Hurtling Toward 2010, 9/17

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The 2010 midterms are just around the corner (sort of). Here's what's happening:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called 2010 the "toughest midterm election Democrats have ever faced"; Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) trails former Rep. Rob Simmons (R) 44-39 in a new Quinnipiac poll, though no public polling has been done taking newly announced GOP challenger Linda McMahon into account; Rasmussen calls the Virginia governor's race a toss-up, as Republican Bob McDonnell still leads (by two percentage points), but has been put on the defensive by the revelation of a graduate thesis that criticized "cohabitators, homosexuals and fornicators," working women and feminists; the two squared off in a debate today; Rasmussen also shows Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) overtaking GOP rival Gov. Rick Perry in the Texas gubernatorial race, leading 40-38 after trailing by 10 points in mid-July; Attorney General Martha Coakley leads the race for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat, though Joe Kennedy could take it if he ran, according to a Suffolk University poll released last night; and underdog Cheryle Jackson (R) scored an endorsement from EMILY's List in the race for the Illinois Senate seat now held by Sen. Roland Burris.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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