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Mitt Romney has inched ahead of President Barack Obama for the first time in a year in a widely watched benchmark ? the Real Clear Politics polling average.
First Read: "While vice-presidential debates typically don't have much bearing on the presidential contest, tomorrow night's Joe Biden-vs.-Paul Ryan showdown has put pressure on both sides. Team Obama NEEDS a strong performance from Biden to make up for last week and change the subject; another bad outing by a member of the ticket and the Democratic handwringing could turn into a full-fledged panic. Meanwhile, Team Romney needs a solid outing from Ryan to keep up the momentum."
"As we wrote last week, consider tomorrow night Game 2 of a baseball playoff series. After ace Romney beat ace Obama in Game 1, Democrats are looking for their No. 2 starter, Biden, to even the score. And Republicans are looking to go 2-0. That's what at stake Thursday, and that's why there's more pressure on Biden than on Ryan."
The Week The most important vice presidential debate ever?
Live Blog: Supreme Court Hears Affirmative-Action Case
The Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in the affirmative-action case Fisher v. University of Texas. Here is out live blog.
The big political story of the day may be Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-CA) House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
First Read: "How concerned is the Obama administration about today's hearing, which starts at noon ET? Concerned enough that the State Department -- after weeks of near-silence -- yesterday gave a tick-tock of what happened in Libya, and that tick-tock doesn't even remotely match what UN Ambassador Susan Rice said in the days after the attack (that it was sparked by that anti-Islam video and that it wasn't premeditated). Of course, the Obama administration has since revised its story, and it's better to be late than never. But there's no doubt that today's hearing is going to be - at the very least -- a headache for the White House."
Interestingly, the Washington Post reports Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not appear at the hearing. The State Department "will instead send a trusted career diplomat along with three security officials."
Nate Silver: "The forecast model is not quite ready to jump on board with the notion that the race has become a literal toss-up; Mr. Romney will need to maintain his bounce for a few more days, or extend it into high-quality polls of swing states, before we can be surer about that."
"But we are ready to conclude that one night in Denver undid most of the advantage Mr. Obama had appeared to gain in September."
Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 10/10 (morning edition)
Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here.
A pro-life, family-values congressman who worked as a doctor before winning election as a Tea Party-backed Republican had an affair with a patient and later pressured her to get an abortion, according to a phone call transcript obtained by The Huffington Post.In addition, DesJarlais did not deny the contents of the call, excerpts of which are produced in the HuffPo's article, such as this:
"You told me you'd have an abortion, and now we're getting too far along without one," DesJarlais tells the woman at one point in the call while negotiating with her over whether he'll reveal her identity to his wife. They then discuss whether he will accompany her to a procedure to end the sort of life the congressman now describes as "sacred."Wow. Much more at the link.
8:05 AM PT: TX-23: It's been a while since we've heard much from the Blue Dog Coalition PAC, but they've gone and named their tenth endorsement of the cycle: state Rep. Pete Gallego, who is challenging GOP freshman Quico Canseco. The move seems a bit surprising to me: This is a swingish district, sure, but Gallego never struck me as particularly conservative, and he's been supported to the hilt by environmental organizations, who often don't see eye-to-eye with Blue Dogs. And Canseco's predecessor, Ciro Rodriguez, was never a member of the BDs... though he did compile a kind of wankerish voting record that might make you think he was, in fact, a member. For a full list of all Blue Dog endorsements for 2012, click here.
8:43 AM PT: MI-06: Though GOP Rep. Fred Upton occupies a district that went for Obama by eight points in 2008, the race in MI-06 hasn't gotten a lot of attention this year. Despite facing down an unsuccessful Club for Growth-fueled primary challenge, Upton still has a huge campaign warchest, while his opponent, Marine vet Mike O'Brien, had only raised about $100K as of mid-July. But sometimes background factors matter more than candidate dynamics, and that appears to be what O'Brien's trying to demonstrate with a new internal from Myers Research that shows Upton leading by just a 47-42 margin, with Libertarian Christie Gelineau taking 7 percent. That's still quite a climb for O'Brien, but what's most notable is how unfriendly this sample is: Obama actually trails Mitt Romney 48-47. The generic congressional ballot is also tight, with a 47-46 GOP edge. O'Brien, however, isn't even on the DCCC's "Emerging Races" list and would need outside help to overcome Upton's advantages.
Democrats Hold Voter Registration Edge in Key States
A Bloomberg analysis finds that Democrats hold the registration advantage over Republicans in four of six battleground states that will play a key role in the presidential election.
"Democrats have the edge over Republicans in Florida, Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina. In Colorado and New Hampshire, Republicans outnumber Democrats, according to the analysis of state data. Three other battlegrounds -- Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin -- don't report registration statistics by party."
Mitt Romney told the Des Moines Register that he has no plans to push for legislation limiting abortion, an abrupt switch for a candidate who has said he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Said Romney: "There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda."
Spokeswoman Andrea Saul later walked back the comment telling the National Review that Romney "would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life."
Mark Halperin: "If the Obama campaign has cracked the code on how to make Mitt Romney pay a political price for his late rush to the center on tone and emphasis, we haven't seen them execute their full plan yet. That might be the central tactical question in the presidential contest right now."
Sarah Palin sends an email to People magazine:
"Our family is writing a book on fitness and self-discipline focusing on where we get our energy and balance as we still eat our beloved homemade comfort foods!"
The Romney campaign launches a new strategy to win over Obama supporters, and other top news and opinion pieces.
Ad: History Posters! - History of the Confederate Army
Election and History Posters from History Shots!
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