TPM News

Roger Ailes was "livid" when Sarah Palin announced that she wouldn't be running for president.

The Fox News president wasn't angry about the decision itself though; rather Ailes was furious that Palin made the October 5th announcement on Mark Levin's talk-radio program instead of giving the network that employs her an exclusive.

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A new Marist national poll has a few data points showing Americans a bit more sunny on the economy. One of particular note is the drop in those who think the worse is yet to come — over the summer that number was 68 percent, but its dropped to 53 now. The numbers still aren’t great, but they are headed in a positive direction.

See more numbers from Marist here.

Minnesota’s government shutdown in July cost the state nearly $60 million, according to an executive report by the state’s budget office. The state lost $47.9 in “unrecoverable” revenues, but saved about $65 million in payroll. Read the state’s full report here.

President Obama’s approval rating in Pennsylvania is down to 42 percent in a new poll from Public Policy Polling (D), as the President ties former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney in a head-to-head contest at 45 percent. In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans, Romney ties Obama by pulling more Republicans to his corner (81 percent) than Obama pulls Democrats (76 percent) and then wins independent voters by two points.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, currently surging in the GOP primary process, is down by six in a matchup with Obama. PPP said that all is not lost for the President in a state he won by ten in 2008, but much improvement is needed to keep it. From PPP’s analysis:

Luckily for the president, he has not yet fallen behind the Republicans hoping to depose him next fall...The president is ceding 11-16% of his own party’s vote, more than the 10% reported by exit polls in 2008. He is losing independents by up to three points and winning them by no more than seven, when he beat McCain by 19. He is cushioned by still taking 8-15% of the GOP (versus 13% in2008)...“Pennsylvania is Barack Obama’s most worrisome state for 2012,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “He’s slipped there more than in any other large state and the electoral college picture changes fundamentally if it goes into the GOP column.

Protesters briefly interrupted President Obama’s speech in New Hampshire Tuesday. Reports on Twitter suggest the protesters are affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Obama brushed off the interruption, saying, “it’s okay” and that he’s glad they are making a point.

Evangelical Iowa organization The Family Leader has just released a statement letting voters know that they are “still praying for clarity on whether or not to endorse a candidate, and if they endorse, who to endorse.”

In the statement, Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats told supporters that he had narrowed the field down to four contenders. “Congresswoman Bachmann, Speaker Gingrich, Governor Perry, and Senator Santorum all have many presidential traits that will serve our great country well,” he said.

The organization has not placed any timeline on their decision.

In a recent opinion piece for The Weekly Standard, conservative commentator William Kristol writes that Mitt Romney’s nomination is “all too evitable.”

“Republicans…will be especially wary of proclamations of inevitability that come from media who do not have conservatives' best interests at heart,” writes Kristol, pointing out that polling has never confirmed Romney to be a clear frontrunner, and that Newt Gingrich leads Romney in several recent surveys.

“And even if Gingrich fades,” writes Kristol, “let’s not assume it’s over. Bachmann and Santorum could still have a run in Iowa.”

Kristol also says that a fragmented field could pave the way for an undeclared candidate to enter the race: “If [Bachmann and Santorum] continue to trail badly, it’s not out of the question that someone else could still present himself in mid-December to the citizens of Iowa (Hi there, Mike Huckabee! Hello, Sara Palin!).”

Kristol even speculates that “Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio [could] win the January 31 Florida primary as…write-in candidate[s]” if the Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina contests “produce fragmented results.”

The Gingrich surge is upon us, with Newt the latest GOP candidate to take a national lead in Quinnipiac's polling of the Republican primary. New data out Tuesday morning shows him taking 26 percent of GOPers with former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney in second with 22, followed by a fading businessman Herman Cain in third at 14. The rest of the field is in single digits.

Conservative voters have flocked to Gingrich, as the numbers show he wins 30 percent of them to Romney's 21, while Romney beats Gingrich on moderates 28 - 17. Conservative voters in the Republican primary have been the most mobile in the race, flocking from Texas Gov. Rick Perry to Cain and now Gingrich as the alternative to Romney. Newt also has outsized Tea Party support and wins among evangelical voters.

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