POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/14

Feingold Trails in Yet Another Poll

CNN/Time/Opinion Research poll in Wisconsin finds Ron Johnson (R) leading Sen. Russ Feingold (D), 52% to 44%.

Pollster Keating Holland: “Although Johnson is from Oshkosh, he manages no better than a tie in the northeastern part of the state, but he has a two-to-one lead in the Milwaukee suburbs and other parts of the southeastern region, and that’s enough to give him a statewide lead. Feingold is picking up votes in the two major Democratic strongholds in the state – Milwaukee and the southwestern region that is dominated by Madison, the state capital.”

Murray Leads By Eight in Washington

CNN/Time/Opinion Research survey in Washington finds Sen. Patty Murray (D) leading challenger Dino Rossi (R) by eight points, 51% to 43%.

Said pollster Keating Holland: “Washington is one of the few states CNN has polled in this fall in which Democrats and Republicans are equally enthusiastic about voting. Combine that with a voting population that has trended Democratic in its past voting behavior and we see a state in which the likely voter model adds a couple of points to the Democratic candidate.”

West Virginia Race Tightens

A new Rasmussen survey shows Gov. Joe Manchin (D) has reduced his deficit against John Raese (R) in West Virginia’s special U.S. Senate race to just three points. Raese now leads Manchin, 49% to 46%, among likely voters. Last week, Rasmussen had Raese ahead by six points, 50% to 44%.

Just yesterday, a Public Policy Polling survey showed Manchin pulling ahead of Raese by three points.

Is Cell Phone Bias Skewing Polls?

A new Pew Research study finds that not only can landline-only surveys exaggerate the Republican enthusiasm because cell-only users tend to vote more Democratic, but they also may be even more biased than in 2008.

In three of four congressional election polls conducted since spring, estimates from landline-only samples had slightly more Republican support and slightly less Democratic support. One of the polls showed no difference. In the most recent congressional poll, Republicans led Democrats 46% to 45%, among landline-only users who were registered to vote. But when cell-only registered voters were included, Democrats took the lead, 47% to 44%. Among likely voters, Republicans held a 12 point lead among those with landlines only, 53% to 41% but the lead shrinks to seven points, 50% to 43%, when cell-only voters are added.

Jon Cohen: ‘While Pew’s update to their long-running research on cellphones and surveys isn’t a broad rebuke to pollsters who don’t interview on cellphones, it raises fresh doubts about the precision of the reams of polling data fueling estimates of what may happen on Nov. 2.”

The Media’s Craze for Christine O’Donnell

Chris Cillizza notes that Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (R) has received star treatment in the media, even getting the chance to debate opponent Chris Coons (D) tonight on national TV. But he suggests the Delaware Senate race may not warrant all the media focus that it has received.

“Judging from that treatment, a casual viewer might conclude that the race for Vice President Joe Biden’s old seat is among the most competitive in the country. That, of course, would be wrong. Way wrong.”

“She is a decided long shot to even come close to being competitive in Delaware, and there are at least 15 Senate races that are closer, according to public polling, at the moment. Covering her is one thing. Covering her as though her race will decide the fate of the Senate is quite another.”

Senate Race in Nevada Remains Close

Two more polls show a tight U.S. Senate race in Nevada:

A new Suffolk University survey shows Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) edging Sharron Angle (R), 46% to 43%, among likely voters.

A new Rasmussen poll has Angle leading Harry Reid by one point, 49% to 48%.

Sink Pulls Ahead in Florida

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows Alex Sink (D) has pulled ahead of Rick Scott (R) in the Florida gubernatorial race, 46% to 41%.

“The big story in this race is the independents. In most states across the country Republicans are dominating with them but the intense unpopularity of Scott is making this contest an exception to that rule. 61% of independents have an unfavorable opinion of him to only 20% who see him in a positive light and as a result Sink holds a 53-26 lead with that group, accounting for her entire overall lead.”

Roosevelt’s Purge

Just published: Roosevelt’s Purge: How FDR Fought to Change the Democratic Party by Susan Dunn.

In a review, Jonathan Karl notes that after Franklin D. Roosevelt trounced Alf Landon by 24 points in the 1936 election, he “set out to expand the New Deal and to give himself the power to make it work… Ms. Dunn has written an engaging story of bare-knuckled political treachery that pits a president at the peak of his popularity against entrenched congressional leaders who didn’t like where he was taking the country and their party. FDR tried to use the power of the White House, and his personality, to run his opponents out of the Democratic Party. He failed miserably.”

Obama vs. Huckabee?

Here’s another good nugget from the New York Times Magazine piece on President Obama:

“Obama advisers expect to incorporate the reelection campaign around March and think the Tea Party ultimately will reelect him by pulling Republican nominee to the right. They doubt Sarah Palin will run, figure Mitt Romney can’t get nomination because of his Massachusetts health care program and guess that Obama may end up running against Mike Huckabee.”

Vote for Him and He’ll Kill Your Dog

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has a new ad that essentially says his opponent, Bill Brady (R), will kill your dog if elected.

See more…

Biden Says Obama Asked Him to Run Again

Vice President Joe Biden told the New York Times “he will be on the ticket with President Obama in 2012 — all that buzz about Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton replacing him notwithstanding.”

Said Biden: “I tell you what, there’s real trust, that’s why he’s asked me to run again. Look, he said, ‘We’re going to run together, are you going to run?’ I said, ‘Of course, you want me to run with you, I’m happy to run with you.’ ”

Whitman Pumps In $20 Million More

California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (R) “contributed an additional $20 million to her campaign this week — bringing the total she has spent so far on her run to $141.5 million,” California Beat reports.

“The contribution only adds to an already record-shattering total — no other American candidate has ever spent so much of his or own wealth in an attempt to get elected as the former eBay executive has.”

The Education of Barack Obama

The New York Times Magazine runs a must-read piece on President Obama.

“During our hour together, Obama told me he had no regrets about the broad direction of his presidency. But he did identify what he called ‘tactical lessons.’ He let himself look too much like ‘the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.’ He realized too late that ‘there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects’ when it comes to public works. Perhaps he should not have proposed tax breaks as part of his stimulus and instead “let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts” so it could be seen as a bipartisan compromise. Most of all, he has learned that, for all his anti-Washington rhetoric, he has to play by Washington rules if he wants to win in Washington.”

Also interesting: Obama is currently reading The Clinton Tapes and has spent “a lot of time talking about Obama 2.0” as he compares his political situation to that of President Clinton in 1994.

Voters Split on Outside Funders

A new Bloomberg poll finds that 47% of voters said they would be less likely to support a candidate if their campaign was aided by “anonymous business groups” while 41% said it would not matter.

The Coming Impeachment of President Obama

Jonathan Chait: “Hear me now and believe me later: If Republicans win and maintain control of the House of Representatives, they are going to impeach President Obama. They won’t do it right away. And they won’t succeed in removing Obama. (You need 67 Senate votes.) But if Obama wins a second term, the House will vote to impeach him before he leaves office.”

Key point: “A December poll found that 35% of Republicans already favor impeaching Obama, with just 48% opposed and the balance undecided. That is a large base of support to impeach Obama for literally anything at all.”

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