TPM News

Lindsey Graham, a self-described supporter of the rights of the unborn, went after Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan today over her views on abortion rights and, more importantly, her understanding of Roe v. Wade and how medical advancements might change the historic Supreme Court decision.

Read More →

Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic nominee for President Obama's former Senate seat, has a new TV ad brutally taking down his Republican rival, Rep. Mark Kirk, over Kirk's various misstatements about his military record.

The ad is a montage of news clips and headlines about Kirk's false claims: That he won a prestigious officer's award, that he was shot at in Iraq, and that he has commanded the Pentagon War Room. In each case, video of Kirk making the claim is accompanied by the date, so the viewer gets to see him telling tall tales throughout the past decade in 2002, 2003, 2009 and 2010. And the on-screen text at the end of the ad provides the most damaging label of all, in this election year: "Typical Washington Politician."

The Giannoulias camp tells us that the ad will be on TV, but is not up as of yet while they are working out the details of the buy. The TPM Poll Average gives Kirk a lead of 43.1%-38.4%. Giannoulias was having a rough time in the last few months due to his own problem, the failure of his family's bank -- which Kirk is going after in his own attack ads. But now that the press has done a lot of work digging up Kirk's scandals, Giannoulias is clearly going back on offense.

Read More →

Social issues were noticeably absent from the first round of questions at the confirmation hearings, but it's been abortion and gay marriage hour so far in round two. A telling exchange came between Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Elena Kagan as he asked her if states can decide marriage issues.

Kagan said she didn't want to talk about something that may very well appear before the Supreme Court. "I want to be extremely careful about this question and -- and not to in any way prejudge any case that might come before me," she said.

Read More →

Texas-based Anadarko owes BP more than $272 million for its share of cleanup and response costs in the Gulf, according to a bill that was sent by BP and obtained by TPMMuckraker.

Anadarko owns a 25 percent stake in BP's Deepwater Horizon, and BP wants Anadarko to pay for 25 percent of costs. Those costs include money BP has spent to drill the relief wells and stage other spill response efforts, plus reimbursements to the federal government, damages to equipment and claims paid to those hurt by the leak.

Read More →

The new survey of the Ohio Senate race from Public Policy Polling (D) gives Democratic Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher a narrow edge against Republican Rob Portman, a former Congressman and Bush administration official. The key takeaway: Even though Obama's popularity has gone downhill in this perennial swing state, Portman's ties to Washington are tripping him up.

The numbers: Fisher 40%, Portman 38%. The survey of registered voters has a ±4.5% margin of error. In the previous general election poll from March, during the Democratic primary between Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Portman led Fisher by 41%-36%.

These numbers come on the same day as a Quinnipiac poll, which gave Fisher a similar lead of 42%-40%. The TPM Poll Average has Fisher ahead by 43.3%-41.0%.

Read More →

The new Rasmussen poll of the Kentucky Senate race gives Republican nominee Rand Paul a stable lead of seven points over Democrat Jack Conway in the race for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Jim Bunning.

The numbers: Paul 49%, Conway 42%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.5% margin of error. A month ago, Paul led by a similar 49%-41%. The TPM Poll Average gives Paul a lead of 50.7%-41.3%.

The pollster's analysis finds a stability to the race, with the exception of an immediate post-primary bump for Paul: "Support for both nominees is virtually identical to results found earlier this month. Just after Paul's big primary win in May, he bounced to a short-lived 25-point lead over Conway. With the exception of immediately after his primary win, Paul has received between 46% and 50% support in match-ups with Conway since January. During the same period, Conway has earned between 34% and 41% of the vote. The Democrat has never led in matchups between the two candidates."

Scott Brown's playing cute, but his fellow moderate Republican Susan Collins says she's basically ready to vote for Wall Street reform.

"Based on my initial review of the conference review, I'm inclined to support it," Collins told reporters this afternoon after a Senate vote. "I believe that it will improve the regulation of financial institutions and much needed transparency to the process, and that it will help prevent the kinds of risky practices that triggered this recession.

Read More →

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) has some tough words for his party. Bennett became the first incumbent senator to lose his re-election bid in 2010 after his defeat at Utah's Republican convention in May. Speaking yesterday to The Ripon Society, Bennett predicted Republicans will win the House -- and maybe even the Senate -- this fall, but he expressed doubts that the party has the ideas needed to govern successfully.

Read More →