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October 22, 2014

Not Clear When Senate Control Will Be Decided

Harry Enten estimates that there is a 53% chance we'll be able to project which party controls the U.S. Senate near the November 4 election and a 47% chance the midterms go to overtime.

Jeb Bush to Make Decision Soon

George P. Bush told Politico that his father, Jeb Bush, will decide whether to run for president in 2016 "very shortly," and that "among the sacrifices he's weighing is putting aside his lucrative business dealings, which reportedly range from chairing a private equity and consulting firm to giving well-paid speeches."

"Also key will be how others in the Bush clan, including Jeb Bush's publicity-shy wife, Columba, ultimately come down, and whether Jeb Bush really wants to make such a serious time commitment, his son said."

FBI Agent Campaigns for Pressler

In South Dakota, former FBI agent John Good is joining Larry Pressler (I) on the campaign trail "to highlight the former senator's honesty during the Abscam inquiry in the late 1970s and early 1980s," the Wall Street Journal reports.

Good endorsed Pressler last week, "saying he was the only lawmaker to turn down an offered bribe during the FBI sting in the late 1970s that snagged other members of Congress for accepting bribes from a fake Arab sheik, the basis of the 2013 movie American Hustle."

Nunn Holds Small Lead in Georgia

A new SurveyUSA poll in Georgia finds Michelle Nunn (D) leading David Perdue (R) in the U.S. Senate race by just two points, 46% to 44%.

Key finding: "Support for Perdue has steadily, yet slightly declined over the past six weeks, while Nunn has gained ground, albeit not consistently."

Young Rattles High School Students

In a high school appearance, Rep. Don Young (R-AK) "didn't temper his notoriously abrasive personality for his young audience," the Alaska Dispatch News reports.

"Numerous witnesses say Young, 81, acted in a disrespectful and sometimes offensive manner to some students, used profanity and started talking about bull sex when confronted with a question about same-sex marriage... More concerning, school officials say, Young made what they called hurtful and insensitive statements about suicide just days after a Wasilla student took his own life."

6 Lawmakers with No Assets

Roll Call: "In a Congress packed with millionaires and near-millionaires, six lawmakers stand out on the other end of the spectrum -- they didn't report a single asset on their financial disclosure forms."

Will Monica Lewinsky Hurt a Clinton Presidential Bid?

Wall Street Journal: "Yes -- though not for reasons you might think. It's doubtful Ms. Lewinsky has salacious new stories to share about her dalliance with the ex-president in the mid-1990s. The Starr report covered that ground in unsparing detail."

"But there's another consideration. Ms. Lewinsky's reappearance is a reminder of a deeply polarizing period in American politics. And that does Mrs. Clinton no favors as she girds for a possible campaign. Polls already suggest Mrs. Clinton isn't a unifying figure who can bridge the partisan divide that has bedeviled President Barack Obama."

Still a Dead Heat in Florida

A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida finds Gov. Rick Scott (R) and challenger Charlie Crist (D) tied in the race for governor, 42% to 42%, with Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie at 7%.

Malloy Barely Ahead in Connecticut

A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) is locked in a repeat of the 2010 down-to-the-wire governor's race as he barely leads challenger Tom Foley (R), 43% to 42%, with Joe Visconti (I) at 9%.

Poll Finds Snyder Ahead in Michigan

Although most polls show a close race, a new EPIC-MRA poll in Michigan finds Gov. Rick Snyder (R) comfortably ahead of challenger Mark Schauer (D) in the race for governor, 47% to 39%.

October 21, 2014

GOP Opens Big Generic Ballot Lead

A new AP-GfK poll finds likely voters favor a Republican controlled-Congress by a wide margin, 47% to 39%.

"That's a shift in the GOP's favor since an AP-GfK poll in late September, when the two parties ran about evenly among likely voters."

Scott Delayed Execution for Fundraiser

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) admitted in a debate against challenger Charlie Crist (D) that he delayed an execution to accommodate the political fundraising schedule of the Attorney General.

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Listen In on the Palin Family Brawl

TMZ has police audio from the recent Palin family brawl.

Listen carefully and you can hear Sarah Palin in the background telling daughter Bristol not to cuss during her statement.

Walker's Ambitions on the Line

In his third election in four years, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) "is far more worried than he was in previous contests -- less confident that he can fend off a challenge from Democrat Mary Burke, who is running a competitive race by targeting slow job growth during Walker's tenure. Both his gubernatorial record and his potential 2016 presidential aspirations are on the line," the Washington Post reports.

GOP Staffer Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $1.8 Million

"Former David Dewhurst (R) campaign manager Kenneth 'Buddy' Barfield is facing up to 28 years in prison and millions in fines and restitution payments after pleading guilty Tuesday to embezzling nearly $1.8 million from the outgoing lieutenant governor's failed 2012 bid for U.S. Senate," the Houston Chronicle reports.

Cotton Paid Nearly $300K to Group That May Not Exist

Arkansas U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton (R) disbursed over $131,000 to Right Solutions Partners in March for "fund-raising consulting" and an additional $161,000 to it in August for the same purpose, the New York Times reports.

"But here's the catch: It's not clear that such an entity actually exists. It has no presence on the Internet, it appears that no other campaign is paying it this year, and it has no office at the Washington address listed on the articles of organization filed with the city last year."

Gary Hart Tapped as Envoy to Northern Ireland

The State Department has named former Sen. Gary Hart (D-CO) to be its newest envoy to Northern Ireland, the AP reports.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Hart "will help smooth negotiations in the new round of power-sharing talks among the government's five-party coalition."

Braley Trails in Iowa Battlegrounds

A senior House Democratic official told National Journal that internal polling in Iowa shows Joni Ernst (R) leading Bruce Braley (D) "in all three of the state's battleground seats, making it challenging for downballot House candidates to put away winnable races--even in Iowa's Democratic-leaning districts."

Christie Says He's Tired of Hearing About the Minimum Wage

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said he doesn't want anymore discussion about the minimum wage, TPM reports.

Said Christie: "I gotta tell you the truth, I'm tired of hearing about the minimum wage, I really am."

He added: "I don't think there's a mother or father sitting around a kitchen table tonight in America who are saying, 'You know honey, if my son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all our dreams would be realized," he added. "Is that what parents aspire to for their children?"

'Mr. President, Don't Touch My Girlfriend'

President Obama proved he has a good sense of humor while voting early in Chicago.

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Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

"I mean, realistically, my political career is probably over."

-- Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D), quoted by Politico, reflecting on the sexting scandal that forced him to resign from Congress.

Gardner Leads in Colorado

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Colorado finds Cory Gardner (R) leading Sen. Mark Udall (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 46% to 43%.

In the race for governor, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) barely edges challenger Bob Beauprez (R), 45% to 44%.

A new Monmouth poll has Gardner ahead 47% to 46%.

What Is Russia Up To Now?

Foreign Policy: "What first sounded like something straight out of a Tom Clancy novel is turning out to be Moscow's first serious test of Western resolve since the invasion of Crimea earlier this year. While details are patchy and the situation is still unfolding, three separate credible eyewitness accounts and a photo showing a dark structure descending into the shallow waters of the Baltic Sea seem to confirm the presence of a foreign submarine or mini-sub some 30 miles from Stockholm. If so, this would be a major escalation of tensions in the Baltic Sea region."

"Adding to the mystery are other reports of a North Sea-bound Russian container ship sailing under a Liberian flag hovering outside Swedish territorial waters. Defense analysts have speculated that this might be the submarine's mother ship. In response to these chilling developments, the Swedish military has launched one of its biggest military operations in decades, involving some 200 men, a number of stealth ships, minesweepers, and helicopters to locate the suspected sub and its crew."

Bonus Quote of the Day

"It's not going to be an easy election, it's a close election. Like I said, much closer than I can even understand why. I don't want to say anything about your Wisconsin voters but, some of them might not be as sharp as a knife."

-- RNC co-chair Sharon Day, quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, while campaigning in Wisconsin.

McConnell Pays for Enthusiam

The Kentucky Republican Party is offering volunteers all-expenses-paid trips to join Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) campaign bus tour and "contribute to an enthusiastic atmosphere" at his events, The Hill reports.

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