Welcome back to Hotline Sort.. It's debate night in two pivotal Senate races, House Majority PAC targets Allen West, Baldwin and Tester debut new ads, Cicilline leads in an internal poll, and is Pawlenty skeptical of Romney's presidential prospects?
13) Here's the New York Post, on Monica Lewinsky's memoir:
Monica Lewinsky is promising to reveal secret love letters to Bill Clinton and his penchant for kinky sex in a new tell-all about her days as his favorite intern.
Lewinsky, who turns 40 next year, is out for "revenge" and ready to air bombshell details from her Oval Office trysts with the former Horndog-in-Chief in a $12 million memoir, according to friends.
12) New gig for TPaw: The former Minnesota governor will be CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable.
His decision to take a private sector job suggests he's not all that confident of landing a Cabinet post, given Romney's recent campaign struggles. He has been one of Romney's most reliable surrogates on the campaign trail.
11) Here's a race you don't hear much about since the GOP runoff: Texas Senate. And here's why: Democratic nominee Paul Sadler released an internal poll -- showing him down 17 points to GOP nominee Ted Cruz.
10) A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court confirms that Texas will use the current maps for congressional districts for the 2012 election.
9) A day after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a poll showing Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., staked to a lead with 46 percent, Cicilline's campaign released an internal survey showing nearly identical results. In a three-way matchup between the freshman Democrat, GOP challenger Brendan Doherty and independent David Vogel, Cicilline drew 46 percent support in the poll, versus 36 percent for Doherty and 7 percent for Vogel. Forty-six percent is dangerous territory for an incumbent, though Cicilline draws increased support in a head-to-head matchup against Doherty, which is important to consider since independents often over-perform in poll results compared to actual election results. Matched up against just Doherty, Cicilline led the Republican 51 percent to 41 percent.
The survey was conducted for the Cicilline campaign by the Feldman Group, which interviewed 500 likely voters on Sept. 13 and Sept. 15-17. The poll's margin of error is plus-or-minus 4.4 percentage points.
8) House Majority PAC today released an ad
targeting Rep. Allen West
, R-Fla., as part of a $1 million buy. The commercial hits West over his record on women's issues.
7) The Chamber of Commerce is launching ads in four Senate races, the Washington Post reports
. The ads target contests in Hawaii, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Hawaii and New Mexico are looking like longshots for the GOP.
6) New ad
dropping from Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin
in the state's Senate race. In the commercial, Baldwin talks up her support of the Buffett rule, which she says GOP nominee Tommy Thompson
doesn't support. She says Thompson's plan would "raise taxes on the middle class. That's just wrong."
5) Sen. Jon Tester
, D-Mont., has a new television ad
out, noting that Citizens United overturned a Montana elections law. "The big corporations are back to elect Congressman Denny Rehberg," says the announcer. "Because they know Rehberg supports their agenda: Tax breaks and tax loopholes for outsourcing our jobs."
4) The Republican National Committee raised a record $35.6 million during August and has $76.6 million on hand, CNN reports
3) Sen. Dean Heller
, R-Nev., was the latest Republican to distance himself from Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comments Wednesday.
And that wasn't the only thing he told reporters. "The most unethical, corrupt person I've ever met in my life is Shelley Berkley," said Heller, per the Las Vegas Sun
. He was responding to a Berkley campaign ad that targets Heller on ethics.
2) Get excited for a big debate day -- candidates face off in two of the country's biggest Senate races. In Massachusetts, Scott Brown
and Elizabeth Warren debate
at 7 p.m. on WBZ-TV (catch it live on C-SPAN, pending the Senate schedule today). In Virginia, Tim Kaine
and George Allen square off
at noon on WRC-TV (Channel 4).
1) Looking to get past a week of bad headlines, Mitt Romney
and Paul Ryan are kicking off a three-day bus tour
throughout Ohio next week. Ryan will start off solo in Lima next Monday, and they'll meet up in Cincinnati the next day. Romney then goes solo to Dayton and plans to hit Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo on Wednesday.
Public polls have shown Romney trailing Obama and losing ground in the crucial Midwestern battleground, as Team Obama has raised questions about Romney's business practices on the airwaves. Romney faces a very challenging task of winning the election without Ohio; this road trip underscores the importance of the state.
-- Scott Bland contributed.