TPM News

Fewer Americans have a positive view toward Islam today than in the wake of 9/11. According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll of national views on the Cordoba House project in Lower Manhattan and the planet's second-largest religion, just 37% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Islamic faith. That's "the fewest in ABC/Post polls dating to October 2001 (albeit by just 2 points)," according to the release.

In an ABC/Post poll released Oct. 9, 2001 -- less than a month after the attacks on New York and Washington -- 47% of Americans said they had favorable attitude toward Islam. Today, as we near the ninth anniversary of those attacks, that number is lower by ten points. In those years, the percentage of Americans viewing Islam positively dropped in ABC/Post polling, hovering at around 40% before dropping to it's lowest point in today's poll, which comes after a summer of open vitriol toward Islam by many prominent conservative leaders. The last time this few Americans told pollsters that they had a favorable view toward Islam came when American forces were still hunting down Saddam Hussein in Iraq -- back in September, 2003.

Read More →

Jon Stewart was very troubled last night by Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who is planning to burn copies of the Koran on September 11. "I'm seeing a pattern now of extremism in Christianity that a lot of Americans are finding very troubling," he said.

But Daily Show correspondent John Oliver defended Christians: "That radical hate-spewing extremist does not reflect the views of the vast majority of moderate, peaceful Christians. In fact, this man is fucking crazy. He no more represents Christians than Dr. Laura represents the United Negro College Fund."

But Stewart still had questions: "Where's the money coming from for these extremists? Who's funding these radical Christian clerics?"

Read More →

Emanuel's Expected Departure From White House Likely To Be Just The First The Washington Post reports: "The expected departure of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to run for mayor of Chicago is likely to mark the beginning of a wider White House shake-up, officials said Wednesday, one aimed at helping the administration regain its footing in the aftermath of anticipated Democratic losses in the midterm elections and positioning President Obama for a tough 2012 reelection fight. Such a reorganization is not unusual at this point in a presidency and particularly in a White House such as Obama's, which has been running full out for two years - grappling with two wars, a financial crisis and an ambitious policy agenda. Many of its key players have begun to let it be known that they are burned out and looking for an exit or a new role."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET, and Obama will meet at 10:30 a.m. ET with senior advisers. Obama will meet at 1:30 p.m. ET with Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner.

Read More →

Some dead wrestlers could be creating a growing political problem for Linda McMahon in the Connecticut Senate race.

For better or worse, McMahon was CEO of a company in which actors perform all sorts of dangerous live stunts, and are known to have very hard lifestyles that, at least in some cases, include substance abuse problems. In recent weeks, there have been a number of politically-damaging news headlines citing examples in which performers have died. (Check out this one, this one and this one, for instance).

Connecticut Democrats have seized on the Republican Senate nominee's potential weakness, accusing McMahon and her company of ignoring the welfare of WWE employees who may struggle for years with substance abuse problems and dangerous work environments and lifestyles.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Bringing The Smackdown: Linda McMahon's Campaign For Senate, And Her Colorful Pro-Wrestling Past]

While Democratic nominee Richard Blumenthal has tried to publicly avoid knocking McMahon over the WWE's dead wrestlers, the Connecticut Mirror reports that "his campaign has quietly and insistently tried to focus the state's political press and editorial writers on the dark side of the business that produced her fortune: World Wrestling Entertainment." On the other hand, the Connecticut Democratic Party is shouting to just about anyone who'll listen about how bad they say this makes the Republican look, while Team McMahon is trying hard to downplay the story.

Read More →

Remember when Scott Brown signed autographs and added the number "41" -- signaling to voters he was poised and ready to become that critical vote against health care reform? Delaware voters are getting the same signal, with tea party darling Christine O'Donnell (R) promising to single-handedly block any Democratic agenda during a lame-duck session of Congress if she's elected.

Delaware's Senate race is unlike any of the other critical midterm face-offs Nov. 2 -- the winner will be seated immediately and not in January like most of the rest of the Senate victors.

As she battles longtime-but-less-so-these-days frontrunner Rep. Mike Castle for Tuesday's Republican primary, O'Donnell talks about this being a "special" election every chance she gets, calling herself a key "filibuster" vote. But no one seems to realize just how right she is.

Read More →

President Obama urged fringe pastor Terry Jones not to burn Korans this Saturday, saying it would be "completely contrary to our values as Americans." Further, he said, it could lead to a "recruitment bonanza" for al-Qaeda.

"If he's listening, I just hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values of Americans. That this country has been built on the notions of religious freedom and religious tolerance," Obama said on Good Morning America. "And as a very practical matter, as commander of chief of the Armed Forces of the United States I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan. We're already seeing protests against Americans just by the mere threat he's making."

Read More →

Marco Rubio, the Republican nominee for Senate in Florida, is leading the state's strange three-way race to fill an open Senate seat. According to a new CNN/Time poll of the race -- which pits Rubio against Democrat Kendrick Meek and independent Charlie Crist -- Rubio leads Crist 36-34. Meek comes in third with 24% of the vote.

Past polling has shown Crist and Rubio swapping leads in the contest while Meek has generally run well behind the two. The 24% he pulls in the new CNN/Time poll is one of the highest totals Meek has drawn in a public poll for months, coming on the heels of Meek's strong win in the Democratic primary and subsequent boost in media attention and name ID. Meek has been targeting Crist heavily in the past couple weeks, joining with Rubio in multiple attacks calling the independent candidate a hypocrite. It looks like his strategy has been working -- most likely to Crist's detriment.

The TPM Poll Average shows Rubio with 35.5% of the vote, Crist with 34.3% and Meek with 19.3%.

The CNN/Time survey of 899 registered voters was conducted Sept. 2-7. The margin of error is 3.5%.

The man who bought a Republican gubernatorial nomination in Florida, Rick Scott, is having a tough time selling himself to general election voters. A new poll from CNN/Time shows Democratic nominee Alex Sink leading Scott 49-42, the latest in a series of polls showing Scott well behind the Democrat.

Republicans feared Scott -- he of ultra-conservative views and skeletons in the closet galore -- would have a hard time appealing to Florida's swingy and moderate general electorate. Early polls of the general election fight (most taken before the independent-but-Democratic-leaning Bud Chiles dropped out of the race, a move generally seen to benefit Sink) have shown the fears about Scott to be well-founded.

The CNN/Time survey of 899 registered voters in Florida was conducted Sept. 2-7. The margin of error is 3.5%.