• Illinois Primaries: For the most part, Tuesday night's congressional primaries in Illinois wound up being pretty one-sided affairs. The marquee matchup, between Republican Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Don Manzullo in IL-16, was supposed to be close, but Kinzinger won 56-44. (It was also a win for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who took the risky and unusual step of backing Kinzinger.) And two other prominent contests were utter blowouts: In IL-02 (D), Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. demolished ex-Rep. Debbie Halvorson by over 40 points, and in IL-08 (D), Tammy Duckworth beat Raja Krishnamoorthi by two-to-one.
IL-10 (D) defied expectations, with businessman Brad Schneider beating netroots fave Ilya Sheyman 47-39. A late PPP poll indicated Sheyman had a big lead, prompting the firm to apologize for missing the mark and take a look at what might have gone wrong. But in IL-12, Republican Jason Plummer and Democrat Brad Harriman both won, as expected, as did ex-Rep. Bill Foster in IL-11 and Cheri Bustos in IL-17, both Democrats.
Finally, in IL-13 (D), the race was too close to call when we put the Daily Digest to bed. Physician David Gill had a 52-48 lead over prosecutor Matt Goetten with 89% reporting, but ballot issues in Macoupin County meant that no precincts had been counted there as of midnight Eastern time. Macoupin is likely to favor Goetten, but whether it will be enough is an open question.
• FL-Sen: Too bad: Republican dirty trickster Roger Stone won't run for Senate after all (not that I ever imagined he would). Stone agrees that his absence from the race is unfortunate, saying: "Pity. Would have been spirited campaign. I would have run anti-war, pro-marijuana, pro-small gov't., anti-tax, pro-personal freedom campaign."
• MA-Sen: This is why I told you all to vote for Massachusetts in PPP's "where should we poll?" poll last week: Their brand-new survey has Elizabeth Warren leading Scott Brown by 46-41. These numbers come after four polls in a row showed Scott Brown leading, though one was from a GOP pollster, one from Scott Rasmussen, and two from college pollsters who don't go into the field all that often. Still, this should assuage some of the recent hand-wringing over the race, though Brown's talents and money (both his own and from third-party organizations) will ensure this contest remains a dogfight. You can click the link for our full analysis at Daily Kos Elections.
• ME-Sen: You know you're doing something wrong when both Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman agree with each other—and not you. The Senate's two current independents both say what everyone else has said: There's no way Angus King can avoid caucusing with a political party if he's elected to succeed Olympia Snowe. Says Sanders: "I am on five important committees and that is important to me. I honestly don't know how it is possible (not to caucus with a party). I just don't know how you do it otherwise." No kidding.
King keeps sounding like someone who refuses to understand basic Senate procedure, though, saying once again that he wants "to caucus with either side on an issue-by-issue basis." It's like he thinks "caucus with" means "vote with," when in fact it means, "get committee assignments from." There does, however, finally seem to be glimmer of recognition from King that he'll have to give up his delusions: for the first time, he's said that a refusal to caucus "may not be possible." There's no "may" about it.
• MO-Sen, MO-Gov: State Auditor Tom Schweich says he'll finish out his term and won't run for any other office, which dashes GOP hopes of finding a savior Senate candidate. Schweich had also considered the governor's race, but that's now out, too.
• MO-Sen: Free-spending businessman John Brunner is back on the airwaves with a new ad (reportedly backed by a $100 buy) touting his alleged job creation abilities—sort of a remarkable thing, given that his family's company, Vi-Jon, laid off workers the very same month Brunner entered the Senate race. The spot also features a really cheesy effect at about 15 seconds in—you can watch it at the link.
• ND-Sen: This is pretty funny, and a great catch by the eagle eyes at North Decoder: In GOP Rep. Rick Berg's newest ad, one of his purported "man-on-the-street" supporters actually turns out to be the husband of a staffer, Berg's constituent services director. Berg really didn't need any more self-inflicted wounds on the paid media front: He's previously been busted for using cheesy stock photos of senior citizens to stand in for constituents in his mailers, and for virtually copying a television ad from a former Virginia legislator.
• NV-Sen: Rasmussen: Dean Heller (R-inc): 47, Shelley Berkeley (D): 40.
• NY-Sen: As expected, the New York Conservative Party has given its backing to activist Wendy Long, which means that Democrats should root for anyone but her to win the GOP primary. If George Maragos or Bob Turner is the Republican nominee but Long remains on the Conservative line, then the right-wing vote will be split, making Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's life that much easier. (However, since Long is an attorney, the Cons may be able to pry her off the line if need be by getting her nominated for a judgeship.)
In related no-surprise news, Gillibrand also once again picked up the backing of the Working Families Party.
• VA-Sen: Pretty much every time a poll comes out of the Virginia Senate race, it's tempting to merely point out the obvious and say, "Yet another survey showing a neck-and-neck race!" But actually, if you look at all the polling, Democrat Tim Kaine has been on top more often than not. Sure, the leads have been narrow, but wouldn't you rather be the guy who consistently is up by a few rather than down by a few? And if you click that second link, you'll also see that Roanoke College appears to have some quality control issues (+13 R, followed by +3 R, then +8 R). If you dial them out, then George Allen has only ever led three times. And Tuesday's new Quinnipiac numbers are in the same vein: Kaine is up 47-44, and just as importantly, Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 50-42, his widest margin to date.
While we're on the race, I'd really like to know how Allen thinks he can get away with this: The Republican ex-senator is simply refusing to take a position on Virginia's super-controversial new law which requires women seeking an abortion to first undergo an abdominal ultrasound. As GOP ex-Rep. Tom Davis says: "By refusing to say where you are, you almost get saddled with it anyway." You also look like a toolbag who's afraid to confront serious issues.
• RI-Gov: Longtime former state Auditor General Ernest Almonte says he's "seriously considering" a gubernatorial bid in 2014. The Providence Journal says that he would "most likely run as a Democrat."
• NM-01: Albuquerque city councilor Dan Lewis unexpectedly dropped out of the GOP primary on Tuesday, just a couple of days after saying he'd stay in the race. Lewis hadn't raised a ton ($220K), but that was almost three times as much former Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones's haul so far ($80K)—and now she becomes the probable frontrunner for the Republican nod, though notably, Lewis declined to endorse her. Retired Army Sgt. Gary Smith is also still in the contest, and while Arnold-Jones undoubtedly has greater name rec, Smith has actually outraised her, too. Indeed, Arnold-Jones doesn't exactly cut a formidable profile (she took just 3% in the 2010 gubernatorial primary), so Lewis's departure is definitely good news for Democrats.
• NY-09: Shortest hypothetical campaign ever? One moment, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was rumored to be interested in taking on Rep. Yvette Clarke in the Democratic primary in the redrawn 9th; the very next, he said he had "strongly considered" the race but won't pull the trigger. This would likely have been a pretty wild contest, given that this district is majority-black and Markowitz is white—especially if you recall the kind of attacks hurled at David Yassky in the 2006 primary when this seat was open. But like Yassky (who nearly won), Markowitz might have benefited from a split field, since attorney Sylvia Kinard (who, like Clarke, is black) is also running. Now, though, we'll see if Kinard has the chops to take down Clarke in a one-on-one contest.
• NY-17: It sounds like hedge fund manager Joe Carvin is moving quickly: A day after he was rumored to be interested in a run against Dem Rep. Nita Lowey, a local GOP official says Carvin is "definitely in," and the Republican who had already been running, Mark Rosen, is dropping out.
• NY-18, NY-19: A couple of stories from the Hudson Valley, where local Democratic parties are busy making endorsements. In NY-18, the Orange County Dems gave their backing to physician Rich Becker, who took two-thirds of the weighted vote over a crowded field. Wappingers Falls Mayor Matt Alexander got 19% and Tuxedo Park Mayor Tom Wilson 15%. Newcomer Sean Maloney won no votes. (About 52% of population of the redrawn 18th lives in Orange, by far the largest county in the district.)
And one county up the river in NY-19, Ulster Democrats endorsed attorney Julian Schreibman over Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner by 4-to-1. (A quarter of the new 19th is comprised of Ulster, again, the biggest county in the district.) Tyner says he plans to forge on to the primary, though he's been running since last August and has yet to file a single fundraising report.
• NY-22: Great news: Longtime Maurice Hinchey aide Dan Lamb will still run in the 22nd District... which means he'll go up against GOP freshman Richard Hanna! Lamb had explored a bid in the Hinchey's old 22nd, but his boss's seat got dismantled in redistricting. I would have expected Lamb to land in the 23rd, since his hometown of Freeville got moved into that district. But as Lamb notes in his announcement press release, he runs Hinchey's Binghamton district office, which is located in the 22nd. In any event, this move gives Democrats legitimate challengers to every single Republican in the state except for Peter King in the new 2nd—but even he might draw stiff opposition if Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice gets in.
• PA-12: At this point, these "union endorses Mark Critz" stories have gotten very repetitive, and it would be much bigger news if a labor group endorsed his Democratic primary rival, Jason Altmire. But this one is a bit different: The Beaver-Lawrence Central Labor Council just gave their backing to Critz, even though they're located in Altmire's part of the district. This sort of thing is probably Critz's best hope for blunting Altmire's 2-to-1 geographic advantage.
• PA-18: I guess Rep. Tim Murphy's just playing it safe: Even though he has an absurd fundraising edge and a huge lead in his own polling over former congressional staffer Evan Feinberg, he's going on the air with an ad railing against Obamacare (which you can watch at the link). It sounds like a small buy, though: It's only airing on Fox News. The primary is on April 24.
• WA-06: Yet another Democrat is deferring to the now-undisputed frontrunner: Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland won't run for Rep. Norm Dicks' open seat and will instead endorse state Sen. Derek Kilmer. One of the last remaining Dem names we're waiting to hear from is state Sen. Tim Sheldon. If he bows out, then Kilmer should have a clear shot at the nomination, and given the weak GOP field, he'll also be the heavy favorite in November.
• UT-03: Democratic Salt Lake City Council Chair Søren Simonsen is clearly unafraid of the daunting demographics presented by Utah's 3rd Congressional District: He says he'll run against GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz this fall. He gets props for courage, and also for the slashed o in his first name.
• AZ-St. Sen: He's ba-ack: Former state Sen. Russell Pearce, who was rather notoriously recalled last year, will make a comeback bid this year—but in a different district. So that means he won't face Jerry Lewis, the guy who turfed him, but he may wind up running against another fellow Republican, state Sen. Rich Crandall (who happens to be a political opponent of Pearce's).
• NV-St. Sen: The Las Vegas Sun's Anjeanette Damon has a good roundup of this year's key legislative races in Nevada, where Democrats have just a one-vote majority in the Senate and where control of the chamber is very much up-for-grabs.
• SC Redistricting: The plaintiffs who unsuccessfully challenged South Carolina's new congressional map say they will appeal to the Supreme Court. The SCOTUS is obligated to rule on the case, but they don't have to conduct oral arguments or even issue a written opinion. If the Supremos are feeling even lazier than usual, they can just issue what's known as a "summary affirmance," which gives a thumbs-up to the lower court's ruling without any explanation.