POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 9/20

Dingell Way Ahead in Re-Election Bid

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI ) has a 19-point lead over challenger Rob Steele (R) in a new Detroit News/WDIV poll, 49% to 30%, “despite growing GOP optimism they have a chance to topple the House’s longest-serving Democrat.”

Quote of the Day

“Well, keep in mind, when — after the 1994 election, one of the first things that Speaker Gingrich said was that Hillary and I were the enemy of normal Americans. Every time something bad happened in America back then, he blamed it on the 1960s culture… So that’s just what he does when he’s running. He’s, he’s out there playing politics, and it’s his shtick.  He knows better. He’s a smart man.”

— Bill Clinton, in an interview on Meet the Press, on Newt Gingrich saying President Obama had “Kenyan, anti-colonial views.”

Lee Way Ahead in Utah

A new Deseret News/KSL poll in Utah shows Mike Lee (R) with a huge lead over Sam Granato (D) for U.S. Senate, 52% to 25%.

Said pollster Randy Shumway: “Mike Lee is getting votes from all of the conservatives, many of the moderates and even some of the self-described liberals. They perceive the federal government as having overreached, as being excessively inefficient. Therefore, these individuals are saying ‘We want to vote for someone who’s going to go to Washington, D.C. and give push back’.”

Abercrombie Wins Nomination in Hawaii

Former Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D) “rolled to victory last night in the Democratic primary for governor as voters eagerly embraced his call for change,” the Honolulu Advertiser reports.

Abercrombie defeated Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann (D), 60% to 38%, by portraying him “as the candidate of the status quo and the establishment. He ran as an insurgent against a man who secured many of the most coveted endorsements from business and from public- and private-sector labor unions.”

Abercrombie is the heavy favorite in the general election against Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona (R) “who cruised to victory over nominal opposition in the Republican primary.”

LePage Keeps Leads in Maine

A new Maine Poll finds Paul LePage (R) maintaining a sizable lead over Libby Mitchell (D) in the race for governor, 38% to 25%, with 21% still undecided and 16% for three other “unenrolled” candidates.

Toomey Holds Edge in Pennsylvania

A new Times Leader poll in Pennsylvania shows Pat Toomey (R) with the edge over Rep. Joe Sestak (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 40% to 36% with 24% undecided.

Corbett Holds Small Lead in Pennsylvania

A new Times Leader poll in Pennsylvania finds Tom Corbett (R) with a tiny lead over Dan Onorato (D) in the race for governor, 38% to 37% with 25% still undecided.

Social Conservatives Pick Pence

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) won the fifth annual Values Voter straw poll on 2012 presidential preferences, CNN reports.

Mike Huckabee came in second, followed by Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Sarah Palin came in fifth but didn’t attend the summit where the straw poll occurred.

Politico: “Pence’s victory here will offer his presidential hopes a burst of attention. The Hoosier, first elected to the House in 2000, has visited some of the traditional early primary states and is headed back to Iowa to keynote the banquet of a cultural conservative group next month. He faces an easy re-election this fall and, if he doesn’t seek the presidency, may run for governor of Indiana in 2012.”

Majority Want a Third Party

A new Gallup poll finds that 58% of Americans believe a third party is needed because they are dissatisfied with the two current parties, the highest level Gallup has recorded since 2003.

“Though the rise in support for a third party could be linked to the Tea Party movement, Tea Party supporters are just about average in terms of wanting to see a third party created. Sixty-two percent of those who describe themselves as Tea Party supporters would like a third major party formed, but so do 59% of those who are neutral toward the Tea Party movement. Tea Party opponents are somewhat less likely to see the need for a third party.”

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