Politics & Policy

Tuesday Morning Tidbits

• A new USA TODAY/Gallup poll shows a record 26 point enthusiasm gap for the GOP. Only 37 percent of Democratic or Democratic-leaning registered voters reported more enthusiasm than normal about voting, compared to 63 percent of Republican or Republican-leaning voters:

“You are seeing a prodigious Republican lead this late in the game,” says Richard Eichenberg, a political scientist at Tufts University who studies polling. “All the numbers add up to what is going to be a pretty seriously bad year for Democrats.”

• With a week to go until Election Day, Sen. John McCain says he worries about GOP candidates taking ‘victory laps.’

• POLITICO’s 35 races to watch on Election Night.

• The 60PlusAssociation is running a new ad comparing the national spending/debt crisis to World War II and urging the repeal of the health-care reform bill:

House:

• First Read looks at the Democrats unlikely path to retaining a majority in the House.

• In Arizona, House Democrats are an endangered species (more here):

Of the state’s eight House members, five are Democrats. That may change next Tuesday, with four of the five in varying degrees of trouble. Democrats, Republicans and independents are about evenly split in Arizona, but Republicans could soon have a virtual lock on the upper reaches of power in the state.

• More than half the members of the Blue Dog Coalition — made up of conservative House Democrats — are at risk:

Of 54 Blue Dogs in the House, six already have retired or decided to seek other offices. Of those trying to stay, 39 are in competitive races, according to the Cook Political Report, and 22 of those are in pure toss-ups.

Senate:

KY — A protester affiliated with MoveOn.org was pulled to the ground and stomped by a Rand Paul supporters ahead of last night’s debate in Lexington:

An investigation is ongoing. As for the debate itself, here are some highlights, as played on Morning Joe, where Paul was unanimously declared the “clear winner”:

Two new polls show the Republican pulling ahead in this race. A Fox News poll has Paul leading by seven points — 50 percent to 43 percent — among likely voters. More than half of voters said they had an unfavorable impression of Jack Conway, and only 38 percent said that Conway shared their values.

The latest PPP survey has Paul in the lead by 13 points, and found Kentucky voters largely turned off by Conway’s infamous “Aqua Buddha” ad — 56 percent said it was “inappropriate;” just 15 percent said it was “appropriate.”

WA — It’s looking more and more like winner of the Washington state senate seat could arrive in the other Washington next year as the majority-making 51st Senator. Republican candidate Dino Rossi sums up the significance of ousting incumbent Sen. Patty “Queen of Pork” Murray:

“With nine, that gives you 50 Republican Senators and 50 Democrat Senators,” Rossi told the crowd. “That puts Joe Biden in charge. But with 10 seats and 51 Republicans, that makes Joe Biden irrelevant. Everyone get why this is so important?”

Andrew StilesAndrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...

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