TPM News

The new CNN poll finds that Republicans continue to enjoy their advantage in the enthusiasm gap since the signing of the health care bill. Although voter enthusiasm has in fact increased among Democrats, it has also gone up among Republicans, too.

The poll finds that 36% of Democrats are either "very enthusiastic" or "extremely enthusiastic" about voting for Congress this year, a five-point increase from January. However, Republicans have gone up, too, from 49% in January to 55% now.

"The health care vote seems to have made some Democrats more eager to vote in November, but it has also activated more Republican voters, so the Democrats still face the same double-digit 'enthusiasm gap' they had before the vote," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Lawsuits challenging health care reform have popped up in several states and are drawn nearly entirely on partisan lines, in some cases fracturing top state government officials where the governor is a Democrat and attorney general is a Republican who joined the legal challenge. In Missouri, Lt. Gov Peter Kinder (R) so badly wanted to be part of the lawsuit that he bucked his Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and the attorney general to say he'll be joining the other attorneys general on his own.

There are a handful of other splits across the country -- Michigan, Washington state, Pennsylvania and Colorado -- which create a tough political climate for anyone attempting to get something done at the state level. Louisiana is the one bipartisan example, with Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell (D) agreeing to join the lawsuit.

The legal challenge has been the latest trend among Republicans, with GOPers trying to one-up each other on the question of whether health care should be repealed, deemed unconstitutional, or left alone. It's become a litmus test for conservatives.

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In response to a claim on the Drudge Report that the Washington Times is "up for sale," the company said in a statement that it is "not currently negotiating" a sale of the company.

"The Washington Times has been approached throughout its history with expressions of interest by parties interested in purchase all or part of the company," said president and publisher Jonathan Slevin. "Contrary to online reports, however, the Washington Times is not currently negotiating with any party for sale of all or part of the company."

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In the wake of the passage of health care reform, Senate Republicans say that they're less willing to work with Democrats than they were in the past--if such a thing is even possible. But at the same time, multiple key GOP senators say they're certain one major initiative--financial regulatory reform--will pass the Senate this year.

"I think it's going to be very, very difficult -- very difficult -- to get 41 members [to sustain a filibuster]," Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said in a speech last week.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), who was tapped to serve as a Republican negotiator in an early round of the regulatory reform debate, told reporters last week he was "100 percent" certain that a major bill would pass this year.

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A new survey of Alabama by Public Policy Polling (D) finds that Rep. Artur Davis leads in the Democratic primary for governor -- but it's possible that his vote against the health care bill could come back to haunt him.

The numbers: Davis 38%, Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks 28%, and third candidate Sam Franklin Thomas with 9%, with a ±4.6% margin of error. At the same time, 80% of Democratic primary voters support the health care bill, compared to only 14% who oppose it.

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President Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden delivered the following remarks at Northern Virginia Community College today as the President signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act:

DR. BIDEN: Good morning, everyone, and thank you for being here today. I'm Jill Biden and I am honored to be a community college instructor. (Applause.) I have been a teacher for almost three decades and a community college instructor for the past 16 years. In fact, I'm an English teacher right here on this campus. (Applause.) It's my great pleasure to welcome you all to Northern Virginia Community College. (Applause.)

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