Welcome back to Hotline Sort. Obama releases a two-minute ad making the case for his re-election, Berkley and Heller debate tonight, Democratic outside groups are spending in the Arizona Senate race, and the Connecticut GOP scores a ballot victory.
11) The Connecticut Supreme Court sided with the state GOP, ruling that their candidates, including Mitt Romney and GOP Senate nominee Linda McMahon, should appear on the top of the ballot (we noted that Republicans were suing for the top ballot line back in August).
10) And Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy is out with a new attack ad in the Connecticut Senate race. The spot features him talking about his middle class roots, his jobs plan, and his tax plan. "But Linda McMahon's tax plan? It gives her a $7 million tax cut," he says. "And it cuts programs for Connecticut's middle class. And Medicare for seniors."
9) In New Hampshire's gubernatorial race, Republican Ovide Lamontagne and Democrat Maggie Hassan are neck and neck in a poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the New Hampshire Democratic Party: Hassan edges Lamontagne 48 percent to 46 percent.
8) It'll be another week or so before outside groups start airing House ads in Philadelphia's expensive TV market, but the National Republican Congressional Committee is beginning a tough, lower-cost effort against Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick's opponent today, launching robocalls and online ads tying Democratic attorney Kathy Boockvar to convicted murderer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Boockvar doesn't have a direct connection to the case, but she and her husband had a law practice together, and her husband represented a witness in the killing of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, while several other groups connected to him have done advocacy on Abu-Jamal's behalf.
An excerpt from the robocall script: "The husband-and-wife law firm of Boockvar and Yeager has represented one of the leading activists for Mumia Abu-Jamal - and Boockvar's husband was a lawyer for a witness to the murder who accused the cops of pressuring her. ... Last year, a group tied to Boockvar's husband, held an event at the Constitution Center honoring Mumia Abu-Jamal. The cop killer called into the event from prison."
The NRCC expects to contact between 200,000 and 300,000 people in Pennsylvania's 8th District with the calls and related online ads. Groups may be waiting to hit TV in Philadelphia (and Chicago, for that matter), but House campaigns there are still heating up, especially in what could be Democrats' best pickup opportunity in Pennsylvania.
7) In Utah's 4th District, Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson
and his GOP opponent Mia Love faced off
in their first debate Wednesday night. The Salt Lake Tribune
Rep. Jim Matheson accused Republican candidate Mia Love of taking a slash-and-burn approach to the federal budget, hurting police and college students, while Love painted Matheson as a big-spending, pro-government Democrat in their first debate Wednesday.
"There's two different directions we can take," Love said. "My opponent is supporting Barack Obama. Which [means] everything ends up with bigger spending, more borrowing and more debt. I've got the support of Mitt Romney [who will] make sure we champion the private sector so you can have a job."
Matheson countered that he has taken a pro-business approach in Congress, which is why groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Businesses, which typically support Republicans, have endorsed him.
6) Democratic outside groups jumping into the Arizona Senate race, a day after an internal Richard Carmona
poll showed the Democrat in a dead heat with GOP Rep. Jeff Flake
VoteVets.org and Majority PAC are launching a $280,000 ad
buy hitting Flake on veterans issues (something Carmona also went after his opponent on in a recent ad).
5) The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is up with a another television ad
painting Indiana GOP nominee Richard Mourdock
as extreme. It hits him on Social Security and Medicare, saying Mourdock thinks a "tea party plan to end Medicare as we know it 'doesn't go far enough.'"
Mourdock, meanwhile, is trying to make his candidacy more attractive to moderate Republicans
. The AP reports that in place of Mourdock's unstinting conservative agenda in the primary "are support for parts of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, pledges to protect Democratic-championed programs like Social Security and Medicare, and even the once-shunned notion of compromise."
4) Democratic Virginia Senate nominee Tim Kaine
has a new ad
out today, attacking GOP opponent George Allen
on Social Security and Medicare. People in the ad hit Allen for voting to partially privatize Social Security, and to cut Medicare.
Meanwhile, Workers Voice is making a $54,000 online ad buy hitting Allen
on, among other things, the infamous "Macaca" comment.
3) First debate tonight between GOP Sen. Dean Heller
and Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley
in the Nevada Senate race: It'll air at 8:00 p.m. local time on PBS in Nevada, and on CSPAN.
2) The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which pledged it wouldn't support Rep. Todd Akin
financially after his comments about "legitimate rape," shifted its position on Wednesday, a day after the deadline for him to withdraw from the ballot had passed. They did not say yet
whether they'd begin pouring money into Missouri.
1) President Obama is up
with a 2-minute long ad
featuring him speaking to the camera, talking plans for a second term. "It's time for a new economic patriotism," says Obama. The ad will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.
And Romney released a new spot saying
Obama "wages war on coal while we lose jobs to China."
Scott Bland contributed