(CNN) - A new poll out of Florida offers the state's three Senate candidates some feedback on the effectiveness of their campaigns–but none of it is good for Charlie Crist.
The state's Republican-turned-independent governor is trailing Republican Marco Rubio by a 40-28 point margin among likely voters, according to a Mason-Dixon poll released Saturday. Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek has advanced five points in the last month to 23 percent.
Those five points have come at the expense of Crist, who has dropped five points since the same poll was conducted in August. Rubio has gained two points in the last 30 days.
Washington (CNN) - Depending on who was talking Sunday, the Tea Party movement is either an extremist force dividing Republicans or a group of disgruntled taxpayers setting the government on a proper course.
The conservative political force has shaken up this year's congressional elections, backing candidates who defeated Republican incumbents and other mainstream GOP candidates in primaries across the country.
Sal Russo, chief strategist for the Tea Party Express - the most organized and visible of the movement's factions - told the CBS program "Face the Nation" that his group is a political action committee comprising members limited to donations of up to $5,000 with no corporate contributions allowed.
(CNN) - A new poll should be welcome news to California Democrats.
According to a Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll released Sunday, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer holds an 8 percentage point lead over former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in the state's race for Senate. Likely voters favor the three-term senator 51 percent to 43 percent over Fiorina. Four percent of likely voters remain undecided.
Among voters who were identified as being most enthusiastic about voting this year, Boxer trails Fiorina by 17 points.
The poll also found that Democratic state Attorney General Jerry Brown leads former eBay CEO Meg Whitman 49 percent to 44 percent in the state's gubernatorial race. Five percent of likely voters were undecided. Brown's 5 percentage point lead is within the survey's margin of error.
Washington (CNN) - Democrats and Republicans both say they want Bush-era tax cuts extended this year for most, if not all Americans. Then why has it been so hard to make it happen?
The answer is election-year politics, with each party battling for any advantage in a climate of voter anger about politics-as-usual in Washington.
Washington (CNN) - Republicans' "Pledge to America" plan released last week is the first step in starting a national dialogue, a Republican congresswoman told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on Sunday, when asked why the 21-page manifesto lacked specifics.
"This isn't the Republican platform," Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said on CNN's State of the Union. "This isn't everything the Republicans want to accomplish. These are the first steps, these are priority issues that we believe need to be addressed today."
Republicans have learned from their losses in recent years and have redoubled efforts to listen to voters, Rodgers said, adding that the GOP's new proposals reflect a change in the party.
(CNN) - If Rahm Emanuel wants to run for mayor of Chicago–and it's pretty safe to say he wants to–he may have to do it without the endorsement of a big name in Illinois politics.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, the state's senior senator, declined to endorse Emanuel for mayor Sunday on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley.
"I have said publicly to Rahm Emanuel, if you want to run, you can't do it from the White House. You need do it from the loop in Chicago," Durbin said, referring to the Windy City's major downtown commercial center.
So, today's show. I think I would start with Senator Dick Durbin. I was interested in the fact that he doesn't think there's any difference between President Obama and candidate Obama in terms of relating to the American people. Basically blamed it all on the Republicans saying they are the ones that are responsible for the tone in Washington. Pressed about whether the Democrats have any culpability here he said 'well I wouldn't say we've done it perfectly' but basically the message still is what it's been, “Republicans, Republicans, Republicans try to get in the way of everything we do.” Also thought it was interesting talking about what would define a good night on election night for Democrats - the minimalist approach. He just wants to hold on to both sides of Congress so he may get that wish, he may not, particularly on the House side. That is now what is defining a good night for Democrats. Which pretty much tells you where we are in an election season that seems to favor Republicans.
(CNN) - Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate, said Sunday that his party does not have the votes they need to pass a tax cut extension for families making less than $250,000 a year.
"I can count, and I know you can too," Durbin told CNN's Candy Crowley on State of the Union. "We have 59 Democrats and not a single Republican in the Senate supports our position."
Democrats need 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a Republican filibuster and pass their tax extension legislation.
Washington (CNN) - Republican Minority Leader John Boehner expressed confidence Sunday he would become House speaker if conservatives prevail in November.
"I believe I have the support of my colleagues, current and future," Boehner told FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace.
If elected, he would likely preside over an unwieldy group of moderate, conservative and Tea Party Republicans.