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Politics

Hotline Sort: Tight As A Tick In Wisconsin

April 6, 2011
5) A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) standing plummeting among his state's voters. In just over two months' time, the percentage of voters who disapprove of Scott's job performance has skyrocketed -- from 22 percent at the end of January, to 48 percent today. His approval rating has held steady at 35 percent. Independents, particularly, have turned on Scott, with his disapproval rating rising from 18 percent to 48 percent in that time. 4) Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) continues to build his already sizable war chest. He plans to report $8.3 million cash on hand after raising $1.7 million during the first three months of 2011. He'll also start his own PAC. As Brown continues to raise big money, the Democratic field is becoming more uncertain. We reported Tuesday that Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll (D), after taking a close look at a bid, won't be running. National Journal's Jim O'Sullivan takes a closer look (subscriber) at four reasons why Driscoll's decision matters. 3) Following the release of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's budget proposal Tuesday, the initial reactions from the prospective GOP presidential candidates included praise of Ryan, and support for his budget in principle. But the race's frontrunners didn't tie themselves to his plan to alter Medicare and Medicaid. Responding to Ryan's proposal is a political high-wire act of the highest order for many Republicans. They want to show that they're serious at tackling the deficit and reforming government programs. But they don't want to come across as hostile to seniors and the middle-class, two crucial voting blocs in 2012 that trending their way in 2010. 2) A Tuesday White House meeting between Obama and Congressional leaders did not a produce a budget compromise, even as the possibility of a government shutdown after Friday grows more real. Afterward, Obama made a rare Brady Briefing Room appearance. "If they can't sort it out, then I want them back here tomorrow. And if that doesn't work, we'll invite them again the day after that," he said. 1) State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, the Republican-favored candidate, leads union-backed Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race by a very narrow margin Wednesday morning. With 99 percent of the vote counted, fewer than 600 votes -- about 0.04 percent of ballots -- separated the candidates (the latest tally according to the AP has Prosser leading Kloppenburg 733,074-732,489). Expect a protracted fight over absentee ballots and those final few precincts, many of which are in Democratic-leaning counties. That close margin had insiders from both sides talking about the possibility of a recount. Any recount could be followed by lawsuits -- litigation that, ironically, would be decided by the state's high court. --Steven Shepard contributed to this post
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