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The midterms: An energized Lincoln?

ARKANSAS: The Washington Post contends that Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's announcement that he was challenging Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic primary energized, rather than derailed, her re-election bid. "Suddenly, Lincoln was relevant again. And, polling suggests that despite Halter's eye-popping fundraising and a slew of national labor groups spending money to bash her, Lincoln is holding steady in advance of the May 18 primary," the Post writes. 
 
FLORIDA: Calling Gov. Charlie Crist's travails "yet another reminder of the intraparty dangers awaiting candidates viewed as not conservative enough," the Washington Post takes a look back at how Crist went from being, in 2008, "a popular governor whose Republican admirers are talking [him] up for the veep spot on [his] party's national ticket" to now "deciding whether to leave the GOP and run as an independent." 
 
IDAHO: Republican Vaughn Ward, who is running for a chance to face Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick, borrowed a Dodge pickup truck from a supporter for his first campaign ad, the Spokesman-Review reports. "Ward's campaign said the GOP candidate owns and drives a Ford truck, but it was white and the color didn't work on camera, so the commercial used the supporter's grey Dodge."

KENTUCKY: Roll Call says the Republican Senate primary can be summed up by the candidates' shoes. For Trey Grayson, polished black wingtips; For Rand Paul, "well-used brown lace-ups that more closely resembled bowling shoes." And: "The few times they stood next to each other, Paul's size 8s were dwarfed by Grayson's size 13s. The shoe sizes only amplified the two men's other physical differences -- the secretary of state has a towering frame and sharp haircut while the much shorter eye surgeon from Bowling Green sports a mop of wavy hair that never seems to be completely in place. But while Grayson certainly looks the part of a Senate candidate more than the third child of Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R) does, he's suddenly found himself in the fight of his young political career. With one month to go before the May 18 primary, public polling on the contest seems to indicate Grayson is having trouble closing a 15-point gap against Paul."

MASSACHUSETTS: "Republicans gave an overwhelming endorsement to gubernatorial candidate Charles D. Baker at their state convention yesterday, giving him a massive margin [89% to 11%] that forces GOP rival Christy Mihos out of the race and frees him from what could have been a bitterly divisive primary battle," the Boston Globe reports. 
 
NEW MEXICO: Stu Rothenberg looks at the GOP's potential revival in New Mexico. 
 
NEW YORK: The New York Post's Dicker says Andrew Cuomo might jump in the race for governor next Wednesday, the night of a Manhattan fundraiser. "An announcement that day would also come just two days before the start of the nominating convention of the Democratic Rural Conference, a group with which Cuomo has strong personal and political ties," he writes. 
 
NORTH CAROLINA: "Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham has launched a TV ad that accuses Republican Sen. Richard Burr of voting for unfavorable trade deals that have cost North Carolina jobs," the Raleigh News-Observer reports. "'Richard Burr has voted 18 times to send jobs to China, Vietnam, Honduras and Singapore,' says the TV ad, which the Cunningham campaign says is running in several TV markets." 
 
PENNSYLVANIA: "Democrat Mark Critz, running to succeed the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), is branding himself as an opponent of health care legislation in his latest ad -- a sign that the legislation is a tough sell even in working-class blue-collar Democratic confines," Politico writes. 
 
WASHINGTON: NRSC Chairman Jon Cornyn said of Dino Rossi: "I've been urging him to make a decision sooner rather than later because there's a practical problem with not having enough time to do what you need to do before the election."