(CNN) - A veteran Republican strategist who helped engineer John McCain's South Carolina presidential primary victory in 2008 has joined Nikki Haley's gubernatorial campaign as a senior adviser.
Trey Walker, who also advised McCain's unsuccessful 2000 bid, has signed on with the Republican to assist with communications efforts.
(CNN) - Eager to prevent an embarrassing loss of his old Senate seat, President Obama is heading to Chicago Thursday for two fundraisers on behalf of Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias, and CNN has learned Obama will be returning home yet again in the final days of the midterm election to try and help Giannoulias win a race that could determine who controls the chamber next year.
Two senior Democratic officials told CNN to expect Obama to return to Illinois at least one more time in the final few weeks of the campaign in order to go to bat for Giannoulias, who is locked in a virtual dead heat with Republican nominee Mark Kirk.
Hartford, Connecticut 9:08 a.m. - Maybe the third time's a charm for Connecticut Democratic senatorial nominee Richard Blumenthal who has had a hard time offering a clear answer about government's role creating jobs.
When his opponent Linda McMahon asked him in a debate Monday night "how do you create a job," he offered a meandering reply explaining jobs can be created "in a variety of ways by a variety of people." He went on assert government can help preserve jobs by providing more capital to small businesses, tax policies that promote job creation and intervention by government to help promote American-made products.
(CNN) - It was the Republican candidate for Senate in Florida that received frontrunner treatment at a debate Wednesday night.
Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio was attacked by the two other candidates running for Senate, Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek.
UPDATE 11:00 a.m. ET: The NRSC has removed the ad from YouTube.
(CNN) - An ad out this week that's financed by National Republicans portrays three West Virginia voters in a rustic-looking diner declaring that Gov. Joe Manchin, the Democrat's Senate nominee, should stay "right here in West Virginia."
But there is one caveat: The ad was shot at least 250 miles east of the state, in Philadelphia, and features not actual West Virginians, but paid actors instead. And to look the part of a West Virginian, the talent agency in charge of casting for the spot sent out a call for a "'Hicky' Blue Collar look."
(CNN) - Former Sen. Rick Santorum has announced he is forming a political action committee in the key early-voting state of Iowa, the latest sign the Pennsylvania Republican is getting serious about a White House bid in 2012.
"My federal PAC, America's Foundation, has already assisted some candidates in the Hawkeye State, but I am eager to do more and the Iowa Keystone PAC will help us do that," Santorum said in a statement. "There are many strong conservatives running in Iowa and assisting them with financial support may help put them in the victory column come Election Day."
(CNN) - Early voting gets underway in Arizona Thursday. The state becomes the tenth in the nation where early or state-wide absentee voting is underway in the November 2 midterm elections.
Vermont kicked it off back on Sept. 20, followed by South Dakota on Sept. 21, Iowa and Wyoming on Sept. 23, Nebraska on Sept. 27, Ohio on September 28, Wisconsin on October 3, and California and Indiana on Oct. 4.
(CNN) - When the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced a year ago this month that President Obama would be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Michael Steele criticized the decision and pointedly asked what had Obama accomplished to deserve such a high honor?
It was a predictable response from the Republican National Committee chairman, who is charged with being overtly political on such matters, much in the same way the Democratic National Committee chairman trains his fire daily on GOP lawmakers and policies.
(CNN) - Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod played the presidential guessing game with David Letterman last night on the "Late Show."
Axelrod was asked about possible Republican presidential candidates including former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, businessman Donald Trump and former presidential candidate and Fox News host, Mike Huckabee.
Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
IL 10: Rep. Mark Kirk is running for Senate, leaving an open seat.
Primary: February 2, 2010
Location:North Shore, Chicago
Days until the election: 26
(CNN) - According to prominent political analyst Charlie Cook, this is one of the best shots Democrats have to pick up a seat in the House of Representatives. Incumbent Rep. Mark Kirk (R) is running for Senate in Illinois, leaving an open seat in a left-leaning district. Also a bonus to the Dems, their candidate, Dan Seals, has run for this seat twice before and has a base and solid recognition in the district.