Confirmed: Wendy Davis Literally Has THE Worst Twitter Campaign Of All Time

Well, if you thought the Wendy Davis gubernatorial campaign, which has devolved into a clown show, couldn’t get any worse; you should brace yourselves. She had this tweet featuring a bunch of eager young Davis supporters, but there’s only one problem. It was actually a group of volunteers for the College Republican Federation of Virginia who posed for a photo after knocking on doors for Ed Gillespie, the GOP senate hopeful in the Old Dominion.

My colleague Christine Rousselle recently asked if the floundering Texas Democrat had the worst Twitter campaign of all time. This comes after she attacked her Republican opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, on Twitter about interracial marriage, despite him having a Hispanic wife.

In general, the Davis campaign has been launching various kamikaze attacks as the 2014 election cycle comes to a close. She launched a rather egregious attack ad against Abbott that featured a wheelchair; Abbott was left paralyzed from the waist down when a tree fell on him while jogging in the mid-1980s.

Then, to make matters worse, Davis doubled down and held a presser using disabled Americans as props in the background.

Talk about a disaster. And Davis is trailing Abbott by double-digits two weeks from Election Day.  I can't imagine why.

"Shaheen Lost the Debate"

One reporter’s opinion isn’t the end-all, be-all of political analysis. But as a respected, Boston-based reporter, Andy Hiller’s contention that Brown won the debate last night is worth listening to nonetheless.

“Shaheen lost the debate because she had to spend so much time on the defensive, explaining the president’s policies on Ebola, Obamacare, ISIS and immigration,” he said. “She was much more effective in the second half when she directly challenged Brown.”

“But Brown won,” he continued. “He never looked uncomfortable, he has cable network level communication skills, and in this debate the issues were on his side. He wasn’t perfect, but best for him, he’s not President Obama.”

I wrote in my post last night that Brown was indeed “relaxed under fire,” which admittedly wasn’t an easy thing to do given how partisan the crowd was. Most of the audience was comprised of Shaheen supporters (or so it seemed to me) and therefore Brown handled himself well in a hostile environment.

But what I’m most curious about is the way Granite State voters who watched it at home reacted to the debate. My sense from being at the venue itself, and following the #nhsendebate hashtag all night long on Twitter, was that the overwhelming consensus was that Shaheen won. Perhaps at best, then, we can say it was a draw.

“I don’t know how many votes [this debate] will change,” Hiller asserted in the clip above. “But if I’m right, and Scott Brown was the winner, then this very close race will get even closer.”

Thirteen days.

Civil War: Democratic Operatives Trash White House Over Midterms

A new National Journal piece containsall the hallmarks of political "pre-criminations," as Democrats assail each other over the state of the 2014 election campaign.  Ground zero for this intra-family feud?  Iowa, where Democrats are angry about everything, including the early voting trends (regarding which Democrats have a problemnationally):

The relationship between the White House and Senate Democrats hit a new low Tuesday evening after the administration's press office released a transcript of first lady Michelle Obama's appearance in Iowa on behalf of Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley. The problem: The subject line of the e-mail referred to Braley as the "Democratic candidate for governor." The botch came after the first lady repeatedly referred to the Democratic Senate nominee as "Bruce Bailey" in a campaign appearance earlier this month—and it took an attendee in the crowd to correct her mistake…Top Senate Democratic officials wasted no time lashing out at the Obama administration's political team in response, suggesting it was acting like a junior varsity operation two weeks before the midterms..."The ineptitude of the White House political operation has sunk from annoying to embarrassing," one senior Senate Democratic aide told National Journal. Another Senate official told the Washington Post that Obama's comments were "not devised with any input from Senate leadership." Democrats are growing increasingly pessimistic about their chances of holding onto the Senate...Iowa is emerging as a must-win state for Democrats if they want to halt the Republican momentum, and it's a race where Democrats can't afford late-breaking mistakes. A plugged-in Democratic House official said internal polling showed Braley trailing Republican Joni Ernst in all of the state's congressional districts, even those that typically favor Democrats. Democrats are even struggling to hold Braley's House seat.

The pre-election blame game is already underway, it would seem -- even as Republicans still have plenty of time to blow their advantage, according to, um, a Republican Senator. (Comparing the Obama political operation to a JV team is a double blow, given the president's recent entanglement with that phrase).  That last bolded morsel is especially intriguing; if Braley is trailing in every Congressional district in the state according to Democrats' own internal polls, down-ticket Democrats must be starting to sweat about reverse coattails.  Public polling continues to show a tight race with Republican Joni Ernst slightly ahead, but Democrats are not behaving as if they expect to win.  Ernst is out with a new ad that I love on several levels:

This spot, like Ernst's previous offering, just feels like it's coming from a confident winner who's looking to close strong. It's fun and upbeat, but addresses a serious issue on which Republicans hold a substantial advantage with the public.  It also feels like a subtle 'come full circle' nod to the commercial that put Ernst on the map, way back when she was an obscure player in the GOP primary.  We started this campaign with hogs, and goshdarnit, we're going to end it with hogs, too.  The farm setting is also a faint reminder of the sanctimonious, caught-on-camera attack used by Republicans to fire their first major salvo against Bruce Braley's favorability.  Meanwhile, in Colorado:

That's the latest from USA Today's polling partner, and it's full of worrisome signs for Team Udall.  President Obama isn't a popular figure in the state, and new figures calculated by Congressional Quarterly show that Mark Udall's record of voting with with Obama was nearly flawless in 2014 (with some additional scores to follow):

Taking the cake is scandal-plagued "moderate" Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, who went a perfect 117/117.  What was Obama just saying about his reliable Washington allies who habitually vote for his agenda, again? For what it's worth, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts -- tied in the polls with Obama donor and fake "independent" Greg Orman -- voted against the Obama line more often than any other member of the Senate.  Kansans voted to fire Obama in 2012 by more than 20 percentage points.

Will Law Enforcement Leaks Prevent Rioting in St. Louis?

Another day, another leak from law enforcement in St. Louis indicating that Officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted by a grand jury for the shooting death of Michael Brown. Under the headline, "Evidence supports officer’s account of shooting in Ferguson," The Washington Post reports today:

[M]ore than a half-dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided testimony to a St. Louis County grand jury that largely supports Wilson’s account of events of Aug. 9, according to several people familiar with the investigation who spoke with The Washington Post.

Some of the physical evidence — including blood spatter analysis, shell casings and ballistics tests — also supports Wilson’s account of the shooting, The Post’s sources said, which cast Brown as an aggressor who threatened the officer’s life.

The Post report comes a day after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an official autopsy of Brown, also finding that the facts support Wilson, and not the narrative created by rioters in Ferguson. From the Post-Dispatch:

The St. Louis medical examiner, Dr. Michael Graham, who is not part of the official investigation, reviewed the autopsy report for the newspaper. He said Tuesday that it “does support that there was a significant altercation at the car.” Graham said the examination indicated a shot traveled from the tip of Brown’s right thumb toward his wrist.

The official report notes an absence of stippling, powder burns around a wound that indicate a shot fired at relatively short range.
Dr. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco, said the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” She added, “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”

And last Friday, The New York Times reported:

The officer, Darren Wilson, has told the authorities that during the scuffle, Mr. Brown reached for the gun. It was fired twice in the car, according to forensics tests performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first bullet struck Mr. Brown in the arm; the second bullet missed.

The forensics tests showed Mr. Brown’s blood on the gun, as well as on the interior door panel and on Officer Wilson’s uniform. Officer Wilson told the authorities that Mr. Brown had punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck.

This is quite a string of well placed leaks not to be the result of design. Clearly law enforcement officials in St. Louis want to prepare Brown supporters for the seemingly imminent reality that Wilson will not be indicted. Faced with this possibility, Brown's supporters, so far, have been defiant. 

"This is not a black and white thing," Ferguson activist Angela Whitman told CNN after The New York Times story Friday, "this is about what's right and wrong. St. Louis is in trouble, because if this is what Darren Wilson said, and they believe him, St. Louis is going to burn."

Whitman's let it burn attitude seemed to be the prevailing sentiment among Brown supporters this Sunday when they harassed people outside a St. Louis Rams game, holding the American flag upside down, while punching and spitting on passers by.

Will the violence at the next Rams be worse or better now that it is becoming clearer Wilson will not be indicted? If it does get worse, it is hard to see how more leaks could possibly prevent a full blown riot.

DSCC Spending Money in Kentucky Again

Barely a week after pulling out of Kentucky, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has returned to help candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. Grimes currently trails incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell by about four points.

Politico had the exclusive:

The party committee is reserving $650,000 in airtime to boost Alison Lundergan Grimes after reviewing recent internal and public polling, a DSCC official told POLITICO. The polling, the source says, suggested that independent voters are moving in the Democrat’s direction.

The decision comes after the big-spending party committee said last week it had no plans to spend on the air in Kentucky until Election Day, a sign many interpreted as meaning that Washington Democrats had given up on the race. But with the new ad buy and ongoing DSCC investment in the Grimes voter turnout effort, Democrats are signaling they believe they can still pull off an upset in one of their few pickup chances.

Only a single poll has shown Grimes to be in the lead this election cycle. Grimes experienced a significant drop-off in polls after her series of gaffes the past two weeks. She has also faced opposition from the left for her ad condemning amnesty. The most recent polling from Western Kentucky University has McConnell up five.

Brilliant New Feminist Tactic: Using Little Girls in Videos to Yell The F-Word

Hide your daughters, parents and don't let them grow up to be feminists. 

In the latest stroke of genius for the bitter movement, the feminists over at have released a video featuring little girls in princess outfits dropping the f-bomb and screaming non-factual statements about women's equality in American society. 

Warning: lots of really bad language. 

The part where the girls say, "Society teaches us that our bodies, boobs and butts are more important than our brains," is painfully ironic. This video comes from a movement that has spent the past four years defining women by the pills they take and by telling them to vote with their lady parts. The most offensive part of this ad isn't the use of foul language, but instead the lengths feminists have gone through to get little girls to hate boys at such a young age based on bogus statistics and "data."

The description of the video is the following: 

Facing a future where women are still paid 23% less than men for the same work, and where 1 in 5 women are raped or sexually assaulted in gender-based violence, little girls between 6 and 13 years-old dressed as pretty pink princesses drop F-bombs to draw attention to society’s continued sexism. Asking the question, “What’s more offensive? A little girl saying f*ck or the sexist way society treats girls and women” these adorably articulate little ladies in sparkling tiaras turn the “princess in distress” stereotype on its head and contrast the F-word with words and statistics society should find shocking such as “pay inequality” and “rape.” The video also features a 12 year-old boy wearing a pink gown standing up against sexism saying, “When you tell boys not to ‘act like a girl,’ it’s because you think it’s bad to be a girl.”

The pay gap percentage used is inaccurate. Women aren't getting paid 23 percent less than men for the same work. Further, the 1-in-5 rape statistic used in the video is grossly off the mark.

This ad comes after a long list of feminist stunts over the past few years which have included wearing tampons as earrings on national television, wearing giant vagina costumes in public, having abortions on video, throwing jars of feces and urine at police, bowling for abortion, etc.

Modern feminism: always classy.

Bangor Daily News Endorses Eliot Cutler for Maine Governor

The Bangor Daily News, a major daily newspaper in Maine, has again endorsed independent candidate Eliot Cutler for governor. The paper also endorsed Cutler during the 2010 election, which he lost to Republican Paul LePage by less than 10,000 votes.

As Cutler has been polling at smaller numbers this election cycle, there have been plenty of cries from the left for him to drop out of the race in order to clear a path for Democrat candidate Rep. Mike Michaud. In their endorsement, Bangor Daily News makes it clear that they feel as though both major parties have failed to develop suitable candidates for the job and that Cutler is the best-qualified candidate.

It is not a mistake to vote for the candidate who is most qualified for the job. It is not a mistake to vote for the candidate who has put forward the most detailed and thoughtful solutions to some of Maine’s most pressing problems — such as a high property tax burden and a stagnant economy. And it is not a mistake to vote for a candidate who will restore serious policymaking to the governor’s office and ensure government works on issues that are most important to Maine’s future.


Michaud presents himself as the antidote to LePage’s divisiveness and has done well to weather attacks from both the governor and Cutler. But he has come up short in proposing a full array of well thought-out policy priorities and ways to pay for them. A full pendulum swing back to big-government solutions and a preference for out-moded industries is not the way to move Maine forward. Convening working groups and listening can be productive, but without decisive moves forward, this is not leadership.

Cutler appears a long shot to win this election, but he is the best candidate running. He would bring needed dignity and a reasonable, business-like approach to the governor’s office. He has our support on Nov. 4.

Gov. LePage was elected in 2010 with just under 37 percent of the vote. His predecessor, John Baldacci (D), was re-elected with 38 percent of the vote. Maine's governor has been elected with a majority vote just twice (1982 and 1998) in the past 40 years.

Polls show that LePage and Michaud are essentially tied.

"Obama Has Never Broken a Sweat in His Life"

He may have been shaken, but he’s never stirred. That’s more or less how author Mark Steyn described President Obama and his “boring” life, challenging Daniel Craig’s assertion that Obama would make a fitting James Bond. Steyn spoke with Townhall about his new book, “The Undocumented,” a collection of his best columns, explaining how liberals have inundated the culture with their ideology. Among other topics in our fascinating conversation, Steyn explained why the president isn’t as “cool” as some Millennials may think, why John McCain is the real epitome of James Bond, and the consequences of Obama’s missteps in the Middle East.

Why is it always liberals who are trying to change the culture?

“I think liberals are motivated in the sense that they are the ones who want to change things. Generally speaking, if you’re a conservative you believe that a child is best raised in a traditional family setting and so you’re fighting defensively, you’re fighting a defensive maneuver to say this is the particular definition of the family that’s prevailed for thousands of years and we’re sticking with that. And in cultural terms, change is always an attractive position. It’s the person who wants to change things, it’s the person who’s in the minority, it’s the person who takes the stand and if you put that in cultural terms that seems a much more adventurous and appealing position to take and they’ve been very successful at that. It’s somewhere in the first part of the book, on all the big questions, politics is really irrelevant, and even judges are irrelevant. Judges are just playing catch up. If you read the sort of torrid logic of say the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision on legalizing gay marriage, I mean in legal terms it’s complete nonsense. Basically what happened is people who matter in Massachusetts changed their minds on what marriage is and these not-so-clever judges had to twist themselves into pretzels to try to find a legal pretext to go along with it. I think in that sense liberals are successful because they play the long game where it matters. They’re not focused on Tuesday mornings in November. For what they want, everything is up for grabs. It’s not even about politics, it’s not even about America, it’s about changing facts that have prevailed for thousands of years before anybody thought of America and they play the long game on that and they burrow away into institutions like schools and the mainline churches and into the pop culture and they do it incrementally and they do it very cleverly and but they have their eye on the whole megillah. Not just on this particular House district, or this particular Senate seat.”

There are some Republican politicians, like Marco Rubio, who likes to say he listens to rap and he likes all these rap artists. So, do you think this is what conservative politicians need to do? To give these kinds of interviews? In other words, instead of trying to change the culture, embracing it or try to relate more to Millennials?

I don’t think people should pretend to be what they aren’t. Every politician gets asked things like that. Marco Rubio, I can just about imagine him listening to rap in certain circumstances. When John Kerry said that he listened to a lot of rap, I didn’t believe a word of it. If you’d broken into John and Teresa’s mansion – all their mansions, all 17 or how many they have – I doubt between those 17 houses you would have found a single rap album in the John Kerry record collection – and so that’s fake. When George W. Bush – I think it was a couple of months before the election – some reporter was doing a pop culture test with him and said, ‘What do you think of Madonna?’ and Bush said, ‘I don’t like pop music.’ I loved that, because that’s an honest answer. He’s saying, ‘This is who I am, take it or leave it.’ So it’s fine if you happen genuinely to be into rap, but if you’re doing it for the reasons you suggested, you know conservatives have a reputation of being Mr. Squaresville so you show how groovy you are by pretending you listen to gangsta rap all day, I think you just make yourself look ridiculous. People have to have the confidence to be who they are and that’s particularly true about politicians. Politicians who lie to you about what pop songs he likes isn’t necessarily going to be someone who tells you the truth about lots of other important things. That may well indeed be the first sign that he doesn’t have the strength or will to tell you the awkward truth on debt or ISIS or anything else. So, I think it’s worth paying close attention when some 63-year-old guy with gray hair pretends he’s into hip hop.”

So you don’t think the Republican Party should be focused on evolving, say for the 2016 election, particularly to win the Millennial vote?

“I can’t stand what has become the system in the last few presidential elections where it’s basically, the only thing that matters is half a dozen swing states and there’s no real election. If you’re a deep red state like Wyoming, or a deep blue state like Massachusetts, there is no presidential election. The presidential election is just fought in half a dozen key states, with politicians tailoring their messages to those particular perceived swing states – whether it’s Florida or New Hampshire or wherever. So I’m in favor of candidates going out to win every vote. I don’t agree with the Mitt Romney thing, that you write off 47 percent automatically and just focus on the 53 percent. Since so far as Millennials or Hispanics or gays or anybody is part of that, candidates should be going towards them. But I think there’s danger about micro targeting generally. You know, I don’t get it myself. The reason why Obama seems cool to Millennials in a way that Mitt Romney or John McCain doesn’t, says more about the nature of cool. ‘Cool’ is by definition a relatively shallow thing. Obama has led a very dull life. He’s a boring man who stayed in school until he was 28 or whatever it was. Then he sort of sat around in rooms talking all day long. John McCain, who ran against him in 2008, has been shot out of the sky. He was taken prisoner by the Vietnamese, and he was brutally tortured through all of that. Daniel Craig was asked who would make a better James Bond in the 2008 election, and he said Obama, because John McCain is more of an ‘M’ type, like he’s the boss of the Secret Service, he gives the orders, the desk job. That’s actually the opposite of reality! Obama has never broken a sweat in his life. John McCain has lived an ostensibly thrilling life – he’s had a James Bond-like life. He’s been shot out of the sky, he’s been brutally tortured – just like 007 and ‘Die Another Day’ and all the rest of it. And yet ‘cool’ in the sense in which Obama is deemed to be cool actually is not just terribly shallow, but also incredibly boring. I mean he hasn’t done anything – and McCain who is an exasperating, infuriating person who I certainly would view with great trepidation had he ever actually made it to the White House, but the idea that somehow McCain loses on the coolness front to Obama, is I think ridiculous. So it’s not a question of nominating Jay-Z as the candidate, it’s about changing the culture so that leading a boring life, sitting around in faculty lounges groaning about social justice as Obama did for decades isn’t perceived to be the acme of ‘cool’ anymore and it shouldn’t be that difficult to do that.”

Now, a few specific things you talk about in the book. You talk about feminist hypocrisy. Who do you think is the biggest feminist hypocrite and why?

“I think the first thing I say in the book, is I’m talking about Gloria Steinem – a Gloria Steinem piece she wrote for the New York Times, defending Clinton on the grounds that even if everything that Paula Jones alleged – that he dropped his pants for her and all the rest of it – even if all that is true, it’s not sexual harassment. I think that Gloria Steinem did great damage to feminism and the others who defended Clinton in that situation. They did great damage to feminism by aligning it with a particular political party because I do think we saw it that then when Bush was elected and we had this new struggle in the 21st century, basically that is a women’s issue. The country that Bush liberated in 2001, it was illegal, it was forbidden by law for women to feel sunlight on their faces. If that isn’t a woman’s issue, I don’t know what is. A woman isn’t allowed to leave the house, without a man and when she’s out of the house, she’s not allowed to be out uncovered. She’s supposedly never to know what it feels like to have the morning sun on your face. She’s never to experience that. That is a woman’s issue. Meriam Ibrahim, who is a lady from New Hampshire, a Christian lady who was held in prison in Sudan, that’s a women’s issue. The women in Egypt who have undergone clitoridectomies, female genital mutilation, that’s a women’s issue. And yet, the worst thing about the Western feminist movement is that it has accepted the idea of two-tier sisterhood and I think that’s true of now and all the feminist leaders that if you are born into a certain kind of life in a Western society, you have the right to live life to your fullest potential as a woman. If you’re born into another kind of life, your life starts with female genital mutilation and you’re shoved into a body bag to live and if you’re lucky, you won’t be honor killed by your brothers and your fathers when you decide you’d like to marry someone that they didn’t choose for you. On the whole Western feminists have done – not only have they done nothing to stand up for those women, when there are women who do stand up for them, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, when she chose to speak at American campuses, the feminists are some of the noisiest in making common cause with the Islamic enforcers and trying to have those people shut down. There’s a real war on women and it’s not just in Yemen and Waziristan, it’s actually going on in Western societies too, where some poor woman in Buffalo gets her head chopped off and a girl in Peoria gets honor killed and Western feminists are obsessed with essentially with trivia. Sandra Fluke wanting the taxpayers to pay for her contraception until she’s 47, or whatever she is by now.”

You’re also pretty critical of Obama’s foreign policy. What is the biggest mistake he’s made in the Middle East?

“I don’t think he sees it as a mistake, that’s the thing. I think that what we’ve seen since 2009 is the creation, the dawn of the post-Western Middle East was invented in 1922 by the British and French and as Anglo-French power waned after the Second World War, the United States stepped in to pick up the slack. What has happened since the Arab Spring, is the post-Western Middle East – that’s to say, for the first time in hundreds of years, an Arab world who’s direction is not set by the Western powers. Now I think that is a mistake, but I don’t think Obama does. For quite surely after Obama’s election, he’d get people talking around the planet in Singapore, Australia, Poland, Israel, India, about the post-American world, and I think that from Obama’s point of view, that suits him fine. He does not believe that American force projection and American power has been a force for good in the world and he would rather that force and that power and those resources be applied at home. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the federal government has become far more heavy-handed in the last five years, even as all kinds of crazy loons have had the run of the planet in Libya and all kinds of other places. I think for Obama, and other people who think like Obama, government power is applied at home and the rest of the planet doesn’t matter. We’re all going to pay the price for that, because even if the polar opposites of Obama were to be elected in 2016, undoing all that damage is going to require a huge effort.”

Is there anything you want to share about why you wrote this book at this time?

“I look at it this way. We were talking about the culture earlier, my concern is that particularly on the right we get all excited about. I lived in New Hampshire and I can’t tell you all the dozens of presidential candidates who passed through here. I remember Phil Graham I think in 1997. Everyone thought Phil Graham would’ve made a great president, and he probably would have made a great president, but all those names come and go and in the end, the big action is on the cultural front. I write about coffeehouse culture in that book, which I find, which is fascinating to me, because it sort of embodies to me the increasing sloth of the world. Everyone used to say, ‘Oh go to America, go to New York, it’s fast moving, it’s fast-paced, it’s a restless energy of the New World.’ And I find it becoming one of the slowest-moving places on the planet. And in some strange way, all these little peripheral stories out in the field of vision don’t seem terribly important, like gender neutral bathrooms or whatever seem to be far more telling about the direction we’re heading in, then who’s going to win a particular Senate nomination. And I think we’re on the verge of the abolition of man, as in men, as in manly men, as in a need for males in society. I think that actually is a radical leftist goal and I think they’re galloping – to go back to what you were saying about feminists, I think if you look at the proportion of women at college classes now and you unwind that all the way back through high school and middle school and grade school, to kindergarten, we are becoming a society that doesn’t have much use for boys or boyish virtues and that seems to me at least as important, far more important, about the kind of place we’re going to be in 20 to 30 years’ time and seems at least an important factor into whether we’re likely to have a particular foreign policy posture or not. I sometimes think that some small thing you wrote about in 1998 to 2003 or whatever, actually turns out to be a pretty good straw in the wind as to where we’re headed in a way that the more obvious big picture stuff doesn’t always. That’s why I put these things together and put them in the book.”

For more insight on liberalism’s effect on our “coffeehouse culture,” go here to buy a copy of Steyn’s new book.

Republicans Close Early Ballot Lead in Iowa

Never has the Republican Party come this close to matching early Democrat votes in Iowa.

Not in 2012, when President Obama won the state 52 percent to 46 percent, and not in 2010, when Republican Gov. Terry Branstad won 53 percent to 43 percent.

According to data compiled from the Iowa Secretary of State's office by Ace of Spades HQ, Democrats have turned in just 170 more ballots (98,492) than Republicans have (98,322). Republicans have never turned in more early ballots than Democrats.

To put that 170 ballot lead in context, by this time in 2012, Democrats had a 56,303 ballot advantage, and in 2010 they had 17,228 advantage.

The Republican improvement in early voting is just another sign the Republican Senate Candidate Joni Ernst will beat Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) this November. Braley has not led in a single poll since October 1st, and Ernst has led in every poll since October 3rd

First Lady Michelle Obama has twice failed to help Braley twice this month, referring to him as "Bruce Bailey" in a speech two weeks ago, and then identifying him as a candidate for governor last night. 

For her part, Ernst released her closing ad yesterday, named "Lot," which returns to the same pigpen that launched her campaign.

Race Card: Democrats Go Ugly to Boost Black Turnout

Democrats are losing -- and they know it -- so things are getting awfully ugly out there. A New York Times story over the weekend previewed the onslaught of overt political race-baiting that has begun to sweep across the country.  Entitled, "Black Vote Seen as Last Hope for Democrats to Hold Senate," the piece describes the party's desperate measures:

The confidential memo from a former pollster for President Obama contained a blunt warning for Democrats. Written this month with an eye toward Election Day, it predicted “crushing Democratic losses across the country” if the party did not do more to get black voters to the polls. “African-American surge voters came out in force in 2008 and 2012, but they are not well positioned to do so again in 2014,” Cornell Belcher, the pollster, wrote in the memo, dated Oct. 1. “In fact, over half aren’t even sure when the midterm elections are taking place.” Mr. Belcher’s assessment points to an urgent imperative for Democrats: To keep Republicans from taking control of the Senate, as many are predicting, they need black voters in at least four key states. Yet the one politician guaranteed to generate enthusiasm among African Americans is the same man many Democratic candidates want to avoid: Mr. Obama.

Bring Obama to town on your behalf, and you might attract more black voters to the polls; but you'll also associate yourself with a deeply unpopular president, and alienate voters who aren't aligned with Obama's most unflinchingly loyal voting bloc.  Quite a dilemma.  Solution?  Resort to grotesque racial attacks to scare black voters.  In Texas, Wendy Davis is pretending that Greg Abbott might oppose interracial marriage, which would be disgusting enough even he weren' an interracial marriage himself.  In North Carolina, a pro-Hagan group plastered churchgoers' cars with fliers warning that a Republican Senate would mean the impeachment of Barack Obama, using imagery of a lynching as a backdrop.  Beneath contempt.  And now the Democratic Party of Georgia (not an outside group, mind you, the official party) is seeking to spur turnout among African-Americans with fliers invoking the racially-charged shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.  In addition to the fear-mongering content, it makes naked appeals to 'race loyalty' in the voting booth:

Vote your skin color (*cough* Democrat *cough*) unless, of course, you want more unarmed black teenagers shot to death and "left in a pool of blood in the street."  Georgia Democrats' chairman has defended the flier, arguing that it's really all about job training and education, or something:

"It’s about opportunity. Are you going to be in situations more like that? I mean, that’s when you don’t have people having the opportunity for jobs or to participate in their community and the opportunity to grow. When you have communities like that that are stagnant — that’s what we’re getting to in Georgia — and when you offer people the HOPE grant to get retrained, or the fundamentals in education so we can get our dropout rate down. That very much of what that climate is, is what we’re trying to change here.”

Oh, it's "about opportunity," alright. Just not the kind he's talking about.  Extra points for name-checking something called a HOPE grant in the context of justifying undisguised race-baiting.  Incidentally, Democrats' Ferguson linkage comes as Michael Brown's official autopsy appears to corroborate the officer's account of the shooting -- even as it may not necessarily be exculpatory beyond the initial struggle and shots.  The newly-released evidence also calls into doubt the oft-repeated incantation that Brown was shot in the back, with his hands in the air.  But these details are 100 percent irrelevant as far as Democrats' political purposes are concerned.  Meanwhile, Freudian projection is on full display, as noted by Allahpundit.  Obama's running around accusing the GOP of 'peddling fear' while he and his party are sowing fright on every available front -- from Ferguson, to lynchings, to interracial marriage, to birth control, to secretive billionaires, to domestic abuse, to the end of civilization.  I'll leave you with a letter to the editor penned by an African-American gentleman in North Carolina who is fed up with Democrats' tactics:

I am a 59-year-old African American man, born and raised in Jacksonville, and now living with my family in New Bern. I am insulted by the arrogance of the Democratic candidates during this election because they talk to us through their advertisements as if we are stupid...I was shocked to hear the radio commercial that featured a couple of ladies suggesting the Republicans were trying to take away the rights of African Americans to vote. The voter ID initiative,(if that’s what they’re referring to) is to preserve the integrity of the vote, and a photo ID can be acquired for free through the North Carolina DMV...These things do not invoke trust within me or many of my friends for the current Obama administration. The Democrats are spending an awful lot of money on negative ads designed to discredit Republicans. Why would anyone choose that kind of strategy over one that highlights their own accomplishments? Thank you for allowing me to voice this opinion.

Well said.  Democrats ferociously oppose voter ID laws -- which are overwhelmingly popular with the public -- because, frankly, the party machine doesn't have a problem with voter fraud, which they insist isa "myth" (something I've addressed here and here).  One man's fraud is another's "putting votes to good use:"

Tillis: ‘Sen. Hagan Is Going To Lose On November 4th’

Before North Carolina State House Speaker Thom Tillis embarked on a road trip to thank and address supporters and volunteers at the various victory centers across the state, I was able to have a brief interview with the GOP Senate hopeful who has Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan fighting for her political life.

The first concern some have in this race–and others across the country–is the gender gap. Tillis is trailing women voters by double-digits–and faring worse with single women. Yet, Tillis didn’t seem worried about it, telling Townhall how he felt:

“Good about our position in areas across the board. If you go out to rural North Carolina, you go out into areas of the state we feel like we have the foundation to win–that we have enough to win. In North Carolina, races are typically decided by single digit margins so you are always going to be fighting for a few percentage points on one side or the other; President Obama did; Governor Romney did. So, it’s more of a matter of being disciplined and getting our message out–and withstanding the tens of millions of dollars that Sen. Hagan and Harry Reid have dumped into this state."

In the polls, Tillis was trailing Hagan by a slim 4 points, but seems to have erased that lead. Recent surveys from the New York Times, USA Today, and High Point University have this race tied or with Hagan leading by 1 point.

With ISIS and national security issues becoming more prominent on the campaign trail, did this shift contribute to Tillis catching up with Hagan? Is this the return of the “security moms?” While it seems that way, especially with Hagan admitting to skipping an Armed Services hearing to fundraise last February, the rise of ISIS, and the Obama administration’s noticeable torpor in reacting to the Ebola crisis; Tillis was confident that the polls began to show movement in his direction regardless of the help he’s received on the national security front. For most of the summer, he was unable to campaign as aggressively due to the state legislature being in session.

"I think if you take a look at the polls from the perspective of dropping off some of the lagging indicators of the mid-summer when they had a 3 or 4 to 1 advantage in spending, and you start looking at polls that started after the legislative session ended; virtually every poll showed movement in our direction. The polls this past week had us dead even in one poll, slightly ahead in another poll, and these were polls that had us down before so they were not some sort of upstart; they were people who had been in the mix before. So, I think what you’re seeing is just–as you get closer to the election; as people become more focused on the issues; we’re seeing the undecided voters and the voters most likely to vote siding with us. And we just have to continue to get that message out."

In Virginia, one criticism I heard from conservatives was that Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli should have resigned his office as attorney general to concentrate solely on beating Democrat–and now governor–Terry McAuliffe. So, would Speaker Tillis be leading in the polls if he has resigned as State House Speaker? He told Townhall he disagreed with that narrative.

"I don’t think so. I had a two-year commitment that I made; I think that a lot of the legislative initiatives required strong leadership to get them done. I think some of the things that we were working on in this session, particularly around job creation and improving our economy may have not gone to the level that they did under my leadership. And quite honestly, it was my primary job. This is a future job–and I feel very strongly that I needed to live up to my obligations; so I don’t think so."

"I think it would have been a different set of issues, but I think we would have been there; we never expected because of the money advantage–with labor unions and Harry Reid and liberal interests that was going to be there whether or not I was in session. We never really expected in the summer to be ahead. What should be troubling to Sen. Hagan is to have spent tens of millions of dollars and never to be able to get over 44 percent. She’s a sitting senator; generally speaking if you can get to 50 percent as a sitting senator either because of your results or because of the money to try and prop up your results; it’s a problem. That’s why Sen. Hagan is going to lose on November 4th."

Mr. Tillis was running late to his next event, but my other question would have been the role of his humble upbringing in this race. Voters like candidates who are authentic; people who have experienced socioeconomic struggles and have triumphed over it. 

It’s also part of this nameless, faceless neo-populist wave that’s emerging across the country. Thom Tillis fits that mold. After contacting Tillis’ press secretary, Meghan Burris, she provided Townhall with a statement from the GOP hopeful:

"I was born into a working class family with five brothers and sisters. We knew from the very beginning that success in life would be achieved through hard work and dedication. I didn't have the luxury of going to college after high school, and instead worked my way up the corporate ladder from a minimum wage job in a warehouse to a partner at IBM. I struggled to make ends meet as I raised a family and finally earned my degree at the age of 36. I was fortunate enough to realize my American Dream - and that's why I'm running for the U.S. Senate. I will go to work on day one to help provide opportunities for Americans to be able to realize and achieve their own dreams and make our nation great again."

With Election Day just two weeks away, we'll find out soon enough.

Liberal Activists in Colorado: Illegally Filling Out Ballots to Steal Votes is "Truly Awesome"

Liberal activists working for Democrats in Colorado don't seem to think illegally filling out mail-in ballots that do not belong to them is a problem. In fact, James O'Keefe and Project Veritas just caught multiple people encouraging voter fraud by filling out discarded ballots and sending them in to be counted in the upcoming midterm elections. 

Work Progress Director Meredith Hicks, who has dedicated a number of resources to Democrat Mark Udall's U.S. Senate campaign, was caught on video by O'Keefe justifying the illegal use of discarded and blank ballots.

"That's not even lying and stealing, if someone throws out the ballot, if you want to fill it out you should," Hicks is shown saying. 

Greenpeace activist Christen Topping, also a Udall supporter, is caught on film suggesting Veritas investigators visit "ghetto" areas of the city and African-American neighborhoods to find discarded ballots in trash cans to take, fill out and mail-in. She also said filling out discarded ballots is "putting the votes to good use" and is "really truly like..awesome." 

Meanwhile on the campaign trail, Democrats and their big media backers still publicly argue voter fraud is a myth.

Kuster, Garcia Spar In Debate As NH's Congressional Race Becomes A Toss-up

In the beginning of Monday night’s debate, New Hampshire Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster said, “We have a historic opportunity tonight. This is the first time two women have faced off for a race at the top of the ticket and I think we can–we have a chance to really make this a very respectful session tonight.”

She may have spoke too soon. Kuster was more than a little rude when she interrupted her Republican opponent­, New Hampshire State Rep. Marilinda Garcia, on multiple occasions.

Issues from jobs, the economy, minimum wage, Ebola, ISIS, and health care were discussed, including a chance to view each other’s campaign ads and discuss their veracity.

Things got testy over abortion, where Kuster interrupted Garcia during her rebuttal. On health care, while Garcia pushed reform to reduce costs, Kuster touted her Republican roots (she was raised Republican), saying that Obamacare is consumer driven, it generates competition, and it will bring down costs as a result.

Later on, Kuster tried to tie Garcia to the Koch Brothers, where Garcia noted that her staff had looked through the campaign finance reports to find that the Kochs have only accounted for 1.5 percent of all contributions; an amount that does not necessarily justify a “Garcia is the Koch puppet” narrative. Kuster also criticized Garcia for being paid by her campaign. Again, it’s a move that’s legal.

Garcia hit back saying she decided to give herself a salary since she doesn’t have, like Kuster, a net worth of $2 million.

Why is it legal for candidates to pay themselves?

“Under the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law candidates for federal office are allowed to pay themselves, with the theory that this allows regular people to run for office, not just the rich who can afford to take a year off to campaign,” according to WMUR. Garcia just started paying herself to campaign full-time.

Like Thom Tillis in North Carolina, Garcia tied Kuster to President Obama. Kuster noted that Obama isn’t on the ballot this year; a talking point that would have more of a punch if Obama didn’t spoil it for Democrats at Northwestern University.

Things got a bit condescending when the two women debated the minimum wage increase. Garcia, who has been touring the second congressional district’s small businesses, said that owners have told her the same thing: if you increase the minimum wage, I need to start cutting jobs.

Kuster basically said that if Garcia had more life experience, she would understand the importance of raising the minimum wage.

There were three big misconceptions Kuster peddled during the debate; one was that Garcia plans to gut the Department of Education, where she even told Kuster to her face that she never said such words. The second was that Garcia supports ground troops for fighting ISIS. Again, not true–by this time the Garcia campaign was venting over these incredulous claims on Twitter.

The third one is actually more of a lie; Kuster claimed to have hosted town hall events and roundtables with “seniors, students, and veterans.” She also called the accusations that she hasn't engaged in constituent relations a “red herring.”

Yet, the truth is that she hasn’t held a town hall event. She recently began a "30 diners in 30 days" tour, but those are not really town halls, nor are they advertised as such in her fundraising emails. Kuster’s event schedule is not published on her campaign website.

 Garcia has even invited Kuster to join her town hall events. Kuster declined. In reality, Rep. Kuster has yet to hold an official town hall event with her constituents since her 2012 win.  

Kuster’s aggression in the debate could also be due to the fact that Real Clear Politics has moved New Hampshire’s Second Congressional district from leans Democratic to a toss-up.

Charlie Crist Refuses To Back Down From Race-Based Attack On GOP

Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, who left the Republican party after his governorship because he was primaried and defeated by Marco Rubio, has never wanted to admit what his real reason was for leaving the GOP. He left because Marco Rubio was going to beat him in a primary, so Crist took his toys and left. This fact would make him look like a sellout with no ideals, a power-mad egomaniac with an obsessive drive to wield the levers of power.

So Crist has fallen back on what might be the only thing more despicable than his actual reason for leaving the GOP: saying that Republicans are too racist for him.

In an interview earlier this year, he said that the GOP was too "unfriendly toward the African-American president... what they were doing, it was intolerable to me."

He also said he couldn't "imagine an equal measure of virulence for any politician whose skin was white."

Last night in the Florida governors' debate, Crist refused to back down from his assertion of don't-criticize-the-President-because-it's-racist. Here's the relevant portion from the transcript:

JAKE TAPPER: So, clarify if you would for Florida voters -- are you saying there are so many racists in the Republican Party you couldn't remain a Republican?

CRIST: No. I'm saying that that element exists.

Listen, my mother and father are Republicans. I love them to death and they don't have a racial bone in their body, racist bone in their body. What is at work here is a pretty simple thing, and if you remember back with me to 2008 and some of the e-mails that were distributed about the president by some members, not all, of the Republican Party, they weren't exactly flattering. And I think you probably can research and find out what I'm talking about. But it wasn't right.

And I can tell you that the reaction I had gotten from some in the Republican Party, leadership, wasn't tolerable to me, you know?

And it was pretty clear to me. It wasn't just because I was willing to work across the aisle with a Democrat to get the recovery funds to come to Florida. It was also pretty apparent to me because it was the first African-American president.

Listen, I don't enjoy saying that. It's not what -- you know, it's fun to say, but I'm going to tell the truth and those are the facts.

Crist has never actually named which politicians or activists or members of the GOP were saying "intolerable" things. He merely says "you can probably research and find out what I'm talking about." This is merely insinuation; Crist wants to say that Republicans are racist without actually saying so, and it's despicable.

I've "done the research" and it's difficult to know what the hell Charlie Crist is talking about. Here's the truth: there are some racists in America. Racism isn't over. But if you actually look at the data, as economist Alex Tabarrok did, you'll conclude, as he did, that "racists split about evenly across the [political] parties. No party has a monopoly on racists."

That includes Charlie Crist, member of the Democratic party. Perhaps he hasn't "done the research," so to speak, on the members of his new political party, but it might be good for him to do something he enjoys quite a bit - take a look in the mirror - if he's hunting for racists.

Sen. Coburn's "Wastebook 2014": $10,000 Spent on "Watching Grass Grow" & Other Crazy Things

It’s 2014 and that means since last year billions more taxpayer dollars have been flushed down the toilet on projects and studies that have zero redeeming value. Every year, Sen. Coburn (R-OK) and his staffers release a report showing the truly astonishing ways bureaucrats and politicians in Washington spend your money. This year was no different, of course. Some highlights:

Coast guard party patrols – $100,000

Watching grass grow – $10,000

State department tweets @ terrorists – $3 million

Swedish massages for rabbits – $387,000

Paid vacations for bureaucrats gone wild – $20 million

Mountain lions on a treadmill – $856,000

Synchronized swimming for sea monkeys – $50,000

Pentagon to destroy $16 billion in unused ammunition -- $1 billion

Scientists hope monkey gambling unlocks secrets of free will –$171,000

Rich and famous rent out their luxury pads tax free – $10 million

Studying “hangry” spouses stabbing voodoo dolls – $331,000

Promoting U.S. culture around the globe with nose flutists – $90 million

"Synchronized swimming for sea monkeys" and "watching grass grow." This is just a taste of how wasteful Washington is with public money; read the full report here.

“With no one watching over the vast bureaucracy, the problem is not just what Washington isn’t doing, but what it is doing.” Sen. Coburn emphasized in a statement. “Only someone with too much of someone else’s money and not enough accountability for how it was being spent could come up [with] some of these projects.”

AP Poll: GOP Seizes Significant Lead, Obama Disapproval Spikes to 60 Percent

With the midterm elections less than two weeks away, a new national poll from the Associated Press

features a parade of horribles for Democrats.  This is not where a party wants to be in the home stretch of an election campaign:

(1) President Obama's approval rating among likely voters is (41/60), marking his worst disapproval number in the series.  As the president has reminded voters in recent days, "every single one" of his policies are on the ballot in November, and vulnerable Democrats have been stalwart allies on behalf of his agenda in Washington. On issues, the president's numbers are egregious. (42/58) on the economy, healthcare and ISIS, (34/65) on immigration, and (38/62) on managing the federal government.  The only issue on which Obama is above water is same-sex marriage, at (50/49).  Obama's personal favorability is 10 points underwater (44/54) among likely voters.

(2) The generic ballot (GOP +8 among likely voters):

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 11.43.09 PM

"Which party would you rather see win control of Congress?" Likely voters: Republicans 47, Democrats 39.  Which party do you trust more on…

- The economy (GOP +8)
- Immigration (GOP +5)
- Healthcare (Dem +4; far lower than their traditional lead)
- Managing the federal government (GOP +6)
- Protecting the country (GOP +22)
- Handling US image abroad (GOP +6)
- Same-sex marriage (Dem +15)
- Handling international crises (GOP +10)
- Handling health issues like Ebola (GOP +3)

(4) The Republican Party's image is actually in less bad shape than the Democratic brand among likely voters, a rarity.  The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll also showed Democrats' image plunging to historic lows.  GOP favorability is underwater by "just" ten points in the AP survey, while Dems are upside-down by 15 points.  Fully 62 percent of likely voters describe themselves as dissatisfied or angry with the Obama administration.

(5) 'War on women,' from the AP's write up, and flagged by Jim Geragthy:

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 prefer the Republicans, 42 percent the Democrats.

If only the president had done a few more fundraisers.  The White House is already laying the groundwork for damage control, the central pillar of which is blaming other people, of course.

DEVELOPING: Dead Ottawa Shooting Suspect Identified, Confirmed As Canadian Born

Some alarming news out of Ottawa, Canada today. Local media outlets are reporting that there’s an active gunman still at large outside the Canadian Parliament. One soldier has reportedly been shot, and the whole area is on lockdown. We’ll continue to update this story as we learn more.

UPDATE: Confirmed.

UPDATE: As many as 20 shots fired.

UPDATE: Canada's prime minister is safe.

UPDATE: Still at large...

UPDATE: The AP reports this was the second attack in Canada against soldiers this week.

The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — and one of them killed — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

UPDATE: There could be more than one shooter. We still don't know.

UPDATE: Newsweek obtained video of a firefight between police and presumably the shooter(s):

UPDATE: "Mr. Harper’s government has indicated that it is about to introduce new antiterrorism legislation, a move that troubles some civil liberties lawyers," the New York Times reported yesterday. What happened today, therefore, could expedite that process.

UPDATE: More information.

UPDATE: One Canadian lawmaker believes the attacks were terrorist-related:

UPDATE: The US Embassy in Ottawa is taking extra precautions:

UPDATE: The shootings took place at multiple locations:

UPDATE: One shooter was reportedly killed by police:

CBC TV said that a suspected gunman was shot dead inside the parliament building. It was not clear if he was acting alone.

UPDATE: More information:

UPDATE: Awful.

UPDATE: Three patients are now being treated.

UPDATE: The shooting suspect has been identified.

It’s Come To This: Pro-Hagan Flier Features Lynch Mob In The Background

In one of the closest–and possibly the most expensive-races this year, the North Carolina Senate race just got a little nasty with a political flier that warned if Sen. Kay Hagan is not re-elected come November, Barack Obama will be impeached. To convey this message, the text is superimposed over a graphic image of a lynch mob (via The Fayetteville Observer):

Dawn McNair said she was surprised Sunday when her daughter pointed out the background on a political flier urging people to get out and vote.

The front of the flier blares: "Kay Hagan doesn't win! Obama's impeachment will begin! Vote in 2014."

The words are superimposed over a grainy reproduction of a photograph of what appears to be a lynching.

Someone tucked the flier under McNair's windshield wiper while her car was parked at her church, Kingdom Impact Global Ministries on Murchison Road.

"My daughter said, 'Mom, look in the background. They're lynching somebody.' It's the lynching of an African-American man," McNair said.

At the bottom, the flier reads, "Not endorsed by any candidate. Paid for by Concerned Citizens of Cumberland County." No contact information for the group was on the flier.

Over at Hot Air, Noah Rothman added:

Fortunately, according to a local NAACP representative, likening the unlikely impeachment of the president to a time when African-Americans were systematically murdered by white mobs is not racist. “That’s what the community feels,” said Fayetteville NAACP branch president Jimmy Buxton.

This is the kind of cheap desperation that would set every MSNBC anchor’s hair on fire and dominate the nightly newscasts if it were embraced by a Republican candidate’s allies. At the very least, if Hagan were a Republican, the media would press her to denounce her supporter’s tactics until she buckled. But beyond being baseless provocation, both this message and Davis’s attempt to get you to believe Abbott will somehow overturn Loving v. Virginia are just insultingly dumb.

I couldn’t agree more, sir.

H/T Hot Air

White House Supporting Democrat in Iowa But Doesn't Know His Name or What He's Running For

Democrat Congressman Bruce Braley is running against Republican Iowa State Senator Joni Ernst for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Braley is a trial lawyer and has had his own mishaps with statements on the campaign trail since announcing his candidacy to replace retiring Democrat Senator Tom Harkin. After all, Braley said during a campaign fundraiser earlier this year that Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is "just a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school." Now the White House, which is supporting Braley's campaign, is making things worse. 

Two weeks ago First Lady Michelle Obama flew to Iowa to rally voters at a campaign event for Braley. When she took to the podium to give her speech, Mrs. Obama repeatedly called Braley "Bruce Bailey." 

That gaffe prompted the Ernst campaign to purchase, which leads directly to her campaign website. 

To make matters worse, last night the White House sent out a transcript to the press showing support for Braley's candidacy for governor of Iowa. Braley is running for the U.S. Senate.

It is very obvious the Obama's support for Braley is completely genuine.The White House is supporting Braley, but has no idea what his real name is or what he's running for. 

Poll: More Women Plan to Vote For Republicans in Midterms

The war on women rhetoric that was used in 2012 to secure President Obama's second term in the White House isn't paying off for Democrats in the 2014 midterm election cycle. 

Earlier this week, a story published by POLITICO showed Obama has lost key support from women in battle ground states. 

With two weeks until Election Day, 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.

And a new AP poll released late yesterday shows more women are interested in voting for Republicans, not Democrats.

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 prefer the Republicans, 42 percent the Democrats.

So why the shift? First, young liberal and single women tend to show up for Presidential elections while sitting out midterms. Second, I'm hopeful that women are tired of the bogus war on women narrative and sick of being defined by the pills they may or may not choose to take. Third, extreme pro-abortion stances by Democrat candidates like Mark Udall in Colorado could be backfiring as the country, and women, trend to the pro-life side of politics.

Shaheen: Obamacare is "Absolutely" an Accomplishment For Me

Concord, NH -- To say that Scott Brown was the underdog tonight would be an understatement. From the minute I arrived here that was patently clear: way more Shaheen supporters showed up to show their support for her; she drew much more enthusiastic and sustained applause lines throughout the night; and when she took the stage initially, Chuck Todd had to awkwardly pause and wait for the audience to quiet down.

The general consensus, therefore, is probably that Brown got creamed. I disagree. This wasn’t his first rodeo and perhaps that’s why he seemed relatively relaxed under fire. After all, the audience was openly ridiculing and laughing at his responses for no apparent reason. I watched both Arkansas Senate debates, for example, and the audiences weren’t nearly as partisan or disruptive. One exchange, however, and the one everyone will be talking about, was particularly brutal:

I'll let fact checkers sort through who's telling the truth (although watch this clip if you have time); in the moment, however, Shaheen clearly got the better of Brown on that exchange. The audience ate it up. Nevertheless, Shaheen made some outrageous claims herself. She said she was (ahem) “absolutely” proud of voting for Obamacare and essentially admitted she voted with the president nearly 100 percent of the time:

It is an absolute fact that Shaheen is an Obama rubber stamp. But be that as it may, Shaheen had especially strong responses vis-à-vis women’s issues. Her best line of the night, however, was when she said, “I don’t think New Hampshire is a consolation prize,” digging Brown for weighing runs for political offices in numerous states. She was also relentless when accusing him of outsourcing jobs, subsidizing Big Oil, and supporting 44 filibusters as a United States Senator, thereby undercutting the narrative that Brown (as he likes to claim) was the most bipartisan lawmaker in Washington during his tenure.

Incidentally, I spoke with Team Brown’s campaign manager, Colin Reed, after the debate. He said internal polling shows the race is a “dead heat,” and that Senate races in New Hampshire “tend to break late” – that is, the last few days of the campaign. As a result, he’s feeling pretty good about his candidate’s chances.

We'll see.

Woman Exposes Father With Carry Permit Using Yard Signs

This post has been updated

One can have legitimate disagreements about the Second Amendment, but what this Minnesota woman is doing is bound to make gun rights advocates more than just a little angry (via KAALtv)[emphasis mine]:

A sign posted in a front yard brings an interesting debate. At the center of it, your constitutional rights. In the past few weeks there’s been a number of stories involving guns on school property in Olmsted County. The issue Friday is a gun near school property and the way one woman is voicing her concern.

Matthew Halleck brings his two girls to and from the outskirts of Harriet Bishop Elementary in Rochester every day. "I'm going to protect my children anyway I can,” said Halleck.

For Matthew, that means carrying a concealed gun that he has a permit for, while adhering to all legal boundaries. "It's not crossing the street here, where the crosswalk is, it's making sure it's concealed so the kids can't see it,” he said.

But Matthew is no longer the only one who knows he's carrying a gun. Recently a sign went up in a front yard across the street from the school. It has Matthew’s picture on it and reads, "This man carries a loaded gun around your children every day."

"Since we don't have a way to stop him, we felt it was important to notify the neighborhood and the parents that there is an armed man in their presence,” said Kimberly Edson, a Rochester resident who put the sign up. "The first couple days of school he had it very visible, we saw it and were quite concerned,” she said.

Kimberly called the police the day the picture was taken, but they said Matthew has a legal right to carry off school property. Matthew also contacted authorities concerning the sign, and while they briefly took the sign down, it was eventually determined that Kimberly was also breaking no laws. "He has a 2nd Amendment right to carry the gun, I have my 1st Amendment right to say that I don't like it,” said Edson.

That’s all fine and dandy, but why on Earth does Edson think Halleck is a threat? The vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens; Halleck is just doing what any father would do for his children: protect them. Ms. Edson’s antics have compromised that goal as he’s lost tactical surprise.

On the other hand, would-be criminals might think twice about messing around in Halleck’s neighborhood knowing that he is armed. One this is for sure: Mr. Halleck should consider open carry from now on thanks to Edson.

Halleck is also considering filing a libel lawsuit.

CORRECTION: From comments sent to me via email by Minnesota residents, the state does not issue "concealed carry" permits, but simply carry permits which allows for lawful concealed and open carrying of firearms by law-abiding citizens.  This post has been corrected to reflect the change.  

H.W. Bush to Michelle Nunn: Stop Using My Photo in Your Ad

George H.W. Bush is anything but elated over his recent appearance in an ad produced by Democrat and Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn. Nunn’s goal was to seem more bipartisan by showcasing her time as CEO of Bush’s nonprofit Points of Light foundation, instead her disregard for the president’s wishes has more aptly showcased her disrespect.

"Throughout my career I've been able to work with Republican and Democrats," Nunn claimed after a slow zoom of a picture of her with Bush senior appeared across the screen.

Nunn’s background in the nonprofit sector led her to work for the Bush’s Points of Light foundation in 2007. When she announced her intentions to run for the U.S. Senate, the foundation granted her a leave of absence.

According to Bush’s spokesperson Jim McGrath, the former president explicitly stated he did not want to be involved in Nunn’s Democratic campaign:

Michelle and her team have been clearly, repeatedly and consistently told that President Bush did not want them to use his photo as part of this campaign. Apparently, the Nunn team feels they can repeatedly disregard the former president's wishes, which is very disappointing because it's so disrespectful.

Bush has, on the other hand, come out in support of Nunn’s challenger, Republican David Perdue, who is leading by only a slim margin in recent polls. 

Study Shows Liberals More Likely Than Conservatives to "Unfriend" Someone Over Politics

A new study by the Pew Research Center has found that people who identify as "liberal" in their political beliefs are more likely than conservatives to have unfriended someone (either in the online or real-life sense) over a disagreement in political leanings.

According to the study, while self-described "consistent liberals" were more likely than conservatives to have friends who have differing political opinions, they were also more likely to block those person's posts from social media or to unfriend them altogether.

Consistent liberals were the most likely group to block or unfriend someone because they disagreed with their political postings, with 44 percent saying they had "hidden, blocked, defriended, or stopped following someone" on Facebook due to their political postings. Only roughly one-third (31 percent) of consistent conservatives had done the same -- although this might be attributable to lower levels of ideological diversity in their online ecosystem.


Liberals were also more likely to drop a friend in real life over politics. Nearly a quarter, or 24 percent, of consistent liberals told Pew that have stopped talking to or being friends with someone over politics, compared to 16 percent of consistent conservatives.

A possible explanation for this could be that conservatives are less likely to block someone over political postings if their friends are people with whom they mostly agree with.

Growing up in Maine, I had plenty of liberal classmates and friends, heck, it was always a surprise if a classmate wasn't a liberal. These people were some of my dearest friends growing up, and as we grew older it was quite upsetting to see that some of them purposefully shut me out of their lives when I got more heavily involved in politics. Underneath political views we're all still people before everything else. I wish more people—on both sides of the aisle—would realize that.

PHOTOS: On the Ground in NH

Concord, NH -- Well, my friends, I made it. I am currently sitting inside the media room at the Capitol Center for the Arts waiting for the debate to start. Outside, hundreds of Granite Staters have gathered and I had a few minutes to snap a few photos before picking up my media credentials.

As the photo below shows, most of those gathered are Shaheen supporters.

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But I did see some Brown signs.

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And this.

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Below is where everyone will walk in. In the background, you can see an American flag with President Obama's face upside down.

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This is the media room.

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And for fun, I snapped this on my ride up to New Hampshire. I went right.

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Apologies for the so-so quality but I wanted to you guys a sense of what it's like up here in New Hampshire. When I arrived, roughly three and a half hours before the debate started, there were already hundreds of people holding signs outside the venue. Though I overheard one spectator say she's stopped watching television altogether "because of the ads," people here are clearly engaged and ready for the debate. I was somewhat surprised, however,that there weren't more Brown supporters on scene. But it's still early.

As a reminder, the debate will start at 8:00 PM EST. Stay tuned.