TPM News

Both candidates in the Florida gubernatorial race have earned their fair share of polling leads over the last few months. Most recently, Democratic state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink was found on top of three consecutive surveys conducted last week. Today, however, a newly released Rasmussen poll suggests a different story -- Republican former hospital executive Rick Scott is found leading the contest 50%-44%.

When Rasmussen last took a look at this race on October 7, Scott led by a slimmer 50%-47% margin. The TPM Poll Average has the Republican ahead 45.5%-44.0%.

The margin of error for the latest survey is ±4.0 percentage points.

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

The debate between South Carolina gubernatorial candidates Nikki Haley (R) and Vincent Sheheen (D) got pretty heated last night, with Haley attacking Sheheen's background as a trial lawyer, and Sheheen painting Haley as the second coming of Mark Sanford.

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Republicans promote their "Young Guns" Congressional candidates as "the best opportunity to move our country in the right direction." Founded in 2007 by Reps. Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan, the "Young Guns" program aims to recruit and promote "a new generation of conservative leaders." But before even getting to Congress, a number of this year's "Young Guns" and "Contenders" have found themselves fending off scandals, struggling to explain past actions and in one particular case, being outed as a ducky pajama enthusiast.

Let's review some of the most embattled "Young Guns."

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The campaign of Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO), a first-term Democrat from a Republican-leaning district, is firing back at her Republican opponent, state Rep. Cory Gardner, for attacking the wrong Markey in a recent ad.

As the ColoradoPols blog reports, a press release from the Markey campaign calls out an ad from Gardner, which accused Congresswoman Markey of voting for a budget -- which she didn't vote for. Indeed, the House roll call votes that are cited, if followed through, show that she voted no.

The truth: There was a Representative Markey who did vote yes -- the more liberal Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). Betsy Markey spokesman Ben Marter said in the statement: "I would point Rep. Gardner to a site on the 'internet' to research his claims a little better: If Rep. Gardner can't figure out how this whole voting system works, how can he be trusted to actually read bills?"

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Alaska Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller's former supervisor at an Anchorage law firm says they were all too happy to see him go after his three years at the firm.

Attorney David Shoup of the firm -- then called Condon Partnow & Sharrock told Justin Elliott of Salon: "We at this firm were not eager to have him stay, and so when he announced he was leaving, we were relieved."

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Surely you've heard of Brooklyn's own Jimmy McMillan, founder and CEO of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, and candidate for governor of New York. He's fighting rent-hiking slumlords for you! Well, he's fighting everyone except his landlord.

McMillen is a funny guy. He's got a few gimmicks and is a far better option for governor than animal porn lover Carl Paladino, but he sorta hates the Jews who own all of Brooklyn, which, you know, might hurt his candidacy. But that's beside the point! The Post caught up with McMillen's building manager, Viola Hampton and dug up a little dirt. Turns out McMillen's one-bedroom apartment in Flatbush runs him $800 a month. Not a bad deal.

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A second public poll is confirming yesterday's big PPP (D) numbers showing that Democrat Joe Sestak has closed the gap with Republican Pat Toomey in the Pennsylvania Senate race.

A new Muhlenberg College poll -- the first set of numbers in the school's two week tracking poll of the final sprint to the finish in Pennsylvania -- shows Sestak leading 44-41.

The poll creates an interesting dynamic for tonight's live debate between Sestak and Toomey. Where national observers had all but written off the race for Sestak, now virtually everyone is chattering about the potential for a Democratic surprise in the Keystone State.

The TPM Poll Average shows Toomey with a 46.0-43.3 lead in the race. Trendlines show Sestak is closing that gap, fast.

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Lawrence O'Donnell sure isn't shying away from the quirky side of politics on The Last Word. A week after inviting Alvin Greene on his show for a bizarre interview, he brought in the newest viral candidate sensation, New York gubernatorial hopeful Jimmy McMillan of The Rent Is Too Damn High Party. They discussed how McMillan managed to cobble together an official candidacy, and, yes - how the rent is too damn high.

O'Donnell seemed to admire McMillan's adherence to his catchphrase during the gubernatorial debate, and last night's segment was no different - McMillan didn't quite say "The rent is too damn high" as often as Greene said "Jim DeMint caused the recession," but he made his point. He also detailed how he "used [his] charm" and "snuck through the back door" to become a part of the race, taking advantage of events like block parties to obtain the required 15,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

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In a televised debate Sunday, Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA) punted on the question of whether he'd support either John Boehner or Nancy Pelosi for Speaker next Congress, claiming against credulity that he was unfamiliar with either House leaders' platforms.

"I will weigh those two names between Speaker Pelosi and John Boehner" Cao said. "I have not heard of their platforms. I have not read what they're looking for with respect to the country. So I will weigh those names, if those are the two names, and I will weigh them equally like I weigh other issues."

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