TPM News

A new Quinnipiac poll suggests Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has almost erased a once-significant gap over his GOP rival John Kasich.

The survey of 848 likely voters gives Kasich a narrow 47-46 lead over the incumbent Democrat. Compare that to the last Quinnipiac poll, conducted just over a week ago, which gave Kasich a significant 49-43 lead over Strickland, and it suggests rapid tightening in the days before the election.

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On the Today Show this morning, NRSC Chairman John Cornyn said conclusively that the Senate is out of reach for Republicans this cycle.

"I think we don't get the majority back but we come awfully close, and we finish the job in 2012," Cornyn said.

This has actually been Cornyn's view for months. But this weekend, in what was probably an attempt at expectation-setting, unnamed Democrats started telling reporters they feared they might lose control of the Senate. Cornyn has his own incentives not to inflate expectations, but he's consistently said he thinks 2012 is the year Republicans will return to power in the upper chamber.

Most prognosticators say Republicans are poised to pick up between six and eight seats on Tuesday -- not enough to retake control. Video of Cornyn's appearance below the fold.

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Two new polls of the West Virginia Senate special election both give Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin a narrow lead against Republican businessman John Raese, in the race to succeed the late Dem Sen. Robert Byrd.

From Rasmussen: Manchin 50%, Raese 46%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen poll from last week, Manchin led by 49%-46%.

From Public Policy Polling (D): Manchin 51%, Raese 46%. The survey of likely voters has a ±2.4% margin of error. In PPP's numbers from last week, Manchin led by 50%-44%.

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A new Public Policy poll of 2,055 likely voters in Washington state has got to be causing Senate Democrat Patty Murray heartburn. Murray has been leading her Republican rival Dino Rossi in most polls for weeks, but this one has her down two points, 50-48.

Now, Murray was ahead or at least tied in all but one survey last week. That was a Rasmussen poll which gave Rossi a one point lead, 48-47.

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Obama Prepared To Dust Off Veto Pen Should GOP Take The House The Hill reports: "President Obama is ready to flex some muscle by using the veto pen if Republicans win back a majority in the House. Democrats and White House aides said that Obama is prepared to wield his veto pen and effectively stare down Republicans should they have a successful Election Day. 'The president doesn't shrink from a fight,' one White House official said.'"

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:45 a.m. ET, and meet with senior advisers at 11 a.m. ET. He does not have any scheduled public events today.

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A new Public Policy survey of the three-way Senate race in Alaska flies in the face of most recent polling. For the first time in weeks, it gives Republican nominee Joe Miller a 37-30-30 lead over his Democratic and independent rivals.

The previous PPP poll of the race, from Oct. 10, gave Miller a lead of 35-33-26.

Still, most recent data indicates that write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who lost the Republican primary to Miller earlier this year, has a significant lead over Miller and Democrat Scott McAdams.

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A pair of new polls this morning confirms what basically every other major public poll has been saying for some time: Democrats are poised for a poor showing in tomorrow's election.

Gallup, whose numbers have bounced around significantly this cycle, now gives the GOP a 15-point lead on their congressional generic ballot, 55-40.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Stranger Than Fiction? TPM Casts The 2010 Midterm Elections]

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If Nate Silver is to be believed (and he usually is) Democrats are just about as likely to keep control of the Senate as Harry Reid is to lose his election.

That would leave Democrats to choose a new Majority Leader -- and two of Washington's most famous roommates poised for a political fight over the top job in the Senate.

Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Conference Chair Chuck Schumer spent a fair amount of the 111th Congress privately -- but nakedly -- wooing their fellow Democrats, hoping to secure the votes they'd need to ascend to Majority Leader if Reid loses.

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