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2010: Heating up in MA

Stu Rothenberg on how the political environment has turned against Democrats. "The gubernatorial results should remind us that context matters and that over the past six months, the political context has changed dramatically," he writes, adding: "Now it will be the GOP who can push the 'culture of corruption' argument that Democrats used so successfully in the recent past. Now Republicans will complain about high unemployment numbers, about causalities in Afghanistan and the administration's foreign policy and about the government's inability to get H1N1 flu shots to the American public. Moreover, as we are already seeing with health care reform, the internal contradictions of the Democratic Party are becoming apparent. For the past year, the national media have been focused on internal Republican divisions. But now, a fracturing in the Democratic ranks is likely to give plenty of fodder for journalists, columnists and talking heads. This is likely to further erode Democratic poll numbers."

MASSACHUSETTS: Passion or hot-headed? The Boston Globe on Michael Capuano: "In fact, numerous words were exchanged but they were all of the heated variety. And in the end, Brown filed an application for a criminal complaint -- dismissed a month later for a lack of evidence -- alleging that Capuano 'threatened to kill my dog and then me while holding an aluminum bat.'
Although Capuano denied threatening to kill Brown, he never denied threatening to kill her dog and, to this day, remains unapologetic. 'I would like you to find the father who would let a rottweiler rip his kid apart,' he said. 'Was I angry? Damn right I was.'"

Meanwhile, "Stephen Pagliuca, a Democratic candidate for Senate, is blitzing the television airwaves with ads declaring he will be immune to the powerful influence that special interests and their well-connected lobbyists wield over Congress because he won't take their donations. But Bain Capital Partners, where he has been a senior managing partner and made his huge fortune, has spent millions to hire high-powered Washington lobbyists to protect its special interests on Capitol Hill."

NEVADA: "Bracing for a tough election cycle in 2010, the White House sent Vice President Joe Biden to Las Vegas Sunday to boost the campaign coffers of Democratic Rep. Dina Titus," the Las Vegas Sun reports. "Biden's visit is the largest indication yet that Nevada's 3rd Congressional District is a top priority for the Obama administration and Democrats as they seek to maintain congressional majorities and stem losses in next year's midterm elections. The vice president told more than 150 people at a private fundraiser at the Atomic Testing Museum that he had campaigned in 54 House districts this year."

NEW YORK: Andrew Cuomo appears like he's gearing up for a gubernatorial run. "Quietly plotting his campaign for governor, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo and his advisers have been discussing potential candidates to run alongside him, to present the most appealing Democratic ticket to the electorate, people with knowledge of those discussions said."

TEXAS: "Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison abruptly changed course Friday, saying she will remain in the Senate through next year's Republican primary while running for governor against Rick Perry. The decision came amid alarm among top Hutchison supporters about the direction of the campaign, and it scuttles political plans for several of her fellow Texas Republicans. Hutchison, who said three months ago that she intended to quit by November, said the issues in Washington are too important for her to leave right now."