Off to the races: Weiner, Spitzer ahead

Charlie Cook: “Democrats can do everything right during this 2014 election cycle, but they still don’t have much of a chance of capturing a majority due to the congressional district boundaries and recent voting patterns in Southern and border states in rural and small-town-dominated districts.” But: “We in Washington are, as always, far more preoccupied with events and dynamics inside the proverbial Beltway, but the GOP must also be mindful of actions elsewhere, in state capitals for example, that can also affect their party’s brand in those states and across the country.”

CALIFORNIA: Jessica Taylor: “In the wake of mounting sexual harassment allegations against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, the former congressman is remaining defiant that he won’t step down. But Republicans see the flood of accusations against the newly-elected Democratic mayor as not just a good news cycle for them, but believe it could help them in a neighboring congressional race that will be a top target for both parties in 2014.”

ILLINOIS: Don’t call it a comeback? “Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich filed an appeal Monday challenging the imprisoned former Illinois governor's corruption conviction and stiff, 14-year prison term,” AP writes. “The lengthy filing with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago comes more than two years after the Chicago Democrat's retrial and 16 months after he entered a federal prison in Colorado.”

MASSACHUSETTS: Ed Markey (D) will be sworn into the Senate today. The special election to replace Markey in the House will take place Dec. 10 with a primary Oct. 15.

NEW YORK: Anthony Weiner (D) leads City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) 25%-22% in the race for New York mayor, according to Quinnipiac. Bill Thompson gets 11% and Bill de Blasio 10%. And Eliot Spitzer leads the race for Comptroller, 48-33% over Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough president.

TEXAS: The organization Battleground Texas, which is seeking to make the Lone Star State competitive in future elections for Democrats, announced raising $1.1 million since its creation in Feb. 2013. Per a release, “79% of the total donations were raised from Texans, and the median contribution was $25. Grassroots contributions online averaged $45.”

VIRGINIA: Terry McAuliffe’s campaign reported raising $5.6 million in the second quarter, and it says it has more than $6 million cash on hand. NBC’s Mike O’Brien notes that McAuliffe has more than twice as much money in the bank than Cuccinelli does.