7) Rep. Rick Berg
(D-N.D.) is reportedly planning
to formalize his Senate candidacy next week.
6) With a last-minute surge, early voting ballots in the West Virginia special gubernatorial primary could top the 40,557 early votes cast in the 2010 special Senate primary -- but will fall far short of the 70,815 early votes in the 2008 primary election, the Charleston Gazette reports
. Still, less than 3.5 percent of the state's registered voters will have voted early.
5) Comedian Stephen Colbert
on Wednesday asked the Federal Election Commission for an exemption for his new political action committee he said aims to be "a force in the 2012 election." Roll Call
has more here
4) Not a great day for Nebraska Attorney General and Senate candidate Jon Bruning
(R). He received the endorsement
of the Tea Party Express Wednesday, but it backfired somewhat after Nebraska Tea Party activists claimed they didn't support him. Meanwhile, as AP reports
, Bruning also confirmed that David Sokol
, a former Berkshire Hathaway executive, has resigned as finance chair of his campaign. Sokol faced accusations from Berkshire that he violated company ethics and insider trading policies.
3) The special election in New York's 26th District may have come to blows ... literally. A video being circulated
by the Erie County Republican Party and the National Republican Congressional Committee shows a confrontation between independent candidate Jack Davis
and a tracker from Republican Jane Corwin
's campaign, as the volunteer presses Davis on why he abruptly withdrew from a scheduled Thursday morning debate.
According to Republicans, Davis hit the volunteer and the staffer struck the volunteer on the head with a binder. Davis campaign spokesman Curtis Ellis denied Davis assaulted anyone and said the tracker was simply overacting in order to make it appear as such.
"It's like the Blair Witch Project of tracking videos," Ellis said.
2) Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
' (R) wife, Cheri Daniels
, will deliver an address
to 1,000 Indiana Republican activists at the state party's annual dinner this evening. The speech has been hyped as observers look for clues about whether Cheri Daniels -- who her husband has said in the past has had some reservations about him running for president -- will weigh in on a potential White House run by her husband. Indiana Republicans, and Daniels himself, have been downplaying expectations of any big announcements in the address.
The Cheri Daniels speech is far outselling the group's speaker last fall, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
(R). Interesting tidbit: C. Daniels has won two blue ribbons at the 2007 Indiana fair, one for cow milking and the other for long-distance watermelon-seed spitting. (She spit one 15 feet, one inch.), the Wall Street Journal reports
Every month she takes on a new "chore" she then describes as part of a radio show she hosts, "First Fridays with the First Lady." Some highlights: dump truck driving, bartending, clog dancing, and grooming a horse.
1) Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
(R) will deliver a major address on health care reform in Michigan today. In advance of the speech, Romney penned an op-ed
for USA Today
, previewing the address.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal blasted
Romney in its lead editorial Thursday, writing that if Romney doesn't change his health care message, "he might as well try to knock off Joe Biden and get on the Obama ticket."
It's problematic for Romney when establishment conservatives like the Wall Street Journal
, and not just the grassroots, are going after him on health care before his speech.
-- Jessica Taylor contributed to this post