Most Americans Still Support Offshore Drilling

Despite the massive oil spill off the coast of Louisiana, a new DailyKos/Research 2000 finds 60% of Americans continue to favor offshore drilling for oil and gas as compared to 32% who oppose the policy.

Kirk Takes Lead in Illinois

A new DailyKos/Research 2000 poll in Illinois shows Rep. Mark Kirk (R) leading Alexi Giannoulias (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 41% to 38%.

In February, Giannoulias actually led by seven points.

Analysis: “Not a good couple of months for the Democrats. Giannoulias has clearly taken a hit from the collapse of his family bank. In the previous poll, Independents basically split their vote 36-35, with the slight (statistically insignificant) edge to Giannoulias. This week, Kirk leads 39-31 among indies, though 30 percent remain undecided.”

Fisher Edges Portman in Ohio

The first Rasmussen poll in Ohio since Tuesday’s primary shows Lee Fisher (D) just beating Rob Portman (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 43% to 42%.

Coats Starts with Double-Digit Lead

A new Rasmussen survey in Indiana finds former Sen. Dan Coats (R) leading Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D) for U.S. Senate by 15 points, 51% to 36%.

It’s the first poll of the general election race since Coats won a contested GOP primary earlier this week.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Democrats are always suspect on national security, and anything that makes them look weak on national security creates an opportunity for Republicans.”

— Republican pollster Whit Ayres, quoted by the Washington Post, saying the Times Square attempted bombing is a political opportunity.

Boehner Touts Grant He Opposed

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) highlighted a $121,000 grant for a fire department in his Ohio district. But the AP notes what he didn’t mention in his news release was that he voted against the spending bill that included the grants.

GOP Senate Candidates Weak But Still Ahead

Among the ten potential new GOP Senators Public Policy Polling has polled so far in 2010:

  • None has a favorability rating higher than 34%
  • 6 out of 10 are seen unfavorably by more voters in their state than favorably
  • Two have net favorability ratios of -10 or worse
  • The average favorability for the 10 is 26%, while the average unfavorability is 28%.

Republicans “are definitely doing well because of the political climate rather than their own strength as candidates and that makes their positions highly susceptible to change if there’s any sort of shift in public attitudes over the next six months.”

Young People Stuggling in Recession

The latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor survey on the economic experiences and attitudes of young adults found that large numbers are struggling through the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Just one-sixth of the Millennials surveyed say they are earning enough to live comfortably. A significant number — whether living on their own or not — report that they still rely on financial help from their parents.

More Voters Unhappy with McConnell

He’s not up for re-election this year, but a new Research 2000 poll in Kentucky finds 49% disapprove of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) job performance with 41% approving.

Quote of the Day

“He was a fool when he stepped off the plane in Louisiana 4½ years ago, and unfortunately for him, he apparently still is.”

— Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), quoted by Politico, on the attempted comeback of former FEMA Director Michael Brown.

Democrats Now Lead in Connecticut Governor Race

A new Rasmussen survey in Connecticut finds Ned Lamont (D) leading Thomas Foley (R) in the race for governor, 42% to 35%.

Dan Malloy (D), who is battling Lamont for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, also edges Foley, 38% to 35%.

Just a month ago, both Democrats were running behind Foley.

Ensign Probe Heats Up

KLAS-TV has been “secretly recording” as U.S. Senate investigators begin interviews as part of their probe into ethics complaints surrounding Sen. John Ensign’s (R-NV) behavior.

“Each of the potential witnesses who spoke to investigators during the week were given a booklet of procedures, explaining the legal framework for the Ensign probe. They were asked, but not ordered, to keep quiet about the inquiry.”

Democrats May Abandon House Race in Hawaii

“Despite spending more than $300,000, frustrated House Democrats may abandon efforts to win a special election in Hawaii after quiet diplomacy failed to end a high-level party feud that threatens their prospects,” the AP reports.

Said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), head of the party’s national campaign effort: “It’s an extremely difficult race, since two Democratic candidates are splitting the vote. The local Democrats haven’t been able to come together and resolve that, so we’ll have to re-evaluate our participation.”

Signs Point to Kagan for Supreme Court

Mike Allen: “Look for President Obama to name his Supreme Court pick Monday, and look for it to be Solicitor General Elena Kagan, a former Harvard Law dean. The pick isn’t official, but top White House aides will be shocked if it’s otherwise. Kagan’s relative youth (50) is a huge asset for the lifetime post. And President Obama considers her to be a persuasive, fearless advocate who would serve as an intellectual counterweight to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia, and could lure swing Justice Kennedy into some coalitions The West Wing may leak the pick to AP’s Ben Feller on the later side Sunday, then confirm it for others for morning editions.”

Another sign: Salon reports the White House is circulating pro-Kagan talking points.

Job Growth Continues

The U.S. economy added jobs last month “at the fastest pace in four years, but the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Employers added 290,000 more jobs in April — more than Wall Street expected and the largest gain since March 2006 — but the unemployment rate rose to 9.9%, a sign that more Americans are looking for jobs.

Steve Benen updates his monthly jobs chart which looks better each month.

Pelosi Consolidates Power in House

“The fiercest old bulls who roamed the House when Nancy Pelosi came to power will be gone by the beginning of next year — replaced by new bulls who more clearly owe their positions to the powerful speaker,” Politico reports.

“While Dingell, Rangel, Murtha and Obey were powerful House veterans long before Pelosi picked up the speaker’s gavel, each of the new bulls will owe his rise in part to the speaker’s good graces — and, in some cases, her political muscle. It amounts to a subtle but striking natural consolidation of authority for a speaker who by any measure already wields historic levels of institutional and personal power within Congress.”

“Pelosi’s power is enhanced by her role in picking the new chairmen — with their ascent dependent upon her assent — and by the departure of veteran lawmakers who came to power before she did.”

Lincoln’s Lead Narrows in Arkansas Primary

A new Mason-Dixon poll in Arkansas shows Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) with a 12-point lead over challenger Bill Halter (D) for the Democratic Senate nomination, 44% to 32%. Another 7% chose D.C. Morrison and 17% were undecided.

A January poll had Lincoln ahead by 18 points, 52% to 34%.

Pollster Brad Coker notes that with Morrison now in the mix and Lincoln’s numbers sliding, a Democratic primary runoff appears “very plausible.”

However, both Democrats trail likely GOP nominee John Boozman (R) by significant margins.

Sestak Catches Specter in Pennsylvania

The latest Morning Call/Muhlenberg tracking poll shows Sen. Arlen Specter (D) and challenger Joe Sestak (D) tied at 43% each with 13% still undecided.

The Morning Call notes Sestak began running a devastating 30-second ad across the state reminding Democrats that Specter was once a Republican. The spot shows then-President George W. Bush with Specter standing to one side and then-U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) on the other praising the Pennsylvania senator.

Read more…

Hung Parliament Leads to Power Struggle

The Conservatives won the most seats in the British parliament but have fallen short of a majority, leading to the first hung parliament since 1974, the BBC reports.

The battle is now under way to see which leader can form a government.

Constitutionally, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has the first right to try to cobble together enough seats, however, the London Times reports Nick Clegg “rebuffed Labour overtures today and declared that it should be David Cameron and not Brown who gets the first chance to form a government now that Britain has elected a hung Parliament.”

“With the Tories set to become the largest force in the Commons but falling 20 seats short of a majority, the Liberal Democrat leader returned to Westminster this morning as a kingmaker — even though his party lost a net seven seats on the night.”

Peter Riddell: “Any Government which is formed in the next few days will not be able to command a stable or overall majority in the Commons. So the new parliament is unlikely to last more than a year or so at most. A second general election is now probable either later this year or next spring. Everything else is uncertain.”

Branstad’s Lead Shrinks in Iowa

A new KCCI poll in Iowa finds former Gov. Terry Branstad (R) now leads Gov. Chet Culver (D) by just 7 points, 48% to 41%.

In February, Branstad led by 16 points.

Grassley Lead in Iowa Cut to Single Digits

A new KCCI poll in Iowa shows the race for Sen. Charles Grassley’s (R-IA) seat appears to be heating up as he now leads Roxanne Conlin (D) by just nine points, 49% to 40%.

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