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Afternoon Fix: Stormclouds: Sessions says 95-100 seats in play, GOP 'well ahead' in 40-plus districts; Van Hollen laments unprepared incumbents

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Young voters not engaged in midterms, surveys show

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* National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions said on ABC News' Topline today: "Within the margin of error, I would say there are easily 95 to 100 seats" in play. He added that at least 40 GOP candidates are "well ahead" right now. Meanwhile, at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen said, "There are a few members we approached many, many months ago to get their act together, who did not take that advice."

* In a speech in Chicago, former President George W. Bush said, "I have zero desire, just so you know, to be in the limelight. I don't think it's good for the country to have a former president criticize his successor." Bush said he would be more public while promoting his book, only to fade away again.

* The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is up with a new ad hitting Kentucky GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul for his support for the Fair Tax - an across-the-board 23 percent tax that would eliminate the Internal Revenue Service.

* The Republican National Committee raised $9.8 million, took out a $2.5 million loan and spent $13.6 million in September, leaving it with just $3.4 million cash on hand - about $10 million less than its Democratic counterpart. In a release, the RNC said it also raised $4.25 million during the first two weeks of October.

* The Cook Political Report today moved three Senate races out of the "toss-up" category. Sen. Russ Feingold's (D-Wis.) reelection and the open seat in Missouri both went to "lean Republican," while the open seat in Connecticut went to "lean Democratic." There are now eight toss-ups left, with Kentucky the only GOP-held toss-up.


* The last financial reports before the election are due by midnight in all House and Senate races. These reports will cover the first half of October.

* A new Suffolk University poll shows Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) now leading former WWE CEO Linda McMahon (R) by 18 points. If that's anywhere close to reality, McMahon can forget about it.

* RNC Chairman Michael Steele has agreed to appear on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday - something his party will be nervous about thanks to the proximity of the election and Steele's propensity for gaffes.

* There are two great LIVE governor debates tonight on C-SPAN - Massachusetts at 8 p.m. eastern time and New Mexico at 9. The former is a three-way battle featuring Gov. Deval Patrick (D) while in the latter, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (D) will attempt to make up some ground on Dona Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez (R).

* Check out The Fix tomorrow for a new list of the 15 Senate races most likely to flip. We promise a lot of movement from our last list three weeks ago.


Something about brushing my teeth just makes me wanna dance.

With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake

By Aaron Blake  | October 21, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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Next: Where President Obama is headed (and what it means)

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