TPM News

A new PPP poll of the Illinois Senate race finds Republican Rep. Mark Kirk edging out Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, 42%-40%, with Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones earning 4% and Libertarian Mike Labno polling at 3%.

PPP last looked at this race in late- eptember, finding Kirk with a four point lead over Giannoulias, 40%-36%, while Jones pulled in a more noteworthy 8% and Labno earned 3%. When the latest survey asked respondents in a follow up question to suppose that the Republican and Democrat were the only candidates in the race, Kirk topped Giannoulias by one point, 46%-45%.

A Rasmussen poll released earlier today had the Kirk-Giannoulias-Jones matchup at 44%-40%-4%, with the Republican coming out on top.

When considering the four-candidate matchup, the TPM Poll Average shows a near deadlock between the two leading candidates: Kirk earns 41.1% versus Giannoulias's 41.0%, while Jones polls at 3.5% and Labno earns 2.6%. The margin of error for the latest survey is ±4.2 percentage points.

For more on the race, check out TPMDC's full coverage here.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has a new ad in the highly unusual Alaska Senate race, promoting Republican nominee Joe Miller in an election in which GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski continues to run as a write-in candidate despite her primary loss, and Democratic nominee Scott McAdams is hoping to sneak up from behind.

Interestingly, the ad makes no mention at all of Lisa Murkowski. Instead, the spot focuses on attacking the policies of President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- appealing to Alaska's traditional declarations of frontier libertarianism (though it is arguably something of a socialist welfare state in practice, with government ownership of oil resources and the equal distribution of revenue to all citizens).

"They're out of control. Government takeovers, Wall Street bailouts, and Obamacare," the announcer says. "They raised taxes by $500 billion, then told us we get fined if we don't buy health insurance. They want to tell us how to live. To stop them, we need Joe Miller. Joe Miller will stand up for us, and fight back against big government intervention. Joe Miller is on our side."

The TPM Poll Average gives Miller 34.5%, Murkowski 33.1%, and McAdams 27.5%.

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William Fulton, the head of DropZone Security, denies that he's a member of the Alaska Citizens Militia -- though he inarguably has some ties to the militia, and has even been referred to as the "supply Sergeant" by the head of the group.

DropZone Security was hired as Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller's private security team at his town hall on Sunday, during which Fulton and two of his employees handcuffed and detained Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger.

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A woman who was assaulted as a teenager by a police officer under the supervision of a current Republican Massachusetts House candidate is speaking out.

''He had to hear me screaming and crying. Instead of helping me, Jeff Perry denied anything happened,'' said Lisa Allen, in a statement to the Boston Globe.

Perry is the GOP hopeful in Massachusetts' 10th Congressional District. Almost 20 years ago, an officer under his command named Scott Flanagan confessed to and was convicted of assaulting Allen and another girl. Perry initially denied that any assault occurred, but thereafter quickly disappeared from the force.

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A group trying to register voters in Houston received threats and emails containing racist slurs after being targeted by a local tea party group accusing it of "voter fraud."

In emails obtained by TPM, the group Houston Votes was accused of being "a bunch of white guilt ridden assholes, NIGGERS and greasy mexican spics," "fraudulent Marxist pigs," and "American hating A-holes."

"We received a couple of threats and several harassing e-mails," Maureen Haver of Houston Voters told TPMMuckraker. "There have been several efforts, I think, just trying to race-bait and stir racial tension and part of that I think is just based on what we've received in messaging from them."

"It's really had a chilling effect on our office," said Haver, adding that one of the e-mails was reported to the FBI.

Here are some of the e-mails, which Houston Votes provided to TPMMuckraker:

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That didn't take long. The Wisconsin newspaper that had Republican Senate hopeful Ron Johnson at a loss for words over how to help the middle class has just endorsed his opponent, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI). What's more, the paper cites stumping Johnson as a key driver of their decision.

"Oshkosh businessman and political newcomer Ron Johnson, also has voiced his support for spending controls and fiscal responsibility in Washington," the endorsement reads. "His plan for righting the U.S. economy, however, comes across as one-note: establish a hard spending cap, reduce government interference and allow businesses to flourish."

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A newly released poll of the South Carolina gubernatorial race supports the emerging narrative that Republican nominee Nikki Haley's once-sizable lead over Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen has significantly dwindled. The findings show the Republican leading the race by a mere two points, 43%-41%.

The survey, conducted by left-leaning pollster Crantford & Associates, shows Haley's narrowest lead through recent months' polling. When the same pollster looked at the race on September 30, Haley had a slightly greater four-point lead, 45%-41%. In past polling, Sheheen was seemingly out of this race -- he trailed by double-digits in every poll before the late-September survey.

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The National Republican Senatorial Committee has a new ad in the West Virginia Senate race, accusing Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin of "camouflaging" his support for President Obama.

The ad uses a video of clip of Manchin with a hunting rifle -- but no camo gear -- lifted from Manchin's ad in which he distanced himself from national Dems by shooting a paper labeled as "Cap And Trade Bill."

"Joe Manchin is on a hunting trip -- he's hunting for votes," the announcer says. "But Manchin's camouflaging his support of President Obama's worst policies. Joe Manchin supported Obama's government takeover of health care. Joe Manchin supported Obama's stimulus bill. It wasted billions and created more debt. A good governor -- has a bad idea. Send Joe Manchin back to Charleston, and send a message to Obama."

The TPM Poll Average gives Republican nominee John Raese a lead of 46.8%-45.6%.

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A newly released poll of the Washington Senate race finds Democratic incumbent Sen. Patty Murray clinging to a one-point lead over Republican nominee Dino Rossi, 48%-47%.

This was Marist's first look at the contest, so there are no numbers available for direct comparison. An October 17 Rasmussen survey had Murray leading by three points, 49%-46%, and an October 16 PPP poll had the incumbent ahead 49%-47%.

The TPM Poll Average finds Murray with a 49.3%-45.8% advantage in the race. The latest poll's margin of error is ±4.0 percentage points.

For more on the race, check out TPMDC's full coverage here.