Internet connection issues should be sorted out by tomorrow; in the meantime:South Dakota: On the topic of Senate nicknames, Tim Johnson should be dubbed Senator Badass for his remarkable recovery.
Nebraska: Chuck Hagel non-announcement fall-out: GOP would-be successors drool, while Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey offers the most sensible response; The Daily Show mocks Hagel's non-announcement; and, WaPo's Cillizza highlights Hagel's earlier term limits comments and offers the most succinct summary of a Hagel-free Nebraska Senate race:
Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, who served as Nebraska governor from 1998 until 2005, would be the party's first choice. Rep. Lee Terry, state Attorney General Jon Bruning, former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub and 2006 Senate nominee Pete Ricketts have also voiced varying levels of interest in running but all would likely step aside if Johanns runs.I guess we'll have to sit and wait for Hagel's next (non-)announcement.
The picture is far clearer for Democrats. Omaha Mike Fahey is regarded by many within the party as the only candidate capable of making this race competitive. Fahey said last month that he would consider running for the seat if it came open and has huddled with Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) to discuss a bid.
Minnesota: A month ago, a SUSA poll came out that showed commentator Al Franken down 20 points on Republican Norm Coleman. I wasn't concerned. Lots of time between now and Election Day, I said. I also said I would have preferred a ten-point deficit at this point. Well, a Rasmussen Reports poll just came out showing, what?, a 10-point deficit. Coleman up 46-36 means: A) a significantly smaller deficit; and B) Coleman is under 50, dangerous for any incumbent. The over-arching point is: there's lots of time left and polls will go up and down. But, clearly, Coleman is tremendously vulnerable. If it's not Franken, it'll be Mike Ciresi or another solid Dem - but Coleman is in bad shape.
North Carolina: WaPo's Cillizza asks "How vulnerable is Sen. Dole?" Cillizza notes a GOP poll that has Dole at 63-25 approval-disapproval and a Dem poll that has Dole at 49-46 excellent/good-fair/poor. Which is more accurate? I'd go with the Dems. Because I'm partisan? Nope - because I have more than an ounce of common sense (more than the pollsters offering the 63-25 numbers, anyway). Survey USA has Dole at 52-40 and Dole only garners 45% against Rep. Bob Etheridge and that Dole loses 44-41 in a poll against Governor Mike Easley. In short, anyone who truly believes that more than 60% of North Carolina voters approve of Liddy Dole's job performance should be rapidly treated for their major case of the crazies.
New Mexico: CQ Politics takes a look at the political implications of the Domenici scandal and seems to suggest that, if Domenici does not run for re-election, a Rep.-Rep. face-off between Tom Udall (D) and Steve Pearce (R) could result. I would be thrilled with that match-up. Let's see Pearce defend to the voters of New Mexico his votes against raising the minimum wage, implementing the 9/11 Commission's recommendations, or taking steps to lower prescription drug costs.
New Hampshire: MyDD's Singer tears Sprintin' John Sununu up for demonstrating through his votes that he feels "corporate interests should trump homeland security." Juxtapose that with the headline "Mayor's Senate run gains steam" highlighting Mayor Steve Marchand's campaign.