TPM News

The new Fox News poll of the Connecticut Senate race provides further corroboration that Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has a healthy lead over Republican former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon.

The numbers: Blumenthal 53%, McMahon 42%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3% margin of error. In the previous Fox poll from two weeks ago, Blumenthal's lead was a narrower 49%-43%.

The TPM Poll Average gives Blumenthal a lead of 52.7%-43.3%.

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A new poll of the Kentucky Senate race from Fox News shows Republican Rand Paul leading Democrat Jack Conway 50-43.

The survey of 1,000 likely voters, conducted using Rasmussen's automated polling methods Saturday, shows voters slamming President Obama while still expressing some trepidations about Paul. This is the first Fox News poll of the race.

Seventy-two percent said they were either "dissatisfied" or "angry" about "the way the federal government is working" and 76% said President Obama's efforts have "not made much of a difference" or "hurt" Kentucky's economy.

That's not a great landscape for Democrat Jack Conway, especially when the poll shows 53% of those surveyed saying that the Democratic nominee "agrees with President Obama on issues too often." Just 26% said he agreed with the president "the right amount."

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On Fox News this morning, Rand Paul publicly discussed the attack that occurred last night in Lexington, KY before the Senate debate, when a number of his supporters dragged a MoveOn protester to the ground, and one stomped on her head. During his appearance, he called for civility, and described the incident as something that should not have happened. But he did not explicitly condemn the attack itself.

"We want everybody to be civil and want the issue, the campaign to be about issues," Paul said.

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The new Fox News poll of California shows Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown and incumbent Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer staying ahead in their races.

In the gubernatorial race: Brown 50%, Republican Meg Whitman 41%. In the previous poll from last week, Brown led by a slightly narrower 48%-43% -- in line with a recent trend of Brown expanding his lead in all the polls. The TPM Poll Average for the gubernatorial race gives Brown a lead of 48.4%-41.1%.

In the Senate race: Boxer 48%, Republican Carly Fiorina 44%. In the previous poll from last week, Boxer led by an identical 48%-44%, in line with other pollsters that have shown Boxer with a narrow but steady lead. The TPM Poll Average for the Senate race gives Boxer a lead of 47.1%-43.4%.

The survey of likely voters has a ±3% margin of error.

ed. note: This post has been edited from the original, correcting a typo in the numbers.

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Last year, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously to allow same sex marriage in Iowa. This year, Iowans will vote on whether to keep or boot three of the seven justices who decided that case -- and the campaign has attracted hundreds of thousands of dollars from national anti-gay groups.

In Iowa, judges are appointed, not elected. But at the end of every judge's term, he or she goes up for "retention," meaning the populace votes whether to keep them around or throw them out.

The National Organization for Marriage, the American Family Association and the Family Research Council have seized on the chance to "fire" three of the justices, including Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, and are spending money -- more than $700,000 so far -- asking people to vote against retention. The campaign has also drawn cash from those who support gay marriage, and the justices themselves; the overwhelming majority of independent expenditures in the state, in fact, have been directed at the judicial retention race.

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Last night, Stephen Colbert said he agreed with Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck, who recently compared being gay to alcoholism. "Yes," Colbert said, "being gay is like alcoholism. Too much and you have a problem. But there's nothing wrong with social gayness, I mean, in moderation."

He added that he hopes liberals don't attack Buck and others like him for "being politically opportunistic election-year gay-baiters. They can't help it, they were born that way."

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Reporting from D.C. last night, Jon Stewart and his news team talked about the controversy surrounding Juan Williams' firing from NPR over his comments about Muslims. Samantha Bee explained that the comments were "direct violations of NPRs 'never say anything interesting' policy."

And John Oliver reported from NPR headquarters, where he said people weren't really talking about the firing, but a "folksy Minnesota man did sing to me for 20 minutes about canned beans. So that was a lot of fun."

Stewart meanwhile compared the reactions by Fox News and NPR to the firings, specifically when one commentator on Fox asked: "Is NPR an agent somehow of a Jihadist inquisition?" Stewart replied: "Wait wait...Don't tell me!"

He then addressed NPR: "You're picking a fight with Fox News? They gave Juan Williams a $2 million contract just for you firing him. NPR -- you just brought a tote bag full of David Sedaris books to a knife fight."

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The new Fox News poll of the West Virginia Senate race has Republican businessman John Raese holding on to a narrow lead against Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin.

The numbers: Raese 48%, Manchin 46%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3% margin of error. In the previous Fox poll from last week, Raese led by a similar 48%-45%.

This race has been neck and neck, as two factors compete against each other: Manchin's profile as a relatively conservative Democrat and his very high approval rating as governor, at 69% in this particular poll, compared to President Obama's similarly high disapproval in this state, which is at 65% in this survey.

The TPM Poll Average currently gives Manchin an edge of just 46.7%-46.5%.

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Here's how the last couple weeks in the Kentucky Senate race were supposed to work for Democratic nominee Jack Conway: after pounding Republican nominee Rand Paul for his hybrid libertarian (read: strange) positions on Medicare, taxes and law enforcement, an ad focusing on Paul's alleged college shenanigans would seal the deal for Kentucky voters. Paul would be cast as an extremist outsider, too dangerous to risk a Senate seat on.

Cue the Fail Whale.

A new poll from PPP (D) suggests that Conway's strategy hasn't pleased voters. After weeks of putting Paul on the defensive, Conway now finds himself trailing Paul by 13 points.

Paul leads 53-40 in the poll of 900 likely voters, which was conducted by automated phone call Oct. 21-24. The last PPP poll, from mid-September, showed Paul leading 49-42. The Republican has nearly doubled his lead since, according to PPP.

Further, the poll found that most voters are aware of Conway's infamous "Aqua Buddha" ad (62% of those surveyed said they knew of it) and more than half -- 56% -- said it was "inappropriate." Just 15% said it was "appropriate."

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