More Bad News for Paterson

A new Marist Poll shows continued bad news for New York Gov. David Paterson (D).

“The governor’s approval rating is an abysmal 21%, and with the New York State Senate in disarray, nearly half of the state’s electorate says they disapprove of the way in which the governor is handling the situation while 43% approve. To make matters even worse, more than six in ten registered voters disapprove of the way Paterson is dealing with the state’s economic crisis.”

Hodes Leads Sununu in New Hampshire

A new American Research Group poll in New Hampshire finds Paul Hodes (D) leading former Sen. John Sununu (R), in a possible U.S. Senate match up, 40% to 34%.

Byrd Released from Hospital

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) has been released from the hospital after a six-and-a-half-week stay, Roll Call reports.

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Court Rules for Franken

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in favor of Al Franken in the disputed U.S. Senate race, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Rick Hasen: “The bottom line is that the Court says that Franken is entitled to an election certificate, but there is no direct order to the state’s governor to sign one. We’ll see what the governor does, if Coleman does not concede, as he well may at this point. If not, the opinion is not final until the period for rehearing ends… That’s a ten day period, enough time to file an emergency stay application in the U.S. Supreme Court. It would go to Justice Alito, now circuit justice for the Eighth Circuit.”

The key takeaway, of course, is that if Franken is seated, Senate Democrats will likely have a big enough majority to overcome any Republican filibuster attempt.

Conyers Denies Switching Position for Wife’s Bribe

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) “denied allegations of impropriety in the wake of his wife’s admission that she accepted bribes in exchange for vote on a key contract while she was on the Detroit City Council,” the Detroit News reports.

Monica Conyers “pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges last week. She was also implicated in another potential bribery case involving a controversial deep injection well… John Conyers later appeared to change his position on the same well.” 

Mrs. Conyers is expected to face up to five years in federal prison.

Christie Maintains Lead Over Corzine

A new Public Policy Polling survey in New Jersey finds that Chris Christie (R) leads Gov. Jon Corzine (R), 51% to 41%.

Key findings: “Christie is being buoyed by a 60-26 advantage with independent voters and a remarkable degree of party unity, as he leads 93-3 with Republicans. By comparison, Corzine has just a 75-16 edge with Democrats.”

“There’s not much doubt Christie’s lead is being fueled largely by Corzine’s unpopularity. 56% of voters in the state have a negative opinion of the incumbent, while just 36% view him favorably. For Christie the breakdown is 43% positive and 33% unfavorable.”

Patrick Vulnerable in Massachusetts

A new Rasmussen Reports survey in Massachusetts shows Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has some work to do if he wants to win reelection next year.

Patrick garners just 41% of the vote in two trial heats.  

Christy Mihos (R) edges Patrick, 41% to 40%, while Patrick tops Charlie Baker (R), 41% to 36%.

Quote of the Day

“He had a chance to affect history. You, too, have a chance to affect history.”

— President Obama, quoted by the Washington Post, showing House Democrats a portrait of Abraham Lincoln before their vote on the climate change bill.

Grayson Could Outraise Bunning

Sources close to Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) tell Roll Call “he is on track to report raising close to $500,000 in the second quarter of the year.”

Grayson has said he does not plan to challenge Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) and will only run if the incumbent decides to step aside. Nonetheless, Grayson’s “second-quarter haul is significant because it will be widely compared to that of Bunning, who is regarded as the most vulnerable Senator heading into 2010 in part because of his poor fundraising performance.” 

Bunning reported raising just $263,000 in the first quarter.

McCain Staffers Trash Palin

A blockbuster Vanity Fair piece by Todd Purdum quotes many senior members of John McCain’s presidential campaign team trashing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).

“They can’t quite believe that for two frantic months last fall, caught in a Bermuda Triangle of a campaign, they worked their tails off to try to elect as vice president of the United States someone who, by mid-October, they believed for certain was nowhere near ready for the job, and might never be.”

Said one aide: “I think, as I’ve evaluated it, I think some of my worst fears… the after-election events have confirmed that her more negative aspects may have been there… I saw her as a raw talent. Raw, but a talent. I hoped she could become better.”

It’s today’s must read article.

Giuliani Still Considering Run for Governor

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) said that he is considering running for governor of New York in 2010, Politico reports. But he was very coy about it.

Said Giuliani: “I don’t know if I am or if I’m not.”

A more definitive sign he’s considering it: The former mayor speaks to John Avlon“on how he might how he’d tame the nation’s most dysfunctional legislature.” Avlon is a former Giuliani speechwriter.

Lamont Weighs Bid for Governor

Ned Lamont (D), who beat Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) in a Democratic Senate primary but lost the general election to him in 2006, is considering running for governor, reports the New London Day.

“Lamont probably won’t reach a decision until early in 2010, the election year. But Lamont, 55, the owner of a telecommunications company, has a distinct advantage over the other Democratic candidates — he could finance the campaign with his ample personal funds, just as he did in the Senate race. He doesn’t need a lot of start-up time.”

Brown Leads Newsom in California Primary

A new J Moore Methods survey in California finds Jerry Brown (D) leading Gavin Newsom (D) in a Democratic gubernatorial primary, 46% to 26%.

Key finding: “Not only does Brown — who has yet to announce his candidacy — hold a 20-point lead more than a year before the primary, but among voters age 60 and older, the AG’s lead is 54% to 20%.” 

Said pollster Moore: “The average age in the June 2010 Democratic primary electorate will likely be over 60.”

Reid Staffs Up for Nevada Governor Bid

It’s not exactly a surprise, but the Las Vegas Review Journal has strong evidence that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) will be joined by his son on the 2010 Democratic ticket.

Rory Reid (D) is weighing a run for governor and has “had a campaign manager on the payroll since early May, which is pretty early for a gubernatorial election in November 2010.”

Obama Approval Stays High

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds that President Obama’s approval rating among Americans remains steady at 61%.

Said pollster Keating Holland: “Since March, Obama’s approval rating has gone down one percentage point each month in CNN polls. In March it was 64 percent; in April it was 63 percent. Last month his approval rating stood at 62 percent and now it is at 61 percent.”

The Republican Barney Frank?

In an editorial, the Wall Street Journal calls Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) a “Republican Barney Frank” — presumably for his more moderate economic policies.

Hoeven Still Considering Senate Bid

North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven (R) told the AP that he will be decide on whether to run for the U.S. Senate by September.

He’s widely believed to be the only serious challenger to Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND).

Bauer Claims He Won’t Run if Sanford Quits

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R) told CNN he “would be open to a scenario in which he would assume the governorship but not run for the state’s top office in 2010 if Governor Mark Sanford decides to resign in the coming weeks.”

“Bauer said that arrangement would help tamp down some of the political jockeyingamong other Republicans who are likely to run for governor next year as they decide how to respond to revelations about Sanford’s extramarital affair.”

Said Bauer: “We are at an impasse now because it’s all about 2010 and the next governor’s race, and I don’t see anyone being an adult.”

However, Politico notes the idea is “being scoffed at by intra-party rivals.”

“The consensus among Bauer’s GOP foes is that he made the move to shore up his statesman credentials and could still find a way, in the fashion politicians often do, to still run for governor next year. Also, that Bauer floated the idea knowing that Sanford isn’t likely to actually resign.”

Poll Shows Opening for Rubio in Primary

A new Mason-Dixon poll in Florida shows Charlie Crist (R) leading Marco Rubio (R) in the Republican U.S. Senate primary 51% to 23%. However, just 52% of likely primary voters had heard of Rubio, while Crist was almost universally recognized.

Key takeaway: Among Republican voters who recognize both candidates, Crist barely edges Rubio, 33% to 31%.

Meanwhile, in a general election match up Crist leads Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) 48% to 26%, with 26% undecided.

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