OVERNIGHT BALLOT BOX: Romney's past becomes present campaign issue

And it’s worth noting this issue could hurt Romney among women (where Obama holds the lead in a big gender gap), especially with mothers who have to deal with their children being bullied.

In fact, at his first campaign stop following the stories release, Romney praised mothers. “I just appreciate the mothers of this great nation," Romney said. "I salute the women who are at home, the women who are in the workplace, and the women here today."

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Democrats, of course, immediately seized on the report, noting Romney’s classmates called the bullying incident “vicious.”

Obama, meanwhile, spent the day fundraising in Seattle and Los Angeles, the latter notable as the fundraiser is taking place at the home of actor George Clooney.

And, now that the president is supporting gay marriage, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he expects a plank calling for its legalization to be included in the party’s platform.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama will be in Reno, Nev., on Friday to encourage Congress to finish its “to do” list. Michelle Obama delivers the commencement address at Virginia Tech.

Mitt Romney will be campaigning in Charlotte, N.C., the site of September’s Democratic National Convention.


TWEET OF THE DAY: “URGENT: If I don't get 10K supporters at @AmericansElect in the next 4 days, my campaign is likely over. It's up to you, America! #3wayrace” — presidential candidate Buddy Roemer 


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Back in high school I did some dumb things.” — Mitt Romney in an interview on Fox radio


POLL POSITION:

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) would be little help to Mitt Romney in his home state if he’s on the presidential ticket, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. A Romney-Portman ticket would be deadlocked in Ohio against the Obama-Biden campaign, with each side garnering 45 percent of the electorate.

Romney, meanwhile, holds an almost 50-point advantage among white evangelical voters over President Obama, according to a poll from the Public Religion Research Institute.

Obama lead Romney in Florida by 6 points, 46 percent to 45, according to a poll released Wednesday by Suffolk University. But pairing Romney with former Gov. Jeb Bush would poll 2 percentage points better than the Obama-Biden ticket. Adding freshman Sen. Marco Rubio as a running mate would give Romney a three-point edge.

The Senate race between Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Democrat Elizabeth Warren will go down to the wire, according to a new poll. Warren leads Brown 43 percent to 41 in a survey by the nonpartisan MassINC Polling Group released Thursday — within the margin of error.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) leads his GOP opponent, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, by 9 points in a poll released Thursday by Fairleigh Dickinson University. A Quinnipiac University poll released in April also put the margin at 9 points. But the latest poll also suggested New Jersey voters aren't thrilled about another Menendez term. "Someone else" beats Menendez 37 percent to 30 in the poll of 797 registered voters.

Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy released an internal poll Thursday that showed him tied with incumbent Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) at 45 percent. 


AD WATCH:

There’s a new ad from the Obama campaign touting the success of the auto bailout.

Team Romney's response: The ad is an "attempt to distract" voters from the economy.

President Obama, meanwhile, said Mitt Romney was having "one of his Etch A Sketch moments" when the presumptive Republican nominee took credit for the auto industry’s comeback.

And Team Obama is out with a Web ad touting the same-sex marriage announcement.

House Majority PAC, a Democratic super-PAC, unveiled an ad targeting Republican Jesse Kelly in the special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). The ad splices together clips of Kelly advocating for lower taxes for the wealthy and the elimination of the minimum wage, and expressing his loyalty to the Tea Party.

Republican Jon Bruning, the state attorney general in Nebraska, launched a new ad ahead of the GOP primary on Tuesday for the state's open Senate seat. The ad attacks the president on spending, healthcare and debt, but does not mention his GOP opponents. Bruning has long been the front-runner, but new polling suggests his GOP opponents — state Treasurer Don Stenberg and state Sen. Deb Fischer — could be gaining on him.

Stenberg released his closing ad of the primary Thursday, titled "Hard Work." The ad touts his conservative record and attacks Bruning for supporting Eric Holder, Obama's attorney general.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Election clock keeps ticking: It’s 180 days until the election and it’s anybody’s ballot.

More trouble for Warren:
Elizabeth Warren was listed as a minority professor by a second law school in a report detailing the school's progress in creating a diverse faculty. In addition to Harvard University, where Warren is on faculty, the University of Pennsylvania Law School also touted Warren as a minority, according to an April 2005 document obtained by The Hill. Warren taught at the Philadelphia school in the 1980s and 1990s.

All about the party: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she’s pushing for Dems to retake the House, not for her to become Speaker. "Let me just be clear: I've never pushed to become Speaker," Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol. "I push for the Democrats to win."

Veep, Veep: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said the White House is trying to sabotage his version of the DREAM Act by “ordering” activists not to work with him so that President Obama can maintain his hold on the Hispanic vote in the 2012 election.

Veep, Veep part II: Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) and Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) votes on immigration legislation could hurt their VP chances.

No more Swiss Miss: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) no longer wants to be a Swiss citizen, releasing a statement Thursday that emphasized she is “a proud American citizen.”

Not a glick: Bristol Palin claims the hit Fox TV show “Glee” helped shape Obama’s shift on same-sex marriage.

Agree to disagree: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) said Dem House candidates are free to disagree with Obama. He also hinted at some tension with the Democratic National Committee over coordination.

All about moms: It’s Mother’s Day this weekend, and both presidential candidates are sharing their traditions for that day.

No business like show business: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus attacked Obama for being “celebrity in chief.” The attack comes the same day Obama is in Hollywood for a fundraiser at George Clooney’s home.

Endorsement watch:
Sarah Palin endorsed Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz (R) in that GOP primary. And FreedomWorks PAC, a national Tea Party group, endorsed businessman John Brunner in the GOP primary to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). Other Tea Party groups, such as Tea Party Express, have backed former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) is also vying for the GOP nod.

Young guns: The National Republican Congressional Committee named its first batch of ‘young guns.’

You’ve got mail: Former Sen. George LeMieux's (R-Fla.) campaign is knocking Rep. Connie Mack (Fla.), the GOP front-runner in the state's Senate primary, for mailers sent by his congressional office that showed up in mailboxes outside his district. By law, members of Congress can only use official constituent correspondence to homes in their districts. The direct-mail vendor used by Mack's office has accepted responsibility for what it called an error, and said it repaid the U.S. Treasury almost $18,000.


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