TPM News

On the Today Show this morning, NRSC Chairman John Cornyn said conclusively that the Senate is out of reach for Republicans this cycle.

"I think we don't get the majority back but we come awfully close, and we finish the job in 2012," Cornyn said.

This has actually been Cornyn's view for months. But this weekend, in what was probably an attempt at expectation-setting, unnamed Democrats started telling reporters they feared they might lose control of the Senate. Cornyn has his own incentives not to inflate expectations, but he's consistently said he thinks 2012 is the year Republicans will return to power in the upper chamber.

Most prognosticators say Republicans are poised to pick up between six and eight seats on Tuesday -- not enough to retake control. Video of Cornyn's appearance below the fold.

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Two new polls of the West Virginia Senate special election both give Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin a narrow lead against Republican businessman John Raese, in the race to succeed the late Dem Sen. Robert Byrd.

From Rasmussen: Manchin 50%, Raese 46%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen poll from last week, Manchin led by 49%-46%.

From Public Policy Polling (D): Manchin 51%, Raese 46%. The survey of likely voters has a ±2.4% margin of error. In PPP's numbers from last week, Manchin led by 50%-44%.

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A new Public Policy poll of 2,055 likely voters in Washington state has got to be causing Senate Democrat Patty Murray heartburn. Murray has been leading her Republican rival Dino Rossi in most polls for weeks, but this one has her down two points, 50-48.

Now, Murray was ahead or at least tied in all but one survey last week. That was a Rasmussen poll which gave Rossi a one point lead, 48-47.

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Obama Prepared To Dust Off Veto Pen Should GOP Take The House The Hill reports: "President Obama is ready to flex some muscle by using the veto pen if Republicans win back a majority in the House. Democrats and White House aides said that Obama is prepared to wield his veto pen and effectively stare down Republicans should they have a successful Election Day. 'The president doesn't shrink from a fight,' one White House official said.'"

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:45 a.m. ET, and meet with senior advisers at 11 a.m. ET. He does not have any scheduled public events today.

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A new Public Policy survey of the three-way Senate race in Alaska flies in the face of most recent polling. For the first time in weeks, it gives Republican nominee Joe Miller a 37-30-30 lead over his Democratic and independent rivals.

The previous PPP poll of the race, from Oct. 10, gave Miller a lead of 35-33-26.

Still, most recent data indicates that write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who lost the Republican primary to Miller earlier this year, has a significant lead over Miller and Democrat Scott McAdams.

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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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