tipsheet
Sarah Jean Seman - Ouch: Obama Claims America Doesn't Want Stay-At-Home Moms
Posted: 10/31/2014 7:00:00 PM EST

At best, this was a slip of the tongue. During a speech in Rhode Island Friday, President Obama claimed that Americans do not want to become stay-at-home moms.

“Moms and dads deserve a great place to drop their kids off every day that doesn’t cost them an arm and a leg,” Obama said, stressing the need for public pre-schools. This sentiment is in line with Obama’s “Preschool for all Initiative.

“In many states, sending your child to daycare costs more than sending them to a public university. True?

And too often, parents have no choice but to put their kids in cheaper daycare, that maybe doesn’t have the kinds of programming that makes a big difference in a child’s development. And then sometime their just may not be any slots or the best programs may be too far away.

Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”

Now while this may be true for some individuals who cannot afford day-care, many women see it as privilege to be able to leave the workplace to invest in their loved ones, and, through the raising of the next generation, the future of their country.

Greg Hengler - SuperPac Puts "Elite Media" on Ballot
Posted: 10/31/2014 5:28:00 PM EST

Conservative War Chest unveiled its final ads of the 2014 midterm elections. A new 2 minute ad airing in North Carolina voters to make the election a referendum on the “corruption of American journalism.”

The video editor has skills!

Katie Pavlich - Kerry Calls Netanyahu, Promises White House Doesn't Really Think He's Chickensh*t or a Coward
Posted: 10/31/2014 4:30:00 PM EST

Earlier this week we learned through the reporting of Jeffery Goldberg that multiple White House officials refer to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "chickensh*t, recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and 'Aspergery.'" At this point the White House has no plans to disclose or find out who made the comments and President Obama has failed to issue a direct apology to Netanyahu for the behavior of his team. Press Secretary Josh Earnest attempted an expected diplomatic clean-up during the daily briefing on Wednesday by saying the comments in Goldberg's story don't represent the view of the administration. Now, it's Secretary of State John Kerry's turn.

Earlier today Kerry called Netanyahu to reiterate Earnest's comments that the name-calling doesn't represent the administration's view of the Israeli prime minister but admitted the comments have an impact on an already damaged relationship between the two countries. From Haartz:

U.S. Secretary of State called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday to express his regret over the remarks made against the Israeli premier this week in The Atlantic.

According to a senior Israeli official, Kerry said the remarks were unacceptable and emphasized they do not represent the position of the U.S. government.

On Thursday, Kerry condemned the jibes, noting that since his tenure as secretary of state began, he has never heard the derogatory term used regarding Netanyahu.
"Such statements are disgraceful, unacceptable and damaging," he said during a press conference in Washington. "I don’t know who the people that said those things are but it made our lives much harder."

Tensions between the U.S. and Israel continue to rise as Iran gets closer to the production of a nuclear weapon, something the Obama administration doesn't seem eager to stop.

Matt Vespa - Toss-Up: NC Race Tied, But Tillis Has More Room To Grow
Posted: 10/31/2014 4:15:00 PM EST

Elon had a poll showing Sen. Kay Hagan with a 4-point lead over Republican Thom Tillis, but left-leaning Public Policy Polling did a survey on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters showing the race virtually tied.

The poll, which is D+12, has Hagan leading Tillis by only 1 point 47/46, which is quite remarkable since PPPs last North Carolina poll on October 20 had her up 3 points 47/44. The sample consisted of 657 likely voters.  An official PPP poll on the North Carolina race will be released in the coming days.

As others have reported, the race is a pure toss-up, folks. Roll Call’s Rothenberg reclassified the race as such. Additionally, the Huffington Post’s pollsters recently wrote that Tillis has been slowly eating away at Hagan’s advantage in the polls–and that Tillis may have more room to grow as Election Day near, especially with Undecideds [emphasis mine]:

The HuffPost Pollster tracking model, based on all public polls but calibrated to match the trends from the independent, non-partisan pollsters, gives Hagan an edge of just under one percentage point, as of this writing (44.8 to 43.9 percent) and a probability of victory of barely better than a coin flip.

Thursday's new polls included an internal survey conducted by Tillis pollster Public Opinion Strategies showing a tied race (44 percent each). Campaigns are typically selective about the polling data they share, releasing favorable results and holding back the bad, but Democrats conceded that their data also shows a close race in North Carolina. On Thursday, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director Guy Cecil said their internal models show North Carolina within "the margin of error." [POS, WashPost]

The recent trends reflect a pattern that Republican strategists and analysts like RealClearPolitics Sean Trende predicted. Since early September, Hagan's share of the vote has remained essentially flat (at roughly 45 percent in the Pollster chart) while the Tillis number has increased from 42 percent in September to 44 percent over the past week, suggesting that Tillis may have further room to grow his support among undecided voters.

Even FiveThiryEight said that Tillis’ prospects of victory have never been better, but also noted that this surge might be “too little, too late,” especially with early voting.

Yet, it’s not a doom-and-gloom picture on that front either (via NYT):

The turnout among black voters is particularly encouraging for Democrats, who need strong black turnout to compete in racially polarized states like Georgia and North Carolina. In those two states, black voters so far represent 30 percent of the voters who did not participate in 2010. By comparison, 24 percent of all those who voted in those states in 2010 were black.

But so far, there have not been enough new Democratic votes to erase the Republicans’ expected turnout advantage. It remains to be seen whether turnout among new voters will continue at these rates. The Upshot’s model, Leo, still gives the Republicans a 68 percent chance of taking the Senate.

On the campaign trail, Tillis has received some good news about the tax reforms he oversaw in Raleigh; North Carolina’s tax climate was ranked at a dismal 44 out of 50 to 16th best due to cutting the top personal income tax rate from 7.75 percent to 5.8 percent and reducing corporate rates from 6.9 percent to a flat rate of 6 percent. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also endorsed Tillis earlier today saying, “America faces challenges both at home and abroad. We need leaders in Washington to address these issues head on. Thom Tillis is an effective leader who can work across the aisle to solve problems and make our government more accountable to the people. I encourage you to join me in supporting Thom Tillis on November 4th.”

On the other hand, Kay Hagan is stumbling towards the finish line.

Earlier this week, pro-immigration activists hijacked one of her campaign rallies, slamming her for being “anti-immigrant.” The whole event got quite awkward (especially around the 55 second mark).  If there's one issue that Hagan does not want in the spotlight days before Election Day, it's immigration. Ebola and ISIS have done their part in shifting the race towards Tillis and the Republicans.

Over at Hot Air, Noah noted how Hagan fumbled her response to outside money expenditures in this campaign in her interview with PBS’ Gwen Ifill–with Ifill calling her out on her hypocrisy over the issue.

SEN. KAY HAGAN (D-NC): North Carolina is this purple state, but I feel very good about where we are. I do think that this out of state money is something that I’m very disappointed in. But it is because of the Supreme Court –

GWEN IFILL, PBS: But you’ve benefited from it as well?

HAGAN: You know, I think no matter who gives money it should be disclosed and I think it should be transparent. I’ve got legislation in the Senate that would do just that. Thom Tillis doesn’t support that. We’ve got to let the American public know who is putting this money forward. If you think about it, you’ve got a handful of the wealthiest people in this country that are dictating what 350 million hear and see on TV and that’s wrong. To me, that’s not democracy.

IFILL: But as long as that money is coming from people who support you it’s okay?

HAGAN: You know, I certainly wish that we could have disclosed where people — where no matter who gives money the public knows and follows that. That’s why I support this bill.

Hagan also mentioned how turnout will be essential, especially in these very close races, but are Democrats finished in this area? It’s an off-year election, and while the early voting numbers–as mentioned above–are good, they are unable to have an impact against the projected Republican turnout.

Also, Nate Cohn over at the New York Times has written this past spring about the Democratic turnout problems this year, which is compounded in North Carolina.

All I can say is that 2014 is going to be a fun election night–ten times more than 2012 that’s for sure.

Kevin Glass - Possible Illegal Democratic Campaign Activity In Kansas
Posted: 10/31/2014 3:58:00 PM EST
In the tight race between incumbent Republican Pat Roberts and "independent" candidate Greg Orman in Kansas, the Democrats are implicitly pro-Orman. The two-way race between Orman and Roberts has been close ever since Democrats pressured the official Democratic candidate to drop out of the race.

But now, the Kansas Republican Party has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against the Kansas Democratic Party for illegal "in-kind" contributions to the Orman campaign.

Kansas Democrats have hung pro-Orman signs at official Democratic Party offices which, according to the GOP's complaint, is illegal:

Parties have traditionally used the volunteer exemption for activities such as get out the vote, printing and handing out bumper stickers and yard signs, door-to-door canvassing, and volunteer mail programs. But the Kansas Democrats are allowed to undertake these activities only on behalf of their nominees - not independent, non-affiliated candidates such as Greg Orman.

...

Various reports have indicated that the Kansas Democrats are supporting Greg Orman in numerous and unreported ways, apparently in violation of Federal law.

Read the full letter below:

Christine Rousselle - McConnell Up By Five in Latest Poll
Posted: 10/31/2014 3:35:00 PM EST

A new poll out of Kentucky is showing incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) with a solid lead as Election Day draws near. McConnell's lead has expanded from polls earlier this week, and he now leads by five points over Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The latest poll of 597 likely voters in Kentucky was conducted by SurveyUSA between Oct. 25 and Oct. 29 on behalf of the Herald-Leader and WKYT-TV in Lexington and The Courier-Journal and WHAS-TV in Louisville. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

McConnell leads Grimes 48 percent to 43 percent in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, with Libertarian candidate David Patterson pulling 3 percent.

In a Bluegrass Poll released early last week, McConnell was clinging to a one-point lead, with 44 percent backing him and 43 percent choosing Grimes.

McConnell is leading among both men and women, and although the GOP base has been critical of him throughout the election cycle, 86 percent of Republicans polled said they plan on voting for him. This is certainly a good thing. On the other side of the aisle, Grimes base may be turning on her--only 71 percent of Democrats claim that they will vote for Grimes, and an astounding 23 percent of Kentucky Democrats intend on voting for McConnell.

Grimes came under fire when her supporters said that she was lying about her support of the coal industry, and when she refused to confirm whether or not she voted for Obama. The DSCC briefly pulled money and ads from Kentucky, but eventually returned.

Our poll tracker has shown McConnell with a slight, but consistent, lead for most of the race:

Katie Pavlich - Watch Someone in The Government Take Over Sharyl Attkisson's Computer
Posted: 10/31/2014 3:15:00 PM EST

Earlier this week investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson released new information to the New York Post, which is further detailed in her forthcoming book Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington, about the hacking of her personal and work computers last year. After an analysis by a close source familiar with hacking systems and spyware Attkisson, who has worked extensively on stories like Benghazi and Operation Fast and Furious, alleged that someone in the federal government had entered her computer, deleted information and even planted classified documents in hopes of potentially prosecuting her or a source during a leak investigation.

In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed.

“This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying.

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

Now, there's video showing what Attkisson described. While working at home on a story about Benghazi, Attkisson's computer appears to have been taken over and entire paragraphs of information were deleted.

Attkisson's book comes out on November 4, 2014.
Guy Benson - Landrieu: Let's Face It, I'm Struggling Because Louisianans are Sexist and Racist
Posted: 10/31/2014 3:06:00 PM EST

Mary Landrieu is losing. This reality makes her angry. And she's channeling her fury by leveling slanderous attacks against the very people from whom she's seeking votes. This is what your Senator thinks of you, Louisiana:



I’ll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader. It's not always been a good place for women to be able to present ourselves. It's more of a conservative place, so we've had to work a little bit harder..."

Louisianans are so sexist that they've elected...Mary Landrieu to the Senate.  Three times. They're so racist that Bobby Jindal is their governor.  As a refresher, this is what Bobby Jindal, an Indian-American son of immigrants, looks like:




The man won re-election by a 48-point margin in 2011, carrying every single parish in the state.  He hasn't taken too kindly to Landrieu's smears, either:


Even the mainstream media can't avert its eyes from this self-inflicted wound, calling her comments a "PR nightmare" and "divisive:"


I debated Landrieu's remark on Fox News this morning, and despite getting out-talked and out-interrupted, I think I managed to make my point:


Notice that he had absolutely no response to my facts on Gov. Jindal and Sen. Scott. A few more points that I was unable to squeeze in: Obviously, a (blessedly small) group of people primarily oppose Obama because of his skin color; a minor subset of the electorate primarily supports him for the same reason. And of course both parties have checkered racial histories, both in the South and elsewhere. But racism and sexism aren't the sinister root causes of Obama and Landrieu's political problems. Conservative voters oppose Obama's statist agenda, and they oppose Landrieu for propping up said agenda 97 percent of the time.

In short, Louisiana isn't the problem, Senator. You are. And maybe you'd be more hesitant to badmouth the people of Louisiana if you actually lived in the state you ostensibly "represent." 
Daniel Doherty - AR Polls: Is This Cotton's Race to Lose?
Posted: 10/31/2014 3:00:00 PM EST

Take your pick. Regardless of which poll you read, both Arkansas surveys suggest Rep. Tom Cotton will soon be getting a promotion.

First starters, let’s begin with the Arkansas Poll, which shows the Republican in the race maintaining a whopping 13 point advantage over the incumbent, 49 percent to 36 percent:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

From the internals:

(1) Among “very likely voters,” the D/R/I sample breakdown is 31/33/33. That's to say, the sample isn't overly skewed in favor of Republicans. And yet Sen. Pryor and President Obama’s approval/disapproval ratings are almost comically bad, sitting at 33/54 and 27/68, respectively.

(2) Thirty-four percent of respondents said “the economy” is the most important issue facing Arkansans. The second and third issues, respectively, were “politicians/politics” (21 percent) and "healthcare" (16 percent).

(3) Twenty-five percent of respondents say they are “worse” off financially than they were one year ago today. However, 22 percent said they were “better” off, and 52 percent said “about the same.”

In other words, the vast majority of respondents are doing okay, but they really aren't all that impressed with Sen. Pryor and President Obama. I would point out, however, that the sample size was rather small. Only 568 “very likely voters” participated in the survey. By contrast, Rasmussen Reports' newest poll interviewed some 967 Likely Voters.

That’s a much bigger (and better) sample, and thus perhaps one reason why their findings indicate the race is much tighter:

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Arkansas Voters shows Cotton with 51% of the vote to Pryor’s 44%. Four percent (4%) like some other candidate in the race, and two percent (2%) remain undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Either way you slice it, though, that’s still a seven point differential; it makes you wonder if this poll wasn’t an outlier after all.

Conn Carroll - Obama's America Isn't Showing Up for 2014
Posted: 10/31/2014 2:00:00 PM EST

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.