TPM News

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) leads Democratic challenger Bill White 51-38 in the Texas gubernatorial race, according to a new Rasmussen poll. A month ago, Rasmussen showed Perry leading White by just four points, 48-44.

The TPM Poll Average in the Texas gubernatorial race shows Perry leading White 50.4% to 39.5%.

Perry beat Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and tea party activist Debra Medina in his state's Republican gubernatorial primary, and now faces Houston Mayor White in the general election.

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The new survey of the PA-12 special election by Public Policy Polling (D) shows a dead heat in tomorrow's election for the House seat formerly held by the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha, with Republican businessman Tim Burns having a bare one-point edge over Democratic candidate and former Murtha aide Mark Critz.

The numbers: Burns 48%, Critz 47%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3.4% margin of error. In the last PPP survey from a month ago, Burns had a lead of 44%-41%. The TPM Poll Average gives Burns a lead of 43.0%-42.4%.

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With the long-running Texas history textbooks standards fight scheduled to end with a final vote by the State Board of Education Friday, arch-conservative board member Don McLeroy is proposing a new set of changes that read like a tea party manifesto.

The new amendment (.pdf), which is expected to get a vote on Thursday, would require high school history students to "discuss alternatives regarding long term entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, given the decreasing worker to retiree ratio" and also "evaluate efforts by global organizations to undermine U. S. sovereignty."

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Senate Dems To Battle Over Strength Of Wall Street Reform Bill The Hill reports: "Democratic senators will battle among themselves this week over whether to strengthen a Wall Street reform bill that has already met stiff resistance from Republicans and industry lobbyists. Liberal Democrats will make a last-ditch effort to push the bill leftward by strengthening regulation of derivatives and banks that speculate with their own money instead of on behalf of clients."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET, and meet at 10:30 a.m. ET with senior advisers. At 11:35 a.m. ET, he will sign the Freedom of Press Act. At 1:05 p.m. ET, he will welcome the NCAA champion University of Connecticut women's basketball team to the White House.

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Tomorrow's Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania still looks too close to call.

A Quinnipiac poll released this morning shows Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) leading Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) 42-41. Sixteen percent of likely primary voters are still undecided -- and 25% of those who do back a candidate might still change their minds, the poll found.

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Sen. Arlen Specter is stepping up his attacks on Rep. Joe Sestak in the final days of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary, targeting Sestak over gun control. As Greg Sargent reports, Specter is highlighting his vote against the assault weapons ban in the 90s and calling Sestak out for his "F" rating from the NRA.

The ads are running on the websites of local papers in rural Pennsylvania, away from the eyes of the key Democratic voters in the cities that might not find the ads a persuasive message for Specter.

"One wonders how this ad would play among urban Dems in Philadelphia," Sargent writes. "If they ever were to hear about it."

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Kyl: I Don't Think Kagan Represents 'Extreme Circumstances' For Filibuster Appearing on Face The Nation, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said that Elena Kagan's nomination for the Supreme Court would not be filibustered. "I don't think so," he said. "The filibuster should be relegated to the extreme circumstances, and I don't think Elena Kagan represents that."

Feinstein Dismisses 'Gingrich Hyperbole' Appearing on Face The Nation, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) rebutted former Speaker Newt Gingrich's (R-GA) call for the Senate to oppose Elena Kagan's nomination on the grounds that she is "disqualified from the very beginning" due to her policies on military recruiters at Harvard. Feinstein called it "nonsense. I think it's Gingrich hyperbole. I hope no one would fall for that."

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For almost a year, Mitch McConnell's protege Trey Grayson has been the standard bearer of the state GOP establishment in the Kentucky senate primary. But today on Meet The Press, his benefactor seemed to suggest that that the outcome of Grayson's battle with Tea Party favorite Rand Paul might not matter much one way or another.

"We don't have incumbency on the line in Kentucky," he said. "We have two non-incumbents running for an open seat."

That's probably not the view of many of Paul's supporters. They appear poised turn the race in McConnell's home state into the second anti-establishment victory over the GOP mainstream since Sen. Bob Bennett was deposed at the Utah Republican convention May 8.

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