Top of the ballot

DSCC Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.) will volley with reporters this morning at 9 a.m. at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. The breakfast, which was added to the CSM’s lineup earlier this week, should include plenty of expectation-setting and soothsaying. Look for Menendez to emphasize Republican primaries and the preparedness of his top Democratic candidates. The expectations game is key for any campaign committee chairman, and it will be interesting to see how Menendez handles it.

Gunning for Young Guns

The NRCC is holding a roundtable with all 10 of its top Young Guns recruits. While many have been added to the program, the candidates talking with reporters today are the ones who have attained the top step of the program: Martha Roby (Ala.-2), Tim Griffin (Ark.-2), Dennis Ross (Fla.-12), Allen West (Fla.-22), Vaughn Ward (Idaho-1), Andy Harris (Md.-1), former Rep. Steve Pearce (N.M.-2), former Rep. Steve Chabot (Ohio-1), Steve Stivers (Ohio-15) and Pat Meehan (Pa.-7).

The return of Chafee

A new Brown University poll shows former Sen. Lincoln Chafee, now an independent, leading the race for governor in Rhode Island. Chafee’s 34 percent take can be largely attributed to the fact that he has pretty high name ID, but it also shows what a well-known political figure can do as an independent. One wonders if Charlie Crist will take a hard look at those numbers and reevaluate his own party choice, especially after what happened to Chafee in the 2008 Senate race. Democrat Frank Caprio is at 28 percent, and Republican John Robitaille is at 12 percent.

Fisher rises slightly; Portman ahead

Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher is a strong favorite to take the Democratic nomination for Senate, but 48 percent of primary voters are still undecided in a new Quinnipiac poll. At the same time, he has opened up a 29-20 lead over cash-strapped Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. That’s up from 24-22 in the last Q poll. In the general election, Fisher trails Portman slightly, 40-37. An interesting note from Q’s analysis: "Ohio voters have a net positive image of the Tea Party movement, but net negative views of the Republican and Democratic parties."