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What We Learned: The Veepstakes Driver's Seat What We Learned: The Veepstakes Driver's Seat

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What We Learned: The Veepstakes Driver's Seat

-- Businessman Wil Cardon's decision not to attack Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., over his silence on Obama's shift in his immigration policy was a missed opportunity. Flake left behind his pursuit of broad immigration reform in late March of last year, saying that border security must be addressed first. The flip is a real vulnerability for the Arizona Senate candidate -- no doubt the reason for Flake's silence over the issue since the President's announcement. If Flake wins his primary, he shouldn't expect former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona to ignore the issue in the general election. -- Republicans have gotten very excited about their chances in Illinois's 12th District over the past few weeks, where county Democratic chairs will likely select a new nominee during candidate meetings this weekend. Democratic nominee Brad Harriman was forced from the race with health issues last month, and though both Obama and Sen. John Kerry carried the district as Democratic presidential candidates, the southern Illinois seat lies in one of those white, working-class regions that have given Democrats heartburn in the past few years. Yet Democrats are also invigorated by the new selection process. Given Harriman's health troubles, they will end up with a stronger general election candidate to replace retiring Rep. Jerry Costello. And several contenders -- most notably William Enyart, who stepped down from his post as the Illinois National Guard's top general to declare his candidacy -- strike local Democrats as the type of candidates who can sustain Democrats' working class brand. -- Even as one of the most endangered Republican incumbents in the country after redistricting, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett is prepared to go down swinging. Bartlett, who represents western Maryland's 6th Congressional District, not only hired a former RGA and NRCC hand, but he was only one of 19 Republicans to vote against an environmental deregulation bill sported by most of his House colleagues on June 19. The dynamics of the race haven't changed: the addition of a swath of Democratic-leaning Montgomery County means financier John Delaney enters the final four-and-a-half months as the favorite to win. The 85-year-old incumbent, however, hasn't given up just yet. -- Since the recession, media analysts observed a phenomenon known as "cutting the cord:" People ending their subscriptions to cable to save money. Nielsen reports something counter to that narrative. Their research indicates that cable viewership is commanding 70 percent of ads reaching the 18-49 age group and is still growing. Meanwhile, broadcast is down 16 to 30 percent and still dropping. -- NBC News has long dominated the network news scene, but news of Ann Curry's likely departure from the Today Show means they're anticipating a real ratings battle with ABC in the months ahead. Meanwhile, the newly-competitive ratings wars between NBC's Meet the Press and CBS' hourlong Face the Nation, along with the NBC/ABC evening news broadcasts will be worth watching closely.

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