Blog Posts by Holly Bailey

  • Poll: Dems gain in swing districts, but battleground widens

    boehner pelosiWith just over two weeks to go before Election Day, a new NPR poll of the nation's top battleground districts finds Democrats gaining on the GOP in races that will probably determine which party wins majority control of the next Congress.

    According to NPR, 47 percent of likely voters in toss-up districts plan to vote GOP on Nov. 2, compared with 44 percent who are leaning toward the Dems. That's a notable difference since the last NPR poll, in June, which found Republicans with an 8-point advantage over Democrats. The poll is telling in that NPR is actually polling solely within so-called swing districts, and therefore offering a better sense of where the 2010 battle actually stands.

    Yet Democrats shouldn't be cheering yet. While the party has improved its 2010 standing, the number of competitive districts has dramatically expanded in recent months. Back in June, there were just 70 toss-up districts. Now there are 96—and Democrats currently hold 86 of those.

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  • Coming soon to a TV near you: Sarah Palin, reality star

    palin dogsledIn what will no doubt spark more "will she or won't she?" questions about 2012, Sarah Palin tells prospective viewers of her new reality show that she'd rather be in Alaska "than in some stuffy old political office."

    The quote comes from the just-released trailer of the former governor's new show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," which premieres Nov. 14 on TLC. The 30-second trailer, first reported by the Hollywood Reporter, includes footage of Palin hiking up a snow-covered mountain, kayaking an Alaskan river near fighting (mama?) grizzlies, riding an all-terrain vehicle and commanding a dog sled.

    The trailer also offers a peek into Palin's domestic life, showing her holding son Trig and cuddling with husband Todd.

    "How come we can't ever just be satisfied with tranquility?" Palin asks, the phrases "no lobbyists" and "family adventure" flashing on the screen. "I'd rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office. I'd rather be out here being free."

    You can watch the trailer below, courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter:

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  • Angle and Reid prepare to meet in first, and only, debate

    harry reidThe moment has finally arrived. Tonight, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will face off against his GOP challenger, Sharron Angle, in the first and only Nevada Senate race debate. It may also mark the first and only time Reid and Angle ever appear at the same event together.

    Debates generally are not exceptionally revealing about candidates, who spend days, sometimes weeks, being coached on how to best answer potentially any question that could come up. But this debate could be different, since Angle has done very few public campaign events since winning the GOP nomination months ago. Add to that her infrequent interactions with the media, and Angle could produce several unscripted political moments from the podium tonight.

    Tonight's debate will also be the first time that voters can see Reid and Angle interact -- answering questions and playing off each other's replies. That dynamic, too, could potentially alter a race that has largely been run through ugly TV attack ads.

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  • Democrats’ attacks boost fundraising for ‘shadow GOP,’ which expands campaign to House

    rovegillespiePresident Obama's pushback on an influx of secret Republican money in the campaign has been good business for the so-called shadow GOP.

    American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS—two sister groups linked to former Bush advisers Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie—have raised more than $13.3 million over the last week. That figure puts them roughly $6 million past their original $50 million fundraising goal ahead of Election Day. The two groups have now increased their money goal to $65 million before Nov. 2.

    The move comes as the two groups prepare to jump into the battle for the House. As a Crossroads spokesman first told The Upshot in August, the group plans to spend roughly $10 million on ads in just over a dozen of the closest House races in the country, including several races in Ohio, Indiana and New York. They also plan to run ads against embattled Democrat Alan Grayson in Florida.

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  • Blumenthal widens Connecticut lead as McMahon faces more criticism over WWE and steroids

    blum mcmahon

    Richard Blumenthal has regained a serious lead on Linda McMahon in Connecticut's Senate race.

    A Quinnipiac University poll just released Thursday finds the Democratic nominee leading his GOP rival by 11 points, 54 percent to 43 percent, among likely voters. A Quinnipiac poll just two weeks ago found Blumenthal and McMahon virtually tied in the race.

    What's behind Blumenthal's resurgence? For one thing, he's gained back support among self-described independent voters, who had previously been favoring McMahon. According to Quinnipiac, Blumenthal now leads among independents, 49 percent to McMahon's 44 percent. He has also opened a commanding lead among women, leading McMahon 63 percent to 32 percent.

    At the same time, McMahon's unfavorable rating has gone up. Likely voters in the state are now equally split on whether they like her or not — a number that probably won't be helped by Blumenthal's latest line of attack on McMahon for her ties to World Wrestling Entertainment, the company she once chaired.

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  • Billboard illustrates virtually every attack ever leveled at Obama

    obamabillboardWhat is it with crazy billboards this election season?

    The National Review's Michael Sandoval was alerted by a reader to a billboard installed Tuesday on Interstate 70 in Grand Junction, Colo., that basically animates every over-the-top attack ever leveled against President Obama.

    The billboard (the Grand Junction Sentinel has a larger version) depicts Obama as a Muslim terrorist, a gangster, a Mexican bandit and a gay man. The four Obamas are seated around a table playing cards, showing off sixes in groups of three. The group is being eyed by two vultures — one labeled "$oro$," the other "UN" — and several rats, some labeled "FED," "trial lawyer," "IRS" and "EPA."

    The image also includes a soldier, a copy of the Constitution, the Liberty Bell and what appears to be the Bible — all of which serve as the stakes in the game the various Obamas are playing.

    "Vote DemocRAT," the billboard says.  "Join the game."

    Read More »from Billboard illustrates virtually every attack ever leveled at Obama
  • Whitman contributes another $20 million to her campaign

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    Meg Whitman has opened up her checkbook again in California's governor race, contributing $20 million more of her own cash to boost her campaign. That brings the GOP hopeful's personal contribution to the race to $141.5 million, more than any other political candidate in history has ever contributed to his or her own campaign.

    The latest $20 million, disclosed in a report filed Tuesday night, comes on the heels of a $2.5 million contribution Whitman made to her campaign Thursday. In September, Whitman beat out the previous self-funding record holder: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who contributed $110 million of his own funds to win re-election in 2009.

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  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. endorses Charlie Crist in Florida

    kennedyFlorida Senate hopeful Charlie Crist has bagged another big endorsement, this time from a Democrat: Environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is to endorse the Florida governor's independent campaign in an event later Wednesday morning.

    The endorsement comes less than 24 hours after Crist picked up the support of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kennedy's cousin by marriage. Like Schwarzenegger, Kennedy, the son of the late Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, has worked with Crist in the past on environmental issues, including climate change.

    Kennedy's nod is a blow to Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic nominee, who has struggled to keep fellow Democrats united behind his bid in the face of his lackluster polling numbers. A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday finds Republican Marco Rubio leading the race with 44 percent support among likely voters, compared with Crist's 30 percent and Meek's 22 percent.

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  • Schwarzenegger endorses Crist in Florida’s Senate race

    AP070713020561Not every Republican is running away from Charlie Crist.

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced in a Twitter message Tuesday that he's endorsing Crist in Florida's closely watched Senate race. "I endorse Gov @charliecristfl for Senate," Schwarzenegger tweeted. "Great leader, works with both parties, and our country needs someone like him in DC right now."

    That makes Crist the first candidate Schwarzenegger has formally endorsed in the 2010 campaign. That includes candidates in California, where Schwarzenegger has so far declined to officially weigh in on the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer and GOP challenger Carly Fiorina — or the  showdown between Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown to replace him as governor. Schwarzenegger has enjoyed close relationships with both gubernatorial candidates in the past.

    It's unclear whether Schwarzenegger will campaign for Crist or if his endorsement will help the Florida governor's struggling campaign. According to the polls, the Republican-turned-independent governor has fallen anywhere from 5 to 10 points behind Republican Marco Rubio in recent weeks. To win, Crist is trying to appeal to independents and moderates from both parties — something the moderate Schwarzenegger's endorsement could potentially help him do.

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  • AP101007035658Amid rumors about her 2012 intentions, Sarah Palin raised $1.2 million for her political action committee in the last three months and spent just under $1 million, mostly on political consultants and fundraising expenses.

    The $1.2 million take is the largest quarterly fundraising sum that Sarah PAC has logged since its founding in early 2009. All told, Palin's PAC has raised roughly $4.5 million during the 2010 election cycle, far less than PACs associated with other potential 2012 contenders such as Mitt Romney, whose committee has reported raising more than $7.7 million this cycle.

    Read More »from Palin’s PAC raises $1.2 million, but staff and fundraising costs eclipse candidate contributions

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