The Sunday New York Times said that "nearly a dozen well-established House Democrats … are bracing for something they rarely face: serious competition," including Reps. David Obey (WI), Earl Pomeroy (ND), John Spratt (SC), and Ike Skelton (MO). "Democratic Congressional officials -- well aware that a president's party typically loses seats in midterm elections -- have long been preparing for a tough year. But that [Rep. David] Obey here in Wisconsin and other veteran lawmakers like Representative Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota suddenly find themselves in a fight reflects an increasingly sour mood toward the Democratic Party and incumbents."
The Washington Post: "President Obama will declare his stake in the November midterm elections for the first time on Monday as his Democratic Party announces an ambitious strategy to appeal to independent voters in its quest to maintain control of Congress. Obama plans to issue a call-to-action video message to his supporters on Monday, the first in a series of personal efforts designed to rekindle the grass-roots magic that propelled him to the presidency in service to his party's congressional and gubernatorial candidates, Democratic officials said."
ARIZONA: On the state's new immigration law… Sen. John McCain, "who endorsed the tough new Arizona law earlier this week, defended it as necessary because of the federal government's inability to secure the border. 'If the president doesn't like what the Arizona Legislature and governor may be doing, then I call on the president to immediately call for the dispatch of 3,000 National Guard troops to our border and mandate that 3,000 additional Border Patrol [officers] be sent to our border as well,' McCain said at a news conference Friday," The Hill reports.
ARKANSAS: "U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter said they wanted to tone down an increasingly bitter fight for the Democratic Senate nomination in Arkansas as they faced off in their first debate Friday night… But the simultaneous pleas to stop the negative tone of the race didn't stop Halter and Lincoln from criticizing each other over financial regulation, health care and unions," Arkansas Business writes.
ILLINOIS: Broadway Bank, owned by the family of Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, "was among seven Illinois banks whose failure was announced on Friday," Reuters reports. "In comments late Friday, Giannoulias called the bank's closing 'an incredibly sad and heartbreaking day for me and my family,' adding when he left the bank in 2006 to become state treasurer 'it was one of the best-performing in Illinois.'"
KENTUCKY: "During a sold-out debate sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, [Republican Senate candidate Rand] Paul called [opponent Trey] Grayson a liar for telling voters he's pro-choice, and Grayson called Paul a hypocrite for campaigning against federal earmarks while taking money from people tied to companies that have received them."
NEW YORK: "Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer portrayed Andrew M. Cuomo as a man whose decisions have often been driven by political considerations and whose worldview has largely been shaped by the culture of Albany," the New York Times reports after an interview with Spitzer. "His skepticism came through about whether the attorney general, if elected governor, will take unpopular positions and confront entrenched interests."
"Outraged Democrats rebuked Eliot Spitzer yesterday, accusing the disgraced former governor of settling scores with a bitter attack on Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the party's all-but-certain gubernatorial nominee. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said Spitzer's blunt assessment of Cuomo as a politically driven Albany insider appeared 'to be an attempt at payback' for Cuomo's role in the ex-governor's spectacular downfall."
UTAH: The AP profiles vulnerable Sen. Bob Bennett (R). "Republican Sen. Bob Bennett -- darling of the National Rifle Association and grandson of a Mormon Church president -- suddenly may not be conservative enough for ultraconservative Utah." And circle this date: May 8th. That's the state party convention, and Bennett needs "to win at least 40 percent of the 3,500 delegates at the state GOP's convention May 8." More: "His struggle to win a fourth six-year term underscores two forces driving the GOP's fortunes in 2010 as the party out of power seeks more seats in Congress: Incumbency isn't a problem just for Democrats, and ideological purity is an issue of increasing importance for many Republican voters."