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9:14 AM PT: VRA: As most analysts expected, the Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, diving 5-4 along ideological lines in the case of Shelby County v. Holder. (The full opinion is here.) Section 5 requires that jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination submit any changes to voting procedures to the Department of Justice for "preclearance," which may then block changes it concludes would adversely affect minority voting rights. The court actually left Section 5 alone, but the conservative majority ruled that Section 4, which contains the formula that determines which states are covered by Section 5 and was last updated in 1975, is outdated and therefore unconstitutional.

This means that Congress could draft an updated coverage formula, but even though the VRA was renewed with minimal dissent in 2006, it's unlikely that Republicans would ever permit such legislation to pass. However, the VRA's other crucial prong, Section 2, is unaffected by the court's decision. That provision is a general prohibition on voting discrimination and can still be enforced by the DOJ.

11:23 AM PT: MT-Sen: PPP's new Montana Senate poll, their first since Max Baucus announced he wouldn't seek re-election, actually doesn't look too different from their prior survey, from all the way back in February. That's because PPP had the foresight to test ex-Gov. Brian Schweitzer as a potential alternative for Baucus even then (though at the time, it looked more likely that Schweitzer would replace Baucus via primary rather than retirement). And once again, Schweitzer finds himself in a tossup, more or less, with the two strongest Republicans, ex-Gov. Marc Racicot and freshman Rep. Steve Daines.

If Schweitzer doesn't run, though, and the GOP lands a top-tier recruit, Democrats would start off in a deep hole, whether they nominate state Auditor Monica Lindeen or state Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau. As is their wont, PPP tested a whole battery of possible scenarios, including matchups with two lesser Republican lights, state Rep. Champ Edmunds and ex-state Sen. Corey Stapleton. In the chart below, Democrats are listed along the top and Republicans vertically; the head-to-head results in each box are color-coded according to party, with Democrats on top:

                                                              
    Schweitzer   Juneau   Lindeen 
 Racicot     46   
   47   
   37   
   52   
   35   
   52   
 Daines     48   
   45   
   38   
   48   
   37   
   49   
 Stapleton     52   
   38   
   42   
   38   
   39   
   37   
 Edmunds     52   
   37   
   41   
   34   
   39   
   34   

Edmunds and Stapleton are the only declared candidates, though, as most of the field—Democrat and Republican alike—stands idle, pending a decision from Schweitzer. It's very possible that Schweitzer, who, with his 54-40 favorability rating, was the most popular candidate tested, could very well dissuade someone like Daines from running. But thanks to Montana's red tilt, even a generic Republican could give Schweitzer a tough race.

So which Republican will it be? Racicot hasn't publicly said anything, but Daines at least is mulling the race. In a hypothetical kitchen sink primary, Racicot leads Daines 47-28, while the others are in single digits. It's exceedingly unlikely that both will run: If the GOP can recruit Racicot (who has been out of politics for over decade), Daines would almost surely step aside. On the other hand, without Racicot, Daines would likely feel a lot of pressure to run, but he's just started his congressional career and represents a safe seat. Would he really want to give all that up?

Democrats of course hope he won't, and even more badly, hope Schweitzer will run. For now, though, we all wait.

12:27 PM PT: OH-Gov: Quinnipiac's first poll since Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announced his candidacy for governor finds Republican Gov. John Kasich extending his lead, but only because of unexplained slippage for the Democrat. Kasich's edge now stands at 47-33, up from 46-37 in April, but both candidates' favorability ratings were stable, so it's not clear why Fitz (who remains almost entirely unknown) would see his take drop 4 points. Quinnipiac is still the only pollster to offer a public poll of Ohio this cycle, though, so I'd really like to see numbers from someone else.

12:33 PM PT (David Jarman): Fundraising: In case you've ever thought that it might actually be fun to be a Congressperson, this should kill that notion pretty quickly. Ryan Lizza wound up sitting next to a nameless freshman Dem making fundraising calls, and livetweeted a number of the lowlights. Storified together, it's about as clear a picture as ever seen of how demoralizing and soul-destroying the fundraising process has become today. Here's an interesting question to chew on, though: who is this poor sap? It's a male freshman Dem who's already had GOP ads run against him, so that narrows the possibilities down to the single digits.

2:07 PM PT: IA-02: State Rep. Mark Lofgren just became the first Republican to announce a challenge to fourth-term Rep. Dave Loebsack, though he may soon have company. State Department of Public Health Director Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who has lost two previous races to Loebsack, says she's considering a third bid. The 2nd District definitely has a blue tilt, though. At 56-43 Obama, it would be very hard for Republicans to succeed here, and even in the 2010 wave, Miller-Meeks could get no closer than 5 points, so Loebsack should be in good shape for re-election.

2:17 PM PT: NYC Mayor: New York City's major unions remain split in the Democratic mayoral primary, with the 120,000-strong 32BJ SEIU endorsing City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a move that is due in large part to Quinn's decision to drop her opposition to mandatory paid sick leave earlier this year. Previously, one of the other giant labor organizations, 1199 SEIU, gave its backing to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, while the United Federation of Teachers just got behind former Comptroller Bill Thompson last week.

2:23 PM PT: IL-Gov: Republican state Sen. Bill Brady, who narrowly lost his bid for governor in 2010, says he will formally announce a second run on Wednesday. Brady's entrance into the race has been expected for some time, though he joins an already busy field that includes state Treasurer Dan Rutherford wealthy venture capitalist Bruce Rauner. The man Brady edged in the GOP primary three years ago, state Sen Kirk Dillard, is also set to join the contest soon.

3:05 PM PT: KY-Sen: A new super PAC devoted to helping Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell is already going on the air with $260,000 in TV ads that look like they're aimed at dissuading Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes from entering the race. The group, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, claims in its spot that Grimes would help "jam through Obama's agenda: massive spending, Obamacare, the war on coal." Is it just me, or does that particular voiceover announcer, who has definitely done plenty of political work, just always come off sounding over-the-top? (I think it's the same guy I took note of with regard to this Judy Biggert ad from last year.)

3:11 PM PT: Meanwhile, a new Marist poll for the Wall Street Journal and NBC New York finds ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner jumping out to his first-ever lead in the race. He's at 24, followed by Quinn at 20, Thompson at 13, de Blasio at 10, and Comptroller John Liu at 8. In May, Quinn was in first at 24, followed by Weiner (19), de Blasio (12), Thompson (11), and Liu (8).

3:14 PM PT: NJ-Sen: Newark Mayor Cory Booker the first candidate to hit the airwaves in the special Democratic primary fast approaching this summer. The spot, part of a reported $400,000 buy, features Booker touting a list of achievements as mayor, including getting "guns off the streets" and creating jobs.

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