POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/14

Perceptions of Health Care Overhaul Still Divided

Just a few months after passage of the new health care law, perception is still deeply divided along partisan lines, according to a new National Journal/Pew Research poll.

Overall, 47% of Americans still disapprove of the law, 35% approve and 17% couldn’t answer the question.

Along party lines, the perception is stark: 82% of Republicans disapprove, while only 17% of Democrats disapprove. Independents track closer to the overall sample: 52% disapproved of the law, while 30% approve.

Rasmussen’s Tilt

With Rasmussen putting out nearly half of all U.S. Senate polls this year, Harry Entenfinds the pollster has a clear Republican house effect — that is, their polls on average tilt towards the Republican candidate. However, it’s not as big an effect as many Democrats would like to believe and amounts to just a couple percentage points.

Boxer Maintains Lead in California

A new Rasmussen survey in California finds Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) leading challenger Carly Fiorina (R) by seven points among likely voters, 49% to 42%.

Democrats Plan to Use Clinton on Campaign Trail

White House aides are putting together “an aggressive schedule” to deploy former President Clinton at campaign and fundraising events in key states around the country, CNN reports.

Said one Democratic official: “It’s a no-brainer you would use one of the most talented politicians the country has ever had. There are few as good at laying out the contrast with Republicans.”

Sestak Catches Toomey in Pennsylvania

A new Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania finds Rep. Joe Sestak (D) and Pat Toomey (R) are deadlocked at 43% each in the U.S. Senate race.

In April, Sestak trailed Toomey by eight points.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Congressman Joe Sestak, a decided underdog who knocked off U.S. Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary, has now closed an 8-point gap in the last three months to tie Pat Toomey. But the Senate race remains wide open, since at this point about half of the voters don’t know enough about either candidate to form an opinion.”

Baseball as a Political Indicator

Smart Politics finds that a National League victory in the All Star Game has preceded each of the last nine election cycles in which Republicans have enjoyed double-digit gains in the House.

Americans See Economy Stuck in Recession

A new Bloomberg poll finds 71% of Americans think the economy is mired in recession. Furthermore, the public mood is bleak with 63% saying they believe the country is on the wrong track, the most negative reading of President Obama’s tenure.

Meanwhile, a new CBS News poll finds 51% of Americans have a negative impression of the economy and expect the effects of the recession to linger for years.

Both polls show most Americans feel President Obama has spent too little time on the economy, which they cite as the country’s most important problem by a wide margin.

Bentley Defeats Byrne in Runoff

In Alabama, self-described outsider Robert Bentley (R) defeated Bradley Byrne (R) in the Republican gubernatorial runoff, the AP reports.

Byrne finished first in the June 1 primary and had the support of much of the state’s GOP establishment.

Handel Leads GOP Pack in Georgia

A new Magellan Strategies survey in Georgia finds Karen Handel (R) leading the Republican race for governor with 32%, followed by Nathan Deal (R) at 18%, John Oxendine (R) at 18% and Eric Johnson trailing at 12%.

A recent SurveyUSA poll had Oxedine leading the race.

Manchin Will Make Senate Appointment This Week

According to NBC News, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) will make an appointment to fill the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s seat temporarily by 5 p.m. this Friday.
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The New Health Care System

Out next week: The New Health Care System: Everything You Need to Know by David Nather.

McInnis Apologizes for Plagiarism

Scott McInnis (R) offered “private apologies” to a judge “for lifting part of the judge’s work for a series of essays on water rights that the gubernatorial candidate passed off as his own,” the AP reports.

“Colorado Republicans were divided on how the flap would affect the primary, but McInnis wouldn’t be the first politician possibly undone by plagiarism.”

Quote of the Day

“We have a three-pronged strategy: To keep the House, it’s called the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.”

— Democratic strategist James Carville, in an interview on ABC News.

See more…

Court Strikes Down FCC Indecency Rules

A federal appeals court struck down the FCC’s indecency policy, saying the agency’s efforts to punish broadcasters for allowing one-time or “fleeting” expletives is “unconstitutionally vague,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Crist Leads in Florida

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll in Florida finds Gov. Charlie Crist (I) holds a narrow edge over Marco Rubio (R) in a three-way Senate race, 35% to 28%, with Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) trailing behind at 17%.

Crist holds a similar 34% to 29% edge over Rubio in a three-way race with Jeff Greene (D) as the Democratic nominee.

Said pollster Cliff Young: “Generally incumbents have been at a disadvantage this year, but that hasn’t been the case with Crist in Florida. The move to running as an independent has paid off. He’s capturing the middle space.”

Tight Race for Florida Governor

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll in Florida finds Rick Scott (R) edging Alex Sink (D) in the race for governor, 34% to 31%.

But Sink leads slightly, 31% to 30%, when matched against Bill McCollum (R) who is locked in a bitter Republican primary race with Scott.

Brown Walking a Tightrope or the Plank?

While Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) gave a major boost to Democrats when he announced his support for the Wall Street reform bill, Swampland notes that his recent “knack for delivering numero 60 for Harry Reid and Co. in a pinch” is infuriating the Republican base.

The evidence? Check the comments on his Facebook page.

Nevada Senate Race is Close

A new Rasmussen survey in Nevada shows Sharron Angle (R) just edging Sen. Harry Reid (D) for U.S. Senate, 46% to 43%.

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