WASHINGTON (CNN) – If you have not had enough of reform talk, welcome to "Health Care Action Week." That's what Organizing for America is calling its grassroots meetings, phone banks and door-to-door canvassing efforts this week, as it helps push broad Democratic health care reform proposals.
Organizing for America is the grassroots network that was "Obama for America" during the 2008 presidential election cycle. After the inauguration, OFA moved its operations to the Democratic National Committee.
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And between now and the scheduled August 7 recess of Congress, OFA and the DNC have launched 30-second TV and radio ads, some running on CNN, urging the public to get behind the broader health care reform proposals.
The campaign has raised eyebrows for its obvious targeting of certain lawmakers including some moderate Democrats. On the Senate level, the ads will be running in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, North Dakota, Nebraska and Ohio.
In the ads, average Americans give very brief statements about their problems with the current health care system; the ad concludes with them consecutively saying, "It's time!" - meaning it's time to reform the system. At the end, a phone number appears urging viewers to call Senators or Representatives, depending on the target.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As President Barack Obama begins a week full pushing for health care reform, a new national poll indicates the president is slipping on the issue.
Forty-nine percent of people questioned in an ABC News/Washington Post survey released Monday approve of the way Obama is handling health care. That's down four points from last month and down nine points from April. Forty-four percent disapprove, up five points from June and 15 points from April.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll is the third national survey to suggest that the president's approval rating on health care reform is under 50 percent, joining a CBS News poll and a Quinnipiac University survey.
The new poll indicates Obama still has a large advantage over Republicans on the issue. Fifty-four percent of those questioned say they trust Obama to do a better job handling health care than Republicans in Congress, with 34 percent putting more faith in Congressional Republicans than the president.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted July 15-18, with 1,001 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele announced a new television ad campaign Monday that accuses President Obama's push to overhaul the nation's health care system as a "risky experiment," in a speech at the National Press Club.
The 30 second commercial will run in Arkansas, Nevada and North Dakota in what the RNC describes as a "large targeted television ad campaign" on the health care issue.
(Read the script of the RNC's ad and Steele's prepared remarks after the jump)
(CNN) - When it comes to his popularity, a new poll of New York state voters suggests Empire State Gov. David Paterson may have bottomed out.
Thirty-six percent of people questioned in a Siena College Research Institute survey released Monday have a favorable view of Paterson, up from 27 percent in May, with 56 percent holding an unfavorable view, down from 63 percent in April.
The poll indicates that more than six in 10 give Paterson some credit for helping end a standstill in the New York State Senate and a majority believe he acted properly in naming a lieutenant governor.
Paterson was elected New York's lieutenant governor in 2006, and took over when Eliot Spitzer stepped down last year. He's indicated he will run for a full four year term next year.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In an act that might now be considered mainstream, New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie announced his running mate on Twitter this morning.
"I'm proud to announce Sheriff Kim Guadagno as my running mate to #takebackNJ – watch the announcement video at," he wrote on his official campaign Twitter account @ChristieforNJ.
Christie's message, known in social media networking as a "tweet," was followed by a formal press release emailed by his campaign.
(CNN) - A new poll suggests that only three in ten Nevada voters hold a favorable opinion of Senator John Ensign, although most don't want Ensign to resign in the wake of his confession of an extra marital affair with a former staffer. But when the poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon for the Las Vegas Journal Review, asked whether Ensign should run for re-election, less than half the respondents said they would like to see his name on the ballot again when his current term expires.
The poll indicates that 31 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Nevada's junior senator, down eight points from June survey taken immediately after Ensign's admission, and down 22 points from May.
Ensign announced on June 16 that he had had a nine-month extramarital affair with a woman who worked on his campaign staff. Ensign said the relationship ended last August. The woman's husband worked in Ensign's Senate office.
"The Mason-Dixon poll indicates that the circumstances surrounding the affair, rather than the affair itself, are what bother Nevada voters," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Only three in ten say that the fact that Ensign had an affair is a very serious matter. But twice as many feel that way when told that the affair was with his wife's best friend, and half feel the same when told that the woman in question was the wife of a top Senate aide."
“You had one leader of the Republican Party call her the equivalent to the head of the Klu Klux Klan,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy said on CNN’s State of the Union. “Another leader of the Republican Party called her a bigot,” Leahy added, later explaining that he was making reference to comments by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
After Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Ranking Republican on the committee, referred to Sotomayor’s past involvement in the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, Leahy again suggested that some Republicans were being unfairly critical of Sotomayor.
“I hope we don’t go back to the day when we used to have African-Americans up for confirmation and say ‘Yes, but you belong to the NAACP so, you know, we’re really suspicious of you,’” Leahy said CNN’s State of the Union.
“C’mon, stop the racial politics,” Leahy added.
Leahy remarks drew an immediate response from Sessions.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
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