TPM News

Attorney General Eric Holder, after meeting with interfaith leaders this afternoon, released a statement this afternoon saying that anti-Muslim violence won't be tolerated.

"As the Attorney General has noted on previous occasions, violence against individuals or institutions based on religious bias is intolerable and the Department will bring anyone who commits such crimes to justice," spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

At the meeting, Miller said, "the Attorney General reiterated the Department's strong commitment to prosecuting hate crimes, and noted several successes the Department has achieved in recent months."

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A week after leading the charge of polls showing the GOP with a huge lead in generic congressional ballot polls, Gallup is out with new numbers today that dump a bucket of cold water on that very idea.

According to the latest Gallup survey of registered voters, Republicans and Democrats are tied on the congressional ballot question with each drawing 46% of the vote. Last week's poll showed the GOP ahead by 10, leading 51-41.

Not surprisingly, Republicans flooded reporters' inboxes with the results of last week's Gallup poll. Same story for coverage of today's big national polls from ABC News/Washington Post and NBC News/Wall Street Journal, both of which showed Republicans with big leads among likely voters. Tonight, it's the Democrats' turn to hit the "fwd" button, blanketing the fourth estate with links to the Gallup poll ostensibly bursting the "Democratic strategy = rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic" narrative.

How long will the euphoria last for Democrats?

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Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet is leading tea party favorite and gaffetastic Republican nominee Ken Buck in the Colorado Senate race, according to a new poll out today.

The survey of 751 likely voters by Democratic pollster FM3 and Republican pollster Public Opinion Strategies shows Bennet leading Buck 43-40. The pollsters describe the race as a "dead heat" and note that "a Libertarian candidate garners 5% of the vote - greater than the margin between the two major party candidates."

Indeed, past polling of the race has shown the race to be very, very close. The TPM Poll Average shows Buck ahead 46.0-42.8, which is basically too close to call this far from election day.

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Alex Sink, the Democratic nominee in the Florida Senate race, has a new ad responding to Republican nominee Rick Scott's attack ad that linked her to President Obama. And in a telling sign of the political situation nowadays, Sink does not actually defend or endorse Obama -- she simply says that the subject is irrelevant to the issues in this campaign.

"Unfortunately, Rick Scott seems to think running for governor is about President Obama. That's a big difference between us," Sinks says. "I'm Alex Sink. While Rick Scott's focused on Obama, I'm focused on creating jobs, and giving tax relief to Florida's small businesses. Rick Scott just talks about Obama, while I have a plan to make Florida's schools stronger. He can just keep attacking Obama. But you and I know, we need a governor who attacks Florida's challenges."

A recent Rasmussen poll gave Sink a narrow edge of 48%-47%, including leaners.

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Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey is using his latest TV ads to hit Democrat Joe Sestak anew over his support for the 2008 financial bailouts, and to opine on the country's future against the backdrop of a newborn baby.

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The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has a new ad in the Colorado Senate race, going after Republican nominee Ken Buck on the perennial issue of Social Security -- and a more peculiar issue from the Tea Party movement, his past support for repealing the direct election of Senators. The ad is a clear sign that Dems will try to hang GOP candidates on the statements they made during the primaries, when they were busy appealing to the Tea Partier primary voter base.

"Listen to Ken Buck on Social Security," the announcer says, followed by video of Buck at a Tea Party candidates forum back in March: "It is fundamentally against what I believe."

"Listen to Buck on whether he'd rewrite the Constitution and end our right to vote for our own Senators," the announcer also says, again followed by Buck footage from June: "The short answer is yes."

Buck has since disavowed that statement on the direct election of Senators, and says he doesn't propose changing that Constitutional Amendment.

The TPM Poll Average gives Buck a lead of 46.0%-42.8% over incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

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The new ad from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) continues her strange "Jim the Election Guy" motif, but this time throws in a recognizable pop culture reference against her Democratic opponent, state Sen. Tarryl Clark: There's a tax for that.

The ad shows Jim telling parents who are taking their kids back to school that Clark has a tax for everything. "Want to buy some crayons? She's got a sales tax increase for that," says Jim. "Drive your kids to school? She's got a gas-tax hike for that. Buy a backpack? She's got a tax for that, too."

No wonder they have this Jim character in the ads. John Hodgman and Justin Long weren't available.

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Remember the Virginia tea partier who said he'd drop his bid if the person responsible for leaking unflattering documents about him to the press stepped forward? Shocker: No one did.

Jeffrey Clark, running as an independent hoping to peel off votes from state Sen. Robert Hurt as they challenge Rep. Tom Perriello this fall, isn't pleased. Clark thinks Hurt operative Chris LaCivita of Swiftboat fame gave the local newspapers papers showcasing his financial dirty laundry.

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Rabbi David Saperstein -- one of the religious leaders meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder this afternoon to discuss anti-Muslim incidents -- told TPM in an interview that he is satisfied with the government's reaction to hate crimes, but said he wants the administration to speak out against the wave of anti-Islamic furor.

Saperstein, of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said that it is very important for a top government official like Holder or President Barack Obama need to speak out against the anti-Muslim rhetoric that has flared up in recent months.

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Prominent Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas gave a sermon a few weeks ago saying, among other things: "The deep, dark, dirty secret of Islam: It is a religion that promotes pedophilia - sex with children. This so-called prophet Muhammad raped a 9-year-old girl - had sex with her."

Now Jeffress has doubled down on his claim in a sermon on Sunday, responding to a column by Steve Blow in The Dallas Morning News that condemned the pastor's remarks. "It is our love for Muslims that demands we speak the truth about Islam," Jeffress said Sunday.

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