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Leading Off:

IL-Sen: Scary news for the junior senator from Illinois:

First-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk faces a potentially long road back from a weekend stroke that his neurosurgeon said could leave the lawmaker with lasting physical damage but also a full mental recovery.

The 52-year-old North Shore politician was under sedation after a three-hour operation that ended early Monday in which surgeons removed part of his skull to relieve pressure caused by swelling on the right side of his brain, Dr. Richard Fessler said.

The surgery came about 36 hours after the senator called his internist complaining of seeing white flecks, numbness in his left arm and unusual sensations in his left leg, said Dr. Jay Alexander, a cardiologist at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.

More on his prognosis:

Fessler, who performed the surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said Kirk had a "good" probability of making a full mental recovery from tearing of a carotid artery that stopped blood flow to the right side of his brain, causing an ischemic stroke. But Fessler said the chance of Kirk making a full physical recovery was "not great."

Fessler said the stroke will affect Kirk's "ability to move his left arm, possibly his left leg and possibly will involve some facial paralysis. Fortunately, the stroke was not on the left side of his brain, in which case it would affect his ability to speak, understand and think."

The doctor said he was hopeful that after rehabilitation, Kirk would regain use of his left leg, but he said prospects for regaining the full use of his left arm were "very difficult."

Fessler also said recovery is a matter of weeks or months. "It's not going to be days," he said. Kirk's relative youth and good physical shape are positives, Fessler said, and he expects Kirk could return to "a very vibrant life."

Needless to say, we wish him well in his recovery.

4Q Fundraising:

CA-26: Steve Bennett (D): $240K raised, $200K cash-on-hand

DE-Gov (for all of 2011): Gov. Jack Markell (D): $1.3 mil raised, $1.4 mil cash-on-hand

FL-22: Rep. Allen West (R): $1.75 mil raised, $2.7 mil cash-on-hand

MN-01: Rep. Tim Walz (D): $210K raised, $5617K cash-on-hand

NC-06: Rep. Howard Coble (R): <$18K raised, $152K cash-on-hand

WA-Sen: Michael Baumgartner (R): ~$125K raised

Senate:

AZ-Sen: It was never clear to me why Rev. Warren Stewart was looking at a run in the Democratic primary after both former Surgeon General Richard Carmona and former state party chair Don Bivens were already in the race, but apparently, he's figured out that there isn't room for one more and is bowing out. Stewart (who was a leader in getting laggard Arizona to finally recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) candidly acknowledged that his polling showed a difficult race, especially because he is anti-choice.

HI-Sen: Ex-Rep. Ed Case, running to Rep. Mazie Hirono's right in the Democratic primary for the open Hawaii Senate seat, is out with his first TV spot of the campaign. Seeing as the buy is only for a small $26K (and seeing as how it's for Ed Case), we aren't going to waste the real estate on embedding it, but you can check it out at the link. (David Jarman)

MA-Sen: Ordinarily, a decision by the two candidates in a marquee race to agree to a moratorium on Super PAC involvement in the race would threaten to upend the race. But in the Elizabeth Warren vs. Scott Brown contest, which people are speculating may become the most expensive Senate fight ever, it may not matter that much, because it seems like both campaigns will already have all the money they need to utterly smother the airwaves.

It's a more airtight agreement than you might think, though, in that it covers all "third party groups," not just true super PACs. The central clause is that for every dollar spent on a candidate's behalf by an outside group, they have to give 50 cents from their own campaign kitty to charity. On the surface, this seems like it might work to Warren's advantage, given her success with small-dollar donors, but Brown's already sitting on eight digits of cash-on-hand. (Although it's probably an important positioning move for him, with the image he's trying to put forth for re-election.)

Leave it to Brown, though, to step all over the goodwill from that news with a weekend gaffe that veers dangerously toward Fred Heineman territory. Last Friday, he criticized proposals to raise taxes rates for persons making more than $250,000 per year, saying that would hurt "teachers, firefighters, policemen, people who work two jobs." (Is the opposite of class consciousness "class cluelessness"?) (David Jarman)

ME-Sen: State Sen. Cynthia Dill, who said earlier in the month that she was considering a run for Senate, has gone ahead and entered the Democratic primary. She joins former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and state Rep. Jon Hinck in the contest. Another Democrat, home building company owner Ben Pollard, said he'd get in the race, too. They're all vying for a chance to take on GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe.

NY-Sen: Brock Landers takes New York:

Until recently, a Web site, blog.theladders.com/rock, bore Mr. Cenedella’s photograph and the title “The personal blog of Marc Cenedella.” It provided tips on polishing résumés, preparing for job interviews and the like. But it also had a number of entries containing random observations about sex, women and drugs.

The entries had headlines like “Sexy vs. Skanky,” “Dating Advice for Girly Girls,” “He Stole My Weed” and “High Quality Dope.”

In an entry titled “A New Holiday for Men,” there was a link to a separate site that designates March 14 as a special occasion on which women are encouraged to offer steak and oral sex “to show your man how much you care for him.”

That's Republican Senate hopeful Marc Cenedella. By the way, the NYT adds that it "was made aware of the entries by an opponent of Mr. Cenedella." That's an irritatingly vague turn of phrase, but assuming they mean "political opponent" and not just "someone who hates Cenedella," that can only refer to two people: Dem Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Nassau County comptroller George Maragos, the only announced Republican candidate.

PA-Sen: We mentioned last week that Republican Gov. Tom Corbett was reportedly working behind the scenes to support rich guy Steve Welch for the Republican Senate nomination (for the unenviable task of going up against Bob Casey, Jr.). Well, you can change that "reportedly" to "officially," as Corbett gave a full-on endorsement to Welch over the weekend. Corbett clearly has an eye on the general election: Unlike the other rich guys jostling for the GOP nod—who are flamingly-right-wing and from the Pittsburgh area— Welch is from the Philly 'burbs and ostensibly more moderate. (David Jarman)

TN-Sen: It's easy to forget that Tennessee has a Senate race this cycle, since there aren't many Democrats of stature left in the state and what few there are haven't shown much interest in taking on GOP freshman Bob Corker. But there's a new movement afoot to draft state Sen. Beverly Marrero, who hails from the Memphis area and got the shaft in redistricting. (The new maps throw her into the same district as fellow Democratic Sen. Jim Kyle.) Marrero is 72 years old, but says she isn't ruling anything out.

Gubernatorial:

WI-Gov: Here's a new name to add to the mix in the Democratic gubernatorial field for the looming recall election: state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, who says she's considering the race. Vinehout, who represents a seat in western Wisconsin, barely survived her re-election campaign in 2010, and, as she herself recognized, doesn't have much name recognition in the state's two main media markets, Madison and Milwaukee.

House:

AR-04: I noted the other day that state Sen. Gene Jeffress was rather conspicuously left off the DCCC first round of Red to Blue candidates—which, despite the name, also features races where Dems are playing defense in open seats, as is the case here. (Rep. Mike Ross is retiring.) So I'm not surprised to hear that there's still talk of landing a new recruit. Roby Brock at Arkansas-centric site Talk Business suggests that consultant Greg Hale might be in the mix. Though only 36, Hale apparently has ties to Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Gov. Mike Beebe as well, so he might be well-suited to raise the money necessary for a run.

AZ-08: Obviously there's been a ton of talk about Rep. Gabby Giffords' incipient resignation and what kind of electoral impact it will have. First things first: GOP Gov. Jan Brewer must declare special election dates (both for the primary and the general) within 72 hours after Giffords' seat is officially declared vacant. Giffords plans to leave her seat after President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday, so we should have clarity by the end of the week. Second, as we previously noted, Arizona law puts the primary some time in April and the general some time in June. The winner would then have to seek re-election in the regularly-scheduled elections in November, if he or she wants to remain in office. And to clarify a third point, the election will be held under the old 8th Congressional District lines, not the new 2nd CD lines recently passed by the state's redistricting commission.

With these procedural issues out of the way, now the question is: Who might run? The 8th is a swingy seat with a Republican lean. George W. Bush won it 53-46 over John Kerry, and John McCain held it 52-46 over Barack Obama. (Though McCain's numbers were somewhat inflated since Arizona is his home state.) Under the Cook Partisan Voting Index, that makes the seat R+4, or four points more Republican than the nation as a whole. After so many Democrats got swept out in 2010, only 11 now hold seats redder than this one (though again, there's a bit of a McCain discount.) So no matter what, both parties will contest this seat fiercely.

And because of that, as you'd expect, a lot of names are coming out of the woodwork. I think Arizona Dem chair Andrei Cherny put it well, though, when he offered this bit of wisdom on Sunday:

"That's the great 'mentioner' out there, and there are going to be a lot of people mentioned. I think the best rule in situations like this is, 'The folks who are talking don't know, and the folks who know aren't talking.'"

Well, that still won't stop us from trying! Below, we've compiled as comprehensive a list as possible of everyone the Great Mentioner has mentioned as a potential special election candidate:

Democrats mentioned in news stories:

• State Sen. minority whip Paula Aboud

• Retired Brigadier General John Adams

• Software company owner David Crowe (who'd also been considering AZ-Sen)

• State Rep. Steve Farley (says he's interested but will run only if Giffords asks him to)

• State Rep. Matt Heinz

• 2006 Dem primary loser and former state party vice-chair Jeff Latas

• Farmer Investments VP, former Bill Bradley CoS, and 2010 Senate explorer Nan Stockholm Walden

Democrats mentioned as possibilities elsewhere (but whom an unnamed Giffords advisor says won't run, according to Politico):

• Giffords district director Ron Barber

• Giffords chief of staff Pia Carusone

• Giffords' husband, ex-astronaut Mark Kelly

Republicans:

• State Sen. Frank Antenori

• Some Dude Adam Hansen (already in race)

• 2010 GOP nominee Jesse Kelly (Kelly had been running before Giffords was shot, then suspended his campaign; spokesperson says he doesn't know if Kelly is interested, but that Kelly is currently living in Texas)

• State Sen. and loser of '10 GOP primary Jonathan Paton (although he has expressed recent interest in running in new AZ-01 instead)

• Former Univ. of Arizona TV sports announcer Dave Sitton (already has exploratory committee for the race)

A couple of other Dem names suggested by our commenters:

• Pima County sheriff Clarence Dupnik

• 2010 AZ-Sen nominee and ex-Tucson city councilor Rodney Glassman

Other Dem state legislators from the Tucson area:

• State Sens. Olivia Cajero Bedford and Linda Lopez

• State Reps. Sally Ann Gonzales, Daniel Patterson, Macario Saldate, and Bruce Wheeler

(David Nir & David Jarman)

AZ-09: A good endorsement for ex-state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in the Democratic primary: She just received the backing of AFSCME.

CA-02: California's state Democratic party is going through the candidate endorsement process—a less important ritual than, say, in Minnesota or North Dakota, but more important than in most other states, because the state party will send out mailers on that candidates' behalf. However, There was no consensus reached on the Democratic field in the new 2nd (the successor district to the old CA-06, where Lynn Woolsey is retiring). Assemblyman Jared Huffman came close to the necessary 50% mark, at 48, followed by activist Norman Solomon at 37, with 12 for Marin Co. Supervisor Susan Adams, and 1 for businesswoman Stacey Lawson. (David Jarman)

IL-02: Here's an interesting backgrounder on the Dem primary race in the black-majority 2nd, which pits Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. against ex-Rep. Debbie Halvorson (from the old IL-11), who is white. It's a reminder that, once again, all politics is local, and that pork and provincial projects often trump Beltway media tropes like race, or even ethics (where Jackson has had his fair share of bad headlines in the last few years). Here, issue #1 in the race has been the long-proposed, long-stalled plan for a third major airport in the Chicago area at Peotone, which would be in this district and has been Jackson's pet project for ages. (David Jarman)

IL-08: The Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois endorsed Tammy Duckworth in the Democratic primary.

IN-06: Ah, the enigmatic "businessman." The title covers everyone from the kid with the lemonade stand to Bill Gates, so it's always hard to know exactly what it means. Maybe the guy makes a decent but humble living. Maybe the guy's a bit of a fraud, like Rob Cornilles. Or maybe the guy is rich as hell, like, well, Bill Gates. It's often a bit of a mystery, like the case here with businessman Don Bates, who also gets described as a "financial advisor." On the one hand, there isn't much on him when you Google his name, so that augurs more toward the Some Dude end of the spectrum. On the other hand, he had a couple of state senators with him when he kicked off his campaign in the very crowded Republican primary to replace Rep. Mike Pence. Ah, but this is probably dispositive: He ran for the Republican Senate nomination in 2010 and came in fourth, scoring all of 4.5%. Yeah, sounds like Some Dude.

KY-03: Here's one more teabagger realizing that 2012 isn't going to be the same year as 2010. Airline pilot Todd Lally, who came out of nowhere to win the GOP primary in the 3rd and then ran semi-competitively against Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth (losing 57-44 in this Dem-leaning Louisville-based district), has opted against another Congressional run. He's biting off a more-easily-chewable portion with a bid for the state House instead, in a suburban seat newly created by redistricting. (David Jarman)

LA-03: Rep. Charles Boustany has confirmed for the first time that he will indeed seek re-election, even though he may face an incumbent-vs.-incumbent primary battle with fellow Republican Jeff Landry. Boustany (whose old district was numbered the 7th) would have a clear edge purely based on the numbers in the new 3rd, since he represents 76% of its constituents (and has since 2005), while Landry, a freshman, represents only 24%. But Landry has Tea Party-fueled enthusiasm behind him, which Boustany most certainly does not. However, Landry still hasn't announced his plans, and even if he does run for re-election, it might be in another district (like GOPer Steve Scalise's 1st). So we continue to watch—and wait.

MA-04: If you were looking forward to the House continuing to have someone named "Mike Ross" in it even though the bad Mike Ross (from AR-04) is retiring, your hopes have been dashed. The Boston city councilor was the first Dem to jump into the open seat race after Barney Frank's retirement, but now he's jumped out of the race almost as quickly. This pretty much clears the path for the Kennedy Restoration (bringing the interregnum to a close after only two Kennedy-free years), as Joseph P. Kennedy III prepares for a run. (David Jarman)

MA-06: Woe to cat fud fans, as any hopes for a destructive GOP primary in Massachusetts' 6th district just vanished: Lawyer and teabagger Bill Hudak, who lost 57-43 to Democratic Rep. John Tierney in 2010, has dropped his bid for another try. Hudak says a "business opportunity" presented itself and he wouldn't be able to focus on the race, though I suspect the business opportunity had something to do with not getting crushed by ex-state Sen. Richard Tisei and the $305K he raised last quarter. The ostensibly moderate Tisei presents a much better general election profile to take on Tierney, who occasionally—albeit unfairly—gets referred to as "scandal-plagued," though that requires accepting that he actually is his brother-in-law's keeper. The 6th went 58-41 for Obama in 2008, but may have gotten a few points redder in redistricting.

Don't buy tickets for that big Hudak/Tisei unity rally just yet, though. Check out Hudak's scathing non-endorsement:

“The prospect of not following through and forcing Richard Tisei to be honest with his true record and motivation for running was one of my most difficult struggles in coming to this decision. I relish the opportunity, and will in 2014, because I’m sure you all know that little will change if he is elected. Worse, I know that this leaves most of you no real choice at all in this district in 2012.”

(H/t SaoMagnifico) (David Jarman)

MI-14: Four-and-a-half months after saying she'd be "announcing soon," Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence finally joined the Democratic primary field in Michigan's redrawn 14th District. Two incumbents are already running here: freshman Hansen Clarke and sophomore Gary Peters. As we've noted in the past, Lawrence's entry could be a boon for Peters in this heavily African-American district, since both she and Clarke are black. (Peters is white.) Lawrence, however, hasn't had much success on the campaign trail of late:

In 2008, Lawrence, as the Democratic candidate for Oakland County executive, lost, 58%-41%, to Republican L. Brooks Patterson in one of the best years ever for Democrats in Oakland County. Democrats won races for prosecutor and treasurer. In 2010, Lawrence was Democratic gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero's choice for lieutenant governor. They lost to Republican Rick Snyder and running mate Brian Calley.

In fairness, Patterson has been Oakland executive for decades and Stewart's loss had a lot more to do with him than with her. And 2010, well, was 2010, after all. In between those two years, she did win re-election as mayor with 80% of the vote.

NM-01: This ought to be good news for Democrats: State Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela, who lost by less than four points to Dem Rep. Martin Heinrich in 2010 and had been considering a second attempt at least since June, now says he won't run. That leaves the GOP primary field to ex-state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis, and Army veteran Gary Smith. The Democratic contest is also a three-way affair, between conservaDem former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez, Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham, and state Sen. Eric Griego, who appears to be the progressive favorite.

NM-03: Former Santa Fe County commissioner Harry Montoya will try to do this year what he could not accomplish in 2008: win the Democratic nomination in New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District. The only problem is that this time, the guy who won four years ago, Ben Ray Lujan, is now the incumbent and will be even harder to defeat. Back in that 2008 race, when the seat was open because Rep. Tom Udall ran for Senate, Montoya came in fourth in a six-way primary with just 11% of the vote, raising only $138K along the way, so Lujan probably does not have too much to fear.

PA-04: GOP state Rep. Scott Perry, who was talked about as a possible replacement for Rep. Todd Platts almost as soon as he made his retirement announcement, quietly declared late last week that he'd run for this open seat. On the Democratic side, attorney and state party committeeman Ken Lee also said he'd get into the race, as did supermarket merchandiser Matt Matsunaga.

PA-07: Joe Sestak really needs to decide ASAP. The former congressman has been weighing a bid to reclaim his old seat for what seems like ages now, but Tuesday is the drop-dead date. Candidates have just three weeks, beginning on Jan. 24, to collect a thousand valid signatures to get on the ballot. While Sestak would almost certainly be the strongest Democratic opponent for freshman GOPer Pat Meehan (whose seat was almost comically shored up in redistricting), I only hope that if Sestak doesn't get in, his delay hasn't precluded us from landing someone else.

PA-12: Just following up on a loose end from last week. The Fix had shared a the toplines from a new Jason Altmire internal taken Anzalone-Liszt, which found him leading fellow Rep. Mark Critz 50-34 in the Democratic primary, but further details were scant. The Altmire campaign did publicize their one-page polling memo the next day, though, so I just wanted to link to it here for the sake of completeness. There isn't a whole lot more to it (though now we have field dates and sample size, a pretty healthy 502), except for Altmire favorables (57-17).

PA-18: This seems like a pretty good get for the Democrats in the 18th, a swingy but red-trending seat in Pittsburgh's suburbs that has sadly been neglected for the last decade. Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi seems to have the "tough guy" cred that will play well in the blue-collar parts of the district: He's a 24-year state trooper who then served as county sheriff for five years prior to his current position (shades of Tim Holden, maybe?). The newly configured district went 44% for Obama, barely budging from under the old lines, but I think what's piquing Democratic interest in the race this year is that long-time GOP incumbent Rep. Tim Murphy is facing a primary challenge from the right from Evan Feinberg. Feinberg is credible to the extent that he he's gotten a lot of right-wing outside-group money flowing into the race, and Democrats must sense a pickup opportunity here if he stages an upset and wins the Republican nomination. (David Jarman)

SD-AL: This probably doesn't come as a surprise, since she was quick to settle in on the K Street/academia path after her narrow defeat in 2010, but now it's official: Democratic ex-Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin won't try a re-run against GOP frosh Kristi Noem in 2012. (PPP had her leading Noem 46-45 in a rematch poll in early 2011, but that probably didn't provide enough incentive.) Herseth Sandlin's Facebook statement seems to put an exclamation point on the fact that she won't run for office "in 2012," so that would leave the door open, though, for a 2014 run for Governor or for Senate, if Dem Sen. Tim Johnson retires. (David Jarman)

TN-04: This is just baffling. Republican state Sen. Bill Ketron has seemed for years now to be executing some sort of master plan for getting elected to the U.S. House, involving seizing control of the state's redistricting machinery, building himself a custom-made version of the 4th district centered on Murfreesboro (which many wags, even before it was officially unveiled, had taken to labeling the "Ketron-mander"), and, as something of an afterthought, defeating GOP freshman Scott DesJarlais in the primary.

Now, after loudly telegraphing his intent since the map was unveiled and bigfooting all the other potential primary challengers out of the race, Ketron suddenly announced that he won't be running after all. What was all that effort for, if he's going to chicken out at zero hour? Either those naked pictures are about to surface, or else he finally got around to polling the race and found to his surprise that DesJarlais is looking strong in the primary. That leaves no GOP challengers to DesJarlais whatsoever, but he'll still face Democratic state Sen. Eric Stewart in November in this solidly-red (but Blue Dog-friendly) district. (David Jarman)

VA-04: Chesapeake City Councilwoman Ella Ward says she'll run against Republican Rep. Randy Forbes in what will soon be the redrawn 4th District. Though Barack Obama narrowly won this district under the old lines, 50-49, it was made a bit redder in redistricting, enough to give John McCain a 51-48 edge. Despite the apparent closeness of these results, this will be a very difficult seat to unlock.

VA-10: It sounds like retired U.S. Air Force colonel Jeff Barnett is deferring to a superior officer: Barnett, the Democratic nominee against GOP Rep. Frank Wolf in 2010, won't run a second time. Though the linked article doesn't mention it, I'm sure a key reason is because Democrats have already recruited retired Air Force brigadier general John Douglass. Barnett raised some money last cycle ($600K) but, thanks both to the year and Wolf's strengths, he only scored 35% of the vote.

Other Races:

WA-Init, WA-AG: The Washington state Senate now has the votes necessary to pass gay marriage legislation. Mary Margaret Haugen, a septuagenarian Dem who'll be retiring this year, was the 25th senator to support the legislation, taking it over the top. (Two elderly Dems and two young moderate suburban GOPers are still uncommitted, but it's a 49-member chamber.) This all but guarantees that it will become law, since Dems have a more comfortable majority in the state House and Gov. Chris Gregoire is supportive.

What's the electoral angle on all this? For one, it's almost certain that this will end up on the ballot, in the form of a "people's veto" referendum. To qualify, opponents will need to collect signatures equaling 8% of the number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election (240,000, by my calculations), which seems doable so long as the National Organization for Marriage kicks in toward the bill. However, this will just be a repeat of 2009's Referendum 71, where the legislation's implementation of "marriage-in-all-but-name" domestic partnership survived a people's veto, 53-47. That spread should be even larger given how rapidly polling has shown people's positions on the matter changing in the last few years.

One other place this is already having an impact is the Attorney General's race, where King County Councilor Reagan Dunn is one of the few prominent Republicans to support gay marriage (outgoing AG and gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna is tying himself in knots about it, but seems basically a "no"). For his trouble, Dunn has gone from having a clear shot to earning a right-wing primary challenger, attorney Stephen Pidgeon, who's been a prominent leader in the fight against gay marriage (though his embrace of birtherism probably will keep him from getting much traction). (David Jarman)

Redistricting Roundup:

KS Redistricting: Looks like a little cat fud is flying in the Kansas legislature, where state House Speaker Mike O'Neal does like the congressional maps proposed by Senate Reapportionment Committee Chairman Tim Owens, a fellow Republican. O'Neal apparently is upset these plans put the northeastern city of Manhattan into the sprawling 1st CD, which reaches all the way to the state's western edge, but Owens says they're just a starting point. I'm not sure if there's anything deeper going on here, but it certainly wouldn't be the first time that parochial interests have led to intra-party battles over redistricting.

KY Redistricting: Confirming earlier sentiments from Friday, it sounds like congressional redistricting negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in the Kentucky legislature have ground to a halt. Joseph Gerth of the Louisville Courier-Journal thinks that this failure "increas[es] the likelihood that lawmakers will have to push back the Jan. 31 filing deadline," which puts lie to the claim by Gov. Steve Beshear that he had to sign the abysmal state Senate plan because that date was looming.

And speaking of which, supporters of state Sen. Kathy Stein rallied again the map, which deliberately screws her in a transparently partisan—and very possibly unconstitutional—way. (More background on this whole saga here.) Stein, meanwhile, says she is giving "serious consideration" to filing a lawsuit.

NC Redistricting: The three-judge panel hearing consolidated redistricting litigation in North Carolina has declined to delay the state's May 8 primary to July 10, something plaintiff had asked for to give their case sufficient time to be heard and, if successful, new maps to be put in place this year. The court said (PDF) it isn't pre-judging the merits of the various challenges to the new maps, but rather that even under the plaintiffs' proposal, there still wouldn't be enough time to get everything done. Still, if no trial is necessary and the case can be decided purely based on legal arguments, a quick ruling is still possible.

TX Redistricting: Michael Li has a very good run-down on the "winners and losers" stemming from Friday's Supreme Court redistricting decision. Li takes a slightly contrarian take and counts the plaintiffs among the winners since, as he rightly points out, "the state also doesn’t get to use its maps on an interim basis as the state urged," and in a related post, he suggests that the final maps might be more favorable to Dems than many think. Li also points to an important post by Justin Levitt (writing at Rick Hasen's place) on the meaning of a key phrase from the SCOTUS's ruling, "not insubstantial." Levitt's analysis of the caselaw suggests an interpretation which would tilt toward the plaintiffs and against the state.

Elsewhere on his blog, Li is doing his usual excellent work keeping track of the latest developments in San Antonio, the court that the Supremes threw the whole case back to. With a number of important deadlines looming, things are moving fast, but there are still many, many questions left to answer, not least: What will the maps look like? Follow Li for the complete tick-tock.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And there's no recores in IL for replacement if (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    Kirk isn't up to the job.  He would have to voluntarily leave.  And he won't until there's a Republican in the state house or until 2016

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 05:24:31 AM PST

  •  Shameless Diary Plug (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, tietack, itskevin

    The comments from yesterday have been transferred and expanded upon in a stand alone diary.

    22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

    by wwmiv on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 05:26:28 AM PST

  •  Come on Coble.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    RETIRE! haha

    20, Male. DKE! “Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” anonymous

    by aggou on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 06:16:23 AM PST

    •  Forgot about the caps rule. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo

      Retire

      20, Male. DKE! “Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” anonymous

      by aggou on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 06:18:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The only rule is that caps = loudness (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo

        and in an entire title or post that is indeed grating ... but a word here and there for emphasis is perfectly fine, IMO.  Preserves the natural rhythms of speech and all that.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:01:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  AL-05: Mo Brooks releases internal (6+ / 0-)

    showing him stomping Parker Griffith 71-14.

    http://www.rollcall.com/...

    21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 06:30:31 AM PST

  •  I had a dream last night (8+ / 0-)

    that someone on DKE did math showing that Michelle Bachmann's delegate lead was too large to overcome and she had basically won the nomination. And at first I was disappointed cause I was all "aww, I wanted Newt..." but then I remember that Bachmann was just as good.

    If only this were reality!

    21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 06:31:38 AM PST

    •  Gingrich is better than Bachmann. (0+ / 0-)

      I think it's much more like that he acts as a paid of concrete boots to congressional Republicans than Bachmann, who would certainly lose a presidential race but would get the nuts of the world to come out in full force.

  •  What? No F*** Mark Kirk diary (0+ / 0-)

    Hard to believe with that other piece of shit diary still sitting on the rec list.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 06:35:29 AM PST

  •  Add AZ-8: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, CS in AZ

    Here's a piece from this morning's Aeizona Daily Star that explains the situation in CD-8. We should know by the end of the week who's in and who isn't.

    •  pass on Dupnik though (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Azazello

      It's not my CD, but I would not support a Dupnik candidacy.  His SWAT team royally screwed up an operation last May, and he went into damage-control mode so hugely that I don't trust him.  I know he spoke very well in response to the tragedy a year ago, and also concerning SB1070, but the Guerena death outweighs all that in my book.

      'Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that Government is best which is most indifferent.' -- F. D. Roosevelt

      by LandruBek on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:15:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Former Gov. Bredesen is the only Democrat (5+ / 0-)

    in TN that could challenge Corker and have at least a plausible shot, and he isn't interested in having any further career it seems.  Sigh...

    •  As a progressive from TN, it doesn't disappoint me (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, it surprises me that so many people would vote for Bredesen at all. He's a complete DINO, especially on health care issues, and I don't really think we need a new, more conservative, Ben Nelson.

      Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02

      by fearlessfred14 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:48:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He would NOT be more conservative than Ben Nelson (6+ / 0-)

        where on earth do you get that idea?  He is too conservative and I would never support him for a National leader for the Party (but would for Senator from TN), but it is pretty silly to think a Democrat who isn't a somewhat conservative Democrat could get elected on a state-wide level in TN.  The attitude you express here shows why liberal Democrats enjoy a similar status to the Green Party in TN these days.

        •  I remember him as governor (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bythesea

          especially with the TennCare fight. Though I was fairly young for most of his term, he seemed to be rather conservative and in a number of cases nearly android-like. I agree with you that a TN senator has to be a bit conservative, and maybe you're right that he's more of a moderate than a conservative (though would you please explain where he's a Dem in more than name for my enlightenment on the issue). Mainly, it's just that Bredesen seems inauthentic to me.

          Don't get me wrong here. I'd have voted gladly for Jim Cooper if I still lived there, and would have even voted for Harold Ford if I was of age at the time. I'm not a dead end progressive, much as I may have sounded like one. I just specifically dislike Bredesen for a variety of reasons.

          Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02

          by fearlessfred14 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:41:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fair enough (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fearlessfred14

            Yes he is a moderate and was fairly boring and pretty much like a Republican on many issues (social especially) but he would be a similar to a moderate Republican of the pre-Obama era, and would be far to the left of the current GOP on issues of government, education and labor.  I do think in the Senate he would move toward mainstream Democratic positions where he felt comfortable doing so.  He would not imo mirror the GOP on economic issues, spending, aid, and taxes the like, which some conservadem Senators are inclined to do.

    •  Didn't he say he lied about TN educational (0+ / 0-)

      progress or something back in the spring of 2011?

      •  I don't recall the story to which you (0+ / 0-)

        refer, but I doubt any politician would say that they had "lied" about anything, even if they did blatantly.  I do know that, for whatever reason, he is extremely popular in TN and if he were to run for Senate would definitely be a concern for either sitting GOP Senator.

  •  Question about NC Redistricting (0+ / 0-)

    Anybody know if the NC primary (now in May) will be held using old maps or new maps?

    That does have a certain amount of significance for us in District 4.  Old maps--Price.  New maps, Price v. Miller.

    2012: George Bailey capitalism v. Henry Potter capitalism. Do Republicans really want that argument?

    by NCJan on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 06:43:40 AM PST

    •  New maps. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, NCJan

      but there is still a (small but significant) chance the maps could get overturned in court.

      21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 06:50:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah new maps. (0+ / 0-)

      I finally won't have to mark a check next to Coble's name.

      20, Male. DKE! “Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” anonymous

      by aggou on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:57:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  At least one of the judges (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, NCJan

      spoke negatively of the new maps.  It seems they may strike down the state legislative maps for violating whole counties, among other issues.

      'It's a troublesome world. All the people who're in it are troubled with troubles almost every minute. You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot, for the places and people you're lucky you're not.' - Dr. Seuss

      by KingofSpades on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:04:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I seriously doubt it, but if they want to (0+ / 0-)

        we can always take it to the NC supreme court which has a Conservative majority, or even to the SCOTUS, they seem rather eager to take up redistricting this cycle.

        But like I said, I highly doubt they overturn them. We'll see of course.

        20, Male. DKE! “Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” anonymous

        by aggou on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:38:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Except for the specials in OR-01 and AZ-08 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, NCJan, supercereal

      You can generally assume that all regularly-scheduled elections this year will use the new maps in all states, unless something really weird happens in court somewhere.

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:09:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks, all! (0+ / 0-)

      What a shame.  I wonder what this means for the 700,000 plus people who were - oops - left out!

      "We too have known the exceptional lad who has accomplished marvels [in spite of]... great disadvantages; but I..., for one, have no illusions as to the outcome for the ordinary child." Lillian Wald

      by NCJan on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 10:50:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  TWO bits of NM news, thank you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo
    • NM-01:  State Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela, who lost by less than four points to Dem Rep. Martin Heinrich in 2010 and had been considering a second attempt at least since June, now says he won't run. That leaves the GOP primary field to ex-state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis, and Army veteran Gary Smith. The Democratic contest is also a three-way affair, between conservaDem former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez, Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham, and state Sen. Eric Griego, who appears to be the progressive favorite.

    Barela has by far the highest profile of any of the R candidates, so that IS good news. Arnold-Jones seems more visible than the other two, so far -- that is to say, she's got billboards up around town, and they don't.

    I wish Lujan Grisham would drop out and quit splitting the progressive vote. Then  Griego would have a better chance (though still not a huge one) to overcome Marty Chavez's deep pockets.  My hopes are for Griego but my bets are on Chavez.

    • NM-03: Former Santa Fe County commissioner Harry Montoya will try to do this year what he could not accomplish in 2008... The only problem is that this time, the guy who won four years ago, Ben Ray Lujan, is now the incumbent and will be even harder to defeat.
    Indeed Lujan has nothing to fear.  The district is deep, deep blue, plus Lujan's progressive constituents  are happy with him.  No Republican has good odds in NM-03, and Montoya is nothing special.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:11:59 AM PST

    •  Lujan (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, sapelcovits

      isn't he pro-SOPA (all those "artists" in Santa Fe/Taos)?

      •  I hadn't noticed, but likely yeah (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sapelcovits

        and Senator Tom Udall who is usually so reliably good on everything, was a sponsor!  Indeed few and far between were the Dems against it, at least until the weather changed.

        Fortunately constituent outcry has caused Udall to announce that a major re-working of the bill to preserve internet freedom is, after all, very much in order.  

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:12:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In general, Ben Ray Lujan has a solid set (0+ / 0-)

        of traditional Democratic positions.   Environment, education, labor rights, public health, and so on.  

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:15:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Doc: they're grossly understating Kirk's illness (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo, gtomkins, dc1000, LordMike, askew

    The published reports from Kirk's physicians in my professional opinion are grossly understating the severity of the injury he has  suffered. A carotid dissection causing so much brain swelling that a craniotomy is required to relieve it is a calamity. The long term sequelae vary somewhat unpredictably, and his relatively young age is in his favor, as is the fact that it's apparently his non-dominant hemisphere. But he faces at best a very long road of rehabilitation, with much potential for complications. They're putting an extremely positive spin on this.

    It may be in bad taste, but I can't help thinking of Kevin Kline's movie "Dave", when the smarmy Frank Langella character describes the President's catastrophic stroke as "a minor circulatory instability".

  •  NY City Council: Peter Koo switches to Dems (4+ / 0-)

    Don't remember seeing this posted.  Peter Koo who won NYC City Comptroller Liu's City Council seat three years ago is switching from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.  His upset victory in overwelmingly Democratic territory came after a very bitter nasty multi-ethnic Democratic primary.

    He has been a moderate who even crossed parties to endorse David Weprin's bid against Bob Turner for congress.  So not something I am terribly surprised at.

    http://www.politickerny.com/...

    We may have the current crop of Republican candidates running for President in part to thank for the switch.

    Mr. Koo said that the tone of the national Republican contest impacted his decision as well, “especially on immigrant issues.” He stressed that national immigration issues like the DREAM Act were very important to him. “As I said before, I’m a first generation immigrant, so I understand how hard it is to be a newcomer in this community. I always sympathize with immigrant issues.”

  •  It's a good thing Mark Kirk (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisJohn, skipos, James Allen, supercereal

    has government Health Care.

    "Hey, what's a girl gotta do around here to get a Tiffany's tiara?"--Callista Gingrich

    by The Gryffin on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:32:18 AM PST

  •  48% of poll respondents want Democrats... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, askew, itskevin

    To retake full control of Congress. 37% want the Republicans to retain control of the House. Story here.

    Meanwhile, Obama and Democrats have made significant gains in their election prospects this year among registered voters, the poll shows.

    Forty-eight percent of voters would rather see Obama reelected next year, compared to 40 percent who would prefer that a Republican win the presidency; a combined 12 percent of voters said they would prefer neither scenario or are undecided. A Congressional Connection Poll conducted in late October found voters split, with 44 percent preferring the GOP candidate and 42 percent favoring Obama’s reelection.

    These are wave election numbers, folks.

    Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

    by SaoMagnifico on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:42:28 AM PST

  •  PA notes (0+ / 0-)

    I believe Tim Holden is facing a Democratic primary, but forget the guy's name.

    I wouldn't be so sure about the "unenviable task" of facing Bob Casey.  Casey is charisma-free, dull as oatmeal, and has pissed off the bse with his support for bailouts and PIPA.

    •  but nobody can/will beat Casey. (0+ / 0-)

      I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

      by James Allen on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 08:07:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bob Casey is also the safest bet (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, jncca

      out of anybody who isn't in a deep blue state, like Sens. Cardin or Gillibrand, or who isn't Sens. Klobuchar or Warner. He's not beloved by progressives, but he isn't loathed, either. He's passable to actually liked by the big, red swaths in the middle of Pennsylvania, the areas where some Democrats would have a lot of trouble. Short of molesting someone, he'll always be in this position. If you were a senator, you'd kill to be like him.

    •  I don't think there's much evidence that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tietack, askew

      The top priorities of the Democratic "base" in Pennsylvania are opposition to bailouts and PIPA, and I'd be surprised if you could find evidence suggesting that those two issues have hurt Casey's approval ratings.

      Admittedly, this is from November, which might be before the PIPA controversy, but it's the most recent I saw from PPP:

      http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/...

      But Casey's approval rating among "very liberal" voters is 51-17.  "Somewhat liberal voters"?  65-18.  "Moderate" voters?  54-28.  Perhaps an unusually large number of "very liberal" voters are unsure, but he only has a 17% disapproval rating among them.  And that's only 11% of the sample anyway, so the difference between 51% and 83% approval among them is only like 3.5% of the total sample.

      Casey's overall approval rating is not stellar--but that's mostly because a lot of voters are "not sure", not because he's widely disapproved of.  

      26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

      by Xenocrypt on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:14:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  KS Redistricting (4+ / 0-)

    First, there is a battle inside the GOP, specifically with Tim Owens.  The house and senate are nearly pure from a tea party / social conservative view. Owens is one a few moderates left. Tagged a RINO he is targeted in this year's primary. The leader, O'Neal, is the "pray for Obama's death" and Mrs. Yomama guy.

    Second, to add to the rural 1st district, there were ideas floated to draw the line across the entire state and circle a corner of Kansas City, KS - the only heavily democratic area in the state. There was no problems voiced dumping an urban base into a rural district, since it would ensure the 3rd district, which was the only competitive district in the state, and would no longer be.  Never mind that KCK has even less in common with Western Kansas tank Manhattan.  

    Owens is taking a pragmatic approach. Move 2nd into 1st and 3rd into 2nd. The 3rd is going more republican anyway since his solution with Manhattan is tied to unifying Lawrence in the 2nd. Lawrence was split in last redistricting and part remains in the 3rd now. Again no problem from the GOP last time spitting a town in two, as long at the 3rd was made more red.

    Bottom line, this plan doesn't make the 3rd red enough for O'Neal. Has nothing to do with Manhattan.

  •  Tons of great info (0+ / 0-)

    but I couldn't get past the steak and oral sex a la Holden Caulfield and the liver.

    “I’ve got an obligation to act on behalf of the American people. And I’m not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people that we were elected to serve.” PBO

    by OleHippieChick on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:06:14 AM PST

  •  WA Initiative not a "Dunn" deal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, sapelcovits

    Although the National Organization for Marriage has made it clear it would help fund an attempt, I belive we are unlikely to see a ballot measure to overturn gay marriage on the Washington ballot in November.

    It may seem counter intuitive but three Republicans need both support from the base and independent support in King County if they are to win election/re-election. Drawing attention to the split in the party over this issue hurts Republican candidates and helps Democrats motivate younger voters.

    I expect a quiet "decline to sign" campaign organized primarily by Mainstream Republicans of Washington to keep this measure off the November ballot to protect their candidates.

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