POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 9/13

O’Donnell Leads in Delaware U.S. Senate Primary

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows there’s a real possibility of a major upset in the Delaware U.S. Senate primary on Tuesday.

Christine O’Donnell (R) leads Rep. Mike Castle (R), 47% to 44%.

Key finding: Castle has an overwhelming 69% to 21% lead with moderate voters but they only make up 33% of the likely primary electorate. O’Donnell has a 62% to 31% lead with conservatives that’s more than enough to propel her to the overall lead.

Palin Claims Annoucement Will Come on Radio

Sarah Palin said that if she makes any announcement about 2012 presidential plans, she’ll do it on a KWHL drive-time talk radio show, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Said Palin: “If there is going to be some big national announcement I’m going to do it where it’s most worthy. I’m going to do something big, even bigger then Glenn Beck. It’s going to happen on the Bob and Mark show.”

O’Donnell Sought $6.9 Million for “Mental Anguish”

Court documents obtained by the Weekly Standard show that in 2005 Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (R) sued her former employer for $6.95 million in damages because of the “mental anguish” she suffered after allegedly being demoted and fired because of her gender.

Also interesting: Though she didn’t have a bachelor’s degree until a few weeks ago, O’Donnell also implied she was taking master’s degree classes at Princeton University in 2003.

Candidate Helps Nab Thief

Massachusetts congressional candidate William Keating (D) pursued a purse snatcher this morning after the man reportedly grabbed a woman’s handbag and fled from a restaurant, the Cape Cod Times reports.

Keating and several others jumped to their feet and raced after the would-be thief. The AP notes they cornered him in a back yard until police arrived and arrested him.

The primary is on Tuesday.

Republicans Increasingly Turn to Fox News

Pew Research: “Only Fox News has maintained its audience size, and this is because of the increasing number of Republicans who regularly get news there. Four-in-ten Republicans (40%) now say they regularly watch Fox News, up from 36% two years ago and just 18% a decade ago. Just 12% of Republicans regularly watch CNN, and just 6% regularly watch MSNBC.”

“As recently as 2002, Republicans were as likely to watch CNN (28%) as Fox News (25%). The share of Democrats who regularly watch CNN or Fox News has fallen from 2008.”

Quote of the Day

“What if Obama is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together his actions? That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

— Newt Gingrich, quoted by the National Review, arguing that President Obama “is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works.”

U.S. Senate Race in Nevada Still Very Close

A new Las Vegas Review Journal/Mason-Dixon poll shows Sen. Harry Reid (D) and challenger Sharron Angle (R) remain locked in a close race with Reid ahead, 46% to 44%.

“The question is whether nonpartisan voters will break Angle’s way based on their stronger support for her economic positions or whether Reid’s aggressive campaign will succeed in portraying the staunch conservative as too extreme on other issues and in her personal beliefs.”

Political Ad Spending Surges

Ad Week: “The economy is still shaky, but that won’t stop politicians from spending a record amount this year on advertising to sway mid-term election results… According to Borrell Associates, political ad spending will reach $4.2 billion this year, double the $2.1 billion the firm estimated was spent in 2008.”

Support for Tea Party Stalls

A new Quinnipiac poll shows that support for the Tea Party appears to have flat lined. According to the poll, only 12% of voters consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, compared to 14% in earlier surveys. Voter favorability of the Tea Party is split 30% to 31%, also down slightly to the lowest score.

Boehner’s Lobbyist Friends

The New York Times looks at House Minority Leader John Boehner’s (R-OH) “especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists” who have “contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaigns over the years, provided him rides on their corporate jets, socialized with him at luxury golf resorts and waterfront bashes and are now leading fund-raising efforts for his Boehner for Speaker campaign, which is soliciting checks of up to $37,800 each, the maximum allowed.”

“Some of the lobbyists readily acknowledge routinely seeking his office’s help — calling the congressman and his aides as often as several times a week — to advance their agenda in Washington. And in many cases, Mr. Boehner has helped them out.”

What About National Midterm Debates?

EJ Dionne: “An election is about choices. But especially in midterm voting, which involves state-by-state and district-by-district contests, the differences are not always joined cleanly. So let’s give the country a chance to understand what’s at stake this year. Between now and November, President Obama should debate both John Boehner, the House Republican leader, and Mitch McConnell, the GOP leader in the Senate. Their confrontations, televised and during prime time, would certainly get the attention of voters and make clear what the stakes in the election are.”

Jonathan Alter: “Beyond the TV networks, the big winners of midterm debates would be voters, who would learn some facts about what has actually been proposed and enacted to go along with all the usual opinions they hear. As we learned in 2008, debates are more substantive than the normal cable chatter. Just as quadrennial presidential debates are a plus (except that there are too many during the primaries), midterm debates would send an important signal about the importance of Congress in American politics. They might even improve turnout a bit. If nothing else, these fresh contests would add a little zip to October.”

Tight GOP Race for New York Governor

A new Siena College poll in New York finds Rick Lazio (R) and Carl Paladino (R) locked in a virtual dead heat in the Republican primary for governor. Lazio holds a slight 43% to 42% lead.

Said pollster Steven Greenberg: “In the final days of the campaign, likely Republican primary voters are split between Lazio and Paladino. A heavier than normal Republican turnout upstate will likely hand the nomination to Paladino, who leads upstate 53-32 percent, while a heavier than normal downstate suburban turnout will likely make Lazio the Republican nominee, as he leads there 55-30 percent. Lazio also leads 53-33 percent in New York City, which traditionally produces a smaller vote than any region in a Republican primary.”

The winner will take on Andrew Cuomo (D) in the general election.

Does Obama Actually Use the Oval Office?

Slate: “Not most of the time. The president conducts briefings and holds staff meetings in the Oval Office, but it’s used primarily as a ceremonial space. Obama does much of his day-to-day work — such as editing speeches and reviewing papers — in the President’s Study, located off the Oval Office, and in the Treaty Room, on the second floor of the White House. Many recent former presidents — including both Bushes, Carter, Ford, and Johnson — chiefly worked out of the study as well. The last president to use the Oval Office regularly for desk work may have been John F. Kennedy, who would go there after hours to record the day’s events for what would, presumably, have become his memoirs.”

Did Obama Hint He’ll Pick Elizabeth Warren?

At his press conference today, Greg Sargent thinks President Obama seemed to hint seemed strongly that he is leaning towards appointing Elizabeth Warren as head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “which would throw a big bone to liberals who strongly support her and want to see Obama take a stand on something they care about.”

Said Obama: “The idea for this agency was Elizabeth Warren’s. She’s a dear friend of mine. She’s somebody I’ve known since I was in law school. And I have been in conversations with her. She is a tremendous advocate for this idea… So I’ll have an announcement soon about how we’re going to move forward. I have had conversations with Elizabeth over these last couple of months. But I’m not going to make an official announcement until it’s ready.”

Ryan Grim: “Obama’s clear emphasis on ‘official’ gave an indication that the matter is all but decided. Speculation has swirled that Obama would name Warren to head the agency during the summer recess to avoid a confirmation battle. His opportunity to do so expires early next week, when Congress returns. But he could also recess appoint Warren in October, after Congress recesses to campaign for reelection.”

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