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Inside Politics: GOP Senate candidate blames Romney for drop

- - Thursday, September 20, 2012

Former Wisconsin governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson says his declining poll numbers in recent days are due partly to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's lack of momentum on the presidential campaign trail.

Mr. Thompson, a Republican, was considered a favorite as recently as last month in his Senate race against Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin, but a poll released Wednesday by Marquette University Law School shows him trailing Ms. Baldwin by 9 percentage points.

A CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll released this week showed the race as tied at 47 percent. A Marquette poll last month showed Mr. Thompson with a 9-point lead.

Mr. Thompson downplayed the gap in an interview with WKOW-TV in Madison, Wis., but said his declining numbers have been caused in part by the Romney campaign's negative momentum in recent weeks.

WHITE HOUSE

Obama joins the chorus: Let Teddy win

It seems President Obama wants Teddy, one of the Washington Nationals baseball team's four oversized presidential mascots, to finally be allowed to win a race at the ballpark.

The Teddy Roosevelt character has never won, or at least not legitimately, in the nightly race against oversized George Washington, oversized Thomas Jefferson and oversized Abe Lincoln.

Fans in Washington have taken up Teddy's cause, chanting for the team to let nation's 26th president have one win — operating under the undoubtedly correct belief that the races are fixed.

In a tongue-in-cheek interview with ESPN, Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said it was time to let Teddy claim victory, and on Thursday Mr. Obama's spokesman chimed in and said the First Fan agrees.

"This is an outrage. I agree with Sen. McCain, I'm comfortable saying my boss agrees with Sen. McCain," press secretary Jay Carney told reporters traveling on Air Force One.

CAMPAIGN

Professors are big stuffers of an Obama campaign fund

The fundraising committee through which President Obama solicits his largest campaign donations relied overwhelmingly on professors from elite universities last month.

The top donors, measured by frequency of donation, were Duke University, the University of Michigan, University of California, University of Washington and Stanford University, and Mr. Obama's alma maters of Columbia and Harvard.

The only nonuniversity employers ranking so highly are tech companies. The Obama Victory Committee got donations from 54 Google employees, 48 Microsoft workers, 43 workers from IBM and 40 from Oracle.

The fund, which can accept up to $75,000 per person, also raised $3.4 million from 5,600 retirees and $5.1 million from 4,600 self-employed individuals.

NEW YORK

Obamas to visit chat show, Romney may soon follow

NEW YORK — President Obama and his wife, Michelle, will make their first joint appearance on the daytime show "The View" next week.

The show says the president and first lady will tape an episode Monday to air Tuesday. Mr. Obama's appearance in July 2010 was the show's most-watched episode ever.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney might not be far behind. Mr. Romney said in private remarks to donors made public this week that going on "The View" is high risk because of the sharp-tongued female hosts, only one of whom is a conservative.

That conservative, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, said Wednesday that she had reached out to Mr. Romney, and the campaign said he would love to come on the show in October.

CBS' "60 Minutes" also announced both candidates will appear Sunday in separate interviews.

PENNSYLVANIA

Challenge to voter-ID law headed to state court

HARRISBURG — A legal challenge to Pennsylvania's tough new law requiring every voter to show photo identification will reappear in court next week in front of the same judge who initially refused to halt the law.

A court clerk said Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson will take up the case Tuesday to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court-ordered review of whether registered voters are able to get the state-issued photo IDs they need.

If they cannot get the kind of access to a photo ID promised by the law, or if the judge believes any voters will be disenfranchised, then he is obliged to halt the law from taking effect before the Nov. 6 presidential election, the high court said in its ruling Tuesday.

The Supreme Court asked for an opinion by Oct. 2, just 35 days before the election.

Judge Simpson originally ruled on the request for a preliminary injunction in August, saying the plaintiffs did not show that "disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable." But the Supreme Court's directions to the lower court set a much tougher standard for tolerating voter disenfranchisement than the one Judge Simpson used.

From wire dispatches and staff reports