TPM News

Asked about a judge's order yesterday halting all discharges under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the president believes the best way to repeal the anti-gay military policy is for Congress to repeal it.

The Senate should follow the House's lead and pass repeal in a lame-duck session next month, Gibbs told reporters today. He wouldn't say whether the Justice Department would appeal the injunction, referring questions instead to the DOJ.

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Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW PAC) has endorsed Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA) in his bid to unseat Sen. David Vitter (R-LA).

"This endorsement is based on your strong support for veterans, national security and defense, and military personnel issues," the endorsement letter reads.

The PAC has been rebuked in recent days by its parent organization for endorsing liberal candidates including Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL).

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The new Rasmussen poll of the West Virginia Senate race shows Republican businessman John Raese still ahead against Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin, but with his lead tightening from where it was before.

The numbers: Raese 49%, Manchin 46%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen poll from last week, Raese led by 50%-44%.

This poll comes in the wake of a recent fumble by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which launched an ad that was produced in Philadelphia using a casting call for "hicky" looking actors. (The NRSC condemned the casting call when it was first reported, saying that it was done without their knowledge by a subcontractor.)

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In a new ad, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) repeats his pledge not to cut or privatize social security -- unlike his opponent, Republican Ron Johnson.

"For 75 years, Social Security has been a promise to American workers. But my opponent, Ron Johnson, supports changes that would undermine that promise," Feingold says. "Mr. Johnson says where Social Security is concerned, 'everything is on the table' -- even privatization for some."

"Here's my position," he continues, sweeping a bunch of kids toys (meant to represent Social Security cuts and other changes) off a table. "I oppose turning any part of Social Security over to Wall Street. That's why the national group to preserve Social Security supports me, Russ Feingold, and I support this message."

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Linda McMahon can't count on the support of a very notable ex-performer from World Wrestling Entertainment, where she was once CEO: Jesse Ventura, who served one term as governor of Minnesota with the state's centrist/libertarian Independence Party. But that said, it doesn't seem to be personal.

Ventura appeared on Good Morning America, and was asked by George Stephanopoulos whether he would vote for McMahon if he were in Connecticut. "No, because I don't vote for Democrats or Republicans," said Ventura. "If she ran as an independent she could possibly get my endorsement, but I refuse."

Ventura then explained that he regards the whole party system as thoroughly corrupt -- so much so that he no longer even supports the third-party movement. Instead, he believes all elections should be held on a non-partisan basis in terms of how candidates are listed on the ballot, with the parties existing only as political action committees to support candidates.

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The internet was all abuzz earlier this month about a video satire that mashed-up Donald Duck cartoon clips and Glenn Beck quotes. But Beck himself saw something much more sinister lurking in the video, first posted on Rebellious Pixels blog. "If I'm not mistaken," Beck said, "some of these remix videos, it's very interesting, I believe, get federal funding."

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After being accused by Fox News, Sen. John Cornyn and New Black Panthers whistleblower J. Christian Adams of failing to enforce a new law meant to guarantee ballots for overseas military personnel, the Justice Department has sued New York for failing to comply with the law.

The MOVE Act, sponsored by Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), requires states to send absentee ballots to troops overseas at least 45 days before the general election, or by Sept. 18. Several states, including New York, applied for waivers. New York, for example, pleaded that its primary, on Sept. 14, was too late to meet the 45-day deadline.

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A new poll from The Hill finds that Republicans could pick up a seat that has been in Democratic hands for 41 years -- the northern Wisconsin district of retiring Democratic Rep. Dave Obey. According to their poll, Republican prosecutor and former Real World star Sean Duffy has a lead of nine points over Democratic state Sen. Julie Lassa.

The numbers: Duffy 44%, Lassa 35%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.9% margin of error. The poll was conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, and there is no previous survey of this district from them for direct comparison.

Obey first won the seat in a 1969 special election, and has consistently won re-election with over 60% for many years. However, underneath that surface the district is often a swing seat for the presidential vote, and closely matches Wisconsin's overall leanings. And given that the polls in Wisconsin this year have often shown a serious enthusiasm gap dragging down the Democratic numbers, it shouldn't be too surprising to see this seat on the line.

A new Rasmussen poll of the Ohio gubernatorial race finds Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland well within striking distance of Republican former Rep. John Kasich.

The latest survey shows the incumbent governor behind 48%-45%-- within the survey's margin of error of ±4.0 percentage points. When Rasmussen took a look at the race on September 27, Kasich was ahead by a more significant eight-point margin, 50%-42%.

The TPM Poll Average still shows Kasich ahead in the contest 48.7%-42.5%.

The new Rasmussen poll of the Nevada Senate race gives Republican Sharron Angle a one-point edge against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The numbers: Angle 49%, Reid 48%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen poll from last week, Angle had a slightly wider lead of 50%-46%.

The pollster's analysis points out the consistent closeness of this race: "In seven consecutive surveys, both candidates have seen their level of support generally in the upper forty's and both have touched the 50% mark but never topped it. In those seven surveys, Reid has held the edge three times, Angle three times and they were tied at 48% in one. Neither candidate has held a lead outside the margin of sampling error."

The TPM Poll Average now has Reid and Angle at a dead-even tie -- 47.6%-47.6%.