* In Alabama, former state Sen. Bradley Byrne (R) won a special congressional election easily yesterday, defeating his Democratic rival by 24 points. Byrne will be sworn in when the House returns from its holiday break.
* In Iowa, a new Quinnipiac poll shows Rep. Bruce Braley (D) ahead of all his Republican rivals in next year's open U.S. Senate race, by margins ranging from three to nine points.
* Speaking of Iowa, Republican Senate hopeful Mark Jacobs, who trails Braley by nine, has reserved more than $100,000 in airtime for a new 60-second commercial that hits Iowa televisions this week.
* As Republicans in the Michigan state legislature target abortion coverage in insurance plans, former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, the top Republican Senate hopeful, doesn't want to give an opinion on the controversy. Rep. Gary Peters (D), the lead Democratic Senate candidate, has repeatedly attacked the GOP's "rape insurance" measure.
* Also in Michigan, the DCCC hoped to recruit Wayne State University Law School Dean Jocelyn Benson to run against freshman Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R) next year, but Benson has bowed out of the race. Another Democrat, former State Department official Bobby McKenzie, is still running.
* And in Illinois, PPP found that Sen. Mark Kirk (R) isn't exactly a notable figure among his constituents: "32% approve of him, 32% disapprove, and the largest percentage at 37% doesn't have an opinion about him one way or the other."