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The midterms: Bentley over Byrne?

ALABAMA: Ahead of Tuesday's runoff election, Taegan Goddard notes that a "Baselice and Associates poll in Alabama shows Robert Bentley (R) with a substantial lead over Bradley Byrne (R) in the runoff for the Republican nomination for Alabama governor, 53% to 33%."

CALIFORNIA: “Republican candidate Meg Whitman is sign-posting her desire for Latino voters in the California gubernatorial race -- literally, with billboards and bus stop advertisements,” CNN writes. “One ad reads, ‘NO a la Proposición 187 y No a la ley de Arizona,’ and translates to ‘No to proposition 187 and No to the Arizona law.’ The other reads ‘Más Trabajos’ or ‘More Jobs.’”

CONNECTICUT: “The front-runner in the latest public Democratic gubernatorial primary poll, Ned Lamont, is refusing to participate in a live televised debate two weeks before the Aug. 10 primary, prompting withering criticism from his Democratic rival, Dan Malloy,” the Connecticut Monitor reported Wednesday.

FLORIDA: USA Today profiles some candidates with financial backgrounds being hit on their Wall Street ties, including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink: “As bankers take heat for the worst recession in decades, dozens of political candidates with financial experience are being challenged to explain their role in the banking sector's collapse.” Sink “has had to address her past as a Bank of America executive… the Republican Governors Association ran an ad portraying Sink as "one of them" for her banking work. She was president of Bank of America's Florida operations from 1993 to 2000.” (Of course, the GOP has its share of Wall St. types. Ohio GOP gubernatorial candidate John Kasich has had to defend his ties to Lehman Brothers.)


Republican gubernatorial front-runner Rick Scott is suing the state to prevent his primary opponent, Bill McCollum, from taking advantage of the “millionaire’s amendment,” a provision that “lets traditional candidates such as McCollum get tax dollars to subsidize their campaigns when they are being vastly outspent by independently wealthy candidates like Scott,” the St. Petersburg Times reported.

LeBron bringing Floridians together... “Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), who is running for Sen. George LeMieux’s (R) Senate seat, declared basketball an area of common ground with potential Republican opponent Marco Rubio Thursday morning,” The Hill reports, as Meek said, via Twitter, “Shocking! We agree RT @marcorubio: @kingjames(aka Lebron)come to Florida!”

KENTUCKY: "Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul said Thursday that harsh criticism of BP by President Barack Obama's administration could contribute to the oil giant's demise and harm its ability to pay for cleanup of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill," the AP reports. "The comments came in response to blistering criticism by Democratic opponent Jack Conway at their first appearance together. Conway blasted Paul for saying in late May that Obama's stance toward BP was un-American and anti-business. Those and other comments by Paul led to a backlash at the time that caused the Republican to retreat from the national scene for a couple of weeks."

“Rand Paul is taking his tea party-backed campaign to New York City for a fundraiser hosted by former GOP presidential candidate and multimillionaire Steve Forbes,” scheduled for Monday, the AP writes.

MISSOURI: The New York Times writes that at a Kansas City, MO, fundraiser for Senate candidate Robin Carnahan, “the president invoked what is turning out to be one of his favorite election-season analogies, likening Republicans to teenagers’ learning to drive a car. ‘Now, if your teenager drives into a ditch -- your car -- bangs it up. Got to pay a lot of money to get it out. What do you do?’ Mr. Obama asked at the fund-raiser, drawing chortles from the crowd. ‘You take the keys away. These folks drove the economy into a ditch, and they want the keys back. And you’ve got to say the same thing to them that you say to your teenager: You can’t take the keys back, because you don’t know how to drive yet.’”

NEVADA: Sharron Angle is going up tomorrow with a new ad that will run statewide.

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s weeklong campaign swing was intended to show he can deliver not only economy-stimulating government projects to Nevada, but also the Democratic Party’s rock star campaigner, President Barack Obama,” the Las Vegas Sun writes. “But as Reid seeks to parlay Obama’s political might into a victory in November, he might be tapping a dwindling source of political capital,” given Obama’s approval ratings dip.

NEW YORK: “Republican Congressional hopeful Chris Cox has no interest in bailing out of the race to unseat incumbent Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in NY-1, despite the very public urging of Suffolk Conservative Chairman Edward Walsh,” the New York Daily News reports. In a letter, “Walsh wrote that despite Cox's having run a ‘spirited campaign,’ he could not ‘see a path to victory’ for him, and that [Conservative Party favorite Randy] Altschuler was the field's best hope of ousting [Democratic Rep. Tim] Bishop.”

TENNESSEE: "A new WSMV Poll in Tennessee shows Bill Haslam (R) leading for the Republican gubernatorial nomination with 32%, followed by Zach Wamp (R) at 21% and Ronald Ramsey (R) at 11%," Goddard notes.