OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: Debate countdown

The full story will be online at thehill.com later Monday night and available in Tuesday’s edition of The Hill.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama is in Henderson, Nev., for debate prep.

Vice President Biden will be in North Carolina, attending a campaign rally in Charlotte at 11:50 a.m. and another at the UNC-Asheville campus in Asheville at 3:30 p.m.

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Michelle Obama campaigns in Cincinnati, Ohio, with an event at 2:15 p.m. She will hold a campaign event in Seattle at 6:25 p.m.

Mitt Romney is in Denver for debate prep.

Paul Ryan will be on Day Two of a bus tour in Iowa, where he’ll attend a campaign rally at the Clinton County Courthouse in Clinton at 9:10 a.m. He will then hold an event at Elly’s Tea & Coffee House in Muscatine at 11:50 a.m. and will attend a campaign rally at the Burlington Victory Office in Burlington at 2:50 p.m.

Ann Romney will hold a campaign rally at the Hudson Gardens & Event Center in Littleton, Colo., at 2:50 p.m.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will hold a campaign rally for Romney in Las Vegas at 3:30 p.m. And House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will campaign for Romney in Naples, Fla., holding an event at 10 a.m. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will launch a two-day Veterans for Romney bus tour in Florida. His first day of stops include Pensacola at 2:45 p.m., Niceville at 5:30 p.m., and Panama City at 8 p.m.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I have no idea yet, but I definitely appreciate the shout-out.” Snooki, asked if she’ll vote for Mitt Romney after he said he was a fan of the reality TV star


POLL POSITION:

A strong majority of likely voters now expect President Obama to win a second term after an abrupt shift in perceptions about the state of the race, according to The Hill’s latest election poll. The survey found 53 percent of voters believe Obama will triumph on Nov. 6, a huge swing from the 43 percent who held that view immediately before the Democratic convention early last month.

Obama's lead with Latino voters nationwide has expanded to 73 percent over Mitt Romney's 21 percent, according to a new weekly tracking poll from Latino Decisions, the high-water mark for the president in the pollster's numbers and a jump from his already-strong performance against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) four years ago.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll finds Obama in a close race with Romney nationally, but the president holding a strong lead among swing-state voters. Obama has 49 percent support among registered voters to Romney’s 44 percent, with the president up 49-47 percent among likely voters. But among swing-state voters surveyed, Obama holds a more commanding lead, with 52 percent support among likely voters to Romney's 41 percent.

Obama has a three-point advantage over Romney, 50 percent to 47, according to a CNN-ORC poll.

Obama leads Romney by four points in Iowa, 49 to 45 percent, according to a new poll conducted for the Des Moines Register.

Obama leads Mitt Romney in New Hampshire by a 15-point margin, according to a new poll.

A WMUR-University of New Hampshire poll released found Obama leading Romney in the Granite State 52 percent to 37 percent among likely voters. 


AD WATCH:

Victims of the Aurora, Colo., shooting, their family members and gun-control advocates have unleashed a robust push for President Obama and Mitt Romney to address gun violence during Wednesday’s debate in Denver. In a national television ad, a victim of the July shooting spree that killed a dozen people and wounded 58 others pleads with the presidential candidates to unveil their plans to curb the country’s level of gun violence.

Obama's campaign released a new ad challenging Romney on the issue of Chinese outsourcing, renewing attacks on the Republican nominee's tenure at Bain Capital while extending a spat between the candidates over their records dealing with China. The new ad — which will air in New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada — highlights Global Tech, a Chinese company invested in by Bain Capital during Romney's tenure there.

An environmental group is hitting the airwaves in Denver, as the city prepares to host the first presidential debate, with a TV ad criticizing Romney for opposing a crucial wind energy incentive. The $500,000 League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund ad buy begins air Monday and will wrap up Oct. 7.

Planned Parenthood's political wing is targeting Romney in Colorado ahead of the debate.  Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) and Planned Parenthood Votes (PPVotes) are planning a slew of anti-Romney messaging efforts with a special focus on Denver, the location for the domestic-policy debate.


BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:

Both the National Republican Congressional Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are up with a slew of new ads aimed at taking out the other side's incumbents, a sign that after months of below-the-radar skirmishes, each party is bringing out its big guns in the battle for the House.

FLORIDA: A Democratic poll puts Patrick Murphy (D) ahead of Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) by a substantial lead in the race for West's seat. Murphy has 52 percent support to West's 43 percent support, according to a poll conducted for House Majority PAC, a group working to regain a Democratic majority in the House.

And Murphy raised more than $1 million in the third quarter, bringing his fundraising tally this election cycle to more than $3.3 million. He faces West's considerable financial muscle, however — the incumbent had just above $3 million cash on hand and had raised more than $10 million at the close of the last fundraising period, in July.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Democrat Ann Kuster's campaign launched its fifth ad of the cycle attacking Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) for being "hopelessly out of touch" with New Hampshire families. It says he voted to cut Medicare while supporting taxpayer-funded healthcare for lawmakers, and that he opposed raising the minimum wage. The ad comes out the same day as one from the National Republican Congressional Committee using a clip of Kuster grabbing at a Republican tracker's camera and saying "F him!" The Republican ad charges that Kuster "has lost it."

MASSACHUSETTS: An independent poll puts Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) 7 percentage points behind Republican Richard Tisei, the newest indication that Tisei could become one of the few Republicans to topple a Democrat in Massachusetts. The poll gives Tisei 37 percent support to Tierney's 31 percent support, with 30 percent of those polled in Massachusetts's 6th district undecided.

NORTH CAROLINA: The National Rifle Association has endorsed Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), one of its few endorsements for Democrats this cycle. The endorsement likely comes as cold comfort to the endangered Kissell, as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee cut back on another week of ads for him on Monday, a sign it doesn't see the race as winnable.

WISCONSIN: Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) has a narrow 44 to 41 percent lead over Democrat Pat Kreitlow, according to a new poll from Kreitlow's campaign. Partisan polls tend to skew towards their candidates, and Duffy likely holds a slight edge in the race.


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

MASSACHUSETTS: Elizabeth Warren leads Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) by 5 percentage points in a new poll, with 43 percent support to Brown's 38. However, a plurality of those surveyed in the Boston Globe poll believe Brown will win the race come November.

Warren launched a new ad that features former Boston Mayor Tom Menino explaining to the camera why he endorsed her in her bid for Senate. "Liz Warren gets it. She's good people. She has my vote. I hope she'll have yours too," he says. The ad went out to supporters in a fundraising email.

MISSOURI: Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) launched a new ad in his bid for Senate in Missouri on Monday that asserts that Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) influenced the federal stimulus bill to benefit herself. "Ever wonder why Claire McCaskill called the stimulus bill 'wildly successful'? The stimulus that didn't create jobs, that cost us billions. Well, now we know: The stimulus made McCaskill rich," a narrator says, pointing to $1 million from the bill that allegedly went to McCaskill's family.

NORTH DAKOTA: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will appear alongside Republican candidate for Senate Rep. Rick Berg at a GOP victory rally in Fargo, N.D., on Saturday. His appearance is part of a three-day, four-state swing that will bring him on Friday to stump for Republican Senate candidate Rep. Denny Rehberg in Montana as well.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Mitt Romney's campaign said it would look to emphasize a concrete choice between President Obama and the GOP nominee over the final five weeks of the election, hoping to depict a stark contrast that could woo swing voters who might not have fully committed to the president. "This is something we're going to push all the way through Election Day, which is, we can't afford another four years like the last four years," said Romney adviser Kevin Madden on a conference call with reporters.

Romney ripped Obama over foreign policy in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, saying Obama’s policies have “heightened the prospect of conflict and instability” in the Middle East.

Romney's campaign is looking for a few more friends. The campaign posted a photo of Romney holding a sign for the Republican presidential ticket over the weekend on Facebook, adding a hand-written note asking supporters to help them get to 8 million "likes." On Monday, Romney's Facebook page is a few thousand shy of 8 million, with 7,794,553 fans.

Obama’s campaign reported shattering its own record by taking in grassroots donations from more than 10 million people.

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said that he would "let other people speak on" whether U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice should resign, after some of his Republican colleagues in the House called for her to step down.

Ryan suggested media bias at a closed-door fundraiser for Romney campaign donors Sunday in Connecticut, telling attendees that he does not expect the "media to tell our story." “We can’t expect the president to play fair; he’s not,” Ryan said, according to CTNewsJunkie. "And we’re not expecting the media to tell our story. They’re not. That means we have to do it ourselves.”

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson said that a Romney victory in November was more important to him than a successful NFL season.


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