Spin-meister: “Sen. Charles Schumer says the political landscape has shifted dramatically from the 2010 election and predicts that Senate Democrats will hold their majority and might even expand it next year,” The Hill reports. He said, ““I think we’re very, very likely to keep the Senate and I think there’s a darn good chance we stay the same or pick up seats.”
NEBRASKA: “Majority PAC boosted vulnerable Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) with an ad buy in his home state this week,” Roll Call writes.
NORTH DAKOTA: Stu Rothenberg on why the North Dakota Senate race isn’t a toss-up: “With two polls showing Berg as unpopular, why not rate the race as a tossup? The simple answer is that race ratings aren’t merely a reflection of the latest polls. They are based on current information and projections of what the race and the political environment will look like as Election Day nears. The problem for Democrats in North Dakota is that Heitkamp might well be at her strongest before the North Dakota Senate race really engages, so the two early Democratic surveys may be measuring her appeal at its apex, not over the long term.”
TEXAS: “Texas officials have filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the implementation of the state’s new Congressional map,” Roll Call reports. “Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) asked the country’s highest court for a stay to stop the interim map that will likely deliver three House seats to Democrats in 2012.”
VIRGINIA: Controversial state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will run for governor.
WISCONSIN: “The toughest opponent Tommy Thompson may have to overcome in next year’s U.S. Senate race is Tommy Thompson himself,” the AP writes. “The former Wisconsin governor and U.S. Cabinet secretary was set to formally launch his Senate bid with a rally Thursday, 13 years since he last appeared on a ballot. Early in the campaign, Thompson has found himself under criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike over his shifting position on President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. And conservatives in his party say his record as governor and as President George W. Bush’s first health and human services secretary was far too moderate… But Thompson has some things the two more conservative GOP candidates in the race don’t: More than 40 years in public life, unparalleled name recognition, and a vast reservoir of good will.”