Some good news for Democrats? “The economy is slowly recovering but remains on its sickbed, and most signs still point to a rough cycle for the party… But digging deeper, beyond the national numbers, reveals at least a few glimmers of hope for Democrats — still fairly distant and faint, but bright enough to get campaign strategists scanning the horizon and weighing the odds,” the New York Times says. “That is because different parts of the country are recovering at different rates — and, in a bit of electoral good luck for the Democrats, some of the areas that are beginning to edge upward more quickly, like parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, happen to be in important battlegrounds for the House and the Senate.”
ARIZONA: "Arizona Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth (R) said it was a 'mistake' for him to appear in an infomercial for a company promising 'free money grants' to prospective customers. 'I should not have made the ad. It was a mistake,' the former congressman said in a statement Thursday," per The Hill. And: "I believed, as did former Congressman J.C.Watts, this to be a reputable firm, but I did not completely check out the organization," Hayworth said Thursday. "As a former broadcaster, I would often make ads for clients, but I regret my association with this firm." And when you've lost Glenn Beck... Beck declared on his radio show: "This guy's done."
FLORIDA: “Gov. Charlie Crist and would-be governor Bud Chiles are leading an unlikely cause: Candidates running without the infrastructure of the major parties -- or any party at all,” the Jacksonville Observer writes. “A recent poll by the Florida Chamber of Commerce Political Institute showed Crist to be in a strong position in his run and Chiles to be at least viable early in the campaign.”
"National Democratic fundraiser Nancy Jacobson organized a conference call last week to promote Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s Senate bid, providing further evidence of the governor’s effort to court support in Democratic circles for his Independent campaign," Roll Call reports. "The invitation to the Friday morning call was distributed in Democratic lobbying and donor circles."
IOWA: “Former Gov. Terry Branstad named first-term state Sen. Kim Reynolds as his running mate Thursday, opting for a candidate who he said shares his conservative views on social and financial issues,” the Chicago Tribune writes.
KANSAS: "Sarah Palin (R) on Thursday backed Rep. Todd Tiahrt over Rep. Jerry Moran in the Kansas GOP Senate primary, giving a high-profile boost to the Congressman who currently trails in public polling," Roll Call writes.
OHIO: “A spokesman for Republican John Kasich is apologizing for comments that seemed to mock governor's campaign rival Ted Strickland for growing up in poverty,” the AP reports. “Nichols on Tuesday accused Strickland of ignoring Ohio's cities because Strickland had ‘grown up in a chicken shack’ in the state's Appalachia region.