-- Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is having a pretty good month. He scored the public endorsement of Gov. Mitch Daniels, who remains very popular among Indiana Republicans. And Treasurer Richard Mourdock posted another anemic fundraising quarter, making it seem unlikely that he will be able to compete with Lugar's TV advertizing campaign, which is already underway. -- Take everything you hear out of Arizona's open 8th Congressional District with a grain of salt. A year after the horrifying tragedy that ultimately caused Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., to quit her seat to focus on her recovery, both Democrats and Republicans are finding it tricky to get back to politics as usual without appearing crass. On the Democratic side, that means the candidates are playing coy in public, even as they privately jockey for Giffords's king-making nod. -- Campaign finance watchers love to read into the fundraising totals that trickle in from candidates before the reporting deadlines, especially at this point in the cycle. But those tea leaves aren't always reliable. Veteran North Carolina GOP Rep. Howard Coble raised only $17,000 last quarter, prompting even more retirement speculation than before. Friday, he announced he would run for reelection in his vastly redrawn 6th District, just as a younger Republican floated a bid. In politics as in life, money clearly isn't everything. -- If a court invalidates Virginia's newly signed congressional redistricting plan at some point, the GOP will have nothing but itself to blame. Redistricting litigation is often impenetrable to outside observers, but at least one element of Virginia's situation is very clear. The state constitution requires congressional redistricting to be done in "2011 and every ten years thereafter." The GOP stalled until 2012, when it gained a state Senate majority, to move its plan. A judge made note of this in refusing to dismiss a lawsuit against the plan this week.
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