Meanwhile, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chief Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayLawmakers eye retirement help for gig economy workers Overnight Regulation: Labor Department reportedly hid unfavorable report on tip-pooling rule | NY plans to sue EPA over water rule | Senators urge FTC to probe company selling fake Twitter followers Trump's vows to take on drug prices, opioids draw skepticism MORE (D-Wash.) issued a statement slamming the GOP.

“The statement by national Republicans in support of Todd Akin is absolutely shameful. All Republican candidates across the country are now going to have to answer for their party's support of Akin,” she said. “Their decision to support Akin should leave zero doubt in anyone’s mind that the Republican Party and the candidates they support are downright dangerous for women.”


President Obama holds a campaign rally in Virginia Beach at 11:50 a.m.

Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaSNL's Melania Trump gets advice from former first ladies ahead of the State of the Union Trump to host Super Bowl watch party at Florida golf club Michelle Obama: Bad behavior in the age of Trump makes teachers' jobs more difficult MORE will be Chicago to tape an appearance on “The Steve Harvey Show.” She will then attend two fundraisers — one at 5:30 p.m. and one at 7:10 p.m.

Mitt Romney holds a rally in Springfield, Va., at 11:50 a.m.

Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 House passes stopgap spending measure with defense money MORE will be in Knoxville, Tenn.

Ann Romney will hold a campaign rally in Reno, Nev., at noon.

TWEET OF THE DAY: “Here's the thing: I'm pretty sure the Romney team knows they are losing and I'm pretty sure they know they don't know what to do about it.” — blogger Erick Erickson


President Obama is widening his lead over GOP challenger Mitt Romney in the key battleground states of Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, according to a new poll. The new Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll shows Obama leading Romney by 53-43 percent among likely voters in Ohio and with a 53-44 edge in Florida. In Pennsylvania, Obama holds a 12-point advantage over Romney, 54 percent to 42 percent.

Obama has stretched his lead over Romney to 6 percentage points nationally, according to the Gallup daily tracking poll, 50 percent to 44 percent.


Mitt Romney’s campaign released an ad featuring the GOP nominee making a direct appeal to voters struggling in the economy and pledging that his policies will “make things better for them.” The new ad, titled “Too Many Americans,” seems to be in response to a surreptitiously filmed video that surfaced last week of Romney telling donors at a private event that “47 percent” of voters are “dependent on government.”

President Obama's campaign unveiled a new Spanish-language television ad that slams Romney on his education and financial aid policies.

Restore Our Future, one of the main super-PACs backing Romney, is launching its second ad buy in Wisconsin and Michigan attacking Obama on his handling of the economy.


The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released four new ads attacking Republicans in close races nationwide. In Ohio, the group targets Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) on his business record, charging that the company he ran outsourced jobs while he made money, and that he went to Congress and voted to protect outsourcing. The ad targeting Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) attacks him for supporting a plan — presumably the Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) budget, though it's never mentioned by name — that would end Medicare and increase fees for seniors. Against Republican David Rouzer, running in North Carolina, the DCCC ad ties his lobbying career to outsourcing and asserts that "he wants to protect outsourcing in Congress." And another ad slams Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) on seniors' issues, asserting that he voted to raise the retirement age for Social Security and to end Medicare.

FLORIDA: Justin Lamar Sternad, a failed Democratic congressional candidate whose campaign is under federal investigation, told authorities that Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.) was secretly behind his bid, the Miami Herald is reporting. 

FLORIDA: Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) launched a minute-long ad that features military veterans touting West's military history and slamming Dem rival Patrick Murphy for "slinging mud." "When you have a leader like Allen West, he points the way, and if you follow him, you're not going to go wrong. Ever," one says.

NEW YORK: House Majority PAC launched an ad attacking Republican Chris Collins for his record as county executive, during which, the ad says, he supported outsourcing local jobs to Korea and China. It's backed by more than $500,000.

NEW YORK: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a new poll that gives Democrat Dan Maffei an 8-percentage-point lead over Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R). But the most recent independent poll of the race, released by the Siena Research Institute earlier this month, put the two tied at 43 percent support each.

UTAH: An internal poll from Republican Mia Love's campaign gives her a 15-percentage-point lead over Rep. Jim MathesonJames (Jim) David MathesonTrump's budget targets affordable, reliable power Work begins on T infrastructure plan New president, new Congress, new opportunity MORE (D). She nabs 51 percent support to Matheson's 36 percent support. It's essentially the same result of the last internal poll released by her campaign, in July. 


A new poll shows Sens. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonInterior head to travel to Carolinas to discuss off shore drilling Overnight Finance: Trump touts trade agenda in State of the Union address | Consumer Bureau ruled constitutional | Fed leaves rates unchanged Green group backs Sens. Baldwin, Nelson for reelection MORE (D-Fla.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownTrump accuses Dems of 'treasonous' behavior Former Ohio football star faces conservative rival in GOP primary fight Dems press Trump for 'Buy American' proposals in infrastructure plan MORE (D-Ohio) maintaining healthy leads in their bids for reelection, an encouraging sign from Democrats who had worried the pair of swing-state lawmakers could be tested this fall. Brown leads Republican challenger Josh Mandel 50-40 percent in a poll by The New York Times. In Florida, a new poll from the Times gives Nelson a 14-point advantage over Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), 53-39 percent.

ARIZONA: An internal poll released by Democrat Richard Carmona's campaign gives Rep. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Huckabee Sanders: Dems need to decide if they 'hate' Trump 'more than they love this country' Trump spokeswoman fires back at Flake: 'His numbers are in the tank' MORE (R-Ariz.) a 1-percentage-point lead, 44 percent to 43 percent, essentially a statistical tie.

CONNECTICUT: A new poll shows Rep. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyGreen group backs Sens. Baldwin, Nelson for reelection Dems press Trump for 'Buy American' proposals in infrastructure plan Chuck Schumer’s deal with the devil MORE (D-Conn.) expanding his lead over Republican Linda McMahon, with 48 percent support to McMahon's 42 percent, according to the survey from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

MASSACHUSETTS: Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is calling on Democrat Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGovernment watchdog finds safety gaps in assisted living homes David Crosby: Shared dislike for Trump could reunite Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Dem senators tell Trump he doesn’t have ‘legal authority’ to launch preemptive strike on North Korea MORE to release a full list of corporate legal clients she took on while a working as a professor at Harvard. The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, Bill John Baker, issued a release denouncing the "disrespectful actions" of Brown staffers, who were recorded making Native American war whoops and tomahawk chops at a Brown rally last week.

"The use of stereotypical 'war whoop chants' and 'tomahawk chops' are offensive and downright racist. It is those types of actions that perpetuate negative stereotypes and continue to minimize and degrade all native peoples," he said. Baker also called for Brown to apologize; a request which he has not yet met.

MAINE: Republican Charlie Summers released a new bio spot introducing himself to voters not as a Republican but as a single father, a military veteran and a man who has experienced the same economic troubles as average Maine voters. The ad comes as front-runner and former Gov. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingSen. King: Releasing memo would be ’reckless,’ ‘could expose sources’ The Hill's 12:30 Report Azar sworn in as HHS chief MORE (I) is beginning to see his lead in the polls decline somewhat.

MONTANA: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a new ad using a secret tape of Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R ) addressing the American League of Lobbyists, during which he said "I think lobbying is an honorable profession." It's the second such DSCC ad to use footage from the tape, and it contrasts Rehberg with a teacher, firefighter and rancher.

NEVADA: Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerHeller campaign slams GOP rival over six-figure nonprofit salary Juan Williams: Help Trump climb down from the wall GOP Senate candidate fundraising lags behind Dems in key races MORE (R-Nev.) launched a new ad tying Rep. Shelley Berkley (D) to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on spending, charging that "Shelley Berkley's big government spending has failed Nevada." And the DSCC launched a new ad calling Heller Wall Street's favorite senator.

WISCONSIN: Crossroads GPS is launching an ad slamming Democrat Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinGreen group backs Sens. Baldwin, Nelson for reelection Dems press Trump for 'Buy American' proposals in infrastructure plan Protesters wearing blue fill hearing to protest Grassley ignoring 'blue slip rule' MORE for what it calls her "tax-and-spend agenda." 


Mitt Romney and President Obama criss-crossed Ohio on Wednesday as the GOP nominee brought in some celebrity friends to boost his bid and the president sought to solidify his double-digit lead in the battleground state.

Golfing great Jack Nicklaus said Romney would ignite “a real recovery” as he introduced the GOP presidential nominee at a campaign event. Nicklaus, an Ohioan, said Romney would return the country to “the America we were.” Romney called the introduction “touching,” and referred to Nicklaus as “the greatest athlete of the 20th century.”

Romney appeared with "Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe at a roundtable discussion on jobs near Cleveland.

Romney talking tough on China is “a lot like that fox saying, 'you know, we need more secure chicken coops,’ ” Obama charged in Ohio. “I understand my opponent has been spending some time in Ohio lately and he's been talking tough on China,” Obama said at a campaign stop at Bowling Green State University. “He says he's going to take the fight to them, he's going to go after these cheaters.”

“I mean, it's just not credible” for Romney to talk tough now, Obama charged, hitting the GOP nominee for profiting for years from sending jobs to China.

Ann Romney says since she pushed back at critics of husband Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign last week, she’s been getting high fives from “everyone I’ve seen.” But Romney admitted to Jay Leno during a Tuesday appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” that she initially wondered how she came across: “I stepped out of the interview and I’m like, ‘Oh dear. Was I a little strong?’ ”

She also talked about her plane scare on “Access Hollywood.” "I'm just watching a movie, sitting there and all the sudden, the movie goes off and I turn around, and it was so shocking," she said. "The whole inside of the plane was full of smoke."

Paul Ryan said he's "absolutely" looking forward to debating Vice President Biden.

Senior Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie said the campaign has a “no whining rule” when it comes to media coverage of the presidential race. “We have a 'no whining' rule in Boston about coverage in the media,” Gillespie told "Fox and Friends.” “We just deal with the facts.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) ripped Obama for not meeting with world leaders on his trip to the United Nations on Friday, saying Obama is “not a real president.” “[Obama] really is like the substitute [National Football League] referees in the sense that he’s not a real president,” Gingrich told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Tuesday night. “He doesn’t do anything that presidents do, he doesn’t worry about any of the things the presidents do, but he has the White House, he has enormous power, and he’ll go down in history as the president, and I suspect that he’s pretty contemptuous of the rest of us.”

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