Waterbury, Connecticut (CNN) – We caught up with GOP Senate candidate Linda McMahon just as the new CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation Poll was released showing her with a 13-point deficit–considerably larger than the 4-point hole she was in according to a Quinnipiac University survey out last week.
As you might expect, McMahon did not fully embrace the findings.
Washington (CNN) – One of this election cycle's major third party groups is announcing it will spend more than four million dollars in the next week in its largest media buy of the season spread across eight of the key Senate battlegrounds.
In an effort to help elect Republicans in these races, American Crossroads will spend almost $800,000 in Colorado and $350,000 in Nevada while its affiliate Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (GPS) is buying time in Illinois, Washington state, Missouri, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
Lewes, Delaware (CNN) – Sarah Palin is taking on the GOP establishment again.
"I can relate to the vicious personal attacks on Christine and can tell you it's sad to see the establishment's desperation in this," the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee says in a new robocall and radio ad taped for Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell who she endorsed last week.
O'Donnell is the insurgent tea-party backed candidate who is now giving the state's best known Republican, Representative Mike Castle, a run for his money in the primary. O'Donnell won the endorsement of the Tea Party Express this summer and both Palin and Senator Jim DeMint threw their support behind her campaign in the last few days.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (CNN) - From union activists to Democratic members of Congress, the message to the White House is clear: They want President Obama to present a clearer, more coherent message about his plans to turn around the economy.
In interviews across Pennsylvania, rank-and-file Democrats said that message has been lacking. And selling a clear vision for economic recovery is the only way to improve Democrats' chances and prevent Republicans from taking control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.
This sense of urgency comes as the president unveils initiatives this week to help spur the economy and job growth.
Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) – Some of the activists attending the Netroots Nation convention have some stern words for the White House and the national media over how they handled the Shirley Sherrod story.
"From the beginning, traditional media outlets that were running with this should have looked at the full video, to get the full context. I mean, it wasn't like it wasn't available. They ran with it because the right wing had one of their manufactured outrages and there was no critical thinking involved in handling that story. And of course the Obama administration trying to make nice with the right wing, overreacted, and shot from the hip, instead of once again, getting the facts," Markos Moulitsas, co-founder of the influential blog the Daily Kos, told CNN.
Many of the attendees here say the administration should not have reacted so quickly after conservative media businessman Andrew Breitbart posted an edited version of Sherrod's speech on Monday that did not fully represent the racial views of the Agriculture Department employee.
Salt Lake City, Utah (CNN) - The political fate of three-term Republican Sen. Bob Bennett will be decided Saturday when 3,500 delegates cast ballots at the party convention.
Bennett faces the real possibility of failing even to make it to a primary, depending on the results of the state's GOP convention Saturday.
" 'Shocked' is not the right word. I'm adjusting," Bennett said. "The anger against Washington is very, very palpable - very, very strong. And since I am in Washington, I become the focus of that anger."
The 76-year-old incumbent is facing off against seven challengers, all of whom are more conservative.
One of the key men leading the effort to oust Bennett is political newcomer David Kirkham, who last year founded the state's Tea Party chapter. He wants to punish the senator for his vote to authorize the 2008 financial bailout.
Washington (CNN) - Thousands of Tea Party activists Saturday will mount their latest cross-country protest against big government and health care reform, hoping its kickoff point also will carry a strong symbolic message.
They are converging on Searchlight, Nevada, hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The four-term Democratic incumbent likes to remind people he was born and raised there in meager surroundings.
Washington (CNN) - Government researchers and officials are hoping to use a relatively small amount of stimulus dollars to help find new ways for the nation to produce, consume and store energy.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, part of the Energy Department, was conceived during the George W. Bush administration but only got its first funding in the stimulus bill - to the tune of $400 million.
Agency director Arun Majumdar says that the nation lags in energy security and that his agency is key to helping the country address the problem aggressively. He aims to invest early in ventures that he says could deliver huge gains if they pan out.
He calls it investing in "American pioneers."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - One of the leading critics of some of the more liberal elements of the House Democrats health reform bill is answering questions about his ties to a company with a stake in the debate.
Rep. Mike Ross, D-Arkansas, is a leader of the Blue Dog Coalition in the House of Representatives who pressed the congressional leadership to include more cost savings than originally proposed. Last month he came out against the idea of a government-run insurance plan that is included in the bills already passed by 3 House committees.
Ross' 2007 sale of his pharmacy in his hometown of Prescott, Arkansas to a company that operates several drug store chains, Stephen LaFrance Pharmacy Inc., is raising new questions. In the past LaFrance has been a critic of universal health care telling the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette it would lead to "...long lines, they won't be able to get treated, potential doctors will be afraid to go into medical school."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As Massachusets politicians ponder whether the Senate seat of Sen. Edward Kennedy will remain vacant until there is a special election, one influential national Democrat is endorsing the idea of an interim appointment.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, likes the idea.
As Congress moves to critical falls this fall on health care, such a move would again give Democrats the crucial 60 votes in the chamber, since Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick would be expected to appoint a Democrat. The two independents in the Senate usually vote with the Democrats. Sixty is considered a supermajority because that is the number needed to cut off any filibuster.
"While it is ultimately up to the people of Massachusetts and their representatives at the State House to decide this matter, Senator Reid agrees with Senator Kennedy and Gov. Patrick that the law should be changed," Jim Manley, a spokesman for Reid, told CNN. "With so many important matters to be decided, the people of the Commonwealth need two Senators to represent Massachusetts until the special election."
Reid's office confirms he has discussed the issue with Governor Patrick, who has embraced the appointment idea. Current state law says the seat will remain vacant until a special election is held between 145 and 160 days after the seat became empty - with the clock starting to tick on Wednesday.