POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/8

Lincoln’s Fate Could Decide Fate of Derivatives Proposal

If Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) loses her runoff with Bill Halter (D) tonight, will her controversial derivatives proposal — which bankers are apoplectic about — be dropped from the Wall Street reform bill?

Wall Street Journal: “That’s the question no one seems to have the answer to in Washington, as the Arkansas Democrat fights for her political life in her home state and lawmakers work out differences between the House and Senate financial overhaul bills.”

Top Races Waged in Clinton Country

According to The Fix, of the 27 Democratic-held House seats and 10 Senate races listed as toss-ups by the Cook Political Report, Barack Obama lost roughly half of each by wide margins to Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primaries.

“Obama lost to Clinton in seven of the 10 states with top Senate races, and in about 60 percent of the top 27 House districts. Five of those states and 13 of those House districts went for Clinton by double digits.”

Few See White House Job Offers as Unusual

A new Rasmussen survey finds voters have little concern about the job offers made by the White House to politicians in Colorado and Pennsylvania in hopes of getting them to drop their primary challenges of incumbent senators.

In fact, 44% of voters say the job offers “are fairly typical of what politicians normally do. Just 19% say that’s not true, while 37% more are not sure.

Parties Seek to Space Out 2012 Primaries

“Intent on preventing a repeat of the chaotic presidential primary schedule in 2008, Republican and Democratic parties are completing plans to create an orderly timetable that would push most contests back while ensuring New Hampshire’s celebrated role as the first primary in the nation,” the Boston Globe reports.

“Officials from both parties have separate proposals that would ban states from holding their vote before the first Tuesday of March, with four exemptions: the Granite State; Iowa, which holds the first caucuses; South Carolina; and Nevada. And no state can hold a contest before Feb. 1.”

Burr Regains Lead Over Possible Challengers

A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina finds the post-primary bounce Elaine Marshall (D) and Cal Cunningham (D) received against Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) has faded and Burr now leads them by 7 and 11 points respectively.

A month ago, Burr held a one point lead over Marshall and a 5 point lead over Cunningham.

Birther Could Be On November Ballot

Orly Taitz (R), most famous for spending the last two years challenging Barack Obama’s citizenship records, is now seeking the Republican nomination for California Secretary of State, Politico reports — “and with her establishment-backed primary opponent mounting a less-than-stellar campaign against her, operatives say there’s a chance she could win.”

Said GOP operative James Lacy: “It’d be a disaster for the Republican party.”

Democrats Seek to Lure Back First Time Voters

Democrats are kicking off a campaign to try to re-create the fervor of President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and lure those first-time voters back to the polls to help Democratic candidates this fall, CQ Politics reports.

Organizing for America, the grassroots arm of the DNC, launched its Vote 2010 campaign Saturday by dispatching 16,000 volunteers to participate in 1,300 canvasses and phone banks nationwide. The organization also boasts an unprecedented arsenal of 13 million e-mail addresses.

However, some senior House Democratic aides “described a skepticism running through their Caucus when it comes to OFA. The main reason, aides said, is because some feel the group dropped the ball when it came to mobilizing the public in support of Obama’s No. 1 priority — health care reform.”

Whitman, Fiorina Headed for Landslide Wins

The final Magellan Strategies survey in California shows Meg Whitman (R) with a 42 point lead over Steve Poizner (R) for the Republican nomination for governor, 64% to 22%.

In the race for the U.S. Senate Republican nomination, Carly Fiorina (R) has a 35 point lead over Tom Campbell (R), 54% to 19%.

The Forgotten War?

Vanity Fair notes the war in Afghanistan “has lasted 104 months, surpassing Vietnam as the longest war in American history… if you consider the start of the Vietnam War the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964.”

Democrats Expect Lincoln to Lose

Mike Allen: “Top Arkansas sources tell us the state’s political establishment expects Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) to lose her primary runoff tonight by at least 5 points — and perhaps 7 to 10, since insurgents have been outperforming their polls this year. That’ll make her the fifth incumbent member of Congress to get fired even before November. She’ll be the third senator (after Bennett of Utah and Specter of Pennsylvania), making the most primary-season defeats for senators since 1980, when four went down.”

Quote of the Day

“I had a lot of hope for Obama, but it’s not panning out.”

-Artist Shepard Fairey, in an interview with Angeleno magazine. Fairey created the famous “Hope” image of Obama during the 2008 campaign.

Dead Heat in the Generic Congressional Ballot

Last week’s Republican surge in the generic congressional ballot appears to have been an anomaly as the latest Gallup results show both parties tied again at 46%.

Support for Incumbents Hits All Time Low

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that just 29% of Americans “now say they are inclined to support their House representative in November, even lower than in 1994, when voters swept the Democrats out of power in the that chamber after 40 years in the majority.”

Similarly, a new Gallup poll finds that by 60% to 32%, registered voters say they would rather vote for a candidate for the U.S. House who has never served in Congress than for a candidate who has been in Congress. Additionally, a historically low 50% of voters say their member of Congress deserves re-election.

Poll Closings

Voters head to the polls in 11 states today to choose their party nominees and there’s a special election to fill a vacant House seat.

Poll closing times (in Eastern Standard Time):

7:00 p.m. — South Carolina, Virginia and special election run off in Georgia
8:00 p.m. — Maine and New Jersey
8:30 p.m. — Arkansas run off
9:00 p.m. — North Dakota and South Dakota
10:00 p.m. — Iowa, Nevada and Montana
11:00 p.m. — California

Men Charged with Threatening Stupak

Two men have been accused of sending Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) a letter “threatening to spill the blood of the congressman and his family for his vote in favor of the health care reform legislation in March,” the Detroit Free Press reports.

Tight Senate Race in Washington

A new Washington Poll finds Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) in a tight race with Dino Rossi (R) for U.S. Senate.

Rossi edges Murray among registered voters, 42% to 39%.

However, among those who voted in the 2006 elections, Murray holds an edge over Rossi, 46% to 40%.

Bauer “Proves” He Wasn’t Behind Haley Attacks

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R) “has released the results of a lie detector test which he says proves he isn’t behind a string of attacks against one of his Republican opponents, Rep. Nikki Haley (R), WIS-TV reports.

“In a GOP gubernatorial debate last week in Charleston, Haley accused Bauer of being responsible for charges of marital infidelity against her.”

Meanwhile, Bauer had previously told WCSC-TV that he would “absolutely” take a polygraph about his own rumored sexual history, as he has asked Haley to do. However, nothing was included in the results released.

First Read: “Seriously. Can South Carolina politics get any weirder?”

Whitman Trouncing Poizner in California

A new SurveyUSA poll in California shows Meg Whitman (R) crushing Steve Poizner (R) in tomorrow’s contest for the Republican nomination for govenor, 59% to 30%.

Deadlocked in Ohio

A new Rasmussen survey in Ohio shows Rob Portman (R) and Lee Fisher (D) remain in a dead heat in for U.S. Senate at 43% each.

The two men were tied in last month’s poll as well.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Newt told me, look, quit saying you’re not going to do this. If you don’t run, you don’t run. But say you’re leaving the door open, and the national press will pay a lot more attention to your viewpoint.”

— Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), quoted by the Weekly Standard, on Newt Gingrich’s advice to keep speculation of a 2012 presidential bid alive.

Government Response Rated Worse than After Katrina

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that 69% of Americans criticize the federal government’s response to the tragedy. That compares with a 62% negative rating for the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

Some Independents Shifting Back to Democrats

Tom Jensen: “There’s good news and bad news for Democrats when it comes to independents and this fall’s election. The party’s candidates are still losing them in almost every important contest — but it’s not by nearly the margins that led to losses in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia in the key races so far this cycle.”

“The Democratic candidate is losing independents in 7 of the 9 key Senate races we’ve polled over the last three months. But it’s not by more than 15 points in any of those instances and the average deficit is only 7 points, a far cry from the mean of 28 points in those contests that have already occurred.”

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