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There are some rumblings.

Speculation in Maryland political circles is that Lollar is coming too close for Hoyer’s comfort in the polls, particularly with voter-turnout models dramatically favoring traditionally Republican constituencies,” says Rich Manning, a Hill contributor and a former town councilman in the region. “When I hear a Hoyer radio ad or see his new banner ads on the Internet, it tells me that Hoyer’s internal polling must be causing alarm bells to go off. Otherwise, he would be spending all of his money to try to help his fellow Democrats around the country.”

More telling, perhaps, is Mr. Hoyer’s behavior following a public debate with Mr. Lollar, who took his opponent to task on the federal deficit, among other things. When it was through, audience members overheard Mr. Hoyer say, “I’m coming after you” to Mr. Lollar, who simply grinned. Mr. Hoyer then repeated his aside.

“I am very pleased to know that Mr. Hoyer is throwing down the gauntlet and taking our campaign seriously. We have worked very hard to offer the voters in our district a choice between the failed bailout and stimulus policies of Mr. Hoyer and our ‘New Day’ agenda,” Mr. Lollar observes. “If he is serious about coming after us, then he had better bring his A-game because we will certainly bring ours.”

CARL TAKES NOTICE

“Andrew sat back and wallowed in platitudes.”

Carl Paladino, Republican candidate for New York governor, reviewing his Democratic opponent Andrew Cuomo’s performance during the gubernatorial debate on Monday.

POLL DU JOUR

- 58 percent of voters have tried to contact their senator or congressman, 38 percent have not.

- 56 percent of likely voters say it is “worth the effort” to try to contact a lawmaker.

- 30 percent say it is not worth it, 14 percent are not sure.

- 53 percent say it is “somewhat likely” lawmakers would change their minds on an issue after hearing from constituents, 38 percent say they would not.

- 51 percent say their lawmakers “don’t care” what voters at home think.

- 28 percent say lawmakers care, 22 percent are not sure.

Source: A Rasmussen reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Oct. 16-17.

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