Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here.Leading Off:
Elizabeth Warren (D): 44 (46)The first PPP poll of the Massachusetts Senate race since they switched over to their likely voter model shows a marked drop for Elizabeth Warren, who had previously been tied with Scott Brown and had led in the polls before that. The main story here may simply be the change in composition, though the 2008 presidential sample isn't particularly odd at 58-33 Obama; the actual vote was 62-36. But another story is that Brown's approvals do seem to be rebounding from earlier in the year while Warren isn't winning undecided voters over as they come off the fence. Brown's approval rating now stands at 53/36, up from 45/42 in March (when it was his turn to trail by 5). Warren, by contrast, has 46/43 favorables, compared with 46/33 in March.
Scott Brown (R-inc): 49 (46)
Undecided: 8 (8)
It doesn't seem like Warren is on track to win this purely on likeability grounds, but PPP's Tom Jensen sees Brown's Achilles heel here: Even while 54% of voters think he's "about right" ideologically, 56% also think that the GOP in general is "too conservative," and more importantly, 53% of voters would like Democrats to be in charge of the Senate, compared with 36% who would like Republicans to control the chamber. Warren's problem is that only 76% of those voters who want Democrats to be in charge are in powers planning to vote for her. The roadmap here is to follow the same path as Sheldon Whitehouse vs. Lincoln Chafee in 2006, another case of taking down a likeable moderate by tying him at every turn to the national party and educating voters about how the Senate as a whole functions... a lesson which hasn't seemed to sink in with a large enough share of Massachusetts voters yet.
P.S. Brown is also out with a new ad that's largely content-free, touting his humble upbringing. Maybe there are some YouTube compression issues going on, but the footage of him inside his truck (of course) looks awfully low-quality. (David Jarman & David Nir)
Feministing - don't judge me by my reasons for wanting an abortion;
Hullabaloo - CNN still terrified of right wing, sun to rise in east tomorrow;
Ramona's Voice - Akin isn't an anomaly, he's a symptom;
The Mahablog - Dennis Prager defends Rep. Todd Akin, badly;
The New Civil Rights Movement - Kirk Cameron, as always, defends the indefensible.
blogenfreude blogs at stinque.com and wonders if @johnboehner misses his days in the minority.
A variety of links to articles/interviews/speeches/videos on current issues that may be of interest.[...]
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Above is pollster.com aggregate without Rasmussen and Gallup. See explanation.
Mr. Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate has stirred excitement within the GOP that he can defeat the president. But the poll found little evidence the pick will affect the election, beyond helping unify Mr. Romney's conservative base.Most troubling result in NBC/WSJ poll for Romney: Obama 22 pt adv on "cares about avg people." For Obama: only 31% say they're better off
Mr. Obama's lead over Mr. Romney was 48% to 44% in the new poll, about the same as a month earlier and within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3 points.
Representative Todd Akin said definitively Tuesday that he would not step aside. After his comments on rape, fellow Republicans, including Mitt Romney, asked him to drop out of the Missouri Senate race.Politico:
Rep. Todd Akin told Mitt Romney to mind his own business Tuesday, accusing the presumptive GOP nominee of ?making a bigger deal? than necessary out of Akin?s comments about ?legitimate rape.?Dana Milbank:
A boozy frolic at a Christian holy site might have been a considerable embarrassment for the party, but it was eclipsed by a bigger one: Akin?s preposterous claim on a St. Louis TV program that pregnancy is rare after a ?legitimate rape? because ?the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.?Matthew Dowd:
Republican leaders spent the next 48 hours trying to shut Akin?s whole thing down, but after a period of panic (a no-show on Piers Morgan?s show led the CNN host to show his empty chair and call him a ?gutless little twerp?), Akin told radio host Mike Huckabee on Tuesday that he would fight the ?big party people? and stay in the race.
But where were these same Republican leaders in 2008 when Sarah Palin created the same scenario with her outrageous comments? I didn?t see any of them asking John McCain to drop her from the ticket. There were no calls for her to be replaced on the ballot.NY Times:
Make no mistake, the calls for Akin?s resignation likely had nothing to do with the substance of his remarks -- keep in mind, the Republican platform has a call for a ban on abortion even in cases of rape. They had nothing to do with the fact that Akin has long held out-of-the-mainstream positions on many issues and made numerous extremely conservative statements. Akin?s mistake was that by opening his mouth with crazy talk -- as my nine-year old daughter says -- made it much harder for Republicans to win a sure Senate seat pickup with him on the ballot.
If Mr. Romney were to reject the party?s tough abortion plank, it would send a politically difficult message to conservatives about how Mr. Romney might govern once he got into the White House.Matt Miller:
There could also be a flurry of conservative outrage at the convention, which could distract from the carefully choreographed event Mr. Romney?s strategists are planning.
But Mr. Romney?s campaign is also trying hard to make sure that the convention projects an image that swing voters in battleground states will find appealing. Aides did not expect to be focusing heavily on the party?s abortion positions this week.
Wealthy political candidates are nothing new, of course. But we?ve never had two wealthy candidates on a national ticket whose top priority is to reduce already low taxes on the well-to-do while raising taxes on everyone else ? even as they propose to slash programs that serve the poor, or that (like college aid) create chances for the lowly born to rise.National Journal:
Call them the Drawbridge Republicans. As the moniker implies, these are wealthy Republicans who have no qualms about pulling up the drawbridge behind them. Such sentiments used to be reserved for the political fringe.
Even before his now-infamous comments on rape, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., presented Senate Republican leaders with a familiar problem. In O?Donnell, Sharron Angle in Nevada, and Ken Buck in Colorado, the 2010 Republican primaries and accompanying grassroots support foisted upon the national party aggressively conservative candidates whose candidacies Republican strategists believe cost them those races and a shot at Senate control.Kathleen Parker:
The difference this time is the speed, intensity, and coordination with which GOP leaders have moved to push Akin out of the race against Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Mitt Romney?s presidential campaign and Senate Republican leaders closely coordinated responses Monday, setting the tone for their party.
Akin's gift to Democrats wasn't just a probable campaign killer for him personally. It also reminded critics that Akin once co-sponsored legislation with Paul Ryan redefining rape as "forcible" versus, what, voluntary? To be fair, there is a difference between morning-after remorse that some call "rape" and rape as most understand it. But for these purposes, as President Barack Obama said, "Rape is rape." Does a raped woman need bruises to qualify for an abortion?
Whether mandating transvaginal probes prior to abortion under "informed consent" logic or misunderstanding basic biology, Republicans have managed to alienate a fair portion of the female population. Even pro-life women will have a hard time standing by men who are so willfully ignorant.
Doing deals with Iran is nothing compared to the trillions they blew away during the peak of the banking crisis or even the Libor ripoff. That said, this is an industry that thumbs its nose at the law because it is the law. The banking industry can rest comfortably knowing that it's easy enough to write a few checks to pay a few fines and nobody will bother them tomorrow. The Guardian:US...
I found myself wondering what a gay person
in such a masculine-oriented society did
- whether they fled to Denver or toughed it out.
I began thinking about homophobia.
In fact, the thing that destroyed the relationship
between the two characters was their own homophobia.
Born August 22, 1935
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Last night my brother and I went to our favourite dive bar to discuss the Senate races, Dodd-Frank, the presidential polls, and Todd Akin. There was never a question that Akin wouldn't bow out. For him, there's no up side to doing so. He's not running for his House seat, he has no other job, and he believes his position is in line with what the Republican platform says. (Oh wait -- he's correct on that last point. In spades.) The GOP, which worked against him in the primaries, would have to offer him something really special to get him to voluntarily withdraw.
So anyway, when we got there, the bar was relatively quiet, but after a few hours passed, there was a lot of chatter fighting with the sounds of some ball game. He asked me to not get involved with the conversation across the bar. I hadn't been listening, and we left quickly, but the people were discussing (I kid you not) that they believed that Todd Akin was correct in his biological assessment.
I always wonder why people vote against their own self-interest. But I guess if you never passed 8th grade science, you don't know what your own self-interest actually IS. I cannot understand how anyone would seriously believe that women's reproductive systems had some sort of magic feature that allowed them to turn off cycles to meet a bad situation. Objectively, it makes no sense. But here was a bar full of people, none of whom had been drinking that long, agreeing with Akin.
This all makes me even MORE committed to making sure everyone is registered, and that they know the facts and get to the polls on 6 November. I've had many discussions over the years about what constitutes intelligence, and whether being smart matters. I would like to believe, I would VERY MUCH like to believe, that when people vote, they choose the smarter candidate. I know better....face it, when people support the current crop of teabag Republican co-opters, they are supporting people who not only don't know science, but have a world view that disdains education and looks for ways to deny funding so children will never learn science. It's shameful and shocking. Please - get out there and speak truth.
I leave you with this link of who famous people are endorsing this cycle. You can either scroll through, or hide the captions and guess for each one. An interesting array.
From the August 22 edition of Fox News' The Five:
In 2008, 6 million Americans didn't vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn?t know how to register. In 2012, we want to make sure no one is left out. On September 25, 2012, volunteers, civic groups, and organizations from all over the country will "hit the streets" for National Voter Registration Day. This single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts will create pervasive awareness of voter registration opportunities--allowing us to reach tens of thousands of voters or more who we could not reach otherwise.
Click Here to be part of the Team
What It Will Accomplish
As the presidential election grows nearer, Rush Limbaugh is reasserting himself as the power center of the Republican Party. The talk-show host implied that his wishes carry greater authority than those of the Republican establishment and casually mentioned that he has been in contact with the Romney campaign.
On his August 21 show, Limbaugh urged Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) to "put the nation" first and come to the "right conclusion" about whether to withdraw from the Missouri Senate race because of his "legitimate rape" remarks. Akin is holding out against a chorus of pleas from top Republicans, including Mitt Romney, to drop out.
Despite Akin's resistance to pressure from Republican officials, Limbaugh guaranteed on his August 22 show that if he had explicitly asked Akin to leave, his voice would have swayed the congressman: "Folks, if I had demanded Akin drop out, he'd be gone."
Limbaugh also hinted that he had been in communication with the Republican presidential candidate, stating that he hasn't spoken to Romney "in weeks."