Polling: The first four national surveys since Santorum's exit came out yesterday, and it's a split decision. The Gallup and Rasmussen trackers have Romney up 2 and 3, respectively, while Ipsos has Obama up 4 and CNN has Obama up 9. Obama's approvals are about even, while Romney begins the GE with the lowest favorables of any challenger since 1984.
Obama: $53M in joint fundraising for the President and DNC in March, up from $45M in February. (That increase is more than can be explained away by the fact that March has two extra days.) The RNC raised a respectable $13M in March, and will now begin joint fundraising with Romney.
Romney: Speaking of which, Romney has set his joint fundraising goal at $800M, which means he will need $100M per month. The campaign will attempt to raise $500M from large donors and $300M from small donors (like you! Have you donated?), and is expecting $200M in SuperPAC support to match Obama's projected $1B. (Man, just typing about all that money makes me wish I went into finance.)
Santorum: In a postmortem conference call, Santorum declined to endorse Romney (or Gingrich or Paul, for that matter), but promised to "be active in the Presidential race." It sounds like Santorum intends to be a good soldier, and is perhaps negotiating with the Romney camp before endorsing.
Florida: State CFO Jeff Atwater (R) is considering a late entry into the Senate race, after presumptive nominee Connie Mack had an underwhelming quarter. Atwater, who is a bigger name than anyone in the current field, would need to raise a lot of money quickly, but would have a free shot at the seat, as he's not up for re-election until 2014.
Nebraska: Bob Kerrey is up with another ad (that's three so far, despite not facing a contested primary), this one focusing on his distinguished military service. Kerrey promises to "work with both parties" in the ad's closing line.
Nevada: Another close quarter in this oft-overlooked race (of the two seats we could lose, this one is decidedly less media-friendly), with Shelley Berkley narrowly edging Dean Heller, $1.4M to $1.1M. Berkley has a very small CoH edge.
Ohio: The 2008 and 2016 nominees? John McCain and Chris Christie hit the campaign trail for Josh Mandel yesterday, a surprising amount of star power for this early in the race.
Wisconsin: The PPP poll for Daily Kos also had Senate numbers, which were similar to what we've seen so far: Tommy Thompson has a small lead on Tammy Baldwin (47-45), while Mark Neumann (45-46) and Jeff Fitzgerald (40-47) trail the Democrat. Surprisingly for PPP, there are no GOP primary numbers; perhaps Kos wasn't interested.
CT-05: NRI, the same GOP pollster that gave us AZ-08 numbers yesterday, is also out with a poll on behalf of Andrew Roraback that shows him up on "Generic D" 50-33. Perhaps more intriguingly, Genric R beats Generic D 41-39. There are plenty of reasons to treat this with a grain of salt (there is later an "informed ballot test" that gives Roraback an even larger lead), but NRI does release a pretty decent polling memo.
FL-06: St. Rep. Fred Costello is officially in, setting up a crowded primary of B-listers in this safe Republican seat that both John Mica and Sandy Adams passed over. Others in the race include 2010 candidate Craig Miller, Jacksonville Councilman Richard Clark, and former Navy attorney Ron DeSantis, who is looking to become the first Jacksonville JAG to serve in Congress (see what I did there?)
FL-18: Allen West had another huge quarter ($1.8M), while Patrick Murphy was only able to produce 20% of that.
MI-06: The name's Upton. Fred Upton, MI6. And he raised $982K in Q1, blowing away primary challenger Jack Hoogendyk ($77K), who got 43% by running to Upton's right in 2010. Upton has angered some conservatives during his tenure atop Energy and Commerce, but has over $2M in the bank thanks to strong support from energy PACs.
NY-24: Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle will once again have the Independence Party line in her rematch against Dan Maffei. The IP is very possibly the reason Buerkle is in Congress, as she received 6300 votes on their line and edged Maffei by 648 votes overall.
WA-??: As the Dennis-to-Washington hypothetical starts to look more and more like it's going to happen, the Democrats who actually live in Washington are starting to push back. State party chairman Dwight Pelz is "horrified" by the idea and has strongly urged Kucinich to consider his legacy. That the chairman of the Washington Democratic Party is publicly urging an incumbent Congressman from Cleveland not to run in his state reminds me why I love politics.
NRCC: $9.3M for the Sons of Sessions in March, a great monthly haul. We should hear from the DCCC some time this week.
SuperPACs: Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire businessman who was Newt's biggest backer this winter, is giving the House GOP a big leg up, in the form of a $5M donation to the Congressional Leadership Fund, and he's suggesting that may not be the last we see of him this year. The CLF is headed up by ex-Sen. Norm Coleman; any suggestions as to whom Norm should help out with his new-found cash?
Indiana: It's hard to tell how big of a favorite Mike Pence is over John Gregg in Indiana, which has the most restrictive polling laws in the country, but he's got a huge cash edge. Pence shattered the state fundraising record with a $1.8M quarter and has triple the CoH of Gregg.
North Carolina: There's been turbulence, to put it politely, at the NC Democratic Party, and embattled executive director Jay Parmley has resigned following sexual assault allegations and the standard cover-up scandal. The fur is continuing to fly, as many state Dems are now calling for party chairman David Park to step down as well.