POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/13

Caprio Leads Close Race for Rhode Island Governor

A new Quest Research survey in Rhode Island finds Frank Caprio (D) leading Lincoln Chafee (I) in the race for governor, 37% to 33%, with John Robitaille (R) at 22%.

Said pollster Victor Profughi: “Clearly, it is a tight race. There are about three or four reputable polls that have been done at the same time, and we may differ in terms of who’s ahead and who’s behind, but we all agree that we’re looking at a very tight race.”

Rubio Still Leading by Double-Digits

A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida shwos Marco Rubio (R) is running away with the U.S. Senate race and leading Gov. Charlie Crist (I), 44% to 30%, with Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) at 22%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “As the clock ticks down to Election Day, there is no evidence that Rubio’s lead is narrowing. Anything is possible since there are still three weeks left in the campaign, but it appears Rubio’s opponents will need an earth-shaking development to deny him the U.S. Senate seat. Crist’s best chance for victory all along required that he outpoll Meek among Democrats and get half the independent vote. He is doing neither.”

Similarly, a new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida shows Rubio leading Crist, 44% to 33%, with Meek at just 21%.

Bachmann Raises Record Sum

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has raised about $5.4 million since July, theMinneapolis Star Tribune reports.

“That’s more than any Minnesota congressional candidate has raised in an entire election — Bachmann took in $3.5 million in 2008. The $5 million boost brings Bachmann’s fundraising total this cycle to just about $10 million.”

Bachmann’s campaign still has more than $3.4 million cash on hand.

 

Haley Leads by Single Digits

A new Winthrop University poll in South Carolina shows Nikki Haley (R) leading Vincent Sheheen (D) in the race for governor, 46% to 37%.

Meanwhile, the Charleston City Paper has an affidavit provided to them by blogger Will Folks in which he gives a fairly detailed account of his alleged extramarital affair with Haley.

 

Judge Orders Injunction on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction “immediately stopping enforcement of the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, suspending the 17-year-old ban on openly gay U.S. troops,” the AP reports.

The judge’s landmark ruling “also ordered the government to suspend and discontinue all pending discharge proceedings and investigations under the policy.”

New Poll Gives Murray Big Lead

Despite an earlier Fox News poll in Washington showing a very tight race for U.S. Senate, a new Elway Poll finds Sen. Patty Murray (D) leading challenger Dino Rossi (R) by a margin of 51% to 38%, with 11% still undecided.

When those 11% were asked toward which candidate they were “leaning,” an additional 4% said Murray and 2% said Rossi, giving Murray a 55 to 40% lead.

Little Movement in Illinois Senate Race

A new Rasmussen survey in Illinois shows Alexi Giannoulias (D) edging out Rep. Mark Kirk (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 44% to 43%, with Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones polling at 4%.

“The race is little changed from last week when Kirk led Giannoulias 45% to 41%. Kirk and Giannoulias have now run within four points or less of each other in nine surveys since early June.”

Meanwhile, a new Southern Illinois University poll shows Kirk and Giannoulias locked in a dead heat at 37% each.

More Proof Feingold is in Trouble

Two polls out today show Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) trailing challenger Ron Johnson (R) in the Wisconsin U.S. Senate race by seven points.

Rasmussen survey shows Johnson leading Feingold, 52% to 45%. Meanwhile, aReuters/Ipsos poll shows Johnson leading Feingold, 51% to 44%.

Nevada Senate Race Remains Close

The most remarkable thing about Nevada’s U.S. Senate race is how steady it’s been for many months: A new Public Policy Polling survey shows Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) clinging to just a one point lead over challenger Sharron Angle (R), 49% to 48%.

A Smaller Pack of Blue Dogs

The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition could conceivably lose half of its 54 members in November’s elections, with much of the group under seige in Republican leaning districts, Roll Call reports.

Angle Raises “Eye-Popping” $14 Million in Third Quarter

The Fix reports that Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R), who has been locked in a tight race with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) for weeks, “raised an eye-popping $14 million between July 1 and Sept. 30… a stunning number that far eclipses the cash-collection totals of other prominent candidates seeking Senate seats next month.”

Context: “Reid has yet to release his third quarter fundraising totals but as of mid-summer he had collected just short of $14 million so far in 2010… The Nevada Republican’s showing is only bested in modern memory by the $14.2 million Scott Brown raised in January 2010 in advance of his Massachusetts Senate special election victory.”

Coons Headed for Big Win

A new Monmouth University poll in Delaware shows Chris Coons (D) with a 19 point lead over Christine O’Donnell (R), 57% to 38%, in Delaware’s U.S. Senate race among likely voters.

It also shows Coons peeling off a huge number of supporters of O’Donnell’s primary opponent, Rep. Mike Castle (R).

“Delaware voters’ opinion of O’Donnell is in sharp contrast to their view of her GOP primary opponent, outgoing Congressman Mike Castle. Likely Delaware voters give Castle a positive 56% favorable to 29% unfavorable rating. Among that group of voters with a favorable opinion of Castle, most say they intend to vote for Coons (74%) rather than O’Donnell (20%).”

Magellan Strategies survey shows Coons leading by 18 points, 54% to 36%.

Obama More Popular Than Palin in Alaska

A new DailyKos/Public Policy Polling survey shows that former Gov. Sarah Palin (R) is polarizing even in her home state of Alaska — so much so that President Barack Obama is more popular than she is.

Just 38% of those surveyed approve of Obama, with 55% disapproving. Meanwhile, 35% approve of Palin and 57% disapprove. Both figures are highly popular in their own party and highly unpopular in the other party.

The difference-maker: 52% of moderates and 41% of independents approve of Obama. But they overwhelmingly reject Palin, with just 17% of moderates and 29% of independents viewing her favorably.

Manchin Reclaims Lead in West Virginia

A new Public Policy Polling survey in West Virginia shows Joe Manchin (D) reclaimed the lead from John Raese (R) in the US Senate race, 48% to 45%.

“Manchin trailed by 3 points in a PPP poll three weeks ago and his improved standing is a clear example of the biggest potential game changer nationwide for this year’s election in the final three weeks — if Democratic voters wake up some of their candidates’ fates could shift quite a bit.”

Close Race in Alaska

A new DailyKos/Public Policy Polling survey shows a close race in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race, with Joe Miller (R) edging write-in hopeful Lisa Murkowski (R), 35% to 33%, just within the poll’s margin of error. Meanwhile, Scott McAdams (D) gets 26% support.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“It’s astounding. Based on his anti-gay rant, any advice that I’m giving this guy is no longer having any effect.”

— Roger Stone, an adviser to New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino (R), in an interview with the Daily Beast.

Politicians are Not Normal

Christopher Hitchens: “What normal person would consider risking their career and their family life in order to undergo the incessant barrage of intrusive questioning about every aspect of their lives since well before college? To face the constant pettifogging and chatter of Facebook and Twitter and have to boast of how many false friends they had made in a weird cyberland? And if only that was the least of it. Then comes the treadmill of fundraising and the unending tyranny of the opinion polls, which many media systems now use as a substitute for news and as a means of creating stories rather than reporting them. And, even if it ‘works,’ most of your time in Washington would be spent raising the dough to hang on to your job. No wonder that the best lack all conviction.”

Quote of the Day

“The tactic of making female politicians into whores is nothing new… It’s part of this whole idea that female sexuality and serious work are incompatible.

— Virginia congressional candidate Krystal Ball (D), in a statement, after racy photos of her were made available on the Internet.

Very Tight Senate Race in Washington

A new Fox News poll in Washington shows Dino Rossi (R) just edging Sen. Patty Murray (D) in the U.S. Senate race,47% to 46%.

Rossi was viewed unfavorably by 49% of voters and Murray was viewed unfavorably by 48% — outstripping positive views for both politicians by small margins.

Angle Keeps Slim Lead in Nevada

A new Fox News poll in Nevada shows Sharron Angle (R) barely leading Sen. Harry Reid (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 49% to 47%.

Interesting: “Only 6% of respondents said they were still open to changing their minds, while the rest were firmly behind their candidate despite weeks of almost entirely negative campaigning. It makes sense that both candidates scored with negative ratings of nearly 60%.”

McMahon Gaining on Blumenthal

A new Fox News poll in Connecticut finds Richard Blumenthal (D) leading Linda McMahon (R) by just six points in their U.S. Senate race, 49% to 43%.

Since their debate, McMahon’s favorability rating with state voters rose from 40% to 44%. Blumenthal’s favorability rating, meanwhile, dropped from 55% to 53%.

Soros Stays on the Sidelines

George Soros, the billionaire who helped fund Democrats in the last three election cycles, is sitting this one out, the New York Times reports.

Said Soros: “I made an exception getting involved in 2004. And since I didn’t succeed in 2004, I remained engaged in 2006 and 2008. But I’m basically not a party man. I’d just been forced into that situation by what I considered the excesses of the Bush administration.”

Though he’s concerned about the prospect of Republican control of Congress, he said: “I think they are pushing the wrong policies, but I’m not in a position to stop it. I don’t believe in standing in the way of an avalanche.”

Parties Gear Up for Redistricting Battles

“Republicans and Democrats, hoping to pick up seats in Congress through redistricting, are pouring money and political muscle into statehouse races in about 16 states,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Republican and Democratic strategists are focusing on races in states that they believe could eventually swing as many as 25 to 30 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The top targets are Wisconsin, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas.”

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