The AP is the latest to write about the Republican National Committee's "firewall strategy" of investing in the Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee Senate races to maintain the party's majority in that chamber. GOP officials "said the decision has caused friction with officials at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which historically has been the only party entity to run commercials on behalf of its candidates. The move also raises questions about the priority assigned by the RNC to races in other states where Republicans are in jeopardy - Pennsylvania, Montana and Rhode Island among them."
Six African-American Senate and gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot, "more than at any time in U.S. history; even more unusual is that three of the candidates are Republicans," Bloomberg notes, though only two, both Democrats, seem to have a realistic shot at winning.
In CALIFORNIA, the Sacramento Bee covers unions and public employees yesterday blasting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) for calling his 2005 special election initiatives "good ideas" during Saturday's debate. "Schwarzenegger campaign spokeswoman Julie Soderlund said that the remarks during the debate and afterward did not take away from his often-repeated comments that the special election, overall, was a mistake."
In CONNECTICUT, Rev. Al Sharpton accused Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I) of "flagrant race baiting" yesterday, after Lieberman called Sharpton's decision to endorse Democrat Ned Lamont "a remarkable moment" in speaking to Jewish supporters last week in New York.
A new Quinnipiac Poll shows FLORIDA gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist (R) with a 10-point lead over Democratic opponent Jim Davis, with very few voters undecided. Also, the daughter of a slain civil rights activists has agreed to appear in an ad for Crist. Evangeline Moore, whose parents were murdered in 1951, finally agreed because it was Crist, as state attorney general, who reopened her parents' murder case, whose trail had run cold for almost 55 years.
Reporters from the Des Moines Register have been going door-to-door polling residents on who they'll vote for in IOWA's gubernatorial contest -- Chet Culver (D) or Jim Nussle (R). They have found that a number of people, especially independents, are largely undecided: "...some undecided voters have soured on the race because of the candidates' finger-pointing in campaign ads and don't feel passionately about either contender."
Bush's low approval rating in NEW HAMPSHIRE -- 36% -- could hurt Republican House candidates' chances there, reports the AP.
In the VIRGINIA Senate race, incumbent George Allen (R) and opponent Jim Webb (D) took part in their final debate last night. Allen focused on "taxes, same-sex marriage and a dislike of liberals. Webb, running as a Democrat, stressed the Iraq war and economic fairness as he appealed for support from independents and Republicans," says the Washington Post, which recaps how this race unexpectedly became a dead heat.
Bloomberg reports that Allen's not completely disclosed stock options reports by the AP "were worth as much as $1.1 million at one point, according to a review of Senate disclosure forms and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The records appear to contradict remarks he made to the Associated Press" that his options "'were worthless.'"