TPM News

Over the last week, a flurry of polls of the Nevada Senate race have been released that tell a similar narrative -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican rival Sharron Angle are statistically deadlocked. A new CNN/Time poll released today finds one more batch of numbers that support the trend. Among likely voters, the survey shows Angle leading Reid 42%-41%, with Tea Party candidate Scott Ashijan earning 5%.

There is no previous CNN/Time poll for direct comparison. But no mainstream poll conducted over the last two months has produced an advantage for either candidate outside of its margin of error. Most recently, Rasmussen saw a 48%-48% tie in its September 13 survey, Ipsos gave Reid a slight 46%-44% edge in its September 12 poll, and Fox News' September 11 poll found Angle up 45%-44%.

Worth noting, when the CNN/Time poll surveyed the wider pool of all registered voters (instead of just likely voters), Reid led 42%-34%.

Though no recent poll has produced a noteworthy lead for Reid, the Democrat is still up in the TPM Poll Average, 47.3%-44.7%.

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President Obama this afternoon challenged Republicans to join with Democrats to pass an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for middle class Americans earning $250,000 or less "right now", saying it's something that everyone agrees upon and lawmakers should set politics aside.

"I understand there is an election coming up but the American people didn't send us here to just think about our jobs, they sent us here to think about theirs," he said. "If the other party continues to hold these tax cuts hostage ... these are the same families that will suffer the most when their taxes go up next year. And if we can't get an agreement with Republicans, that's what will happen."

Obama didn't mention the tension within his own party about whether to hold a vote, or the Democrats who want to see all of the cuts extended temporarily.

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Two new polls of the Florida Senate race out today show Republican nominee Marco Rubio with a significant lead over independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Democratic Congressman Kendrick Meek.

On the heels of a Fox News poll that showed Rubio with a huge lead, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll and Rasmussen poll also show Rubio way out in front. The Reuters/Ipsos poll has Rubio at 40%, Crist at 26%, and Meek at 21%. The previous Ipsos poll, from August 10, showed Crist leading Rubio and Meek 33%-29%-17%. Tellingly, when the new Ipsos survey asked for respondents' preferential candidate if Meek was not in the race, the Republican only earned a slight 46%-45% advantage over Crist.

Today's Rasmussen poll has Rubio leading 41%-30%-23%. Not much change from an August 25 Rasmussen poll that found Rubio leading the contest 40% to Crist's 30% and Meek's 21%.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos survey is among likely voters and has a margin of error of ±4.6 percentage points. Rasmussen's numbers have a margin of error of ±4.0. The TPM Poll Average of the contest shows Rubio leading 39.1% to Crist's 30.6% and Meek's 21.2%.

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

Add Rush Limbaugh to the list of prominent conservatives tearing into Karl Rove's hide today. As Rove continued his tour slamming freshly minted Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell over the considerable number of skeletons in her closet, Rush was almost literally beside himself with frustration at the idea that anyone -- much less The Architect -- would dare violate the 11th Commandment so brazenly.

O'Donnell's nomination has created deep divisions between the Republican Party and right-wing activists. Last night, Rove bashed O'Donnell -- and her chances of being elected -- and insisted that she's said a lot of "nutty things." He was attacked by some right-wingers for those comments. O'Donnell whacked him back in a televised interview this morning. And then Rove responded to O'Donnell and his right-wing critics, daring them to 'prove me wrong'. Then Palin slammed Rove. Now it's Limbaugh's turn.

"If 51 seats was really the objective -- if getting the majority is really that important, then let's go balls to the wall for Christine O'Donnell!" Limbaugh screamed on his radio show today after playing a clip of Rove's already infamous anti-O'Donnell interview on Hannity last night.

"Why not fight for it?" Limbaugh asked. "Why not fight for it? Castle's OK as the 51st vote but this woman isn't?"

Rush seemed in danger of having an aneurysm at the idea that Rove would do something as heretical as point out that O'Donnell has more than a few very serious character flaws and -- as the polls show -- is a serious underdog against her Democratic opponent in November, in a race that Republicans had once thought was theirs for the taking.

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Carl Paladino, the tea party-backed underdog victor in last night's Republican gubernatorial primary in New York, appeared on CNN this afternoon, and spent most of the time explaining his opposition to the proposed Cordoba House Muslim community center near Ground Zero. Host Rick Sanchez grilled Paladino on the legal grounds for his pledge to, if elected, use eminent domain to stop the project. And Paladino ended up defining the area in which he would prohibit projects like Cordoba House. Anywhere where the pulverized remains of 9/11 victims settled, he said, should be off limits to projects like Cordoba House.

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For the first time since Democratic-leaning independent candidate Bud Chiles dropped out of Florida's gubernatorial race, Republican and former hospital executive Rick Scott finds himself atop a general election poll. A Reuters/Ipsos poll out today finds Scott leading state Chief Financial Officer and Democratic nominee Alex Sink, 47%-45%.

There is no previous Reuters/Ipsos poll of the two-way race for direct comparison.

While the results fall within the poll's ±4.6% margin of error, the findings nonetheless mark a shift in polling results. Last week, Republican-leaning polling firm Susquehanna released a poll that suggested Scott was gaining ground on the Democratic nominee. That poll had Scott behind 44%-42%. A CNN/Time poll released earlier in the week had produced a more comfortable seven-point lead for Sink. Polling conducted prior to Chiles' dropout showed the Democratic nominee maintaining a healthy lead in the gubernatorial fight.

The TPM Poll Average for the contest still has Sink on top of Scott, 46.5%-43.0%. For more on the race, check out TPMDC's full coverage here.

Some new poll numbers for the New Hampshire Senate race from Public Policy Polling (D), conducted over the weekend before yesterday's primary, show Republican former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte starting the general election with a small lead over Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes.

The numbers: Ayotte 47%, Hodes 43%. The survey of likely voters has a ±2.2% margin of error. In the previous PPP survey from mid-July -- which used a more permissive and Dem-friendly registered voter screen -- Ayotte led Hodes by a similar 45%-42% margin. The TPM Poll Average gives Ayotte a lead of 48.0%-40.0%.

Interestingly, the poll also shows that Ayotte's opponent that she very narrowly defeated in the Republican primary, Ovide Lamontagne, would not have had any significant difference in electability against Hodes. In this survey, Lamontagne leads Hodes by 47%-44%.