POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/12

Was Palin Inspired by Peggy Noonan?

Sarah Palin’s new bookAmerica by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, has a very similar title to Peggy Noonan’s A Heart, a Cross, and a Flag: America Today.

Joshua Green: “Shouldn’t she at least kick Noonan a royalty check?”

North Carolina Runoff Will Be Close

A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina finds Elaine Marshall (D) and Cal Cunningham (D) in a dead heat in their Democratic Senate runoff with 36% each and 28% undecided.

Said pollster Dean Debnam: “Next month’s runoff election is likely to see even lower turnout than last week’s primary. We’re finding that Cunningham’s supporters are more enthusiastic than Marshall’s, and that could allow him to close the gap from last week’s results between now and the runoff.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I did not go out with her, but other guys did.”

– Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, quoted by Politico, disputing rumors that his longtime friend Elena Kagan is gay.

Tampa’s Other Attractions

Unmentioned in news this morning that the Republican party will pick Tampa as the site for their 2012 national convention: Ben Smith points out the city is known as the “lap dance capital of the world” with 56 different clubs that are adult-oriented.

Given the scandal over RNC expenses at a “bondage-themed nightclub” earlier this year, one wonders if this was a wise choice.

Quote of the Day

“I’ve honestly only seen upside at this point. Wherever we go people say that my grandfather was their favorite president.”

— Christopher Nixon Cox (R), quoted by the Washington Post, on using “his family’s political legacy as a springboard to political office.”

Patrick Surges Ahead in Massachusetts

A new Rasmussen survey in Massachusetts finds Gov. Deval Patrick (D) jumping out to a 14-point lead over Charlie Baker (R), as Tim Cahill (I) fades into a distant third place in the three-way race for governor.

Patrick leads with 45%, followed by Baker at 31% and Cahill at 14%.

Critz Takes Lead in Special Election to Replace Murtha

With one week until the special election, a new Susquehanna Polling & Research survey in Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district finds Mark Critz (D) taking the lead over Tim Burns (R), 44% to 38%, in the race to replace the late Rep. John Murtha (D-PA).

Republicans Choose Tampa for Convention

The Republican National Committee’s site-selection committee is expected to name Tampa as site of the party’s 2012 convention today, according to Mike Allen.

Said one GOP operative: “It comes down to Florida being a key targeted state in the past several elections, and it’ll continue to be in future elections. There’s a practical effect, in that it’ll bring a lot of attention and resources to a targeted state.”

The GOP convention will be held the week of August 27.

First of Many Votes in Georgia

Tom Graves (R) and Lee Hawkins (R) are headed for a runoff next month in Georgia’s 9th congressional district to fill the set of former Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The winner of next month’s runoff will finish Deal’s term, which ends in January, but the feeling of victory might be short-lived. There is a Republican primary for the seat in July as well.

“If there is a runoff after the July Republican primary, voters could be called to the polls in May, June, July, August and November.”

Carter Wins State Senate Race

Jason Carter (D) will follow in his grandfather President Jimmy Carter’s political footsteps by winning a state Senate seat in Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitutionreports.

Too Close to Call in Pennsylvania

A new Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania shows Rep. Joe Sestak (D) continues to close the gap in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary and now trails Sen. Arlen Specter by just two points, 44% to 42%.

Another 14% of Democrats are undecided, and 29% of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind.

Just a month ago, Specter led by 21 points. Last week, Specter led by eight points.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “The intangibles are clearly on Sestak’s side. He has the momentum and the anti-incumbent wave sweeping the country is a good omen for the challenger. Troubling for Specter is that one in seven likely primary voters are undecided and incumbents — especially 30-year incumbents who have switched parties — rarely get much of the undecided vote.”

Other new polls:

The new Franklin & Marshall poll shows Sestak leading by two points among likely voters, 38% to 36%.

The latest Mullenberg/Morning Call tracking poll shows Specter and Sestak tied at 45% each.

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