-- Make no mistake: Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is still very interested in running for governor, despite the negative headlines he's attracted this year. He's pressing ahead fundraising with names like Rove and Barbour. One thing working in Kinder's favor: the GOP bench is relatively thin, and with former Sen. John Danforth shooting down the possibility that he'll consider running, the options remain limited. -- Want the latest reminder of the decline of the Democratic Party in the South? Look no further than Louisiana. The big news this week was that Democrats failed to put up a credible challenger to Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal by Thursday's filing deadline. But it only gets worse when you look down the ballot: Democrats will not have a single candidate this fall running for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer or attorney general. -- It was looking like none of the four gubernatorial races this year - Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and West Virginia - would wind up being close. But keep an eye on West Virginia. Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is building a Manchin-esque list of endorsements (both the state AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce). But an automated Democratic survey released this week showed the race tightening, and Tomblin used his latest ad to respond to an attack from businessman Bill Maloney. -- Elections may have consequences, but John Edwards' attempts to cover up his affair may not. The case revolves around which aspects of candidate spending constitute personal expenses and which are truly campaign-related. In order to rule in the prosecutor's favor, a judge will have to decide that two of Edwards' campaign donors would not have paid to keep his mistress under wraps if he weren't running for president. That'll be difficult to prove. That's why prosecutors have focused so intensely in court filings on Edwards' family values platform. Will it be enough? Unlikely. The cover-up money may have bolstered Edwards' campaign, but that doesn't mean that he wouldn't have gotten it anyway. The trial was delayed this week, so we'll now have to wait until January to find out.
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