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The midterms: The 'Barely True' campaign

The latest New York Times/CBS poll shows Republicans leading the generic ballot by six points among likely voters, 46%-40%. "Republicans have wiped out the advantage held by Democrats in recent election cycles among women, Roman Catholics, less affluent Americans and independents. All of those groups broke for Mr. Obama in 2008 and for Congressional Democrats when they grabbed both chambers from the Republicans four years ago, according to exit polls."

The "Barely True" Campaign: "After rating hundreds of claims in the 2010 election — from TV ads, debates, interviews and mailings -- we're giving an overall Truth-O-Meter rating to the campaign. We rate it 'Barely True,'" Politifact's Bill Adair says. "In a majority of claims checked this fall by PolitiFact and our eight state partners, we found a grain of truth, but it was exaggerated, twisted or distorted."

"Election Day is still five days off, but already Republican strategists are whispering that they outmaneuvered their Democratic counterparts," Stu Rothenberg writes in Roll Call, adding, "They hoped that buzz about increased GOP opportunities would create more fundraising opportunities, and they bet that increased opportunities would encourage a more aggressive approach by 'outside' Republican-leaning groups, some of which seemed more focused on Senate races. They have won their bet."

But he concludes: "Blame Obama, Pelosi, David Axelrod, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former economics adviser Christina Romer and whoever else was involved in creating Democratic policy, but don't blame the DCCC and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the House and Senate losses. And feel free to give the NRCC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee some credit, too."


ALASKA: "The Alaska Supreme Court late Wednesday blocked a lower court's order and ruled that voters at polling places may see a list of write-in candidates," AP writes. "The ruling was good news for the campaign of incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski."

ARIZONA: An NPR investigation finds that a private prison company with a business model to lock up illegal immigrants was instrumental in helping draft the Arizona immigration law. NPR writes, "[P]rison companies like this one had a plan -- a new business model to lock up illegal immigrants. And the plan became Arizona's immigration law. ... NPR spent the past several months analyzing hundreds of pages of campaign finance reports, lobbying documents and corporate records. What they show is a quiet, behind-the-scenes effort to help draft and pass Arizona Senate Bill 1070 by an industry that stands to benefit from it: the private prison industry. The law could send hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to prison in a way never done before. And it could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in profits to private prison companies responsible for housing them."

More: "According to Corrections Corporation of America reports reviewed by NPR, executives believe immigrant detention is their next big market. Last year, they wrote that they expect to bring in 'a significant portion of our revenues' from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that detains illegal immigrants."

CALIFORNIA: A new Field poll shows Jerry Brown (D) pulling away from Meg Whitman (R). He's up 10, 49%-39%.

COLORADO: "With the launch of two new TV ads against Republican Ken Buck in Colorado, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has topped $6 million in independent expenditures in the state," Roll Call writes.

FLORIDA: Quinnipiac has Alex Sink (D) leading Rick Scott (R) 45%-41%.

Quinnipiac also has Gov. Charlie Crist (I) gaining ground on Marco Rubio (R). Rubio leads 42%-35% with Kendrick Meek (D) getting just 15%.

In FL-25, a Sunshine State News poll (conducted by Voter Survey Service) shows David Rivera (R) leading Joe Garcia (D) just 44%-43.

NEVADA: "Nevada Republican Sharron Angle's new TV ad is racist, the head of Senate Democrats' campaign efforts charged," The Hill writes.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: In the Senate race, Paul Hodes (D) and Kelly Ayotte (R) debate tonight.

OHIO: "A Republican Congresswoman shocked teachers and students alike this month when she decided to talk about abortion to a classroom of 6-year-olds," the New York Daily News writes. "Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) ventured into the age-inappropriate territory during a speech at a Cincinnati Catholic school, where she addressed a room of students ranging from first to eighth graders. 'Unexpectedly, towards the end of her address, Congresswoman Schmidt brought up the topic of abortion,' Prinicipal Dan Teller wrote in a letter to parents, obtained by Cincinnati's WLWT.com. 'Your children may come home with questions, especially if this is a topic that has not been broached in your home. ... She defined abortion as the taking of a child's life in the mother's womb,' Teller wrote in the letter. 'She indicated that abortion involves the killing of a child before it is born.'"

PENNSYLVANIA: A Muhlenberg Tracking poll shows Pat Toomey (R) pulling away, up 48-40%, over Joe Sestak (D).

RHODE ISLAND: Politico reports that Bill Clinton will stump with Frank "Shove It" Caprio (D).

A Quest Research poll shows "Caprio seems to have lost support since telling the president to take his endorsement and 'shove it.'" The poll showed Lincoln Chafee (I) leading 35%-28% over Republican John Robitaille. Caprio gets 25%.