Poll: Coons’ lead widening
WILMINGTON | A new statewide poll in Delaware shows that Republican Senate hopeful Christine O’Donnell has failed to chip away at Democratic nominee Chris Coons’ strong lead, and she may even be going backward.
The survey released Thursday by Fairleigh Dickinson University-PublicMind shows Mr. Coons holding a commanding lead of 21 points, with 57 percent of likely voters saying they will vote for Mr. Coons, compared with just 36 percent for Miss O’Donnell.
Miss O’Donnell trailed by 17 points in a similar Fairleigh Dickinson poll released earlier this month.
The latest survey of 797 likely voters was conducted from Oct. 20 through Oct. 26 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Lawsuit filed over access
A conservative watchdog group announced on Thursday it had filed a federal lawsuit against the National Archives and Records Administration over access to 79 recorded conversations between former President Clinton and a historian in connection with an oral history project.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in federal court in Washington accusing the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) of erroneously ruling that the tapes, made from conversations with an historian aren’t presidential records and therefore not subject to the Presidential Records Act.
The lawsuit comes more than a year after Judicial Watch filed an open-records request for the tapes, recorded from 1993 to 2001, include Mr. Clinton’s recollections, among other topics, of conversations with foreign leaders, federal lawmakers and Cabinet officials.
“These Clinton tapes are presidential records according to the law, and they belong to the American people, not President Clinton,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Gun-control group runs ads
RICHMOND | A national gun-control group is targeting a Northern Virginia congressional candidate for refusing to take a stand on closing the so-called “gun-show loophole.”
Americans United for Safe Streets began running a television ad and distributing mailers in the 11th District this week attacking Republican Keith Fimian, who is in a rematch against freshman Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly. Mr. Connolly defeated Mr. Fimian in 2008.
Mr. Connolly has advocated closing the loophole, which allows private sellers at gun shows to avoid performing the background checks on buyers that dealers must complete. Mr. Fimian has not addressed the issue, but has said he supports an individual’s right to own a gun.
The ad features Omar Samaha, whose sister Reema was one of 32 people killed by a student gunman at Virginia Tech in 2007. Although the shooter did not buy his weapons at a gun show, the victims’ families have advocated for stricter gun laws and especially requiring background checks for all sales at gun shows.
Kleefisch apologizes for gay comment
MADISON | The Republican candidate for Wisconsin lieutenant governor is apologizing for suggesting that extending domestic-partner benefits to gay state employees could lead to approving marriage to dogs or furniture.
In a January interview with a Christian radio station, Rebecca Kleefisch asked “at what point are we going to OK marrying inanimate objects? Can I marry this table, or this, you know, clock? Can we marry dogs?”
Mrs. Kleefisch issued a Thursday statement apologizing. She says she only meant to express concern with redefining marriage.
Mrs. Kleefisch won the Republican primary for lieutenant governor Sept. 14, and automatically was paired with GOP gubernatorial nominee Scott Walker.
“My comments were meant to relay my concern with redefining marriage. I never intended to sound insensitive, and have the utmost respect for all people.”
Spokeswoman Jill Bader says Mr. Walker is glad Mrs. Kleefisch apologized.
Political-ad surge a boon for broadcasters
DALIA | To gripe about the onslaught of political ads has become an American election tradition. But this year, people really may have more to complain about.
Ads in U.S. House and Senate races have risen 50 percent. In gubernatorial races, they’ve more than doubled. TV-ad trackers expect a record $3 billion to be spent on political ads in 2010. And most of those ads have been negative.
The political-ad blitz has been an economic stimulus for broadcasters.
In October alone, a TV station trade group says that campaign commercials may account for 30 percent of station revenues.
Poll: Brown keeps lead over Whitman
SACRAMENTO | A new poll shows Democrat Jerry Brown with a double-digit lead over Republican Meg Whitman less than a week before voters decide who will be California’s next governor.
The Field Poll released Thursday found the former two-term governor leading the former eBay CEO 49 percent to 39 percent among likely voters.
It is the third poll released in the past week showing Mr. Brown leading a race considered too close to call a month ago.
A political expert at California State University at Los Angeles says no California gubernatorial candidate in the last 50 years has won after trailing by such a margin this close to an election.
The poll surveyed 1,092 likely voters by telephone Oct. 14-26. It has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
‘Shove it’ remark was not planned
PROVIDENCE | The campaign manager for Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial contender Frank Caprio says the candidate did not plan his remark that President Obama could “shove it” for not endorsing him.
But he says it could have been phrased differently.
Xay Khamsyvoravong told the Associated Press on Thursday that it was an unfiltered, human response to a snub from the president.
Mr. Caprio on Monday said Mr. Obama could “take his endorsement and really shove it,” a day after learning Mr. Obama would not endorse anyone in the race out of respect for independent candidate Lincoln Chafee. Mr. Chafee is a former Republican senator who endorsed Mr. Obama ahead of the state’s Democratic primary in 2008.
Mr. Caprio has stood by the comment, although he has since added that he respects and admires the president.
Governor denies special treatment
PHOENIX | An Arizona police report says Gov. Jan Brewer was involved in a 1988 car crash when she was a state senator, and officers at the scene thought she was intoxicated.
The report obtained by the Arizona Republic says Mrs. Brewer rear-ended a van on the interstate. No one was hurt.
Mrs. Brewer failed a series of field sobriety tests. She was placed in handcuffs and taken to a police station, where she was supposed to undergo a blood alcohol test. But no test was ever performed, and two officers drove Mrs. Brewer home.
Mrs. Brewer released a statement Wednesday saying she was not impaired and did not ask for legislative immunity.
The arresting officers said they released Mrs. Brewer because she was protected by her status as a lawmaker during a legislative session. The reports don’t say Mrs. Brewer asked for immunity.