TPM News

The new Fox News poll of the Colorado gubernatorial race shows Democratic Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper continuing to lead the race, thanks to a split conservative vote between the gaffe-prone Republican nominee Dan Maes and Constitution Party nominee Tom Tancredo, a former Republican Congressman. Furthermore, Tancredo has for the moment definitely overtaken Maes as the alternative to the Dem.

The numbers: Hickenlooper 44%, Tancredo 34%, and Maes at only 15%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3% margin of error. There is no previous Fox News poll of this race. However, this poll was conducted through a Rasmussen offshoot, Pulse Opinion Research, which performs made-to-order robopolls. In the previous Rasmussen poll from two and a half weeks ago, Hickenlooper had 46%, Tancredo 25%, and Maes 21%.

The poll also found that Hickenlooper would lead Maes in a two-way race by a margin of 51%-37%. There was no question done for a two-way race of Hickenlooper and Tancredo -- a question that could become quite relevant if Maes continues to lose support.

The TPM Poll Average gives Hickenlooper 45.9%, Tancredo 32.0%, and Maes 16.8%.

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The new Fox News poll of the Wisconsin Senate race has bad news for Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, with an eight-point lead for Republican businessman Ron Johnson.

The numbers: Johnson 52%, Feingold 44%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3% margin of error. There is no previous Fox News poll of this race. However, this poll was conducted through a Rasmussen offshoot, Pulse Opinion Research, which performs made-to-order robopolls. In the previous Rasmussen poll from two weeks ago, Johnson led by a similar margin of 51%-44%.

The TPM Poll Average gives Johnson a lead of 52.2%-43.6%.

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The SEIU, Mi Familia Vota and America's Voice today launched a Spanish-language radio ad in six states, highlighting Republican opposition to the DREAM act, among other issues.

Officially titled the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, the Dream Act would allow a conditional permanent residency for students who graduate from high school and earn or are on track to earn a college degree. It would help potentially millions of illegal immigrants who were brought here illegally by their parents as young children and attended schools in the U.S. all their life.

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This weekend Alan Grayson went live with a striking ad, bringing to light his opponent Daniel Webster's extreme religious views. The ad, called "Taliban Dan," highlights Webster's positions on divorce (against) and abortion (not even in cases of rape), but it also spliced in footage of Webster telling an audience "wives submit yourselves to your own husband," and "submit to me."

The Webster campaign points out that the remarks are taken out of context. Webster actually said husbands and wives should dedicate Bible verses to one another. Men should use them to reinforce their commitment to their wives. Women should use them to submit themselves to their husbands... if they want to.

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1||Although Democrats and Stephen Colbert took heat for his recent stint testifying to Congress, Washington's love affair with celebrities -- and the causes near and dear to their hearts -- goes back far longer than that.

For instance, Michael J Fox testified in 2002 about the need for Congress to fund more research into Parkinson's disease||Chris Corder/Newscom&&

2||Actress and Operation Smile International Youth Ambassador Jessica Simpson spoke at a news conference on Capitol Hill in March 2006 to discuss the charity -- a private, not-for-profit, volunteer medical services organization providing free reconstructive surgery and healthcare to children around the world suffering with facial deformities. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., left, and Operation Smile CEO and Co-founder, Dr. Bill Magee, also attended.||Tom Williams/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

3||John Travolta testified in 1997 about the difficulties faced by Scientologists in Germany, where the organization is considered a cult.||C-SPAN&&

4||Lars Ulrich, drummer and co-founder of Metallica, and Roger McGuinn, member and co-founder of The Birds, testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the future of digital music in August 2000.||Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Newscom&&

5||Mary Tyler Moore, Sugar Ray Leonard and Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers testified before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee about Type 1 Diabetes research in June 2009.||Fabiano/SIPA/Newscom&&

6||Christopher Reeve was greeted by then-Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE) during an appearance on Capitol Hill to ask Congress to increase funding for spinal cord injury research in May 1996.||Ken Cedeno/Newscom&&

7||Sheryl Crow testified in May 2008 about the need for more funding for breast cancer research.||C-SPAN&&

8||Elmo from "Sesame Street" testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education to ask for $2 million in federal funds for music instruction in schools.||Tom Williams/Roll Call/Newscom&&

9||Then-"Price Is Right" host Bob Barker spoke at a Capitol Hill press conference in June 2000 in support of a bill that would hamper the use of elephants in shows.||Joel Rennich/Newscom&&

10||Former L.A. Dodgers manager Tommy LaSorda testified to Congress in July 1998 about a proposed constitutional amendment to ban flag burning.||C-SPAN&&

11||Muhammad Ali testified at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services hearing on May 22, 2002 about the need to fund more research into Parkinson's disease.||Chris Corder/Newscom&&

12||Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys testified before the Senate Environment & Public Works clean air subcommittee in June 2002 to urge lawmakers to crack down on coal mining pollution.||Michael Springer/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

13||Isaac Hayes testified about the problems faced by Scientologists in Germany in September 1997.||C-SPAN&&

14||Fran Drescher testified in 2005 to increase the awareness of gynecologic cancers.||Tyrone Turner/Black Star/Newscom&&

15||Actor Dennis Quaid testified to Congress in Mary 2008 for the right to sue drug makers protected by the FDA, after his twins were given a near-fatal dose of a blood thinning drug.||

16||Sir Elton John testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to encourage Congress to increase funding for AIDS research in April 2002.||Chris Corder/Newscom&&

17||The St. Louis Cardinals' Mark McGwire, the Baltimore Orioles' Rafael Palmeiro, and Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling testified before the House Government Reform Committee in March 2005 about the use of steroids in baseball.||Robert Trippett/PSG/Newscom&&

18||Stephen Colbert testified in September 2010 before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law on migrant farm workers.||Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI/Newscom&&

19||Frank Zappa testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on the "Contents of Music and the Lyrics of Records" in September 1985.||C-SPAN&&

20||Dee Snider also testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on the "Contents of Music and the Lyrics of Records" in September 1985.||C-SPAN&&

In a sign of national Democratic concern about the West Virginia Senate race, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has a new TV ad attacking the Republican nominee, businessman John Raese, for his right-wing stances on economic issues in this blue-collar state.

"John Raese. He wants to eliminate the minimum wage. Failed to pay workers compensation for on-the-job injuries," the announcer says. "But one thing John Raese does support: A pledge that protected tax breaks for corporations who ship our jobs overseas. It's true. Protecting tax breaks that reward corporations for sending our jobs overseas.

"West Virginia working families, we can do better -- and we have to."

This ad comes on the heels of recent polls that have shown Raese narrowly leading Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin in the race thanks to the state's high disapproval of President Obama. For example, a Public Policy Polling (D) survey last week put Raese ahead by 46%-43%, and a Rasmussen poll released this morning puts him ahead by 48%-46%. Republican advertising has aggressively tied Manchin to Obama, so the Dems are firing back by going after Raese's background in big business.

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Jon Stewart defended Stephen Colbert's testimony before Congress last week, or, as he put it, the day Colbert "ruined Congress." Colbert's testimony was criticized by several politicians, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who said that "it was an embarrassment for Mr. Colbert more than the House."

Stewart was not surprised by this: "Of course Colbert is more embarrassed than the House of Representatives. Colbert still has dignity and integrity left to lose! You can't embarrass Congress! How could you?"

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was also rather vocal with his anger at Colbert, appearing on Fox News to lament how the comedian's appearance was mostly about lawmakers wanting to get more "camera time." Stewart responded to King's remarks: "Yes, it is annoying how enamored certain Congressman are with seeing themselves on camera."

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The new Quinnipiac poll of the Connecticut Senate race shows Republican former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon continuing to close the gap against Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, with the Dem's lead down to only three points.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Bringing The Smackdown: Linda McMahon's Campaign For Senate, And Her Colorful Pro-Wrestling Past]

The numbers: Blumenthal 49%, McMahon 46%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3% margin of error. In the previous Quinnipiac poll from two weeks ago, Blumenthal led by 51%-45%.

The TPM Poll Average gives Blumenthal a lead of 49.7%-44.6%.

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After ACORN's demise, you might have thought that if if the GOP takes the House and Rep. Darrell Issa becomes the new chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the California Republican would have better things to worry about. You'd be wrong.

Last week, Issa issued a blueprint for his agenda titled "A Constitutional Obligation: Congressional Oversight of the Executive Branch." Among the issues he chastised the Democratic leadership for not addressing: the fraud he says was committed by the community organizing group ACORN.

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Probably not. But one conservative think tank is sounding the alarm.

Adrian Morgan, the editor of Family Security Matters, wrote a long post last week about "The 99" -- a popular comic book series featuring Muslims superheroes who embody the 99 attributes of Allah, like mercy and generosity.

The comic books have been widely praised. As their creator, Naif Al-Mutawa, describes, the books are meant to teach a moderate, peaceful, loving Islam.

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