TPM News

Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has joined the ranks of Republicans who take a hard line with reporters when things go wrong -- in this case, a local radio station in Delaware says, her campaign threatened to sue them if they posted an interview online.

As WDEL reports/announces, O'Donnell appeared with talk radio host Rick Jensen, and took questions from Jensen and from callers, as well as listener-submitted questions that Jensen presented to her:

At the conclusion of the interview, a representative from the campaign who had been in the broadcast studio with O'Donnell asked that the video be turned over to the campaign and not released. He stated that the videotaping had not been approved by the O'Donnell campaign.

O'Donnell also told show host Rick Jensen that she would sue the radio station if the video was released.

WDEL routinely posts audio and video podcasts of interview segments on O'Donnell's appearance on WDEL in September had also been recorded and posted on the web.

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A 34-year-old Virginia man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly plotting multiple bombings of Washington, D.C.-area Metrorail stations along with individuals he believed to be members of al Qaeda.

The Justice Department announced the arrest of Farooque Ahmed, 34, of Ashburn, Va. on Wednesday afternoon. Ahmed was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday morning.

[Read the Ahmed indictment here]

Officials emphasized in a press release "that at no time was the public in danger during this investigation and that the FBI was aware of Ahmed's activities from before the alleged attempt began and closely monitored his activities until his arrest."

"The public should be assured that there was no threat against Metrorail or the general public in the Washington, D.C., area," said DOJ.

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A federal grand jury is reportedly investigating West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin's administration, including a firm owned by his former chief of staff.

Manchin, who is also the state's Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, has not been directly implicated in the investigation, Politico reports.

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Republican Carly Fiorina will return to the Senate campaign trail in California tomorrow after spending a day in the hospital being treated for an infection.

"Carly has been successfully treated for the infection she had as a result of reconstructive surgery following her victory over breast cancer," Fiorina chief of staff Deborah Bowker said in a statement. "This morning, her doctors gave her the good news that she will be released from the hospital today and can resume her busy campaign schedule tomorrow."

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While the midterm election date is set for Tuesday, many Americans have already cast their votes through absentee and early-voting procedures. New numbers from a USA Today/Gallup poll suggest early voting is highest among older Americans and people living out West. So which party does this poll suggest is faring better thus far?

Eh, Republicans by a bit, but the advantage isn't all that telling.

As the pollster puts it, "While interested observers have been poring over reports of early voting in an attempt to get a handle on the direction of the election, Gallup's current data do not show much of a difference in early voting by party affiliation." The numbers are as follows: 13% of self-identified Republicans have already voted, with 15% more planning to vote before election day, while 9% of Democrats have already voted, with 14% more planning to vote prior to Tuesday. The poll finds that 9% of independents have already voted and 19% more plan to vote between now and November 2nd.

While these numbers may not suggest a whole lot about how the election will play out, some numbers from the poll do stand out--as 27% of registered voters indicated they either have already voted or plan to before election day, 59% of that total comes from the West and 36% is from voters over 65 years old. In the East, only 6% of respondents stated they have or will make use of early voting procedures, and in the 18-29 age range, 16% of those polled stated they have or intend to vote early. Twenty-eight percent of the young age range said they do not plan to vote or don't know whether or not they will, while only 6% of respondents over 65 expressed the same sentiment.

The pollster concludes, "The finding that older voters have a higher propensity to vote early is not a new one, but confirms that many senior citizens, like residents in the West, are by this point in the election cycle essentially 'out of the game' as far as the campaigning is concerned. A disproportionately high number of younger registered voters volunteer that they will not end up voting this year, also confirming what is well-known in American politics -- that young voters are as a rule not highly involved in the election process."

The results are based on a question included in an October 21-24 survey among 1364 registered voters. Last week, we reported on early voting numbers provided by partisan voter registrations.

Months after Rand Paul met the nation with his epic gaffe/completely intentional/let's just pretend they never happened comments about the 1964 Civil Rights Act on the Rachel Maddow Show, Paul's Democratic opponent in the Kentucky Senate race is turning what he said into a campaign ad.

Jack Conway's latest TV ad -- coming in the midst of criticism over the stomping of a activist by a former Paul county coordinator -- focuses on Conway's statement that "when I see a wrong, I try to right it."

The stomping incident is not directly mentioned in the ad, but Conway's camp has attempted to make political hay out of Paul's response to the controversy. Conway's campaign says Paul's initial response wasn't strong enough (in other words, when he saw a "wrong," he didn't "right it" immediately) and pressured Paul to say and do more in response. Paul has issued several statements on the incident, including one yesterday where his campaign said it was "extremely disappointed in, and condemns the actions of" the supporter who did the stomping.

The Maddow moment, however, is mentioned in this new ad, suggesting that the general election fight will end where it began -- with critics asking Paul to clarify just exactly what it is he thinks about Civil Rights.

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In a piece of rare good news for the Democrats, the new Rasmussen poll of the West Virginia Senate race has Gov. Joe Manchin, a relatively conservative Dem, retaking the lead over Republican businessman John Raese in the special election to succeed the late Dem Sen. Robert Byrd.

The numbers: Manchin 49%, Raese 46%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. In the previous survey from last week, Raese enjoyed a healthy lead of 50%-43%. The last time Rasmussen had Manchin ahead was in September.

This race has pitted Manchin's widespread popularity as governor against President Obama's deep unpopularity in the state. Manchin has taken various steps to distance himself from the national Democrats -- most notably when he taped a commercial in which he took a rifle and shot a "cap and trade bill." He may have also gained some traction by casting Raese as a "crazy" right-wing extremist.

The TPM Poll Average gives Manchin a narrow lead of 47.3%-46.4%.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has a new ad against his Republican opponent Sharron Angle, seeking to warn the state's voters against the consequences of Angle potentially winning the election.

"In Sharron Angle's Nevada, there are no background checks to catch sex offenders working with kids," a male announcer says, alternating sentences with a female announcer. "There's no Social Security for seniors. Insurance companies don't cover cancer tests. Prisoners get massages in a radical Scientology program. For Sharron Angle, it's not her job to fight for jobs. There'd be no City Center. Our jobs, outsourced to China."

"Sharron Angle's Nevada? No."

The TPM Poll Average gives Angle a lead of 49.3%-36.9%.

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The Justice Department will have "adequate and aggressive enforcement" of both voter fraud laws and of voter intimidation laws this year, said Thomas Perez, the head of the Civil Rights Division, today.

"We enforce both voter intimidation laws and voter fraud laws and we will continue to do so as we have done: carefully, aggressively, and evenhandedly," Perez said in response to a question from TPMMuckraker. "It is impossible to provide a road map for what constitutes such a case because they're very much fact-driven. We have criminal statutes related to intimidation, we have civil statutes pertaining to voter intimidation, we have criminal statutes related to fraud."

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Over the last four weeks, The Hill and pollster Penn Schoen Berland have polled 42 toss-up congressional districts across the country, in an attempt to predict the magnitude of the upcoming election's congressional shakeup. The latest poll foresees a tough election day for the Democrats.

The survey's numbers suggest that Republicans are poised to win more than enough seats to take control away from the Democrats in the House next year. With the party needing to pick up 39 seats for majority control, The Hill's data suggests they are likely to take 50 or more.

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