TPM News

A new CNN/Time poll of the Wisconsin Senate race finds Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold trailing Republican businessman Ron Johnson 51%-45%.

This is the first CNN/Time poll on the race, so there are no numbers available for direct comparison. A PPP survey out yesterday saw the three-term Democratic Senator down 52%-41%. Rasmussen polled the race on September 15 and found Johnson on top of Feingold, 51%-44%.

The margin of error for the latest survey is ±3.0 percentage points. The TPM Poll Average shows Johnson ahead in the contest 51.8%-43.5%.

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

Stephen Colbert is scheduled to testify Friday morning at a House Judiciary Committee hearing titled "Protecting America's Harvest."

A press release from the United Farm Workers describes how Colbert will appear before the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International law to testify on the group's "Take Our Jobs" campaign, which encourages "U.S. citizens and legal residents to replace hundreds of thousands of immigrant field laborers, most of whom are undocumented."

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Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) said today he wants to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for every income bracket and said he's not sure what House Democratic leaders are going to decide about holding a vote.

"I don't think now is the right time to let those tax breaks expire," Ellsworth told Neil Cavuto on Fox News. "I would vote to extend both all across the board. ... [W]e should pass those directly, and we should do it before we go home, before we recess."

Ellsworth was one of the 31 Democrats to sign a letter asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep the tax cuts for the wealthy. (Our updating list on wavering Democrats and their positions here.) He's also in a unique position among the Democrats on this issue because he is running in a statewide race for the seat of retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D). His rival Dan Coats (R) wants them extended permanently for everyone.

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A new CNN/Time poll of the Delaware Senate race shows Democratic nominee Chris Coons ahead of Republican Christine O'Donnell by double-digits.

The latest survey has Coons leading the race 55%-39%. Since this is the first CNN/Time poll on the contest, there are no numbers available for direct comparison. A Fox News poll out yesterday painted a similar picture of the race, giving Coons a 15-point advantage over the embattled O'Donnell.

Recent numbers are confirming the widely held belief that Republicans lost an almost-guaranteed Senate seat pickup when O'Donnell claimed the Republican nomination. When the Fox poll asked respondents to suppose Congressman Mike Castle (the Republican establishment favorite) had won the GOP nomination, he was found on top 48%-33% in a matchup with Coons. In today's CNN/Time poll, a similar result was produced -- Castle would be ahead of Coons 55%-37%.

The TPM Poll Average shows Coons leading O'Donnell 55.0%-39.6%. The margin of error of the latest survey is ±3.5 percentage points.

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

In an interview with PBS's Judy Woodruff airing today, former President Bill Clinton urged his fellow Democrats to effectively communicate what's at stake in the election this year, to avoid having voter anger steamroll them at the ballot box.

"I would advise [Obama] and all the Democrats to talk about what we are going to do now and ask them who is more likely to do it," Clinton told Woodruff, according to the transcript made available by PBS. "If this is a referendum on people's anger and apathy -- so our side stays home and their side's inside -- we don't do well."

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In a hearing today, two of the eight Bell city officials arrested yesterday after a salary scandal in which they allegedly inflated their salaries were released on bail. But first they had to prove that their bail money was obtained legally. The officials are accused of using public funds to pad their salaries, some making as much as $96,000 a year for part-time elected positions.

The arraignment for the officials was postponed until October 21, with the attorney for former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo requesting the delay because his client "has been in a medical facility" and had not yet had a chance to review the 53 charges against him. Rizzo is accused of banking nearly $800,000 a year.

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A newly released Reuters/Ipsos poll of the Arkansas Senate race finds Republican nominee John Boozman out in front of Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln 53%-39%.

Recent polls of the race have not been kind to the incumbent Senator-- a TalkBusiness poll from September 16 had the Democrat trailing 56%-29% and Mason-Dixon's September 14 poll saw her behind Boozman by 17 points, 51%-34%. The TPM Poll Average says it all-- Boozman is ahead 57.9%-34.4%.

The margin of error for the latest survey is ±4.7 percentage points.

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

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) has a new TV ad hearkening back to his old spots from his first Senate race in 1992, when the unknown and underfunded state Senator came from behind to win huge victories in both the Democratic primary and the general election. The obvious message is that he's still the humble guy he was back then.

"Back when I first ran for the Senate, I said I would shoot straight, be independent, and fight for Wisconsin. I promised to stay connected to home. I was just a Middleton guy, running against multimillionaires with lots of TV ads," Feingold says in a voiceover on top of his old ads, which notably featured him posting his campaign promises on his garage door.

The ad then cuts to the present, with Feingold again in front of his house: "Not much has changed today. I still live in the same house, and I continue to always keep my promise to put the people of Wisconsin ahead of any party or corporate interest. Except now I put my promises on my website -- not my garage door."

Another thing that hasn't changed: Feingold is running against another multimillionaire, businessman Ron Johnson, who has lots of TV ads. The TPM Poll Average gives Johnson a lead of 52.0%-42.8%.

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The aspiring film student who allegedly stabbed a cab driver because he was a Muslim told cops that he was being prosecuted because of his Irish heritage and faith when he was arrested last month.

"You're prosecuting me because I'm Irish Catholic," Michael Enright told cops, according to new court documents revealed Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported.

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