November 2nd, 2010
04:25 AM ET
4 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click on the headlines for more.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL
For the latest political news:  www.CNNPolitics.com

CNN: After a long and nasty campaign, voters finally decide on Tuesday
No more robocalls interrupting dinner or angry campaign ads at every TV break - the most expensive mid-term elections in history finally take place Tuesday, when voters decide who goes to Congress and governors' offices. Polls indicate a dissatisfied electorate may clean house - literally - by tossing out the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and possibly doing the same in the Senate. With all predictions, including those of Democrats, signaling Republican gains, the election is considered a referendum on both the Democratic-controlled Congress and President Barack Obama's first two years in office.

CNN Poll of Polls: Republicans up 8 on election eve
A CNN Poll of Polls compiled and released Monday indicates that 51 percent of likely voters would choose a Republican candidate for Congress if the election were held today. Forty-three percent of likely voters say they would choose a Democratic candidate. This newest edition of the CNN Poll of Polls is an average of six national polls conducted during the last week of October and released Sunday and Monday: CNN/Opinion Dynamics (10/27-30), Pew Research Center (10/27-30), NBC News/Wall Street Journal (10/28-30), USA Today/Gallup (10/28-31), ABC News/Washington Post (10/25-28), and Reuters-Ipsos (10/28-31). The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.

CNN: Final predictions in battle for Congress
On the eve of the midterm elections, one of the top non-partisan political handicappers is upping its prediction of how many seats the Republicans will win back in the House of Representatives. The Cook Political Report Monday forecast a net gain of 50 to 60 seats for the Republicans in the House, with higher gains possible. The Cook Report was previously forecasting a net gain of 45 to 55 seats for the GOP.

CNN: Obama dials off of 'enemies' as Boehner tees up
President Obama appeared to be walking back his comments in a recent radio interview where he said Latino American voters should "punish our enemies" by turning out to vote in the midterm election. In an interview with radio host Michael Baisden on Monday, President Obama admitted to using the wrong word choice. "I probably should have used the word "opponents" instead of enemies. Now the Republicans are saying that I'm calling them enemies."

CNN: Boehner vs. Obama
He is poised to become the most powerful Republican in Congress if the GOP takes control of the House Tuesday. And Rep. John Boehner's ramping up the rhetoric in anticipation, going after the president. "We have a president in the White House who referred to Americans who disagree with him as 'our enemies,'" Boehner said Monday. "When Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush used the word 'enemy,' they reserved it for global terrorists and foreign dictators – enemies of the United States."

Boston Globe: Results may shrink president’s agenda
President Obama will reduce the scope of his legislative ambitions if Republicans seize control of the House today as is widely predicted, jettisoning proposals to control greenhouse gases and overhaul immigration laws in favor of more modest efforts such as improving education and highways, according to lawmakers, former White House officials, and political analysts.Obama also is expected to engage in negotiations with Republicans on taxes and the federal deficit. As he develops his own 2012 reelection strategy, he will need to be seen as working credibly across the aisle, officials and analysts said.

CNN: Kaine stands firm on Dems keeping both houses
In an election eve interview, Democratic National Committee Chairman and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine remained upbeat about the Democrats' chances in what pollsters are predicting will be a tough midterm for the party that won big two years ago. "We're seeing some of those tough predictions," Kaine told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer in an interview on The Situation Room. But, Kaine said "We believe we'll hold on to both houses." As for Republicans, Kaine said "They think they'll take both houses."

Politico: Spin cycle: What will top Dems say?
The polls aren’t even open yet, and countless contests are too close to call, but we already know what’s going to happen Wednesday morning.The country’s top Democrats – President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine and others – will take stock of the damage, then grudgingly make their way to the cameras and say. . .something. They’ll be expected to offer some explanation for their defeats — and indeed, Obama is expected to take questions from reporters before he heads overseas at week's end, Democrats tell POLITICO. And they’ll have to signal quickly whether they’re going to be basically combative or basically conciliatory toward a Congress that’s shifted to the right. The new strategy might not be fully apparent for weeks or even months, but the initial response will offer clues to what to expect.

CQ Politics: Parties Deploy Lawyers With Recounts in Mind
The national parties have been quietly setting post-campaign strategies for some time, preparing for close races, recounts and just about everything with a vast number of House and Senate seats in play across the map. Publicly, operatives from both parties said they are focused on winning elections. But attorneys and volunteers have already begun fanning out across the country, setting up camp in key tossup states — Colorado, West Virginia, Nevada, Washington and California — to monitor elections and be prepared for any recount fights.

Christian Science Monitor: The real up-and-coming force driving Election 2010? Seniors.
At a recent, community-wide congressional debate in the high school cafeteria here, journalists were scouring the crowd looking for younger voters, the demographic that burst onto the political scene in 2008 and helped put Barack Obama in the White House. They couldn’t find any. They did, however, find Don Potter, the founder and editor of NewSeniors.com – a website written by and for those just turning 65 to foster debate and discussion on issues seniors care about. …Seniors and baby boomers are more engaged in the election and more excited about voting than any preelection polling has found since 1994, according to the Pew Research Center. While it was considered to be youth that ushered in the Obama revolution, it is the older generation that is wielding more power now.

CNN: Who's winning in Nevada? The Reid v. Angle math
Wondering what to watch for in the early Nevada returns? Well the campaigns have already begun spinning the numbers. Here are the Democrats' and Republicans' takes on where things stand. First the facts: According to Nevada elections officials, 65 percent of everyone who will vote in this election has already done so, either by early voting or mail-in ballot. More Democrats voted early than Republicans, but keep in mind, there are more registered Democrats in the state. That's where the agreement ends.

Politico: Lisa Murkowski: I will caucus with GOP
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski told POLITICO unequivocally that she plans to caucus with the Republican Party if she wins her write-in campaign Tuesday. “I have caucused with the Republicans in the past, I will be caucusing with the Republicans when I go back in January,” said Murkowski in a phone interview, responding to recent news reports speculating whether she’d buck the party, and comments Murkowski made over the weekend saying that if elected, she would represent Alaska before the Republican Party.

CNN: Democrats cautiously optimistic in West Virginia
Democratic strategists are becoming increasingly confident that the West Virginia Senate seat of the late Robert Byrd will remain in Democratic hands, believing that momentum is on the side of popular Governor Joe Manchin. Former President Bill Clinton made his second appearance in the state on Monday to help bolster Manchin's prospects, at the same time that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani campaigned for Republican candidate John Raese. Sarah Palin also visited the state on Saturday to stump for Raese.

CNN: O'Donnell campaign resolves ad dispute
It appears differences have been set aside between Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's campaign and Delaware 28 executive producer Tim Qualls as a 24-minute commercial by the candidate is now running on the station. A controversy erupted Monday because the station had not run O'Donnell's ad as previously scheduled.

CNN: Candidates pull ahead in New Hampshire
The Republican Senate candidate and the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in New Hampshire are heading into Election Day with comfortable leads over their opponents, according to a new poll. In the WMUR/UNH New Hampshire Election Poll released Monday, three-term incumbent Democratic Gov. John Lynch leads his Republican opponent, John Stephen, a former state official by 8 percentage points among likely voters, 49 percent to 41 percent. Two percent support the Libertarian candidate and 7 percent are undecided. In the Senate race, Republican Kelly Ayotte is leading Democrat Paul Hodes, 54 percent to 36 percent among likely voters. One percent of voters support the Independent candidate and 8 percent of voters are undecided.

CNN: Phone problems stall last-minute campaign efforts in New Hampshire
Phone service went out at Democratic and Republican field offices in New Hampshire Monday, the day before midterm elections, party officials said. A spike in campaign robocalls may be the culprit, according to Comcast, one of the telephone services in the area. "Comcast - and we believe, other local phone carriers in New Hampshire and Massachusetts - are experiencing severe call volumes on the evening before the election due to auto dialing activity that is generating a massive number of inbound political phone calls to our network," company spokesman Marc Goodman said.

The Hill: Top 10 Obama officials who will be watching the election results
Many Democrats are nervous about Election Day, but some are especially nervous. Some administration officials have worked well with Republicans in Congress, but others have infuriated GOP lawmakers during the first two years of the Obama presidency. Republicans on Capitol Hill crave the oversight power that would come with winning a House majority. It would arm the GOP with something they have not had in four years: subpoena power.

Washington Post: Companies may have to make amends after midterm elections
Republicans have a message for the businesses that worked closely with the Obama administration over the past two years on key controversial issues: We won't forget. Take the case of Wal-Mart, the behemoth big-box retailer that liberals have long loved to hate. Several years ago, it began to break ranks with industry groups by speaking out in favor of an increase to the minimum wage and health-care reform. And, for the first time in its history, it gave more money to Democrats than the GOP for Tuesday's elections.

CNN: Barbour: Presidential considerations start tomorrow
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour reiterated his pledge to help Republican gubernatorial candidates until very end, telling CNN Chief National Correspondent John King on Monday that he will start to think about a potential 2012 presidential run only after Tuesday's election results come in. "I've said from the very beginning, I wasn't gonna do anything about anything except governors' races through tomorrow. We can't wait 'til 2012 to start taking our country back," the Republican Governors Association (RGA) chairman said.

Politics Daily: Think Election Spending Is Excessive? Just Wait Until '12
Campaign spending is expected to hit $4 billion this election cycle, making it the most expensive midterm campaign ever in the United States, but some analysts predict it could be dwarfed compared to what's coming in 2012. Tens of millions of dollars in outside money flooded the election landscape in 2010, following a Supreme Court ruling that earlier this year that gave corporations, unions and private groups more latitude under fund-raising disclosure laws. The looser regulations combined with a presidential election year means many more millions are sure to flow in 2012.

NATIONAL
For the latest national news:  www.CNN.com

CNN: Napolitano: More security measures because of air cargo explosives
The United States is taking additional undisclosed security steps in the wake of explosive devices found in two air cargo packages, but is not yet following Britain's lead in halting unaccompanied air freight from Somalia, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday. In an interview with CNN, Napolitano said the two devices found on air freight planes headed to the United States bore "all the hallmarks" of a plot by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based arm of the terrorist network.

CNN: In wake of cargo plot, U.S. weighs options on Yemen
The Obama administration is having a series of high-level meetings on how to approach the situation in Yemen this week in the wake of a plot to send bombs from Yemen to the United States, senior U.S. officials said. The discussions will address a variety of issues on security and the scale and pace of aid. But officials say last week's incidents have first and foremost highlighted the vulnerabilities in aviation and maritime security in Yemen.

CNN: Appellate panel says 'don't ask, don't tell' should stay during appeal
A federal appeals court sided with the government Monday, allowing the military to maintain its "don't ask, don't tell" policy during an appeal of a lower court ruling that the law barring openly gay and lesbian soldiers is unconstitutional. The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means that the policy remains in place while the government appeals a federal judge's ruling against it. One of the three judges on the panel dissented against parts of Monday's decision.

Sports Illustrated: Giants win first Series since 1954
The San Francisco Giants, who had not won a World Series since moving West in 1958 and whose fans adopted the word "torture" as a team slogan, are baseball's new champions. Ace Tim Lincecum pitched eight innings, allowing only three hits and one run while striking out 10, and until the seventh inning was matched by Rangers ace Cliff Lee out-for-out, as he had allowed only three hits and no walks through six. But Lee's shutout streak ended in the seventh when he allowed a three-run homer to shortstop Edgar Renteria.

INTERNATIONAL
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CNN: Official: Yemen plans to prosecute al-Awlaki
Yemen plans to prosecute militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki for the crime of promoting violence and the killing of foreigners, a Yemeni official told CNN. The request to prosecute al-Awlaki in absentia "will be hopefully officially issued" Tuesday, a Yemeni official in Washington, DC, said. The official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the case will likely be forwarded to the Specialized Criminal Court in Yemen's capital.

CNN: Canada says it will accept Guantanamo detainee Khadr in a year
The Canadian government has agreed to accept Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr after he finishes a year of incarceration in U.S. custody, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. "The American government agreed for Omar Khadr to return to Canada. We will implement the agreement between Omar Khadr and the U.S. government," said Melissa Lantsman, spokeswoman for the Canadian ministry.

BUSINESS
For the latest business news:  www.CNNMoney.com

Financial Times: US shifts G20 currency focus to trade deficits
US officials said they will push for firmer commitments at the forthcoming G20 meeting in Seoul to correct global economic imbalances, but played down the chance of a rapid resolution of tensions over China’s currency. Speaking on Monday ahead of next week’s meeting of G20 heads of government in South Korea, Mike Froman, the White House deputy national security adviser and working-level representative to the grouping, said it was a chance for incremental change. “We do not expect the China currency issue or the imbalance issue to be solved once and for all in Seoul,” he said. “This is part of an ongoing effort.”

In Case You Missed It

CNN correspondents report on the global impact of the U.S. midterm election.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/11/02/bts.midterm.election.world.cnn

One Republican candidate is coming under fire for a radio ad where he says he "understands" blacks.
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2010/11/01/white.candidate.gets.blacks.KARK

Subscribe to the CNN=Politics DAILY podcast at http://www.cnn.com/politicalpodcast

And now stay posted on the latest from the campaign trail by downloading the CNN=Politics SCREENSAVER at http://www.CNN.com/situationroom


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