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The midterms: Lights go out in GA

Stu Rothenberg throws cold water on Rasmussen, the hype around people being offered jobs in the White House so they don't run and the Tea Party candidate in Nevada. On the White House supposedly having offered Joe Sestak a job not to run against Arlen Specter: "What's the big deal? This kind of thing happens all of the time. There is nothing immoral or unethical about it. It's politics. The White House embraced Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) when he switched parties, and now they are trying to clear the primary field for him. As news goes, it's interesting but hardly shocking or outrageous. But it was treated as a big deal."

GEORGIA: "U.S. Rep. John Linder, the conservative Republican who has represented much of Gwinnett and surrounding counties for nearly two decades, abruptly announced on Saturday he will not seek re-election in November, immediately setting off a scramble for his congressional seat," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, adding that among the rumored replacements is Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz.

MLB.com, though reported: "Atlanta-Journal Constitution political insider Jim Galloway reported on Saturday that Republicans are thinking about approaching Smoltz to run for the congressional seat that will be vacated when U.S. Rep. John Linder retires at the end of his current term. 'This is not in my plans,' Smoltz replied via a text message on Sunday morning.'" Smoltz apparently assisted with the campaigns of Rep. Tom Price and Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

And Rep. Nathan Deal is reportedly resigning today to focus on his run for governor. That would trigger a special election for his GA-9 seat. 
Linder and Deal were both first elected in 1992 and haven't won with less than 64% since 1996. Bush and McCain won both of their districts handily.

INDIANA: "Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.) announced Saturday that he will not seek the seat of retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D), clearing the way for Rep. Brad Ellsworth to be the Democratic standard-bearer in November," Roll Call writes. Hill was overseas when Evan Bayh decided not to run for re-election. Despite expressing interest when he came back, Ellsworth already threw his hat in the ring. Hill gave his support to Ellsworth.

MASSACHUSETTS: "Joseph P. Kennedy III said yesterday that he will not run for Congress this year, ending feverish speculation that the young Cape Cod prosecutor would seek the 10th District seat if Representative William Delahunt retires," the Boston Globe says.

MICHIGAN: "An EPIC-MRA poll in Michigan shows Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) leading the Republican gubernatorial race with 27%, followed by 21% for Mike Cox (R) and Rick Snyder at 12%," Taegan Goddard reports.

NEW YORK: Enter Andrew Cuomo: "Now that Gov. David Paterson has abandoned his campaign all those assumptions about Mr. Cuomo -- not to mention his record -- will be scrutinized and challenged, if and when he does what everyone expects he will in a matter of weeks: quickly wrap up his investigation of Mr. Paterson and officially enter the race," the New York Times reports. 
However, the New York Daily News' Benjamin writes, "Albany's dysfunction will keep Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's campaign for governor on ice for the foreseeable future. A source close to Cuomo confirmed the AG will not announce his candidacy as long as his investigations into both Gov. Paterson and Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. (D-Bronx) are open. It could take more than a month for the two cases to be resolved." 
"A day after Paterson declared an end to his campaign, [Republican Rick] Lazio, while in Niagara Falls, wasted no time in getting the race with Cuomo started, calling on him to stop hiding and start providing New York with his views and ideas," The Buffalo News reports. "'I think the time is now for people to ask the tough questions,' Lazio said."

PENNSYLVANIA: A new Franklin and Marshall poll shows Sen. Arlen Specter leading challenger Joe Sestak 33% to 16%, while in a general election matchup, Specter is 10 points behind Republican Pat Toomey, 34% to 44%, while Sestak trails Toomey 20% to 38%.

TEXAS: "After more than a year of bare-knuckle combat between Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison before Tuesday's Republican gubernatorial primary, the bitterness of their fight has some experts wondering whether it could undercut Republican efforts to reunite against the Democratic nominee in the fall," the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. 
And channeling First Read, the Washington Post's Cillizza looks at the possibility that Bill White (D) could give Perry (R) a run for his money in November.