Senate Republicans are signaling that they believe they can pick up an open Senate seat in Michigan next year despite the state's traditional Democratic bent.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and 11 of the party's highest-profile senators — including Rand Paul, of Kentucky, and Marco Rubio, of Florida — will headline a $1,000-a-head fundraiser in Washington Nov. 19 for the presumptive Republican candidate, Terri Lynn Land, according to an invitation obtained by the Washington Examiner.

Land is expected to face Democratic Rep. Gary Peters next fall for the seat being vacated by long-time Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, but has trailed Peters in fundraising.

"Michigan is a tough state presidentially,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee Executive Director Rob Collins. “But in an off-year in Michigan, Republicans can win."



Rep. Allyson Schwartz is leading a crowded Democratic field in Pennsylvania for the right to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, whose cellar-dwelling approval ratings make him a prime target in the 2014 election.

A new Harper Polling survey showed Schwartz, who represents the Philadelphia area in Congress, with the broadest name recognition, the highest favorability rating and a 7-percentage-point lead over her nearest Democratic primary competitor, Katie McGinty, a former environmental adviser to Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

The poll also shows, however, that at least a third of those surveyed weren't playing close enough attention yet to determine which of the six Democrats they might back.

Corbett's approval ratings are so low that fellow Republicans have asked him not to run again. But Corbett kicked off his re-election campaign with a 12-stop, week-long bus tour of the state under the banner, “Promises Kept.”



Democrats are hoping that the Republican primary in Louisiana is a bloody one.

Rep. Bill Cassidy is being backed in the primary by Louisiana Republicans, including Sen. David Vitter, the state's top Republican, and other GOP members of the state's congressional delegation. But an influential outside group, the Senate Conservatives Fund, is backing Cassidy's Republican opponent, Rob Maness.

That primary lineup could ultimately weaken the GOP nominee and increase chances of Landrieu surviving the Republican challenge in the fall, Democrats said.

Landrieu's is one of a handful of red-state Senate seats being targeted by Republicans in their quest for control of the Senate.



It may be a long way off until 2016, but apparently it's never too early to start posturing in preparation for a presidential run.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who dropped out of the 2012 GOP presidential primary but may be weighing a second run in 2016, took the opening shots at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose landslide re-election in a traditionally Democratic state set the stage for Christie's own presidential bid.

Perry questioned whether Christie is conservative enough to win a GOP primary.

“Is a conservative in New Jersey a conservative in the rest of the country?” Perry said on ABC. “We'll have that discussion at the appropriate time.”

Christie was asked on NBC if he was conservative or moderate, but responded that he doesn't “get into these labels.”

“Judge me by my record,” he said.