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October 20, 2014

Cotton Surges Ahead in Arkansas

A new Talk Business & Politics/Hendrix College poll in Arkansas finds Tom Cotton (R) leading Sen. Mark Pryor (D) by eight points in the U.S. Senate race, 49% to 41%.

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

"We've got a tough map. A lot of the states that are contested this time are states that I didn't win. And so some of the candidates there, you know, it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turn-out. The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me."

-- President Obama, quoted by the Weekly Standard.

Top Alabama Republican Indicted on Corruption Charges

Mike Hubbard (R), "speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives and a powerful leader in the state Republican Party, has been indicted by a grand jury and charged with 23 counts, including using his office for personal gain and soliciting things of value," the Birmingham News reports.

Runoff Increasingly Likely in Louisiana

A new FOX 8 News-Raycom Media Poll in Louisiana finds Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) leads the U.S. Senate race with Bill Cassidy (R), 36% to 32%, with Rob Maness at 6%.

The race is almost certain to head to a runoff. Cassidy leads a two-way race with Landrieu, 43% to 40%.

McConnell Barely Ahead in Kentucky

A new Bluegrass Poll in Kentucky finds Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) barely leading Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), 44% to 43%, with Libertarian candidate David Paterson at 5%.

Bonus Quote of the Day

"That's not gonna happen."

-- Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), quoted by the AP, on Republicans promising to repeal Obamacare.

GOP Strategist, Now and Then

"Is this a joke? It's obviously a stock image used by our digital firm to reflect that Kansas is the Sunflower State. But given the many serious issues facing our country right now, I doubt voters care about this silly line of attack by Greg Orman and his liberal allies."

-- Roberts campaign manager Corry Bliss, quoted by BuzzFeed today, on reports that Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) used stock images of sunflowers from the Ukraine instead of Kansas on his website.

"Our campaign received several phone calls from both workers at Electric Boat and veterans who served on submarines, both of which were amazed that Congressman Murphy would feature a Norwegian sub in a television ad claiming it was from Groton."

-- McMahon campaign manager Corry Bliss, quoted by the Danbury News Times in 2012, when Chris Murphy (D) was caught using stock footage in advertisements in his Senate campaign.

GOP Candidate Says Same-Sex Couples are 'Gremlins'

Anthony Culler (R), who is challenging Rep. James Clyburn's (D-SC) for Congress, referred to same-sex couples as "gremlins" and "bullies" in a Facebook post, according to The Hill.

Culler decried same-sex marriage as "a pestilence that has descended on our society, against our will, by those in the courts and government that do not value the traditional family. Same sex couples that seek to destroy our way of life and the institution of marriage are NOT cute and cuddly but rather (for those of you that are old enough to remember the movie), Gremlins that will only destroy our way of life."

Roberts Passing Off Images from Ukraine as Kansas

The image Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) uses on every page of his campaign website and on his press releases of a sunset on a sunflower field is not in Kansas at all, BuzzFeed reports.

It's actually a stock photo of a field in Ukraine.

Still Tied in Florida

A new Rasmussen survey in Florida shows the race for governor continues to be a dead heat with Gov. Rick Scott (R) tied with challenger Charlie Crist (D), 47% to 47%.

Worst Political Ad of the Year?

In the Michigan U.S. Senate race, Terri Lynn Land (R) hits Gary Peters (D) for ties to loan sharks in a new ad inspired by Sharknado.

See more...

Hagan Maintains Small Lead in North Carolina

A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina poll finds a steady Senate race, with Sen. Kay Hagan (D) leading challenger Thom Tillis (R) by three points, 46% to 43%.

Key takeaway: "It's still a close race but Hagan's lead- though small- has certainly been persistent and something dramatic may need to happen in the final two weeks to allow Tillis to come out on top."

Path to Holding Senate Narrows for Democrats

Greg Sargent: "If Democrats can hold on in just one of the four following toss-up states in which they are currently trailing -- Colorado, Iowa, Arkansas, or Alaska -- their hopes of holding the Senate remain alive. That is plausible. But a lot has to go their way after that."

"Let's give Republicans West Virgina, Montana, and South Dakota up front, while giving Democrats North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Michigan -- outcomes that are consistent with the polling averages. If Dems can limit Republicans to wins in three of these four (CO, IA, AR, AK), that puts the GOP at 51 seats. That would probably send us into overtime, with Louisiana and Georgia likely to head to run-offs due to election rules."

Deadlocked in Kansas

A new Monmouth University poll in Kansas finds Sen. Pat Roberts (R) locked in a dead heat with challenger Greg Orman (I) in the U.S. Senate race, 46% to 46%.

Quote of the Day

"The president has done a good job of helping refocus this race for us. Thank you, Mr. President."

-- GOP strategist Paul Shumaker, quoted by the Washington Post, on how President Obama's handling of the Ebola crisis has helped North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis (R).

The 2016 GOP Field Will Be Huge

The Fix: "New Washington Post-ABC News polling on the 2016 Republican presidential race makes one thing very clear: Every GOPer who has even a hint of ambition for national office is likely to run in two years time. Why? Because the field is remarkably frontrunner-less, meaning that every Ted, John and Rob can make a plausible case to activists and donors that they are going to eventually be the guy."

Brown Closes the Gap in New Hampshire

A new Boston Herald/Suffolk University poll in New Hampshire finds Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) just three points ahead of Scott Brown (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 49% to 46%.

"The margin is hardly comforting to Democrats since it shows Shaheen's support has remained stagnant over the last few months. In the last Suffolk-Herald poll in June, Shaheen held the exact same level of support - 49 percent - among likely voters. Brown's support has increased by 7 points since June."

On Wonk Wire

Some great clicks over at Wonk Wire:

And a bonus click from Working Capital Review:

Democrats Running Away from Obama Won't Work

First Read: "Our latest NBC/WSJ/Annenberg poll is the latest survey to show Republicans with an advantage (49%-44% among likely voters) heading into the Nov. 4 midterms. And once again, the GOP holds the enthusiasm edge: 42% of all Republican voters say they're more enthusiastic than usual, versus just 34% for Democrats. And if Republicans run the table in the all the close races - similar to how Democrats ran the table in all of the toss-up contests in 2006 - there is going to be a tremendous amount of second-guessing about the Democratic candidates keeping their distance from Obama."

"We've said it before, and we'll say it again: A party running away from a president never works. One, because the party already owns the president. And two, because that running away alienates many of the voters who elected -- and then re-elected -- him. In other words, if the Democratic Party wants to energize its voters, is treating the head of the party like a pariah the best way to do that? Bottom line: It's just demoralizing, and it creates a negative feedback loop."

Still a Tight Race in Illinois

A new Southern Illinois University Carbondale poll in Illinois finds Bruce Rauner (R) edging Gov. Pat Quinn (D) in the race for governor, 42% to 41%.

Abbott Pulling Away in Texas

A new KHOU-TV/Houston Public Media poll in Texas finds Greg Abbott (R) leading Wendy Davis (D) in the race for governor by 15 points, 47% to 32%.

Brown Won't Rule Out Running for Mayor Again

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) "has ruled out a run for president in 2016. But he declined to rule out another bid for Oakland mayor," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Said Brown: "I wouldn't mind being mayor of Oakland. But I don't know, when I'm 80 and a half, whether I'll have the same appetite... I don't want to foreclose my options for four years from now."

North Carolina Showdown Could Be Most Expensive Ever

"From the Koch brothers and Art Pope to George Soros and Michael Bloomberg, wealthy donors are making North Carolina's U.S. Senate race one of America's first $100 million contests," the Charlotte Observer reports.

"Outside groups continue to flood the state with ads and accusations, forcing Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis to keep scrambling for dollars in the campaign's final two weeks. Money spent or committed in the race is poised to top $103 million, according to public records and interviews with donors. Three-quarters of it comes from party and interest groups. More than $22 million is dark money from groups that don't disclose their donors."

The Divided States of America

NBC News: "The dominant political story heading into the Nov. 4 midterm elections isn't control of the U.S. Senate, or President Obama's approval ratings, or the party that captures the most governor's mansions across the nation. Instead, it's that this country - long known for its combative politics, especially before an election - is more divided today than it has been in decades. And it's likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future."

Democrats Back Long-Shot Candidates

"Democrats, worried as polls show their chances of retaining control of the Senate dwindling, are plowing money into long-shot races in unexpected states as embattled incumbents elsewhere seem to be slipping behind," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"The party last week put $1 million into the contest for a GOP-held seat in Georgia, attempting to capitalize on polls now shifting in its favor, as it also makes a play against long odds to hold its own seat in South Dakota with another $1 million in spending."

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