Archives for Politics

Republicans getting most benefit from outside groups big spending

A year ago, two top Republican strategists sat down for lunch at the venerable Mayflower Hotel, five blocks from the White House, calculating how to exploit the voter anger they had seen erupt at Democratic town hall meetings that summer. Today, the money-raising success of the GOP-allied attack led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Karl Rove-inspired American Crossroads has stunned opponents and even its own architects. It’s one big slice of the estimated $3.5 billion expected to be spent on this year’s campaigning, a record for a midterm election. Financed to a great degree by undisclosed donors
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Republicans could control redistricting too

The Republicans’ expected gains next week go way beyond Congress. The GOP could capture new Senate or House majorities in a dozen to 18 states — along with critical new power to redraw district maps and influence elections for a decade to come. Three of the biggest prizes are New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. All three states are expected to lose seats in Congress as a result of the 2010 census, and that’s sure to ignite boundary fights. A party’s congressman on the wrong end of redistricting can find the district he’s represented for years no longer exists. Democrats have
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Warning to GOP: It ain’t over ’till the fat lady votes

To understand Republicans’ nagging fear that the Nov. 2 elections might not be quite the massive triumph that many have predicted, check out Pennsylvania’s perplexing Senate race. Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak has trailed Republican Pat Toomey for months, and a GOP victory always has seemed likely, given that it’s a Republican-trending year in this perpetually contested state. Yet recent polls suggest Sestak has closed the gap, and Republican leaders are imploring supporters not to panic even as they ask themselves: What’s going on? The Sestak-Toomey race mirrors other Senate contests that are making this one of the most intriguing and
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One third of voters could still switch candidates before election

One in three people has yet to lock onto a choice in the Nov. 2 congressional elections, according to an Associated Press-GfK Poll. Yet in this year of the fed-up voter, even these folks offer little hope to Democrats. Despite record political spending and months of frenzied campaigning, one-third of likely voters remain steadfastly undecided or favor a candidate but say they could change their mind, according to the survey. Such a large group might seem like a mother lode of opportunity for Democrats scuffling to unearth enough votes to prevent a Republican takeover of Congress. Yet a close look
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Michael Steele’s tarnished legacy at the Republican National Committee

In the most favorable political environment for Republicans in decades, party chairman Michael Steele ordinarily might be lavished with the praise of candidates and party officials for leading the GOP to the brink of a historic triumph. But no. Instead, the party’s controversial chairman heads an organization that lags the Democrats by $15 million in fundraising, is in debt and has largely been overshadowed by third-party groups that have raised in a few months almost as much as Republican National Committee has since January 2009. Frustration with the chairman is evident in some states. In Ohio, where the governor’s race
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Boehner plays politics with plum committee assignments

Deep in rural Georgia, the Republican who may become the next speaker of the U.S. House is playing let’s-make-a-deal with voters. Minority Leader John Boehner promised this week that if southwest Georgia residents unseat Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop, he will support placing GOP challenger Mike Keown on the House Agriculture Committee. It’s a promise designed to get Keown votes in a red-soil district that harvests the nation’s largest peanut and pecan crop. As Republicans campaign to win a majority in Congress, Boehner has dangled similar promises in Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, Minnesota and Hawaii, sometimes in districts where single economic interests
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Right-wing extremist Cantor claims tea party is not extreme

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, the Virginia Republican and darling of the party’s extreme right wing, claims tea party supporters are not extremists. As compared to what? Cantor told CBS’s “The Early Show” today that tea party activists “are people who are concerned about the fiscal state of this country.” If Republicans recapture the House, Cantor pledged to work closely with the new tea party-backed GOP members as the new majority leader. Of course he would. Cantor has close ties to the right-wing, well-heeled Koch brothers who back the tea party and paid for the GOP consulting firm that created
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Obama drawing large crowds at campaign rallies

Focused on turning out base voters, President Barack Obama is being cheered at raucous rallies and spreading this message: Don’t turn your back on the change happening in Washington. He’s expecting a double dose of cheer on Friday when he headlines a pair of rallies to boost two high-profile Democrats in tossup races: California Sen. Barbara Boxer and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. “We are excited about these last 10 days” before the Nov. 2 election, Obama said Thursday night. The president is on a four-day campaign swing and visiting states where Democratic Party strategists think he’s the
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Poll predicts huge gains by Republicans

All signs point to huge Republican victories in two weeks, with the GOP now leading Democrats on virtually every measure in an Associated Press-GfK poll of people likely to vote in the first major elections of Barack Obama‘s presidency. In the final survey before Election Day, likely voters say the GOP would do a better job than Democrats on handling the economy, creating jobs and running the government. Most also think the country’s headed in the wrong direction. More than half disapprove of Obama’s job performance. And even more don’t like the Democratic-controlled Congress. Neither party is popular. But likely
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Obama returns to old themes to close out election

Closing out a perilous election season for Democrats, President Barack Obama‘s final argument sounds like this: Do you want to stick with progress or return to failure? He’s talking about control of Congress, not himself, but there is no escaping his imprint on this election. With every echo of the spirited 2008 campaign, every mention of the unfinished work and every photo he takes with another candidate, Obama serves up another reminder that his own agenda is at stake on Nov. 2. It is part of the tricky balance for the White House — deploying Obama to the right places
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