OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: Who will Romney pick?

Meanwhile, a poll released Wednesday showed that three quarters of voters believe a candidate's vice presidential choice matters, bucking conventional wisdom that voters choose presidents — not their running mates.

The survey, released by CBS News and The New York Times, found that 26 percent of registered voters said a vice presidential candidate matters a lot, while 48 percent said it had somewhat of an impact on their vote. Only 25 percent of voters said the vice presidential selection doesn't matter at all.

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And the Tea Party Express, one of the most influential organizations of grassroots Tea Party activists, announced its members favor Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for Romney's running mate.

Rubio won 66 percent of the vote in the group's internal poll, according to a release.

Romney has said Rubio is being vetted but the freshman senator, unlike other vice presidential contenders, has not been seen on the campaign trail with the presumptive GOP nominee in recent days.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama has campaign stops in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, Fla. Vice President Biden campaigns in Ohio.


TWEET OF THE DAY: “NYC will miss you @JLin7 ‪#RIPLinsanity‬. Thank you for your inspiration. Good luck in Houston!” — Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) on Jeremy Lin leaving the New York Knicks. 


QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It took a lot of work to get to where we are today, but I want people to know we're a normal family.” — Huma Abedin, to People magazine on life with husband and ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). 


POLL POSITION:

President Obama has widened his already substantial lead over Mitt Romney among Hispanics, according to a Latino Decisions poll. Obama takes 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, compared to Romney at 22. It’s the first time Obama has hit 70 percent in the poll, and the 48-point margin is the widest for the president so far, up from his June lead of 66 percent to 23.

Obama's lead is shrinking in New Mexico, according to a new poll from the Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling. Obama leads Romney by 49 to 44 percent, a dip from the solid 14-point lead he'd had earlier in the year when PPP polled the state in April.


AD WATCH:

Mitt Romney's campaign targeted Hispanic voters by showcasing the presumptive GOP nominee's immigrant roots in a Spanish-language television ad.

Romney's campaign released a new ad slamming President Obama over his 2009 stimulus package, claiming he wasted taxpayer dollars and directed funds to favored campaign contributors.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is using Romney's dressage horse to attack the GOP presidential candidate for "dancing around the issues."

Obama's reelection team took aim at Romney's explanation of his tenure at Bain Capital in a new Web video. The video features people on the street reading an interview verbatim that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee gave to CBS News last Friday to explain his timeline at the private-equity firm.


BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:

Florida: Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), who's facing ongoing ethics issues, released a poll showing him holding a 54 to 32 percent lead over Democrat Keith Fitzgerald.

Florida: Rep. Allen West's (R-Fla.) reelection campaign released a new ad touting his background as a high school teacher.

North Carolina: Establishment favorite and former Capitol Hill Chief of Staff Richard Hudson (R) easily dispatched Tea Party favorite Scott Keadle (R) in a House primary runoff Tuesday night, setting up what will likely be a hard-fought general election against Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.).


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

Florida: Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) doubled down on his campaign's harsh criticism of the Tampa Bay Times and its politics editor, Adam Smith, ripping his coverage as having a liberal bias and telling him that he wasn't a "real journalist" at a Monday event. Mack's comments add to an unusually public and personal vendetta against Smith — and constitute the first time the candidate himself has publicly bashed the reporter.

Indiana: Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) is up with an ad blasting Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) for voting for "ObamaCare" that says the Supreme Court said the law "will raise our taxes" and force businesses to "drop millions of workers from their healthcare coverage." A Democrat tracking the ad buy told The Hill it was a small one — less than $100,000 in broadcast television.

New Mexico: Former Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) was in Washington on Wednesday and laid out her campaign strategy against Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), describing him as "out on the extreme of his own party" and promising to hit the longtime environmental advocate on energy issues.

Texas: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), facing off against Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R)  in a Senate runoff, was endorsed by former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (R) Tuesday night. Leppert, who ran in the first round and did well in his home base, could help Dewhurst in the Dallas area. Meanwhile, the fiscally conservative Club for Growth increased its ad buy in support of former Cruz to $2 million, up from the initial $1.5 million.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Mitt Romney ramped up his criticism of President Obama at a town-hall meeting in Ohio, calling the president's economic plan "the height of foolishness" and mocking the president over reports he has not held a meeting of his jobs council in more than six months.

Romney repudiated a supporter who referred to Obama as a "monster" during a town-hall meeting in Ohio. "That's not a term I would use," Romney replied.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) leaped to Romney’s defense at a press conference on Wednesday. “Listen, listen, Americans are asking, where are the jobs? They’re not asking where in the hell the tax returns are,” he said.

Former President George W. Bush said Romney "can do well without me," indicating he would not get involved in the 2012 race.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will be the keynote speaker at next month's Republican National Convention, according to multiple media reports. The high-profile spot is usually saved for a rising star in the party, indicating Christie will not be Romney’s running mate.

Meanwhile, Christie missed a meeting with House Republicans on Wednesday morning.

The Obama campaign personalized its plea for donations, having the president write a first-person fundraising letter to supporters warning them that he could be the first sitting president in recent history to be outspent by a challenger.

It's commonly said that the stress of the most powerful job in the world ages American presidents at twice the age of their contemporaries. For Obama, that's a fundraising opportunity. The latest email appeal from the president to his supporters lightly mocks his own graying hair while urging donors to donate for a chance to win an invite to a birthday party and fundraiser at his Chicago home.

First lady Michelle Obama has returned as a blogger to the women's media site BlogHer almost four years after she last wrote for the site.


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