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2012 Elections: Bob Kerrey Mulls Senate Run To Replace Ben Nelson In Nebraska

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Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (left) is considering making a bid for the U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson (right))
Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (left) is considering making a bid for the U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson (right))

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.

Will Bob Kerrey Put Nebraska On The Map For Democrats?

Democrats' best hope of keeping the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska said this weekend he's mulling over the possibility of a run.

The party immediately floated Bob Kerrey's name after Nelson announced last month he would not seek re-election. Kerrey, a former governor and U.S. senator from Nebraska, told a local TV station he's talking it over with some friends and will make a quick decision. The race is expected to be a steep uphill battle for Democrats.

Kerrey, who left the Senate to become president of the New School University in New York, hasn't lived in Nebraska for a decade, but says he has family and friends in that state and has continued to pay property taxes there. Kerrey said he's not worried about being accused of being a "carpetbagger."

Three other potential Democratic candidates have said they'll wait for Kerrey's decision before jumping into the race.

Polls Shows A Tie In Florida Senate Race

Florida's incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and Republican challenger Rep. Connie Mack are neck-and-neck in the polls, with Mack showing a very wide lead over the other GOP primary candidates. Mack and Nelson were are virtually tied, 41 percent to 40 percent, according to the latest Quinnipac poll.

RNC To Court Latinos

The RNC announced today it will be making a major Hispanic outreach effort, led by Bettina Inclan, former head of the party's National Hispanic Assembly:


Jon Ralston
RNC to announce "expanded national Latino outreach" this AM. Focus on CO, FL, NM and NV. They love them, they really love them!

Mike Huckabee Makes Surprising Endorsement

Mike Huckabee's latest endorsement of Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is running for U.S. Senate, may come as a surprise, considering the former Arkansas governor's spats with former Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry.

Huckabee has criticized Perry multiple times throughout the campaign season, but that didn't stop him from throwing his support behind Perry's number two.

"Not only is he a fiscal conservative, but he shares our social values as well and will continue to fight for our shared values in Washington," said Huckabee in a statement.

Good News For Virginia Senate Candidate

Former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), who was recently trailing just slightly behind his rival, former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) in the hotly contested Senate race, raised an impressive $1 million in campaign funds in the fourth quarter of 2011. Kaine has not yet released his fundraising numbers.

Oregon's Special Election Gets Heated, Rob Cornilles Invokes David Wu

Democrats have poured millions of dollars into Oregon's upcoming special election to make sure the 1st District seat stays blue, but Republican candidate Rob Cornilles isn't giving up the fight.

Cornilles came out swinging in Monday's debate between the two candidates, going as far as to connect Democratic rival Suzanne Bonamici to former Rep. David Wu (D), who resigned in July amid a sex scandal. Cornilles said Bonamici considered Wu a friend, helped campaign for him, and is now backed by the same establishment that protected him, the Oregonian reports.

Attacks Ads Raise Eyebrows In Montana

Attack ads going after Sen. Jon Tester (D) are raising eyebrows in Montana. The ads, funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's PAC, were denounced by the local Chamber after members became worried their dues were going toward the ads, TPM reports. Watch the latest ad below:

Extras

Tim Manchin, the cousin of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), responded to rumors that he would run for Congress. Manchin said he thought about it, but decided not to enter the race. Democrats have until the end of the month to find a strong candidate to challenge Republican Rep. David McKinley.

Looks like Maryland incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett will in fact run for re-election. Bartlett hasn't made an official announcement, but Maryland Republican Party Chairman Alex Mooney, who was considering a run in the event Bartlett retired, said he will not run for the seat.

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2012 Elections

Elections 2012 : Pictures, Videos, Breaking News

 
  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
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