tipsheet
Sarah Jean Seman - Gardner Winning Big with Colorado Gun Owners
Posted: 10/9/2014 3:10:00 PM EST

Colorado is one of the epicenters of the United States for big-game hunting and gun owners are not shy about vocalizing their Second Amendment rights. 

Remember the 2013 recall? Colorado State Senators Angela Giron (D) and John Morse (D) were given the boot for their gun control votes and replaced with Republicans. 

With only 25 days until the midterm elections gun owners are making their support for Rep. Cory Gardner (R) unequivocal. Fifty-six percent of gun owners claimed they would vote for Gardner if the elections were held today according the latest Fox News poll (which sampled 739 Colorado likely voters). Only 26 percent backed Udall.

And it is little wonder, the NRA gave Udall an ‘F’ for his pro-gun control voting record. Udall voted to allow licensed concealed carry holders to travel across state lines in 2009, then in 2012 voted against it.

Udall also came out in 2012 in support of a ban on so-called ‘assault weapons.’ In a statement he referred to gun ownership as a “tradition” rather than calling what it is, a Second Amendment right.

Gardner and Udall were asked this question during the Denver Post debate Tuesday:

Colorado has been home to the Columbine and Aurora movie theater shootings, two tragedies that caused Americans to consider stricter gun laws. When it comes to the Second Amendment, what values would guide your approach to future federal gun legislation and how does that differ from your opponent?

Watch the three minute clip below to hear their responses:

The poll shows Gardner leading 43-37 against Udall overall.

Leah Barkoukis - Poll: Majority of Americans Say Obama Still Doesn't Deserve Peace Prize
Posted: 10/9/2014 2:32:00 PM EST

Nobel Prizes continue to be announced this week, and according to a new Rasmussen poll, Americans are both skeptical about how winners are chosen and continue to question President Obama’s Peace Prize win back in 2009. 

Rasmussen Reports has the details:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54% of American Adults think politics play a role in the awarding of Nobel Prizes. Just 17% disagree, but 30% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-five percent (55%) of adults say that, six years into his presidency, President Obama still does not deserve the prize that he won in 2009. Twenty-six percent (26%) think he still deserves the prize. Another 18% are not sure.

The number who think politics play a role is up slightly from 51% last year. In 2009, the year President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, belief that politics played a role in the awarding of the prizes climbed into the high 50s. In 2008, only 40% felt that way.

Just 35% of Americans believethe Nobel Prize is the most prestigious award a person can win. Thirty-seven percent (37%) disagree, while another 27% are not sure.

That’s a slightly less positive view of the prize than adults expressed last year, but is generally in line with previous years.

The Nobel Peace Prize is an award that Mother Teresa, Yasser Arafat, and Barack Obama have won, but Gandhi never did, so Americans have every right to be both confused and skeptical about the role of politics in decision making. The committee ultimately has its reasons, however, and if one is truly interested in understanding more about how the process works, Jay Nordlinger’s “Peace, They Say” is a great place to start.

The committee will announce this year's winner of the Peace Prize on Friday. 

Greg Hengler - CO Senator Udall (D) at Debate: I Support Late-Term Abortions
Posted: 10/9/2014 2:04:00 PM EST

From Albert Mohler

Tuesday night in Colorado the incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall was asked a question:

“We know that you support a woman’s right to choose, but given the advances in scientific understanding of fetal development, where pregnant mothers know at which week babies grow fingernails and can swallow, would you support a ban on late-term abortions and if so at what week?”

Senator Udall, who has become emblematic in the national media of the Democratic Party’s new effort to reach out to women voters, largely by an unembarrassed affirmation of abortion rights, Senator Udall responded by citing the case of a woman he knew who had a medical emergency in the eighth month of pregnancy. And as he stated,

“We ought to respect the women of Colorado and their point of view,”

What the senator did not say is consistent with what he has refused to say in every other point, and it is also consistent with his voting record. He refused to say that he would oppose any abortion, at any point, for any reason.

Ky Sisson - Poll: Kansas Governor Race Sees Swing to GOP Incumbent
Posted: 10/9/2014 2:00:00 PM EST

The Kansas gubernatorial election is proving to be one of the most unpredictable and closely-watched this season.

In a Fox News poll released today, Republican Governor Sam Brownback took the lead for the first time in weeks against Democratic challenger, Paul Davis, with 46 to 40 percent. 

This news has the Brownback campaign revitalized as they have had been ahead in only a few polls taken since the campaign started. Brownback's tax reform has been brutally criticized by the Davis campaign and has swayed even the most conservative of voters. The poll also says that Kansas voters tend to believe the tax cuts implemented under Brownback have mostly hurt (43 percent) rather than helped (36 percent) the state’s economy.

This lead is in light of the release of attack ads on the "strip club controversy" involving a drug raid in 1998 where Davis was found with a "nearly naked woman." 

Regarding the lead in the poll, Mark Dugan, the campaign manager for Brownback said in an email:

"Look, there are polls that show this race all over the place. But one thing is crystal clear from every single poll – there is massive movement in voters supporting Sam Brownback and his vision for the future of Kansas. Paul Davis’ support is flat and voters are rejecting his failed Obama/Davis agenda."

The Fox News pollsters explain the shift this way:

Support for Davis among Democrats dropped from 91 percent in September to 82 percent, and backing from independents increased for Brownback from 27 percent last month to 36 percent. In addition, Brownback’s support among men increased 10 points in the new poll since September.

Sixty-three percent of Kansas likely voters disapprove of Obama’s job performance, which makes this his worst job rating of the five battleground states tested this week.

Guy Benson - Momentum: New Wave of Polling Spells Big Trouble for Democrats
Posted: 10/9/2014 1:03:00 PM EST

Let's start with the national picture, then move to key Senate races. In a fresh CBS News poll, Republicans hold a six point lead on the generic Congressional ballot -- matching their final 2010 margin in this series:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 7.27.17 PM

As a point of comparison, Fox's national survey released last week had the GOP ahead by a similar margin, 47-40.  It's historically rare for Republicans to have any advantage on this indicator, so what explains their substantial edge here? How about a 30 point lead among independents, and an eight-point enthusiasm gap. And then there's this…


Despite some positive economic news in recent weeks, just 29 percent voters thinks the US economy is improving. Maybe Obama should give another speech. On the question of whether the president has "a clear plan for dealing with ISIS," respondents break "no" by 30 points. This president is toxic.  Reuters has him dipping back into the 30's:


But the real action is in the Senate.  We've been wondering for weeks if and when individual Senate races would start to more closely reflect the national mood.  Well, a Fox's bipartisan pollster unleashed a deluge of state-level numbers last evening:

Alaska: Sullivan (R) 44, Begich (D) 40.  +4 (Update: CNN's new Alaska poll has Sullivan up six).
Arkansas: Cotton (R) 46, Pryor (D) 39.  +7
Colorado: Gardner (R) 43, Udall (D) 37.  +6
Kansas: Roberts (R) 44, Orman (I/D) 39. +5
Kentucky: McConnell (R) 45, Grimes (D) 41.  +4

Lots of undecideds in those numbers, obviously, which begs the question of which direction those uncommitted voters are likely to break (if they vote at all). Check out POTUS' job approval in these states:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.12.32 PM

Crosstabs indicate that undecided voters in Alaska and Arkansas, for instance, disapprove of Obama by roughly a two-to-one margin.  That's some tough sledding.  As the New York Times noted this week, if Republicans can bring their Kansas voters "home," the GOP's shot at netting at least six Senate seats and reclaiming the majority is a lot cleaner.  Fox's Jayhawk data from marks the third poll in less than a week that shows momentum for Roberts; the NYT/CBS/YouGov poll had the race tied, and CNN's latest gives Roberts a narrow edge.  In North Carolina, don't look now, but two new polls show Thom Tillis within two points of Kay Hagan.  Those surveys were in the field before a stammering Hagan couldn't name a vote on which she regrets supporting Obama (who's underwater by 17 points in the state) in a televised debate, and finally admitted that she'd skipped a key hearing on ISIS for a fundraiser.  Meanwhile, in Louisiana:


Canning your campaign manager in October of an election year emits a strong whiff of desperation. In fairness, the likely runoff election in this race doesn't roll around until December 6, so the timeline isn't quite as crazy as it may otherwise appear. But still, the Senator "from Louisiana" is in real trouble. With good news sprouting up everywhere for Republicans over the last 24 hours, I feel compelled to issue requisite admonitions: This is one good round of polling, the electorate can be fickle, other surveys paint a less rosy picture, and important dynamics can shift over three weeks. That said, these are undeniably positive signs -- and taken together, they make Noah Rothman's description of the DSCC's South Dakota 'feint' look pretty solid right about now.


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

Katie Pavlich - Fast and Furious: Phoenix Sued by Judicial Watch Over Federal Documents Related to Guns Used in Gang Shootout
Posted: 10/9/2014 12:00:00 PM EST

Government watchdog Judicial Watch has sued the City of Phoenix Police Department over documents surrounding a 2013 gang-style assault on an apartment complex. Long-guns, a handgun, empty casings and buildings riddled with bullets were reported at the scene and two people were wounded in the incident. When the incident occurred and during investigation afterward, police worked with federal law enforcement agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Department of Homeland Security, FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency in the case, raising suspicions the assault wasn't simply a typical, local gang shootout and prompted questions about the details of the people involved in the shooting in addition to where the weapons that were used came from. Suspects were arrested in the weeks following the incident. 

Judicial Watch is seeking all records and communications between Phoenix police and the federal agencies involved.  It is suspected the weapons used in the incident are connected to Operation Fast and Furious.

A. Complete copy (including supplements) of Phoenix Police Department report 201-3-01-344558 (621 N. 3Oth Pl., Phx. AZ on or around July 29, 2013). Including but, not limited to copies of crime scene photographs, impound property invoices, audio interviews, case status reports, booking slips, charging documents, and Maricopa County Attorney court /trial/case disposition records.

B. Copies of related Phoenix Police Department, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and/or Homeland Security reports as documented in DR 2013-01344558. Including but not limited to copies of related Phoenix Police, ATF, DEA, FBI and/or Homeland Security search and arrest warrants, affidavits, photographs, audio interviews, booking s1ips, charging documents and property invoices created and/or served on or around August 22, 2Ol-3 at locations on Quail Track Dr. and Monterosa St. related to DR 2013-01-344558.

“We have little doubt that Fast and Furious guns are behind the crazed gun assault last summer in Phoenix,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “Eric Holder admitted that his agency’s Fast and Furious guns would continue to be used for crimes for years to come. That is his real legacy as Attorney General, and we are confident that our lawsuit in Phoenix will expose yet another cover-up of Fast and Furious tragedies by the Obama administration.”

Thousands of guns trafficked into Mexico through Operation Fast and Furious are in the wrong hands and have the potential to make their way back into the United States as drug traffickers and cartel members regularly travel back and forth. Because ATF purposely lost track of the guns they allowed to be trafficked across an international border, the only way to find them is when they are left at bloody crime scenes in Mexico or in the U.S., just as they were left at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010 and Mexican beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez in 2012. Hundreds of Mexican citizens have been killed as a result of the lethal program. 

Matt Vespa - Poll: Garcia Up 4 Points Over Incumbent Democrat
Posted: 10/9/2014 11:00:00 AM EST

While New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District went for Obama twice, State Rep. Marilinda Garcia is up 4 points–41/37 (with leaners)–in a new Granite State poll from the University of New Hampshire. Still, 19 percent are undecided so there’s room for both sides to maneuver and grow as the election heads into the final stretch.

Needless to say, the Kuster camp fired off this fundraising email upon hearing the news:

Last night we got the results of the latest poll in our race. It shows that our opponent’s puppet masters’ - the Koch brothers - attack ads are working. Their relentless attacks on TV have erased our lead and made our race a pure toss up and a statistical dead heat. These next 27 days will determine what will happen on Election Day - the only day that matters – if we're up or we're down.

Meanwhile, former Rep. Charlie Bass has endorsed Garcia. 

“New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District deserves an independent Representative who upholds our Granite State traditions of meeting with citizens and being accessible to the public. Marilinda Garcia will be that Representative, and I am proud to endorse her campaign for Congress,” said Bass. “Marilinda is an honest, responsible, and principled leader, and her commitment to common sense fiscal discipline would best serve the people of New Hampshire.”

“As an esteemed legislator who served the 2nd district admirably for nearly two decades, former Congressman Bass understands what is needed to deal with the important issues facing our district,” said Garcia in a statement. “I am honored that he has placed his faith in my candidacy and has endorsed my campaign for Congress.”

At the same time, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has hit Garcia on education with an ad staring a “New Hampshire Teacher” detailing the evil Tea Party plans she has in store for the state’s residents.

While Garcia says that Obamacare is burdening families and new solutions to fix health care are needed.

Nevertheless, while this is only one poll showing Garcia in the lead, it's a sign that maybe Kuster should have emerged from the bunker more visibly than one month before Election Day.

Guy Benson - NH Poll: Race Close, Brown Torches Shaheen Over 'Despicable' Smear Ad
Posted: 10/9/2014 10:36:00 AM EST

A newly-released New England College poll shows New Hampshire's US Senate race is within the margin of error, with Incumbent Jeanne Shaheen holding a narrow 2.5 percent lead over Republican challenger Scott Brown. A separate UNH/WMUR poll gives Shaheen a wider cushion, 47-41.  Brown's campaign is touting new fundraising numbers as evidence of momentum in the contest, via NH Journal:

HUGE HAUL. Republican Scott Brown’s U.S. Senate campaign raised more than $3.6 million in the third quarter that ended on Sept. 30, a campaign adviser tells the New Hampshire Journal. At the end of the second quarter, on June 30, Brown’s campaign had reported raising a total of $2.38 million since he became a candidate. With $3.6 million raised from July 1 through Sept. 30, Brown will have raised a total so far of about $6 million. Brown’s third quarter fundraising figure is believed to be the highest ever for a [New Hampshire] U.S. Senate candidate in a third quarter.

Shaheen's campaign has launched a new television ad attacking Brown on women's healthcare -- which may be straight out of the Democrats' demagoguery playbook, but it's especially peculiar in this race.  Brown is pro-choice on abortion and has even voted with Democrats on protecting Planned Parenthood's federal funding.  But that hasn't stopped Democrats from inventing a stance that Brown has never held.  At a press conference earlier this week, Brown absolutely savaged Shaheen for this distortion, bluntly calling it "despicable" and a lie.  He explained that the legislation Team Shaheen is twisting into "evidence" that he opposes "women's healthcare" or whatever was a bill to encourage adoption that he supported nine years ago, and that never even received a vote:



"I would like to take a minute to talk to you about Jeanne Shaheen’s smear against me and my campaign and the insensitive attack ad that she started running today. It’s not only insensitive, but it’s inaccurate...What Jeanne Shaheen is doing is despicable. Her lies and scare tactics are, quite frankly, disappointing...Since Senator Shaheen does not want to talk about her record of voting with the President over 99 percent of the time, she wants to talk about my record, so I think that’s a good idea, so here are the facts..."

On one hand, I'm heartened to see a Republican candidate refusing to couch his response to a baseless lefty smear in placid rhetoric.  Brown charges directly at this attack, and goes on offense.  On the other hand, I'm disappointed in Brown's embrace of the Left's false framing of the abortion issue.  We can agree to disagree on early-term abortions, but he repeatedly conflates support for abortion and standing up for women.  Being pro-choice is not a litmus test for caring about women's health.  Most American women embrace pro-life limitations on the lethal practice, and are more likely than men to back broad bans on late-term abortion.  Perhaps he forgets that New Hampshire's other female Senator is popular pro-life Republican Kelly Ayotte, whose endorsement Brown has enthusiastically trumpeted. Ayotte won her 2010 race in a blowout,carrying women by double digits. Even as I disagree with Brown on abortion, I'm all for his forceful push back against a deceitful attack that grossly mischaracterizes his position.  He has a compelling personal narrative to share about protecting women in his life.  I just wish he wouldn't cast the pro-life position as coercive, anti-women anathema while doing so.  It's out of step with how most women view the issue, and it risks alienating a large number of voters Brown needs in his camp.  (Shaheen, needless to say, is completely beholden to the abortion extremists who fund and run her party).  Brown is up with a new 30-second spot shaming Shaheen for lying:

Cortney O'Brien - Shakeup: Mary Landrieu Fires Campaign Manager Less Than a Month from Election Day
Posted: 10/9/2014 9:55:00 AM EST

With only 26 days until the midterms and polls consistently not going her way, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has decided to shake up her campaign in a major way. From The Times-Picayune:

Facing the toughest battle of her political career, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is replacing her campaign manager and bringing in experienced hands from her previous three successful Senate runs to help with the final push for the Nov. 4th open primary.

Campaign staffers confirmed the changes on Wednesday.

Adam Sullivan, who had been campaign manager, is leaving that role but continuing as an advisor to the campaign.

Sullivan is being replaced by Ryan Berni - and the decision is apparently a family affair. Berni ran the 2014 mayoral re-election campaign of her brother, Mitch Landrieu. 

Landrieu's campaign has taken several hits this summer and fall, considering controversial reports that she billed taxpayers for flights to fundraisers, and she doesn't own a home in Louisiana.

Perhaps Landrieu is hoping family ties will piece together her struggling campaign, but Landrieu faces an uphill battle against GOP challenger Bill Cassidy. Our poll tracker continues to show Cassidy with a steady lead.

Katie Pavlich - Journalists Appalled, Shocked Obama White House Would Lie to Them
Posted: 10/9/2014 9:30:00 AM EST

Late last night the Washington Post broke a story about a connection between White House aides and the 2012 Secret Service prostitution scandal. When the scandal broke two years ago, the White House denied involvement or knowing about the details of what happened. The Post story proves otherwise and provides evidence a White House volunteer officially checked a prostitute into his hotel room in Cartagena, Colombia. The report also details threats made against the Inspector General, who was asked to delay the release of embarrassing and damaging information about the connection between the White House and the scandal until after the 2012 presidential election. 

Now, journalists who cover the White House are confused about why the administration would lie and cover-up such a minor issue. That's the point. 

Politics Editor, National Journal:

Huffington Post White House reporter: 


Over to you Michelle Malkin and John Podhoretz: