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After a week-long hiatus, its time for a new edition of the Pollitics Today Election News Dump!  This will focus on all of the election news that has dropped within the last week and some brief analysis on it.  Think of all the stories as mini-articles and something to keep in mind as we inch closer to the 2014 election cycle.

Senate ’14

Georgia:  Poll Shows Nunn Leading Some, Gingrey Leading Republicans

One of the most fascinating primaries in the country will take place in Georgia next year as the Republican field has a clown car of infamous Republicans fighting it out.  In a new poll by PPP though, it seems Rep. Phil Gingrey is the “frontrunner” in the race.  Gingrey polled at 25% and was followed by Rep. Paul Broun with 19%, Rep. Jack Kingston with 15%, Karen Handel at 13%, and businessman David Perdue at 5%.

Gingrey is a very conservative Republican who once said that Todd Akin was “kind of right” about his controversial comments on rape.  But, he’s probably not the ideal candidate for Democrats, a title which goes to Broun who is as incendiary as they come. Kingston would probably be the most formidable Republican in the race but with his smaller district and support; he’s going to have his work cut out for him.

Well Michelle Nunn might have her work cut out for her as she tries to turn a seat blue but as of now, she at least potentially contending.  In a poll released by PPP, the Points of Light Foundation CEO finds herself in decent shape as her campaign begins to officially roll out.

Nunn is tied with Gingrey at 41% and Perdue at 40%.  Against Karen Handel and Jack Kingston she leads by a 40%-38% margin, leads Paul Broun by a 41%-36% and edges out two minor candidates by five and six points.

While Nunn validates the fact that Broun would be the ideal candidate, its worth noting that she doesn’t rise above 42% which means that she has a good floor but maybe not a high ceiling.  While Georgia might be more welcoming to a Democrat than other states and its worth noting that undecideds overwhelmingly voted for Romney meaning they might be waiting to see the GOP nominee before deciding.  Still, the race is a near toss-up and Democrats really should hope Broun should be the nominee.

Arkansas:  Tom Cotton Is In, Pryor Looks Very Vulnerable

First-term Republican Rep. Tom Cotton has formally entered the Senate race to take on Democrat Mark Pryor in Arkansas.  Cotton who, for some reason (maybe someone can tell me why), looks like one of the party’s rising stars was the RSCC’s choice to take on the highly vulnerable Pryor.

Its worth noting though that Cotton is really taking a risk.  Cotton has to forfeit his House seat for a run and if he loses, it’ll be hard to get back in.  Nonetheless, news just came out today that Cotton said in 1997 that one of young women’s “greatest fears” is men leaving them.  Considering the Democratic Party has been rightfully (and consistently) hammering the right’s “War on Women”; Cotton might not be the perfect candidate that the Republicans thought he’d be.

A new poll conducted by AFSCME (a pro-Democratic group) shows Mark Pryor beating Cotton by eight points (or a 43% to 35% margin).  Normally that would look great but there is a lot of cause for caution here.

Arkansas is red and the fact is Pryor is an incumbent and is only testing at 43% which is far below the 50% threshold that’s so important.  There is time left but that might hurt Pryor more than help him as Cotton becomes more well-known.  Then again, maybe Cotton won’t do so hot.

Still, this is worth being antsy about as you wish the numbers could be better.

Montana:  Another Democrat Declines Run

Dammit.  Denise Juneau, who I thought would be Montana’s 2nd-best Democrat besides Brian Schweitzer, to run for Senate has declined a bid.  Juneau seems to be a rising star and she also stated that she wouldn’t be seeking a House seat (Montana has one, currently held by Republican Steve Daines).

This really puts Democrats in a lurch to find a candidate and they desperately need one if they want to keep their Senate majority.  This now leaves Lieutenant Governor John Walsh as the last viable option.

Colorado:  Tea Party Darling Is Back

He’s baaaaaackkkk.  Ken Buck, one of the many Tea Party backed candidates that cost the Republicans a shot at a Senate majority, is running again in 2014; this time against Mark Udall.  Buck is best remembered for beating establishment backed choice Jane Norton and for comparing homosexuality to alcoholism.

This is one race Democrats can probably exhale a bit on.

Mississippi:  What Will Thad Cochran Do?

A new article by POLITICO shows that the Republican establishment is getting antsy (and soon to be annoyed) over the continued stalling by longtime Sen. Thad Cochran to announce if he will run for office again.  Cochran, who has held the seat since being elected in 1978, has some power as he is a ranking member of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

But if Cochran doesn’t run, it will create a mad scramble to find a Republican nominee though the seat will likely be safely red.

Pollitics Today’s Coverage of 2014 races

White House 2016

Yup, politicians are still flocking to Iowa as this weekend Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum will visit the state.  Cruz is in the state for the second time in three weekends and Santorum is revisiting the site of his triumph of January 2012.

EMILY’s List is also sponsoring a forum which will be attended by Claire McCaskill of Missouri.  McCaskill is already a backer of Hillary Clinton however.

A new poll by WMUR Granite State shows New Jersey Governor Chris Christie edging out the field while Hillary Clinton runs train over the Democrats.

Christie scores the support of 21% and is followed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul who scores 16%.  The rest of the field goes former Gov. Jeb Bush at 10%, Rep. Paul Ryan at 8%, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 6% with Cruz, Santorum and Texas Gov. Rick Perry tied at 4%.  Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker rounds out the field with 2%.

Man has Rubio fallen.  Outside of that, no real shocks as this has been following the trend of Chris Christie being fairly popular in the Granite State.

On Team Blue, Hillary Clinton demolishes the field with 62% and her closest challenger, VP Joe Biden scores 8%.  The rest of the field is Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts at 5%, Newark Mayor Cory Booker at 2% and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at 1%.  I guess Kirsten Gillibrand, Martin O’Malley and Mark Warner were unavailable to be polled?

Pollitics Today 2016 News:

Taking Back The House News

Jerry Cannon, a retired military general and former Gitmo commander, will challenge incumbent Rep. Dan Benishek in Michigan’s first congressional district.  Cannon is a solid recruit and one that could really shake up things.  To see our Taking Back The House segment with Benishek and Cannon, check this out.

What race are you looking forward to?