TPM News

Colorado Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes spoke last night to a group of conservative activists -- and further addressed the crisis of many top Republicans telling him to drop out of the race over his gaffe-riddled campaign. Many of them have endorsed the third-party candidacy of former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo.

As the Durango Herald reports, Maes particularly acknowledged the defection of former state Senate President John Andrews: "John was probably the most painful because he was a great mentor."

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What a difference a poll makes. A new survey of likely voters in Florida shows wealthy former hospital executive Rick Scott, the state's Republican gubernatorial nominee, running very close to Democratic nominee and state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. The poll, conducted by Republican-leaning firm Susquehanna for the news site Sunshine State News, shows Sink ahead 44-42. There is no past poll for direct comparison.

A CNN/Time poll of registered voters in Florida released Tuesday showed Sink with a comfortable seven-point lead. The new Susquehanna numbers suggest that despite the state and national GOP's trepidations when it comes to Scott, the self-funding tea party-backed millionaire has what it takes to beat Sink.

Past polls of the race -- most of which included independent-but-Democratic-leaning candidate Bud Chiles, who dropped out of the race recently and endorsed Sink -- showed the Democratic nominee with a healthy lead over Scott in the general election fight. If the new Susquehanna numbers are to be believed, that narrative may be changing.

Jon Ralston, one of the biggest names in Nevada political journalism, is hopping mad with Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle, accusing her campaign of dishonestly canceling a scheduled debate with Harry Reid, after Ralston had worked hard to arrange it.

When Angle appeared in late June on Ralston's show, Face to Face, she challenged Reid to come on the show alongside her for a debate. Ralston clearly liked the idea, and worked to nail down a future date with the two campaigns. He then announced last night on his Twitter account that the event would be held on October 21 -- only to follow up by saying that Angle's team was pulling out.

Ralston's tweets from last night tell the humorous story. First there was this:

So you thought there would only be one #nvsen debate? Not so: Reid and Angle have now agreed to debate on F2F on Oct. 21 in Reno. #gameon

However, it was quickly followed about an hour later by this:

Thought I had seen it all in #nvsen, tweeps: Just got a call from Team Angle spox. Now he says they are not agreeing to debate. #shootme

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Elena Kagan's recent appointment to the Supreme Court means that Staten Island is the only borough of New York not represented among the Justices. So Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac (with a little help from a be-robed and be-wigged John Oliver) set out to prove that this overlooked borough could just as easily produce a SCOTUS judge.

Like one Staten Island man, who wouldn't call himself a Constructionist when it comes to the Constitution, but would rather describe himself as a "hard-ass."

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After watching President Obama's speech in Cleveland on Wednesday, in which he called out John Boehner and the Republicans multiple times, Jon Stewart was impressed: "That may be as close as any President of the United States has ever come to saying: 'So fuck all ya'll.'"

Stewart added that the message of Obama's speech was basically: "You should vote for Democrats because (a) That'll keep that sweet sweet stimulus coming, and (b) It turns out the Republicans are kind of assholes to deal with."

Correction: This post orignally may have misquoted Stewart's paraphrasing of Obama. Because of a bleep, it's not entirely clear what Stewart said. The post has been revised.

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Last night, the White House leaked the news that economic adviser Austan Goolsbee will succeed Christina Romer as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. In an administration whose economic policy is so dominated by Larry Summers, Goolsbee's most important role will likely be to present -- and perhaps spin -- those policies to the public. Goolsbee has a wry sense of humor in public and a taste for the jugular, which sets him apart from Romer, who had a light touch and delivered even the worst news with a chirpy smile.

Goolsbee previously served as Staff Director and Chief Economist of the President's Recovery Advisory Board. He's advocated for letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire, and, as a close ally of Paul Volcker, for tougher regulations on financial institutions.

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Pastor Terry Jones, appearing on today's morning shows, says he will not be burning Korans on Saturday even though the imam of a planned Islamic center near Ground Zero did not agree to move his project further from the site.

"Right now, we have plans not to do it," Jones said on Good Morning America.

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It's not clear whether Florida pastor Rev. Terry Jones will go forth with his plan to burn Korans tomorrow.

But the Rev. Bob Old of the Disciples of Christ ministry -- who was inspired by Jones and planned to burn the Koran on Saturday at his home and post the video on YouTube -- said he's pushing forward. He also says that Jones backing down shows he wasn't committed to the cause.

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A new poll out this morning suggests a second female Democratic Senator is not in the cards for North Carolina. The Rasmussen survey of 500 likely voters shows incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R) trouncing his Democratic opponent, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, 54-38.

Past polling from the race has shown Burr ahead, but not by this much. Rasmussen's last poll, taken a month ago, showed Burr leading 49-40. A PPP (D) poll from July 31 showed Burr ahead by just 2 in a three-way race that included Libertarian nominee Mike Beitler. (It should be noted here that Democrats generally view Rasmussen as GOP-leaning, though the pollster insists it is non-partisan.)

Marshall handily won the Democratic nomination over the national Democratic party choice, Cal Cunningham, in the June 22 runoff. National party figures hinted they would stay out of the race if Cunningham wasn't the nominee, and so far that seems to be the case. Marshall -- a long-running figure in state politics -- has found herself out-gunned versus the first-term Burr in the early part of the general election fight. The Republican just went on the air with his first TV ad, a clever spot that literally steals the two actors Sen. Kay Hagan (D) used to upset Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) in 2008.

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Obama To Take GOP To Task On Economy, Tax Cuts The Associated Press reports on President Obama's upcoming press conference today: "Striving to gain the upper hand on a crucial political issue, President Barack Obama is faulting Republicans for refusing to help him turn around the sluggish economy or support some proposed new tax breaks for businesses that the GOP has backed in the past. Obama has argued that case many times recently. But on Friday he takes it to an audience of millions, including many who will vote in November's decisive congressional elections, during a nationally televised news conference from the White House East Room."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET. He will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. ET. He will then meet with senior advisers at 12:30 p.m. ET.

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