TPM News

Vice President Joe Biden will head to Delaware tomorrow to boost Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons, TPM has learned.

A Coons campaign source tells TPM it's a low-key event. Biden is expected to show up in Wilmington and greet Coons volunteers.

Democrats are newly excited they will retain control of the seat, which Biden held for more than three decades. The winner will be sworn in immediately following the election because it is a special election following the governor appointing a Biden replacement.

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At her weekly press conference this afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicted that Bush tax cuts on the first $250,000 of income will be extended. But she was unable, or unwilling to say whether the top-bracket tax cuts benefiting only the wealthy will be renewed.

"Without getting into procedure and timing and process, what we're going to do is to say: At the end of the day the extension of the Obama middle-income tax cuts will take place," Pelosi said.

To follow up, TPM asked Pelosi, "Is there any chance that the top-bracket tax cuts will be extended this Congress?"

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Mason-Dixon is out with the first mainstream Arkansas Senate poll in several weeks, and things are still looking bad for Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln. Republican nominee John Boozman finds himself way out in front, topping Lincoln 51%-34%, with independent Trevor Drown taking in 3% and Green Party candidate John Gray pulling in 1%.

This poll, commissioned by the Arkansas News Bureau/Stephen Media, is the first Mason-Dixon poll conducted since June, when the hypothetical Boozman-Lincoln matchup yielded a 52%-35% lead for the Republican. The lone August survey on the race was a Rasmussen poll that favored Boozman by a dominant 65%-27% margin. Boozman's commanding lead in the polls has not wavered in recent months.

The margin of error for the latest poll is ±4.0 percentage points. The TPM Poll Average finds Boozman crusing in the contest, up 60.3%-31.2%.

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

Christine O'Donnell may have broken campaign finance regulations by operating for months at a time without a treasurer, experts say.

Her campaign committee, Friends of Christine O'Donnell, has seen three treasurers quit, and went more than a year without a designated treasurer.

Campaign committees are required by law to have a designated treasurer at all times in order to collect and spend money, according to experts. But, according to records filed with the Federal Elections Commission, she's gone through several periods with no treasurer at all, including one of more than a year.

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Stephen Colbert agreed last night with Christine O'Donnell critics who say that she's no Sarah Palin. "It's true," Colbert said. "O'Donnell might serve out her whole term."

He added that he does agree with O'Donnell's stance that "masturbation is adultery. And I know this is horrible news for my home audience. Many of whom are committing adultery as we speak. Folks, don't panic. There is a simple way to fix this problem -- simply marry your hand."

Colbert then gave an in-depth demonstration of a man-hand wedding.

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Now that several Tea Party-backed candidates have won primaries, the folks at the Daily Show decided it's time to ask the really important question: How will the Democrats "fuck this up?" So last night, Jon Stewart, Wyatt Cenac, Jason Jones and John Oliver debated the question.

Jason Jones said the Dems "will fuck this up by just simply missing the point." Like with anti-masturbation candidate Christine O'Donnell: "The Democrats will probably spend all their time arrogantly ridiculing her for opposing masturbation. I assume hoping for a high turnout of the pro-masturbation crowd."

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Sarah Palin appeared on Bill O'Reilly's show last night to discuss the internal GOP debate over how to welcome Christine O'Donnell to the party stage. Palin had previously appeared on the network and spoken out against Karl Rove's dour comments about O'Donnell's election prospects (which he's since walked back). O'Reilly tried to smooth things over with a can't-all-us-paid-Fox-employees-just-get-along tone, and Palin ended by offering O'Donnell some branding advice.

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New polling numbers of Delaware from Public Policy Polling (D), conducted over this past weekend before Tuesday's primary, show that Democrats are favored to pick up the House seat of Republican Mike Castle, the establishment moderate who lost the Senate primary to Tea Partier Christine O'Donnell. And as a bonus, Democratic former Lt. Gov. John Carney could end up rolling over another Tea Partier who beat the GOP establishment, real estate developer Glen Urquhart.

The numbers: Carney 48%, Urquhart 37%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3.2% margin of error. In the previous PPP numbers from early August, Carney led Urquhart by 48%-30%.

However, this is not a case of the GOP primary voters potentially throwing away a race as they did on the Senate side. Urquhart very narrowly defeated the state party's official choice, philanthropist Michelle Rollins, by a margin of just 552 votes out of about 56,000. But in this poll, Rollins too is trailing Carney by a margin of 47%-37%. In the previous poll, Carney led Rollins by 48%-32%.

"Delaware has really worked out well for Democrats," writes PPP president Dean Debnam. "Christine O'Donnell's primary win has ensured the party will keep its Senate seat and with Mike Castle leaving the House that's the number one opportunity for a pick up on that end."

Fox News wants to make this much perfectly clear to their viewers: their network didn't endorse a Democrat.

The network and anchor Christopher Wallace have sued Robin Carnahan, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Missouri, in federal court, alleging the politician used footage of Wallace's interview of Rep. Roy Blunt (R) in a campaign ad which made it look as though the network was endorsing her.

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A Quinnipiac poll out this morning finds Republican former Rep. John Kasich leading Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland by double-digits in Ohio's gubernatorial race.

The survey of likely voters has the Republican way out in front, with a commanding 17-point lead over the incumbent Strickland. The 54%-37% margin is by far the largest of any poll conducted for this race over recent months. Quinnipiac hasn't polled this race since late June, when it had Strickland on top of the race, 43%-38%. More recent polls have suggested everything's coming up Kasich -- a September 14 CNN/Time poll found Kasich ahead 51%-44%, a September 13 SurveyUSA poll gave the Republican a 52%-40% advantage, and a September 13 Rasmussen survey showed him up seven.

The margin of error of the Quinnipiac poll is ±3.6 percentage points. The TPM Poll Average has Kasich holding a 50.0%-40.9% advantage in the contest.

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