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The midterms: Labrador wins in ID

Going West… The Washington Post on Democrats' challenge of keeping "voters who helped the party turn Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico from Republican to Democratic in the presidential election just months after the party's national convention in Denver... [Voters are] worried about federal spending. They're anxious about a new health care law in a region where a doctor can be several hours' drive away. They're afraid that Democrats' climate-change proposals will kill jobs in oil and gas fields. Illegal immigration dominates the debate, and opponents of Arizona's new immigration law don't see a salient alternative coming from Democrats." 

ALABAMA: Griffith's test: "In one week, former Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith will face Alabama voters for the first time as a Republican," Roll Call writes. "The election comes exactly two weeks after Democratic primary voters rejected this cycle's higher-profile party-switcher, Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.)." 

CALIFORNIA: "The two leading candidates in California's GOP primary for U.S. Senate on Tuesday defended their past support for certain tax measures that proved unpopular with voters," the AP writes. "Fiorina got in the best zinger of the night when she complained about her opponents trying to distort her record…'I would say it's taxing my patience, but I don't want to give Tom Campbell another idea for a tax increase,' she said."

COLORADO: "Former Colorado state Sen. Tom Wiens (R) is ending his Senate campaign and endorsing county prosecutor Ken Buck (R) for the seat incumbent Michael Bennet (D) is defending," CQ reports.

KENTUCKY: Rand Paul got back on the campaign trail. Paul, an opthamologist, donned scrubs at a friendly event and on his first week as nominee for the Senate, he quoted Dickens: "It was the best of it times. It was the worst of times."

IDAHO: Raul Labrador upset establishment GOP pick Vaughn Ward in the primary in the first congressional district in Idaho, 48%-39%. Ward's nearly 20-point lead evaporated in a month after a series of missteps. Labrador had the backing of the Boise Tea Party, but Ward had the backing of the NRCC and Sarah Palin. Labrador goes into the general election now seriously underfunded against incumbent freshman Democrat Walt Minnick. This race is a toss up, but it is yet another seat that Republicans should win, but may be difficult to pull off and that could leave them short of control of the House. Pennies add up.

The AP: "Labrador won the race despite a significant fundraising disadvantage and a campaign endorsement for Ward by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Labrador's victory sets up a battle with first-term Democrat Walt Minnick in November." And the race wasn't even close: "With 435 of 462 precincts reporting, Labrador collected 48.1 percent of the vote compared to 38.8 percent for Ward."

TEXAS: "Texas Gov. Rick Perry's condemnation of the federal government and championing of states' rights is moving into print with the planned publication of a book he's writing in time for this year's midterm elections," the Dallas Morning News writes. In the book, Perry "will argue that federal bailouts, increased spending and an overhauled health care system are examples of how Washington, D.C., is expanding its reach," an announcement said yesterday.

WASHINGTON: AP looks at Dino Rossi's chances in the Senate race: "Dino Rossi is best known for losing one of the closest governor's races in U.S. history. Now Republicans hope he can ride a GOP tide and unseat Washington state's powerful senior senator, Democrat Patty Murray."