Democratic congressmen can enjoy their holiday knowing they’ve finally gotten the stimulus passed—and Republicans can enjoy knowing that they held firm and ensured the package would remain an issue in campaigns to come (and the RNSC has launched a rather low-rent website on the issue). A few House Democrats, facing tough re-election campaigns in conservative districts, voted with the unanimous chorus of Republican ‘no’s. After the recess, one of the first issues the Senate will consider is the bill to grant D.C. a seat in the House with full voting rights. The bill passed committee by 11-1, with McCain the only ‘no’ vote. Some upcoming and on-going state races are heating up:
New York: With only 6 weeks until election day, Tedisco and Murphy have to “go for the jugular right away, to characterize [their] opponent as a cheat or a hypocrite before the voters know much about him.”
Minnesota: Republicans are working hard to keep Franken out of the Senate, but things are looking grimer for Coleman as judges ruled against his fight for even more recounts.
Virginia: Former RNC chair Ed Gillespie joins Bob McDonnell’s gubernatorial campaign as general chairman. The Post runs a long profile of McDonnell’s potential Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, who is unconcerned with his lack of statewide experience.
Illinois: Burris, now admitting that he had been asked for money in exchange for his Senate seat, is almost surely out in 2010. The Sun Times endorses Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley in the March 3 Democratic primary that is effectively the race to replace Rahm Emmanuel.
New Jersey: Facing re-election in November, Gov. Jon Corzine is becoming increasingly unpopular.
Florida: Insiders are convinced Gov. Charlie Crist—who crossed party lines to back Obama’s stimulus—will run for Senate next year.