National Journal Online

Heller Enters Nevada Senate Race

Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) announced his entrance into the Nevada Senate race this morning in an email to supporters, instantly providing Republicans with a formidable candidate in a pivotal battleground Senate seat.

"Your past support has meant a lot me and for this reason I wanted you to be among the first to know that I am running for the United States Senate," wrote Heller in an email to supporters.

Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 11:36am

Lee Backs Flake, Still Silent On Hatch

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) wants Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to succeed retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R), marking the second time in as many weeks Lee has made an endorsement in a Senate primary outside of Utah.

Inside Lee's home state, though, the rookie senator is staying quiet. Lee has vowed to remain neutral in his home state's own Senate primary, in which Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) is having a tough time courting conservative support.

Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 10:40am

McCrory Prepares To Challenge Perdue

Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R) is putting together a team of advisers, the latest sign that he is closely eying a rematch against Gov. Bev Perdue (D).

The Raleigh News & Observer reports McCrory has begun to ramp up by hiring his 2008 gubernatorial campaign manager and two former aides to former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R).

Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 9:14am

Video: Chris Matthews Sizes Up The 2012 Field; Obama Was A Trouble Maker

MSNBC's Chris Matthews weighs in on the 2012 GOP field, "This is the weakest list of candidates I've ever seen... Mitt Romney is the reason the list keeps getting longer because everybody looks at him and says 'My god, I could beat him.'"

Jimmy Fallon, on Pres. Obama saying he was always getting in trouble in middle school: "Obama said he talked so much during class the teacher had to take away his teleprompter."

Today's Must See Moment -- Fast forward to 1:10 when Matthews sizes up former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R).

Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 7:50am

Hotline Sort: Dan In Real Life

Welcome back to Hotline Sort. While Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) has been staffing up, he lost a key staffer Monday, as his press secretary resigned after sending off-color emails. Meanwhile, the Florida Senate GOP primary sees some movement, while Republican Jane Corwin goes three for three. Here's today's rundown:

Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 7:30am

DCCC Chair Slams Grimm's Tea Party Criticisms

On Monday, one House Republican who could have a tough reelection in 2012 took his frustration out on the more conservative arm of his party, slamming the "extreme wing" of the GOP for opposing the latest short-term continuing resolution. But he was afforded no sympathy from the House Democrats' campaign chief.

Posted: Monday, March 14, 2011 - 6:34pm

Brown Sets CA-36 Special Election Date

Candidates vying to replace former Rep. Jane Harman (D) in California's 36th District will face off for the first time on May 17, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced Monday.

The all-party primary that will be held in nine weeks will be the first federal test of the state's new "top two" system, which pits all candidates regardless of primary against each other on the ballot. If no one candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, the top-two vote-getters - the most likely scenario in this case - will move on to the general election on July 12.

Posted: Monday, March 14, 2011 - 5:41pm

Snowe Falling On Republicans

Last week, we wondered whether Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) could pull off a race as an independent, assuming he loses a Republican primary (Hint: The law says he can't). But what about Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)?

Posted: Monday, March 14, 2011 - 3:32pm

Kaine "Increasingly Likely" To Run For Senate

Political observers and reporters in Washington and Virginia closely monitoring Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine were thrown a curveball Monday afternoon, following a report from a Virginia radio station that seemed to indicate that Kaine had decided to enter the Virginia Senate race and announced his decision in a highly unorthodox manner. While the report was ultimately shot down by the DNC, a spokesperson did say that Kaine acknowledged that he is "increasingly likely" to run, the strongest public indication yet that he is leaning toward entering the race.

Posted: Monday, March 14, 2011 - 2:24pm

Spending Political Capital To Balance Budgets

Two newly-minted governors are taking different approaches to closing their states' respective budget shortfalls, but are finding that it takes a lot of political capital to tackle budget crises.

Posted: Monday, March 14, 2011 - 1:55pm