TPM News

David Corn at Mother Jones keys in to Alaska Republican Joe Miller's views on gay rights issues. Miller himself keeps pretty mum on the subject, though in a letter to voters he defended a pastor who claimed that "homosexuality is a sin, and therefore immoral."

But whatever his views, he paid $2,500, for consulting services unknown, to a veteran anti-gay activist named Terry Moffitt, who runs a project called Hope for Homosexuals.

Moffitt of the school of thought that homosexuality is a sickness that can be cured. Quoth Corn:

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After last Sunday's debate in the Kentucky Senate race basically devolved into name-calling and innuendo, Republican nominee Rand Paul said he wasn't sure if he'd participate in next week's final debate with Democrat Jack Conway.

That was Monday. Then all week, as Conway milked his Aqua Buddha ad for all it was worth, Paul milked his decision-making process about the final debate, too, with his campaign holding multiple press conferences surrounding the debate and Aqua Buddha. Today, Paul brought the drama to a close, agreeing to meet Conway on Oct. 25 in what will be the candidates' last face-to-face meeting before voters go to the polls.

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You hear an awful lot about how the leading Republican plan for Social Security would result in major benefit cuts and the eventual privatization of the program. But we've yet to see how severe those cuts would be for the majority of beneficiaries.

This week, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities issued a report showing exactly that. The analysis, by entitlement expert Paul Van de Water, calculates the combined effects of the two Social Security benefit cuts undergirding the Roadmap for America's Future -- a fiscal plan authored by the GOP's top budget guy Paul Ryan.

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A new Rasmussen survey of the California Senate race finds Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer leading Republican former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina 48%-46%.

When Rasmussen took a look at this race last week, Boxer was up three points, 49%-46%. An October 18 SurveyUSA poll had the Democrat up two points as well, 46%-44%, while an October 17 Public Policy Institute of California poll found her five points ahead of the Republican nominee.

The TPM Poll Average shows Boxer leading the contest 46.7%-43.5%. The margin of error for the newest survey is ±4.0 percentage points.

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

Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, Retired Army Gen. Hugh Shelton

• CBS, Face The Nation: Karl Rove, DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

• CNN, State Of The Union: Florida Senate candidates Marco Rubio (R), Kendrick Meek (D), Charlie Crist (I).

• Fox News Sunday: Senate candidate Pat Toomey (R-PA), Senate candidate Joe Manchin (D-WV).

• NBC, Meet The Press: RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

The new Rasmussen poll of the Pennsylvania Senate race provides yet another data point that Democrat Joe Sestak is closing the gap against Republican Pat Toomey, with Toomey's lead shrinking from ten points down to just four.

The numbers: Toomey 48%, Sestak 44%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. In the previous poll from less than two weeks ago, Toomey led by a much stronger 49%-39%.

The TPM Poll Average gives Toomey a lead of 46.1%-44.4%, with Sestak's blue line rapidly approaching Toomey's red one.

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The Harry Reid campaign has a new ad in the Nevada Senate race, further seeking to hammer home their theme that Republican Sharron Angle is extreme and would further hurt the economy. In this one, business leaders from throughout the state speak against Angle, and in support of Reid.

The various business leaders declare: "Electing Sharron Angle would cost thousands of jobs"; "She will be the knockout punch for Nevada's economy"; "Sharron Angle supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. That's just crazy"; and most notably: "Let's start with the fact that I'm a Republican. There is nobody that's done more for this state," and another saying, "We need the Majority Leader."

The announcer quotes from an editorial by Angle's home newspaper, the Reno Gazette-Journal "Replacing Senator Reid with Sharron would be a disaster."

The TPM Poll Average gives Angle a lead of 48.5%-47.4%.

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