OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: One more day — until the debate

Biden appeared to retool his remark later in the day, saying the middle class had been "buried" under policies Romney and Ryan had been pushing.

"The middle class was buried by the policies that Romney and Ryan supported," he said.

Meanwhile, Romney floated a $17,000 cap on tax deductions, a proposal that could reconcile his pledge to lower tax rates with his promise to make the plan deficit-neutral.

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Limiting individual tax deductions could also hit the rich more than the middle class, which could help Romney ensure his plan lowers the effective tax burden on the middle class. Romney has been under criticism from the Obama campaign for offering policies that would benefit the rich and hurt the middle class.

His comments came in an interview with a Denver television station a day ahead of the debate and as the GOP nominee has come under fire for not being specific enough in his proposals.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY:  President Obama and Mitt Romney attend their first presidential debate at 9 p.m. EDT in Denver. Michelle Obama and Ann Romney will be in attendance.

Michelle Obama will first attend a campaign rally in Reno, Nev., at 11:30 a.m.

Former President Bill Clinton will hold a campaign rally for Obama in Durham, N.H., at noon.


TWEET OF THE DAY: “wow. Big thanks to thousands of people who donated to my campaign over the last three months. We had a MONSTER quarter. #mosen” — Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)


QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It's very nice. Although basically they're keeping me indoors all the time. It's a drag. They're making me do my homework.” — President Obama, on his debate prep


POLL POSITION:

A Quinnipiac University poll gives President Obama a nationwide lead over Mitt Romney, thanks in part to a commanding 18-point edge among female voters. Obama is ahead of Romney with 49 percent support to 45 percent among likely voters, but he leads Romney 56 to 38 percent among women.

A majority of voters believe Obama will outperform Romney in Wednesday’s debate, a Pew Research study found. According to the poll, 51 percent said they expected Obama to win, against 29 percent who named Romney as the victor.

Obama has opened up an 8-point advantage over Romney, 47 percent to 39, in the critical swing state of Virginia, according to a Roanoke College poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found 56 percent of registered voters want the government to develop a plan that lets illegal immigrants who have jobs in the U.S. become legal residents. Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed want the government to focus on a plan for stopping illegal immigration and deporting immigrants who have a job and are living in the country illegally.

A Suffolk University poll in Florida found Obama with 46 percent support and Romney with 43 percent.


AD WATCH:

The conservative super-PAC backed by former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove announced it would purchase $11 million in television commercials this week — its largest one-week buy of the election — in a new campaign slamming President Obama's jobs record. The significant ad buy from American Crossroads comes on top of an additional $1 million radio buy and a $4 million television campaign targeting Senate races in North Dakota, Florida, Virginia and Montana.

Mitt Romney's campaign released a new television ad charging Obama with raising taxes on the middle class as part of the president's signature healthcare legislation.

Romney and the Republican National Committee attacked Obama on jobs and the national debt in a new Spanish-language ad, the second in less than a week focused on winning over Hispanic voters.

The anti-abortion rights group Susan B. Anthony List is out with two ads — one slams Obama as an "abortion radical" while the other features a woman who survived an abortion attacking Obama on the issue. The ads are part of the group's planned $8 million campaign focused on the presidential and Senate races, and are supported by their super-PAC "Women Speak Out." The ads are running on broadcast TV in targeted markets in Ohio, Virginia and Florida.


BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:

The House Majority PAC, a Democratic super-PAC, is up in six districts with new ads, most of which attack Republicans on entitlement spending.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released eight ads attacking seven Republicans in races nationwide.

In New Hampshire, the DCCC targeted both Reps. Frank Guinta and Charles Bass in the 1st and 2nd districts, respectively. The ad against Bass charges him with following "the party line," particularly with his vote on Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget, which the ad says would end Medicare. Against Guinta, the DCCC ad features a series of men explaining that they have a "problem" with the congressman because he "wants to put the government in charge of women’s medical decisions."

In California, the DCCC is targeting Rep. Jeff Denham, running in the 10th District, for being, in the words of the Fresno Bee, "not quite honest" about what the ad characterizes as his secret efforts to receive a pay raise as state senator, and also about his pledge to defend Medicare. And the DCCC launched two ads against Rep. Brian Bilbray, running in the 52nd District, for what they characterized as taking money from special interests like Big Oil and voting in favor of them. One is geared toward seniors — it charges Bilbray with voting to end Medicare — and another seems geared more generally to local residents, as it says Bilbray voted to let oil companies drill off the coast after receiving their donations.

The DCCC's ad in Washington's 1st District features a gynecologist talking about Republican candidate John Koster's record on women's issues, including what she characterizes as his position to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and his opposition to abortion. "It really bothers me when politicians like John Koster tell women what they should do with their bodies," she says.

And in Illinois, the DCCC targets Reps. Robert Dold and Judy Biggert, running in the 10th and 11th districts, respectively. The ad against Dold charges that he voted the party line on a number of issues, including the Ryan budget and women's health insurance, and cited his support for Mitt Romney and his "plan to cut social security benefits." Dold's district became considerably more Democratic from redistricting. Biggert is attacked for "voting to bankroll tax cuts for the wealthy" and, the ad says, to increase congressional pay to the detriment of Medicare.

FLORIDA: Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) raised more than $4 million in the fourth quarter and has more than $3 million cash on hand, a third-quarter fundraising sum that dwarfs the $1 million raised by Democrat Patrick Murphy.

UTAH: A nonpartisan poll from Deseret News shows Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) trailing Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love (R) by 49 to 43 percent, a shift from a June poll that showed him up by 16 points. Matheson is running in a heavily Republican redrawn congressional seat that includes large swaths of new territory.

WISCONSIN: Paul Ryan is launching a TV spot on healthcare issues for his House bid. Ryan is running for an eighth House term in Wisconsin and for the vice presidency at the same time, as permitted by Wisconsin law. His congressional campaign released a new ad, "Patient Centered Solutions," in which Ryan lays out principles for reforming healthcare. The ad does not mention President Obama's healthcare overhaul, the divisive law that Ryan and Mitt Romney have vowed to repeal in office. 


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

Club for Growth Action, the super-PAC affiliated with the conservative free-market group, is pouring $500,000 each into the Senate races in both Arizona and Indiana to back candidates the group supported in their primaries.

ARIZONA: Democrat Richard Carmona released his second Spanish-language television ad, this one contrasting what his campaign characterizes as Carmona's support for education funding and the DREAM Act with Flake's position to cut funding, eliminate the Department of Education and against the immigration legislation. It says of Carmona: "He is one of us," and of Flake that he cares about himself, "not us."

INDIANA: Three Democratic super-PACs are up with a new ad attacking Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) for his opposition to the auto bailout, accusing him of wasting taxpayer money in a lawsuit that would have cost Indiana jobs. 

MASSACHUSETTS (2014): Elizabeth Warren’s (D) small lead in the Massachusetts Senate race has cast a shadow over Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) chances of becoming the next secretary of State, according to political experts in the commonwealth. Their logic: If Warren, a Democrat, wins Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-Mass.) seat and President Obama wins reelection — and then appoints Kerry to his Cabinet — that would leave Brown the favorite to take Kerry’s Senate seat in a special election.

MAINE: Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) offered no endorsement in Maine's Senate race and declined to back the party's nominee, Cynthia Dill. "We have not endorsed in that race," said Murray during a call with reporters. She said, however, that the DSCC has been in touch with people on the ground in Maine, indicating the group could change its mind as the race develops.

Dill charged that the national Democratic Party has interests that "are not aligned with mine, nor the voters of Maine," but insisted she was not "bitter" that the DSCC had not yet endorsed in the race. "I am not frustrated, bitter or surprised at the DSCC position. They are counting seats, and I am a number. Politics is a tough business, and national groups are seeking power," she said in an email to The Hill.

NEBRASKA: Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), who's trailing GOP rival Deb Fischer in their race for the state's open Senate seat, turned to his opponent’s denial of the human impact on global warming to gain some ground.

OHIO: Republican Josh Mandel launched a new ad highlighting Sen. Sherrod Brown's (D) late tax payments.

WISCONSIN: Paul Ryan will be campaigning with fellow Wisconsinite and Senate candidate Tommy Thompson (R) later this month, as a battery of polls have shown Thompson's former lead washed away by his opponent, Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Mitt Romney said Monday that illegal immigrants who receive temporary work permits because of the recent policy change by President Obama would be allowed to keep them under a Romney administration.

Paul Ryan in a Bloomberg interview broadcast Tuesday provided a bit more detail on Romney’s tax overhaul plans. Ryan has been under fire since a weekend appearance on Fox News Sunday in which he said he did not have time in the interview to get into the details of the plan.

Ryan also defended the Romney campaign's tax plan when he pressed was pressed for specifics by a woman at a town-hall event in Clinton, Iowa.

Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs challenged Romney to provide more specifics on his economic plan during the presidential debate. “Gov. Romney, likely whether he likes it or not, will have the time to explain how you pay for a $5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy and not have it end up — as every study has shown — raising taxes on middle class families,” Gibbs said on MSNBC’s "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

Romney's healthcare proposals would dramatically increase the uninsured population compared to the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study. The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research foundation that supports Obama's signature reform law, evaluated the candidates' healthcare policies and found Obama's proposals "outperform" Romney's when it comes to expanding coverage and lowering costs.

Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. of Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court ordered the state not to enforce its tough voter-ID law for this year’s presidential election, The Associated Press reports.

With the election just five weeks away, Romney’s campaign is deploying the person who has become one of the strongest weapons in its arsenal: Ann Romney.

Ann Romney brought three of her 18 grandchildren on stage with her at a campaign rally in Littleton, Colo.

Michelle Obama
is bringing home the prize for best cookies, just like almost every first lady since 1992. The first lady beat Ann Romney in Family Circle magazine's Presidential Bake-off contest, the magazine announced.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been booked as keynote speaker for the Scott County, Iowa, Republican Party's annual Reagan dinner, stoking speculation that the governor might be eyeing a 2016 presidential run.

Former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway announced his endorsement of Romney just two days before the city where he put up Hall of Fame numbers will play host to the first presidential debate.


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