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The Fix: September 27, 2009 - October 3, 2009

The Line: The Four Elements of Great Primaries

There are a few necessary elements that take a good primary contest and turn it into a great one. First, the two (or more) candidates each have to have a realistic win scenario. Quixotic candidacies are rarely the stuff great primaries are made of. Second, the candidates must be on (somewhat) equal financial footing. If one candidate outspends the other by millions -- or tens of millions -- the fight isn't fair and the primary isn't great.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 2, 2009; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  The Line  
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The Live Fix: Of the 2016 Olympics, Virginia Governor, Tpaw and VIA Coffee

We chatted live for an hour today -- taking questions on a wide variety of topics including what (if any) impact there would be on President Barack Obama after Chicago failed to land the 2016 Olympics, whether or not the Virginia governor's race is a referendum on Obama and if Starbucks new instant coffee measures up.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 2, 2009; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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Morning Fix: An Olympic Boom or Bust?

President Barack Obama's last-minute decision to head to Copenhagen today to make the case for his Chicago to host the Olympics in 2016 is fraught with political possibility and peril.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 2, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (267)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Short Takes: RGA Plays Hole Card Against Deeds

In a move we have been expecting for several weeks, the Republican Governors Association is using footage of Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) fumbling his way through an answer on whether he would raise taxes in a new blitz of television advertising aimed at critical northern Virginia voters.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 1, 2009; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  Short Takes  
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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

That's the percentage of Pennsylvania voters who approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in a new Quinnipiac University poll, a precipitous drop from May when two-thirds of Keystone State voters held that view.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 1, 2009; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Club Makes Paterson the Issue in NY-23

The Club for Growth's first ad in the special election in New York's 23rd district hammers state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) and businessman Bill Owens (D) for their alleged similarities to Gov. David Paterson -- a move sure to stoke concerns within the Democratic establishment about the drag the Empire State's chief executive could have on downballot contests in 2010.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 1, 2009; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Governors , House  
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Tpaw's Inner Circle

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) unveiled a detailed list of state and national operatives -- first reported on by Jmart -- who will serve as he core of his political inner circle as he moves toward a presidential bid in 2012.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 1, 2009; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
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NV-Senate: Lowden Announces Against Reid

Former Nevada state Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Lowden will announce her bid to challenge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today, immediately becoming the highest-profile candidate in an increasingly crowded field hoping to unseat the Nevada Democrat.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 1, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Senate  
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Morning Fix: Republicans' Independent Gains?

President Barack Obama's strength among independent voters has waned since the 2008 election with more and more unaffiliated voters now identifying with Republicans, according to new data from Gallup.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 1, 2009; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Democrats Ratchet Up Pressure On Snowe

After weeks of courtship of Snowe by the White House, Democracy Corps -- a Democratic-aligned polling operation -- released polling data this afternoon that argues that the Maine Senator's willingness to cooperate with the Administration on health care is directly tied to her re-election prospects.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 30, 2009; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Senate , White House  
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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

39 That's the percentage of the vote New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) took in a new Quinnipiac poll that showed him narrowing former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie's (R) lead to just four points.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 30, 2009; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Short Takes: Grayson vs Wilson

Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson's assertion on the House floor last night that the Republican health care plan amounts to a wish for sick people to "die quickly" has provoked a fierce response from national Republicans.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 30, 2009; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (152)
Categories:  Short Takes  
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Morning Fix: Is Santorum Serious?

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum will travel to Iowa tomorrow, the first step in what he clearly hopes will be a grassroots-driven bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 30, 2009; 5:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Short Takes: Politics and the Public Option

The Senate Finance Committee has just voted down a proposal by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) that would have amended the health care bill to include a public option.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 29, 2009; 3:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
Categories:  Short Takes  
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The Best State-Based Political Reporters (2009 Edition)

Ladies and gentleman, Fixistas of all ages, we give you the 2009 Fix list of the best state-based political reporters in the country!

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 29, 2009; 1:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

55 That's the percentage of Minnesota voters who would rather not see their state's governor -- Tim Pawlenty -- seek the 2012 Republican nomination as compared to just three in ten who would like to see their home state governor make a national bid, according to a new Princeton Survey Research poll conducted for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 29, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Doug Wilder, Creigh Deeds and the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy

Richmond Mayor Doug Wilder's (D) decision not to endorse state Sen. Creigh Deeds' candidacy for governor in Virginia after weeks of speculation that he would in fact do so has led us to create a brand new category in the Fix endorsement hierarchy: the non-endorsement endorsement.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 29, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Governors  
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Morning Fix: Attack Dog Needed?

The nationwide debate over President Barack Obama's health care plan has exposed a weakness in the Democratic party apparatus: they lack a high profile surrogate to push back -- hard -- against the rhetorical arguments put forward by Republicans.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 29, 2009; 5:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (137)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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The Rising: Chris Doherty, Saving Scranton and 2010

When Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty (D) first heard that NBC had a television show pilot purporting to be set in his hometown, he was worried. "Writers from Hollywood determining how people are going to see my city" made him cringe, acknowledged Doherty who was born in Scranton and has served as its mayor for the past seven and a half years, in an interview with the Fix as part of our "Rising" series.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 28, 2009; 3:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  The Rising  
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Short Takes: Whitman's Press Conference

As a historian of the good, the bad and the downright ugly in politics, the Fix has a long memory about some of the best (read: worst) press conferences in history. There was the legendary Don Baker's questioning of then Sen. Chuck Robb (D-Va.) outside of a factory in the 1994 Senate race (captured brilliantly in "A Perfect Candidate") that made the word "cloture" famous, Gov. Mark Sanford's (R-S.C.) oddly compelling admission of an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina and then Sen. Bob Torricelli's (D-N.J.) "when did we become such an unforgiving people" press conference when he announced his resignation in the fall of 2002. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman's press conference on Saturday -- in which she was repeatedly and pointedly asked why she had ever been registered to vote before 2002 and did not answer -- may not be in that hallowed pantheon but it's darn close.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 28, 2009; 2:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Short Takes  
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The Fix's Best State-Based Political Reporters

Last week we asked Fixistas to name the best political reporters in each of the 50 states. And, as always, you delivered a flood of suggestions and recommendations.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 28, 2009; 12:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

36 That's the percentage of Americans who say they are following national political news "very closely", the highest off-year number since Gallup began asking the question in 2001.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 28, 2009; 10:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Morning Fix: Meg Whitman and a Brief History of Not Voting

Former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman's spotty record as a voter -- she was never registered before 2002, according to reporting by the Sacramento Bee -- has become a major issue as she seeks the Republican nomination for governor of California in 2010

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 28, 2009; 5:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (105)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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