Obama's America Isn't Showing Up for 2014

America is divided. But not just into red states and blue states. 

America also also divided by time. In presidential election years the American electorate is younger, poorer, more diverse, and less educated. In midterm election years the American electorate is older, richer, whiter, and better educated.

President Obama has dominated in presidential-election-America, winning in 2008 53 percent to 46 percent, and again in 2012 51 percent to 47 percent.

But Republicans have fared better in midterm-America, winning 52 percent of all House votes cast in 2010 compared to 45 percent for the Democrats.

So which electorate is going to show up in 2014?

According to months of polling from NBC News, The Wall Street Journal, and Annenberg Foundation, the 2014 electorate will be even older, whiter, and wealthier than it was in 2010.

When Obama first won the White House in 2008, the electorate was 74 percent white, 13 percent African-American, and 9 percent Hispanic, according to exit polls from that year. That same year, 18 percent of the electorate was aged 18-29 ,37 percent made less than $50,000, and only 45 percent had graduated college.

But in 2010, the percentage of the electorate that was white rose to 77 percent, only 12 percent were aged 18-29, just 36 percent made less than $50,000, and 51 percent were college graduates. The African-America vote also shrank to 11 percent and the Hispanic vote ticked town to 8 percent.

In 2012, however, Obama's America came back to the polls. The white vote shrank to 72 percent, the black voted jumped back up to 13 percent, the Hispanic vote rose to 10 percent, 41 percent of voters had incomes below $50,000, and just 47 percent were college graduates.

Now, according to 6,346 interviews with likely voters taken between September 2nd and October 29th, the 2014 electorate will be 78 percent white, just 11 percent of voters will be aged 18-29, and just 32 percent of voters will make less than $50,000. Meanwhile, the survey shows the African-American vote ticking down to 10 percent, and the Hispanic vote falling to 7 percent.

If the Democrats predicated their 2014 hopes on turning out Obama's 2012 electorate, this poll suggests that they failed miserably.

Support For New Gun Control Laws Plummets, Especially Among Women

Since the 2012 Newtown school shooting, major anti-gun groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action (both funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg) have been pushing for more legal requirements during gun sales, better known as "universal background checks." But a new survey from Gallup shows those efforts haven't paid off and that the majority of the country does not support an increase in gun control laws. The survey also shows support for new legislation has plummeted since 2012. 

Less than half of Americans, 47%, say they favor stricter laws covering the sale of firearms, similar to views found last year. But this percentage is significantly below the 58% recorded in 2012 after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, spurred a nationwide debate about the possibility of more stringent gun control laws. Thirty-eight percent of Americans say these laws should be kept as they are now, and 14% say they should be made less strict. 

A Gallup notes, these numbers aren't the lowest they've ever been. In 2011, support for new gun control measures were at an all-time low of just 43 percent.

The 47% who favor stricter laws is just above the historical low of 43% measured in 2011.

Ten years ago, three in five Americans (60%) said they favored stricter laws regulating the sale of firearms, but support fell to 44% in 2009 and remained at that level in polls conducted in the next two years. Days after the Newtown shooting, support for stricter gun sale laws swelled. Since 2012, however, Americans have retreated from those stronger attitudes about the need for more gun control, and the percentage of Americans who say the laws should be less strict -- although still low -- has edged up.

One of the biggest drops in support for more gun control comes from women, who coincidentally are the fastest growing demographic of gun owners in America. In 2012 69 percent of women supported measures like universal background checks. In 2014, it's just 55 percent. Since 2005, personal gun ownership among women has increased by nearly 80 percent.

So what does this mean? A few things. The first is that these numbers show fear mongering, smears and false accusations against the gun industry and gun shop owners individually aren't working. These numbers also prove that pro-gun activists have been successful in not only showing Americans that "universal background checks" don't work to stop crime, but are a threat to Second Amendment Rights down the road. They've also been successful at pointing out the real agenda coming from anti-gun groups funded by Bloomberg, which aren't interested in gun safety, but instead in government control. After all, back in June former executive director and face of Bloomberg's Everytown For Gun Safety (a group that used to be called Mayors Against Illegal Guns) Mark Glaze admitted that the proposals for universal background checks wouldn't stop mass shootings in the future, even though the proposals were introduced in the aftermath of mass shootings in order to take advantage of emotions during a time of crisis. And finally, the 11 percent drop in support for new gun control measures proves that people aren't buying the bogus accusations hurled at the National Rifle Association, which has been running ads on national television in order to promote law abiding citizens practicing their Second Amendment rights. 


Because the numbers from Gallup still show the vast majority of Democrats and liberals still want more gun control, the battle to protect the Second Amendment rights of Americans continues.

Corporations DO Create Jobs, Don't They?

On this week's Townhall Weekend Journal

Bill Bennett and Bill Kristol on the potential loss of the Senate to the Republicans. Hugh Hewitt and CNN's Jake Tapper on the election. Prager and Ann Coulter discuss Christian's and their reluctance to engage in the voting process--they also discuss how some conservatives make the purest Republican the enemy of the most potentially-electable Republican. Bennett spoke with Mitch McConnell. Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton is just days away from taking a key Senate seat from the Democrats--he spoke to Hugh Hewitt. Michael Medved took a look at a Hillary's attack on business. Michael Medved looks at the silly attempt to divide America by gender. Bill Bennett and Byron York on the gender gap. Dennis Prager on feminist's latest attempt to push their message...with a video of 9-year-old F-bomb-dropping girls.

Poll: Dead Heat in Illinois Governor's Race

With Election Day just around the corner, the race between Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner is a dead heat, according to a new Early & Often poll.

The survey, conducted Wednesday in live telephone interviews by McKeon & Associates, shows Quinn and Rauner each with 45 percent of the vote in southern Illinois — a segment of the state that’s traditionally more loyal to Republicans.

Statewide, the head-to-head numbers gave Quinn the edge with 45 percent, Rauner with 42 percent of the vote and Libertarian candidate Chad Grimm with 4 percent. Rauner held a strong lead in suburban Cook County and the collar counties as well as a 9-point lead in central Illinois.

The survey also showed Rauner with strong numbers in Chicago, garnering 20 percent, and among African-Americans, winning the support of 15 percent of black voters statewide.

“There is no doubt that this is a close race, but the idea that Bruce Rauner and Pat Quinn are tied Downstate is more far-fetched than the idea of a Pat Quinn tax cut,” Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Perhaps, but it’s important to remember that the billionaire has maintained that he has no “social agenda,” and has made assurances on the campaign trail that he’d protect abortion rights and would punt the same-sex marriage issue back to voters. Rather, his focus would be on jobs, taxes, fighting corruption, and schools, he’s said.

“There’s this kind of hypocrisy of being a liberal in Chicago and picking up some votes there and trying to sell as a conservative Downstate. It doesn’t work. And that’s his problem,” pollster Mike McKeon told the Sun-Times. “At the end of the day, he has to run close to [2010 GOP nominee Bill] Brady’s numbers to win Downstate … He was strong down there, he stuck to his conservative stuff and that was that. Either you’re pro-life or you’re pro-choice. There’s no dancing.”

More interesting is the split for the candidates among women, with Quinn pulling in 38 percent of the female vote, while 55 percent backed Rauner, the poll found. McKeon tied this to women being more interested in jobs and the economy rather than minimum wage and social issues.

We’ll find out soon enough who will come out on top in this extremely close race.

Confirmed: Obamacare is Hurting Democrats


Long gone are the days of Democratic chest-thumping about "running on" Obamacare in 2014. That boast was abruptly replaced with assertions that the issue was receding from the scene and wouldn't really benefit either party.  As it turns out, candidates on one side of the aisle has been talking quite a lot about the healthcare law on the campaign trail and in ads, while the other side has been notably tight-lipped.  And now Politico finally states the obvious:

...Not only did the political benefits that Democrats thought the 2010 law would eventually bring them not materialize, opposition has only grown, according to an analysis of multiple polls taken between 2010 and last month. “There have been backlashes, but never like this,” said Robert Blendon, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and co-author of the analysis released Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine. That backlash doesn’t appear directed at the mechanics of the law but at its underlying core principle. Only 47 percent of Americans agree that it’s the government’s job to make sure everyone has health coverage, down from 69 percent in 2006, the analysis found. That shift is particularly pronounced among likely voters. Of those who are most likely to show up at the polls on Nov. 4, one in four believe in this principle.

Public opinion polls have consistently shown support for the law underwater by double digits, with roughly twice as many Americans claiming harm from the law than those who say it's helped them. Opposition has been so entrenched that many national polls haven't asked about it in awhile. Still, several fresh data points confirm the trend. In Marquette's Wisconsin poll, Obamacare is upside-down by 20 points (34/54), and Harvard's poll of millennials shows a 57 percent majority of young voters disapproving of the law.  The vast majority of Americans would like to see the law repealed or scaled back with significant changes.  And contra the law's ideological apologists, the bad news keeps piling up:

(1) "New challenges" will face 2015 consumers when open enrollment commences -- after the elections, by design.  As you read this New York Times assessment, keep in mind that government data suggests the "7.3 million" figure appears to be wildly exaggerated, including millions of people who were previously insured. Quote: "The 'back end' of the federal exchange, which the government uses to enroll consumers in health plans and to send subsidy payments to insurers, remains unfinished. "

(2) Access shock, via USA Today: "Now that many people finally have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchanges, some are running into a new problem: They can't find a doctor who will take them as patients. Because these exchange plans often have lower reimbursement rates, some doctors are limiting how many new patients they take with these policies, physician groups and other experts say. 'The exchanges have become very much like Medicaid,' says Andrew Kleinman, a plastic surgeon and president of the Medical Society of the State of New York. 'Physicians who are in solo practices have to be careful to not take too many patients reimbursed at lower rates or they're not going to be in business very long.' Kleinman says his members complain rates can be 50% lower than commercial plans." Becoming like Medicaid.  Terrific.

(3) More 'transparency,' Obama style: "With health insurance marketplaces about to open for 2015 enrollment, the Obama administration has told insurance companies that it will delay requirements for them to disclose data on the number of people enrolled, the number of claims denied and the costs to consumers for specific services. For months, insurers have been asking the administration if they had to comply with two sections of the Affordable Care Act that require 'transparency in coverage.' In a bulletin sent to insurers last week, the administration said, “We do not intend to enforce the transparency requirements until we provide further guidance.” Administration officials said the government and insurers needed more time to collect and analyze the data."

(4) Rate shock for Colorado's exchange participants: "Colorado health-insurance consumers relying on tax credits will see their share of premiums rise an average of 77 percent next year if they keep the same plans, according to the state's preliminary analysis. While premiums overall are not expected to increase significantly in 2015, the way tax credits are calculated under the Affordable Care Act is creating challenges for Colorado consumers. According to an analysis done for the Colorado Division of Insurance, the average share of costs for customers receiving tax credits in 2014 was $161.79 a month. In 2015, if they keep the same plans, their average share of costs after tax credits will be $281.01."  And that's in addition to the follow-on waves of cancellation notices in the state.


I'll leave you with this RNC video, parodying these DirecTV commercials:



Sen. Landrieu Wants You to Forget When She Called The Border Fence ‘Dumb’

At Wednesday’s debate at Louisiana State University, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) seemed like she was 100 percent behind a border fence:

“I support a strong border and have for many years as chair of the Homeland Security Committee. I’ve increased the number of border agents from 15,000 to 20,000 and joined John McCain, a friend of my opponent here, in passing a comprehensive immigration bill to double it from 20,000 to 40,000. I also support a fence, 700 miles long that can tell the difference between whether a deer crosses or a person so we can allocate our resources effectively. So these attacks that I’m not for a secure border are absolutely false.”

Now, the Republican National Committee is calling her bluff. In June of last year, Landrieu was singing a very different tune:

“I voted for the dumb fence once,” she said at the time. “I’m not going to do it again because I learned my mistake when I went down there to look at it and realized that we could build two dumb fences or three dumb fences, and it’s not working. So I am simply not going to waste the money to do something that I know will not work.”

To emphasize her stunning case of hypocrisy, she even put out a TV ad accusing her opponent of being too soft on border security. Over at Hot Air, Guy surmised that since her campaign did not publicize the ad spot to the media and only aired it in Louisiana, she was trying to put on a different, more conservative face for Louisianans than in Washington. 

Sorry Senator Landrieu, you’re not fooling anyone with that mask - even on Halloween.

Liberals Are Often Wrong, But Rarely Evil

Your daughter asks you to meet her in the kitchen one Sunday afternoon. You arrive. She's dead serious. She asks you to sit down across from her, and she takes your hand.

"You know I love you and respect you, right?" She says. "And I hope you'll always love and respect me." Your brow furrows. A light bead of sweat materializes on your forehead.

"Dad, I went down to the board of elections. I've registered with the Republican party."

Let's say you're a strident liberal. What in the world do you think of your daughter?

There's a saying you might have heard that goes something like this: liberals think conservatives are evil, but conservatives think liberals are just wrong, and it comes to mind when reading this Jonathan Chait piece:

I consider Republicanism a negative factor in a potential in-law. That is not the only ideological objection. I would likewise bring healthy skepticism to a Marxist, anarchist, radical Islamist, monarchist, or advocate of Greater Russia. That goes for advocates of belligerent, hypernationalism of any kind — though, come to think of it, most belligerent hypernationalists you run into in this country happen to be Republicans.

...

It’s okay to judge people’s political values. It’s not like the sports team you root for or even (exactly) like a religion, where you are mostly born into your loyalty. Politics expresses moral values.

Chait is jumping off of a polled-attitudes survey that says that Americans are now more likely to view ideology and partisanship as larger divides when it comes to dating than race. Let's say this: that's unabashedly a good thing. It's the embodiment that we judge each other not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character. But how much should ideology matter in our interpersonal dealings in general?

It's why it's important to pull Chait's son-in-law test one step closer, and why he's wrong that it's unlike one's sports team or religion. Our opinion of our kin's moral character should be as affected as if they told us they were changing religion, or had a different sports team allegiance. Political party is no more a proxy for moral character than religion or sports team. I'd be disappointed if my child grew up a Nats fan (rather than an Astros fan) but it would be so inconsequential to my feelings toward my child that it wouldn't really bear mentioning at all. (Caveat: I do not have children, so, er, grain of salt.)

It'd be the same if my child turned out to be a liberal. Liberals are, by and large, good people. I am related to a few of them! Their ideology is not noteworthy in the least if I were to discuss their moral character. And this would certainly go for anyone they'd choose to marry, as well.

What would be noteworthy? A lot of common sense things: a refusal to treat strangers with kindness and dignity, never working for charity, a selfish attitude that subjugates the feelings of others - it's complicated to define what makes a bad person. Party allegiance is so low on the list of what defines good and bad that it might as well be sports allegiance or religion.

Ah, but a partyist might say, party identification is a good proxy for all those things, and in lieu of knowing more about a stranger, it's perfectly fine to render judgment! Republicans, as we all know, tend to be selfish, egotistic, uncharitable, and want people without health insurance to die in the streets. Or something. That's why they're Republicans and not Democrats! Chait's hypothetical Republican son-in-law's GOP affiliation simply means the onus is on the son-in-law to prove that he is none of those things while retaining his GOP identity.

This is the "conservatives are not merely wrong, but evil" attitude. Sure, maybe not all conservatives are evil. But partyists might say it's a fine heuristic.

We could re-hash a lot of Jonathan Haidt's work on the inability for strong partisans to even understand their opposition or Bryan Caplan's ideological Turing Test, but I'll just say that if you think your opposition is evil, you either don't understand them or you're a dirty consequentialist.

Here's how non-partyists might view their opposition: they're people motivated by a desire to do good but with different values or principles that inform their thinking, leading them to arrive at different - and maybe wrong - conclusions. For a consequentialist, though, it doesn't particularly matter what their ideological opposition's motivations are. It matters that they're advocating for policies that would make the world worse. The nexus of someone's values, principles, policy prescriptions and motivations doesn't matter. What matters is that they're on the wrong side, and thus should be treated differently.

This is how "conservatives think the potential downsides of Obamacare outweigh the potential upsides" is turned into "conservatives want to kill people."

To a certain extent, this is all performance art. We want to signal to our in-groups (in Chait's case, the cosmopolitan Left) that we're on their side and that the outgroup (conservatives in general here) should be ashamed of themselves. It might turn out that Chait's Republican son-in-law effectively feels no different treatment from Chait than would a progressive son-in-law and Chait merely quietly judges him from afar. It's a coherent and cohesive stance to take. But if we take seriously that ideological polarization is accelerating in America and that might be a bad thing, the attitude that Chait lays out here - that our partisan opposition should be treated differently as human beings - is going to make it worse.

Jonathan Chait is wrong on the internet. But he's probably not evil.**

*I'd argue this saying is unfair, as there are plenty of conservatives who think liberals are evil in addition to being wrong. My experience is that there are greater numbers of liberals who believe the other side is "evil" - largely because of the prevalence of consequentialism on the left - but there's plenty of bad faith to go around on both sides.

**To maintain some consistency here: I don't know Chait as a person. But his partisan affiliation alone is not something that makes him evil, or even worthy of being treated differently from any other stranger. In the absence of evidence that he's evil, we should all treat him with the dignity afforded any other human.

Here It Comes: First Republican President Debate Set For September 16, 2015

We still have four full days to go before polls close on Tuesday for the 2014 midterm elections, but that isn't keeping 2016 from rolling our way early. 

Although Republicans considering a run for the White House haven't officially announced their candidacy yet, the first Republican presidential primary debate has been set for September 16, 2015 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. 

"Our current focus is on taking back the Senate and growing the party this coming Tuesday," RNC spokesman Sean Spicer told The Wichita Eagle about the debate. "By the end of the year the RNC will release a list of sanctioned debates and we look forward to working with networks, venues and groups that have an interest in hosting a debate." 

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan is pleased the first Republican debate of the 2016 election cycle will be held at the library dedicated to her husband.

Hail Mary: Obama to Pull Out War on Women Rhetoric in Last Ditch Effort Before The Midterms

President Obama is set to give a speech this afternoon in Rhode Island and according to the Associated Press, "women's issues" and how Democrat policies can "help" women will be the subject.

President Barack Obama wants women to know what his administration is doing to help them succeed.

Four days before midterm elections in which Obama's fellow Democrats need a big turnout from female voters, Obama is delivering a speech Friday in Rhode Island on growth in the U.S. economy and administration policies directed at women.

Get ready for fear mongering about access to contraception. Will President Obama talk to women about why their health insurance premiums have skyrocketed under Obamacare? A piece of legislation he promised would be good for them? Will he explain why they can't keep their doctors after they were promised they could? Will the President explain to women why it isn't sexist to define them by the pills that they take? Will Obama give reasons for why he pays women less in his White House than men for the same job? 

The war on women rhetoric, which is exactly what Obama's speech will be this afternoon, has fallen flat with many female voters in this election cycle. Overall, President Obama is underwater with women in swing states and with everything going on in the world, contraception being provided through federal government force isn't high on the priority list. 

The president’s diminished standing with women is quickly becoming one of the biggest liabilities facing Democrats as they struggle to hang onto the Senate majority.

In battleground states across the country, Obama is underwater with female voters — especially women unaffiliated with a political party — and it’s making it harder for Democrats to take advantage of the gender gap, according to public polling and Democratic strategists.

Further, an Associated Press poll released last week shows more women want to vote for Republicans, not Democrats on Tuesday.

Women have moved in the GOP's direction since September. In last month's AP-GfK poll, 47 percent of female likely voters said they favored a Democratic-controlled Congress while 40 percent wanted the Republicans to capture control. In the new poll, the two parties are about even among women, 44 percent.

A majority of Democrat candidates have purposely distanced themselves from President Obama this election cycle and there's no doubt that today's speech won't do much to encourage women to vote for more failed, patronizing policies.

Battle for New Hampshire: Why Democrats Are Obsessing Over ‘Sullivan County’; UPDATE: Moderator Apologizes to Brown

Again, the stakes for tonight’s debate were high. According to a brand new WMUR/UNH poll released just before the curtains opened (showing Sen. Jeanne Shaheen statistically ahead), 25 percent of likely voters said they do not yet know who they will vote for. In a race this tight, that’s a huge plurality of voters to still be openly noncommittal. Any misstep, or gaffe, could tip the scales just enough to influence the outcome of the election.

And if you ask Democrats, there was one tonight. More on that later.

For what it’s worth, the rapid response section of the debate was utterly useless. The moderators actually asked the candidates what they thought about the Washington Redskins’ team mascot, and if our popular culture was too “politically correct.” Towards the end of the debate, however, sparks flew during the Obamacare kerfuffle. Brown relentlessly attacked Sen. Shaheen for voting for it. At the same time, he didn’t just explain why the bill was disastrous for New Hampshire; he called her out for never addressing or apologizing for lying to her constituents. This perhaps struck a chord. When she later tried to argue in her rebuttal that she had pledged to repeal the medical device tax, Brown reminded her that that very provision was in the original bill, which she voted for. She also had no real answer when Brown directly confronted her about the fact she votes with the president 99 percent of the time.

On the other hand, Shaheen was quick on her feet all night. Every time Brown accused her of something, she didn’t just deflect, she deflected and attacked his record. She certainly had the upper hand on some exchanges tonight. Also, unlike the last debate, she didn’t have any noticeable missteps or stumbles.

Brown, however, sort of did. For example, many spectators on Twitter were accusing him of not understanding the geography of New Hampshire. The clip below was, quite honestly, an awkward exchange. Brown was asked about Sullivan County in Western New Hampshire, and how he planned, as a US Senator, to improve the quality of life there. As he was responding, the moderator interrupted him:

Oof. In fairness to Brown, the clip cuts him off right before he's given a chance to respond; plus, this was totally a “gotcha” question. It is a well known fact that the "carpet bagger" charge is alive and well in New Hampshire, and therefore for one of the moderators to specifically ask about a random region of the state, and ask Brown to answer first, made it seem as if he was purposefully trying to trip him up. Was he?

Brown handled the question just fine. But I suspect that won't stop Democrats from screaming Scott Brown doesn’t understand New Hampshire’s geography!

I’ll leave you with this:

And this:

A new poll provided exclusively to the New Hampshire Journal today shows a continued tight U.S. Senate race in the Granite State, but with Republican Scott Brown ahead of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen by four percentage points.

The poll by the Republican pollster Vox Populi Polling has Brown up 49 to 45 percent, with 6 percent undecided. When “leaners” are excluded, Brown leads, 42 to 36 percent.

UPDATE: From tonight's moderator:

UPDATE: To his great credit, Pindell apologized on-air last night after the debate ended:

Kansas Republicans Take Strong Lead in Early Voting

It was a sad day last night in Kansas when the Kansas City Royals lost the World Series in Game 7. Today, the GOP in "The Sunflower State" have something to celebrate as early voting results show positive turnout from Republicans. 

Of the 153,436 early votes cast so far this election 82,739 or 54% were cast by Republicans. In comparison only 47,468, or 31% were cast by Democrats. The remaining votes were cast by unaffiliated or libertarian voters.

The blood red state of Kansas has the Republican incumbents for governor and U.S. Senate trailing in the polls. Governor Sam Brownback and Senator Pat Roberts have been in the spotlight of one of the most competitive races this season. 

Read more from Townhall on how Kansas has the GOP scrambling here.

Clay Barker, Kansas Republican Party Executive Director said this in an email:

"Early voting is turning out as our voter data models predicted and is consistent with early voting patterns in 2010 and 2012. Republican voters are building a substantial lead over Democrats that is increasing with each passing day. There were no October surprises."

Unlike the Royals, Kansas Republicans think they can pull it off in their own Game 7 this Tuesday. Momentum is building as big names stump for Senator Roberts including Senator Mike Lee (R-AZ) who made a speech at a rally in Topeka, Kansas, and former presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, who was in Overland Park, Kansas, earlier this week. 

Gardner Responds to Ludicrous NARAL Attack Ad

In case you missed it, NARAL aired an attack against Colorado GOP Senate hopeful Cory Gardner this week with the pressing question: ‘why are the condoms always gone?

As ridiculous as it sounds, this futuristic scenario supposedly reveals what life might be like for Coloradans under Gardner’s leadership. Here is an excerpt (listen to the entire ad here):

“Cory Gardner banned birth control, and now, it’s all on us guys. And you can’t find a condom anywhere. And the pill was just the start…”

Not only does Gardner cause a shortage of condoms, according to the ad, he also kills Pell Grants and ignores the threat of climate change. This type of argument is known by critical thinkers as a ‘slippery slope,’ and it is, in fact, a logical fallacy.

In a radio interview yesterday with our own Guy Benson, Gardner explained that the groups promoting these ads aren’t expecting their audience to be critical thinkers:

“These are the same people who, during the healthcare roll-out, tried to portray young people across the United States as interested in nothing more than doing keg stands.

And again, I think it minimizes the intelligence, and the work ethic of people across this country. Young voters, millennials, are people who are interested in far more than what this extreme group would like them to be interested in.”

Gardner is referring, of course, to the demeaning ‘Brosurance’ ads which began circulating in Colorado in 2013.

 photo brosurance_zpse1b02bed.png

Millennials care about more than just drinking, sex, and dodging responsibility.

Perhaps the Democratic party’s misunderstanding of this important fact is what is driving young voters away from their party this election cycle. According to a recent Harvard poll, 51 percent of millennials plan on voting for Republicans

Also, just to set the record straight, Rep. Cory Gardner said the idea of banning birth control is 'simply outrageous.'

Report: Dozens of Former Gitmo Detainees Now Fighting With ISIS


Of course they are. The Guantanamo recidivism problem has been very real for years at this point, with at least one former Gitmo guest reportedly participating in the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks.  We also know that of the 'Taliban Five' the Obama White House horse-traded for an alleged deserter, at least one has already made his intentions to rejoin the jihad explicitly clear.  Some of the detainees released over the last two administrations genuinely posed little threat, and had been caught up at the wrong place at the wrong time.  Many others, however, were dangerous Islamist radicals.  It stands to reason, then, that a number of them would inevitably link up with the ISIS death squads.  As you read this, keep in mind that these figures are limited to ISIS' Syrian fighting force alone:

As many as 20 to 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees -- some of whom were released within the last three years -- are suspected by intelligence and Defense officials of having joined forces with the Islamic State and other militant groups inside Syria, Fox News has learned. The development has cemented fears that the U.S. military would once again encounter militants taken off the battlefield. The intelligence offers a mixed picture, and officials say the figures are not exact. But they are certain at least some of the released detainees are fighting with the Islamic State, or ISIS, on the ground inside Syria. Others are believed to be supporting Al Qaeda or the affiliated al-Nusra Front in Syria. A number of former detainees also have chosen to help these groups from outside the country, financing operations and supporting their propaganda campaigns...Of the 620 detainees released from Guantanamo Bay, 180 have returned or are suspected to have returned to the battlefield.

Those who remain at Gitmo are the worst of the worst, which is likely one of the reasons why Congress has repeatedly blocked funding to close the facility and move the detainees onto US soil -- a move overwhelmingly opposed by the American people.  The Obama administration, naturally, is working on a scheme to bypass Congress and shutter the place anyway:

The White House is drafting options that would allow President Barack Obama to close the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by overriding a congressional ban on bringing detainees to the U.S., senior administration officials said. Such a move would be the latest and potentially most dramatic use of executive power by the president in his second term. It would likely provoke a sharp reaction from lawmakers, who have repeatedly barred the transfer of detainees to the U.S...The discussions underscore the president’s determination to follow through on an early campaign promise before he leaves the White House, officials said, despite the formidable domestic and international obstacles in the way. Administration officials say Mr. Obama strongly prefers a legislative solution over going around Congress. At the same time, a senior administration official said Mr. Obama is “unwavering in his commitment” to closing the prison—which currently has 149 inmates detained in connection with the nation’s post-9/11 war on terrorism—and wants to have all potential options available on an issue he sees as part of his legacy.

His preference is to follow the law, you see.  But he'll do whatever it takes to get his way.  Here's Sen. Kelly Ayotte calling on Obama to suspend all Gitmo detainees, in light of the ISIS revelation.  I'm sure he'll get right on that.  Be sure to read Allahpundit's post on this, especially the bit about two Al Qaeda leaders we targeted early in our anti-ISIS air campaign in Syria.  US intelligence now believes both escaped, and may be "actively plotting" attacks.  I'll leave you with a few clips on what ISIS has been up to lately, now that the American public's attention has wandered elsewhere:


Animals.

Citizens, Sheriffs Up Against Billionaires in Fight for Gun Rights in Washington State

In less than one week, voters in Washington state will decide on two competing gun measures: I-594, the Washington Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases Initiative, and I-591, the Washington Gun Rights Measure.

Via National Journal

[I-594] would mandate background checks as a condition of most gun purchases and transfers in the state (with exceptions for weapon transfers within families and purchases involving antique guns). Its main goal is "closing the gun-show loophole," says Geoff Potter, communications director for the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the group spearheading the effort. 

Via Townhall columnist Rachel Alexander:

Washington’s Second Amendment Foundation came up with I-591, the Washington Gun Rights Measure, a pro-gun rights initiative on the ballot. [...] I-591 would prohibit the government from confiscating guns or firearms from citizens without due process, protecting against illegal search and seizure, something that happened after Hurricane Katrina. It would also prevent the government from requiring background checks, in order to prevent the creation of a universal gun registry - unless a uniform national standard is required. 

While supporters of I-594 have successfully made the initiative sound innocuous enough, the reality is far from it. The 18-page measure is just the “latest and most comprehensive attempt to restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners in the Evergreen State,” according to the NRA. “Initiative 594 is in reality a universal handgun registration scheme. Under I-594, every time a handgun is transferred, the person receiving the handgun will have their name added to the government database being maintained by the state Department of Licensing.”

It comes as no surprise, then, that the campaign has been bankrolled by a handful of ultra-rich gun control advocates, including Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Paul Allen, Nick Hanauer, and, you guessed it, Michael Bloomberg. I-594’s war chest has now surpassed the $10 million mark, compared to I-591’s $1.3 million. To say that the gun rights measure has been outspent would be an understatement.

Not content with the cash advantage, supporters of the gun control measure have resorted to stealing I-591 signs and sarcastically posted on Facebook that “We need more school shootings!!!” just hours after the school shooting in Marysville last week. And now, after sheriffs have backed I-591 and publicly opposed I-594—a serious blow to those behind the effort—I-594 supporters are reportedly pushing emails and robo-calls attacking them, and are urging their supporters to contact them as well.

I-594 won’t make Washington residents safer, it won’t stop criminals or the mentally-ill from obtaining firearms, and it won’t be a good use of the law enforcement community’s time and limited resources. What it will do, however, is erode Second Amendment rights, waste law enforcement resources, and turn law-abiding citizens into criminals. 

The fight over gun rights may be in Washington state this election, but don’t think for a second that if it’s successful a similar measure won’t make its way on your state’s ballot in 2016 and beyond.

Taxpayers Funded Housing For Illegal Unaccompanied Minors Complete With Petting Farm, Guitar Lessons, Organic Vegetables

When a wave of unaccompanied illegal minors came across the U.S. southern border with Mexico over the summer, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell argued in front of Congress that her Department needed more taxpayer funding to handle the crisis due to a lack of beds and "sufficient resources to add beds" to existing government shelter facilities.  

But according to a federal HHS grant detailed in a letter sent to Burwell from Republican Senator Chuck Grassley Thursday, an enormous amount of taxpayer money was used to house a number of unaccompanied illegal minors at  a California resort that included guitar lessons, a petting farm, sunset views and many other amenities.

"On August 22, 2014, I wrote to your Department regarding concerns related to a Texas-based non-profit; Southwest Key Programs. Southwest Key has been the recipient of $368 million in government grants in the past six years and over $122 million alone from the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement in 2014," Grassley wrote. "The documents provided in response to my letter raise serious concerns regarding the Department and Southwest Key’s stewardship of taxpayer dollars. For example, on April 23, 2014, Southwest Key proposed to charge the government a “daily rate” of $316 to house unaccompanied alien children in a facility in El Cajon, California. There is no further detail as to whether this request was accepted. However, according to documents, HHS did approve a grant for Southwest Key to fund the El Cajon facility."

According to the information provided by Grassley, it can cost taxpayers up to $1000 per day to house each individual unaccompanied minor at these kinds of facilities. The El Cajon facility used by HHS included the following amenities:

“An organic orchard of orange, lemon, and grapefruit trees. As well as an Organic (sic) garden that supplements our kitchen with a wide variety of organic vegetables throughout the year. We have a small petting farm with ducks, chickens, and miniature ponies. We have also established an Acuaponics system where we are cultivating over 1000 Tilapia.”

Burwell has been asked to answer a series of questions about the use of taxpayer money for these purposes, especially after making claims Health and Human Services is underfunded.

"It is disturbing that HHS is funding such expensive facilities despite claiming to be unable to meet basic needs for UACs," Grassley wrote.

Walker Opponent: I Was Downsized, Not 'Fired,' From My Own Family's Company


In my Hot Air item on Marquette Law School's favorable final poll for Scott Walker yesterday (summarized by Conn here), I touched briefly upon a story alleging that Democrat Mary Burke had been fired from her family's bicycle company in the 1990's.  Matt visited the brewing controversy in a post last evening. Burke has touted her business acumen and 'job creation' experience at Trek as a centerpiece of her gubernatorial campaign.  I expressed some degree of skepticism over the Wisconsin Reporter's scoop, as the top named source in the piece is a Republican county chairman, and other quotes were mined from anonymous sources.  Burke initially denied the allegations outright, calling them "ridiculous" and "completely false."  But upon further review, there seems to be more 'there there' than she's let on:



Uh oh.  That former president and CEO, incidentally, is a separate (named) source from the aforementioned local GOP operative.  Two former executives are now on the record. Here's the latter's account:

In 1993, Tom Albers learned about big problems with Trek Bicycle Corporation’s European division.  Sales numbers were down, and employees were in a near mutiny against the young woman Trek founder Richard Burke had put in charge. Albers, Trek’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, served as Burke’s second-in-command and suddenly had to navigate a very difficult situation. The head of Trek���s European division was his boss’ daughter, Mary... “Her performance in Europe was not good,” he says.  “We were losing a lot of money for us at the time.  I don’t remember the amount, but it was considered significant based on where we were [as a company] at that particular point in time.”  “And also, we were encountering personnel/people problems over there.  The people were threatening to leave the company.  Many of them were.” Primarily, Albers contends, because of the managerial style of their supervisor, Mary Burke. “Her way of managing was kind of a ‘her way or the highway’ kind of approach to things,” Albers explains...

“So because of all that—which had gone on for a while, obviously—John Burke went to his father basically saying, ‘We need to make a change over here.’  Obviously, being a family situation, this was extremely sensitive and very difficult to pursue.  So Dick Burke came to me and said, ‘Before anything is done here, would you go over there and give me your thoughts on what the situation is like?’” Albers flew to Trek’s European headquarters and quickly discovered that John Burke wasn’t exaggerating. “I pretty much came back with the same conclusions that John Burke had made; and that was that we had major people problems over there and were in a situation where we could lose a lot of people.  We were losing a lot of money and I couldn’t see where Mary Burke was going to turn this thing around.” Albers reported his findings to Richard Burke, who listened intently and then, Albers says, acted decisively. “The family—and by that I mean Dick and John Burke—finally agreed to bring her back.  And so, to say it bluntly, she was fired.”

And there's your money quote. Albers says he left Trek on good terms, with the "utmost respect" for the Burke family, but that their relationship turned "frosty" after he accepted an offer from a competitor.  He's donated $50 to Scott Walker's campaign, but insists his decision to speak out isn't politically-motivated:

I had made the decision a couple of months ago that I would not come forward on my own with information about Mary Burke,” he explains.  “The only thing that’s brought this to a head is the article [in The Wisconsin Reporter] in which [former Trek executive] Gary Ellerman threw my name out there as someone who had conducted a review of Mary Burke’s performance in Europe...I decided that instead of saying ‘no comment,’ I wasn’t going to lie.  I would tell the truth.” Albers says that Ellerman’s account is truthful, and it has been corroborated in the Wisconsin Reporter by a number of other Trek sources.

Burke's family disputes all of this as "character assassination," praising her leadership at Trek.  The mainstream media, playing frantic catch-up on a story they evidently didn't bother to investigate for months -- even as Burke routinely cited her Trek experience as a raison d'etre of her campaign -- is finally asking questions.  Burke has shifted from categorical denials to a slightly different explanation: "We decided to restructure and there was no need for my position and two of the people reporting to me could directly report to people in the United States," she told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  She wasn't "fired;" she was downsized in a "restructuring."  Hmm.  Two additional nuggets from the Journal-Sentinel story:

She left the company in June 1993, taking a two-year break to snowboard, travel and work for a bicycle trade group. John Burke said he asked his sister to return to Trek in 1995...Mary Burke also served as commerce secretary under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle from 2005 to 2007. Her [Democratic] predecessor in that role, Cory Nettles, has said that Burke's no-nonsense style upset some in the business community. "She was very, very tough," Nettles said recently. "People take umbrage at that." In a September 2006 email that first surfaced two weeks ago, Nettles expressed a far harsher opinion of Burke. "She's a disaster," Nettles wrote at the time to another political appointee who was still working under Burke at the state Department of Commerce.

Is partisan Democrat Cory Nettles party to the "smear" conspiracy, as well?  If you read through the whole piece, Burke's staunchest defender against all of these charges is, um, her brother.  The Wisconsin GOP has released this video round-up of news coverage surrounding the 'October surprise'-style bombshell:


"We reorganized and eliminated the position that I had."

Multiple former executives at Trek Bicycle now say Burke was forced out of her position by her own family as a consequence of her terrible management, and a fellow member of a Democratic administration referred to her leadership as "a disaster" in a contemporaneous assessment.  And now she wants to be governor.  Even as GOP-aligned pollsters are privately warning that Marquette's Walker +7 projection is more bullish than their internal findings, this can't be the front page coverage Team Burke was hoping to see five days out from the election:



Editor's note: A version of this item is cross-posted at HotAir.com

For North Carolina Voters, It's A Choice Between The 'Sins Of Raleigh' Or Washington

The latest Elon University poll shows what most have been saying about the U.S. Senate Race in North Carolina; it’s very close. Nonetheless, Elon found that 44.7 percent of voters are breaking for Sen. Kay Hagan, while 40.7 percent are going for Tillis. The sample size consisted of 1084 residents of which 996 were registered to vote. Out of 996, 687 identified themselves as likely voters. There was a D+5 skew in the sample for those who identified their political affiliation.

Additionally, it's the same story with Obama, the state legislature, and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory; no one really thinks they’re doing a good job. It also suggests that despite millions of dollars being poured into the state, the needle hasn’t moved all that much. Then again, the latest Marist poll shows Tillis has closed his 4-point deficit he had with Hagan in the polls.

Lastly, Roll Call’s Stuart Rothenberg, who labeled this race as leaning towards the Democrats, said this race is a pure toss up:

Voters in the Tar Heel State don’t seem to like Hagan or GOP challenger Thom Tillis, but one of them will win on Nov. 4. Hagan’s lead seems to have all but vanished, and Republicans who a month or two ago were quite pessimistic about the race have grown cautiously optimistic. This race now looks too close to call.

As a result, both sides have prominent national figures heading down to stump for them. Bill Clinton will be in Raleigh tomorrow, while Gov. Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Sen. John McCain have campaigned for Tillis.

Both sides have a healthy-and almost equal–amount of support amongst their respective bases. It’s whether who can maximize turnout that will decide the victor next week. Also, which narrative resonated more; the “sins of Raleigh” or the fiasco in Washington (via RCP):

Republicans have even used Hagan’s own words from 2008 against her in 2014. An ad sponsored by the National Republican Senatorial Committee features a clip of Hagan campaigning against Dole: “Voting 92 percent of the time with the president, whether you support him or not, doesn't work here in North Carolina.”

But nearly each time these charges are lobbed at Hagan, she punches back with an attack on Tillis’ record in the state legislature, particularly the recent budget that resulted in cuts to education funding and teacher layoffs.

For his part, Tillis welcomes the legislature vs. Obama/Democrats paradigm. “If the senator is referring to historic tax cuts, historic reductions on unemployment, historic reductions on burdensome regulations, the things that I’ve done as speaker of the House, I agree -- that’s exactly what we’re running on,” he told RCP.

Tillis argued that the state’s education budget has increased since 2011, and pointed to fact-checkers as validation. (Politifact rated Hagan’s claim that he cut $500 million in education half-true.)

In these final days, the emphasis is on the ground game. Democrats credit the president’s campaign organization for having a built the infrastructure to locate and activate volunteers. But the party notes that it has expanded beyond that over the past two years, with 40 offices across the state and a volunteer base of over 10,000 people. Democratic operatives here say they have seen increases in early voting. “It’s an incredibly high-stakes election for North Carolina because there could not be a clearer contrast between the two candidates,” says Ben Ray, a spokesman for the coordinated effort. “Voters are confronted with a values statement.”

Making that values statement is a pricey undertaking. This contest could become the most expensive in Senate race in history, with the two sides spending an estimated $100 million combined. Not surprisingly, voters here are exhausted by wall-to-wall campaign ads, most of them negative.

Americans for Prosperity’s North Carolina chapter has also been aggressive in GOTV efforts. Their deputy state director, Donald Bryson, said that the race will come down to this question: “When you sit down and think about it and try to figure it out, are the good policies that are affecting my life coming out of D.C. or are they coming out of [the] state house in Raleigh?”

Also, immigration groups have fired off shots inside the ship, criticizing Hagan for her stances on immigration; she called on Obama to avoid halting deportations this past summer via executive order and was one of five Democrats who joined Republicans voting to kill the DREAM ACT’s advance in the Senate back in 2010. If immigration becomes an issue in the waning days of the 2014 cycle, it will surely play into Republican hands, as it’s a topic that hasn’t played well with Democrats.

Regardless, this is shaping up to be a very exciting election night.

On a final note, I’ll leave you with this video from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas showing North Carolina campaign workers doing nothing to stop a non-citizen from voting in next week’s elections. It dovetails off a Washington Post article that discussed the possible impact of non-citizens voting in American elections.

I’m not saying voter fraud will occur, but it’s something to ponder–even if Think Progress doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal.

ARG Poll: Brown: 49; Shaheen: 49

Serious question: Is there a closer Senate contest in the country than the one in New Hampshire?

Bear with me for a second. There have been three separate polls published in recent days. New England College gave Brown the edge (48/47); CNN/Opinion Research did not (49/47); and now, of course, the ARG survey has the race all tied up:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The race is so close that Brown and Shaheen are essentially splitting the vote among every single demographic: 18 to 44-year olds (50/49), 45-year olds and older (48/48), and independents (47/51). To make matters even more complicated, the gender gap is evenly split (Brown has an 11 point advantage among men, Shaheen an 11 point advantage among women) and both candidates are showing strong support among the party faithful.

Tellingly, however, 51 percent of respondents believe Shaheen will ultimately win; 41 percent disagree and claim Brown will. The safe bet, then, is supposedly on the Democrat.

But this race hasn't broke either way yet -- although it could tonight. After all, tonight is the third and final debate between the candidates this month. And while the moderator is probably the worst choice ever, it is what it is.

Republicans are used to "impartial" moderators. And so is Brown.

UPDATE: Oh my. This just dropped this evening:

A new poll shows that U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is maintaining a lead over Republican challenger Scott Brown.

The WMUR Granite State Poll shows Shaheen leading Brown 50-42 percent among likely voters. That's a 2-point increase over earlier this month, but the difference is still within the poll's margin of error.

Final WBUR Poll: MA Gov Race = Dead Heat

Fresh off two big debates this past week that turned some heads, WBUR’s last tracking survey of the cycle has the candidates neck-and-neck. Baker is earning 43 percent of the vote; his opponent 42 percent.

But check out this graph:

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At first blush, one would assume Baker is finished. The poll shows him down by double digits in the city of Boston -- a deficit of 24 percentage points. But in fact he’s actually slightly ahead, in part because Coakley hasn't locked up the Democratic base as winning progressive candidates for governor have done in the past. Also interesting, as the pollsters note, in 2002 Mitt Romney lost Beantown two points shy of 30 percentage points (see above). So if, according to this offering, Baker is only expected to lose urban voters by 24 points, he's in good shape.

The following is also good news for Baker supporters.

“As we reported in a previous post on Poll Vault, Coakley needs to turn the gender gap into 'a gender gulf' to win,” the pollsters explained in their analysis of the survey. “In the last few weeks, she’s done the opposite. The WBUR surveys shows Coakley’s support with women is deteriorating. Six weeks ago, she led Baker by 20 points; now, her lead has shrunk to 9 in this group."

A nine point advantage is hardly “a gender gulf”; Coakley's not even leading by double digits anymore.

Finally, and for what it’s worth, there was a much-talked-about moment during Tuesday evening's debate. Baker actually broke down in tears as he described the plight of a fisherman in New Bedford who stopped his children from accepting football scholarships to follow his own, near moribund, career path:

Emotional stuff. And yet, the Boston Globe reports that the conversation between Baker and the fisherman in question happened roughly five years ago, not recently. Nevertheless, Baker fired back yesterday, brushing off criticisms that his tears were disingenuous or that he made up the anecdote:

Eight percent of respondents are still undecided. This race could go either way.

Begich More Inclined to Align Himself With Republican Senator Than Obama

It’s kind of like “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” In that classic chick flick, Julia Roberts is chasing after Dermot Mulroney, and Dermot Mulroney is chasing after Cameron Diaz. No one is chasing after Roberts. Well, swap out Roberts for President Obama, Mulroney for Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and Diaz for Senator Lisa Murkowski, (R-AK) and you’ve got the 2014 Senate race in Alaska.

Earlier this month, Obama said that, like it or not, his policies are ‘on the ballot’ this November. However, vulnerable Democrats are outright ignoring him.

In the Last Frontier’s tight campaign, incumbent Senator Mark Begich is doing his darnedest to distance himself from President Obama, perhaps not surprising considering only a third of Alaskans give him a positive approval rating. First, Begich said the president’s ‘not relevant’ in this election, and now he’s refusing to even name him by name.

The LA Times reported on Begich's diss:

The simple question is at the top of many minds this grumpy election season, even among the 1,000 or so high school students gathered for a televised debate: "How will you work to reach across partisan lines to accomplish real goals?"

Incumbent Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat in a tight race, started his answer by shoving his party's president gently under the campaign bus, talking about the need to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, anathema to the Obama administration.

One person Begich isn’t shying away from, is Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski. Begich has used Murkowski in his campaign ads, touting their bipartisan partnership:

"Lisa Murkowski and I, Republican and Democrat, this last year voted 80% together," Begich boasted, a claim he makes at campaign stops from Barrow to Ketchikan. "No other senators in a split delegation in the country have that kind of voting record."

Murkowski, however, was unimpressed with the ad, asking Begich to remove her picture, considering she has already endorsed his GOP opponent Dan Sullivan. Begich doubled down with a ridiculous argument that she simply ‘didn’t like the photo’ they used.

This sticky situation doesn’t only prove Begich needs to work on his manners, it also highlights the fact that Begich is more interested in touting his relationship with a Republican senator than with the president.

Ouch.

Other vulnerable Democrats are trying to convince voters they’re not so chummy with the president as their records might suggest. Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-Ky.) wouldn’t admit she voted for him, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) couldn’t say whether or not he was a good leader, and my personal favorite, when Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) claimed the White House would be frightened to see him walking across the lawn. In other words, by keeping the president at bay, Begich is in good company.

One of the most iconic scenes in "My Best Friend's Wedding" is when the whole cast joins in a rendition of Aretha Franklin's "I Say a Little Prayer." The way this election is shaping up, it seems like Democrats might need to join in the chorus.

CBS Poll: Obama Approval 39 Percent, GOP Up Big on Congressional Ballot


The final pre-election poll from CBS News bears good news for Republicans. We'll get to the data in a moment; first, let's revisit something we mentioned earlier in the week in reporting the WaPo/ABC News poll, which gave Republicans a sizable lead. Pollster' final generic ballot numbers have bounced all over the place.  The NBC/WSJ poll showed the GOP ahead by a whopping 11 points.  Then both CNN and Fox News gave Democrats a one-point edge, causing liberals to briefly cease whining about Fox News.  WaPo/ABC News measured a six-point Republican lead, and now this from CBS News:

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 10.04.14 AM


Republicans hit 50 and lead by eight percentage points when so-called 'leaners' are included.  In addition to a 13-point enthusiasm advantage over Democrats, the GOP enjoys leads among registered voters on a host of key issues -- meaning that these gaps are larger with likely voters:


The eight-point Congressional ballot margin for Republicans is wider than CBS News' last pre-election survey in 2010, which seems newsworthy, yet CBS News doesn't seem very excited about reporting their own results. As you note this headline juxtaposition, remember that 2006 was a similar midterm environment to this year, just with the roles reversed:



Why, it's almost as if the straight-down-the-middle truth seekers at CBS News are feeling a bit mopey over Republicans polling well.  Speaking of which a new Quinnipiac poll out of Colorado shows Cory Gardner in the lead by seven points, with incumbent Mark Udall stuck at 39 percent.  The survey result precisely mirrors a Suffolk/USA Today poll of the race released last week.  In an interview with me on last night's Hugh Hewitt Show, Gardner derided the Left's ludicrous attacks against him as "obnoxious" (quoting the Denver Post  editorial endorsing him), and said his team "feels good" about their position and ground game heading down the final stretch.  Meanwhile, Tom Cotton has opened up a massive 13-point lead on incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor among Arkansas' likeliest voters, according to a University of Arkansas survey.  Cotton also leads fairly comfortably among all adults.  If these data points even remotely reflect reality, Pryor is toast.  Democrats got some good news in North Carolina, where an Elon poll shows Kay Hagan maintaining a four-point lead on Thom Tillis, unchanged from the previous result in the series.  I'll leave you with a positive sign in Iowa:


Turnout, turnout, turnout.

Sen. King: Haha Just Kidding Guys, I Now Support Mike Michaud For Governor

Yesterday evening Sen. Angus King (I-ME) switched things up and endorsed Rep. Mike Michaud (D) for Governor of Maine, despite having endorsed independent candidate Eliot Cutler earlier this year. Cutler was also endorsed by the major newspaper the Bangor Daily News, who called him the best man for the job despite the two-party system.

The switch came after Cutler hosted a downright weird press conference where he didn't drop out of the race, but he essentially told his supporters that it's perfectly fine to vote for someone else. Cutler has been at a distant third in most polls.

Maine's other senator, Olympia Snowe (R) endorsed incumbent Paul LePage (R).

Eric Holder Regrets Not Using Better Language to Target Fox News' James Rosen

Attorney General Eric Holder officially submitted his resignation to President Obama last month after six years at the Department of Justice. Although a replacement for Holder will not be nominated until after the 2014 midterm elections, the attorney general is opening up about his worst decision during his tenure.  I can't imagine it was easy for him to choose only one. 

Speaking yesterday at a forum held in Washington D.C., Holder said he should have taken a "closer look at the language" used in subpoena naming Fox News' James Rosen as a criminal co-conspirator. 

Asked what decision he wishes he could do over, Holder said: "I think about the subpoena to the Fox reporter, Rosen."

Holder was referring to a 2010 search warrant application seeking Rosen's emails. The Justice Department at the time was investigating who leaked information contained in a series of reports by Rosen in 2009 about North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

In the course of seeking Rosen's emails, an FBI agent submitted an affidavit claiming there was evidence that Rosen broke the law, "at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator." The affidavit went so far as to invoke the Espionage Act -- pertaining to the unauthorized gathering and transmitting of defense information.

On Wednesday, Holder said that application could have been done "differently" and "better."

"I think that I could have been a little more careful looking at the language that was contained in the filing that we made with the court -- that he was labeled as a co-conspirator," Holder said, while claiming they did that "as a result of the statute."

Holder doesn't seem to actually regret targeting Rosen, but instead regrets the kind of language that was used in his case. Notice how he doesn't mention anything about the importance of non-interference from government in the work of journalists. In his statement Holder justifies the action and says it was necessary under a statute, while at the same attempts to portray that the way things happened "could have been done differently." 

As a reminder, the Department of Justice didn't simply monitor the phone calls and emails of Rosen, but monitored the phone lines running to his parent's house and tracked his movements.

When the Justice Department began investigating possible leaks of classified information about North Korea in 2009, investigators did more than obtain telephone records of a working journalist suspected of receiving the secret material.

They used security badge access records to track the reporter’s comings and goings from the State Department, according to a newly obtained court affidavit. They traced the timing of his calls with a State Department security adviser suspected of sharing the classified report. They obtained a search warrant for the reporter’s personal e-mails.
UPDATE: James Rosen has issued a statement in response to Holder's comments.
Throughout this ordeal for my family and me, I have tried to keep my head down and continue covering – and breaking – the news. I consider myself blessed to have an employer in Fox News, and a boss in Roger Ailes, who have stood by me and enabled me to remain focused on what matters most to me in professional terms: first-rate journalism. At some later point, I may have more to say about this entire controversy, which – as commentators from across the ideological spectrum have noted – does indeed raise serious concerns about the state of press freedoms under the present administration. Suffice to say for now that the attorney general’s latest comments about my case, like his previous remarks, scarcely address the relevant facts of his conduct.

U.S. Special Operations Vets Launch Crowdfunding Campaign to Help Kurds Fight Against ISIS 'Genocidal Caliphate'

A group of former U.S. Special Operations Veterans have launched a crowdfunding campaign, Operation Limitless Compassion, to help the Kurds fight off ISIS terrorists in Iraq. Castle International, a world-wide air ambulance company founded and operated by former special operations volunteers, is leading the way to provide pro-U.S. Kurdish fighters with desperately needed humanitarian aid, medical training, medical supplies, and combat training. Recon teams from Castle International have already deployed to northern Iraq to offer direct assistance to Kurdish fighters and more will head to the region in November. Castle International has launched two crowdfunding sites to gather donations, GoFundMe and YouCaring.com, with a goal of raising $100,000 for the operation.

"Castle International LLC Special Projects Group (SPG) is spearheading a volunteer humanitarian effort to assist the peoples of Kurdistan. The volunteer group is made up of former British and American Special Operations Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are passionate about serving oppressed people around the world. The current level of assistance to the Kurdish peoples from the west is woefully inadequate. Assistance that is currently provided only serves to stem the tide of ISIS's gains that they have achieved during their steam roller advance across Syria and Iraq to reestablish a genocidal Caliphate," Castle International COO and former Army Ranger Jesse Johnson, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said in a statement. "The volunteers of SPG feel like they can no longer sit idly by while the enemies of free societies try to eradicate us. The situation is simply unacceptable to anyone who calls themselves a supporter of human rights and freedom. Utilizing our unique medical and Special Operations backgrounds we can take action to create positive results that protect our way of life."

"Kurdish fighters are known for their élan and willingness to close the distance with the enemy but they lack the basic individual soldier skills to increase their lethality as well as their own survivability. Castle International LLC SPG will provide the foundation of skills that will ensure the defeat of militant Islam and the reestablishment of the Caliphate by empowering the only people in the region who are willing to fight for what they believe in," Johnson further states. "The Castle International LLC SPG mission to Northern Iraq will focus on caring for Kurdish Fighters Wounded in Action (WIA) on the frontlines, training individual fighters in the facets of Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) to increase their own survivability and lastly create sustainable logistical lines to provide Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC) to the Kurdish fighters. Castle International LLC SPG will be running the project from donations through two crowd funding sites. Donations will go towards equipment, travel, and logistical support for the mission."

Castle International was recently featured by local Phoenix television news station ABC 15 where Johnson discussed the project. The group has also sent veterans to help with the Ebola crisis in West Africa. 

Soon their skills will also be headed to Iraq as the company volunteers to provide humanitarian aid and training for the Kurdish people.

“Train, equip and advise these guys to go in and them survive against ISIS,” said Castle’s COO Jesse.

Several people are already doing reconnaissance in the region with plans to send an entire team over next month.

“We are those people that can go make that positive impact,” Jesse said. “So instead of sitting on a bar stool and saying ‘I wish someone would do something about it,’ we're going to get it done.”

If you want to donate to Operation Limitless Compassion, you can do so here and here.

Brewing in GA: Perdue Leads in Latest Polls

The race for the Georgia U.S. Senate seat is one of the closest in the country. Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue are expected to each procure less than 50 percent of the vote, forcing the candidates into a run-off in January. That being said, two of the latest polls reveal a bright forecast for GOP supporters.

According to a SurveyUSA poll, Perdue leads Nunn by three points. This comes as a direct reversal from last week’s results, which showed Nunn up by two. Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford is skimming just enough votes (3 percent) to keep either mainstream candidate from securing a majority vote.

An additional poll conducted by Monmouth University (which sampled only 436 likely voters) has Perdue leading by a whopping 8 points.

It also claimed Georgian voters would “prefer to see the Republicans (45%) rather than the Democrats (33%) in control of the U.S. Senate, while 21% say party control makes no difference to them.”

Perdue has been accusing Nunn of being a "rubber stamp" for the Obama Administration, something that doesn't sit well with the 56 percent of Georgians who disapprove of the president's work.