Afternoon Fix: Allen West not running for Senate

Allen West isn’t running for Senate, Stabenow beats Hoekstra in a new poll, Huntsman would be Bachmann’s running mate and Republicans are putting money into Weiner’s seat.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) is not going to run for Senate in Florida. “Over the last several weeks, numerous leaders of the Florida Republican Party, including current and past elected officials, have spoken to me about the race for the United States Senate. Out of respect, I was willing to listen," said West in a statement. “I believe the place where I can best effect the needed change is from the People's House — the House of Representatives.” That leaves former Sen. George LeMieux, former state Rep. Adam Hasner, former Ruth’s Chris Steak House CEO Craig Miller and retired Col. Mike McCalister in the primary to take on Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

* According to a new poll from EPIC-MRA, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) leads her most prominent challenger, former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), 47 percent to 38 percent. But it’s not all good news for the senator — her negative job approval went from 51 percent to 54 percent. The poll was taken before former charter school executive Clark Durant got into the GOP primary.

* Asked by CNN if he would be interested in serving as Mitt Romney’s running mate,  former Utah governor Jon Huntsman declined: “There would be too many jokes about that. No, I can't imagine it at all.” On the other hand, he’s open to serving with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), saying, “[I]f you love this country, you serve this country. Every time I've been asked to serve over different administrations, from Reagan to the two Bushes, to President Obama, I have the same, the same answer.”

* A labor-backed coalition in Massachusetts thinks it has have a winning attack on Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) — bobbleheads. A new ad, running on local television and cable, attacks the Republican for giving out bobbleheads of himself at a minor league baseball game fundraiser. The ad features “Bobble Head Brown,' saying 'yes' to Wall Street and the national Republican agenda.” Despite his party’s unpopularity in Massachusetts, Brown has enjoyed high favorability numbers in the state.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Killing rumors that he would get into the Senate race himself, Rep. Jim Jordan (R) endorsed state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in the Ohio Senate race. Mandel faces ex-state Sen. Kevin Coughlin (R) in the primary. Meanwhile, the Toledo Blade reports that employees of a Republican northern Ohio businessman — most of whom were never involved in politics before — donated in unusually large amounts to Mandel’s campaign.

* Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is preparing for a recall campaign — or so he said on Twitter this morning. “I'm next target of the special interest groups in DC. Help us grow r grass-roots movement 2 counter their attacks @ www.scottwalker.org,” he wrote, sending followers to a campaign page that has not yet been completely updated to reflect his 2010 win.

* Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) — who fought agressively for the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” — is the 18th senator to come out in support of gay marriage. He had previously backed civil unions, but not marriage, for gay couples.

THE FIX MIX:

How to really play baseball:

With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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