The pace of campaign news and noise has quickened, and Labor Day is traditionally the last week of semi-sanity in the political season.
The big races are (mostly) well underway. Congressional and legislative races are stuttering to the gate, partly because of some trepidation over the maps.
A three-man panel of federal judges will take on the mountain of redistricting cases this week, opening hearings on Tuesday morning that according to the court's pre-trial orders will close on September 16.
Candidate filing is supposed to begin on November 12 and end December 12. The courts can mess with those deadlines and have in the past. That's not a huge consolation to candidates. It's one thing to file, and another thing to get a contest started in time to raise the support and money it takes to run a primary in the first nine weeks of 2012.
Next week also marks a new phase of the race that overshadows all of the others: The first presidential debate with Gov. Rick Perry in it is on Wednesday.