But Morrison lost that advantage -- and a sizable lead in the polls -- when news of his "zipper problem," as Tester campaign workers have labeled the extramarital affair, leaked to the press. Even worse for Morrison, the woman's fiancé was under investigation by the state auditor's office, and allegations abounded about blackmail, extortion, vindictiveness, and sentencing deals. Although Morrison has denied those claims, and said that he did not involve himself in the case, Democrats began to worry that if Morrison were their nominee, he would blunt their edge in the "culture of corruption" war.
Morrison and Tester received last-minute donations from out of states residents and political action committees that dwarfed the contributions from their own constituents. LINK
Thomas Beaumont of the Des Moines Register writes that the three leading Democratic candidates for governor -- former state economic development director Mike Blouin, Secretary of State Chet Culver and state Rep. Ed Fallon -- are struggling to invigorate primary voters. LINK
The Des Moines Register's Beaumont Notes that Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack's decision not to run for a third term goes against precedent in the non-term-limited Iowa, where popular governors have served up to sixteen years in the past. LINK
As Beaumont points out, "A Des Moines Register poll taken last week showed 50 percent of Democratic primary voters were ready for a change, while 41 percent wanted the next governor to continue in the same direction as Vilsack."
Again, turnout is expected to be "light." LINK
The Quad-Cities Online's Janee Jackson lists the "tough competition" among Democrats and Republicans for the 1st Congressional seat: LINK
2006: New Jersey:
"The turnout is expected to be light, which is not surprising, since in the Senate race, Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat, is expected to trounce token opposition, while State Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr., a Republican, is expected to prevail easily over a more conservative rival," reports the New York Times. LINK
Primaries today in New Jersey are expected to be a "light affair" per the Newark Star-Ledger. Most eyes will dart to the Garden State's thirteenth congressional district, where Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) left his seat up for grabs when he filled Gov. Jon Corzine's vacated seat. LINK
Politics of same-sex marriage:
In our latest poll, ABC News' Gary Langer looks at how the intensity of views on same-sex marriage informs the political debate. LINK
People who "strongly" oppose gay marriage -- 51 percent of the public -- outnumber strong supporters by 2-1. And those strong opponents are nearly three times as likely as other Americans to say they would vote only for a candidate who shares their view on the issue.
The New York Times' Rutenberg looks at how social conservative groups such as Focus on the Family and Family Research Council plan to use lawmakers' position on the marriage amendment as a litmus-test for support. LINK
The Washington Post's Michael Abramowitz and Charles Babington report that Republican leaders "appear to be betting that a new thrust against same-sex marriage could help" in "such states as Pennsylvania, Montana, Missouri, and Ohio, where Senate GOP incumbents face stiff challenges." LINK
The Washington Post duo cast the decision to move yesterday's event from the Rose Garden to the EEOB as a sign that the President "appeared mindful of the minefield he was navigating."