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Tuesday
Oct052010

Study: Latino Voters Staunchly Pro-Democrat but Highly Apathetic

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Latino voters, the nation's fastest growing ethnic group with strong Democratic allegiances, appear significantly less motivated than other voters to participate in the upcoming elections, a new Pew Hispanic Center survey shows.

One-third of Latino registered voters have given the election "quite a lot of thought," compared with half of all U.S. registered voters, according to the study, which was released Tuesday. On intent to vote, half of Latinos said they will cast ballots in November while 70 percent of all U.S. registered voters said the same.

Political apathy among Latinos has emerged as a key concern for Democrats weeks before the midterm elections because two-thirds of registered voters favor Democratic congressional candidates over Republicans.

The Latino vote could play an influential role in California, Texas, Florida and New York; states where the majority of the country's registered Latino voters reside.

Pew estimates that 19.3 million Latinos are eligible to vote, making up about 7.4 percent of all voters in 2008. While turnout among those voters has traditionally been lower than the national average, experts say, the overall number of eligible Latino voters is rapidly growing.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct052010

Poll: Tea Party Closely Linked to Religious Right

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly half of those who identify with the Tea Party movement are part of the religious right, according to a Public Religion Research Institute poll released Tuesday.

Eight of ten Americans who identified with the Tea Party were Christians and 47 percent said they were part of the Christian conservative movement, the poll found.

But the grassroots movement remains a small part of the population overall. Christian conservatives make up 22 percent of the population but those who favor the Tea Party only comprise about half of that. An overwhelming majority of Americans, 94 percent, who support the Tea Party movement were white men and more than half were 50 or older, according to the survey.

Tea Party supporters have rallied for of smaller government, lower taxes, free enterprise and individual freedom.

The poll found overwhelming support for Sarah Palin, a key figure in the movement. Eighty-percent had a favorable view of the former Alaska governor, while 75 percent held an unfavorable view of President Obama.

The Tea Party movement proved itself to be a formidable force in the primaries. Several candidates backed by national Tea Party groups successfully defeated candidates favored by the Republican establishment. But recent polls show that interest may be waning.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct052010

2010 Forecast: Enthusiasm Gap Still Favors GOP

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Despite attempts by President Obama to rouse his base, the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Republicans are still more “fired up” than Democrats.

When asked if they were “certain” to vote this year, 77 percent of Republicans said yes, compared to just 61 percent of Democrats. This 16-point advantage for the GOP is unchanged from last month.

Independent voters showed a jump in enthusiasm from September. Today, 74 percent say they are “certain” to vote -- up from 69 percent last month. That’s not good news for Democrats, however, as independents are leaning decidedly toward the GOP this fall. Among independents who are most likely to vote, 53 percent say they’re voting for the Republican candidate, compared to just 33 percent who say they’ll vote for the Democrat.

And, what about the “youth vote” that Democrats were trying to re-inspire? Just 53 percent of 18-29 year old voters say they are certain to vote compared to 80 percent of those 65 years and older and 81 percent among those 50-64 years old.

Why does this matter to Democrats? Among younger voters, Obama’s approval rating is 58 percent; among the oldest group of voters it’s just 46 percent. When asked who they’d support in 2010, younger voters give Democrats an advantage of 51-47 percent. Those 65 and older give Republicans a 51-44 percent advantage.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct052010

Ginni Thomas on Tea Party: 'Big Tidal Wave Coming'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Forget the polls that show a decrease in support for the Tea Party candidates -- the only poll that matters is the one on Nov. 2, said Ginni Thomas, CEO of the conservative group Liberty Central.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows only 32 percent of Americans believe  the Tea Party will change Washington, while 63 percent said it will not.

“I don’t know about that, I think it’s pretty popular out there from what I see,” said Thomas, also the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

“I don’t think it’s a partisan thing going on, I think it’s a principal thing. I think it’s an American thing. I think people are rebelling and there is a big tidal wave coming,” she said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct052010

McMahon, Blumenthal Clash Over Vietnam, Spending At First Debate

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(HARTFORD, Conn.) -- Hours after Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon deployed a hard-hitting television ad attacking her opponent, Richard Blumenthal, for misstatements he made about his service during the Vietnam War era, the two candidates sparred in person over the accusations at their first official debate of the general election.

“There is nothing new in this ad, and there is nothing new about the McMahon attack on me," Blumenthal, the state’s Democratic attorney general said, adding that he was “sorry” that on a handful of occasions he exaggerated his military service.

McMahon, the Republican former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, released a 30-second ad in advance of Monday night’s debate in Hartford that pointedly asks: “If he lied about Vietnam, what else is he lying about?”

But Blumenthal brought his own ammunition to the forum, raising questions about his whether his GOP opponent supports cutting the minimum wage.

“That's a lie. You know that's a lie,” McMahon said. “I never said it.” Blumenthal also noted that McMahon fired “ten percent of her workers” as a business executive.

“Layoffs are hard, they are really tough to do, but sometimes you have to make those tough decisions to move your company forward,” she said.

From the beginning of the face-to-face meeting between the two candidates, who are vying to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, McMahon characterized Blumenthal as a creature of politics lacking real-world experience and casting herself as an entrepreneur who would bring change to Washington.

While recent polls indicate a tight race, Blumenthal appears to have an edge as the clock ticks down to Election Day.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct052010

Third Party Candidate Gains Ground in Minnesota Governor's Race

Photo Courtesy - Tom Horner for Governor of Minnesota(WASHINGTON) -- In an election year dominated by polarized politics, candidates staking out the middle ground haven't gained much momentum with voters. But in Minnesota, an independent candidate for governor is bucking the trend.

Tom Horner, a 60-year-old public relations executive who's never held office, has overcome virtual obscurity among voters in recent weeks and surged in the polls to position himself as a viable third-party contender.

Although Horner trails Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer by double digits, his support has climbed steadily to around 17 percent of likely voters. Aides say the steady flow of campaign donations and endorsements from prominent state moderates are signs his candidacy is on the rise.

Polls show large numbers of Minnesota voters remain undecided about their choice for governor, and neither Dayton nor Emmer has broken out with a clear majority. The situation reflects moderate voters' relative distaste for their choices, experts say.

Independent candidates in the last two gubernatorial elections failed to gain traction with voters.

Those skeptical of Horner's chances say it will be more interesting to see from which opponent he draws more votes.

Minnesota is one of two states where the independent candidate for governor has been surging in the polls this year. Former Rhode Island Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee is building momentum to become his state's first independent governor.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct052010

White House to Hold Summit for Community Colleges

Photo Courtesy - The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and second lady Dr. Jill Biden will host the first ever White House Summit on Community Colleges at the White House on Tuesday.

Biden, a 17-year community college instructor, said on a conference call with reporters Monday that she hopes Tuesday’s summit will help open the nation’s eyes to the value of community colleges.  “I have always said that the community colleges are one of the nation’s best kept secrets, but [Tuesday's] summit shows that is no longer the case,” she said.

At the summit, the administration will highlight two public-private commitments that they believe will help prepare the community college workforce better.  Community college leaders and former students, as well as business and organized labor representatives, are expected to attend to discuss what more can be done to help community colleges succeed and create a valuable, successful work force.

Earlier this year, the president announced an investment of $2 million over four years to community colleges to support new education training and skills programs. Over the next few months, the White House is anticipated to announce the first $500 million of that investment.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct052010

Poll Shows GOP Advantage Eases as Economic Optimism Rises

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/Washington PostDemocrats are gaining some ground on Republicans as midterm elections round the corner, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.  With a month left until Election Day, likely voters are now divided 49-43 percent in favor of the Republican candidate in their district.  That's a slight decline from last month's ratio of 53-40 percent, which marked the largest GOP lead since ABC/Post polling began in 1982.

Still, the Republicans hold a sizable lead, bigger than the one they had at this time in 1994, when they last seized control of Congress.  Poll figures show Republicans might have a better turnout in the polls.  They're 16 points more apt than Democrats to say they're certain to vote next month.  The GOP also has a 20-point advantage among independent likely voters, who favor Republican candidates by 53-33 percent.

The poll also shows that 31 percent of Americans feel the economy's improving, which is seven points more than last month's figure and among the highest percentage since the financial crisis of fall 2008.  Dissatisfaction with the federal government has eased as well, by seven points, falling to 71 percent.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct042010

First Lady To Host Conference Call For Vote 2010 Update

Photo Courtesy -- The White House(WASHINGTON) -- The First Lady is not slated to formally hit the campaign trail until Oct. 13, but on Wednesday “the closer,” as she was affectionately dubbed by her husband, will host a conference call with “Organizing for America” supporters to give an update on the race just four weeks before Election Day.

“She'll talk about the work we've all been doing together and the importance of volunteering in the final four weeks before the November elections,” Mitch Stewart, the Director of OFA, says in an e-mail. He adds, “With so little time until November 2nd, this update with Michelle Obama will be an exciting way to get motivated for the work we have left to accomplish together.”

The call scheduled to take place Oct. 6 at 12 p.m. Eastern time.

Copyright 2010 ABC News


Monday
Oct042010

Christine O'Donnell Ad: 'I'm Not A Witch'

Photo Courtesy -- Christine2010.com(NEW YORK) -- “I'm not a witch," Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell assures voters, who may be concerned that she once "dabbled" in the dark arts, in a new ad released by her campaign on Monday.

"I'm nothing you've heard," O'Donnell continues in the 30-second spot -- the first of the general election -- "I'm you."

The ad features a spare background, quiet piano notes and O’Donnell, the GOP candidate who has sparked controversy for her past statements on witchcraft, abstinence and evolution, speaking directly into the camera.

“None of us are perfect, but none of us can be happy with what we see all around us,” she says. “Politicians who think spending, trading favors and back-room deals are the ways to stay in office. I’ll go to Washington and do what you’d do.”

O'Donnell defeated Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., to win the Republican Senate nomination and is facing off against Democrat Chris Coons in the general election. Her campaign has gained notoriety from a steady stream of video clips released by television personality Bill Maher, who often featured O'Donnell as a guest on the show he hosted for nearly 10 years, "Politically Incorrect."

In the ad's finale, O'Donnell repeats one of her opening lines: “I’m you."

Copyright ABC News Radio








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