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Off to the races: Midterm wave could break either way?

Charlie Cook ponders 2014 and if there can be a wave. It could go either way or it could be a wash, he says. “Republicans have made no progress in improving their party’s standing with the electorate overall, or for that matter with minorities, women, young voters, and those self-described moderates. Social and cultural issues continue to plague their party among many young and some women voters. Intransigence among conservatives in the party seems to be preventing the GOP congressional leadership from trying to lance the immigration boil. Even deeper cuts in discretionary domestic spending are providing considerable cannon fodder for Democratic media consultants, who are preparing ads for next year. Not to mention that a government shutdown would be considerably more likely to damage Republicans than Democrats. On the other hand, voters increasingly seem to have hit the mute button on President Obama. They are no longer listening to him, and his approval numbers seem to be dropping by about a point every three weeks. This does not seem to be because of any of the so-called scandals that got Republicans so worked up during the winter and spring, but more because voters have a perception of Obama as a not particularly effective leader. They tend to give him points for having good intentions on most issues, but they see him as ineffectual. Add to that growing concern over the Affordable Care Act, with only a third of Americans telling pollsters that it will help the nation’s health care situation, and less than a quarter who believe that it will help their own family’s health care.”

Jill Lawrence wonders why more women aren’t getting presidential buzz.

Andrea Mitchell reports that the dominant woman being mentioned for 2016, Hillary Clinton, will have breakfast Tuesday with Vice President Joe Biden, who’s also considering a bid.

Mother Jones’ David Corn picks up on Mitt Romney’s comments to Dan Balz in his new book about 47% in which Romney claims his comments were benign, out of context and “perceived” incorrectly.

National Journal also picks up on it. “Now, 10 months later, there are new words from Mitt Romney trying to jedi mind trick the old ones all away.”

CALIFORNIA: "The drive to recall Mayor Bob Filner began in earnest Monday as the beleaguered politician made a formal request for taxpayers to pick up the tab for his legal fees stemming from a sexual harassment lawsuit," the San Diego Union-Tribunereports. "While the recall movement was expected to take off this week, it surprised many that Filner would ask taxpayers to foot the bill for his legal troubles."

ILLINOIS: "Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley is making his Illinois gubernatorial bid official," AP reports, with the Democrat set to file paperwork on Tuesday to challenge incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn in the 2014 Democratic primary. "In a video on his campaign website,Daley says the fact that the General Assembly adjourned in May without finding a solution to the pension crisis or voting on same-sex marriage represents a 'dysfunction.'"

NEW YORK: Anthony Weiner dropped to fourth place in the latest Quinnipiac poll in the race for New York mayor. Earlier in the day, he told the Staten Island Advance that he’s not getting out of the race. "You're stuck with me," he said.

And then there was this: “When asked what he would tell his 18-month-old son, Jordan, about the scandal when he's old enough to understand, Weiner said, ‘First of all, the kid's going to grow up in Gracie Mansion. So I'm going to say, 'Kid, don't complain.'’ Turning serious, he said, ‘I hope that what he sees is the value of what I'm trying to do here. I hope he sees that I was a good mayor. That the tolls were lower on Staten Island because his father was mayor.’”

VIRGINIA: On the day a Citizens United movie about Terry McAuliffe (D) is released, Democratic Super PAC American Bridge releases a 12-page report knocking the group.

Ken Cuccinelli (R) pens an op-ed hitting President Obama for what he calls “baby steps” on energy.

Meanwhile, McAuliffe’s out with a new TV ad hitting Cuccinelli for his “witch hunt” against a University of Virginia climate scientist. Here’s the script: “It’s been called Cucinelli’s witch hunt. Designed to intimidate and suppress. Ken Cuccinelli used taxpayer funds to investigate a UVA professor whose research on climate change Cuccinelli opposed. Cuccinelli, a climate change denier, forced the university to spend over half a million dollars defending itself against its own attorney general. Ken Cuccinelli--he’s focused on his own agenda, not us.”

National Journal: “Republican officials are grumbling that Liz Cheney passed up an opportunity to run in her adopted state of Virginia, leaving the party empty-handed as it searches for a challenger against Sen. Mark Warner. Instead of taking one for the Republican team, she's sparked an intra-party war in Wyoming. And, some strategists say, her prospects would be slightly better running in a battleground state than waging a long-shot primary battle against a popular sitting senator.”

NBC’s Jessica Taylor contributed.