Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
New York 23: Rep. Bill Owens (D) vies to hold on to his seat.
Primary: September 14, 2010
Location: North Country, upstate New York
Days until the election: 41
(CNN) –This race is a nice little glimpse into the interesting intra-party dynamics playing in the Republican party nationally, and having quite an effect in New York's 23rd congressional district. Rep. Bill Owens (D) faces Republican Matt Doheny in a race to hold on to a seat Owens won only a year ago, in a special election to replace longtime Republican congressman Rep. John McHugh, who, at the time, left his seat to become Secretary of the Army.
Arkansas 02 – Rep. Vic Snyder (D) is retiring
Primary: May 18, 2010
Location: Little Rock
Days until the election: 42
This race, while technically located in Arkansas' second congressional district, has some obvious national overtones that will likely play prominently in its outcome. The current seat-holder, Rep. Vic Snyder, a thirteen year veteran Democratic congressman, is retiring, leaving in his wake a liberal voting record (voted for stimulus, climate change, and health care reform) in a more conservative-leaning district (carried by McCain in 2008), and a GOP that is eager to take the seat (and favored to do so by senior political handicappers such as Stuart Rothenberg and Charlie Cook). To complicate matters, the GOP is fielding a nationally-polished candidate, prosecutor Tim Griffin, who was appointed by President Bush, and served as Mr. Bush's recount adviser in 2000 and the opposition research director for the Bush 2004 re-election campaign.
Kansas 3rd: Rep. Dennis Moore (D) is retiring
Primary: August 3, 2010
Location: Kansas City and surrounding areas
Days until the election: 47
In the state that is famous for its blustery tornadoes, the anti-incumbent winds that are sweeping the rest of the country have reliably whipped up a frenzy that may result in a Republican takeover of a Democratic House seat in the state's third congressional district. The race to succeed Rep. Dennis Moore, who was the first Democratic member of Congress to announce retirement last year and who has held the seat since 1998, is a close one: Moore's wife Stephene won the Democratic primary on August 3 to represent her party, while GOP state legislator Kevin Yoder won his party's nod after a scrappy intra-party fracas. Stephene Moore's name recognition in the district, which includes Kansas City and some of its suburbs, has been a huge asset to her, but Kansas' red roots (the state voted solidly for McCain in 2008, and hasn't elected a Democratic Senator since 1932), along with a tough environment for Democrats overall, are pushing Yoder into a stronger position.
Washington (CNN) – Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan describes herself an "open minded person, a fair person" and pledges to "faithfully apply the law and do the best I can to decide it in the right way," in a new video posted Tuesday on the White House website.
The White House uses the video to offer another side about President Obama's choice to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens to the Court. Kagan talks about her childhood in New York, education at Harvard Law School, time as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, dean of Harvard Law School, and her current role as solicitor general.
The video is narrated by the 50-year-old Kagan, and features still photographs of her during various different times in her life, and video from Monday's announcement of her nomination at the White House.
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Joe Sestak unveiled what may be his final salvo against Sen. Arlen Specter, tying him to former President George W. Bush and former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin Thursday in a new television ad meant to appeal to Democratic primary voters.
The commercial comes less than two weeks before Pennsylvania Democrats choose their nominee for the Senate. Recent polls show that Sestak, who has been trailing in the polls, is now within striking distance of Specter, a Republican who switched his party affiliation to Democrat last year.
In the 30-second spot, Bush is seen calling Specter an "ally" and says that "he is the right man for the United States Senate." Specter's own words are used against him twice, with footage of him saying "my change in party will enable me to be re-elected," touting his 2009 party switch.
The ad also hits Specter over an issue that looms large for voters in the upcoming 2010 midterm elections: high unemployment numbers. "Arlen Specter switched parties to save one job: his, not yours," an announcer is heard saying at the close of the ad.
Washington (CNN) – Congressional Democrats unveiled legislation Thursday that would ban foreign-controlled companies and most firms receiving either government contracts or federal bailout funds from spending money on U.S. elections.
The bill also would require the head of any corporation running a political ad to appear in the commercial to say that he or she "approves this message" - just as candidates themselves must do today.
The measure is designed to mitigate the impact of a controversial Supreme Court campaign finance ruling from earlier this year that overturned a long-standing ban on corporations and unions using their treasury funds to run presidential and congressional election ads.
The 5-4 decision - a victory for the high court's conservative majority - also rejected a prohibition on companies and unions running campaign ads 30 days before a primary election or 60 days prior to a general election.
Democrats have slammed the decision as a win for traditionally Republican-leaning corporate interests.
Washington (CNN) – A liberal advocacy group is taking aim at Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, for voting "no" Monday on the Democratic leadership's financial regulatory reform bill.
Angry by his decision to side with Republicans on this vote, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee announced Tuesday that it is running Internet ads on Nebraska news sites against Nelson.
While his vote was not decisive in stalling the legislation, it does provide the GOP with a key talking point that there is bipartisan opposition to the bill.
Nelson sought to explain his vote "no" vote by saying that it doesn't mean he is opposed to the bill, rather he just wanted to read the legislation first.
Washington (CNN) - The White House announced Thursday that veteran Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter will lead communications and outreach strategy efforts for the implementation of the new health care reform law.
Cutter will oversee what is expected to be a significant campaign to build public support for the law, which Republicans have vowed to repeal if voters put them back into power in the 2010 midterm elections.
"Stephanie is one of the most respected professionals in public affairs and has an innate understanding of the nexus between policy and communications," President Obama said in a statement. "She's also a veteran of the White House, and I'm thrilled to have her on board in this new role."