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Down the ballot: GOPers are worried

The AP: "House Republicans lost three recent elections when customary campaign themes failed to sway voters and their candidates could not overcome the 'negative perception of the national party,' according to an internal review that underscores the potential for widespread losses this fall. GOP candidates on the ballot in November must show "deep empathy towards the voters" and rely on local rather than national issues, according to the report, ordered by party leaders after the loss of formerly safe seats in Illinois, Louisiana and Mississippi that stunned the rank and file."

VIDEO: Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., is running a re-election ad touting his work with Barack Obama. A Hardball panel discusses whether the GOP brand is so damaged that elected officials have to boast working with their party's opponent to win.

In what could have far-reaching implications practically on Senate and House races this year, the Supreme Court struck down the millionaire's amendment, a part of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation, which allowed candidates who were running against self-funders to raise money at higher increments than the current standard of $2,300 an individual. Obama, in his '04 IL SEN race, was one of the first candidates to take major advantage of this amendment in his Dem primary. He faced a self-funder in Blair Hull, and that enabled Obama to raise money in $12,000 increments at one point during his campaign.