As the 2012 elections loom, both parties are starting to pour resources into congressional and gubernatorial races across the country. While Republicans work to regain control of the Senate, Democrats are vying to pick up seats in the GOP-controlled House. Below, a rundown of election news happening beyond the presidential field.
Virginia Race Still A Nail-Biter
The Virginia Senate race between two popular former governors, Tim Kaine (D) and George Allen (R), is still a dead heat, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows. Allen has a minuscule edge, with 44 percent vs. Kaine's 42 percent. The poll's margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Democrats Miffed At DCCC
Ohio Democrats are not at all happy with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for neglecting to intervene in the state's redistricting fight. The new GOP-drawn congressional maps give Republicans a major leg up in the 2012 election. State Democrats asked for help from the DCCC to challenge the map, but the committee declined.
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said he was "deeply disappointed" with the group. Democratic state Rep. Marcy Kaptur said she was "completely shocked" that the committee "let Ohio down."
"Why the DCCC just allowed such an unrepresentative map to come forward makes me question who are they listening to," Kaptur told The Hill.
Arizona Nearly Out Of The Redistricting Woods
A nasty redistricting fight in Arizona is nearing its end. The state's redistricting commission passed a "tentative final map" yesterday, which will now need approval from the Justice Department.
The first draft of the map allowed for some potential Democratic wins, which angered Republicans, who control most of the state legislature. Gov. Jan Brewer and other Republicans responded by trying to remove registered independent Colleen Mathis from the redistricting commission, but the state Supreme Court overruled the move.
In 2006, when Mitt Romney was exiting as governor of Massachusetts, then-state Sen. Scott Brown told the Boston Globe it would be "refreshing" to no longer have a Republican governor, because he could vote how he wanted to and wouldn't have to "carry the governor's water." The progressive blog Blue Mass Group pulled up the old quote this week.
On a related note, Massachusetts Democrats have accused Brown, who faces a difficult re-election bid against progressive favorite Elizabeth Warren, of running a "Romney-style reinvention campaign."
The RNC raised more money than the DNC in November, $7.1 million vs. $6.7 million.
Fifty percent of New York state voters approve of the job Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) is doing, according to a new Qunnipiac University poll. This is down from 54 percent in June. Gillibrand, a freshman senator, is running for re-election in 2012.
EMILY's List doesn't miss an opportunity to slam Rep. Allen West (R-Fl.) on Twitter:
@emilyslist: House Republicans too busy not passing things to reprimand Allen West for comparing Dems to Nazis. huff.to/s13Xdf
Ted Cruz, former Texas Solicitor General, officially filed for the GOP primary for U.S. Senate today. "The next senator from Texas should be someone who will fight to defend our free-market economy, preserve the Constitution, and defeat the Obama Agenda -- not compromise and just go along to get along," Cruz said.