• CA-Sen, CA-Gov: There’s no shortage of pollsters looking at California, and now Canadian firm Ipsos (on behalf of Reuters) piles on. They find, like most pollsters, single-digits leads for the Democrats in both major races: Jerry Brown leads Meg Whitman 45-39 in the gubernatorial racer, while Barbara Boxer leads Carly Fiorina 45-41. They also find the proposed ballot initiative legalizing marijuana failing but by a close margin, 48-50.
• CO-Sen: The endorsement that seemed to blow everyone away yesterday was Bill Clinton’s unexpected backing of Andrew Romanoff, who’s mounting a primary challenge to appointed incumbent Michael Bennet in the Senate primary. It may not be that surprising, though, given Clinton’s willingness to go to bat for lost causes who backed Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008, which Romanoff did. It sounds like Clinton’s intervention will be limited to fundraising e-mails, though, rather than stumping with Romanoff.
• FL-Sen: The criminal case against former state GOP party chair Jim Greer is interesting enough on its own. But it could get even more interesting if Charlie Crist gets called to testify as a witness, which could happen, as his name is on a list of potential witnesses that’s being circulated.
• IL-Sen: Mark Kirk, having offered some weak excuses (“I wasn’t thinking”) at his public appearance yesterday to apologize for his resume embellishments, tried to get back on the offensive against Alexi Giannoulias, rolling out two ads. That includes one that tries to get back to the whole “mob banker” meme. Giannoulias, however, isn’t letting the resume flummery issue die; he rolled out his own attack ad today keeping Kirk’s misrememberments front and center.
• KY-Sen: Charming: Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, who narrowly lost the Democratic primary to AG Jack Conway, isn’t going to endorse anyone in the Senate race. Also, he said he isn’t planning to run for Governor next year. (Steve Beshear is running for re-election, but dropped Mongiardo from the ticket in favor of Louisville mayor Jerry Abramson, perhaps assuming that Mongo would already be Senator by 2011.)
• NC-Sen (pdf): SurveyUSA (6/23-24, likely voters):
Elaine Marshall (D): 40
Richard Burr (R-inc): 50
Mike Beitler (L): 6
We haven’t been intentionally ignoring this poll from last weekend, just kept dropping the ball on getting it onto the front page. At any rate, this is one of those weird instances where Rasmussen sees a better race for the Dems than does SurveyUSA, although that may have to do with Rasmussen’s odd tendency to see huge post-primary bounces.
• NV-Sen: Last night’s title heavyweight bout was between Sharron Angle and Jon Ralston on Ralston’s public affairs TV show. Angle tried to emphasize her softer side, walking back earlier vague threats about armed insurrection, but still voiced support for Social Security phaseout and, maybe even more fatal for Nevada, support for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site.
• WV-Sen: Don’t get too comfortable in assuming that the West Virginia election to replace Robert Byrd won’t be held until 2012. There are vague rumblings that, despite the SoS’s decision, there might be a legislative special session this year to move the election date to November 2010. Bear in mind, though, that Dems thoroughly control the legislature so they’d be doing it only if they thought there was an advantage to doing it now instead of ’12. As Aaron Blake points out, Joe Manchin is not only the heir apparent to the Senate seat but also the Governor, who has the power to move the special session agenda, so the whole thing is really up to him. (Manchin might figure his heavy popularity is more of an advantage in a shortened election season, instead of a multi-year ramp-up to 2012.) At any rate, Manchin seems content to take his time, wanting to wait until after Byrd’s funeral next week to make any moves.
• MN-Gov: Mark Dayton is flying in the face of conventional wisdom (conventional wisdom that ignores the success of recent pro-tax ballot measures in Oregon and freakin’ Arizona) by making tax increases for the wealthy a cornerstone of his gubernatorial campaign. Dayton also just landed endorsements from 2006 gubernatorial candidates Mike Hatch, and ex-Rep. Bill Luther.
• ID-01: Raul Labrador, the gift that just keeps on giving. Labrador, who just had to walk back criticisms of John Boehner, is now facing reports that he recently tore into John McCain at a pre-primary appearance and voiced his support for J.D. Hayworth. On a related note, the NRCC just promoted 16 more Young Guns to the top tier of their fundraising pyramid, but despite having won the primary here, Labrador‘s name is still nowhere to be seen on the list.
• KS-04: Here’s some trouble for Wink Hartman, the businessman competing with Mike Pompeo for the GOP nomination in this Todd Tiahrt-held open seat. Pompeo’s camp is making hay out of reports that Hartman, whom they’ve accused of carpetbagging in from Florida, is still taking a valuable homestead exemption on his expensive house in Florida, which would require that to be his primary residence.
• LA-02: State Rep. Cedric Richmond seems to have a big advantage in his quest to win the Democratic nomination in the 2nd; he’s released an internal poll taken by Zata|3 (which you might remember polling the Arkansas primaries on behalf of Arkansas Business Journal), giving him a 53-13 lead over fellow state Rep. Juan LaFonta. No general election numbers for the battle against Republican Rep. Joe Cao were released.
• VA-05: Rep. Tom Perriello is out with what might get my vote for the best candidate TV ad of the cycle so far. (Well, the best ad not featuring Dale Peterson, I suppose.) It’s attention-grabbing and light-hearted enough to break through the clutter, while still staying on-message on the issue of jobs.
• WA-02: Talk about an utter polling fail. John Koster, the Republican challenger to Rep. Rick Larsen, is touting a poll with a lead over Larsen but isn’t giving the name of the pollster or even the specific numbers (saying he’s “in the neighborhood of 53 to 47 percent” – wow… no undecideds?). Larsen’s camp is saying the poll is crap, and they have a little more than the usual platitudes to back that up: Larsen was actually one of the persons polled, and he helpfully jotted down all 12 questions the poll asked. One of them identified Larsen as… a Republican.
• DCCC: Here’s some good news; now that they’re down to the final day of the quarter, the DCCC is actively twisting some arms to get recalcitrant House Dems to cough up their DCCC dues. So far, through the end of last month, House Dems have given $19.5 million over the cycle to the DCCC… but deadbeats still abound.