POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/26

Republicans Still Lead in Generic Ballot

The latest Gallup poll finds Republicans remain in position to win control of the House of Representatives in next week’s midterm elections.

Republicans lead Democrats, 48% to 44%, among registered voters. They hold a 52% to 43% margin among likely voters in a high-turnout scenario, and a 55% to 41% margin in a low-turnout scenario. These likely voter advantages for the Republicans are slightly smaller than in previous weeks, reflecting in particular increased Democratic strength over the most recent days of interviewing.

Vitter Holds Solid Lead in Louisiana

A new Magellan Strategies poll in Louisiana shows Sen. David Vitter (R) with a comfortable lead over challenger Charlie Melancon (D), 52% to 35%.

A Democratic poll last week suggested the race had tightened considerably.

Most Positive Ad of the Cycle?

Proving he thinks he has a solid lead in California’s race for governor, Jerry Brown (D) unveils an amazingly effective positive advertisement.

See more…

Manchin Expands Lead in West Virginia

A new Public Policy Polling survey in West Virginia shows Gov. Joe Manchin (D) leading John Raese (R) for U.S. Senate by six points, 50% to 44%.

Manchin led by just three points in a similar survey two weeks ago and trailed by three points in a late September survey.

Key finding: “The incredible dichotomy between how voters in West Virginia feel about Manchin and Obama continues as the election draws near. Manchin is the most popular politician PPP has polled on anywhere in the country this year, with 69% of voters approving of his job performance to only 23% disapproving. The state simultaneously gives Obama his worst reviews of any state where PPP has conducted a survey this year, with 65% of voters disapproving of him and only 31% approving.”

 

Abercrombie Leads for Hawaii Governor

A new Honolulu Star Advertiser Hawaii Poll shows Neil Abercrombie (D) leading Duke Aiona (R) in the race for governor, 51% to 43%.

Aiona insists his own internal polling showed a dead heat in the race.

Race for Georgia Governor Could Head to Runoff

A new SurveyUSA poll in Georgia finds Nathan Deal (R) leading former Gov. Roy Barnes (D) in the race for governor, 49% to 39%, with Libertarian John Monds at 8%.

It’s conceivable that Monds could potentially keep Deal at just under the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“Everything was going great and all of a sudden secret money from God knows where — because they won’t disclose it — is pouring in.”

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), quoted by Politico.

Dead Heat for Colorado Senate

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Colorado finds Sen. Michael Bennet (D) and challenger Ken Buck (R) are each getting support from 47% of voters in the state.

“Bennet’s hanging in there pretty well given his status as an unpopular incumbent. At 51%, a majority of voters in the state disapprove of the job he’s done since being appointed last year to only 40% who approve of him. Usually you’d be dead in the water with those kinds of numbers as an incumbent but he lucked out when Republicans nominated an unappealing candidate of their own. 49% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of Ken Buck to only 44% who see him favorably.”

Hickenlooper Clings to Small Lead

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Colorado confirms what others have found: Tom Tancredo (C) has nearly caught John Hickenlooper (D) in the race for governor, as support for Dan Maes (R) has completely collapsed.

Hicklenlooper barely leads Tancredo, 47% to 44%, with Maes at just 5%.

“When Tancredo and Maes were splitting the vote relatively evenly it looked like that would be enough to win but now Hickenlooper really appears to be at risk of losing. ”

What’s Next for Mark Sanford?

In an interview with CBS News, ex-wife Jenny Sanford didn’t seem to know: “He hasn’t told me yet. You know, he might have something up his sleeve, but if he knows what he’s going to do, he hasn’t shared it with me, and so we’re preparing for any host of possibilities. He could live down the street. He could, you know, move to Argentina. She could move here, I don’t know.”

In an interview last month, Sanford would not rule out a possible return to politics after his term as South Carolina governor ends in January.

One-Third May Still Switch Votes

AP/GfK Poll: “Despite record political spending and months of frenzied campaigning, one-third of likely voters remain steadfastly undecided or favor a candidate but say they could change their mind… Such a large group might seem like a mother lode of opportunity for Democrats scuffling to unearth enough votes to prevent a Republican takeover of Congress. Yet a close look reveals that these people aren’t especially friendly to the party that seems all but certain to lose House and Senate seats on Nov. 2.”

Study Suggests Tea Party is Not a “Movement”

An extensive Washington Post canvass of hundreds of local tea party groups found that the the organization is “not so much a movement as a disparate band of vaguely connected gatherings that do surprisingly little to engage in the political process.”

“Seventy percent of the grass-roots groups said they have not participated in any political campaigning this year. As a whole, they have no official candidate slates, have not rallied behind any particular national leader, have little money on hand, and remain ambivalent about their goals and the political process in general.”

“The local groups stand in contrast to — and, in their minds, apart from — a handful of large national groups that claim the tea party label. Most of those outfits, including FreedomWorks and Tea Party Express, are headed by longtime political players who have used their resources and know-how to help elect a number of candidates

Close Race in South Dakota

A new Nielson Brothers poll finds Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) with an edge over challenger Kristi Noem (R) in the race for Congress, 42% to 40%, with 17% undecided.

Most other recent polls have given Noem the edge in the race.

Santorum All-In on Iowa

The Hotline notes Rick Santorum (R) “is putting all his presidential eggs into the Iowa basket… His decision this week to join a three-day, 1,300 mile bus tour through 45 Iowa counties calling for the removal of three Iowa Supreme Court justices who helped legalize gay marriage is a shrewd political maneuver that will grant him priceless exposure to the state’s grassroots conservative groups. It also confirms Santorum’s strategy of approaching Iowa as an all-or-nothing gambit.”

“If he can effectively sell his social conservative platform to Iowa voters, Santorum has an opportunity to do what former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) did in 2008: Pull off a stunning upset by running hard to the right in hopes of exploiting the divisions between better-known top tier candidates who are more socially moderate. Even if he manages to pull it off, he’s still a long shot — but at least it’s a shot. Conversely, if he loses Iowa, Santorum can kiss his White House ambitions goodbye.”

Secrecy Key to Rove Fundraising

Ken Vogel takes a fascinating look at American Crossroads, the outside funding group founded by Karl Rove and other GOP operatives, which initially “enthusiastically embraced the idea of public disclosure of donors, in part because of a professed commitment to transparency.”

But after four months of struggling to raise money, the operatives spun off a sister group called Crossroads GPS which did not require donor disclosure and fundraising finally took off.

“The success Crossroads has had in attracting anonymous donors highlights a broader trend on the right in which political activity has increasingly shifted to non-profit corporations that can conceal donors’ identities. Republican finance insiders interviewed for this story say it is easier to get major GOP donors to contribute when there’s no risk of having their identities disclosed and being subjected to either additional appeals for money from other groups, or to criticism from President Barack Obama and other Democrats.”

Oprah Snags Bush Interview

Oprah Winfrey “has scored the second television interview with former President George W. Bush as he embarks on a book tour,” the New York Times reports.

“The interview will be shown on Nov. 9, the day that his book, Decision Points, is published by Crown Publishers. Mr. Bush’s first sit-down TV talk will be with Matt Lauer, of the Today show, and will be shown Nov. 8 in prime time on NBC.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

— Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in an interview with the National Journal, describing his goal in retaking the Senate.

Democrat Rips Obama for No Endorsement

Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio (D) blasted President Obama in a radio interview over the president’s decision not to endorse him during a visit to the state today, the Providence Journal reports.

Said Caprio: “He can take his endorsement and really shove it as far as I’m concerned.”

 

 

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