• CT-Sen: Smackdown! Areyoureadytorrrrumble? Insert other overused professional wrestling metaphor of your choice here! Yes, it looks like billionaire, former WWE CEO, and '10 GOP Senate nominee Linda McMahon is back for another whack (with a folding chair) at running for office. She's announcing that she'll be announcing "in the coming week" that she'll try again. Her first task will be to get past the generally respected, but (based on comments yesterday) thoroughly unenthused and (more importantly) penniless, ex-Rep. Chris Shays in the GOP primary.
• MA-Sen: Well, here's a quick opportunity for Scott Brown to put his money where his post-partisan mouth is. You may recall the recent kerfuffle when Brown advisor Eric Fehrnstrom got busted for launching the "Crazy Khazei" website in this spare time, and Brown said he'd fire anybody doing anything similar again. Today comes the news that another advisor, Robert Willington, registered the domain name "QueenElizabethWarren.com." Ball's in Brown's court now!
• ME-Sen: Democratic state Rep. Jon Hinck, whom we've mentioned before as interested in running against Olympia Snowe (or a teabagger to be named later), seems to be moving toward pulling the trigger on a run, saying "it's looking good." However, he may actually have some company in the Dem primary, from a name we hadn't heard before: former Secretary of State (a legislature-chosen, rather than elected-statewide, position in Maine), former state legislator, and current Sportsmens' Alliance of Maine head Matt Dunlap is interested, saying he'll make a decision in the next four to six weeks.
• WV-Sen: Dem freshman Joe Manchin is looking like a safe bet for re-election in 2012, according to PPP's new poll of the Mountain State. Even if Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (the GOP's best bet) gets in the race, Manchin still wins by 16. Click the link for our full story.
• NC-Gov: We've relegated PPP's polls of North Carolina's governor's race to the digest because there's so many of them (every month) and there's been very little change in them. However, there are some indications from the newest poll of the race that this may resume being an interesting race, as incumbent Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue (who barely beat former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory amidst the 2008 wave) may be moving back into position where the race is salvageable. PPP finds her approval moving up to 40/44, which seems based on her basically successful response to Hurricane Irene (she gets 64/20 approval on that issue). And that affects her head-to-head in her rematch with McCrory, trailing him by the smallest margin so far this cycle, only 4: 45-41. It's too early to tell if she's turned things around or if she's getting a temporary hooray-we're-not-dead bounce, but it's still encouraging. Also, as in indication of McCrory's relative general election strength as a candidate, PPP tested two more conservative alternatives (despite no one making a move toward a challenge to him in the GOP primary) against Perdue. Perdue beats them both by good margins, beating Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler 42-37 and freshman Rep. Renee Ellmers 45-35.
• AR-01: We've got some clear "no"s now from two prominent Dems who live in the 1st, which is one of those formerly-Blue-Dog-held southern districts where the Dems will need to win back some seats if they're going to make a play for the House majority next year: state Sen. president pro tem Paul Bookout and state Sen. majority leader Robert Thompson. With '10 candidate Chad Causey taking a pass too, RCP lists prosecutor Scott Ellington, businessman Steve Rockwell, and former Land Commissioner candidate L.J. Bryant as the Dems' B-team here.
• IL-10: Wondering what Howard Dean's up to these days? He's holding a fundraiser on behalf of activist Ilya Sheyman, one of two Dem candidates in the 10th, which is a likely pickup after severe remodeling courtesy of the Democratic legislature. (The other is the more moderate engineering consultant Brad Schneider, although an elected Dem may yet get into this race.)
• MI-14: Things seem to be solidifying in terms of what Dem goes where in the new Detroit area map. We have confirmation of yesterday's rumors, straight from the horse's mouth, that Rep. Gary Peters will take the surprising step of running in the black-majority (but half-Detroit, half-suburban) 14th against Rep. Hansen Clarke, rather than in the mostly white and fully suburban 9th against Sandy Levin. Our jeffmd points out that the new district is 58.1% African-American (56.8% VAP), which is a difficult needle for Peters to thread in the primary... but he's helped because he's up against two African-Americans, not just Clarke but also Southfield mayor Brenda Lawrence.
Meanwhile, we also got confirmation today that long-time Rep. John Conyers is following through on his end of his district-swap with Clarke; he'll be running in the new MI-13. Conyers isn't home-free either; he'll face state Sen. Bert Johnson and state Rep. Shanelle Jackson.
• MS-01: Looks like we've got a rematch in the 1st, but unfortunately, it doesn't have anything to do with Travis Childers and his 'stache of doom. It sounds like former Eupora mayor Henry Ross, who ran an underfunded, tea party-powered challenge against then-state Sen. Alan Nunnelee in the 2010 GOP primary, will be back for another try in '12, this time against the now-freshman Rep.
• NY-09: I'd sensed a lot of shrugging about NY-09, on the rationale of "where are the national committees? They'd be spending money if there were anything to see here." Well... fast forward to today, where the DCCC suddenly noticed the fire pouring out the 9th and got into the game with a big IE. (Big by national standards at least; we are talking about the NYC media market.) They're going up with a $473K broadcast TV ad buy, which will run until the election on the 13th (except for 9/11). There's also word that the Dem-friendly House Majority PAC has bought advertising time too. We have WOTSOTB on the House Majority PAC buy: it's $74K, all on cable.) That comes hot on the heels of a $270K broadcast TV buy from the David Weprin campaign itself yesterday.
The DCCC's ad made a brief debut on YouTube... but for now they've pulled it. The ad buy is still on, but they are making some last-minute editing changes to the ad, to eliminate an animated corporate jet over the NYC skyline, which they decided wasn't a good image to be showing on the weekend of 9/11.
Until the DCCC buy showed up, the National Organization for Marriage very briefly held the title of the largest independent expenditure in the race in the 9th. Their FEC statement yesterday was for $75K, divided between direct mail and robocalls. Assemblyman Weprin, of course, was a vote for same-sex marriage when it passed the New York legislature recently.
After wondering earlier in the day if we'll see an NRCC buy (after that, it may be too late to grab any weekend air time), or if the NRCC is feeling tapped out from their heavy spending early in the game to lock down (seemingly successfully) the same day NV-02 special election, later in the day came confirmation that the NRCC is "inquiring" about buying ad time here, although it doesn't sound like they've put any money down yet.
• NY-23: Ordinarily, the decision by a Republican County Commissioner in Hernando County, Florida, to run for re-election would not rise to the level of digest-inclusion. However, Jeff Stabins had been considering retiring in order to run for the U.S. House... in upstate New York's 23rd district. Yes, we're a little confused, too, but apparently he grew up there and maintains a summer house there. At any rate, the House run appears to be off.
• PA-15: It sounds like the Dem establishment's preferred option is for another run against Rep. Charlie Dent in this swing district from Bethlehem mayor John Callahan. However, there seems to be a Plan B in the works: Lehigh Valley International Airport Board of Governors chairman David Haines sounds likely to run if Callahan doesn't. Lehigh Co. Democratic chair Rick Daugherty is already seeking the nomination, regardless of what Callahan does.
• TX-14: Two items to report on the Republican primary race to replace Rep. Ron Paul, who seems to be intent on riding his Presidential bomb all the way down to the ground this time instead of hitting his reserve chute, in the solidly-red 14th. State Rep. Randy Weber says he anticipates making his announcement next week. And Pearland city councilor Felicia Harris has just filed to run. She joins attorney Michael Truncale as the only announced GOP candidates; former Pasadena mayor John Manlove is another GOP possibility, while Democratic ex-Rep. Nick Lampson, who has represented some of this turf in the past, is also a possibility, saying he's intrigued.
• WI-02, WI-Gov: Democratic State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (who represents Madison-area suburbs) made a big name for himself in the budget standoff drama in Wisconsin, and he seems ready to capitalize on that for a promotion... the question is, where? He says he'll have an announcement in the next few days as to whether he'll run for the newly open Madison-area WI-02 seat, vacated by Tammy Baldwin for her Senate run. However, there's also chatter that he might aim higher... for the Democratic nod in a potential recall election against Scott Walker instead. If he gets in the field in the 2nd, he'll join fellow liberal state legislators Rep. Mark Pocan (who just rolled out a load of big local endorsements, which you can read at the link) and Rep. Kelda Roys.