CA-32: Results Thread

222 of 222 Precincts Reporting
Gil Cedillo(D)11,24423%
Judy Chu(D)15,33832%

RESULTS: LA Times | CA Secretary of State | LA County

11:50: Calitics says Judy Chu has declared victory. 86% reporting: Chu still at 33%, Cedillo 24%, and Pleitez 14%. Betty Chu leads the GOP field, with 10%. Bring on Chu vs. Chu, in July!

11:30: With 76% reporting, it’s now Chu with 33%, Cedillo 24%, Pleitez 14%.

10:55: This isn’t over yet. With 46% reporting, Chu is at 35% and Cedillo is at 23%. Pleitez’s share is increasing too, up to 12%.

10:38: Picking up speed now; with 32% reporting, Chu leads 38% to 21%.

10:15: Ganja break at LA County is over: now we’re up to 16% reporting, with a little narrowing but still a big Chu edge, 40% to 19%.

9:30: Still nothing more to tell you about CA-32, but there’s a barnburner going on in the runoff for the Los Angeles City Attorney. Carmen Trutanich leads Jack Weiss 52-48, with 12% reporting.

8:45: We’re finally seeing some action. With 10% reporting, Judy Chu is at 42%, with Cedillo far behind with 17%. Betty Chu is in third at 13% (consolidating most of what little Republican vote exists in this district), and Pleitez is next at 8%.

8:18: We’ve still got bupkus from CA-32, but there are over 1 million votes tabulated statewide on the six ballot measures. Props 1A through 1E are all failing, mostly by greater than 40-60 margins, but Prop 1F (no pay raises for legislators if there’s a deficit) is passing with 77%.

7:52 Pacific: We’re going to be doing a half-assed liveblog of CA-32 tonight. Polls close shortly, at 8 p.m. Check back periodically for updates!

California Special Election Preview

One nice thing about writing for a blog that focuses on downballot issues is that you’re never that far away from an Election Day. Today it’s California’s turn; the marquee event is the race in open CA-32 to replace the new Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis. There are also six of ballot measures dealing with various budgetary issues, almost all of which are unpopular across the political spectrum and headed for defeat.

The two heavyweight contenders in CA-32 are Board of Equalization Chair (and former Assemblywoman) Judy Chu, and state Senator Gil Cedillo. Both are reliably liberal, so the election is more a question of tone, and what sort of coalitions the candidates can cobble together. This district, located in the San Gabriel Valley in the suburbs immediately east of Los Angeles, has a Latino majority (63%) but a large Asian bloc (22%, with non-Hispanic whites making up 11%).

Despite the district’s demographics, Chu has taken on something of frontrunner status in recent weeks in the eyes of observers at The Hill and NPR. Chu has a fundraising edge and some of the most valuable endorsements. This includes the endorsement of the state Democratic Party, as well as United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta and some key Latino politicians, such as LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Rep. Loretta Sanchez. (Cedillo has the endorsements of most of the other Latino Reps. in the area, such as Xavier Becerra, Joe Baca, and Linda Sanchez, as well as the LA County Young Democrats.)

In addition, Cedillo having gone significantly negative in the last few weeks indicates he may be feeling a loss in momentum… not just negative against Chu, but also likely third-place candidate Emanuel Pleitez, a 26-year-old rising star who was a member of the Obama transition team, suggesting that Pleitez is eating into Cedillo’s Latino base.

Besides the district’s ethnic composition, Cedillo has one other ace in the hole. The main Republican opposition in the race is also named Chu: Monterey Park City Councilor Betty Tom Chu (who apparently has some sort of grudge with the other Chu, and may be in the race at least partly as an attempted spoiler). Cedillo’s main hope, though, is to maximize Latino turnout, so this race (in the prohibitively expensive LA media market) is being fought entirely on the ground.

This election is run as an all-party primary, with all candidates listed together (with party ID) in one big pool. If no candidate breaks 50% total (which, with 12 candidates in the race, seems unlikely), the top finisher from each party advances to a July 14 runoff. In a D+15 district, though, any Republican opposition in the runoff would be a formality for Chu or Cedillo (although that could wind up prolonging the Chu vs. Chu confusion).

Finally, there are also six statewide ballot measures, Propositions 1A through 1F. A SurveyUSA poll released yesterday indicates that five of the six are headed toward defeat by wide margins; the only one in danger of passing is 1F, which blocks pay raises for legislators when the state budget is running a deficit; ‘yes’ is up 48%-38%. 1A is the nefarious one that especially deserves to go down, creating a TABOR-style spending cap. (1B is an education funding measure that is made irrelevant if 1A fails; 1C allows the sale of state bonds secured by lottery revenues; 1D and 1E re-allocate funds intended for childhood and mental health programs. None are good.)

As if that weren’t enough, there’s also an election in the vacant 26th Senate District, a safe Democratic seat in Los Angeles where Curren Price is expected to win. We’ll put up an open thread with links to returns as it gets closer to poll closing time. In the meantime, if you have predictions, feel free to have at it in the comments.

SSP Daily Digest: 5/8

PA-Sen: Tom Ridge’s appearance on Hardball yesterday may have set a new bar for equivocation. He wouldn’t commit to whether or not he’d vote for would-be rival Pat Toomey in the GOP primary, instead veering off into extolling the virtues of the secret ballot. On the flipside, in a nice bit of symmetry, Arlen Specter told Fox News that he can’t promise to vote with the Dems “all the time” on procedural votes. So, the takeaway is: nobody’s promising anything.

NY-Sen-B: Charles Schumer has ratcheted up his efforts to grease the wheels for Kirsten Gillibrand’s re-election path in 2010, hooking her up with donors, lobbying to get her on the good committees, and trying to tamp down possible primary challenges. “There is not going to be a primary!” he recently announced at a fundraiser (to the laughs of the audience… although I’m not sure whether the insiders were laughing due to his comic timing or the audacity and/or futility of his statement).

IL-Sen: Roland Burris is starting to seem like that last guest at the party who isn’t getting the message that it’s time to go home. Burris says he would like to keep his Senate seat, but will have to make “a formal decision in the next few weeks based on his ability to raise money for a campaign.” With a total of $845 raised so far… well… you do the math.

KY-Sen: One more Kentuckian is touring the state gauging potential support for the GOP Senate primary, which may or may not contain Jim Bunning. It’s Rand Paul, a doctor who’s never held elected office before but has one important ace in the hole: he’s the son of Rep. Ron Paul, which, if nothing else, establishes his liberatarian bona fides and gives him a nationwide fundraising base of fringe weirdo small donors.

NM-Gov: Two new candidates have emerged as possible contenders for the Republican nomination for governor in the Land of Enchantment: former state GOP chair Allen Weh (who was intrumental in the firing of US Attorney David Iglesias), who opened an exploratory committee this week, and state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, who’s in the “considering” stage. National Guard Brig. Gen. Greg Zanetti is already in the race. This race could get more interesting if ex-Rep. Heather Wilson joined this paltry lot, but with the Dems already coalesced behind Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, the GOP is starting out in a hole here.

CA-47: Remember how Bill Sali had his campaign HQ in the wrong district? GOP assemblyman Van Tran seems to be following in Rep. Brain Fade’s fine footsteps, at least in the map skills department. He kicked off his campaign with an event in the Little Saigon neighborhood in Westminster… in CA-46.

CA-32: In the run-up to the May special election, state Sen. Gil Cedillo has turned his fire toward the race’s third wheel: Emanuel Pleitez. Pleitez, a 26-year-old up-and-comer who was part of the Obama transition team, threatens to eat into Cedillo’s share of the Latino vote (which he’ll need to dominate if he’s to beat Board of Equalization chair Judy Chu). Cedillo is sending flyers using photos grabbed from Pleitez’s Facebook page to make the case that he’s too young and immature for Congress.

TN-04: A stem-winding progressive-sounding speech came from a very unlikely place: Blue Dog Rep. Lincoln Davis, holder of a newly-minted R+13 seat, speaking at last weekend’s Tennessee Democratic Party summit.

Mayors: There’s another batch of big-city mayoral elections this Saturday, all in Texas. In San Antonio, 34-year-old former city councilor Julian Castro is favored to win. Castro finished second four years ago to Phil Hardberger, who’s now termed-out. In Austin, the best-known mayoral contender is Carole Strayhorn, who was mayor of Austin in the 1970s and ran for governor as an independent in the crazy 2006 gubernatorial election. Strayhorn, however, is probably too conservative for today’s Austin, and the frontrunner seems to be city councilor Brewster McCracken.

Census: The state of New York is ponying up $2 million in state funding to bolster participation in the 2010 Census, mostly for outreach campaigns to traditionally undercounted populations. Assumedly, they think this money will pay much greater dividends later, if a more accurate count reveals more New Yorkers and thus brings in more federal funding for social programs.

LA-Sen: In a tantalizing item, the Hotline teases that “The DSCC won’t let Rep. Melancon (D) alone.” Does this mean Melancon could be back in the recruiting crosshairs, despite previously saying he was “not contemplating a run”? The Hotline’s note is behind a subscription paywall; if you have access to it, please feel free to elaborate in comments.

SSP Daily Digest: 5/1

PA-Sen: Rep. Joe Sestak is actually sounding likelier to jump into the Senate race than he did before Arlen Specter’s party swap. Interviews this week find him taking on a more belligerent tone and staking out an outsider position. Sen. Bob Casey, however, is moving right away to say he’ll support Specter no matter what happens in the primary.

IN-Sen: A Hamilton Campaigns poll finds Evan Bayh with ridiculously high favorables: 74/23, with even 61% from Republicans. He also has $11.4 million in the bank. You think with that level of popularity maybe he could drop the defensive crouch and stop reflexively opposing his party’s agenda?

CA-32: As the May 19 special election primary fast approaches, Board of Equalization chair Judy Chu and state Senator Gil Cedillo have started going at each other hammer-and-tongs. Cedillo’s camp has sent out mailers charging Chu with giving special tax breaks to corporate campaign contributors; Chu’s camp responds that they were “routine refunds of overpaid sales taxes.” Chu leads in fundraising and endorsements, but will need to make substantial inroads into the Latino vote in this district with a Latino majority but a large Asian bloc.

CA-45: We’ve known for a while that openly-gay Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet was intending to challenge Rep. Mary Bono Mack in this newly-blue district (still R+3), but he made it official earlier this week.

AR-St. House: Here’s one I’m still trying to wrap my head around: until this week, there was actually a Green Party member in a state House of Representatives. And it wasn’t Vermont, Maine, or Oregon: it was Arkansas, of all places. Well, that ended this week, as State Rep. Richard Carroll of North Little Rock switches to the Democratic Party today. (The effect of the switch is minimal: Dems now control the House 75-25.)

Swingnuts’ Delight: Everything you ever wanted to know about the awesome delicacy that is chocolate babka. Stick around here long enough and DavidNYC might send you one! (Hat-tip: reader RC)

SSP Daily Digest: 4/23

NY-20 (pdf): The BoE’s official tally bumps Scott Murphy’s lead up to 365, as 250 more ballots, mostly from Murphy stronghold Warren County, were added. Counting will continue for the forseeable future, unfortunately, and on Monday a judge will set a counting schedule for the ballots contested on the basis of second home residency.

The drip-drip of GOPers publicly throwing in the towel on NY-20 continues: today star strategist Mike Murphy cried uncle, as did former NRCC chair Tom Reynolds yesterday. Campaign Diaries has a thought-provoking piece on why the GOP continues to drag this out in the courts, even though they’re in too deep a hole for “case by case” examination of the ballots to salvage the count for them: it may be to set precedent for future recounts, where picking off individual ballots may be targeted to their advantage.

NY-Sen, NY-14: Rep. Carolyn Maloney has hired a statewide finance director, Lewis Cohen. Cohen denied that Maloney (who has been rumored to be interested in a primary challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand) will be running for Senate, but his title of “statewide” is pretty telling, considering that Maloney currently represents a few square miles in Manhattan and Queens.

PA-Sen: Only eight weeks before jumping into the Senate primary, Pat Toomey told Pennsylvania GOP chair Rob Gleason that he “didn’t want to be a Senator” and “be number 100 and vote no on everything.” Now this wouldn’t exactly be the first time a politician has promised one thing and done another, but the Specter camp has begun beating Toomey over the head with his flip-flop.

MO-Sen: Ex-treasurer Sarah Steelman is “moving in [the] direction” of entering the GOP senate primary, but is in no hurry to make a formal announcement as she gets her campaign’s financial house in order first. (She’s still paying off debts from her unsuccessful gubernatorial run last year.) This comes against a backdrop of increasing public discomfort by the party concerning Roy Blunt’s candidacy, caused not only by his humdrum $542K fundraising quarter and his high burn rate, but also his lobbyist ties and long ‘establishment’ track record.

GA-Gov, GA-03: With top candidates like Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Cobb Co. Commissioner Sam Olens bailing on the race, there’s an opening for a top-tier candidate to leap into the GOP field for the Georgia governor’s race. (SoS Karen Handel and Insurance Comm. John Oxendine are still in.) Could Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, who has occasionally expressed interest in this race, be the man? Westmoreland (perhaps best known for not being able to name the 10 commandments on the Colbert Report) is “seriously considering” it. Don’t look for a pickup of his R+19 seat if it’s open, though.

AL-Gov: Republican treasurer Kay Ivey will be running for governor after all, according to party insiders. The perception was that her role in Alabama’s floundering prepaid tuition plan may have wounded her too much to run for governor, but she’s still going for it.

CA-32: More endorsements as we approach the May 19 special election. Board of Equalization chair Judy Chu got the endorsement of Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. (The district doesn’t include any of LA, but obviously he’s a big figure in the media market.) The United Farm Workers and the locals of the Southern California District Council of Laborers went for state senator Gil Cedillo.

FL-08: Republican Orlando mayor Rich Crotty was looking like a major threat to just-elected Rep. Alan Grayson, but he’s getting tarnished with some legal troubles that may preclude him from running. A grand jury accused him of pressuring vendors to contribute to his re-election campaign. There’s still a deep Republican bench eyeing the race in this R+2 district, including state senate majority whip Andy Gardiner, ex-state senator Daniel Webster, and state rep. Steve Precourt. Grayson raised only $144K in the first quarter, but he may plan to self-finance, as he partially did in 2008.

Demographics: Here’s some interesting data from the Census Bureau: fewer people moved in 2007 (35.2 million) than any year since 1962 (when the nation had 120 million fewer people). This has its roots in the housing bubble pop, as people underwater in their houses are unlikelier to relocate for work. This may show up in a big way in 2012 reapportionment, though, as more people staying in place may save a few seats in the northeast or midwest and limit growth in the south or west.

SSP Daily Digest: 4/21

CA-32: Chu-mentum! Board of Equalization chair Judy Chu seems to be building up speed as we head toward the May 19 special election. Last week, Chu reported a sizable fundraising edge, raising $823K in the first quarter (compared with $568K for state senate Gil Cedillo and $153K for investment banker Emanuel Pleitez). And now, Chu received the unanimous endorsement of the state Democratic Party over the weekend.

MN-Sen: No real surprise; Norm Coleman filed notice of intent to appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Cost of 1,000 more billable hours: $500,000. Cost of another month of keeping the Democrats down to only 58 votes? Priceless.

PA-Sen: Arlen Specter has picked up another Democratic opponent; Bill Kortz, a member of the state House representing Allegheny County, has announced that he intends to file his statement of candidacy with the FEC soon. Kortz, a relatively fresh legislator (he successfully beat an incumbent Democrat in 2006), may find a statewide primary challenging — Rendell ally Joe Torsella has been in the race for a while and has raised nearly $600K, while other candidates, such as fellow state Rep. Josh Shapiro, are also eyeballing the race. In any event, his first item of business should be to upgrade his website. (J)

MD-Gov: Bob Ehrlich is reportedly weighing a rematch with Martin O’Malley in 2010. If Ehrlich (Maryland’s only Republican governor in the last 30 years) doesn’t run, next in line may be Anne Arundel Co. Executive John Leopold.

OK-Gov: State senator Randy Brogdon announced his run for the GOP gubernatorial nod this weekend, preventing Rep. Mary Fallin from having a clear shot at the nomination (after Rep. Tom Cole declined). A couple bigger names, ex-Rep. J.C. Watts and mmmmaybe Sen. Tom Coburn (who’s been sounding ambivalent about re-election to the senate), may still get in too.

MN-06: There are mixed signals cropping up on whether Elwyn Tinklenberg is angling for a rematch with Archduchess Cuckoobananas Michele Bachmann. The Minnesota Independent says he’s “all but declaring himself a candidate.” On the other hand, he just gave almost $250,000 to the DCCC, suggesting he won’t be using it (unless he’s doing it to make amends for winding up with $500K in the bank at the end of the campaign last year… not exactly his fault, though, since almost all his cash arrived at the very last minute). State senator Taryl Clark is also eyeing the race.

AL-07: The field to replace Artur Davis is getting clearer. Jefferson Co. Commissioner Sheila Smoot launched her campaign. State senate president pro tem Rodger Smitherman, however, said he won’t run. Smoot joins attorney Terri Sewell and state rep. Earl Hilliard Jr.

FL-22: The GOP’s leading recruit to take on Democrat Ron Klein next year, state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, has decided that a congressional bid is not in the cards for him. (J)

NY-19: GOP Assemblyman Greg Ball, who has been “testing the waters” in anticipation of a congressional bid for months now, will formally announce his candidacy for the seat of two-term Dem Rep. John Hall on May 9th. Ball was previously courted to run for this seat after gajillionaire businessman Andrew Saul unexpectedly terminated his bid against Hall in 2007. (J)

CA-04: Third time’s the charm? Democrat Charlie Brown is telling local activists that he’s actively considering another run for the northeast California seat he narrowly lost last November to GOP wingnut Tom McClintock. Brown says that he expects to make up his mind “by this fall”. (J)

WA-08: The Seattle Times strikes again, going on the early offensive against just-announced Dem candidate Suzan DelBene. Turns out DelBene didn’t vote in nine elections over the last five years (including the 2006 general, where Dave Reichert barely beat Darcy Burner the first time). (On the other hand, better this come out now than Oct. 2010.)

TN-01: Rep. Phil Roe and ex-Rep. David Davis may get a nice Baron Hill/Mike Sodrel-style relationship going. Davis may be gearing up for a third run at Roe in the 2010 GOP primary. (Davis defeated Roe in an overcrowded 2006 primary when this was an open seat, then the slightly-less-conservative Roe defeated Davis in a two-man contest in 2008.)

NM-01: The 2010 race in NM-01 promises to be fun(ereal). Kevin Daniels, owner of a chain of funeral homes, is exploring the race on the GOP side and, if nothing else, has the capacity to self-finance.

Friendship: In the diaries, possumtracker makes a hilarious catch from a recent Hill survey in which all 41 Republican Senators were asked to name the Democrats whom they most enjoy partnering with on legislation. While most of the Senators gave thoughtful (and sometimes surprising) answers, Kentucky’s Jim Bunning could only muster up one word in response to the idea of collaborating with a Demmycrat: “No.” (J)

SSP Daily Digest: 4/6

NY-20: Paper ballots to be recanvassed will be released after today’s court hearing. As of the end of the day on Friday, the state Board of Elections found the race was a true tie, with 77,225 votes apiece. These numbers didn’t account for two recanvasssed counties, which would give Scott Murphy a 198-vote lead for the time being, according to the New York Observer.

On a mostly unrelated note, the guy who could still be representing NY-20, John Sweeney, just got arrested for DWI over the weekend… for the second time in 17 months. He’s gotta learn to stay away from those frat parties.

KY-Sen: Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo pulled in a respectable-sized fundraising haul in Q1: $420,000. This may well beat opponent Jim Bunning, who has publicly admitted that his fundraising has been “lousy.”

CT-Sen: The stink lines coming off Chris Dodd seem to be attracting even more challengers. Businessman Jack Orchulli, who got demolished by Dodd in 2004 (66-32), is suddenly looking for a rematch. He’ll face a crowded primary, though, but unlike ex-Rep. Rob Simmons and state sen. Sam Caligiuri, Orchulli can draw on deep pockets to self-finance. (If ex-Ambassador Tom Foley decides to get in, he’s also a potential self-financer.)

IA-Gov, IA-Sen: A Des Moines register poll showed surprisingly low re-elect numbers for Gov. Chet Culver, who isn’t facing a top-tier challenge (yet). Only 35% said they would definitely re-elect, while 28% would consider an alternative and 18% definitely would not. (Sen. Chuck Grassley, by contrast, can plan on another six years if he wants; he’s already at 48% definitely re-elect.)

AL-07: State representative Earl Hilliard Jr. announced he’ll be running for the open seat being vacated by Artur Davis, who’s running for Alabama governor. If the name sounds familiar, he’s the son of ex-Rep. Earl Hilliard, who was defeated in a 2002 primary from the right by Davis. He’ll have a name recognition advantage in a crowded field: attorney Terri Sewell is already running, and they may be joined by Jefferson Co. Commissioner Sheila Smoot, and state senators Rodger Smitherman, Bobby Singleton, and Hank Sanders. This is one of our best opportunities to replace a centrist with a progressive in a dark-blue district without primarying an incumbent.

CA-32: A late entrant to the special election to replace Hilda Solis has an ace in the hole: she’s a former aide to Solis. Benita Duran launched her campaign website today. With the entry of another prominent Latino candidate to split the field, this may help Board of Equalization chair Judy Chu at the expense of state senator Gil Cedillo. Or, on the other hand, with the entry of another woman to split the field, this may work to Cedillo’s advantage.

CO-04: Former State Senator and current Larimer County Commissioner Steve Johnson is said to be weighing a challenge to freshman Dem Betsy Markey. SSP’s analysis shows that McCain barely won this district, 50-49, after a 17-point Bush win in 2004. (D)

NY-19: After drawing a weak opponent in 2008, John Hall hopes he’ll be Still the One for NY-19 voters in the face of a stronger challenge in 2010. State assemblyman Greg Ball has formed an exploratory committee. Obama won this district by only 3 points (same as in NY-20), but Ball is a bomb-throwing conservative who seems out of step with the district’s Rockefeller Republican roots.

OH-SoS: Ohio Dems have a strong candidate lined up to try and hold the crucial Secretary of State position, as current SoS Jennifer Brunner goes for the promotion to Senate: Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown. She’s likely to face GOP state senator (and former state house speaker) Jon Husted, who just announced his candidacy.

DCCC: The DCCC is moving aggressively to target the 8 districts in California where Obama won but a GOP representative hangs on. A new study shows that GOP registration has dropped precipitously in these districts, so there may be something more significant going on in California suburbs than just a big one-time Obama downdraft.

Also on the DCCC front, the NY Times profiles Rep. Chris Murphy, a rising star who, with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is heading the DCCC’s Frontline program for defense of vulnerable incumbents (mostly freshmen).

SSP Daily Digest: 3/13

CT-Sen: The new lovefest between Joe Lieberman and the Democratic Party seems to be reaching the point where they need to get a room. In the wake of yesterday’s endorsement of Chris Dodd, Lieberman is today floating the idea of running in 2012 in the Democratic primary, instead of just as an independent. (Of course, unless Connecticut passes a sore loser law in the next few years, what’s the downside? If he loses the Dem primary again, he can just switch back to CfL one more time.)

NV-Sen, NV-Gov: The GOP is running out of options for a good challenger to Harry Reid. Former state senator Joe Heck (who lost his Las Vegas-area seat last year) has decided to run in the GOP primary against chronically embattled governor Jim Gibbons instead. (Although if Heck is going against Gibbons, what is Rep. Dean Heller planning to do then?) With ex-Rep. Jon Porter taking the K Street route and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki under indictment, the GOP’s Nevada bench is nearly empty.

PA-Sen: Joe Torsella won’t have the Democratic primary in the Pennsylvania senate race to himself. State Rep. Josh Shapiro, a 35-year-old reform-minded legislator from the Philadelphia suburbs, is now exploring the race. This may be a tea leaf that Rep. Allyson Schwartz isn’t getting in the primary, as Shapiro (who’s in PA-13) would likely run for Schwartz’s seat instead if it were going to be open.

CA-32: EMILY’s List has weighed in in the CA-32 primary, and they’re endorsing… believe it or not… the woman in the race: Board of Equalization chair Judy Chu. Chu’s main competition is state senator Gil Cedillo, who comes in with the endorsement of nearby House members like Xavier Becerra, Linda Sanchez, and Grace Napolitano (Hilda Solis, who used to occupy CA-32, hasn’t endorsed). The district is about 65% Hispanic and 20% Asian.

NH-01, NH-02: We’re looking at a crowded field for Republican opponents to Carol Shea-Porter: John Stephen, who barely lost the primary last time to ex-Rep. Jeb Bradley, is eyeing the race, as is Manchester mayor Frank Guinta. Businessman Jim Wieczorek also plans to run. Meanwhile, next door in the open NH-02, radio host Jennifer Horn says there’s a good chance she’ll run again in 2010.  

FL-22: State house majority leader Adam Hasner has been launching a series of attacks on Rep. Ron Klein over EFCA… is this a preview of the 2010 race? (It’s a Dem-leaning district, but Klein’s 2008 victory margin wasn’t impressive.)

Votes: Also on the EFCA front, Campaign Diaries has an impressively thorough chart head-counting the positions staked out by all the Democratic senators (and potential GOP votes).

Blue Dogs: After lifting their self-imposed 20%-of-the-Dem-caucus cap to expand to 51 members, the Blue Dogs are talking about growing again, to 56 members. No word on who that might be (although the door’s apparently open to Scott Murphy if he wins).

NRSC: Roll Call is running a story today with the banner headline “McConnell Criticizes GOP for Lack of Diversity.” What’s next? “Sanders Criticizes KFC for Serving Chicken?”

SSP Daily Digest: 3/11

CT-Sen: All the warning signs are there for Chris Dodd, and now a respected pollster confirms that even “Generic R” holds the incumbent well under 50%. In all likelihood, a serious race is in store here for Team Blue, so SSP is moving our rating on this race to “Likely Democrat.” (D)

CA-32: The Governator has finally set the dates for the special election to replace Hilda Solis in the House: July 14. But the key date to watch is May 19, when there will be a special primary for the seat. With a number of strong Dems in the race, including state Sen. Gil Cedillo and state Board of Equalization Chairwoman Judy Chu, the real action is in the primary in this D+17 district. (Candidates of all parties rumble in one primary, and if one candidate breaks 50%, there is no general. With a third solid Dem in the race, investment banker Emanuel Pleitez, breaking 50% will be difficult, setting up a likely general election between the top Dem and a sacrificial GOPer.) (J)

SC-01: Looks like GOP Rep. Henry “Smoky” Brown might be facing a pretty crowded primary field in 2010. In addition to yesterday’s news that Carroll “Tumpy” Campbell III would run against the crusty incumbent, Paul Thurmond, the son of the late Strom Thurmond, is now saying that he too is considering taking on Brown. (J)

PA-Sen: Roll Call does some interesting number crunching, revealing just how bad a position Arlen Specter starts from in a GOP primary against Pat Toomey. The problem is that Specter beat Toomey by only 17,000 votes in 2004, but Republican enrollments in Philadelphia and its suburbs (Specter’s base, and location of most of the state’s moderate Republicans) have dropped by 83,412 since then. With a closed primary, Specter may have to rely on moderate ex-GOPers who switched parties in 2008 to switch back tactically for 2010 to save his bacon in the primary. (It’s not unheard of: Ed Rendell wooed pro-choice Republicans to temporarily switch over for his 2002 gubernatorial primary against pro-life Bob Casey Jr.)

CT-05: Connecticut’s executive director of the state Office of Military Affairs (and former Rob Simmons aide) Justin Bernier has resigned his post. Bernier told the New Britain Herald that he’s doing so in order to lay the groundwork for a run against Chris Murphy (who had little trouble disposing of state senator David Cappiello in 2008).

Census: There wasn’t much doubt that incoming Commerce Secretary Gary Locke would have command over the 2010 Census (rather than direct White House control), but the White House officially confirmed the arrangement today.