(CNN) - Early voting begins Monday in Arkansas' May 18 primary.
On the Democratic side, Sen. Blanche Lincoln faces a tough challenge from the left from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. Lincoln is fighting for a third term in office.
On the Republican side, there are eight candidates battling for their party's nomination. Political handicappers consider the Senate seat a possible pickup for the GOP.
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PHOENIX, Arizona (CNN) - Joe Arpaio, the tough-talking and controversial Arizona sheriff from Maricopa County, may announce as early as Monday whether he will run for the governor's seat.
Responding to reports that he had made a decision, Arpaio firmly told reporters Friday that, "I am not running for governor now until I decide over the weekend with a glass of wine and my wife, since my mother and father came here from Italy, with a little spaghetti and meatballs."
"People want me to run for governor. Every day, around the nation.Everybody, here, they want me to run," he said. "I have to make a big decision this weekend."
Authorities are also trying to keep the slick from reaching land, and preparing to clean it up immediately if it does make landfall, she said on CNN's American Morning.
(CNN) - For most of American history, a Supreme Court with no Protestant Christian judges would have been unthinkable. Nearly three quarters of all justices who've ever served on the nation's high court have been Protestant.
And roughly half of all Americans identify themselves as Protestant today.
But since John Paul Stevens announced his retirement last month, legal and religious scholars have begun entertaining the unprecedented prospect of a Supreme Court without a single Protestant justice.
Besides Stevens, who is Protestant, the current Supreme Court counts six Catholics and two Jews.
(CNN) - The first white mayor of New Orleans in more than 30 years steps into his first challenge as soon as he takes office Monday: the massive oil slick that is creeping to his coast.
The fallout from a ruptured undersea well off Louisiana is spewing about 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of crude a day into the Gulf of Mexico. And efforts to corral the rapidly growing oil spill have so far been unsuccessful.
The slick was still nine miles off the Louisiana coast early Monday, but seas of 6 to 10 feet have made deploying booms to fend the spill off the coast "somewhat problematic," Adm. Thad Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard, has said.
(CNN) - On the eve of Ohio's primary, a new poll indicates that Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher holds a 20-point lead over Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in the race for their state's Democratic senate nomination.
According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Monday morning, 43 percent of likely Democratic primary voters back Fisher, with 23 percent support Brunner. But nearly a third of the Democratic voters questioned in the poll say they remain undecided and 44 of those who said they are backing one candidate or another indicate they might change their mind by Tuesday's primary.
A Quinnipiac survey released last week indicated Fisher held a 17-point advantage over Brunner.
(CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist told the National Review Online that he is much happier now that he has decided to skip the Republican primary as he campaigns to become the state’s next senator. In a separate interview broadcast Sunday, Crist left open the possibility that he would align himself with Democrats in the Senate, if elected in November.
Crist credited Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, for helping him make his recent decision to skip the GOP Senate primary in Florida and, instead, run as a non-party-affiliated candidate in the midterm election.
Lieberman, who lost the Democratic primary in 2006 but went on to win re-election as a self-described independent Democrat, told Crist that his unaffiliated candidacy was “liberating,” the Florida governor said in an interview with the National Review.
“'He was right. I’m much happier now, to be perfectly candid,’” Crist said to the conservative publication.
Crist, who appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, would not rule out following in Lieberman’s footsteps and joining with Senate Democrats for organizing purposes.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
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CNN: Political fallout for Obama amid oil spill disaster?
As the oil slick from the recent offshore oil rig disaster makes its way to Gulf Coast shores - expected to devastate the precious ecosystem and hurt struggling businesses - the seeds of political fallout for the Obama administration are beginning to sprout.
CNN: 'This is an ecological disaster,' Rubio says of oil spill
Republican Marco Rubio called the massive oil slick headed toward the Gulf Coast “a crisis” but the Senate hopeful refused to criticize the Obama administration’s response to the oil spill.
CNN: Napolitano calls Arizona immigration law a 'cry of frustration'
Arizona's controversial immigration law is a "cry of frustration" by state and local officials who need comprehensive federal immigration reform, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday. In appearances on morning talk shows, Napolitano criticized the law as a hindrance to law enforcement and said only an overall approach will work.
CNN: 'I'm much happier now,' Crist says
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist told the National Review Online that he is much happier now that he has decided to skip the Republican primary as he campaigns to become the state’s next senator. In a separate interview broadcast Sunday, Crist left open the possibility that he would align himself with Democrats in the Senate, if elected in November.
St. Petersburg Times: Legislature's proposed amendments offer referendum on GOP agenda
When voters head to the polls Nov. 2 [in Florida], they'll be judging the handiwork of the Republican-led Legislature: six proposed constitutional amendments and one straw poll. Add in citizens' initiatives and the total number of ballot issues stands at 10. When considered together, the seven new measures offer an unofficial vote of confidence on the Republican political agenda.
Cincinnati Enquirer: Paul hope it's the year of the outsider
A year ago, few people outside of Bowling Green or Frankfort knew the name Rand Paul. But that, he says, is one of his greatest strengths as he seeks the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Paul has stunned the political establishment by turning a double-digit deficit in the polls into a double-digit lead in a matter of months by effectively tapping into the growing tea party movement and its anti-establishment sentiment. Paul faces Secretary of State Trey Grayson of Boone County and three others in the May 18 Republican primary for U.S. Senate.