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What We Learned: Back to School What We Learned: Back to School

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What We Learned: Back to School

-- Democrats pushed back hard this week against the notion that the Wisconsin recall election is out of their reach with the release of poll after poll showing a margin of error race between Scott Walker and Tom Barrett. But in each poll, Walker was winning. It says a lot about a candidate's chances when allies are leaking polls showing him losing. -- There's plenty of debate about just how much a 21-year-old with a bottomless wallet and a super PAC helped Thomas Massie win in Kentucky 4th congressional district Republican primary this past week. But regardless of the spin, it certainly didn't hurt Massie's campaign to have advertisements boosting him, attacking his opponents, and a ground operation dedicated to getting out votes, all without him having to lift a finger. Now, just imagine the outcome if a Sheldon Adelson decides to get involved in a House primary. This very well may be the harbinger of campaigns to come, due to the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. -- First lady Michelle Obama is kicking off her book tour next week for "American Grown," a book on gardening and healthy eating. For a book written by a candidate's spouse in an election year, the subject matter is pretty apolitical. The timing, however, is not. Obama will be on The View, Good Morning America and The Daily Show on May 29, the same day Romney is expected to clinch the Republican nomination in the Texas primary. -- The war for (not against) women is likely to drag on interminably. This week, House Republicans formed the Women's Policy Committee in an effort to blunt Democratic criticism of the GOP's stance on issues important to female voters. Meanwhile, Democrats are sticking to their "war on women" talking points, seeking to link forthcoming equal pay legislation to other Democratic measures that recently have met with Republican resistance, such as the Senate-passed Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and employer mandates for contraception coverage. Given the fact that women represent over half the electorate this fall, the parties are likely to continue courting them until at least November. -- Early in the week, critics of Rush Limbaugh celebrated data indicating that his show's ratings had dropped significantly in important markets. Their celebrations may have been premature because further analysis shows that Limbaugh's ratings really only returned to the status quo. After his controversial comments about Sandra Fluke, Limbaugh's ratings ticked up. Once the hype died down, however, his ratings returned to the ballpark of pre-controversy levels.

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