TPM News

New Gallup data shows that support for the death penalty is at it’s lowest level in nearly fourty years. But that still means Americans are for it, by in large. 61 percent in the poll support the death penalty against 35 percent against.

From Gallup: “The Oct. 6-9 poll was conducted shortly after the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia, which generated widespread protests and extensive news coverage. This could help explain the slight drop in support for the death penalty this year. However, there have been high-profile executions in the news in previous years without concomitant drops in death penalty support, making it less clear that such events have a direct impact on attitudes.”

Gallup released a new poll on Friday morning showing President Obama down to a “generic Republican” by eight points. Obama only gets 38 percent in the survey, versus 46 for the GOP stand-in. It’s the second month in a row the President has been down in this rating, after the same poll in August showed him with a lead.

Of course, the dynamics of an actual choice between candidates in a general election are much different, but the poll underscores a trend: voters are just not enthusiastic about the President at the moment, and his tepid support in the Gallup poll seems to show it.

The owners of New York’s Zucotti Park, where ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protesters have been camping out for weeks, have withdrawn their request to the city to have the park be cleaned, thus avoiding a potential early morning confrontation. Many protestors said that believed the cleaning was simply a plan to get them to leave. TPM’s Jillian Rayfield, at the scene this morning reports chants of “solidarity” and “we are the 99%.”

Democrats and their allies think they can win next year on the message that the House Republican caucus has spent time trying to restrict abortion rather than pass economic legislation the public wants like President Obama's jobs act.

And so, as the House GOP voted to send HR 358 -- which critics say would allow hospitals to let a woman die rather than receive an abortion that could save her life -- to the Senate Thursday night, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was already targeting the Republicans who supported it.

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The Federal Communications Commission urged AT&T on Thursday to provide data to show how its propsed merger with T-Mobile would impact employment.

The commission's Wireless Bureau Chief Rick Kaplan on Thursday fired off a letter to AT&T's outside Counsel Richard Rosen at the law firm Arnold & Porter asking the company to provide the commission with detailed information.

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) says he's so committed to defense spending, he'd overturn key provisions of the debt ceiling deal to protect it.

In a Capitol press conference Thursday, McCain told reporters he'd be "among the first" to suggest ignoring any cuts to defense that would take place if the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction (the so-called "Super Committee") fails to produce a plan by Nov. 23.

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Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2000 who later crossed party lines to support Republican John McCain in 2008, has a column in the Washington Post -- standing up for Republican contender Mitt Romney, against attacks over Romney's Mormon religion.

Lieberman's column discusses his own experience in 2000, as the first practicing Jew on a national ticket, and the place that he believes religion should have in American public discourse, balanced with the individual's freedom of religion.

He then writes:

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Herman Cain got a strong -- and surprising -- vote of confidence from one of the Republican party's leading strategy lights, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

"He is likable," He said on the Laura Ingraham Show, according to The Hill. "He does not give you the impression that he is full of himself, but rather than he is a straight-talkin' person who, will tell you, he call it like he sees them. He's not trying to sugar coat anything and at the same time he is not trying to be shrill and a chest beater. He's a straight talker and I think that makes him very, very attractive to people."

Barbour's Cain backing should raises eyebrows given that the ex-RGA chair has worked closely with fellow governors Rick Perry and Mitt Romney in the past. Barbour has come to Perry's defense at several key points in the race, most recently pushing back against New Jersey Governor and Romney backer Chris Christie's demand he repudiate an anti-Mormon supporter. That Barbour, who is considered a pragmatic party builder, wouldn't give Perry a vote of confidence at such a critical point in his campaign is a pretty jarring. The best he could muster on Perry's behalf in the interview was "90% of what matters in this nomination contest is still to happen."

It's also becoming clear that he's not a big fan of Romney. In the same interview, Barbour threw a light jab at him over his Massachusetts health care law.

"Well politically you can probably play it either way, but I think substantively, here's Haley Barbour's view, we don't want Romneycare is Mississippi," he said. "It is not a good solution for us, but frankly if that's good for Massachusetts and they want it and it works for them, that's their business."

Earlier this week, Barbour said in a forum that "Mitt is less conservative than most Republicans."

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