Hurtling Toward 2010, 12/17

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

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) leads Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) 46 percent to 44 percent in the state's Senate race, Rasmussen finds; New Hampshire Senate candidate Rep. Paul Hodes (D) is using Sen. Joe Liebmerman's (I-CT) health care defection in a fundraising pitch; Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) has asked the DCCC to advise him on how he can use money in his campaign account if he retires; DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen predicts unemployment will begin to rebound in the first half of 2010 and Democrats will use it to their advantage in House races; and ex-Rep./ex-con Jim Traficant (D-OH) is weighing a comeback.