“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week is airing more than $10 million in advertising in some of the most competitive House and Senate races, a massive infusion by the business lobby against Democratic candidates in about 30 contests,” the AP writes. “The amount is the single largest one-week expenditure by a group outside of the national political parties. It represents an escalation in ads by the chamber, which has expressed a goal of spending $75 million in this year's midterm elections.”
“The Republican National Committee (RNC) pulled in $9.7 million in donations in September, about $4 million short of its goal,” The Hill notes, adding, “This is the second month in a row the RNC came up short of its goal.”
ALABAMA: “Rep. Bobby Bright on Thursday became the first Democratic incumbent to say publicly that he would not support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker in the next Congress,” CQ reports.
ALASKA: “Weeks after declaring the gloves off in her rematch with Republican rival Joe Miller, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski took aim at the conservative's contention that the era of earmarks is dead, saying aid to further build infrastructure in this still-young state is vital, not pork,” AP writes. “During a forum in Anchorage on Thursday, she suggested -- to loud applause -- that if such cuts are to be made, perhaps the best place to start looking to make them is in the Lower 48. The forum represented the first meeting of the two since Miller defeated Murkowski in the August GOP primary -- Murkowski is currently running as a write-in candidate -- and the first meeting of all three major Senate candidates. Democrat Scott McAdams is competing with Murkowski for independent voters and has cast himself as the moderate voice in the race.”
CONNECTICUT: “Connecticut GOP Senate nominee Linda McMahon is struggling to explain this week how she could favor a minimum wage increase after seeming to indicate the opposite,” Politico writes… “In an interview Wednesday with CNN, McMahon said she misheard the question and actually supports the minimum wage.”
“McMahon and Democratic nominee Richard Blumenthal exchanged pointed words at a debate Thursday over his previous claims that he served ‘in’ Vietnam during the conflict,” while Blumenthal “targeted McMahon's career as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, accusing her of operating a business that promoted sex and violence and turning a blind eye to steroid use by wrestlers,” The Hill writes.
DELAWARE: “After weeks of speculation it’s official,” The Wilmington News-Journal writes. “President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be in Wilmington next [Friday] to stump for U.S. Senate candidate Chris Coons.”
Christine O'Donnell said [in an interview with CNN] “if the president were to veto a repeal of the healthcare law ‘the year before his reelection, he's setting himself up to be very vulnerable. And I've seen many Hillary for president ads running.’ It's not clear what ads O'Donnell was referring to and she didn't elaborate,” The Hill writes.
FLORIDA: “Republican Marco Rubio continues his steady lead in the three-way race for U.S. Senate, as his opponents continue to duke it out for the Democratic vote, according to a new poll released Thursday by Mason-Dixon Research,” the Miami Herald writes. “Rubio has the support of 42 percent of likely voters. Independent Charlie Crist has 27 percent, while Democrat Kendrick Meek has 21 percent, both slightly lower than they were two weeks ago.”
ILLINOIS: “President Obama praised U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias at two Chicago fundraisers Thursday, saying, ‘He’s comfortable in his own skin. He doesn’t shift with the wind. He doesn’t pretend to be something that he’s not. You know . . . who he is today and who he’ll be tomorrow,’” the Chicago Sun-Times writes.
The conservative Chicago Tribune editorial page endorses Republican Rep. Mark Kirk for Senate.
MASSACHUSETTS: “In a politically explosive lawsuit, independent gubernatorial candidate Timothy P. Cahill accused his former top strategists and aides yesterday of conspiring to sabotage his candidacy, saying they orchestrated the defection of his running mate and plotted to give damaging information and internal campaign tactics to the team of GOP rival Charles D. Baker and the Republican Governors Association,” the Boston Globe reports.
The Globe also details the e-mails between strategists that Cahill is using as the basis of his lawsuit. It even ropes in Sen. John McCain.
NEVADA: A gubernatorial debate last night between Democrat Rory Reid and Republican Brian Sandoval is unlikely to “bring a dramatic shift in the dynamics of the race that most polls have Sandoval leading,” the Las Vegas Sun writes. “Neither candidate broke new policy ground. Sandoval argued his lack of a budget plan is better than Reid’s flawed one. Reid, obviously, disagreed and used it as an example of why Sandoval is a ‘weak leader.’ The candidates mostly wanted to criticize the other’s plan instead of answering questions.”
Roll Call: “Rory Reid expressed wariness Thursday night over the health care overhaul ushered through the Senate under his father’s watch this year. ‘I don’t deny that Nevada needs to be vigilant on this issue’ the Democratic gubernatorial candidate said at a debate in Las Vegas. ‘The law that was passed gives time for the new system to go into effect, but there is potential for it to put significant pressure on states because Medicaid rates could go up significantly.’”
NEW YORK: “Carl Paladino bought TV time Thursday to tell voters it's time to focus on the issues - and then slammed Andrew Cuomo's ‘legendary’ success with the ladies,” The New York Daily News. “Paladino, in a much-anticipated three-minute broadcast, tried to explain the ‘Looney Tunes’ that have dogged his campaign - but wound up igniting more controversy.” Here’s what Paladino said: "What I meant to express in my anger was simply this - does the media ask Andrew such questions?" Paladino said. "Andrew's prowess is legendary."
VIRGINIA: “Former Virginia Sen. George Allen is taking increasingly aggressive steps to lay the groundwork for a 2012 Senate comeback,” Politico writes, adding that he “recently huddled with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn to discuss a prospective bid.”
“With a name like Krystal Ball, you'd think she would have seen this coming,” The New York Daily News writes. “A candidate for Congress in Virginia running against incumbent Rep. Rob Wittman has called the leak of raunchy photos of her ‘outrageous’ and ‘incredibly sexist.’ ‘Of course, I am embarrassed by these photos; that was the whole point of these political operatives when they put them up,’ the 28-year-old Democrat said in a statement. ‘But more than just embarrassed, I'm angry!’”