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Leaders of the influential FreedomWorks group -- one the largest and most powerful tea party forces in the country -- publicly distanced themselves from the latest tea party political star, Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, at a breakfast with reporters this morning.

"We stay out of that race because we're not convinced O'Donnell can win," FreedomWorks president and CEO Matt Kibbe said at the Christian Science Monitor-sponsored event.

FreedomWorks chair Dick Armey shared the ambivalence toward O'Donnell, who's sparked a kind of GOP breakdown with her fast-rising candidacy against party stalwart Mike Castle, who most view as a shoo-in for Vice President Biden's old Senate seat should he win the nomination. Presented with polling data showing likely Democratic nominee Chris Coons beating O'Donnell in a general election, Armey was asked "if it's better for Republicans to lose with a tea party-backed candidate than to win with a mainstream Republican candidate."

"I'm going to give a quick answer," Armey said. "No."

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Christine O'Donnell says she has an election strategy -- and it includes appealing to those die-hard PUMAs who wanted to see Hillary Clinton elected president in 2008.

"I do want to point out that we have broad based support, we've got a lot of Hillary Democrats working behind us -- with us -- because they're frustrated with what this administration is doing," O'Donnell (R-DE) said this morning on Fox News.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Christine O'Donnell: Anti-Masturbation Crusader. Witchcraft Dabbler. Republican Senate Nominee.]

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The New Hampshire Republican Senate primary tomorrow is getting even tighter, with a new PPP poll showing Tea Party-backed Ovide LaMontagne only trailing frontrunner (and establishment pick) Kelly Ayotte by seven points.

LaMontagne has gained serious ground since the last PPP poll in July, when he was trailing Ayotte by a whopping 39 points.

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Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was out making the morning show rounds this morning and took some time out on GMA to address Newt Gingrich's latest doozy. Over the weekend Newt told NRO that his latest insight on President Obama was that one needed to understand "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior" in order to understand him.

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The new Mason-Dixon poll of the Nevada Senate race shows Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid maintaining his narrow lead over Republican Sharron Angle.

The numbers: Reid 46%, Angle 44%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. In the previous Mason-Dixon poll from two and a half weeks ago, Reid had a narrow edge of 45%-44%. The TPM Poll Average currently puts Reid ahead by 47.7%-44.2%.

Interestingly, the poll finds Reid's favorable rating at only 41%, with 52% unfavorable. Reid is able to stay ahead because Angle is unpopular, too -- at only 35% favorable, to 46% unfavorable.

Congress Returns to Gridlock Roll Call reports: "Congressional Democrats return to Washington this week with just three or four weeks to try to change the narrative that's driving this election season, but they acknowledge that the gridlock they left behind in August is all but certain to re-emerge. Both Democrats and Republicans concede a surging GOP has no incentive to cooperate with the majority, particularly in the Senate, where 60 votes are needed to pass almost everything. Given time constraints and election-year pressures, 'Our ability to do anything major is going to be limited,' Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said last week."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET. He will deliver remarks at 10:30 a.m. ET, at the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Reception. He will meet at 11 a.m. ET with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan. He will meet at 1:45 p.m. ET with a family at their home in Fairfax, Virginia, and hold a discussion on the economy at 2 p.m. ET. He will meet at the White House with seniors at 3:30 p.m. ET, and he will meet at 4:30 p.m. ET with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He will deliver remarks to NCAA Champion Student Athletes at 5:45 p.m. ET.

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This, unfortunately, should come as no surprise by now: a good number of the tea partiers who gathered in DC yesterday have serious doubts about President Obama's qualifications to occupy the White House (i.e. where's the birth certificate?) and his faith (he might not be a Muslim, but ya know...).

In fact, I couldn't find a single tea partier to talk to yesterday who didn't have doubts about Obama's citizenship status or his faith. Of course, that doesn't mean everyone at yesterday's 912 rally felt that way -- just the ones I talked to. A year after 9/12/09 tea partiers were roundly criticized for images and rhetoric questioning Obama's faith and past at their big DC rally, it seems the movement has not strayed from the idea that Obama is not just a bad president but some kind of other or "usurper" (as one banner calling for his overthrow on display put it) illegally occupying the nation's highest office.

"People here know he's not an American," a tea partier from DC who would identify himself only as "Randy" told me. He launched into a refrain I would hear more than once during the day -- Obama has not displayed enough paperwork proving his U.S. birth to get a driver's license, not to mention a job that requires a security clearance.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Tea Partiers Storm DC For Second (And Smaller) 9/12 Rally]

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It might be a painful night for House Democrats on November 2. Most analysts are predicting a Republican takeover of the House, with as many as 80 or so seats in play, and the GOP only needing to win 39 to seize back control. The TPM Poll Average shows voters nationwide prefer generic Congressional Republican candidates over Democrats 47.3%-40.7%.

Many of the Democrats who won in the Obama 2008 tidal wave are the most vulnerable, and the Democrats who captured Bush-won districts in 2006 aren't breathing much easier. But Democrats see glimmers of hope in open seats, and may win some of their own.

TPM chose 10 House races to watch this fall. They will be competitive, likely entertaining, and are bellwethers to help determine whether the nation sees Speaker Pelosi or Speaker Boehner at the dais come January.

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