Political potpourri: News from the 2010 campaigns

By NICOLE DEBEVEC, United Press International  |  Oct. 24, 2010 at 10:53 AM
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So many political stories ... so little time to read them. This by-no-means-thorough digest reviews some of the stories that may have flown under the radar and includes a sample of polls as U.S. midterm elections draw closer.

'Throw the rascals out' to the extreme

While it wouldn't be his first choice, Stephen Broden, a Republican congressional candidate from Texas, says violent overthrow of government is "on the table" if the elections don't change things.

Broden, a first-time candidate challenging incumbent Eddie Bernice Johnson in Dallas' heavily Democratic 30th Congressional District, said the founding fathers provided for a constitutional remedy and "if that don't work, revolution," the Dallas News reported recently.

That drew a quick denunciation from the head of the Dallas County GOP, who called the remarks "inappropriate."

"If the government is not producing the results or has become destructive to the ends of our liberties, we have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary," Broden said during a television interview. "The option is on the table. I don't think that we should remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms."

The head of the Dallas County GOP denounced the comments, calling them "inappropriate." Johnson's campaign declined a request for comment.

Ken Emanuelson, a Broden supporter and leading Tea Party organizer in Dallas, said he didn't discount the "philosophical point" that people had the right to resist a tyrannical government explaining: "(Do) I see our government today anywhere close to that point? No, I don't."

A Markey by any other name

An ad released by Republican House candidate Cory Gardner rips Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Colo., for voting for President Obama's budget request.

One problem. She didn't.

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., is the congressional Markey who voted for the budget.

"We'll be honest, we were expecting this mistake -- but we thought one of the innumerable 527 (interest groups) glomming onto this race would have made it, not Cory Gardner's campaign itself," wrote ColoradoPols.com, a liberal Web site. "It is kind of sloppy; two weeks from the election, this can't be the first time they've run afoul of the wrong Markey."

Ben Marter, spokesman for the Colorado representative said Gardner's ad was "lousy with the same already debunked lies and misleading claims. ... Colorado deserves better than Gardner's half-baked hit jobs. Frankly, Massachusetts deserves better too."

Getting outta Dodge

Following the example of former President Bill Clinton, President Obama plans to get out of Washington right after the midterm elections.

The president's trip to Asia is worrisome to some Democrats, who said they think it could give to the Republican Party -- which analysts say likely will reclaim the House -- time to shape the agenda and message for the lame duck session, The Hill reported.

"Unless we're planning to hold the lame duck in India, it makes zero sense to take a 10-day overseas trip right after what could be a disastrous midterm election," one Democratic strategist said. "It will demoralize Democrats and needlessly cede message and momentum to Republicans."

But the White House says the trip, which includes visits to Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, is an important part of the president's effort to strengthen the economy.

"The president understands that his job requires him to focus on more than one important thing at time," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. "Make no mistake, a top priority of the president's trip is ensuring markets in Asia are open to American businesses that are instrumental to creating jobs and growing the economy here at home."

Clinton left Washington -- also for a trip to Asia -- immediately after Republicans won House and Senate majorities in 1994 -- and also was heavily criticized for the decision.

'Throw the rascals out,' Part II

Congressional votes for healthcare reform, auto bailouts and the $787 billion stimulus package are mighty important to likely voters, who say they oppose anyone who voted for those three measures, a recent Rasmussen Reports survey indicated.

The national telephone survey indicated most likely voters think their congressional representatives don't deserve to return to Washington if they voted "aye" on those three flashpoint issues.

The numbers:

-- Fifty percent of likely voters oppose re-electing someone who voted for the healthcare law; 43 percent said they deserve to be re-elected.

-- Fifty-three percent of likely voters said their congressional representative shouldn't be re-elected if he or she voted to bail out General Motors and Chrysler. Thirty-six percent said if their local representatives voted for the bailouts, they deserve to be returned to Congress.

-- Fifty percent said they would turn out their representatives if they voted for the stimulus plan; 41 percent said their representative should be re-elected.

The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Oct. 18-19. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

Polls, polls and more polls


A Critical Insights poll in Maine shows Republican Paul LePage having a 12 percentage point lead over Democrat Libby Mitchell, 32 percent to 20 percent, with independent Eliot Cutler closing in on Mitchell with 19 percent.

A Sunshine State News Poll in Florida indicates a 45-45 percent deadlock between Democrat Alex Sink and Republican Rick Scott.

A Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania indicated Democrat Dan Onorato has erased most of Republican Tom Corbett's 15 percentage point lead, and now trails by just 5 percentage points, 49 percent to 44 percent.

A Public Policy Polling survey in Illinois indicates Republican Bill Brady leads Gov. Pat Quinn (D) by just 1 percentage point, 42 percent to 41 percent.

U.S. Senate

An Anzalone Liszt Research poll indicated Democratic candidate Charlie Melancon closed the gap between him and Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, trailing now 48 percent to 45 percent. Last week Vitter led by 7 percentage points.

A Mason-Dixon poll in Arkansas indicated Republican Rep. John Boozman has a 21 percentage point lead over incumbent Blanche Lincoln, 55 percent to 34 percent.

A Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania shows a statistical dead heat between Republican Pat Toomey and Rep. Joe Sestak among likely voters, 48 percent to 46 percent.

A Quinnipiac poll in Ohio finds Republican Rob Portman with a huge lead among likely voters over Lee Fisher, 55 percent to 34 percent.

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