POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/19

Quote of the Day

“It’s the Monica Lewinsky ploy.”

— Grover Norquist, quoted by Time, arguing that the Ground Zero mosque controversy is distracting from the core Republican message in the same way that the Monica Lewinsky scandal distracted Republicans in 1998.

Corbett Up Big in Pennsylvania

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Pennsylvania finds Tom Corbett (R) is still the strong favorite to be the next governor, leading Dan Onorato (D), 48% to 35%.

The reason: “Corbett has a massive lead with independents (52-20), is winning over an unusually high number of Democrats (22%), and has his party pretty well unified around him (74-10). Add to that a Democratic base in the state that’s less than excited about voting this year and it’s the equation for a double digit lead.”

Brady Leads Race for Illinois Governor

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Illinois shows Bill Brady (R) leading Gov. Pat Quinn (D) in the race for governor, 39% to 30%, with Green Party candidate Rich Whitney at 11%.

Key takeaway: “There’s certainly still room for Quinn to come back but it’s going to depend on whether people vote based on their feelings about the candidates themselves or just choose on party.”

Republicans Dominate in Kansas

A new SurveyUSA poll shows Republicans on their way to winning the top two races in Kansas.

In the U.S. Senate race, Jerry Moran (R) is crushing Lisa Johnston (D), 69% to 23%.

In the race for governor, Sam Brownback (R) is way ahead of Tom Holland (D), 67% to 25%.

A Formal Centrist Bloc in the Senate?

Matthew Yglesias: “It occurred to me today that there’s at least some chance that in January of 2011 the US Senate will have 49 Democrats, Joe Lieberman, Charlie Crist, and 49 Republicans. Which is to say that Lieberman & Crist could form a two-man caucus, hold the balance of power, and drive organization of the Senate. Crist could leapfrog seniority and chair a committee. And if it looked like that might happen, mightn’t it make sense for Northeastern moderate Republicans (Snowe, Collins, Brown, Castle) and Southern moderate Democrats (Landrieu, Pryor, Hagan) to join their rebellion against the two party system?”

Republican Veer Into Social Issues

Ezra Klein: “One political question about the Ground Zero Islamic complex/mosque/theater-space/swimming pool: Why are Republicans trumpeting this? And why, a week or two ago, did they start talking about the 14th amendment? Republicans are going to win a lot of seats this year. And they’re going to do it on the backs of the economy. Getting into social issues — particularly social issues that might anger minorities — is a dangerous play. It loses them long-term votes that they just don’t need to lose. It paints their party as intolerant and opportunistic. And it’s unnecessary: It’s not like they’re hurting for things to talk about.”    (ed. THEY JUST CAN’T HELP THEMSELVES — IT’S THEIR NATURE!)

Another Florida Poll Gives Scott the Edge

Sunshine State News Poll in Florida shows the Republican primary for governor very close. Rick Scott (R) edges Bill McCollum (R) by two points, 44% to 42%, among likely voters in next Tuesday’s primary election.

While Scott is ahead, the poll finds what most others have found recently: McCollum has surged over the last month to make the race competitive again.

Paul Holds Edge in Kentucky

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll in Kentucky finds Rand Paul (R) with a five point lead over Jack Conway (D), 45% to 40%.

Key finding: “The poll found Kentucky Republicans do not enjoy the big advantage in campaign enthusiasm found in other state and national polls. Republicans lead Democrats only 59 percent to 57 percent in having a high level of interest in the race.”

Deadlocked in Nevada

A new Rasmussen survey in Nevada shows Sen. Harry Reid (D) in a dead heat with challenger Sharron Angle (R) in the U.S. Senate race with both getting 47% support.

McCollum, Meek Back on Top Ahead of Primary

A new Quinnipiac poll shows the “insiders” in Florida have overtaken the “outsiders” in two key primary races next week.

In the Republican primary for governor, Bill McCollum (R) leads Rick Scott (R) among likely voters, 44% to 35%, reversing an eleven point lead he held late last month.

In the Democratic U.S. Senate primary, Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) leads Jeff Greene (D) among likely voters, 35% to 28%, reversing a ten point lead Greene has last month.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “The empire strikes back, actually both empires, that is, the folks who run the Democratic and Republican parties in Florida have waded into the nomination fights and they are making a difference.”


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