Welcome back to Hotline Sort. Romney leads in a Pew poll, the North Dakota Senate race is tied in a new survey, Clinton continues his campaign swing, and Ryan ends an interview.
11) Crossroads GPS is launching a $4 million buy, starting today and running though Oct. 15, in 5 Senate races. Check out the Montana spot here, the North Dakota spot here, the Ohio spot here, the Virginia spot here, and the Wisconsin spot here.
10) Paul Ryan got annoyed and ended an interview with a local reporter.Ryan spokesperson Brendan Buck told BuzzFeed: "The reporter knew he was already well over the allotted time for the interview when he decided to ask a weird question relating gun violence to tax cuts. Ryan responded as anyone would in such a strange situation. When you do nearly 200 interviews in a couple months, eventually you're going to see a local reporter embarrass himself."
9) Continuing his campaign swing, Bill Clinton is scheduled to hit Sioux City on Friday to support Iowa 4th District Democratic nominee Christie Vilsack.
He'll also swing by Indianapolis on Friday to campaign for Senate candidate Joe Donnelly.
8) Several Senate debates last night:
In Virginia, George Allen and Tim Kaine faced off again.
In Montana, Jon Tester sparred with Denny Rehberg.
And in Hawaii, Mazie Hirono and Linda Lingle met for a debate as well.
7) Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is up big over former GOP Rep. Pete Hoekstra -- even though Mitt Romney has narrowed the gap with President Obama, in a new poll conducted by EPIC-MRA of Lansing, Mich. Stabenow leads Hoekstra 55 percent to 35 percent.
6) But Romney's improved poll numbers do appear to be helping Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., in a new survey: The WBUR-FM poll shows Brown receiving a slight boost at the top of the ticket and pulling into a statistically-insignificant lead over Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
Romney trails by 16 points in the poll, up from his 28-point deficit in late September. Brown leads Warren 48 percent to 45 percent in the poll, while in late September, Warren led, 49 percent to 45 percent.
5) And Brown released a new ad
Monday hitting Warren on taxes.
4) The North Dakota Senate race is a dead heat, with GOP Rep. Rick Berg
and former Democratic Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp tied in a new poll
: Each candidate has 47 percent support in the Valley News Live/Mason-Dixon survey, while 6 percent of likely voters remain undecided.
Meanwhile, Heitkamp is up with a new ad
this morning, saying she'll fight to build another refinery in North Dakota.
And the Fargo Forum reports
that local TV stations are pulling a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ad hitting Berg on ties to Goldmark Property Management due to concerns about the spot's accuracy.
3) The Obama campaign is taking the silly season in politics to a whole new level in a television ad released on Tuesday featuring the star of last Wednesday's debate: Big Bird. The Obama campaign has criticized Romney for pledging to end subsidies to PBS, and doubled down in the ad. "Big. Yellow. A menace to our economy," the ad says. "Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about, it's Sesame Street."
NBC News reported the ad isn't airing in any battleground states; at best, it's a small national cable buy.
2) A Pew poll shows
Romney with a narrow lead after the debate.
The New York Times reports
on Romney's new Ohio push.
1) And Politico
looks at the Romney "family intervention" into the campaign. From the story
For months, Ann Romney and her eldest son, Tagg, were dutifully supportive of the political professionals running Mitt Romney's campaign. All the while, their private frustration was mounting.
Shortly before the final debate, it finally boiled over.
What followed was a family intervention. The candidate's family prevailed on Mitt Romney, and the campaign operation, to shake things up dramatically, according to campaign insiders. The family pushed for a new message, putting an emphasis on a softer and more moderate image for the GOP nominee -- a "let Mitt be Mitt" approach they believed more accurately reflected the looser, generous and more approachable man they knew.
Chief strategist Stuart Stevens -- whom the family held responsible for allowing Romney's personal side to be obscured by an anti-Obama economic message -- has seen his once wide-ranging portfolio "fenced in" to mainly the debates, and the television advertising that is his primary expertise, according to campaign officials. Tagg Romney, channeling his mother's wishes, is taking a much more active role in how the campaign is run.