Archives for Politics

Democrats gamble big bucks on close races

Struggling to build a firewall against a Republican takeover, congressional Democrats are pouring money into roughly two dozen tight races around the country in the campaign’s closing weeks while pulling it back from others where their chances seem slimmer. With polls showing Republicans increasingly well-positioned to seize control of the House, the Democrats are planning TV ad blitzes to shore up their best-positioned incumbents and a handful of challengers in races they believe they can still win. At the same time, they’re scaling back advertising plans to help a number of lawmakers including Reps. Betsy Markey of Colorado, Harry Teague
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No place for Bush in midterm elections

Former President Bill Clinton is busy on the campaign trail, helping candidates in races from Florida to Washington state. His successor, George W. Bush? Holed up in Texas. Bush left office deeply unpopular and sour on domestic politics. After leaving Washington and returning to Texas, he has kept a low profile, working on his memoir and appearing only occasionally at paid speeches. Aides say he has no plans to be a figure in this year’s elections, which could see major gains for the GOP. Republicans, who paid electoral costs in 2006 and 2008 for Bush’s unpopularity, are hardly clamoring for
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Democrats see some hope amid midterm election gloom

With only weeks left in the campaign, some staggering Democrats have jumped back into contention in congressional and gubernatorial races around the country, giving the party glimmers of hope that Election Day won’t also be doomsday. In Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn has caught up in recent polls after running scathing ads suggesting his opponent is a gun-happy tax cheat who wants to cut the minimum wage. And California Sen. Barbara Boxer gained by portraying the Republican candidate as a heartless corporate bigwig. The Democratic movement, seen in about a dozen races in six states, is limited and hardly amounts to
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Midterm election campaigns get down and dirty

Leaked audio in Nevada reveals a Republican Senate candidate trashing her party. Video of a Democratic Senate hopeful wrongly claiming he served in Vietnam becomes a TV ad in Connecticut. A housekeeper steps forward to say her employer, California’s GOP gubernatorial nominee, knew she was an illegal immigrant. Digging for dirt, political foes are working overtime to surprise rivals with skeletons and other embarrassments, forcing them to defend themselves rather than focus on their closing arguments in the homestretch of critical midterm elections. Control of Congress and of statehouses nationwide is at stake on Nov. 2, and — behind the
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Rahm must reintroduce himself to Chicago

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said he plans to hit Chicago’s grocery stores, train stops, “bowling alleys and hot dog stands” as he prepares to run for mayor of the nation’s third-largest city. Emanuel announced Sunday in a video posted on his website, ChicagoforRahm.com, that he’s preparing to run. He had been careful not to launch his candidacy from Washington and headed to Chicago immediately after his resignation was announced by President Barack Obama on Friday. In the video, Emanuel said he’s embarking on a “Tell It Like It Is” listening tour of Chicago. “As I prepare
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As midterm elections approach, Democrats see hope

After enduring months of bad news and gloomy political forecasts, some Democrats are seeing signs of hope that Republican gains in the November 2 congressional elections will not be as big as predicted. A modest boost in the party’s national poll numbers and an upturn for Democratic candidates in a few key states, particularly California and Washington, have fueled Democratic hopes that a yearlong Republican wave of momentum may have crested. Several recent opinion polls also show a slight erosion in the huge Republican edge in enthusiasm for voting as President Barack Obama turns up his attacks on Republican economic
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Where’s Harry? Where’s Sharron?

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican rival Sharron Angle, both known for their verbal gaffes, are avoiding potentially unfriendly voters as much as each other. In the nation’s most prominent Senate battle, only one debate has been scheduled. Meanwhile, the candidates have made few public appearances at events where they might face tough questions. Nevada isn’t an Iowa or a New Hampshire. There’s no tradition of candidates feasting on funnel cake at the county fair or having a pint with constituents at the corner pub. Still, voters say they want more from the candidates, who have largely waged
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Republicans swamp Democrats with campaign ads

In one way at least, the fight for control of Congress is grossly one-sided. Just five weeks from midterm elections, groups allied with the Republican Party and financed in part by corporations and millionaires have amassed a crushing 6-1 advantage in television spending, and now are dominating the airwaves in closely contested districts and states across the country. The extra firepower on the conservative side comes as some key Democratic-leaning organizations are experiencing unexpected trouble raising money or motivating supporters. The advertising mismatch, reflected in campaign documents obtained by The Associated Press, is hampering efforts by President Barack Obama and
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Desperate Democrats try to rebrand themselves

Rep. Dina Titus has been a loyal soldier in pushing the Democrats’ ambitious agenda, voting for health care legislation, extended unemployment benefits, new energy taxes and a repeal of the military’s ban on gays serving openly. Her campaign signs, however, proclaim Titus an “independent voice” for Nevadans. Aware that their stock has taken the same tumble as home values, Congress‘ most vulnerable Democrats are declaring their independence from their party’s agenda in Facebook profiles, television advertisements, news interviews and campaign websites leading up to the Nov. 2 election. That’s when Republicans hope to retake control of the House they lost
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Polls show good news for California Democrats

Democrat Jerry Brown, criticized for a slow start in his campaign for California governor, has opened a narrow lead over Republican nominee and former eBay chief Meg Whitman, according to a poll released on Sunday. The new survey by the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California also shows incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer — facing the toughest re-election fight of her career — widening her margin over Republican challenger Carly Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett-Packard. Brown, a former governor who is currently the state’s attorney general, holds a 49 percent to 44 percent lead over Whitman
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