POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/5

Quarter Doubt Obama Born in United States

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds 11% of Americans saying President Obama was definitely not born in the United States and another 16% saying the president was probably not born in the country.

RNC Seeks to Plug Leaks

Influential GOP officials called on the RNC to open “an investigation into the leaking of internal documents and sensitive information to the media — a major source of distraction for the party in this critical election year,” CNN reports.

“In one of their first orders of business at the opening of the RNC’s Summer Meeting taking place here in Kansas City, Republican state party chairs approved a resolution urging the RNC executive committee to launch an investigation into the leaks.”

Pelosi Calls House Back

The House of Representatives be “will be called back into session next week to take up a $26 billion bill designed in part to help avoid teacher layoffs,” CNN reports.

Said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “As millions of children prepare to go back to school — many in just a few days — the House will act quickly to approve this legislation once the Senate votes. I am calling members of the House back to Washington at the beginning of the week to pass this bill and send it to President Obama without further delay.”

The House began its summer break last week and was not expected to return until mid-September.

Lamont, Foley Lead in Connecticut

A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds Ned Lamont (D) leading Dan Malloy (D) for the Democratic nomination for governor, 45% to 40%.

In the Republican race, Tom Foley (R) leads Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele (R), 41% to 26%.

The primary is next week.

Kagan Has the Votes

C-SPAN has confirmed that at least 61 Senators intend to vote for cloture, moving forward the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Of these, only Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) says he then intends to oppose Ms. Kagan in the final confirmation vote, which only requires 50 Senators to approve the nomination.

Handicapping the State Legislatures

Governing takes a very useful look at the balance of power in state legislative races.

Judge Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban in California

A federal judge decided today “that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, striking down Proposition 8, the voter approved ballot measure that banned same-sex unions,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

Judge Vaughn Walker said Proposition 8, “passed by voters in November 2008, violated the federal constitutional rights of gays and lesbians to marry the partners of their choice.”

The ruling is expected to be appealed ultimately to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if gays have a constitutional right to marry in America.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Where the hell do they get these names?”

— Katie Couric, caught in leaked footage from August 2008 as she rehearses a story on Sarah Palin, referencing the names of Palin’s children.

Poll Shows Florida Senate Race a Dead Heat

McLaughlin & Associates (R) poll in Florida claims the U.S. Senate race is a dead heat.

Gov. Charlie Crist (I) leads Marco Rubio (R), 38% to 36%, with Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) at 16% if he is the Democratic challenger.

With Jeff Greene (D) as the Democratic candidate, Crist and Rubio both get 37% of the vote, and Greene is at 16%.

The Difference Between 2006 and 2010

Tom Jensen: “The big 2006 Democratic win was about voters abandoning the GOP. If Republicans have a big win in 2010 it’s mostly going to be about Democrats staying home. And it’s important to keep that in mind when considering the implications of the 2010 results for 2012- Barack Obama might be alright in 2012 even if his party gets pummeled this year if he get those folks back out to vote when it’s him on the ballot.”

“The reason Democrats won even though the electorate disproportionately consisted of Bush voters was that 15% of those Bush voters cast their ballots for a Democrat, a pretty large amount of crossover. There aren’t nearly that many Obama voters leaning toward the Republicans this year.”

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