[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/14/art.nrsc.0914.nrsc.jpg caption =" The NRSC is out Tuesday in Kentucky with a new ad attacking Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway."]Washington (CNN) - The economy may be the top issue on the minds of Americans, but the first ad of this election cycle by the National Republican Senatorial Committee is all about health care. And the commercial is running on television in Kentucky, a state where the Republicans are trying to hold onto a seat currently held by the party.
The ad which attacks Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democrats Senate nominee, came out Tuesday, the same day the Conway campaign released a commercial that suggests that Republican candidate Rand Paul's positions would make selling drugs and even prostitution legal.
"Whose horse is Jack Conway riding? When the U.S. Senate debated a government takeover of health care, Conway supported it," says the narrator in the NRSC ad. "When other states took the Obama health care law to court, Attorney General Jack Conway refused. When Obama and Pelosi cut hundreds of billions from Medicare, Conway still said yes. Big government running health care. Big cuts to Medicare. Jack Conway took their side. Jack Conway. He's not riding Kentucky's horse."
So does the placing of the NRSC's first independent expenditure ad in Kentucky mean that national Republicans are nervous that nominee Rand Paul, the Tea Party backed outsider who defeated establishment GOP candidate Trey Grayson in the primary, may not be able to keep the seat in party hands?
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/14/art.gagatweet.0914.twitter.jpg caption =" Lady Gaga sent a tweet to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday."](CNN) - Pop singer Lady Gaga engaged in a back-and-forth Tuesday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Twitter over the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
Gaga encouraged her flocks of fans on Twitter to call upon Reid to schedule a Senate vote on the policy.
"Gay Veterans were my VMA dates. Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell," Gaga tweeted on Tuesday. "CALL HARRY REID to Schedule Senate Vote."
A repeal would end the Clinton-era policy that prevents gay Americans from openly serving in the military.
The problem? The vote is already scheduled for next week. And, Reid actually supports the repeal.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/25/art.mitchdaniels.file4.gi.jpg caption="Gov. Mitch Daniels responded to rumors that he will run for president Tuesday."]
(CNN) - Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said Tuesday he'll make a final decision about running for president in the coming months, but stressed that he currently has no intention of seeking the Republican nomination in 2012.
His statement came in response to the latest story to spark talk about a potential Daniels candidacy: a Politico article detailing a series of private dinners the governor has held with top national GOP donors and policy experts in Indianapolis.
With his star rising among Republicans searching for a staunch fiscal conservative in the 2012 field, the soft-spoken, 5'7" budget hawk has repeatedly denied interest in seeking the White House.
But he's also carefully left the door open to a possible bid. Daniels has strenuously avoided making appearances in key presidential nominating states, for example, but his staff has also welcomed national political reporters to Indiana to profile the governor and his repair work on the state's economy.
The full statement from Daniels, after the jump:
Editors note: Watch for more real time dispatches from the hallways on Capitol Hill as CNN's correspondents and producers cover the machinations of Congress. As always, the CNN Political Ticker is your source for up-to-the-minute political news- now even more so.
5:47 p.m. – California Rep. Laura Richardson is a rank and file Democrat who says she agrees with her leadership and the president that Congress should only vote to extend tax cuts for the middle class. But, she disagrees with plans to take that vote before the election, saying it's too fraught with controversy and potentially hurtful to many of her colleagues in tough races.
I ran into her in the hallway outside of the Speaker's office. She said "I would not suspect we would have a vote before we leave for the election."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/14/art.getty.harry.reid.jpg caption="Harry Reid said he will add the DREAM Act to a defese policy bill next week."]
Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he will add the DREAM Act, a controversial immigration measure, to a defense policy bill the Senate will take up next week.
The decision means the defense bill, which often passes with bipartisan support, will be home to two major, thorny political issues – the other being the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Reid called the DREAM Act "really important" and said it should be passed because it provides a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military. DREAM is an acronym for Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act.
"I know we can't do comprehensive immigration reform," Reid said at a news conference. "But those Republicans we had in the last Congress have left us."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/14/art.odonnell.castle.2shot.candidates.jpg caption =" Mike Castle and Christine O’Donnell are vying for the GOP nomination for Senate in Delaware."]Dover, Delaware (CNN) - Delaware election officials are reporting a better turnout than in some previous off-year primaries. There are just over 180,000 registered Republican voters in the entire state, and the primary is only open to them.
Of the three counties in the state, Sussex, which includes the southern part, says anecdotally it is seeing much higher turnout than normal in an off-year primary. This is the area where Christine O'Donnell has concentrated a lot of her efforts in her bid against Rep. Mike Castle.
"Excellent turnout" is how Kenneth McDowell, the county's elections director, put it to CNN. In many districts there are contested local contests as well helping to boost the number showing up at the polls, and in those areas McDowell expects turnout by the end of the day to be 40-45 percent.
Editor's note: Look for regular Trail Running field updates from CNN's anchors, correspondents and producers spread out across the country covering politics on the campaign trail. As always, the CNN Political Ticker is your source for up-to-the-minute political news– now even more so.
What does it take to decide the balance of power in the U.S. Senate? Maybe fewer than 55,000 Delaware votes.
That's what worries top Republican party officials. Here's the logic. Party big wigs in Delaware and nationwide believe that Tea Party Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell cannot win a general election in November. They're convinced that if she gets the Republican nomination today, Democrats will hold the Delaware Senate seat in November. And top Democrats and Republicans agree this seat could keep the US Senate in Democratic hands.
As for the numbers: there are 182,796 registered Republicans in Delaware. In a hotly contested primary in 2008 the state saw a high 28% turnout. This race has garnered a lot of media attention so even if the turnout is 30% that's 54,838 voters. My producer points out: that's about the number of people who attend a college football game. So following that logic, a stadium size group of voters today could potentially determine who controls the US Senate in November.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/13/art.odonnell.delaware2.jpg caption="Christine O'Donnell's campaign called the Delaware GOP Party's last-minute attacks against her a sign of desperation."]
Dover, Delaware (CNN) - The Christine O'Donnell campaign is blasting the Delaware Republican party for launching a robocall attacking her on Election Day. O'Donnell campaign manager Matt Moran tells CNN the robocall "is yet another desperate, blatantly false claim and act by a big spending, liberal, career politician and his ruling class elite."
By "career politician" he's referring to O'Donnell's Republican opponent - nine term Republican Congressman and former Delaware Governor Mike Castle.
In the robocall - calling likely Republican voters - a woman identifying herself as Kristin Murray, campaign manager for O'Donnell's 2008 the Senate bid, accuses O'Donnell of "living on campaign donations" and alleges O'Donnell "just wanted to make a buck," and "is no conservative."
(CNN) - Tea Party favorites faced off against mainstream Republican candidates in two key races Tuesday, the final day of major primary balloting before the November congressional elections.
Other races taking place in seven states and the District of Columbia included embattled veteran Rep. Charles Rangel's attempt to overcome ethics allegations and win his Democratic primary in New York, and D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's bid to hold off a major primary challenger.
In the highest-profile races, the results will provide further evidence of whether the Tea Party movement can continue to knock off moderate GOP contenders. The victors will run in November against Democrats considered vulnerable due to high unemployment and a general anti-incumbent mood across America.
(CNN) - What started as a media blitz to promote a new economic policy plan ended in a media headache for the Republican gubernatorial front-runner in Maine Monday.
Paul LePage – a conservative candidate who surprised many with his primary win in June – lashed out at reporters Monday after he was asked about allegations of his wife's tax problems.
At the last of three press conferences across the state, LePage angrily interrupted a reporter when he was asked about reports that his wife had improperly received property tax exemptions for homes in both Florida and Maine.
"Ok, let's stop the bulls-, and let's answer the questions the way they should be answered," he said, according to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.