• Election results: Last night’s Georgia primary election went pretty much as expected. The main surprise was the collapse of John Oxendine in the GOP gubernatorial primary, who had the most money and led most polls, but his collapse was plainly foreseeable via polls over the last few weeks. He finished fourth, behind Karen Handel and Nathan Deal (who’ll advance to the runoff, where the Palin-backed Handel will attack Deal for being corrupt and the Gingrich-backed Deal will attack Handel for being a RINO), and Eric Johnson. Ex-Gov. Roy Barnes locked down the Democratic nomination without a runoff. Labor Comm. Michael Thurmond easily advanced to face GOP incumbent Johnny Isakson in the Senate race.
In the House races, Dems in two of the three potentially competitive races in Georgia know who their opponents will be: Mike Keown in GA-02 and Austin Scott in GA-08 won without runoffs. John Barrow — who beat back a challenge from the left from Regina Thomas in GA-12 (with a final score of 58-42, as Thomas’s Savannah stronghold reported late) — will need to wait for a runoff between Ray McKinney and Carl Smith. Hank Johnson in GA-04 escaped his three-way primary against Vernon Jones and Connie Stokes without a runoff, too. Finally, two dark-red seats will feature GOP runoffs: GA-09’s newly-elected Rep. Tom Graves will face off yet again against Lee Hawkins, who lost the special election, while the GA-07 race features a runoff between Rob Woodall and Jody Hice.
• AR-Sen, AR-Gov: That internal poll from Blanche Lincoln didn’t seem to do anything to stem the gusher of bad polls. One additional poll came out yesterday, from Ipsos on behalf of Reuters. It finds John Boozman leading Lincoln 54-35. On the plus side, it also looks at the Governor’s race and finds that the Zata|3 poll finding only a 9-point lead for incumbent Dem Mike Beebe may have been a bit pessimistic. They find Beebe leading Republican challenger Jim Keet 57-35, more consistent with other polling.
• IN-Sen: Brad Ellsworth is out with a new introductory TV ad in the Indiana Senate race. It focuses on his blue collar roots and his experience as Sheriff; there’s nary a mention of his time in Congress.
• LA-Sen: It turns out David Vitter may actually be a better family-values role model than his newly minted GOP primary opponent.
Faulkner character State Rep. Noble Ellington says that Chet Traylor was “significantly involved” in his divorce from his ex-wife Peggy McDowell, who then married Traylor. Traylor is currently romantically involved with the estranged wife of one of his stepsons via McDowell. The two stepsons have also filed a lawsuit against Traylor, accusing him of hiding information about his financial assets, as part of their probate case concerning McDowell’s recent death without a will. (If someone wants to call me classist in the comments, please feel free, but I can’t help but notice that Traylor’s name is a homonym for a certain type of dwelling whose residents are stereotypically and often unfairly associated with such behavior.)
• WV-Sen, WV-Gov: As expected (at least as expected since late last night), Shelly Moore Capito announced this morning that she won’t run in the Senate special election in November, despite the nice Capito Carveout specifically designed by the legislature to facilitate her doing so. This leaves self-funding businessman John Raese the likely candidate. (In fact, he’d sounded likely to run in the primary with or without Capito, which may have been a major deterrent for Capito. She cited not wanting to run for two things at once, though, and the potential legal challenges to her doing so.) The primary is Aug. 28, so someone will need to fill the gap soon. West Virigina political analyst Hoppy Kercheval seemed to be the first to correctly diagnose the situation earlier yesterday, pointing out her risk-averse past.
There was one surprise, today, though: Joe Manchin drew a primary opponent, theoretically from the left. He was recently in the news for his staunch opposition to Mike Oliverio in WV-01; it’s former SoS and former Rep. Ken Hechler. Hechler, by the way, is 95 years old, older even than Robert Byrd was, so, well, take that for what it’s worth. Most of the speculation today instead seems to involve what happens with the Governorship. Succession laws aren’t very clear (and there’s no Lt. Gov.), but apparently State Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin will be acting Governor in the event of a Manchin move to the Senate. The bigger question is when the election to fill that job would occur: in a 2011 special election, or in 2012 when Manchin’s term would end anyway? Any discussion of GOP candidates for that begins and ends with Capito, but the Dem list is endless, ranging from temp Sen. Carte Goodwin to SoS Natalie Tennant, but almost certain to include state Treasurer John Perdue and state Sens. Jeff Kessler and Brooks McCabe.
• AL-Gov: Following the lead of Artur Davis on the Democratic side, Bradley Byrne finally got around to endorsing Robert Bentley, sticking his knife in his back a few more times along the way for good measure. His parting shot was that Bentley still needs to answer questions about his relationship with the teachers’ union, the Alabama Education Association.
• CO-Gov: OK, so it’s looking like if Scott McInnis does get kicked to the curb, no one is going to rally behind Dan Maes. His vaunted financial small-business acumen turned out to be a lot of inflated boasting, as newly-released tax returns reveal that his credit reporting business turns out to be a small operation and one that paid him earnings that put his family below the poverty line in 2005 and 2008. When asked how he made ends meet, he responded, “there are other ways to pay yourself than salary,” without further elaboration. Well, that’s true… are those ways legal, though?
• HI-Gov: After padding things out as long as he could, Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann finally resigned his day job today and launched his gubernatorial campaign in earnest. Hawaii has a “resign to run” law, so Hannemann wasn’t officially running until now, despite having been transparently campaigning for many months in the Dem primary against Neil Abercrombie.
• MA-Gov: Massachusetts Citizens for Life endorsed ex-Dem indie candidate Tim Cahill, rather than Republican Charlie Baker. Baker, from the moderate blue-blood side of the party, is pro-choice.
• NV-Gov (pdf): PPP’s Tom Jensen finds it ironic that somehow the Nevada GOP managed to pick the strongest possible Republican for the gubernatorial race and the weakest possible one for the Senate race. The telegenic and inoffensive Brian Sandoval is somehow managing to avoid having his GOP predecessor Jim Gibbons’ unpopularity (25/63) rub off on him (Sandoval is at 42/31). Sandoval leads Rory Reid (who’s at 34/48) by 52-38 in the general election.
• RI-Gov: Bill Clinton will be appearing in Rhode Island on behalf of Democratic candidate Frank Caprio, last man standing in the Dem primary, on July 29. Caprio backed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary.
• WI-Gov: Fundraising numbers in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race are out. Democrat Tom Barrett raised $2.39 million in the period of January through June, while GOPers Scott Walker and Mark Neumann raised $2.59 million and $1.96 million respectively (although some of Neumann’s money seems to be out of his own pocket). In terms of CoH, it’s Barrett (with no primary opposition) with $2.89 million, Walker with $2.57 million, and Neumann with $1.05 million.
• IA-02: Marianette Miller-Meeks, the ophthalmologist who lost severely to David Loebsack in 2008, is back for a rematch, and seems to be in better shape this time (better, even, than Raul Labrador), if her own internal is to be believed. Her poll from Susquehanna Polling & Research gives Loebsack a 46-41 lead.
• NJ-03: The Courier-Post wonders aloud “who the heck is Peter DeStefano?” That’s because no one really seems to know. He’s the independent Tea Party candidate in the 3rd, who hasn’t done anything to promote himself and whose main claim to fame was polling in the double-digits in John Adler’s recent internal poll where he was dominating Jon Runyan. This led, naturally, to GOP claims that DeStefano was some sort of plant from the Adler camp. DeStefano denies that, but isn’t helping matters with his pattern of ducking publicity, not just among the teabagging rank and file but even with the Courier-Post too.
• PA-11: Naturally, it’s never a sign of strength for an incumbent to go negative on his challenger this early… but it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Paul Kanjorski is in a heap of trouble in his rematch against Lou Barletta. But Kanjorski may feel he’s not only better served by localizing, not nationalizing his race, but also that he has a target-rich environment for hits on Barletta, given Barletta’s tenure as mayor of city of Hazleton, which has the highest unemployment in the state and whose local government is in danger of going into receivership.
• TX-06: I suppose this is an example of karma at work. Rep. Joe Barton’s campaign fund took a loss of $154K over the last three months because of hits to its investments… perhaps most significantly, because of losses at BP.
• RNC: It seems like Michael Steele can say all the dumb things he wants and keep his job (fo shizzle), but could financial mismanagement be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? The RNC has had to report new debts that were kept off the books by staffers loyal to Steele, and treasurer Randy Pullen (not a Steele ally) is going public alleging that the debts go much deeper than what was reported to the FEC, claiming that more than another $7 million in debt is out there. The dispute is likely to dominate matters at the RNC’s annual meeting in two weeks. This also leads to speculation that American Crossroads, the Karl Rove 527 operation that finally seemed to kick into high gear last month, will be the de facto main source for independent expenditures this year while the RNC sputters.
• House: Well, it looks like we’re stuck with 435 for the foreseeable future. A federal district court ruled against the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that claimed that only 435 seats was unconstitutional under 14th Amendment grounds, because of malapportionment between different states (i.e. Montana and Wyoming each getting one Rep., despite their population differences).
• KY-Sen: Jack Conway (D) 41%, Rand Paul (R) 49%
• MN-Gov: Mark Dayton (D) 40%, Tom Emmer (R) 36%
• MN-Gov: Margaret Anderson Kelliher (D) 40%, Tom Emmer (R) 35%
• MN-Gov: Matt Entenza (D) 37%, Tom Emmer (R) 36%
• OH-Gov: Ted Strickland (D-inc): 43%, John Kasich (R) 48%