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The midterms: Tea Party targets Murkowski

"All aboard? The Tea Party Express' next stop is the Alaskan frontier," the New York Daily News writes. "That's because the grassroots conservative political movement is headed to Alaska, where Sarah Palin is backing Tea Partier Joe Miller against incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. But it's not just Alaska. The tea party's next wave is sweeping across the country in more than a dozen primaries as Tea Party candidates are determined to overtake the GOP in nominations over the next few months. In states including Oklahoma, Kansas, Tennessee, Colorado, Arizona, Washington state and Florida, candidates are playing on the public's frustration with Washington, the staggering economy and the desire for new faces."

Stu Rothenberg: "An unusual number of Democratic candidates running this cycle are basing their victory scenarios on the existence of Independent or third-party candidates in their races. Are their hopes reasonable or are they merely grasping at straws? ... [M]ore often than not, Independents and third-party candidates see their support evaporate as Election Day approaches, as voters realize that a vote for an also-ran is a wasted vote." He has his doubts when it comes to Harry Reid in Nevada and others.

ARKANSAS: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will campaign with Rep. John Boozman, the GOP's Senate nominee, challenging incumbent Democrat Blanche Lincoln. McConnell's doing a fundraiser and a media roundtable.

CALIFORNIA: “The combination of [billionaire gubernatorial candidate Meg] Whitman's wealth and a distinct lack of energy by [Attorney General Jerry] Brown is making California Democrats nervous about their candidate's prospects in the fall," the L.A. Times writes, adding, "Whitman is saturating the airwaves with ads touting her economic focus and attacking Brown, and trying to woo Latino voters on Spanish-language television and radio. Although independent analysts have found that many of her allegations against Brown are inaccurate, the former governor has no plans to counter her by advertising soon.”



KENTUCKY: "Republican Rand Paul's opponent in the U.S. Senate race isn't the only one who thinks Paul compromised his stance against business as usual in Washington, D.C., by taking campaign cash at a high-dollar fund-raiser there last month. It rankled some Republicans, too," the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

LOUISIANA: “Despite months of Democratic attacks on everything from his response to the Gulf oil spill to the criminal record of one of his Congressional staffers, Sen. David Vitter (R) continues to look strong in public polling and turn in million dollar fundraising quarters,” CQ writes.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: “An analysis from the watchdog website Factcheck.org concluded [Democratic Senate candidate Paul] Hodes was without basis to claim [Kelly] Ayotte had something to hide or engaged in a cover-up on the failure of state prosecutors to go after the Lakes Region Ponzi scheme,” the Nashua Telegraph writes.

WISCONSIN: The AP: "Add Russ Feingold to the list of Senate Democrats who find themselves in unexpectedly tough races, the latest evidence of the GOP's success in widening the playing field that President Barack Obama's party has to defend… Feingold, now in his third term, knows he has a fight on his hands. Never shy about showcasing his independent streak, he reiterated his splits with the White House and fellow Democrats on two key policies last week."