• MD-04: Wow, this is big news—and unexpected, to say the least. On Wednesday, which was Maryland's filing deadline, former Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey announced he was dropping his primary challenge to Dem Rep. Donna Edwards. Ivey had looked like a strong opponent, with connections throughout the district and, it appeared, access to money. But labor unions and progressive groups quickly rallied around Edwards, and Ivey wasn't able to raise as much money as he hoped—only $160K, he said, before deciding to bow out. What's more, an Edwards internal poll from November showed her leading 52-16, and Ivey never responded with one of his own. A couple of minor candidates did file, so Edwards will formally have some opposition for the Democratic nod, but Ivey's departure more or less locks this election up for her.
• IA-01: Rep. Bruce Braley (D): $327K raised, $627K cash-on-hand
• IN-Sen: Sen. Richard Lugar (R): $750K raised, $4 mil cash-on-hand
• MA-Sen: Elizabeth Warren (D): $5.7 mil raised, $6 mil cash-on-hand; Sen. Scott Brown (R): $3.3 mil raised, $12.8 mil cash-on-hand
• MD-06: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R): $100K raised; Rob Garagiola (D): $330K raised
• WA-Gov: Rep. Jay Inslee (D): $340K raised, $2.1 mil cash-on-hand (Dec. only, and note that Republican AG Rob McKenna is now forbidden from raising money because the legislature is back in session)
• FL-Sen: It turns out that Quinnipiac did test head-to-heads in the Florida Senate race, and their latest numbers are almost identical to what they saw in November: Dem Sen. Bill Nelson leads GOP Rep. Connie Mack 41-40, little changed from Nelson's previous 42-40 lead. Mack, meanwhile, continues to dominate in the Republican primary, while Mitt Romney maintains a slight edge in the presidential race. Click the link for our complete analysis at Daily Kos Elections.
• NV-Sen: Can't really say I see this going anywhere, but whatevs. Wealthy businessman Barry Ellsworth says he plans to go up against Rep. Shelley Berkley for the Democratic Senate nomination, and adds that he'll spend "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to that end. Another rich guy, attorney Byron Georgiou, already tried that and ultimately thought better of the idea, after Harry Reid threw a few sharp elbows his way. Ellsworth specifically cited that incident, saying it "really angered" him and that he "want[s] the incumbents out of office," but I can't imagine him getting any further than Georgiou did.
• FL-Gov: I don't think I'd even heard these rumors, but the point is moot now: Former Dem Sen. Bob Graham says there's "no way" he'd run for governor in 2014, adding that he's already run his "last campaign" (which would be his short-lived presidential bid in 2003). This isn't exactly surprising, though: Graham would be 78 by the time of the next gubernatorial election.
• NC-Gov: Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory is one of those candidates who everyone "knows" has been planning to run for ages and who has his party's nomination sewn up in advance, but believe it or not, he actually hasn't formally declared for the race yet. That will apparently change on Jan. 31, when the Republican McCrory finally (and officially) kicks off his challenge to Dem Gov. Bev Perdue.
• AZ-04: As expected, state Sen. Ron Gould just announced a bid for Arizona's redrawn 4th Congressional District, setting off a multi-way GOP primary between himself, 1st District Rep. Paul Gosar, and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. The traditional framework suggests that a crowded clown car hands an advantage to Gosar, the incumbent, but given that he only represents just a third of the 4th CD, I don't think the usual rubric applies, and I figure this race could be anybody's game.
• AZ-09: Businessman and military veteran Travis Grantham just announced that he's switching from Arizona's heavily-red 5th CD, where the GOP primary is hotly contested, into the swingier 9th, where he's the first Republican to enter the race. The linked article also says that yet another name on the Dem side is considering: wealthy attorney Jon Hulburd, who ran against Ben Quayle last cycle in AZ-03. (In a tough district in a tough year, Hulburd held Quayle to 52%—though he only took 41% himself—and managed to raise $1 mil, in addition to chipping in half-a-mil of his own money.) So far, the Democratic field consists of just ex-state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, but state Sen. David Schapira and 2010 Treasurer candidate Andrei Cherny may join soon.
• CA-01: GOP Rep. Wally Herger's retirement announcement on Tuesday was a little unusual, in that he endorsed a successor, state Sen. Doug LaMalfa, before we'd ever even heard from LaMalfa himself. But there won't be a Bill Belicheck situation: LaMalfa is indeed forging ahead with a run.
• CA-09: Not a bad get for Ricky Gill, the 24-year-old Republican fundraising phenom: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush just headlined a San Francisco event for Gill that netted $60K. (Of course, it's okay to raise money in San Fran when they do it.) Gill is looking to challenge third-term Dem Rep. Jerry McNerney in the redrawn 9th CD.
• CT-04: State Sen. Toni Boucher says she's considering a run for Congress against sophomore Rep. Jim Himes, which suggests to me that the GOP isn't thrilled with their current field, since state party chair Jerry Labriola is among those trying to recruit her. Republicans have a trio of businessmen in the race: Steve Obsitnik, David Orner, and Chris Meek, and a recent post at the site Only in Bridgeport suggests they've mostly been invisible so far. I'm not sure how much better of a get Boucher is, though: Her claim to fame is being extremely hostile to even the most minor of marijuana reform laws, and she crossed Dem Gov. Dan Malloy last year when she suggested his support of a decriminalization bill was due to his own son's legal run-ins with the drug.
• IN-06: Bartholomew County Coroner Allen Smith is joining the extremely crowded Republican field hoping to succeed Rep. Mike Pence, who is running for governor. Like several other congressional candidates in recent years (such as Sean Duffy in Wisconsin and Kevin Powell in New York), Smith has achieved some notability thanks to an appearance on reality television, in this case "The Biggest Loser." Also, if you're thinking "Coroner? Zuh?", it's actually an elected position in many places in Indiana, and indeed, another coroner, John McGoff in Marion County, very nearly unseated 5th District Rep. Dan Burton in the GOP primary in 2008.
• KY-04: Lewis County Judge-Executive Thomas Massie, who had been considering the race pretty much since this seat became open, says he'll join the GOP field seeking to replace retiring Rep. Geoff Davis. Massie is described by the AP as a "Tea Party darling" and, interestingly, is also said to be wealthy. Typically, your average tea-flavored candidate is neither an office-holder nor especially rich, so Massie might have a much bigger impact on this race than someone with his ideological profile ordinarily would.
• MA-04: Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan, who only recently began his second term as mayor, will not join the Democratic field looking to succeed Rep. Barney Frank, and neither will state Sen. Marc Pacheco, who endorsed Joseph P. Kennedy III for the nod. By my count, that's at least five Democrats so far who have declined to run since Kennedy announced he was creating an exploratory committee.
• MA-09: Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter, who had been mentioned as a possible congressional candidate as soon after the ink was dry on the Bay State's new congressional map, announced he's forming an exploratory committee to look at a run in the redrawn 9th CD. The difficulty for Sutter is that an incumbent congressman, freshman Bill Keating, is seeking re-election here, and he already represents 59% of the constituents of the new 9th. That would mean a very uphill fight for Sutter in the Democratic primary, which is probably why he's taking the time to mull things over. (Incidentally, Sutter was also suggested for the open 4th District, but apparently that's of less interest to him.)
• MI-06: Super-conservative ex-state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk had been considering a rematch against Rep. Fred Upton in the GOP primary at least since November, and now he will reportedly pull the trigger next week. Though he only spent $62K against Upton's $2 mil, Hoogendyk held the incumbent to just 57% in 2010. This time, the Club for Growth is also helping to soften up Upton, since they recently started running ads attacking him as a "liberal." If the CfG can help engineer an upset, it could create an unexpected opportunity for Democrats, much like their 2006 ouster of "moderate" GOP Rep. Joe Schwarz in neighboring MI-07 helped pave the way for Democrat Mark Schauer to defeat Schwarz's much wingnuttier replacement, Tim Walberg, two years later.
• NH-02: An interesting test-case: The PCCC re-aired an old ad accusing GOP Rep. Charlie Bass of wanting to "end Medicare" on account of his support of the infamous Ryan budget. The Bass campaign howled in protest and, in trying to get two TV stations to drop the ad, repeatedly cited PolitiFact's embarrassing assertion that this claim was the "Lie of the Year." Both stations rebuffed Bass, which is good news for anyone else planning to run ads along these lines this election cycle.
• NY-13: Democrat Mark Murphy, a politically well-connected aide to NYC Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, has resigned his job, a likely prelude to a run against freshman GOPer Mike Grimm. Murphy's name has been circulating since at least August, when he reportedly met with the DCCC about joining the race. A lot of other possible candidates have been floating around—including ex-Rep. Mike McMahon, who held this seat for a single term before losing in 2010—but Murphy, the son of former Rep. John Murphy, could potentially clear the field if he gets in, especially since McMahon hasn't sounded very excited about a rematch.
• RI-01: It looks like the GOP won't shoot itself in the face after all: Former state Rep. John Loughlin will not seek a rematch against freshman Dem David Cicilline, which clears the way for Republicans to nominate the more electable Brendan Doherty, a former state police chief. The RI GOP had for quite some time treated Doherty as a leper, and even considered rules changes to help deny him the party's nod, but Loughlin never really kicked off his campaign and hadn't raised jack.
• Special Elections: Yeah, there were actually some non-New Hampshire elections on Tuesday night. Johnny recaps:
Connecticut HD-24: Democrat Rick Lopes won the three-way race with 44%, while Republican Peter Steele came in second with 33%, and independent Thomas Bozek was third with 23%.
Minnesota SD-59: No surprise here, DFLer Kari Dziedzic beat Republican Ben Schwanke by a 79-19 margin.
Minnesota HD-61B: This one was surprisingly close, though; DFLer Susan Allen prevailed, but independent Nathan Blumenshine, whose party label was "Respect," performed respectably. Allen won 56-43.
• WATN?: Well, at least John Ensign's got that goin' for him, which is nice: The disgraced former Republican senator just renewed his veterinary license in Nevada, so maybe he plans to practice again. I sort of wonder, though, how he got along with Bill Frist back in the day.
• CA Redistricting: Thanks to some enterprising work by user DCal, we now have what I feel are a pretty reliable set of Obama-McCain numbers for California's new congressional districts. The Statewide Database at UC Berkeley (an entity which consulted on the state's redistricting process) computed the new results using the two-party vote, which you can find here ("g08_sov_aggr_blk_by_congressional_2011.xls"). A Republican consulting firm, Meridian Pacific, also calculated the numbers, including the minor-party vote. DCal compared the two sets and found that Meridian's data tied out to within 1% of the SWDB's numbers, so we're comfortable using them. Anyhow, you can find all of the results at the first link, and you can bookmark our complete Pres-by-CD data set here.
• KS Redistricting: This article about Kansas redistricting actually pertains to the state's legislative line-drawing process, rather than congressional goings-on, which is our usual focus. But it's unusual and therefore interesting, because of the extraordinary (and very real) split in the Kansas Republican Party between the so-called "moderates" and the conservatives. These two very different groups have been at each others throats for quite some time, and unlike the situation in just about every other state, there really is a separate and distinct band of self-professed moderate Republicans. Indeed, one poli sci prof says that "the Kansas Senate is the one place where the old moderate Republican-slash-Democratic coalition remains very healthy."
But ten years ago, Democrats sided with conservatives to push through maps that would protect their own at the expense of the moderates, who obviously are capable of eating into both sides. And now, reports Andy Marso of the Topeka Capital-Journal, "Eight to 10 conservative Republicans have already lined up to challenge moderate incumbents in the next election, even though they don’t have district maps yet." So it sounds like the minority Democrats may be the wildcard here once more, and it'll be interesting to see whom they side with.
• KY Redistricting: Well, here we are. Kentucky's Democratic-controlled state House just passed a new congressional map (which you can view here), but the GOP-held Senate obviously has other ideas. Democrats, understandably, want to protect Ben Chandler in the 6th (who very narrowly escaped with a victory last cycle), and, to a lesser extent, John Yarmuth in the bluer 3rd. Republicans, of course, want to do the exact opposite. I really have to wonder whether it was wise to defer redistricting until 2012, because it sure feels like a lawsuit might be the only way to resolve this—and time is running short: Kentucky's primary is May 22.
• NH Redistricting: William Tucker at Blue Hampshire has an excellent post offering PVIs for New Hampshire's proposed new state Senate map. As enormous as the state's House is (400 members), the Senate is tiny (just 24), and it's currently held by Republicans, 19-5. But as recently as 2010 it was in Democratic hands, 14-10, so control could bounce back. That's especially so since three GOP senators have announced retirements: Jim Forsythe, Gary Lambert, and Ray White, all freshmen swept into office in 2010, oddly enough.
White's district is heavily Republican, though it would become less so under the new map. Lambert's district, however, is extremely winnable, as is Forsythe's, which would swing wildly from being lean-R to strongly D. The problem, of course, is that this is a GOP gerrymander, so they've packed existing Democratic districts and tried to improve performance of Republican seats where incumbents are seeking re-election. Still, New Hampshire has been prone to big swings of late, so I wouldn't rule anything out.
• WV Redistricting: With the parties appealing to the Supreme Court, the three-judge panel which found West Virginia's congressional map unconstitutional has lifted its Jan. 17 deadline for the legislature to enact a new plan. (The court was going to implement a map of its choosing if the lege couldn't reach agreement.) However, the judges refused to stay their ruling pending the appeal, which means the state cannot use the map it passed last year for this fall's elections. Despite the appeal, though, it sounds like the lege might nonetheless pass a new map, particularly since they have more time to do so with the court-imposed deadline now gone.
• TX Redistricting: This is starting to feel like déjà vu all over again: During oral arguments in the redistricting case, the Supreme Court asked why Texas couldn't simply push its primary even later than it already has, which would help avoid a lot of the issues caused by the litigation (and, let's not forget, the SCOTUS's stay of the court-drawn interim maps). GOP state party chair Steve Munisteri says that's impossible, though, since both Democrats and Republicans have scheduled their statewide conventions for June, and even a May primary, he claims, would be too late. (It's now scheduled for April 3.) So Munisteri is once again arguing that the primary should be split in two—something a handful of Republicans favored back in December, but which the vast majority of elected officials and local election boards vehemently opposed. This time, though, the Supremes might force the issue.