TPM News

Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL), who left the Republican Party to run for Senate as an independent, is now running into one of many complications of his new independent status. As the St. Petersburg Times reports, Crist will be listed almost at the very bottom of the ballot, in the ninth position out of ten.

Under state law, Republican Marco Rubio will be listed first as the candidate of the party currently holding the governor's mansion, followed by Democrat Kendrick Meek, then various minor parties candidates, and then independents in the order in which they filed their papers. As the paper reports, Crist already seems to be getting tripped up by this development -- even he's confused about where he'll be listed.

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Well, that didn't take long. After being pounded for a full day by some of the conservative movement's biggest names, a bruised and battered Karl Rove took to the Fox News airwaves this morning to get on board the Christine O'Donnell train.

Rove, you'll recall, refused to buy the tea party hype about Delaware's new Republican Senate nominee, telling Sean Hannity on the night O'Donnell won that the "nutty" things O'Donnell says meant that the GOP had no shot at winning a Senate majority with her representing the party in Delaware (a race the GOP was expected to win with establishment choice Mike Castle as the nominee.)

Since he made that comment, commentators from Michelle Malkin to Sarah Palin to Rush Limbaugh have called Rove everything from incompetent to traitorous. The end result? Rove has come to embody the "establishment" in discussions about O'Donnell. And as anyone knows, this year, the "establishment" label on a Republican resume is about as popular as a meat dress at a PETA meeting.

So perhaps it's no surprise that Rove buckled under the pressure of his right-wing critics, rushing onto Fox this morning to change the narrative. How can you call me establishment? he asked. I supported Sharron Angle for goodness' sake! And as to that whole "the GOP Senate majority is doomed" thing, Rove is now claiming that not only does he think O'Donnell can win, he actually orchestrated sending NRSC money to her campaign.

As Rove might have said in a moment of honesty, it's all kind of nutty.

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In an attempt to quell the civil war that has erupted in the Republican party after Christine O'Donnell's win in Delaware on Tuesday, RNC head Michael Steele is advising (pleading?) with the party to calm down.

I don't know if she can win until we try. How can you claim defeat before you attempt victory. This makes no sense, so stop it! Stop it! Let's get behind our nominees and win the election.

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The new SurveyUSA poll of the Minnesota gubernatorial race shows a tight contest between Democratic former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton and Republican state Rep. Tom Emmer, plus some strong support for Independence Party candidate Tom Horner.

The numbers: Dayton 38%, Emmer 36%, and Horner 18%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3.9% margin of error. In the previous poll from early August, taken shortly before Dayton's narrow win in the Democratic primary -- and taken in the wake of press coverage of Emmer's very entertaining gaffes -- Dayton led Emmer and Horner by 45%-36%-10%.

The TPM Poll AVerage gives Dayton 38.9%, Emmer 35.0%, and Horner 14.3%.

The new Rasmussen poll of the Delaware Senate race, conducted yesterday in the aftermath of conservative activist Christine O'Donnell's upset win in the Republican primary, shows Democratic New Castle County Executive Chris Coons with a double-digit lead.

The numbers: Coons 53%, O'Donnell 42%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.5% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen survey from two weeks ago, Coons led O'Donnell by 46%-36% -- and Rep. Mike Castle, the moderate Republican who O'Donnell defeated on Tuesday, led Coons by 49%-37%. The TPM Poll Average gives Coons a lead of 52.2%-38.8%.

From the pollster's analysis: "The Delaware race is now viewed as Solid Democrat in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Senate Balance of Power rankings. This marks a remarkable turnaround in a race that at the beginning of the month was rated Solid Republican and was on track to be a GOP pickup. At that time, Congressman Mike Castle led Coons as he had been leading all year."

"Everybody in the world knows you don't believe anything on Wikipedia," Rush Limbaugh told his listeners last year. So, uh, it must be embarrassing for him that he just used Wikipedia as a source--and got his facts wrong.

On Tuesday, Limbaugh told his listeners about Judge Robert Vinson, of the Federal District Court in Pensacola, Florida, is presiding over a legal challenged to the country's new health-care reform law. Here's a transcript, quoting liberally from Vinson's Wikipedia article:

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Vice President Joe Biden was on Rachel Maddow's show last night, and talked a lot about the Republicans' attempt to "delegitimize" President Obama because that's what you do "when you can't compete on ideas." He added that there's a "desperation on the Republican side to pander to the lowest common denominator."

"The truth is," Biden said, "that it's real tough for the Republican Party. It's really kind of hung on a shingle. You know, 'no moderates need apply.' It sort of spawns a tone in politics that is not helpful to getting things done."

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A Tennessee congressional hopeful is bringing new theatrics to the trend of Democrats running away from the leadership of their own party.

In a letter delivered to Nancy Pelosi this morning, candidate Brett Carter will call on the House Speaker to pledge not to seek the Speakership next year, should Democrats retain the House.

"I am writing to request that you not seek the Speaker's position during your next term and make your intention not to seek this leadership position public," the letter reads.

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Fear Of GOP Takeover Forces Unions To Back Dems Who Opposed Health Care Reform The Hill reports that unions have had to rethink their previous opposition to House Democrats who voted against the health care bill, and have now been sending out mailers in support of them: "Larry Scanlon, political director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), told The Hill he sees more labor support coming for Democrats who voted against the bill due to concerns about the party losing control of the House. 'When the reality sets in and you are talking about John Boehner running the House, you have to start saying 'Hey, we have to take a second look here.' It's what is called practical politics,' Scanlon said."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will deliver remarks at 9:45 a.m. ET, to the President's Export Council meeting. President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10:15 a.m. ET, and the economic daily briefing at 10:45 a.m. ET, and Obama will meet at 11:15 a.m. ET with senior advisers. Obama and Biden will have lunch at 12:15 p.m. ET. Obama will participate in a 12:45 p.m. ET Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony. He will meet at 2:30 p.m. ET with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Rep. Luiz Gutierrez (D-IL). At 3:25 p.m. ET, he will make an announcement on the expansion of his "Educate to Innovate" initiative. He will depart from the White House at 4:05 p.m. ET, and depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 4:20 p.m. ET, arriving at 5:15 p.m. ET in New York. He will deliver remarks at an event for Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), at 6:15 p.m. ET in Stamford, Connecticut. He will attend a private fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at 7:45 p.m. ET. He will depart from New York at 9:40 p.m. ET, and will arrive at Andrews Air Force Base at 10:35 p.m. ET, and back at the White House at 10:50 p.m. ET.

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As he presses Congress to let the Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans expire, President Obama has two goals in mind: achieve a significant policy victory; and give struggling Democrats a wedge issue ahead of the November elections. But a significant number of those Democrats are saying they don't want the help -- and that number may be enough to force Democratic leaders to punt on the issue.

Rep. Michael McMahon (D-NY), who is fighting to preserve the top-bracket tax cuts for at least a year, says he has somewhere between 25 and 50 members on his side. "I think the difference is there," he told TPM after a House vote yesterday afternoon.

McMahon is a signatory to a letter authored by Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL) and others designed to pressure leaders to give wealthy Americans another tax break. His view represents a political and policy consensus shared by a significant, and vocal faction of the Democratic party -- a consensus that party leaders are doing little to weaken.

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