5) Favorability ratings for Rep. Charlie Bass
(R-N.H.) have cratered, according to a new poll released late Thursday
by WMUR-TV in Manchester. Bass' favorability rating in the poll, conducted by the UNH Survey Center, has dropped from 41 percent in February, to just 29 percent now. Meanwhile, the percentage of residents who have an unfavorable impression of Bass has jumped from 28 percent to 45 percent. Rep. Frank Guinta
(R-N.H.) fairs better, with his constituents fairly split on the freshman.
4) Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear
(D) will not be with
Friday when he visits Fort Campbell. A Beshear spokesperson said Obama's visit was not confirmed until it was too late to make arrangements in Beshear's schedule, considering the governor's Oaks Day obligations.
3) Also in Kentucky, new poll out late Thursday
shows that the ticket of David Williams
and Richie Farmer
has a sizable lead in the May 17 Kentucky Republican gubernatorial primary, but nearly a third of likely primary voters are still undecided. The Williams/Farmer ticket opened the primary race as a heavy favorite, and they earn 39 percent of the vote in the poll, conducted by N.J.-based Braun Research for the cable news station cn|2. But the two other tickets -- Phil Moffett/Mike Harmon
and Bobbie Holsclaw/Bill Vermillion Jr.
-- earn more than 10 percent of the vote. Farmer, a popular former University of Kentucky basketball player, has been dogged by ethics scandals lately, but the poll did not test his favorability.
2) As we reported
Thursday, the special election in Nevada's 2nd District is headed for the courts, with the state GOP taking issue with Secretary of State Ross Miller
's (D) decision to make the special election open to all candidates instead of allowing state party committees to choose nominees. Meanwhile, one person who won't be in the special election contest is Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki
(R), who announced Thursday he's passing on a bid, citing family concerns and job responsibilities.
Interestingly enough, both the suit and Krolicki's decision benefit one person the most - state GOP Chair Mark Amodei
, who now looks like the GOP establishment favorite in the contest. Amodei's been mum on whether he'll run, but with Krolicki out, he's expected to win the backing of key party leaders - although his fate would be less certain in the "ballot royale" scenario if the lawsuit fails.
1) The first official debate of the GOP presidential race took place Thursday night in Greenville, South Carolina, and it was former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty's turn in the spotlight.
A crucial moment for Pawlenty arrived when he was asked about former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
's (R) Bay State health care plan. Pawlenty declined to go directly after the plan, but pointed out Romney's absence, saying he was "not going to pick on" the former Massachusetts governor because he was not at the debate to defend himself.
According to a focus group
that GOP pollster Frank Luntz
convened for Fox News, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain
dominated the debate. Check out National Journal
's complete roundup of the debate here
-- Jessica Taylor and Steven Shepard contributed to this post