by Todd Beeton, Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 06:22:19 AM EST
We've been a bit focused on the presidential election lately (ya think?), so I wanted to get us up to speed on some developments happening on the senate and house fronts.
- VA-Sen: Mark Warner is still killing Jim Gilmore in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll (500 LVs, Feb. 19, MOE +/- 4.5%) out of Virginia. This is a remarkably stable race (January results in parentheses.)
Warner 57 (53)
- MN-Sen: Al Franken has taken a slight lead in the potential senate showdown against incumbent Norm Coleman in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll (500 LVs, Feb. 16, MOE +/- 4.5%) out of Minnesota (Nov. results in parentheses.)
Franken 49 (42)
Coleman 46 (49)
Franken's primary opponent, Mike Ciresi, loses to Coleman by 2 points in the same poll, indicating that Franken has the leg up in the primary.
- TX-Sen: Rick Noriega, our people-powered challenger to Bush hack John Cornyn has released his first ad of the cycle.
- KY-Sen/NE-Sen: Lt. Col. Andrew Horne is out of the Kentucky senate race just as Scott Kleeb appears poised to jump into the Nebraska race.
- IL-14: The special election to take over Dennis Hastert's old seat will be held on March 8th. Scientist and businessman Bill Foster won a tight primary to become the Democratic nominee and Barack Obama has already cut an ad for him. Guess what Foster's campaign slogan is: "Democrat For Change."
- CA-12 Speaking of special elections, the primary to determine who will be the Democratic nominee in CA-12 to replace the late Tom Lantos in the House is on April 8. Former State Senator Jackie Speier had already announced her intention to run for Lantos's seat once Lantos announced he would not be seeking another term last month; Lantos even endorsed her. But now famed Stanford Law professor and reform advocate Larry Lessig has formed an exploratory committee to consider running against Speier (he must decide for sure by Monday.) At his website, Lessig has posted a long but compelling video about the sort of change he wants to make to Congress.
- CA-26: Recently we got the great news that Russ Warner, who's challenging David Dreier in this Southern California district, will no longer have a primary challenger. As David Dayen says in his excellent California House round-up at calitics:
PVI #: R+4. % Dem. turnout: 50.6. I get bullish on this race more and more. First of all, Hoyt Hilsman dropped out of the race, clearing the field for Russ Warner. Warner, who has raised over $400,000 in his campaign, can now commit that entirely to the general election. David Dreier has completely lost sight of this district and he's facing his first real challenger basically since he was elected in 1980. Now, it's not smooth sailing; Dreier has $2 million dollars in the bank. But look at that Democratic turnout on February 5. That excitement gap will continue at the top of the ticket, and Russ Warner needs to ride the wave.
Plenty more where that came from, no doubt, share some more congressional challenger developments in the comments...