4) The Department of Justice on Tuesday pre-cleared North Carolina's new district maps on Tuesday. It's a victory for Republicans, but as the Charlotte Observer notes, Democrats are still poised to sue. It's been a busy week in redistricting news, but no story has been a striking as Tuesday's development in Arizona, where the Senate voted to remove the chair of its independent redistricting commission, a move that has Democrats up in arms. 3) For the first time in the history of the ABC News/Washington Post poll, the percentage of Americans who have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party is below 50 percent, according to new data released Wednesday. But the news is even worse for Republicans, who have a favorable rating of just 40 percent, compared to 48 percent for Democrats. Meanwhile, 61 percent of Americans say they have a favorable opinion of the idea of an independent candidate running against the two parties for president. 2) In a new Quinnipiac poll, President Obama's approval rating is up to 47 percent from 41 percent in early October. He also leads both Mitt Romney (47-42) and Herman Cain (50-40) in the poll. One caveat: the crosstabs by party from last month haven not changed much, so it appears that this month's sample is significantly more Democratic. Meanwhile, Romney ties Obama in Florida at 42 percent, according to a new Suffolk University poll. 1) The Cain saga continues, with new developments popping up. The New York Times reports that the National Restaurant Association gave $35,000 (a year's salary) in severance pay to a female staff member in the late '90s after Cain made her uncomfortable working there. Meanwhile, an attorney for the second woman called on the association to release her from a confidentiality agreement. This story isn't going away.