Top of the ballot: Winners and losers in New Orleans


-Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: He didn’t sound like Kenneth the Page this time (as he did the night he delivered the State of the Union response), but he did deliver a very bookish speech in which he detailed his proposals using a lengthy list. That might work well in a college lecture, but it didn’t give the crowd at the conference much to work with.

-Sarah Palin: The former Alaska governor delivered a rambling speech that featured plenty of one-liners but didn’t seem to do her much good. Her retort to President Obama’s questioning of her foreign policy acumen (“There is still no nuclear agreement to date with North Korea and Iran”) wasn’t great, and she barely edged out former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for third place in the straw poll.

-2012: The weekend was entertaining, but without Romney, an in-person Pawlenty or former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, it was missing three key cogs in the 2012 machine. We still have yet to see what Pawlenty and Huckabee can do in such a setting – particularly now that the latter is looking like a player early in the process.

Nevada primary takes shape

Former Nevada state GOP Chairwoman Sue Lowden has established herself as the frontrunner in the race to face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), according to a new Mason-Dixon poll for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The poll shows Lowden opening a 45-27 lead on businessman Danny Tarkanian. The results in the latest Mason-Dixon poll validate a February poll showing Lowden ahead by a similar amount. Thus far, no other pollster has surveyed the primary.

The poll also echoed a GOP survey in the 3rd congressional district, showing state Sen. Joe Heck (R) with a five-point lead on Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.). Heck led Titus 40-35 in a recent GOP-sponsored poll.

Giannoulias tries to go on offense

With his own problems mounting (and even leaders in his own party taking cheap shots), Alexi Giannoulias will do his best to change the subject today.

His campaign promises that his speech in front of the City Club of Chicago luncheon will take sharp aim at his opponent, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

The question is whether the media there will be as interested in Giannoulias’s charges against Kirk, given the things that are going on in his own campaign and with his family bank’s ongoing troubles.

Other updates

-Linda McMahon’s (R) Connecticut Senate campaign is on the defensive again, fighting back against a report that she tipped off a WWE doctor accused of dispensing steroids to a possible Department of Justice investigation more than 20 years ago.

-New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) raised $635,000 for his run at the open Senate seat in Delaware, according to CQ, serving notice that he won’t be a pushover in the race against Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.).

-More details on the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) ad buy in Pennsylvania that we first reported on Thursday: the committee spent $194,000 on ads and media going after Democratic nominee Mark Critz in the race for John Murtha's seat. The expenses included $15,000 for a survey by the Tarrance Group.

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