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Politics

Hotline Sort: Playing the Giffords Card

June 4, 2012
6) Both Democrat Tom Barrett and Republican Scott Walker barnstormed Wisconsin over the weekend, while their campaign operations focused on turnout, with so few undecided voters up for grabs. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a good roundup:

While the candidates were on the trail, their campaign organizations were maneuvering armies of volunteers to man phone banks and fan out across neighborhoods. With few if any undecided voters remaining, Democrats and Republicans are relying on turnout operations to get their voters to the polls and decide races for governor, lieutenant governor and four state Senate seats.

5) The latest sign of the changing electoral map: Polls, both public and internal, show the presidential race in Wisconsin is very close, and now Romney is expanding his efforts in the state. The New York Times reports that Team Romney is now acting as if the Badger State is a very winnable battleground, and he "intends to start building a campaign operation off the robust get-out-the-vote machinery assembled for Walker." 4) Given the numerous contrasts the presidential candidates will continue to draw with another, Sunday's NYT piece on what President Obama and Mitt Romney have in common is worth a read. Did you know that both are fans of Star Trek? 3) If he wants to be Romney's VP running mate, Virginia Bob McDonnell probably shouldn't be publicly praising the Obama stimulus, as he did in a CNN appearance on Sunday. It wasn't a huge deviation from message (he offered praise of its short-term effect while criticizing its longer-term impact), but one that can't be made again if he's asked to join the ticket. 2) Friday's jobs report was bad news for the Obama administration, and the Wall Street Journal reports that the White House "is pressing for bigger action from Congress and searching for ways to prod Europe to do more to pump up global economic activity. But President Barack Obama has limited options to stimulate the economy because of resistance from both European leaders and congressional Republicans. That is why much of the Obama team's attention is focused on blaming the GOP for blocking actions, both in the past and present." Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is running a new ad in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The spot hits Romney's economic record as governor of Massachusetts. 1) Dogged by more negative headlines about her claim to Native American heritage last week, Elizabeth Warren had the weekend she needed, steamrolling the competition at the state Democratic convention on Saturday with 95.77 percent of the support, denying challenger Marisa DeFranco a spot on the primary ballot. It's the first time since 1982 that a Democratic candidate has cleared the field and avoided a primary, and it's the largest convention margin of victory ever for an open seat. Make no mistake: It's a decisive win. Sure, no one had much doubt that Warren would be the nominee, but even some of her most enthusiastic supporters didn't expect her to clear the field at the convention. On the polling front, Warren's in decent shape. She's in a statistical tie with Sen. Scott Brown (Brown's winning 39 to 37 percent) in a new Boston Globe poll released on Saturday. The latest Western New England University/MassLive.com/Springfield Republican poll also shows a dead heat between Warren and Brown, with the Democrat leading 45 percent to 43 percent. The Globe poll shows Warren's negatives rising, but her standing in the head-to-head is stable, having not changes since March. Meanwhile. Democrats are blasting around a Boston Globe story about Brown shielding banks from some of the tough provisions of Dodd-Frank, even after he touted his deciding vote in favor of it. Finally, for the race that loves process stories: Keep an eye this week on the back and forth over debates. Brown's accepted a debate invitation and is calling on Warren to do the same. Warren challenged Brown to debates on Saturday, but hasn't yet committed to any specifics. "My campaign has received a number of requests from all over the commonwealth, and we will be reaching out to the Brown campaign to discuss debates," Warren said on Sunday. -- Scott Bland contributed
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