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One-Seat Majority Is Democrats' Bottom Line CQ reports: "Democrats have long acknowledged the challenges they face this fall. But with the economy still teetering and voters unhappy with Democratic leadership, many are privately conceding that the best Democrats can hope for may be razor-thin hold on the chamber. 'At the end of the day, all that matters is whether we control the majority ... that's the only thing that matters, and we have to set up an environment where our ultimate objective -- maintaining the majority -- is met,' said a Democratic leadership aide, who acknowledged that the party faces a 'very, very tough -- in many cases brutal -- election.'"

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET, and will receive the economic daily briefing at 10:30 a.m. ET. They will meet at 11:10 a.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and meet at 11:50 a.m. ET with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Obama and Biden will have lunch at 12:45 p.m. ET. Obama will meet at 1:15 p.m. ET with senior advisers. Obama and Biden will meet with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at 4:30 p.m. ET. (Ed. note: This item has been changed since a White House schedule update.)

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In his new role as New York Times columnist, Peter Orszag proved won't just be a soldier for the Obama administration. In his first piece, the President's just-departed budget director created a big headache for his former boss by calling for a two-year extension of all the Bush tax cuts -- including the ones for the wealthy.

The White House and Democratic leaders on the Hill want to let the tax cuts benefiting the wealthiest expire, but are facing opposition from some of their own members, who will now have Orszag to cite as justification for holding out.

"[T]he best approach is a compromise: extend the tax cuts for two years and then end them altogether," he wrote. "Ideally only the middle-class tax cuts would be continued for now. Getting a deal in Congress, though, may require keeping the high-income tax cuts, too. And that would still be worth it."

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As we head into the true crunch time of the 2010 election, the crucial period between Labor Day and November 2, let's take a look at what might just be the steepest uphill climb for Democrats this fall: Holding on to the Arkansas Senate seat held by incumbent Dem Blanche Lincoln.

Just take a look at the TPM Poll Average to see how much ground Lincoln would have to make up to score a victory in November. The Republican nominee, Rep. John Boozman, is ahead of Lincoln by a whopping 60.3%-31.2%.

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Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) didn't need to be asked -- when it was clear Joe Miller would be the Republican Senate nominee, he picked up the phone and started raising money for Scott McAdams. While Democratic staffers are heading to Alaska, the national party hasn't paid McAdams much attention -- yet.

But Begich thinks McAdams has a chance to turn Alaska blue. "It's a huge opportunity," Begich told TPM in an interview.

When Begich jumped into the race to unseat a longtime senator in 2008, the line from national Democrats was, "Alaska? Good luck with that," Begich told TPM in an interview. In fact, all signs pointed to him losing on election night two years ago. "The establishment always says it's a state that can't be won, and when I lost election night we were written off," Begich said. But after all the votes were counted, Begich was the next senator from Alaska.

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When Congress returns from August recess, high on their list of priorities will be figuring out what to do about the Bush tax cuts. They're scheduled to expire at the end of the year and, if that happens, it will look and feel like an across the board tax increase -- a scenario the GOP is happy to peddle to anxious voters. It's shaping up to be another round in the perennial fight between Republicans and Democrats over the size of government and economic inequality. But it'll also be a fight about debt. In the end, Congress will choose between a number of options, each of which will blow a big hole in the deficit. The question is how big will it be.

Here are the four possibilities.

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Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has a robust evangelical outreach program, and she's appealed to these voters in her Republican primary bid in part with her old-fashioned views about sex.

O'Donnell has said, for example, that masturbation is wrong, and that looking at pornography is equivalent to cheating on your spouse. She outlined her views in a November 1998 article titled "The Case for Chastity" for Cultural Dissident.

She wrote:

When a married person uses pornography, or is unfaithful, it compromises not just his (or her) purity, but also compromises the spouse's purity. As a church, we need to teach a higher standard than abstinence. We need to preach a righteous lifestyle.

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Is there anything more patriotic than a get-rich-quick scheme? The folks over at TeaPartyBizOpp, a pyramid scheme targeted at the tea party set, don't seem to think so.

Billed as the "first ever patriotic home based business opportunity" and the place "where you get paid to help defend our freedom and stop Liberal Tyranny!!", TeaPartyBizOpp offers like minded liberty-lovers the chance to "make up to $50,000 or more a year helping raise funds to defend our freedom."

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It's a good time to be running for statewide office in Ohio if you're a Republican. That's the message from a pair of polls out this weekend showing Republican nominees for Senate and governor in Ohio with big leads over their Democratic rivals.

The polls were conducted by the Columbus Dispatch Aug. 25-Sept. 3. Surveys were mailed to respondents by the paper and then returned. The total number of respondents is 1,622 and the margin of error is 2.2%.

In the race for Ohio's open Senate seat, Republican Rob Portman is leading Democratic nominee Lee Fisher 50-37 in the Dispatch poll. The TPM Poll Average for that race shows Portman ahead 45.7-40.0.

Recent surveys have shown Portman gaining momentum in the contest as the final two months of campaigning begins:

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Rand Paul has built up a double-digit lead in the Kentucky Senate race, according to a poll out this weekend by respected firm SurveyUSA. The poll shows Paul, the Republican nominee, with a 55-40 lead over Democratic nominee Jack Conway.

Past polling has shown the race to be much closer. The TPM Poll Average shows Paul ahead 46.0-40.4.

In the last SurveyUSA poll of the race -- taken July 27-29 -- Paul was also ahead, leading 51-43. Republicans say the new SurveyUSA poll, which shows Paul has almost doubled his lead from July, shows that Paul's campaign is in the driver's seat.

"I do think the momentum of the state is with us," Paul told WHAS-TV when asked about the poll. "What the exact number is.... we're happy to be 15 ahead. That's for sure."

Conway's campaign says the SurveyUSA poll is suspect.

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