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The Fix: July 4, 2010 - July 10, 2010

Ga. gubernatorial hopeful's new ad puts gender in the spotlight

A female candidate for governor in Georgia is up with her first TV ad of the Republican primary, a 30-second spot that highlights her position as the lone woman in the four-way race.

By Felicia Sonmez  |  July 9, 2010; 3:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (310)
Categories:  Governors  
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W.Va. Gov. Joe Manchin set to run for Byrd's seat; GOP seeks direction

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) said Friday that he will almost definitely run for the open Senate seat in West Virginia this year, a move that should provide a measure of relief for Democrats concerned about another battleground this year.

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 9, 2010; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  Senate  
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Obama stumps for Reid in Vegas as ad wars heat up

President Barack Obama made his third trip to Nevada to campaign for Harry Reid as the Senate majority leader and his rival, former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R), exchanged some of their sharpest attacks to date.

By Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake  |  July 9, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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W.Va. AG: election to fill Byrd's seat can be held in 2010

West Virginia on Thursday took another big step toward holding a special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, with state Attorney General Darrell McGraw ruling that Gov. Joe Manchin can call the race this year.

By Aaron Blake  |  July 8, 2010; 4:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
Categories:  Senate  | Tags: byrd  
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Romanoff on accepting PAC money: 'I was wrong'

Former Colorado state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D) on Wednesday said that he had erred in previously accepting money through a leadership PAC.

By Felicia Sonmez  |  July 8, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Senate  
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Almost all Democratic Senate candidates would welcome Obama

Republicans have been quick to point out that candidates like Carnahan and Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher made little effort to appear alongside the president during his previous visits to their states. But in the past few weeks, Fisher has appeared with Obama at a stimulus rally and raised money with Vice President Biden, and the Missouri secretary of state is welcoming the president Thursday to raise money for her Senate campaign - her second appearance with him this year. While the campaigns of Carnahan, Fisher and candidates like Reps. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) and Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) have been happy to hitch their wagons to Obama, it's bit tougher for candidates in red states like Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky and Louisiana. Still, even in Indiana, Rep. Brad Ellsworth's (D-Ind.) campaign said he would welcome the "opportunity to show-off the great people and businesses of this state." Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway's campaigns offered qualified answers when asked whether they would welcome Obama, and Rep. Charlie Melancon's (D-La.) campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment. "President Obama did not campaign in Arkansas during his own race in 2008," reminded Lincoln spokeswoman Katie Laning Niebaum, "but Sen. Lincoln has let him know that he is always welcome in Arkansas." While Arkansas is one of Obama's worst states, Kentucky isn't much better. Conway's campaign said it would welcome the president, but it also said it would use the occasion to express some concerns about his policies. "Jack would take the opportunity to talk to the President about the concerns of Kentuckians including job creation, the deficit and why cap and trade legislation would hurt Kentucky's economy and should not be pursued by the administration," Conway spokeswoman Allison Haley said. Conway's approach seems to be the name of the game - acknowledge Obama's role in the 2010 campaign but talk about your independence in order to inoculate yourself. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in February the president "may not want to come here" and emphasized his independence. But his campaign told The Fix this week that he would be "honored" to have the president visit. Carnahan, similarly, has been reticent to embrace Obama's health care plan but still welcomed him to town for his fundraising help. Obama has so far campaigned for Reid, Carnahan, and Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). He has also appeared in the states with Fisher, Meek and Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.). Still awaiting for visits are Sestak, Blumenthal, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Delaware Senate candidate Chris Coons. In Pennsylvania, the president campaigned with Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) during the primary, but Specter lost to Sestak. Despite criticizing Obama in the primary, Sestak has said he hopes to be the president's biggest ally in the Senate. Giannoulias said last week that he thinks the president will campaign with him. There, it's more a matter of whether the president will make the appearance; Giannoulias has some baggage, but Obama could be a big help in his home state. It's hard to see candidates like Conway, Ellsworth, Lincoln and Melancon actively seeking the president's help. He could probably get by in Indiana, which he won narrowly in 2008, but he's pretty unpopular in all four states now. Obama's overall approval is around the mid-to-high 40s nationwide - a range that applies in most of the states holding top Senate contests. That's pretty consistent for someone who is supported by basically everyone on the left and opposed by basically everyone on the right. Democrats remain competitive on the generic congressional ballot (generic Democrat vs. generic Republican), and even the health care bill is looking like less and less of a liability. Still, with all of their pickup opportunities, even a slightly tilted playing field could pay dividends for Republicans. A Gallup poll this week showed just 38 percent of independents approve of Obama. If that number inches lower, it could be cause for concern among candidates all over the Senate map. If those numbers hold, though, do candidates really have much to be ashamed of when it comes to their president? Or is this mostly just a way for the GOP to fire up their donor and activist bases?

By Aaron Blake  |  July 8, 2010; 3:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Democratic Party , Senate  | Tags: carnahan, obama, reid  
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Boxer leads Fiorina, but approval rating plummets

One day after polling showed that the California gubernatorial race is in a virtual tie, a new Field Poll shows that the state's Senate race is just as closely contested.

By Felicia Sonmez  |  July 8, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
Categories:  Senate  
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The ever-expanding Senate playing field, or not

Just when you think the 2010 Senate playing field is set, it spawns a few more races.

By Aaron Blake and Felicia Sonmez  |  July 8, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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RGA flexes its muscle in Ohio

The Republican Governors Association is up with a new TV ad in Ohio highlighting the loss of 400,000 jobs under Gov. Ted Strickland's (D) watch.

By Felicia Sonmez  |  July 7, 2010; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
Categories:  Governors  
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Brown, Whitman in dead heat in California

California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D), the former governor looking to make a comeback this year, is in a virtual tie with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (R) according to a new Field Poll released this morning.

By Felicia Sonmez  |  July 7, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Governors  
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W.Va. Gov. Joe Manchin to push for 2010 special election to replace Byrd

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) Wednesday paved the way for a 2010 special election to replace the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) and said he would consider running for the seat this year.

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 7, 2010; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Senate  
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Charles Djou: Incumbent, underdog

After easily winning a three-way special election in Hawaii's 1st district, Rep. Charles Djou (R-Hawaii) enters an abbreviated 2010 reelection campaign as one of the two or three most endangered GOP incumbents in the country.

By Aaron Blake  |  July 7, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  House  
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The Fix breaks

Starting today, I will be taking a vacation. (Don't worry -- or celebrate -- I will be back before too long.)

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 7, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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Immigration emerging as 2010 issue?

The Obama Administration's decision to move forward with a legal challenge to Arizona's stringent illegal immigration law will almost certainly elevate the issue on the campaign trail this fall.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 7, 2010; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (128)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Tea Party = Republican party?

New Gallup data suggests the tea party is simply a wing of the Republican party.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 6, 2010; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (276)
Categories:  Republican Party  
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Giannoulias: Obama will campaign for me

Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) said that he expects President Obama to visit the Prairie State to campaign for him in his bid for the President's former Senate seat.

By The Fix  |  July 6, 2010; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Senate  
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Choose your own House race!

Vote in the Fix's "Choose your own House race" competition! The winner gets a full Fix post on the race.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 6, 2010; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  House  
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Will Michael Steele stay or go?

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's most recent gaffe -- this one about the war in Afghanistan -- has effectively ruled out any chance he might have to return to his post after the 2010 election, according to a number of individuals close to the committee.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 6, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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White voters could hold Democrats fate in their hands in November

White voters could hold the key to Democrats' chances of minimizing their losses this fall.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 5, 2010; 9:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (230)
Categories:  White House  
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