TPM News

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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New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino (R) walked out on a local television interview in Plattsburgh, New York on Friday evening after the anchor asked him whether his comments about Sen. Kirsten Gillbrand (D) were sexist. Paladino had called New York's junior Senator "[Schumer's] little girl" on Thursday, in reference to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D).

When asked if he regretted the comments or thought they were sexist, Paladino said, "No, I don't. I was referring to the fact that Miss Gillbrand seems to vote exactly as Mr. Schumer directs her to. She doesn't show any mind of her own in voting. And that's why I referred to her that way."

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WILMINGTON, DE -- It ain't over 'til it's over, says Christine O'Donnell. The embattled Republican nominee for Senate here in The First State told a crowd of supporters from her tea party base not to count her out just yet -- despite polls showing Democrat Chris Coons cruising to an easy win. O'Donnell says she's counting on first-time voters and a new 30-minute TV closing argument (airing three times on statewide TV in the next 24 hours) to pull off what most observers say would be a miracle win.

At a Delaware stop for the Tea Party Express bus tour -- the PAC-funded group that helped bring you such quotable tea party notables as Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Nevada GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle, Alaska GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller and others -- O'Donnell called on her supporters not to give up hope.

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If you were one of the tens of thousands of people at the Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear on Oct. 30, we hear it was pretty fun. But you probably didn't see much of what was going on onstage. So here is a photographic summation:

Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. Watch video of Stewart's opening.

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The rally opened with a performance by The Roots, with surprise guest John Legend.

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Colbert arrived on stage from a "bunker" via a rescue capsule like the one used to save the Chilean miners. Video here.

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He then engaged the crowd in a chant of "Chi, Chi, Le, Le!"

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Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow performed.

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Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, performed "Peace Train." His appearance prompted right-wingers to balk. Even Colbert interrupted...

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And brought Ozzy Osbourne onstage to sing "Crazy Train." Then Stewart objected ...

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And the two agreed "Love Train," performed by The O'Jays, would be the perfect compromise. Pictured: Eddie Levert.

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Stewart and Colbert handed out medals to citizens who best represented sanity and fear. (Example: Stewart gave a medal to the "Dude you have no Koran" guy and Colbert gave one to the black T-shirt Anderson Cooper wears when reporting from disaster areas.) Pictured: Mike Foley, the professional wrestler Stewart had on last year to threaten bullies of a 10-year-old.

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Colbert performed a song with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

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Sam Waterston, the actor who plays District Attorney Jack McCoy on Law & Order and "the most reasonable-seeming man in America," read a poem for sanity.

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Colbert and a giant papier-mâché puppet version of himself.

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Tony Bennett sang "America the Beautiful."

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Toward the end of the rally, Stewart made an earnest plea for reason and moderation in the political sphere -- specifically, from cable news and other media.

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The rally closed with an ensemble performance.

We have lots more photos from the rally: Professional pix here and reader pix here.

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The new Public Policy Polling (D) survey of the Kentucky Senate race gives a huge lead to Republican nominee Rand Paul. And it also suggests that Democrat Jack Conway's late gambit of attacking Paul's religious background and Aqua-Buddhist college years only backfired in the end.

The numbers: Paul 55%, Conway 40%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3.1% margin of error. In the previous PPP survey from last week, Paul led by 53%-40%.

That previous poll had also indicated that voters didn't like the Aqua Buddha ad. The pollster's analysis goes a bit further, showing how Conway's negative final push hasn't worked:

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Keep sanity and/or fear alive!

The new ABC/Washington Post poll contained this question:

(ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Just for fun, if the 2012 presidential election were being held today, and the candidates were the television personalities (Jon Stewart) and (Stephen Colbert), for whom would you vote - (Stewart) or (Colbert)? IF OTHER, NEITHER, DK, REF) Would you lean toward (Stewart) or toward (Colbert)?


The result: Among registered voters, Stewart 42% to Colbert 22%. An additional 17% said neither, 3% would not vote, and 14% had no opinion.

Among the narrower poll of likely voters -- which has shown a severe enthusiasm gap for Democrats this year -- Colbert naturally closes the gap, but only slightly: Stewart 39%, Colbert 22%, plus 20% neither, 4% who would not vote, and 15% no opinion.

The results of a just-released Pew survey indicate that Democrats will lose control of the House of Representatives in Tuesday's election, and the pollster says there's practically no conceivable way that Democrats can turn it around in the next two days.

"There's a pretty strong correlation between the popular vote and how many seats each party gets...this poll suggests Republicans are going to win enough seats to retake control of the House," Pew Research Center President Andrew Kohut said in an interview. "Generally when there's a last minute surprise in the polls it's because there's a trend that's in progress and goes right into and through election day itself."

No such trends exist.

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The Ohio gubernatorial race is tightening in the final days of the campaign, with incumbent Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland seriously cutting into the lead of Republican former Rep. John Kasich in two separate polls.

The new Columbus Dispatch mail-in poll gives Kasich 49%, Strickland 47%. The survey of likely voters has a ±2.3% margin of error. In the previous Dispatch poll from early September, Kasich led by 49%-37% -- meaning that Kasich's support has stayed the same, while Strickland has made an enormous net gain.

In Public Policy Polling's (D) survey, Kasich has 49% to Strickland's 48%. The survey of likely voters has a ±2.7% margin of error. In the previous PPP survey from late August, Kasich had a much stronger lead of 50%-40%.

The TPM Poll Average gives Kasich a lead of 48.1%-45.6%, but with some clear recent momentum to Strickland's blue line against Kasich's red one. Will it be enough to change the result?

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Sarah Palin is out for blood (again) this time against an Alaska CBS affiliate. She's accusing the station's reporters of conspiring against Joe Miller, calling them "bastards" and suggesting that the initials CBS stand for "Corrupt Bastards Club." The station is strongly defending itself, though, calling her claims entirely unfounded.

Palin, Miller, and their supporters are basing their accusations on a snippet of audio they leaked to Andrew Breitbart's website Big Government. The audio is weak, and it's hard to suss out the context, but what you can hear sounds like KTVA reporters facetiously explaining how to turn a story into a sensation: specifically, jesting about finding a child molester who's voting Republican and tarring Miller by association. The conversation took place after one of the reporters left a message for a Miller spokesperson, but accidentally failed to hang up.

Palin took to Twitter and Fox News Sunday to gin up outrage.

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