The Upshot
  • Is there really a gay voter backlash?

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    The Associated Press rounds up some anecdotal evidence of an angry and disenchanted gay voter base that might stay home instead of voting for Democrats next week. "This year's election is a stark contrast to 2008, when the gay community turned out in droves to elect Obama and help Democrats regain control of Congress," the AP says.

    The story provides no data on the subject. It quotes a few activists in the gay community who say they see signs of "lethargy" and "disgust" among voters who were energized for Democrats just two years ago, but who are disappointed with the administration's lack of action on gay marriage and the military's ban on gay service.

    Speculation like AP's highlights the overall lack of data on gay voters in America, who often have specific wishes as a political bloc but aren't polled in the same way that other demographic groups are. Most public opinion polls don't ask respondents about their sexual orientation.

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  • Portland, Maine, considers voting rights for noncitizens

    A man votes at a polling station.PollingplaceResidents of Portland, Maine, will decide Nov. 2 whether legal residents of their city who are not U.S. citizens should be permitted to participate in municipal elections, the AP reports.

    The Maine League of Young Voters, the group behind the controversial "Question 4" ballot measure, argues that since legal residents pay taxes, contribute to the economy, send children to public school and operate within the community much as citizens do, they should be afforded the opportunity to vote.

    Portland is not the only place considering voting rights for noncitizens Nov. 2. Voters in San Francisco will be casting ballots on a similar but more restricted measure to allow noncitizens who are parents or caregivers of public school students to vote in school board elections.

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  • fiorinaSenate Republicans are placing another big bet on Carly Fiorina, kicking in $3 million to boost her bid against Barbara Boxer in California's Senate race. That means the National Republican Senatorial Committee has now spent $8 million on the race since September--one of its biggest investments in the country.

    But that's not the only cash infusion Fiorina is getting. After weeks of speculation, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO kicked in $1 million of her own money to her campaign, marking the first significant investment she's made to her general election bid against Boxer.

    (Last week, Fiorina reinvested a $40,000 refund she had received from the campaign related to her $5.5 million in spending during the GOP primary.)

    All of this comes on the heels of a Los Angeles Times/USC poll released Sunday that found Boxer leading Fiorina by 8 points among likely voters. While Democrats seized on the survey as evidence that Boxer is pulling away in the race, the poll seems to be an outlier against other recent surveys, which have found the race virtually tied.

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  • New Zealand eye World Cup history against Australia
    New Zealand eye World Cup history against Australia

    New Zealand take the field in their maiden World Cup final on Sunday looking to cap an unbeaten streak by defeating co-hosts Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Brendon McCullum's Black Caps have won eight matches in a row, including a one-wicket victory over Australia in a low scoring pool stage thriller in Auckland a month ago. Then at the same Eden Park last Tuesday, New Zealand downed mighty South Africa in a nerve-tingling semi-final with a penultimate-ball six by Grant Elliott. New Zealand's first semi-final win in seven attempts has left an enthralled rugby-mad nation backing their cricketers to take home the sport's biggest prize.

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