judea split) supposedly is in Davis’s camp. Davis is also trying to claim that Republican Jane Corwin has a “nanny issue,” but whatevs. Those don’t seem to gain a lot of traction these days, even if true.
• OR-01: SurveyUSA released a poll asking folks their opinions of David Wu. They ask respondents how they voted last year (52-38 for Wu, close to the actual 54-42 margin), and they also have a do-over question pitting Wu against 2010 challenger Rob Cornilles. Cornilles fares little better in this question, getting just 41%, but Wu drops dramatically, down to 33%. Meanwhile, Kari Chisholm at Blue Oregon has a massive list of everyone and his dog and the dog’s stuffed chewtoy who could potentially try to primary Wu, who has been busy conducting an apology tour of sorts.
• Los Angeles Mayor: It’s never too early to think about the 2013 elections, and that is exactly what over a dozen ambitious residents of America’s 2nd largest city are doing. The Los Angeles Times handicaps the vast field of candidates contemplating bids to replace Antonio Villaraigosa as the next mayor of Los Angeles. The prospects range from the old (longtime LA pol and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky) to the young (state senator Alex Padilla, who was 2 years old when Yaroslavsky first landed a seat on the LA City Council). And just to show that there are still potential Bloombergs among us, the field contains two wealthy self-funders (developer Rick Caruso and investment banker-turned-deputy mayor Austin Beutner). (Steve Singiser)
• NYC Mayor: Gag me with a spoon – when asked by Fareed Zakaria on CNN, Eliot Spitzer refused to rule out a run for NYC mayor. And I say this as someone who worked to get Spitzer elected – twice!
• WI Recall: Greg Sargent has an update on Dems’ signature collection efforts in the recall drive, and Team Blue is saying things are going very well in the early going – beating expectations, in fact. But there also seems to be some movement in terms of a deal with Gov. Scott Walker, which could deflate the sails of the recall movement very abruptly.
• DCCC: Obama alert! The POTUS was in Boston yesterday for a fundraiser for the DCCC. (That’s why he had the chance to chat with Setti Warren – see MA-Sen item above.) The D-Trip says the event raised a million bucks.
• Arkansas: Reid Wilson has a tantalizing tweet, but nothing more: ” Arkansas legislators contemplating new heavily black, safe Dem seat.”
• Colorado: Republicans in the state House (where they’re in the majority) are trying to push a new law which would have the effect of moving Democratic Pueblo out of the 3rd CD (which gives Dems a fighting chance there) and into the deep red vote sink that is the 5th district. This is probably being done with an eye to protect freshman Rep. Scott Tipton, but it’s also possible that “moderate” state Sen. Ellen Roberts, a co-sponsor of the bill, is trying to craft a district more to her liking for an eventual run someday. Either way, it doesn’t matter – Dems control the state Senate and the governor’s mansion, so this bill is going nowhere.
Mississippi: Well, that sure was fast. A state Senate panel (controlled by the GOP) rejected a new map for the state House, which the Dem-controlled House had passed last week. If the two sides remain deadlocked, it’s possible that the state would have to conduct legislative elections both this year (under the old map) and next year (under a new map), something that actually happened in 1991/92. This would of course give the GOP another chance to win the state House before a Dem map can be implemented (and you’ve gotta think their odds of doing so are pretty good).
Meanwhile, there’s also some Redistricting™-brand cat fud on display in the Senate. Republicans released a map for their own body (available, along with demographic info, here), but Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant (who also holds the position of President of the Senate) pushed a plan of his own through the Elections Committee instead. (If you have a link to that map, please let us know in comments.) That puts him in a battle with members of his own party in terms of which map should get adopted.
• Pennsylvania: As Nice & Smooth put it, sometimes I map slow, sometimes I map quick – and PA Republicans are definitely in the former category. After state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said he hoped to have a new congressional map complete in the fall, a wise-ass aide noted that technically, fall doesn’t end until Dec. 21st, so we might not see a new plan until the Winter Solstice. The staffer also said that technically, he has kissed a girl, because he once played spin-the-bottle with his second cousin.
• Redistricting: The Brennan Center has a very helpful guide to understanding the intricacies of redistricting, which you should all bookmark.