POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/28

Synder Headed for Landslide Win in Michigan

A new Detroit News poll in Michigan shows Rick Snyder (R) absolutely crushing Virg Bernero (D) in the race for governor, 53% to 35%.

Said pollster Richard Czuba: “There is a Republican tide in Michigan.”

Another Bad Forecast for Democrats

The Hill: “In more bad news for Democrats, rain is in the forecast for much of the country on Election Day. Weather tracking websites, including weather.com and The Old Farmer’s Almanac, are calling for rain in the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast regions, with chances for precipitation in other parts of the country as well. According to Laurel Harbridge, a Northwestern University political science professor, GOP voters are not typically discouraged by rain. ‘Republicans are helped by bad weather… it does harm Democratic prospects.'”

Steele Eyes Second Term at RNC

RNC Chairman Michael Steele “is taking steps to run for another two-year term and outlined his plan in a conference call last week to a handful of state GOP officials,”CNN reports.

In fact, Steele already has picked two current RNC staffers to help run his re-election campaign. He will need to secure the support of 85 RNC members to win another term – half of the 168 people who make up the committee.

Race for Connecticut Governor Dead Even

A new CT Capitol Report/Merriman River Group poll in Connecticut finds Dan Malloy (D) and Tom Foley (R) deadlocked in the race for governor at 45% each.

Paul Still Leads in Kentucky

A new CNN/Time/Opinion Research poll in Kentucky finds Rand Paul (R) leading Jack Conway (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 50% to 45%.

Independents back Paul by a 63%-26% margin.

Dead Heat in Colorado

A new RBI Strategies & Research poll in Colorado shows Sen. Michael Bennet (D) leading challenger Ken Buck (R) by just one point in the U.S. Senate race, 43% to 42%.

A new CNN/Time/Opinion Research poll has Buck leading by one point, 47% to 46%.

Angle Inches Ahead in Nevada

A new CNN/Time/Opinion Research poll in Nevada finds Sharron Angle (R) leading Sen. Harry Reid (D) by four points in the U.S. Senate race, 49% to 45%.

Earlier this month, Angle led by just two points in a similar survey.

Manchin Back in Lead in West Virginia

A new Rasmussen survey in West Virginia shows Gov. Joe Manchin (D) edging John Raese (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 49% to 46%.

Raese has led in all Rasmussen polls for the past month.

Kirk Holds Slight Lead over Giannoulias

A new Rasmussen survey shows Rep. Mark Kirk (R) holding a slight advantage over Alexi Giannoulias (D), 46% to 42%, in the Illinois U.S. Senate race with less than a week to go before Election Day.

“But Democrats are counting on visits to Illinois this week by Bill Clinton and President Obama to shift voters in the Democratic-leaning state into Giannoulias’ column.”

Framing the Aftermath

A new DNC video cleverly uses Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) recent statement that his top priority is making President Obama a one-term president, which Ben Smithnotes helps frame the midterm elections “but, perhaps more so, the struggle for moral and political high ground in its expected aftermath.”

See more…

Democrats Quietly Support Fringe Candidates

Politico reports “a key component of the Democratic strategy to hold the House is becoming clear: In more than a dozen close races, Democrats are encouraging and advancing little-known, conservative third-party candidates in an attempt to fracture the Republican vote enough to eke out narrow victories.”

“Behind-the-scenes collaboration between local Democratic officials and tea party activists in a handful of isolated races has already been reported… But the divide-and-conquer strategy has become more widespread — and coordinated — through television ads, robocalls and mailers in recent weeks as races have tightened and it’s become more apparent that just a few percentage points could end up swinging the outcome in many races.”

Giuliani Mulls Another Bid

According to Politico, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is still considering another presidential bid and has consulted possible donors and other GOP insiders.

Said Giuliani: “The door’s not closed.”

Field Clears for Rahm

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said he is not running for mayor of Chicago, theChicago Sun Times reports.

The Chicago Tribune notes the news “vastly increases the odds that Rahm Emanuel, with his huge campaign warchest, will not only win the February 22 mayoral ‘primary,’ but make it probable that he’ll take more than 50 percent of the vote, eliminating the need for a run-off election on April 5.”

Scratch-and-Sniff Attack Ad

California congressional candidate Van Tran (R) has sent voters a scratch-and-sniff mail piece taking aim at Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), the Fresno Bee reports.

“Something smells rotten about Loretta – it’s the stench of Washington,” the mailer reads.

Said one recipient of the mailer: “It is a horrible odor – like a combination of five or six of the worst possible scents you can imagine.”

Angle Uses Decoy to Avoid the Media

Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) apparently used a decoy to avoid a pack of reporters waiting for her after a campaign event.

Las Vegas Sun: “As the event was coming to a close, a campaign staffer in a car near the assembled press reportedly spoke loudly into his cell phone, saying: ‘She’s Ready? She’s coming out now.’ Two women then got into his car, while Angle apparently went out a side door, avoiding TV cameras altogether.”

“The press, thinking Angle was still inside the building, stayed outside for another half hour until one intrepid reporter begged Microsoft staff to let her in to use the restroom. (No, folks, it wasn’t me.) The reporter then confirmed that Angle had already left the building.”

Profile in Redemption

The Washington Post has a must-read profile of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), the “Speaker-in-waiting” as Republicans expect massive gains in the upcoming elections.

“Just before Thanksgiving 1998, John A. Boehner hit bottom. The Ohio congressman, once a comer in the Republican Party, was unceremoniously removed from his post in the House leadership… Twelve years later, Boehner, 60, is on the verge of completing a remarkable political comeback. He is now the minority leader, and if Republicans win control of the House in next week’s midterm elections, he will almost certainly become speaker. His rise is partly the result of a tireless fundraising operation that has poured money into fellow Republicans’ campaigns, and partly a reward for his willingness to fashion himself into the uncompromising leader of the opposition to President Obama.”

Quote of the Day

“It’s always nice to have friends who wish you the best, and as you know, in politics the number of people who say they were with you last time is substantially larger than the number of people that actually were with you last time.”

— Mitt Romney, quoted by the Des Moines Register.

Another Sign Barbour Will Run for President

The Fix notes Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) “has given $440,000 to aspiring 2010 candidate and party committees via his Haley’s PAC, another clear signal that the Mississippi governor is seriously considering running for president in 2012.”

“Barbour has contributed to all 37 GOP gubernatorial candidates — directly or through the state party — and has also made a slew of donations to GOP Senate and House candidates.”

Why This Cycle Feels Different

First Read: “We’ve seen plenty of anger, frustration, and high emotions in past campaigns. But the anger this cycle — culminating in Monday’s stomping in Kentucky — feels so much more different. Just think back to the contentious town halls in the summer of 2009, Joe Wilson’s ‘You lie,’ and Newt Gingrich agreeing that the best way to describe the president is as a Kenyan anti-colonialist. More recently, we’ve seen the Carl Paladino phenomenon, a candidate’s security detail handcuffing a reporter, and Frank Caprio telling the president to ‘shove it.’ And then there’s all the women candidates (from both parties) aggressively saying, ‘Man up.’ Maybe our memories are too short, but the level of anger, disrespect, and incivility seems to be at an all-time high right now.”

Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Switches Parties

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Scott Angelle said that he has changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican because of his dissatisfaction with President Obama and the administration’s recent actions on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Democrats Outspending Republicans

Contrary to the conventional wisdom that Democrats have been outspent by conservative outside groups, Politico reports that figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics “tell a different story.”

“The money race totals come to $856 million for the Democratic committees and their aligned outside groups, compared to $677 for their Republican adversaries.”

Separate tracks: “Democrats still have a sizable cash advantage in their party committees” while “conservative groups have spent $169 million on ads attacking Democratic House and Senate candidates, compared to $80 million by liberal-leaning groups.”

Democrats Stay in Front in California

A new SurveyUSA poll in California shows Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) with a five point lead over challenger Carly Fiorina (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 45% to 40%.

The San Francisco Chronicle notes Fiorina entered a Los Angeles hospital yesterday with an infection related to her reconstructive surgery following breast cancer last year. She’s expected to be back on the campaign trail soon.

In the race for governor, Jerry Brown (D) still leads Meg Whitman (R) by an eight point margin, 46% to 38%.

Momentum Shifts to Scott in Florida

A new Sunshine State News poll in Florida shows Rick Scott (R) moving into a two point lead over Alex Sink (D) in the race for governor, 47% to 45%.

Said pollster Jim Lee: “These two are so evenly matched that for the last three weeks they have traded the lead more than once — yet the election is now in Scott’s favor. I say this because Scott leads by nearly 2 points overall (46-45) — not a lot — but by 4 points (48-44) among those who say they are most likely to vote.”

Records Show Miller Admitted Lying

Alaksa U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller (R) “admitted in 2008 that he lied after being caught using Fairbanks North Star Borough computers for political purposes while he was working as a part-time borough lawyer,” the Anchorage Daily Newsreports.

In an email from his employee records, Miller wrote, “I lied about accessing all of the computers. I then admitted about accessing the computers, but lied about what I was doing. Finally, I admitted what I did.”

“During the campaign, Miller first refused to answer questions from reporters about it, then acknowledged he had been disciplined. He’s refused to discuss the details, however and won’t agree to an interview with the Daily News.”

Toomey Leads in Pennsylvania

A new Franklin and Marshall poll in Pennsylvania shows Pat Toomey (R) leading Rep. Joe Sestak (D) by seven points in the U.S. Senate race, 43% to 36%.

Said pollster Terry Madonna: “Seven points, with a week to go — I don’t think you can completely rule out a miracle or a game-changing turnout moment. But that would be a remarkable turnaround.”

The latest Morning Call/Muhlenberg tracking poll shows Toomey leading by five points, 46% to 41%.

Though a poll yesterday found the race a dead heat, most give the edge to Toomey.

Democrats Headed for Massive Losses

The Hill 2010 Midterm Election poll points to “a massive Republican wave that, barring an extraordinary turnaround, will deliver crushing nationwide defeats for President Obama’s party.”

Of the 42 toss up districts surveyed, “all but two of which are currently Democratic, 31 had Republicans in the lead. Democrats were up in just seven, and four were tied. In addition, there are some 15 Democratic districts that are so far into the GOP win column that they weren’t polled. That would suggest at least 46 GOP pickups, plus whatever the party gets out of another 40 or 50 seats that some experts believe are in play.”

Said pollster Mark Penn: “We didn’t even poll in about 15 districts that are already too far gone for Democrats. So that, along with our entire series of polls, points to something in the range of a 50-seat gain for Republicans.”

Democrats May Get Trifecta in New York

A new Quinnipiac poll shows Andrew Cuomo (D) leading Carl Paladino (R) by 20 points in the race for governor, 55% to 35%, with 7% still undecided.

Said pollster Maurice Carroll: “That Republican wave that’s said to be sweeping the country runs into a levee – a dam, a blockade, whatever figure of speech you like – at the New York border probably because of Carl Paladino’s foot-in-mouth disease. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo can start measuring the Executive Mansion curtains. This race is all but over.”

In the state’s two U.S. Senate race, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) tops Joseph DioGuardi (R), 57% to 34%, while Sen. Charles Schumer (D) leads Jay Townsend (R), 64% to 32%.

Oregon Race for Governor Remains Tight

Hibbitts, Davis & Midghall poll in Oregon finds Chris Dudley (R) narrowly leads former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) in the race for governor, 46% to 43% with 10% still undecided.

Said pollster Tim Hibbitts: “What it tells me is it’s a very close race. It has been a very close race for four and a half months. If the next poll comes up with Kitzhaber up by a point or two, I will not be surprised.”

Fallin Way Ahead for Oklahoma Governor

A new Oklahoma Poll shows Mary Fallin (R) maintains a comfortable lead over Jari Askins (D) heading into the final week of the gubernatorial campaign, 56% to 38%.

A similar poll in July had Fallin leading by just six points.

Corbett Headed for Big Win in Pennsylvania

A new Franklin and Marshall poll in Pennsylvania finds Tom Corbett (R) has opened up a 15-point lead over Dan Onorato (D) in the race for governor, 47% to 32%.

Said pollster Terry Madonna: “Coming back from 15 points would be an almost impossible feat.”

Meanwhile, the latest Morning Call/Muhlenberg tracking poll shows Corbett leading 52% to 38%.

Vitter Maintains Double-Digit Lead

A new Clarus Research poll in Lousiana shows Sen. David Vitter (R) leading Rep. Charlie Melancon (D) in the U.S. Senate race by 12 points, 50% to 38%.

Key finding: “Although Vitter’s favorability rating is below 50 percent, his campaign appears to have effectively tied his opponent to President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress, whose unpopularity in Louisiana has helped to give Melancon a meager 34% favorability rating.”

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