TPM News

The new CNN/Time poll of the Nevada Senate race gives Republican nominee Sharron Angle a two-point advantage over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The numbers: Angle 42%, Reid 40%, and Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian 7%. In a two-way race, Angle still leads Reid by 47%-45%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3.5% margin of error. In the previous CNN/Time poll from mid-September, Angle led Reid and Ashjian by 42%-41%-5%, with no two-way match-up included.

The TPM Poll Average of the two-way race currently puts Reid ahead by 47.5%-46.2%.

For the past few days, the Kentucky Senate race has been about Medicare. More to the point, it's been about a grainy video of Republican nominee Rand Paul taken in June 2009 showing Paul calling for a $2,000 deductible on Medicare payments to save the government-run health care program for the elderly.

Democratic nominee Jack Conway has been having a field day with the video, which he turned into a TV commercial that captures the probable level of popularity the idea has among seniors in Kentucky.

"That's crazy," one elderly lady says in the ad. "I can't afford that."

Obfuscation being the nature of things in political ads, you might expect that when given a chance to talk about the $2,000 deductible scheme, Paul would rattle off the ways Conway took his words out of context or practiced 'gotcha' selective editing in the clip.

You'd be wrong.

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It takes a great deal of talent for a politician to combine a dogwhistle to birthers and a veiled insult to Sarah Palin in just a few sentences. But Alaska Senate hopeful Joe Miller (R) managed to do just that.

In a Fox News interview, Miller could barely bring himself to say he thinks Sarah Palin is qualified to be President of the United States. When he finally did, though, all he could muster was the fact that she clears the lowest hurdle, meeting the benchmarks the Constitution requires of U.S. Presidents.

"Let me make this unequivocal," Miller said, after jousting with the Fox host for several rounds. "She's done phenomenal things for this country, there's no question about that. She's elevated the debate, critical to our race, and let me tell you also, we know what qualified means, don't we? We know that we have a constitutional requirement for somebody that's gonna run for President. Of course she's qualified.

Those Constitutional qualifications? Be at least 35 years old, and (wait for it) be a natural born citizen! People from Kenya need not apply.

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Add one more FBI investigation to the list of federal probes into Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Federal agents and the U.S. Attorney's office are probing whether top Arpaio aide Chief Deputy David Hendershott -- who has directed the day-to-day operations of the office for a number of years -- mismanaged the department, according to a letter from the U.S. Attorney obtained by TPMMuckraker.

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Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV), the Democratic nominee in the West Virginia Senate special election, is now taking a very bold step -- his administration is suing the Obama White House over its coal mining policies.

As the Associated Press reports:

Manchin on Wednesday denied any connection between the federal lawsuit and his campaign to finish the remaining two years of the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd's term.

The Democratic governor said the suit was already being prepared amid rising concern that U.S. coal policies harm West Virginia's mining economy months before Byrd died in June. The state hired a Charleston law firm to prepare for a suit and state Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman said in June that litigation was imminent.

"Over the past year and a half, we have been fighting President Obama's administration's attempts to destroy the coal mining industry," Manchin said at a news conference Wednesday.

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Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) wants the Federal Elections Commission to investigate whether the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is violating election law by raising money from foreign donors. In a letter to the agency, he also asked the FEC to review its own regulations.

The Chamber raises thousands from foreign individuals and companies through its overseas branches, ThinkProgress reported yesterday. The money reportedly goes into the Chamber's general fund, which it is using to run a $75 million midterm campaign, mostly against Democrats. (The Chamber denies doing anything illegal, and says it only raises about $100,000 in dues from its foreign branches.)

It is illegal to solicit or accept donations from foreign nationals, directly or indirectly, for election activity.

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Speculation about the veracity of the story from the wife of an American man reportedly shot by "lake pirates" on Falcon Lake along the Texas-Mexico border is "unwarranted," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday.

"I think speculation is unwarranted," Napolitano said in a briefing with reporters. "The whole matter is under investigation, and as I said earlier, the thing that is going on now is a renewed search by the law enforcement in Tamaulipas [Mexico] to find the body."

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Marco Rubio has a new ad in the Florida Senate race, hammering ex-Republican and now independent Gov. Charlie Crist as an opportunist.

Though Rubio's ad doesn't directly mention the story, he appears to be alluding to Crist's recent insistence that he would have left the GOP and run as an independent even if he had been leading in the polls for the Republican primary. (At the time he switched, Rubio led in the polls for the primary by 20-30 points.)

"We all know what he's doing. Charlie Crist was losing, so he switched sides," Rubio says in the ad. "Just to win votes, he flip-flopped on everything, from the stimulus to ObamaCare. And when that failed, he started falsely attacking. Don't fall for it. Typical politicians who will say or do anything won't retire the national debt, protect Social Security, or help create a single new job. I'm Marco Rubio, and I approved this message because Washington already has enough politicians who care more about their own future than they do about yours."

The TPM Poll Average gives Rubio 42.7%, Crist 29.3%, and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek 21.9%.

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Clinton Postpones Trip To Charlotte

In a statement released Friday evening, Hillary Clinton's campaign announced that the Democratic nominee…