• MA-Sen: Nice to see this. Elizabeth Warren is wasting no time in responding to attack ads from Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS and is going up on the air herself. In the minute-long bio spot, Warren speaks directly to the camera and first highlights her humble upbringing, then talks about her fight to curb Wall Street excesses. No word on the size of the buy, though a Warren campaign email says they've already raised $300K "to fight back" against the Crossroads ads.Incidentally, Warren hosted a volunteer rally in Boston on Sunday—an event which drew over 1,000 people. You can check out a few pics here.
• KY-Sen, KY-Gov: Outgoing Democratic Auditor Crit Luallen, who couldn't seek re-election this year due to term limits, says she nevertheless plans to run for office again. She says she's "looking at all her options," which include a run against Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014 or a run for governor the year after, when the seat will be open. Luallen, who seems to be a favorite of many local commenters, had been discussed as a possible candidate for the state's last two Senate races (in 2008 and 2010), but evidently she preferred to stay on as auditor. Now, of course, she's got nothing to hold her back.
• ME-Sen: Dem state Rep. Jon Hinck, who has been looking at the race at least since July, has gone ahead and officially launched a bid to unseat Sen. Olympia Snowe. He joins former SoS Matt Dunlap in the Democratic primary. A recent PPP poll showed Snowe with huge leads, though both Hinck and Dunlap have little name recognition, so a primary might do them good.
• MN-Sen: This strikes me as a positive development for Dem Sen. Amy Klobuchar: Minnesota's Independence Party, which often runs candidates in major elections, says they have no plans to compete in next year's Senate race. Typically, the IP tends to draw more votes from the left than the right, though Democrats won narrow pluralities in the last two statewide races, which both featured non-trivial IP candidacies (Mark Dayton for governor last year and Al Franken for senator in 2008.)
• MT-Sen: Dem Sen. Jon Tester has succeeded in getting at least one local TV station to yank a new attack ad from Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS. The ad says Tester "voted against preventing Obama's EPA from being able to regulate Montana farmers' dust," but according to the AP: "The ad bases its claim on a procedural vote to stop amendments on an unrelated bill, which Republicans later wanted to amend with a ban on farm dust regulations."
• NJ-Sen: Former Highlands Mayor Anna Little is now saying (via a spokesman) that she's "leaning" toward a run against Dem Sen. Bob Menendez. In February, Little reiterated her election night desire to seek a rematch against Dem Rep. Frank Pallone (who beat her by 12% last year), but just a few weeks later, she started talking up the possibility of a Senate bid. New Jersey Republicans have yet to find an actual candidate, and as Max Pizarro at Politicker points out, the GOP hasn't won a Senate race in the Garden State since 1972.
• TX-Sen: I am pretty unimpressed with the production values of GOP Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's first ad. Am I wrong? The shots of him talking to the camera (about how we need to "choke down government") look remarkably low-budget. Anyhow, The Hotline says it's a "six-figure" buy running on cable and DirecTV. See for yourself:Gubernatorial:
• WA-Gov: Washington's monthly fundraising numbers are out, and they're not too different from what we've seen in the past: Republican AG Rob McKenna pulled in $600K while Dem Rep. Jay Inslee took in $400K, though Inslee still has the cash-on-hand edge, $1.7 mil to $1.5. But that gap will soon grow, because as PubliCola notes, McKenna (as a state official) is forbidden from raising money while the legislature is in session—for four long months starting Nov. 28. Inslee faces no such restrictions, though I suspect the RGA will help McKenna make up the difference.
• WI-Gov: Wisconsin Democrats will officially kick off their drive to recall GOP Gov. Scott Walker today. They need to file over 540,000 signatures by Jan. 17, 2012 to trigger a recall election. Relatedly, DGA chair (and Maryland Gov.) Martin O'Malley says that his organization will jump into the fray "with both feet" if organizers succeed in putting Walker on the ballot.
• CA-03: Another Republican has joined the field of hopefuls seeking to unseat Dem Rep. John Garamendi: Sutter County deputy district attorney Tony Carlos. Colusa County Supervisor Kim Dolbow Vann still looks like the frontrunner for the GOP nod, though.
• CO-04, CO-06: Even though Colorado's new court-drawn map gives state Senate President Brandon Shaffer the shaft, he insists he's still running against GOP freshman Cory Gardner. It's a bold plan, to say the least, seeing as the district went from 49% Obama to 42% Obama, a huge drop. (And recall that it was just 41% Kerry under the old lines. Can't imagine how awful it is now.) Ironically, Republicans have howled all year that Democrats were trying to custom-draw a district for Shaffer. Clearly, not so much.
Meanwhile, over in the 6th, the hitherto non-existent Democratic primary could be heating up, as a consequence of the seat becoming a lot bluer. State Rep. Joe Miklosi has long been the only Dem candidate looking to take on GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, and he certainly lucked out in redistricting. But he may not luck out in terms of actually securing the nomination, seeing as former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff is reportedly looking at the race now. Romanoff, you'll recall, lost a 2010 primary to Sen. Michael Bennet, and his message never seemed to add up to anything beyond "it's my turn." So Miklosi might be able to make a more compelling case if Romanoff gets in and is once again seen as an opportunist. One potential candidate isn't joining the Democratic field, though: State Sen. Morgan Carroll says she won't run.
And speaking of the new map, Colorado Pols flags a line in Cameron Joseph's piece in The Hill in which he says some unnamed (and unquoted) Republicans "are nervous the court could alter the map to make it even worse for them" if they appeal the Denver district court's ruling. I could believe it, and it explains why the state GOP is saying they haven't decided what their next step is, and won't until later this week.
• CT-04: Steve Obsitnik, CEO of a consulting company, Navy vet, and Republican town committeeman, says he will seek the GOP nomination to challenge Dem Rep. Jim Himes. He joins another Republican businessman and Navy veteran, David Orner, in the race. (Orner got in in early October.)
• MD-06: John Delaney, the chair of a commercial lending firm, is the latest Democrat to consider running against GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in the redrawn (and bluer) 6th Congressional District.
• NV-01: Anjeanette Damon of the Las Vegas Sun reports that while Sen. Harry Reid is publicly neutral in the nascent Democratic primary battle between ex-Rep. Dina Titus and state Sen. Ruben Kihuen, behind the scenes, the latter is "clearly Reid’s favored candidate." Damon says that Reid's allies are subtly making his preferences known, but if that's too sub rosa for you, there's also the fact that three key advisors who worked for Reid's Senate campaign last year are helping Kihuen this cycle. Damon explains that Reid has a personal affinity for Kihuen, and also thinks that he'll be able to boost Hispanic turnout next year thanks to his background. That could provide crucial help for Rep. Shelley Berkley, who is running for Senate, and for President Obama.
• TN-09: A second primary challenger is getting ready to enter the race against Dem Rep. Steve Cohen: Memphis City Court Clerk Thomas Long, who was just re-elected to his post last week. This is good news for Cohen, since Long is likely to split votes with Memphis City Schools Board member Tomeka Hart (both are African-American). Hart's raised very little money so far, though, and doesn't plan to formally enter the race until later this year—while Long is saving his official announcement for February. Given how handily Cohen's dispatched primary opponents in each of the last two cycles, these late-blooming candidacies don't seem to be a huge threat.
• TX-35: This is an odd move on two levels. Former San Marcos (pop. 50K) Mayor Susan Narvaiz says she is running in Texas' new 35th District… except at the moment, there is no 35th District, since a San Antonio court is busy trying to come up with an interim map since the legislature's version was deemed illegal. That makes this a particularly extreme case of Schrödinger's Seat, but even if the existing lines were used, it still wouldn't make a lot of sense, since there's little hope of the 35th (as originally drawn) ever electing a Republican. So perhaps Narvaiz is thinking something else entirely will emerge once the new-new map is put in place.
• WI Recall: In connection with their effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker (see WI-Gov item above), Wisconsin Democrats have also announced plans to target three Republican state Senators: Pam Galloway (SD-29), Terry Moulton (SD-23), and Van Wanggaard (SD-21). This trio was just elected in 2010, so they weren't eligible to be recalled this year, but now they can be targeted. For reference, you can check out our complete chart of Wisconsin presidential results by Senate district. Wanggaard and Moulton both sit in seats that are bluer than all of those where we attempted recalls this summer save for ex-Sen. Dan Kapanke's 32nd.
• CA Redistricting: Sunday was the deadline for Republicans to file some 504,000 signatures to put California's new state Senate map on the ballot for a referendum next year. If the petitions are found to be valid, the map will be suspended and courts will have to step in to provide an interim plan for the 2012 elections.
• OH Redistricting: I don't want to get too excited, but this is tentatively good news. Republicans don't sound optimistic about their chances of passing a revised congressional map with a referendum-proof two-thirds majority, with the new plan's author saying they either need to move a new bill through this week or fall back on the original legislation. In the latter scenario, Democrats would then be able to place the map on the ballot for a vote next year.
• SC Redistricting: A group of black voters has just filed a suit challenging South Carolina's new congressional map, arguing that it illegally packs African Americans into Dem Rep. Jim Clyburn's 6th CD, the only majority-minority district in the state. Interestingly, the plaintiffs are being represented by Democratic Party chair Dick Harpootlian, but the party itself is not involved with this lawsuit.