-- With Berkley and Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) both running for Senate, the race will give a clear sense of how the administration's and Congressional GOPers' policies are playing. And it is the only Senate race (so far) where two current members of the House are squaring off against each other for a promotion. Berkley sports an overall moderate voting record, but her votes on the big-ticket issues of health care reform and the stimulus, among others, are reliably aligned with the president. And Heller's views have migrated considerably to the right since considering a Senate campaign, from voting against the budget compromises that kept the government open, to taking a much harder line on immigration lately. They will both be serving in the House, taking votes on controversial issues, as they mount their campaigns. There won't be any running and hiding from the issues. -- The West Virginia gubernatorial race heated up this week, as the primary enters its final month, with all the major candidates except for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D) and former Secretary of State Betty Ireland (R) now up on television. The two women in the race have been elected to statewide office and have some name recognition, but both are expected to be on the air soon. -- While Kentucky state Senate Pres. David Williams' (R) running mate Richie Farmer (R) will likely have little actual effect on the gubernatorial race, his impending divorce is creating a daily side-show that threatens to undermine the ticket's preferred narrative of fiscal and social conservatism. Rebecca Farmer filing a petition essentially accusing her husband, who makes a six-figure annual salary, of hoarding the couple's cash is just another headline that negatively portrays the Williams ticket of having problems with personal finances.
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