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More midterms: Solid South for GOP?

“As Republicans eye a potential three-seat pickup in Tennessee this fall and the possibility of taking over two House seats and a Senate seat in Arkansas, party strategists are cautiously optimistic that 2010 will be the year that two holdout Southern states are finally brought into the GOP’s fold for good,” Roll Call writes.

“The National Republican Congressional Committee outraised its Democratic counterpart for the fourth month in a row in July, pulling in $8.5 million to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s $6.2 million, according to fundraising reports filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission,” Roll Call writes. “The NRCC's monthly total included a $1 million transfer from Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who is aiming to become the next Speaker if Republicans pick up at least 39 seats in November.”

The Karl Rove-Ed Gillespie 527 group “American Crossroads continues to collect seven-figure sums from business interests and individuals that the organization plows into advertising on behalf of GOP candidates such as Senate hopeful Rob Portman in Ohio,” Roll Call notes. “In its July filing with the IRS, American Crossroads reported receiving $1 million from the Jerry Perenchio Living Trust and $1 million from the Dixie Rice Agricultural Corp. Perenchio is the former chairman and CEO of Univision and a one-time Hollywood talent agent and producer.”

“House Democrats are planning a coordinated effort to highlight the party's small-business agenda this week, hoping to build momentum for stalled jobs legislation while hammering Republicans for obstructionism,” The Hill writes. “As part of the push, Democratic incumbents and candidates are scheduling business-themed campaign events throughout the country.”

The DCCC tells First Read, “Democrats are holding House meetings across the country to prepare for Saturday's National Day of Action, where we've set a goal of knocking on 200,000 doors across the country. This is the earliest we've ever started getting out the vote.” Here’s the group’s kick-off video. Several vulnerable Democrats are named or make appearances.

CALIFORNIA: “Carly Fiorina, the Republican challenging Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in November, told the GOP faithful this weekend that, if voters send her to Washington, she plans to fight for congressional term limits — 12 years maximum for both senators and House members,” The Hill reports.

FLORIDA: The New York Times Jeff Zeleny suggests that Marco Rubio might be tacking to the center. “Now, facing intense competition for the moderate Republicans and independents who could be the keys to victory in one of the nation’s most evenly divided states, Mr. Rubio is trying to show that he is more than just an insurgent protest candidate — and he is breaking with some Tea Party orthodoxy in the process.”


ILLINOIS: Trouble in IL-11 for Democrats? Rep. Debbie Halvorson fired her campaign manager. “Julie Merz, a staffer for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.), has been tapped to replace Worl as Halvorson’s top campaign aide. She will start next week,” Roll Call writes. “Merz has had stints with Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah) and Dennis Moore (Kan.), who are both members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and represent politically tough districts for Democrats.” A poll for Republican Adam Kinzinger, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, showed Kinzinger up 51%-40%.

NORTH DAKOTA: “Veteran Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy went on the offensive Friday with a television ad criticizing his opponent’s long tenure in state politics and for not agreeing to a debate,” Roll Call writes. “The ad features several people trying to recall how long GOP state Rep. Rick Berg has been in the North Dakota legislature.”

PENNSYLVANIA: Democrats are going to be trailing GOP Senate hopeful Pat Toomey on his 23-stop tour this week. They will be carrying “Wall Street: Mr. Toomey’s Neighborhood” signs (with a large Wall Street sign attached) “to remind PA voters where Toomey’s loyalties lie,” a Democratic operative told First Read.

SOUTH DAKOTA: The Washington Post parachutes into Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) vs. Kristi Noem (R) congressional race.