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The midterms: The 2010 money chase

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza lists a few winners and losers in the end-of-the year fundraising reporting period. Included on the winners list is Senate appointee Michael Bennet, "a virtual unknown to the people of Colorado and a target of Republicans" whose "stellar fundraising ensures that he will be able to introduce -- and reintroduce -- himself in the coming months." Among the losers are Arkansas Republicans, who, despite incumbent Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln's vulnerability, haven't raised anything close to Lincoln's $5 million war chest.  

"Sens. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) together have more than $7.5 million in leftover campaign funds but nowhere to spend it, now that they're not seeking re-election in November," CQ Politics reports. "Campaign finance law doesn't limit how much money senators can transfer to national party committees, and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman Robert Menendez (N.J.), who has a tough job these days, surely would love to have a chunk of those funds." 

CALIFORNIA: The Los Angeles Times profiles Senate candidate Carly Fiorina as she addresses a room of San Diego Republicans, citing her conservative views on abortion and same-sex marriage: "The fact that Fiorina felt compelled to detail her views on abortion and same-sex marriage underscores one of her greatest challenges as she seeks the Republican nomination: The party's most faithful voters are not convinced she is one of them. Part of the reason is that, unlike her primary opponents, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore of Irvine and former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell, Fiorina is an unknown political quantity. She has never sought election to public office before now, so she doesn't have a paper trail of legislation, statements and votes." 

INDIANA: Rep. Steve Buyer (R) of the state's strongly Republican 4th district announced he would not seek re-election this fall, CQ Politics reports. 

NEVADA: "Results of a straw poll conducted during Carson City's countywide Republican Central Committee precinct meeting Saturday showed Gov. Jim Gibbons coming out ahead of former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon and former federal judge Brian Sandoval. In the U.S. Senate race, the poll gave Nevada Sen. Mark Amodei the edge over eight other Republican candidates who want a shot at unseating U.S. Sen. Harry Reid in the November general election." 

NEW YORK: "Gov. Paterson has a paltry $620,000 in available cash to spend on a primary -- about 20 times less than his likely Democratic opponent, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo," The New York Daily News writes. "An analysis of the $3 million in campaign cash Paterson has on hand reveals he has far less for a primary battle than originally thought. The $620,000 is not even enough to buy a week's worth of TV airtime in the state." 

PENNSYLVANIA: Noting that "party-switching Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa) no longer has the upper hand when it comes to holding his seat for another term," CQ Politics changes the race for Specter's Senate seat from Leans Democratic to Tossup.