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The midterms: Big Bucks, Big Bucks, no Whammies

Roll Call's Miller previews the races in the three states that vote today (KS, MI, and MO), and leads with the Kansas Senate primary.

One of us previewed the races on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: "Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown is continuing his low-budget ways four months before the election, with his campaign spending just $377,333 this year, a just-filed campaign finance statement shows. He had about $23.2 million in cash on hand," while Republican opponent Meg Whitman " is expected to near or surpass a record-shattering $110 million in spending, including $91 million of her own money," the Fresno Bee writes.

GEORGIA: "In politics, it is a fine thing to be able to tell a voter that you prefer his company to that of the president of the United States," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote of former Gov. Roy Barnes' campaign events with farmers and sheriffs yesterday while President Obama spoke at a fundraiser in Atlanta. "Though he and his staff portrayed the conflict as a mere clash of calendars, the disparity in location allowed Barnes to trumpet his independence to rural swing voters who will be crucial in November."


By the way, Barnes' campaign headquarters in Marietta were only about a half hour's drive from Atlanta's Hyatt Regency hotel, the site of both presidential events yesterday. Barnes had a 10:15 a.m. campaign event receiving sheriffs' endorsements in Forsyth -- an hour away from where the president was speaking at 11:30 a.m. Then an afternoon campaign stop with more sheriffs took Barnes even farther from Obama, to Thomasville, GA -- four hours away from Atlanta. A campaign manager emailed First Read that the former governor had a "busy campaign schedule" and that his "priority is to continue traveling across the state, talking to voters about jobs, education, and transportation - his plan to make Georgia work."

HAWAII: An internal poll for Republican Charles Djou has him up 50%-42% over Colleen Hanabusa in HI-1, a seat Democrats hope to pick up.

KANSAS: CQ takes a look back at the “nasty” primary race between Republican Senate candidates Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt. “If the two men used to be friends, there is no evidence that they like one another now... The bickering came to a head in June when former White House political strategist Karl Rove, who is supporting Tiahrt, claimed that Moran tried to get a campaign fundraiser with a former Cabinet member in exchange for his vote on trade promotion authority in 2001.”

KENTUCKY: Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul "said recently that Washington has no business formulating mine safety rules" when asked about April's deadly mine explosion in West Virginia at a campaign stop, The Hill writes. "The bottom line is: I'm not an expert, so don't give me the power in Washington to be making rules," Paul told Details magazine. "I want to be compassionate, and I'm sorry for what happened, but I wonder: Was it just an accident?"

MICHIGAN: “Seven candidates seeking to become Michigan's next governor were rushing around the state Sunday in pursuit of the large share of voters who remained undecided mere days before Tuesday's primary election,” the Lansing State Journal reports. “Republicans seeking to become governor are Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, Attorney General Mike Cox, state Sen. Tom George, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder. Democrats in the race are Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and House Speaker Andy Dillon.”

"I have no clue who will win the Republican nomination for governor," pollster Mark Grebner told the Grand Rapids Press. "’Each of the top three can claim a path to first place,’ he added. “Among a much smaller sample of respondents, considered likely Republican primary voters who may instead vote in the Democratic race, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero holds a 2-to-1 lead over House Speaker Andy Dillon. The largest percentage, 43 percent, is undecided. Grebner said that fits with patterns his polling found elsewhere in the state last week.’”

MISSOURI: “Members of two Missouri families with a century of combined time in public office were seeking the right Tuesday to finally square off against each another in one of the nation's more closely contested U.S. Senate races,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. “A November general election contest between [Rep. Roy] Blunt and [Secretary of State Robin] Carnahan would mark the first direct faceoff for the two political families that have become the Missouri version of the Kennedy political dynasty in Massachusetts. Members of the Blunt and Carnahan families have served at almost every level of government, from the local school board to the state Legislature to the governor's mansion and the U.S. House and Senate.”

Also on the ballot today in Missouri: Proposition C, “the first-in-the-nation referendum on President Obama's health care plan,” Time writes. “Courts will eventually decide whether Missouri and other states can legally trump federal law and exempt citizens from the mandate to buy insurance. But sending a signal to Washington will be victory enough for the Republicans and Tea Party activists pushing Proposition C.