TPM News

The new CNN poll of the Kentucky Senate race gives Republican Rand Paul a seven-point lead over Democrat Jack Conway among likely voters.

The numbers: Paul 50%, Conway 43%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3.5% margin of error.

The previous poll from early September did not have a comparable likely-voter sample, but had Paul and Conway tied 46%-46% among a wider filter of registered voters. In this latest poll, Paul leads 46%-44% among registered voters.

The TPM Poll Average gives Paul a lead of 48.9%-42.7%.

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Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin has a new ad in the West Virginia Senate race, continuing his theme of distancing himself from national Democrats in this anti-Obama state. For this spot, Manchin attacks both the national Democrats and the Republicans, positioning himself against each of them.

"I'm as mad as you are with what's going on in Washington. Both Democrats and Republicans are dead wrong. They put their party first, their personal agenda second, and our country last. And they want you to believe I'm going to be a rubber stamp for that? Not a chance. That's not how we've made things better in West Virginia.

"Give me the chance to shake up Washington, just like I did here as governor. I'm Joe Manchin. I approve this message, because I've always put West Virginia first, and I always will."

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Fox News has taken it upon itself to teach the nation's first African American president a thing or two about racially-sensitive rhetoric.

It seems that in Rhode Island this week, President Obama made a slight addition to his now-ubiquitous "Republicans drove the economy into the ditch" metaphor. Here's how Fox News' own reporter on the ground recounted the moment:

He said Republicans had driven the economy into a ditch and then stood by and criticized while Democrats pulled it out. Now that progress has been made, he said, "we can't have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up in front. We don't mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back."

Offended yet? No? For shame, said a string of Fox pundits ranging from Stuart Varney to Monica Crowley over the past day or so. Obama, they say, was clearly referring to "sending Republicans to the back of the bus" (a word, it should be noted, Obama did not say), which as any Fox pundit knows, is an oblique reference to Rosa Parks and is therefore 100% offensive.

This is not the Obama of the 2008 race speech, nor the Obama who promised to improve the discourse in Washington, say Fox pundits. This is racial insensitivity at its worst.

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You thought the Kentucky Stomping Story had been swallowed by the news cycle? Think again.

The identification of the Kentucky Stomper -- former Rand Paul volunteer Tim Profitt -- allowed Lexington police to issue a criminal summons in the case. He'll soon appear in district court and possibly face charges. But Lexington police say the investigation is still ongoing, and they may pursue the other Paul-supporters who participated in the assault.

"At this point, the investigation is still ongoing," public information officer Sherelle Roberts told ABC News. "We're looking into other individuals who may have been involved in the assault and could get charged."

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The new CNN poll of California provides further corroboration that Democrats Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer are on track in their respective gubernatorial and Senate races.

The gubernatorial numbers: Brown 51%, Republican Meg Whitman 44%. In the previous poll from a month ago, Brown led by 52%-43%. The TPM Poll Average has Brown ahead by 49.0%-41.3%.

The Senate numbers: Boxer 50%, Republican Carly Fiorina 45%. In the previous poll from a month ago, Boxer led by 52%-43%. The TPM Poll Average has Boxer ahead by 47.4%-43.4%.

The survey of likely voters has a ±3.5% margin of error.

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The new CNN poll of the Pennsylvania Senate race gives Republican Pat Toomey a narrow lead over Democrat Joe Sestak.

The numbers, among likely voters: Toomey 49%, Sestak 45%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3.5% margin of error. In the previous poll from a month ago, Toomey led by 49%-44%.

This poll also provides a further data point about how the enthusiasm gap is hurting Democrats. Among registered voters, a wider pool than the likely voters, Sestak actually leads by 47%-43%, up from a 45%-45% tie in the last poll.

The TPM Poll Average gives Toomey a lead of 46.1%-43.7%.

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The new CNN poll of the Nevada Senate races suggests that Republican Sharron Angle is expanding her narrow lead against Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The numbers: Angle 49%, Reid 45%, and Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian 2%. In a direct two-way race, Angle leads Reid by 51%-45%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3.5% margin of error.

In the previous CNN poll from three weeks ago, Angle was ahead by only two points, leading in the three-way race by a narrower 42%-41%-5%, and in the two-way race by 47%-45%.

The TPM Poll Average gives Angle a lead of 49.6%-46.6%.

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The Illinois Republican Party, which along with other Republican groups has attacked the Justice Department's enforcement of the MOVE Act, wants the DOJ to force the state board of elections to accept military ballots postmarked after election day.

The MOVE Act, which is new this election, requires states to send overseas military voters absentee ballots at least 45 days before the election. Several states were granted waivers because of late primary dates but several, including Illinois, still failed to get their ballots out on time.

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Oh boy. After months and months of insisting that she really doesn't oppose Social Security -- despite her past statements about wanting to phase it out -- now a tape has surfaced of Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle decrying the program as an example of society's "wicked ways." And this was just two and a half weeks ago.

As Politico reports, an audio recording was uploaded to the Democratic National Committee's Accountability Project site, of Angle speaking at a church on October 10. During her speech, Angle offered a confession for America's sins -- going beyond just the standard religious conservative issues of abortion, but also the legislation of divorce, and various social welfare programs.

"And yet we're saying, 'Well, the government, we have all these programs now. Aid for Families with Dependent Children and Medicare and Social Security,'" said Angle. "That's fine, but isn't it we that should be thinking about this, isn't it us that should be caring in our community for those that the Lord has called us to? Didn't he say you honor him, you love him if you've cared for these the least among you? So we do have a lot of wicked ways that we can confess as a church, and I think that's what he's calling us to now."

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