(CNN)–It’s early, and State of the Union is bringing you the best of the Sunday headlines to go with your morning coffee.
Some items on our radar this morning: Campaign spending, the future of the Obama presidency, and the upcoming midterms.
Check out what we’re reading today and watch the show today at 9am/12pm ET.
Yet no matter how the elections turn out, a consensus has emerged in the West Wing that Obama will have to set out goals that do not rely as much on Congress to advance his unfinished reform agenda. Even with his party now in control on Capitol Hill, Obama has had difficulty winning approval for big initiatives such as health care and financial regulation. After the grueling midterms, and with diminished ranks, Democrats will probably return for the new Congress in January more cautious.
"I think attacking the outside money, and specifically attacking the Chamber, is of very limited value to the White House," said former Rep. Martin Frost (D-Texas), who headed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). "I don't think it makes much difference in the election." One Democratic strategist, speaking on background so as not to anger the White House, said of attacking the Chamber: "That dog won't hunt." "In a different election year, this narrative and this messaging could work," the strategist said. "This is not that election year.
In the House, GOP candidates reported raising $104 million from July through September, compared with $89 million for Democrats, new disclosure records show. In the 18 top Senate races, Republicans brought in nearly $60 million; their Democratic opponents raised less than $40 million.
Concerned Taxpayers of America, one of the numerous political groups spending big on this year's elections, appears to consist of two taxpayers in particular.Daniel G. Schuster Inc., an Owings Mills, Md., concrete firm, gave two donations to the group totaling $300,000, new disclosure records show. New York hedge fund executive Robert Mercer gave the group $200,000.And that's the extent of the financial support reported by Concerned Taxpayers, which says it was formed in September "to engage citizens from every walk of life and political affiliation" in the fight against "runaway spending."
Now, with less than three weeks until Election Day, polls show that at least a half-dozen Senate races are too close to call, and perhaps four or five times as many House contests are undecided. Of course, not all of these races will end in uncertainty, but on Nov. 3, the country could wake up and find it has several recounts on its hands.
As the midterm campaign barrels through its final weeks, more Democrats — many but not all in conservative districts in the South — are backing away from Ms. Pelosi and declaring their independence…..At the same time, many of these Democrats, including Mr. Marshall, have received financial aid from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, whose chief fund-raiser is Ms. Pelosi. The money comes despite votes by many of these Blue Dog Democrats against major Democratic initiatives like the health care bill.
Democratic strategists acknowledged they are abandoning a dozen House seats the party now holds, as they try to salvage their majority in the chamber by shoring up candidates with better chances.
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