POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/20

Republican Party Hits New Lows

Overlooked in the new Washington Post/ABC News poll: Just 20% of Americans nationally identified themselves as Republicans, the lowest that number has been since 1983. In contrast, Democrats are at 33% and independents are at 42%.

Brutal finding: “Less than one in five voters (19%) expressed confidence in Republicans’ ability to make the right decisions for America’s future while a whopping 79% lacked that confidence.”


Support for Gay Marriage Split in Maine

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Maine finds the public deadlocked on whether to reject the state’s law allowing same sex couples to marry, 48% to 48%.

“With most voters’ minds made up the election is not really about persuasion at this point but turnout. Even a small difference in the ability of supporters and opponents of the referendum to get their folks out to the polls could tip the scales with the issue this close.”

Quote of the Day

“We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition.”

— Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), in an interview with Politico, on his participation in the Congressional Sportsmen Caucus.

Daily Pulse: Public Option Gets New Life

On the heels of a new national poll showing growing support for a public option in a health care reform plan, the Wall Street Journal reports the idea, “once on life support in the Senate, is making a recovery among Democrats writing health-care legislation.”

“So far, no one is talking about a nationwide Medicare-like plan of the sort sought by many liberals, but several variations short of a national plan are being considered.”

“One would establish a national plan only if other proposals in the Democrat-led health overhaul fail to expand insurance coverage. Another would create a government plan, but allow states to opt out. Still another would allow states to opt in to a government plan, or experiment with their own plans. Prospects are growing that one of these variations — or a blend of them — will make it into the final Senate bill.”

Said Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT): “The issue is alive and were looking at it.”

Obama Hits the Campaign Trail

“Nearly one year removed from his own election, President Barack Obama is dashing into campaign mode again, devoting coveted time toward getting Democrats elected in November and generating cash for his party in 2010,” the AP reports.

First Read: “The Obama White House is in one of the periods many presidencies go through, when no matter what you do, it doesn’t seem to play well. Fundraising is one of those issues right now. As we noted yesterday, the president is spending an inordinate amount of time this week campaigning and raising money. It’s just two weeks before some crucial elections, so it’s only natural he’d be spending time on the money/campaign circuit. But with so many policy balls in the air (health care, jobs and Afghanistan), none of it looks good. And last week, he went from touring New Orleans’ Katrina areas to a glitzy San Francisco fundraiser. What’s more, the president today is raising money in the media’s backyard — New York City — and he’s drawing even more attention to the issue, especially since some Wall Street types are attending today’s dual fundraisers for Bill Owens (the Democrat running in NY-23) and for the DNC.”


Biden Initially Turned Down Obama

Vice President Biden said President Obama first asked him to be his running mate months before the final announcement was made, CNN reports.

Said Biden: “I initially said no, that I wasn’t interested. He asked me to think about it.”

Months later, Biden said he accepted when the then-Democratic presidential nominee convinced him he was really committed to changing the course of this country.


Death Threats Against Obama Rise

“The unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama, a rise in racist hate groups, and a new wave of antigovernment fervor threaten to overwhelm the US Secret Service,” the Boston Globe reports.

“The Secret Service is tracking a far broader range of possible threats to the nation’s leaders… The new demands are leading some officials, both inside and outside the agency, to raise the possibility of the service curtailing or dropping its role in fighting financial crime to focus more on protecting leaders and their families from assassination attempts and thwarting terrorist plots aimed at high-profile events.”


McDonnell Up By Eight Points

With two weeks to go, a new Clarus Research poll finds Bob McDonnell (R) leads Creigh Deeds (D) by 8 points in the Virginia governor’s race, 49% to 41%, with 10% undecided.

McDonnell led by seven points in the same poll a month ago.


Christie Aide Who Got Loan May Have Helped Campaign

When news broke during the summer that Chris Christie (R) “had lent $46,000 to a top aide in the federal prosecutor’s office, he said he was merely helping a friend in need. He also said the aide, Michele Brown, had done nothing to help his gubernatorial campaign,” the New York Times reports.

“But interviews with federal law enforcement officials suggest that Ms. Brown used her position in two significant and possibly improper ways to try to aid Mr. Christie in his run for governor.”

This is not exactly the type of news that will help Christie in a tight race.


Dead Heat in New Jersey

With just two weeks to go, the race for New Jersey governor couldn’t be any tighter. 

A new Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll finds Gov. Jon Corzine (D) and challenger Chris Christie (R) in a dead heat with each candidate getting the support of 39% of likely voters. Another 14% say they will vote for independent candidate Chris Daggett. Earlier this month, Christie held a narrow 3 point lead over Corzine – 43% to 40% — with 8% for Daggett.

Said pollster Patrick Murray: “Democrats who flirted with Chris Christie earlier in the year have come back into the fold. It also looks like some GOP voters may have become disenchanted with their white knight. That’s not a good sign for the Republican at this late stage of the game.”

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

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