Most Texans Want to Stay

Though Gov. Rick Perry (R) insists Texans are talking about secession in response to federal tax policy, a new Rasmussen Reports poll finds that 75% of Lone Star State voters would opt to remain in the United States. Only 18% would vote to secede, and 7% are not sure what they’d choose.

Cuba Wants Discussions with United States

The Cuban government is prepared to meet with the Obama administration, CNNreports.

Said Cuban president Raúl Castro: “We’ve told the North American government, in private and in public, that we are prepared, wherever they want, to discuss everything — human rights, freedom of the press, political prisoners — everything, everything, everything that they want to discuss.”

NBC News reports a White House official says they want “a closer look before commenting, but the official suggests Castro’s comments could be significant.”

Murphy Gains Again in NY-20

Scott Murphy (D) jumped even further ahead of Jim Tedisco (R) in the latest tallyand now leads by 264 votes.

Politico: “There are still over 1,200 absentee ballots that haven’t been counted because both campaigns have objected to their legality. But it appears that Tedisco has objected to the majority of those ballots, making it very unlikely that he will be able to overcome a triple-digit deficit when they are added to the count.”

Politicker NY says the remaining absentee ballots will be reviewed on Monday.

Dodd Gets Key Ally

In an interview with the Boston Globe, President Obama made clear he’ll be backing Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) in his increasingly tough re-election fight next year.

Said Obama: “I can’t say it any clearer: I will be helping Chris Dodd because he deserves the help. Chris is going through a rough patch. He just has an extraordinary record of accomplishment, and I think the people in Connecticut will come to recognize that… He always has his constituencies at heart, and he’s somebody I’m going to be relying on and working very closely with to shepherd through the types of regulatory reforms we need.”

Meanwhile, Dodd appeared on the Imus in the Morning radio show today which has always played well in Connecticut politics.

Quote of the Day

“I don’t miss it one bit. I really don’t. I wish them well. I’m satisfied with what they’re doing. I don’t have to be part of it to feel satisfied. I really don’t. This is hard convincing people because they know me, but I’ve found the ultimate job in being governor. I really have.”

— New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), quoted by the Washington Post, saying he has no regrets that a job in the Obama administration didn’t work out.

Coleman Begins Media Blitz

With polls showing Minnesota voters want the race over, the Minneapolis Tribunereports Norm Coleman “is using a media blitz to convince Minnesotans weary of the recount process and frustrated that they are still a senator short that he has good reason to appeal Democrat Al Franken’s victory in the U.S. Senate election trial.”

Said Coleman: “I’m hopeful. I think the law is on our side… “In spite of what some say, that somehow this is an effort to delay something — no. There are very legitimate, important constitutional questions regarding whether or not people’s vote should count.”

Republicans See NY-20 Settled by Judges

For those who hoped to see a winner in NY-20, don’t expect one very soon. Politicoobtained an email from the NRCC which insists, “The election will most likely be decided in the courts.”

Nonetheless, “even the most pro-Tedisco rulings by the court will still make it difficult for Tedisco to overcome the narrow deficit he’s currently facing. If the remaining ballots don’t dramatically break Tedisco’s way, it will be interesting to see how he proceeds. Will he challenge the validity of the count and continue to press his case in the courts, or begin preparing for a rematch against Murphy next year?”

The vote count as this morning shows Scott Murphy (D) leading Jim Tedisco (R) by 178 votes.

Dean Mends Fences with Emanuel

Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean told The Hill that he recently had lunch with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, “signaling a thaw in their once icy relationship.”

The two men “clashed publicly in the 2005-’06 cycle over the best use of resources. At one point, Emanuel stormed out of a meeting with Dean while swearing.”

As for being passed over for a job in the Obama administration, Dean said: “That’s the way politics is. It’s a contact sport. I don’t think you’re automatically owed a job.”

House Members Report Funding Drop

House lawmakers reported a decline in political fund raising in the first three months of the midterm-election cycle — down about 5% from 2007 — “driven largely by a drop in donations to Republicans,” the Wall Street Journal reports. 

“Contributions to Democrats for the first three months rose slightly relative to 2007; there are about 20 more House Democrats than two years ago.”

“House Republicans raised less money in the first three months than in each of the first quarters of the previous three election cycles, according to the data. Republicans raised $17.8 million in the first quarter of this year, down 14% from the same period in 2007 and 31% from the 2005 quarter. There are about 50 fewer Republicans in the House this year than in 2005.”

The Washington Times: “The year’s first batch of campaign fundraising reports show early betting is on Senate Democrats for the 2010 election season. Even the party’s supposedly vulnerable incumbents raked in cash at a rapid clip in the first-quarter reports, the ultimate early political tip sheet that reveals who’s hot and who’s coming up short.”

Only Five Connecticut Residents Gave to Dodd

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) “appears to have looked everywhere but his home state to fuel what pundits anticipate will be one of the most hotly contested races in the nation in 2010,” the Connecticut Post reports.

“The five-term incumbent reported raising just $4,250 from five Connecticut residents during the first three months of the year while raking in $604,745 from nearly 400 individuals living outside the state.”

The meager state fundraising effort also seems antithetical to a campaign strategy to rebuild confidence among Connecticut voters that he is on their side.”

Burris Raises $845

Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) reported raising just $845 during the first quarter of the year and had $111,032 in debts from defending himself in ongoing ethics and perjury probes, the Chicago Tribune reports

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