POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/6

Paul Uses Obama Impersonator in New Ad

Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul (R) seeks to tie his opponent, Jack Conway (D), to President Obama with a new ad that features an Obama impersonator talking about how Conway has helped and will continue to help advance the President’s agenda.

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Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“If I hear one more Republican tell me about balancing the budget, I am going to strangle them. To the press, that’s a figure of speech.”

— Vice President Joe Biden, quoted by The Hill, accusing Republicans of being insincere in their pledges to tackle the federal deficit.

Bachmann Hasn’t Done @#%!

Minnesota congressional candidate Tarryl Clark (D) is out with a must-see, hard-hitting political ad against Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), claiming that she is “not doing @#%! for the people of the sixth district.”

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Palin Emails Suggest Run for President

Internal emails obtained by The Mudflats “provide the most conclusive evidence to date” that Sarah Palin will be running for president.

In mid-September, Alaska U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller (R) — who received Palin’s endorsement — was asked in a Fox News interview if Palin was qualified to be president. Miller’s response that there were “a number of great candidates out there.”

The answer “fell far short of a Palin endorsement, and seems to have roused the ire of Todd Palin who launched an angry email blasting Miller on behalf of his wife” and went on to ask, “Joe, please explain how this endorsement stuff works, is it to be completely one sided?”

Obama-Clinton Ticket Possible

Bob Woodward says in a CNN interview that it’s a real possibility that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could be President Obama’s running mate in 2012.

Said Woodward: “It’s on the table. Some of Hillary Clinton’s advisers see it as a real possibility in 2012.”

Under the scenario discussed, Vice President Joe Biden would swap jobs with Clinton “to gin up excitement among what appears to be a depressed Democratic base.”

Democrats Maintain Leads in California

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll in California finds Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) leading challenger Carly Fiorina (R) in the U.S. Senate race by four points among likely voters, 49% to 45%..

In the race for governor, Jerry Brown (D) has a seven-point lead over Meg Whitman (R), 50% to 43%.

Republicans Steady in Pennsylvania

A new Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll in Pennsylvania finds Pat Toomey (R) leading Rep. Joe Sestak (D) by 7 points in the U.S. Senate race, 45% to 38%.

In the race for governor, Tom Corbett (R) leads Dan Onorato (D) by 11 points, 47% to 36%.

“The leads held by Corbett and Toomey have been consistent in nearly every public opinion poll in the last month. The only outlier was a Franklin & Marshall College poll last week that showed Corbett up by just four percentage points.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“We talk about golf. We’ll talk about our skin color. We have a nice relationship.”

— House Minority Leader John Boehner (R), in an interview with Fox News, on his relationship with President Obama.

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Kennedy to Write Memoir on Addiction

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) will detail his struggles with alcoholism, drug addiction and depression in a memoir to be released in the fall of 2011, the New York Timesreports.

The book, written with Mary Ann Akers, will be called Coming Clean.

Miller Wants Legislatures to Pick Senators

According to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Alaska U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller (R) “called the idea of a living, changing Constitution ‘bullcrap,’ and said he would support an amendment for term limits as well as an amendment repealing the 17th Amendment, which allows for the direct election of senators by the public rather than by state legislatures.”

Republican Leaders Hit Record Low Approval

A new National Journal/Pew Research poll shows that Republican congressional leaders have a record low 24% approval rating, while Democratic leaders did slightly better with 30% approval.

Very Tight Race in Colorado

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Colorado finds Sen. Michael Bennet (D) edging Ken Buck (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 46% to 45%.

Key finding: “Both candidates have their party base pretty much completely locked up: Bennet is winning 85% of Democrats and Buck is winning 84% of Republicans. Bennet’s slight edge comes because of something that is pretty unusual for Democratic candidates across the country this year: he’s ahead 48-38 with independent voters.”

Angle Takes Lead in Nevada

A new Fox News poll in Nevada shows challenger Sharron Angle (R) edging Sen. Harry Reid (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 49% to 46%.

Angle was viewed unfavorable by 53% in the survey, but Reid was viewed unfavorably by 55%.

Blunt Leads in Missouri

A new Fox News poll in Missouri finds Roy Blunt (R) leading Robin Carnahan (D) in the U.S. Senate race among likely voters, 50% to 42%.

Lesser of two evils: “While 44% of voters had an unfavorable view of Blunt compared to 41% who viewed him favorably – Carnahan was viewed unfavorably by 52% compared to 43% who viewed her favorably.”

Raese Leads Manchin in West Virginia

A new Fox News poll in West Virginia finds John Raese (R) with a 5-point lead over Gov. Joe Manchin (D) in the U.S. Senate race among likely voters, 48% to 43%.

Key finding: “Manchin’s most obvious problem is Obama’s 29% approval rating in the state. Only 12% believe that Obama’s policies have helped the state economically, while 55% in the coal-rich state believe they have hurt. That is borne out in the slim 28% of respondents who supported a plan to address global warming like the one Obama favors.”

Hoffman Reverses Himself and Drops Out

Doug Hoffman has dropped out of the race to represent New York’s 23rd congressional district, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports.

Hoffman’s name will still appear on the ballot on the Conservative line; however, Hoffman said that he wants his supporters to vote for Matt Doheny (R) over Rep. Bill Owens (D).

Said Hoffman: “Our nation is at a crossroads, and it is imperative that on Election Day we wrest control of Congress from Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat majority. It was never my intention to split the Republican vote.”

FBI Investigated Jack Kemp Gay Rumors

According to documents obtained by Salon, the FBI “looked into rumors that Jack Kemp, then a long-serving Republican member of Congress, was gay as a potential source of concern during a 1989 background check. The agency finally concluded that the chatter — which haunted, and hindered, Kemp’s attempts to advance in national politics for years — was unsubstantiated.”

Trump Admits He’s Thinking About Bid

In an interview on Morning Joe, Donald Trump kept the speculation about a presidential bid alive.

Said Trump: “For the first time in my life I’ve had so many people over the years ask me to do that and for the first time in my life I am absolutely thinking about it. I don’t know that I’ll do it. It’s probable that I won’t do it but I can tell you, I’m thinking about it. Somebody has to do something, we are losing this country. This country will not be great if something isn’t done rapidly.”

When Denials Don’t Work

The new Christine O’Donnell (R) ad in which she says, “I am not a witch,” reminds Brad Phillips of President Richard Nixon’s famous declaration, “I am not a crook.”

“Spokespersons should almost never use the language of denial, and should turn their statements into positive ones instead. Imagine, for example, that Richard Nixon had applied that technique, saying, ‘I have always complied with the laws of the United States.’ The line would likely not have become iconic — and more importantly, he wouldn’t have placed the words ‘I’ and ‘crook’ within three words of one another.”

How Accurate are Polls?

Tom Holbrook looks at polls from the last 15 days of the 2006 and 2008 campaigns and concludes that statewide polls in Senate and gubernatorial elections “are generally more accurate than district-level House polls.” In fact, most polls — 90% of Senate polls, 88% of gubernatorial polls, and 81% of house polls — are within five points of the actual outcome.

However, the election outcomes fell within margin of error of individual polls just 79% of the time. Theoretically, this should happen 95% of the time.

Landslide of Outside GOP Spending

First Read notes Democratic federal campaign committees have a combined $20 million cash-on-hand advantage over their GOP counterparts, but “in what could very well be the cycle’s biggest story, GOP-leaning outside groups — like the Rove-backed American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — are more than making up the gap. According to Democratic ad-tracking numbers, outside GOP groups spent a whopping $34 million in August and September, compared with just $4 million by Dem groups. And that’s just in Senate races. In House races, GOP groups have spent or plan to spend some $30 million in more than 70 districts, versus $7.5 million by Dem groups.”

“This is turning into a financial blowout. Amazingly, Democratic outside groups are acting as if they’ve disarmed.”

Cuomo Has Huge Lead Over “Loose Cannon” Paladino

A new Siena College poll in New York shows Andrew Cuomo (D) with a huge lead over Carl Paladino (R) among likely voters in the race for governor, 56% to 32%.

Key finding: 59% of voters have an unfavorable view of Paladino and 61% agree with the statement that he “is a loose cannon, who doesn’t have the temperament to be governor.”

Said pollster Steven Greenberg: “With four weeks until voters go to the polls, Cuomo remains in a very strong position to be elected New York’s next governor. Cuomo leads Paladino by 24 points among likely voters in a head-to-head matchup with both candidates on three ballot lines. Cuomo has a huge 70-17 percent lead in New York City, a strong 54-35 lead in the downstate suburbs and upstate voters are nearly evenly divided with Cuomo having 45 percent support and Paladino 43 percent.”

Update: A new Public Policy Polling survey shows Cuomo leads Paladino, 53% to 38%.

Caprio Widens Lead in Rhode Island

A new Brown University poll in Rhode Island shows Frank Caprio (D) has widened his lead over Lincoln Chafee (I) in the race for governor, 30% to 23%, with John Robitaille (R) at 14% and a very high 30% still undecided.

Two months ago, Caprio and Chafee were essentially tied.

Who’s Closest to Obama?

Michael Shear applies a little Kremlinology to the official White House Flickr feed to determine who might be closest to President Obama now that Rahm Emanuel has left his job as chief of staff.

“After the vice president and Mr. Emanuel, there are a group of advisers who all appear in roughly 70 pictures each: David Axelrod, senior adviser (72); Robert Gibbs, press secretary (62); Phil Shiliro, legislative liason (64); Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (69). And then there is another tier of advisers — those who appear less frequently, but still can be seen in dozens of pictures. Those include Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser (40); James Jones, the national security adviser (30); and Defense Secretary Robert Gates (35).”

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