TPM News



Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey is using his latest TV ads to hit Democrat Joe Sestak anew over his support for the 2008 financial bailouts, and to opine on the country's future against the backdrop of a newborn baby.

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The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has a new ad in the Colorado Senate race, going after Republican nominee Ken Buck on the perennial issue of Social Security -- and a more peculiar issue from the Tea Party movement, his past support for repealing the direct election of Senators. The ad is a clear sign that Dems will try to hang GOP candidates on the statements they made during the primaries, when they were busy appealing to the Tea Partier primary voter base.

"Listen to Ken Buck on Social Security," the announcer says, followed by video of Buck at a Tea Party candidates forum back in March: "It is fundamentally against what I believe."

"Listen to Buck on whether he'd rewrite the Constitution and end our right to vote for our own Senators," the announcer also says, again followed by Buck footage from June: "The short answer is yes."

Buck has since disavowed that statement on the direct election of Senators, and says he doesn't propose changing that Constitutional Amendment.

The TPM Poll Average gives Buck a lead of 46.0%-42.8% over incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

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The new ad from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) continues her strange "Jim the Election Guy" motif, but this time throws in a recognizable pop culture reference against her Democratic opponent, state Sen. Tarryl Clark: There's a tax for that.

The ad shows Jim telling parents who are taking their kids back to school that Clark has a tax for everything. "Want to buy some crayons? She's got a sales tax increase for that," says Jim. "Drive your kids to school? She's got a gas-tax hike for that. Buy a backpack? She's got a tax for that, too."

No wonder they have this Jim character in the ads. John Hodgman and Justin Long weren't available.

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Remember the Virginia tea partier who said he'd drop his bid if the person responsible for leaking unflattering documents about him to the press stepped forward? Shocker: No one did.

Jeffrey Clark, running as an independent hoping to peel off votes from state Sen. Robert Hurt as they challenge Rep. Tom Perriello this fall, isn't pleased. Clark thinks Hurt operative Chris LaCivita of Swiftboat fame gave the local newspapers papers showcasing his financial dirty laundry.

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Rabbi David Saperstein -- one of the religious leaders meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder this afternoon to discuss anti-Muslim incidents -- told TPM in an interview that he is satisfied with the government's reaction to hate crimes, but said he wants the administration to speak out against the wave of anti-Islamic furor.

Saperstein, of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said that it is very important for a top government official like Holder or President Barack Obama need to speak out against the anti-Muslim rhetoric that has flared up in recent months.

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Prominent Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas gave a sermon a few weeks ago saying, among other things: "The deep, dark, dirty secret of Islam: It is a religion that promotes pedophilia - sex with children. This so-called prophet Muhammad raped a 9-year-old girl - had sex with her."

Now Jeffress has doubled down on his claim in a sermon on Sunday, responding to a column by Steve Blow in The Dallas Morning News that condemned the pastor's remarks. "It is our love for Muslims that demands we speak the truth about Islam," Jeffress said Sunday.

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The new TV ad from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) employs an unusual pitch for an incumbent: Acknowledging that the economy is bad -- and warning that his Republican opponent Sharron Angle would make things worse.

"We know what shattered the economy. Wall Street greed and CEOs shipping jobs overseas, the cost of foreign oil, and Bush economics. But Sharron Angle's blaming Harry Reid. Come on," the announcer says. "Sharron Angle's the one who opposed Wall Street reform, wants to protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. And says it's not her job to create jobs."

The ad then shows video of Angle explaining her laissez-faire stance on economics: "I'm not in the business of creating jobs."

"That's Sharron Angle," the announcer says. "Extreme ideas that will make things worse."

The TPM Poll Average puts Reid ahead by 47.6%-44.3%.

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Religious leaders from several faiths are meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder today to discuss the recent spate of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence.

At a press conference this afternoon following an interfaith meeting, Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said he and other religious leaders will meet with Holder, at Holder's request, later today.

The Justice Department confirms and says they will release a "readout" of the meeting after it occurs.

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Sharron Angle is continuing to refuse to back down from her past statements about there being "domestic enemies" in Congress.

Jonathan Karl at ABC News asked Angle about this:

Jonathan Karl: Do we have enemies of the country in the halls of Congress?

Sharron Angle: Well, certainly people who pass these kinds of policies -- Obamacare, cap and trade, stimulus, bailout -- they're certainly not friends to the free-market system.

Jonathan Karl: So, what are they? (Laughs.)

Sharron Angle: (Laughs.) They're not friends.


The TPM Poll Average puts Reid ahead by 47.6%-44.3%.

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A new round of polls this morning confirms what most analysts have been saying for a couple weeks now: thanks to their advantage in voter enthusiasm, Republicans are poised to post big gains in the 2010 elections this November.

Last week the big news was the Gallup poll, which showed the GOP with its largest lead in the the history of the firm's generic ballot polling. In that poll, the GOP led Democrats 51-41. The new polls out today confirm that Gallup's numbers are not a fluke.

An ABC News/Washington Post survey released this morning shows Republicans up 13 points in the generic ballot question, leading Democrats 53-40 among likely voters. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll also out this morning shows Republicans ahead 49-40 among likely voters.

As has been the case in past polling, the parties are polling basically even when all adults are asked who they'd rather see in charge of Congress. In the NBC/WSJ poll, the parties were split at 43% support when all adults surveyed were asked who they'd rather see in control of Congress next year. But when likely voters were asked the same question, the GOP took the big nine-point lead. Polling from other firms this year has shown a similar result.

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