Updated 3:45 p.m. | INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) sought to clarify his controversial debate comment that pregnancies resulting from rape are “something that God intended to happen” this morning, apologizing to those who misunderstood his remarks but standing by their intended meaning.
“If, because of the lack of clarity in my words, they came away with the impression other than those I said a moment ago, that life is precious, that I abhor violence, and God abhors violence and rape. If they came away with any impression other than that, I truly regret it,” Mourdock said at a press conference at Indiana Republican Party headquarters
Mourdock choked up repeatedly during the press conference, declaring himself a “more humble person this morning because so many people mistook, twisted, came to misunderstand the point that I was trying to make.” But when pressed about his apology, Mourdock defended the original intent behind his statement. Full story
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) today responded to a searing ad released Tuesday by former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) that attempted to paint his opponent for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat as unpatriotic because of her 2006 vote against a resolution involving the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Hoping to mitigate any potential damage caused by Thompson’s spot, which showed images of a charred building and fliers of missing persons from 9/11, Baldwin’s team released a retaliatory ad claiming that Thompson profited off of 9/11 victims, citing an $11 million contract won by Logistics Health, Inc. while Thompson was board chairman.
“Tommy Thompson should be ashamed,” the ad concludes, showing the former Health and Human Services secretary’s image and a variation of a tagline the campaign has been using in most of its negative spots: “Tommy, he’s not for you anymore.”
INDIANAPOLIS — National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) is standing by his nominee in Indiana, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who said pregnancy that results from rape “is something God intended to happen” in the final Senate debate Tuesday night.
Mourdock was answering a question about abortion and explaining his position that he is against the procedure in all cases except when the life of the mother is at risk. He faces Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, who is also anti-abortion-rights but believes in exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.
“Richard and I, along with millions of Americans – including even Joe Donnelly – believe that life is a gift from God,” Cornyn said in a statement emailed to reporters this morning. “To try and construe his words as anything other than a restatement of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous. In fact, rather than condemning him for his position, as some in his party have when it’s come to Republicans, I commend Congressman Donnelly for his support of life.” Full story
San Diego Port Commissioner Scott Peters (above) is in what appears to be a close race with Rep. Brian Bilbray. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
A flurry of polls were released over the last few days in the battleground 52nd district, where Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) is attempting to hold off a challenge from San Diego Port Commissioner Scott Peters (D).
Until now, there had been a dearth of polling on this competitive race. None of the three polls now out match each other, and the race is likely closer than any of the numbers suggest.
Sixty percent of the redrawn district is new to Bilbray, and the race has attracted a torrent of outside spending in recent weeks as both parties push to get out the early vote for this race and the competitive mayoral election.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. — In the final, high-stakes debate before Election Day, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) touched on an issue that has bedeviled another Republican Senate candidate, saying that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
“I just, I struggled with it myself for a long time,” Mourdock said as he teared up. “But I came to realize that life is that gift from God.”
MADISON, Ind. — Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) will release internal polling today showing him with a 2-point lead over his Senate opponent, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R).
Donnelly leads Mourdock, 40 percent to 38 percent, in the survey paid for by the Democrat’s campaign. A Libertarian candidate, Andrew Horning, recieved 8 percent in that survey.
Two weeks before Election Day, the Indiana Senate race remains highly competitive. Roll Call rates it as a Tossup. On Tuesday night, the candidates will meet for their second and final debate in New Albany.
Public polling of the race is rare because of the Hoosier State’s restrictions on automated calls. But a mid-September, bipartisan poll from Howey Politics Indiana showed similar results.
Former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) has the edge over fellow former Gov. George Allen (R) in their highly competitive race for the state’s open Senate seat, according to a poll conducted for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Kaine led 48 percent to 44 percent in the poll, which was conducted Oct. 15-18 among 802 likely voters and had a 3.5-point margin of error.
The race has been close throughout, though polling margins over the past month have been erratic. Roll Call rates the race as a Tossup.
Rep. Chip Cravaack (above) trails opponent Rick Nolan in a poll released today. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Former Rep. Rick Nolan (D) could have the edge over Rep. Chip Cravaack (R) in the 8th district, according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune poll released today that showed the challenger with a 7-point lead.
Nolan led Cravaack 50 percent to 43 percent, according to the newspaper’s poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted Oct. 16. The poll has a margin of error of 3 points.
The new poll showing Nolan in the lead is in stark contrast to three polls released earlier in the month, each of which showed the race to be deadlocked. The Nolan campaign is claiming the momentum in this. The Cravaack campaign disputed the findings of the Star Tribune poll.
Former President Bill Clinton introduces musician Bruce Springsteen as they campaign for President Barack Obama's reelection during an appearance at Cuyahoga Community College in Parma. Ohio. (Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)
Bill Clinton will attend a Southern California rally on Tuesday to formally endorse Democratic Congressional candidates in a region fertile with pickup opportunities for the party.
The former president is scheduled to attend a “California’s Voice” afternoon rally at the University of California, Irvine, a serene, suburban Orange County campus between Los Angeles and San Diego. There he will endorse five candidates either challenging a Republican incumbent or running for an open seat. Full story
Rep. Jeff Flake is the second Arizona Republican in a month to deliver the GOP’s weekly address.
The move appears to be an effort to boost Flake’s Senate campaign and to present a national face of fiscal conservatism.
“My wife, Cheryl, and I celebrated some great news this week. We became grandparents for the first time. Aiden Jeffrey Flake was lucky enough to be born in the greatest country in the world,” he said. “While it will be years before he is ready to start school, his share of the national debt is already over $50,000.
“If we continue along our current budget trajectory, our grandson is simply not going to have the same opportunities that my grandparents created for me,” said Flake, who has used this personal story previously in the campaign.
He is locked in a Tossup race against former Surgeon General Richard Carmona. This is an open seat created by Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R) retirement.
Flake’s fellow Arizonan, House candidate Vernon Parker, delivered the GOP address in late September. He is in a Tossup race against former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) in Arizona’s 9th district.
Rep. Chip Cravaack is getting a boost from a Republican political action committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Republican-aligned American Action Network is investing another $500,000 into Minnesota’s hotly contested 8th district race on behalf of freshman GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack, Roll Call has learned.
With the additional reservation, AAN is now scheduled to spend $1 million from today through Election Day to help Cravaack survive a stiff challenge from former Rep. Rick Nolan (D). That includes $700,000 in television time in Minneapolis, $200,000 in Duluth and $100,000 online. The group had already spent $700,000 on the race. Full story
In a rarely used debate format, Wisconsin Senate candidates Tommy Thompson (R), a former governor, and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) were permitted to directly spar with each other in unmoderated six-minute chunks on topics picked by voters.
The hourlong debate in Wausau played very much like an extended, spliced-together greatest hits video of Thompson and Baldwin campaign ads, an at times heated back-and-forth defined more by established talking points than off-the-cuff remarks. Given that predictability, and in a race that’s too close to call 19 days before Election Day, it’s unclear whether either candidate was able to sway the few remaining undecided voters in ways their media operations can’t.
The debaters addressed the 2010 health care law, with Baldwin in favor and Thompson opposed; the deficit crisis, with Baldwin calling for higher-earning Americans to pay more and Thompson accusing the Democrat of being a tax-and-spender; and even Wisconsin’s own vice presidential candidate, with Baldwin calling Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget extreme and Thompson trying to distance himself after telling reporters in August that “most people know that Paul and I are close friends and that we teamed up on many issues, especially on Medicare.”
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released earlier this evening had Baldwin leading Thompson 49 percent to 45 percent. A Marquette University poll released Wednesday had Thompson leading Baldwin 46 percent to 45 percent. Sources on both sides of the aisle, in Wisconsin and in Washington, D.C., say that Wisconsin’s Senate contest is among the most competitive in the country and could be decisive in determining the chamber’s majority. Roll Call rates the race as a Tossup.
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) has contributed $832,000 in personal funds to his Senate campaign, according to an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Thompson, who served as Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush, has been relatively cash-strapped since surviving a bruising four-way August primary, during which he contributed more than $700,000 of his own money to his campaign via a combination of donations and loans in the closing days of that race.
Earlier in August, Thompson had told the Journal Sentinel that he didn’t think it was “right” for candidates to self-finance their campaigns, saying, “I don’t think that people should buy an election with their own wealth.” But in his meeting with the paper posted today, Thompson said his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, has benefited significantly from raising money out of state and that he had no “power base” from which to fundraise.
Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Shelley Berkley take their place for an Oct. 11 debate at Vegas PBS for Nevada's Senate race. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Shelley Berkley’s Senate campaign released an internal poll this afternoon after two new public autodial polls found the Democrat down by at least 6 points.
A memo from the Mellman Group polling firm reported that Berkley led Republican Sen. Dean Heller, 41 percent to 38 percent, with 11 percent undecided. The campaign released a poll last week that had Berkley ahead by an identical margin.
“As you know, every public poll in the 2010 Senate race proved to be far off the mark,” the polling memo stated in reference to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) race last cycle. “So it is with the 2012 polling.” Full story
A new poll showed Rep. Christopher Murphy (D) had a narrow, within-the-margin-of-error lead over former WWE CEO Linda McMahon in the open-seat race to replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).
Murphy got 46 percent, while McMahon had 44 percent. Eight percent of respondents said they remained undecided. The poll was conducted by Siena Research Institute.
One eyebrow-raising point of the poll’s implementation is that it took place over 10 days — far longer than most conventional polls. That 10-day window is a highly fluid point in the race — including two debates and massive television advertising saturation.