POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/7

Bloomberg’s Undercover Investigation

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the results of a wide-ranging undercover investigation by the City of New York into illegal gun sales. The investigation, which covered seven gun shows in three states, proves on video how easy it is for criminals to buy firearms at gun shows. Amazingly, 35 of 47 gun sellers sold to people who said either they probably could not pass a background check or to apparent straw purchasers.

The New York Times notes Bloomberg, who is running on the Republican line for re-election, is “highlighting an issue dear to Democrats and one that has been a passion of his since he took office: gun control.”

Read more…


Bonus Quote of the Day

“All I can tell you is this: 45 polls, 44 of them we’ve been ahead. We’re still ahead in every other public poll except the FDU poll.”

— New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie (R), quoted by Politicker NJ.


Obama Loses Ground in North Carolina

A new Civitas poll finds President Obama’s approval rate in North Carolina at just 44%. 

A new Public Policy Polling survey pegs it at 45%, leading Tom Jensen to say North Carolina “is one of the few states where Obama’s standing has declined enough that he probably wouldn’t win it again if the election was held today.”

Thompson Could Beat Feingold

A new Wisconsin Policy Research Institute poll shows former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) would beat Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) in next year’s Senate race, 43% to 39%.

However, Thompson has not indicated any interest in challenging Feingold. The senator’s sole announced challenger is David Westlake (R), a small businessman.


Quote of the Day

“I’m still trying to find the first American who’s in favor of the public option, other than a member of Congress or the administration.”

— House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), quoted by the Middletown Journal.


Republican Interest in Politics Way Up

Even after an exciting presidential election, recent polls indicate Americans are still very much consumed with political news. Political Wire‘s continually growing traffic confirms this finding.

However, Public Opinion Strategies (R) notes that what’s driving this “is the surge in Republican interest. In 2005, the last year following a presidential election, Republicans, Independents, and Democrats all reported roughly the same level of interest in the news. But this year, four-in-ten Republicans say they are following national political news ‘very closely’ — up 15 points from 2005, and fully 11 points higher than their Democratic counterparts today.”


Coakley Holds Big Lead in Massachusetts

Lake Research released a poll in Massachusetts conducted for Martha Coakley’s U.S. Senate campaign which shows their client with a commanding lead.

In a four-way race, Coakley leads with 47%, followed by Michael Capuano at 12%, Stephen Pagliuca at 4% and Alan Khazei at 1%.

The poll mirrors results from a Suffolk poll released last month.


Predicting Elections from Biographical Data?

Wharton Professor J. Scott Armstrong and researcher Andreas Graefe developed a model to predict the winner of presidential elections based on 49 biographical cues about the candidates. It correctly predicted the winner for 25 of the last 28 presidential elections, failing only in very close elections.

What’s most interesting about the model is that forecasts can be made as soon as candidates are known. In fact, they can be issued even before, conditional on who is expected to be in the race.


Pawlenty Heads to Iowa

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) “will headline an Iowa Republican party event this fall, a trip that will mark his visit to the politically crucial state since he has made clear his interest in pursuing a presidential bid in 2012,” reports The Fix.


Missouri Senate Race Very Close

A new Momentum Analysis (D) poll in Missouri shows Robin Carnahan (D) with a small lead over Roy Blunt (R), 48% to 45%, in their 2010 U.S. Senate race.


Branstad Takes Steps to Run for Governor Again

Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) “will file papers today creating a campaign committee for governor, signaling the beginning of a potential comeback campaign for the Republican and reshaping the race for the 2010 primary election,” the Des Moines Register reports.

Recent polls show Branstad crushing Gov. Chet Culver (D) if he runs.

Other former governors running for their old jobs next year: Jerry Brown in California, Roy Barnes in Georgia and John Kitzhaber in Oregon.


Ensign Says He Will Not Resign

Though Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) yesterday dodged CNN’s question on whether he would resign in the wake of a Senate Ethics Committee investigation, he told theNew York Times he would “definitely not.”


Will Biden Run?

Beau Biden’s statement yesterday that he wanted to spend time with his family after returning from Iraq before making a U.S. Senate decision seemed reasonable.

However, First Read notes this morning that Biden “might be having more cold feet than some realize, so we’re hearing.”


Republicans Close Gap on Generic Ballot

A new Gallup Poll finds Democrats are now barely ahead of the Republicans, 46% to 44%, in registered voters’ party preferences for next year’s midterm elections. That differs from the typical double-digit Democratic leads of the past two years. More independents now favor Republican than Democratic candidates.

In addition, just 21% of Americans approve of the way Congress is handling its job while 72% disapprove.

Bottom line: “The challenge for congressional Democrats is underscored by today’s low approval of Congress. While it is far too early to say whether these indicators spell real trouble for the Democrats in 2010, they could provide some encouragement to the Republicans.”


No New Ideas

David Leonhardt: “One of the country’s two political parties has no answer to an enormous economic issue — the fact that the federal government cannot pay for its obligations. This lack of engagement is a problem, just as it was a problem when Democrats were saying that welfare was working, teachers’ unions were always right and stagflation couldn’t happen.”

“For now, there is little reason to think the Republicans are on the verge of a Clinton-like reform. But it is hard to see how they can ultimately stick to their current platform.”


Most Americans Support Afghanistan War

A new Quinnipiac national poll finds that by a 65% to 28% majority, American voters are willing to have American soldiers “fight and possibly die” to eliminate the threat of terrorists operating from Afghanistan.

While 30% of voters are willing to have large numbers of American troops in Afghanistan “as long as it takes,” another 28% say less than a year; 21% say one to two years and 14% say two to five years. Voters are more worried 50% to 42% that the U.S. will stay in Afghanistan too long, rather than U.S. troops will leave too soon.


Strong House Support for Public Option

Greg Sargent: “I’ve got the latest internal whip count numbers from Dem Rep. Raul Grijalva, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressional Caucus, who tells me that nearly three-fourths of House Dems will support a health care reform bill with the most robust version of the public option. That’s the one that would reimburse providers at Medicare rates plus five percent.”

Said Grivalva: “I am confident that we have the support of over 70% of the Democratic Caucus.”


Bloomberg Up By Eight Points

A new SurveyUSA poll in New York City finds Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) leading challenger William Thompson (D), 51% to 43%.

Obama Approval on the Rise

A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds 56% of those surveyed approve of President Obama’s job performance, up from 50% in September. It’s the first time since he took office in January that his rating has gone up.

People also feel better about his handling of the economy and his proposed health care overhaul. 

However, support for the war in Afghanistan has declined and approval of Obama’s handling of it is holding steady — in contrast to his gains in other areas — as he considers a big troop increase there.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics, Virginia

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