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October 22, 2014

Paul Will Hold 2016 Strategy Session Next Month

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) "is summoning his top strategists and political advisers to Washington one week after the November election for a strategy session over his widely expected 2016 presidential bid," National Journal reports.

"The gathering of Paul's top lieutenants in the nation's capital has been quietly organized by Doug Stafford, his chief political strategist, who began reaching out to key figures in Paul's political world earlier this month... Stafford has told invitees to reserve Nov. 12 on their calendar both during the day and into the night. Paul himself is expected to attend some of the meetings."

Brown Just Ahead in Tight New Hampshire Race

A new New England College poll in New Hampshire finds Scott Brown (R) is slightly in front of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 48% to 47%.

Still Very Close in Wisconsin

A new Wisconsin Public Radio/St. Norbert College poll in Wisconsin finds Gov. Scott Walker (R) has a slight edge over challenger Mary Burke (D), 47% to 46%.

Democrats Get Back Into Kentucky

The DSCC is jumping back into the Kentucky Senate race after stopping its TV ad buy last week, The Hill reports.

A DSCC official confirmed the committee plans to spend another $650,000 on TV to bolster Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) and the Senate Majority PAC is also poised to go back on the air with a high six-figures TV buy.

"Though McConnell still likely has an edge, Democrats say the race has tightened over the past few days."

Udall Slips Behind in Colorado

A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll in Colorado finds Cory Gardner (R) leading Sen. Mark Udall (D) in the U.S. Senate race by seven points, 46% to 39%.

Said pollster David Paleologos: "As President Obama goes, Mark Udall goes. Obama's unpopularity is significantly affecting Udall's chances for reelection in November, as his opponent has consistently tied him to President Obama. By the looks of both President Obama's and Mark Udall's unfavorability ratings, that message is beginning to stick with Colorado voters."

Crist Has Edge in Tight Florida Race

A new St. Leo University poll in Florida finds Charlie Crist (D) leading Gov. Rick Scott in the race for governor by three points, 43% to 40%.

LePage Can't Think of Anything Nice to Say About Rivals

When Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) was asked to say "a few good things" about his two challengers -- Mike Michaud (D) and Eliot Cutler (I) -- in last night's gubernatorial debate, he was left nearly speechless.

Said LePage: "My opponents? I don't know, I don't follow them."

Christie Wants to Make Sure Republicans Count the Votes

At a recent event, Gov. Chris Christie (R) "stressed the need to keep Republicans in charge of states -- and overseeing state-level voting regulations -- ahead of the next presidential election," the Bergen Record reports.

Said Christie: "Would you rather have Rick Scott in Florida overseeing the voting mechanism, or Charlie Crist? Would you rather have Scott Walker in Wisconsin overseeing the voting mechanism, or would you rather have Mary Burke? Who would you rather have in Ohio, John Kasich or Ed FitzGerald?"

Iowa Race Remains Tight

A new Monmouth poll in Iowa finds Joni Ernst (R) with a one point lead over Bruce Braley (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 47% to 46%.

Key finding: "Early voters support Braley by a 54% to 41% margin over Ernst. However, Ernst has a 50% to 42% advantage among the two-thirds of the electorate who have yet to vote."

Rounds Knew of Conflict But Did Nothing

"U.S. Senate candidate Mike Rounds (R) as governor knew his Cabinet secretary, Richard Benda, was going to work for an investor in the Northern Beef Packers plant about the time he approved Benda's proposal to give the plant more state aid -- or found out immediately afterwards but was not alarmed," the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports.

From Richest to Poorest in Congress

For the first time, Roll Call has tallied the net worth of every member of Congress.

A Brutal Attack Ad in Michigan

In Michigan's 11th congressional district, Bobby McKenzie (D) has put out one of the toughest attack ads of the cycle in his uphill race against David Trott (R).

The Fix: "Trott is an attorney who specializes in foreclosures. The premise of the ad is the 2011 eviction of 101-year-old Texana Hollis from her Detroit home after missed payments by her son."

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Baker Edges Ahead of Coakley in Massachusetts

For the first time in the WBUR weekly tracking poll, Charlie Baker (R) is leading Martha Coakley (D) in the race to become the next governor of Massachusetts, 43% to 42%.

Said pollster Steve Koczela: "It's one of several polls which over the last week or so have shown a movement toward Baker. Coakley has essentially been treading water while Baker's been climbing."

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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