TPM News

Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) has a new TV ad in his Republican primary challenge against Sen. John McCain. The ad continues Hayworth's attacks against McCain over illegal immigration -- and interestingly enough, the Tea Partying Hayworth also blasts McCain for voting against a social welfare entitlement program, the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit.

"McCain wrote the amnesty bill; opposed the border fence; voted against border security funding," the announcer says. "And, McCain voted against the Medicare prescription drug program for seniors, but allowed illegal aliens to get Social Security and Medicare -- even if they committed fraud."

The TPM Poll Average gives McCain a lead of 53.6%-32.1%. The Republican primary will be held on August 24.

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Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) is pulling ahead of her potential Republican challengers in the Washington Senate race, according to a new Rasmussen survey. Against former gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi (R), the frontrunner in the GOP primary, Murray leads 49%-47%. She's also ahead of former pro football player (and Sarah Palin favorite) Clint Didier 48%-45%, and businessman Paul Akers 48%-42%.

When Rasmussen surveyed the race two weeks ago, they found Murray downagainst both Rossi and Didier, who both led 48%-45%. Murray had been ahead of Akers 46%-41%.

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It was with a heavy heart when we told you that former Rep. Jim Traficant (D-OH), released last year from prison, was denied a position on the ballot for his old House seat.

But don't count Jim out quite yet. Traficant's allies yesterday filed an appeal, according to the Youngstown Vindicator. They're arguing that the elections boards that rejected his petition used "vastly overly stringent standards" when determining which signatures were valid.

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Brian Sandoval, the Republican nominee for governor in Nevada, is coming under fire for reportedly saying in an interview with Univision that he's not worried about his own children being asked for their papers in neighboring Arizona -- because his children don't look Hispanic. Sandoval has not acknowledged making the statement, but he has apologized just in case he did.

The gaffe was first announced by Adriana Arévalo, the news director for Univision Nevada, in a scathing column in the Spanish-language newspaper El Tiempo. If elected, Sandoval would be Nevada's first Hispanic governor. He currently has a lead of 53.4%-36.9% over Democratic nominee Rory Reid in the TPM Poll Average.

Univision has declined to release a full tape of the interview, on the grounds that it is their own work product.

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Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) went on an apoplectic rant on the House floor last night, and apparently he hasn't cooled off much since then.

Earlier this morning, Weiner and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) shouted and finger-pointed their way through a Fox News interview over a bill that would provide health care to rescue workers effected by the dust from the World Trade Center, which failed in the House last night.

King accused the Democrats of orchestrating a "cruel hoax" with the bill, while Weiner called it "outrageous" that Republicans would vote against it.

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A new Rasmussen poll of the Pennsylvania Senate race finds former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) out in front against Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak in a race that some polls have shown to be a dead heat. Rasmussen puts Toomey up 45%-39%, a margin comparable to that from Rasmussen's poll of the race from two weeks ago, which gave Toomey a 45%-38% lead.

Other polls have depicted a much tighter race. A July 11 Quinnipiac poll showed Toomey and Sestak neck-and-neck with 43% each, and a PPP poll from June 21 showed both candidates with 41%. Each Rasmussen poll since June, however, has given Toomey a six- or seven-point edge.

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Not even the epic fail of former Tea Party Express chairman/spokesman Mark Williams can slow the tea party movement on it's path to world domination. At least that's what tea partiers tell me.

As we reach the one-week anniversary of Williams' resignation from the TPE after a racist blog post he wrote caused a firestorm both inside the tea party movement and out, movement leaders say they've shaken off Williams and moved on -- if they'll talk about him at all.

"Isn't it weird how these things turn out?" said Shelby Blakely, a member of the Tea Party Patriots National Leadership Council and executive director of the group's online publication, the New Patriot Journal. Blakely said that, ironically, Williams has helped the tea party movement by leading to the public shaming of the TPE, which the Tea Party Patriots have long viewed as an impostor to the cause.

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Today's Quinnipiac poll of the Florida governor's race shows both potential Republican nominees edging out Democrat Alex Sink. Republican businessman Rick Scott, the frontrunner in the GOP primary, leads Sink 29%-27%, with Independent Bud Chiles grabbing 14%. In a separate matchup, Republican state Attorney General Bill McCollum narrowly leads Sink 27%-26%, while Chiles takes third, again with 14%.

Quinnipiac's new numbers show a big improvement for Sink since its last survey, on June 7, which showed Sink down nine against Scott and down eight against McCollum.

A July 18 PPP poll showed Sink ahead of Scott and McCollum by six and 14 points respectively, and a July 11 Reuters/Ipsos survey showed Scott leading Sink 34%-31% but Sink edging McCollum 31%-30%.

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At the beginning of the first House ethics trial since Jim Traficant was kicked out of Congress, lawmakers yesterday rattled off a list of charges against Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY).

Unless Rangel cuts a deal in which he admits wrongdoing -- something his lawyers are reportedly still trying to do, although Rangel has been adamant about professing his innocence -- he will face a very public trial on the 13 alleged violations, just weeks before the midterm elections. The trial could end with a recommendation to expel Rangel from the House.

So how did we get here?

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All 41 Senate Republicans yesterday filibustered a jobs package comprised largely of tax cuts.

You read that right. Republicans filibustered tax cuts.

By the GOP's own admission, the underlying legislation has broad bipartisan support. It would create a $30 billion Treasury-backed fund to help community banks issue loans to small businesses and provide entrepreneurs with $12 billion in tax cuts -- a Republican kind of bill if ever there was one.

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