TPM News

The new Republican candidate for Senate in Delaware is known most widely for her positions on sex: She is a devout Catholic, chaste, anti-masturbation, pro-abstinence-only sex ed, anti-condoms and anti-porn.

But Christine O'Donnell didn't grow up in a strict religious household. For her, the turning point came in college.

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The Hill reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has offered his rather interesting perspective on Delaware Senate nominee Chris Coons, whose stock has gone up considerably as a result of Christine O'Donnell's win in the Republican primary.

"I'm going to be very honest with you -- Chris Coons, everybody knows him in the Democratic caucus. He's my pet. He's my favorite candidate," Reid said.

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A new CNN/Time poll of the Washington Senate race finds Sen. Patty Murray (D) up nine points on her Republican opponent, Dino Rossi.

The survey of likely voters finds Murray leading the race, 53%-44%. There is no prior CNN/Time poll for direct comparison, but these findings come a day after an Elway Poll also showed a nine-point lead for the Democrat. An August 31 Rasmussen poll painted a different picture of the contest, finding Rossi on top of Murray 50%-47%.

The margin of error for the latest survey is ±3.5 percentage points. The TPM Poll Average has Murray leading Rossi, 49.7%-46.7%.

For more on the race, check out TPMDC's full coverage here.

Over the last week, a flurry of polls of the Nevada Senate race have been released that tell a similar narrative -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican rival Sharron Angle are statistically deadlocked. A new CNN/Time poll released today finds one more batch of numbers that support the trend. Among likely voters, the survey shows Angle leading Reid 42%-41%, with Tea Party candidate Scott Ashijan earning 5%.

There is no previous CNN/Time poll for direct comparison. But no mainstream poll conducted over the last two months has produced an advantage for either candidate outside of its margin of error. Most recently, Rasmussen saw a 48%-48% tie in its September 13 survey, Ipsos gave Reid a slight 46%-44% edge in its September 12 poll, and Fox News' September 11 poll found Angle up 45%-44%.

Worth noting, when the CNN/Time poll surveyed the wider pool of all registered voters (instead of just likely voters), Reid led 42%-34%.

Though no recent poll has produced a noteworthy lead for Reid, the Democrat is still up in the TPM Poll Average, 47.3%-44.7%.

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President Obama this afternoon challenged Republicans to join with Democrats to pass an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for middle class Americans earning $250,000 or less "right now", saying it's something that everyone agrees upon and lawmakers should set politics aside.

"I understand there is an election coming up but the American people didn't send us here to just think about our jobs, they sent us here to think about theirs," he said. "If the other party continues to hold these tax cuts hostage ... these are the same families that will suffer the most when their taxes go up next year. And if we can't get an agreement with Republicans, that's what will happen."

Obama didn't mention the tension within his own party about whether to hold a vote, or the Democrats who want to see all of the cuts extended temporarily.

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Two new polls of the Florida Senate race out today show Republican nominee Marco Rubio with a significant lead over independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Democratic Congressman Kendrick Meek.

On the heels of a Fox News poll that showed Rubio with a huge lead, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll and Rasmussen poll also show Rubio way out in front. The Reuters/Ipsos poll has Rubio at 40%, Crist at 26%, and Meek at 21%. The previous Ipsos poll, from August 10, showed Crist leading Rubio and Meek 33%-29%-17%. Tellingly, when the new Ipsos survey asked for respondents' preferential candidate if Meek was not in the race, the Republican only earned a slight 46%-45% advantage over Crist.

Today's Rasmussen poll has Rubio leading 41%-30%-23%. Not much change from an August 25 Rasmussen poll that found Rubio leading the contest 40% to Crist's 30% and Meek's 21%.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos survey is among likely voters and has a margin of error of ±4.6 percentage points. Rasmussen's numbers have a margin of error of ±4.0. The TPM Poll Average of the contest shows Rubio leading 39.1% to Crist's 30.6% and Meek's 21.2%.

For more on the race, check out TPMDC's full coverage here.

Add Rush Limbaugh to the list of prominent conservatives tearing into Karl Rove's hide today. As Rove continued his tour slamming freshly minted Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell over the considerable number of skeletons in her closet, Rush was almost literally beside himself with frustration at the idea that anyone -- much less The Architect -- would dare violate the 11th Commandment so brazenly.

O'Donnell's nomination has created deep divisions between the Republican Party and right-wing activists. Last night, Rove bashed O'Donnell -- and her chances of being elected -- and insisted that she's said a lot of "nutty things." He was attacked by some right-wingers for those comments. O'Donnell whacked him back in a televised interview this morning. And then Rove responded to O'Donnell and his right-wing critics, daring them to 'prove me wrong'. Then Palin slammed Rove. Now it's Limbaugh's turn.

"If 51 seats was really the objective -- if getting the majority is really that important, then let's go balls to the wall for Christine O'Donnell!" Limbaugh screamed on his radio show today after playing a clip of Rove's already infamous anti-O'Donnell interview on Hannity last night.

"Why not fight for it?" Limbaugh asked. "Why not fight for it? Castle's OK as the 51st vote but this woman isn't?"

Rush seemed in danger of having an aneurysm at the idea that Rove would do something as heretical as point out that O'Donnell has more than a few very serious character flaws and -- as the polls show -- is a serious underdog against her Democratic opponent in November, in a race that Republicans had once thought was theirs for the taking.

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