OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: Debating the debate prep

Both campaigns have voiced concerns that moderator Candy Crowley isn’t planning to abide by the terms that were set for the second presidential debate.

Lawyers for the two camps have written to the Commission on Presidential Debates questioning whether Crowley intends to take a more active role during the town-hall event than the campaigns agreed to, according to Time.

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Crowley told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “As was the case in the Charlie Gibson town hall meeting and the Tom Brokaw town hall meeting in presidential campaigns past, there is a time after that for follow-up and for furthering the discussion."

And Time also got a hold of the complete debate Memo of Understanding that both campaigns signed. It’s worth a read.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama and Mitt Romney meet for their second debate at 9 p.m. at Hofstra University in New York.

Vice President Biden will be in Penn Valley, Pa., for former Sen. Arlen Specter’s funeral.

Michelle Obama has a campaign event in Chapel Hill, N.C., at 2:50 p.m. and then will attend the second presidential debate.

Ann Romney will also be attending the debate, as will all five of the Romneys's sons.

Paul Ryan will be campaigning in Virginia with an event in Lynchburg at 11:50 a.m. and one in Fredericksburg at 6:30 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY: “Hey, @BarackObama, I just dropped my absentee ballot in the mail – I couldn’t wait for Election Day! Love you! –mo” — Michelle Obama 


POLL POSITION:

Mitt Romney has opened a 5-percentage-point lead over President Obama in the 12 battleground states that are critical to determining the outcome of the 2012 election, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll. Romney has 51 percent support among likely voters in the poll, compared to Obama's 46 percent. Among registered voters, Obama holds a slight 49 percent to 47 percent advantage. The poll was conducted in Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. There was no state-by-state breakdown of results.

Meanwhile, a Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Obama and Romney locked in a virtual tie ahead of their second debate. Obama leads 49 to 46 percent among likely voters, an edge little changed from the same poll taken in late September, which gave the president a 49-47 percent lead over Romney.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Obama with a commanding 59 to 31 percent lead among those who have already voted, with 7 percent of those surveyed saying they have already cast their ballot.

Obama's contraception mandate is helping him enormously with female voters, a new USA Today/Gallup poll says.

Romney leads Obama 49 to 47 percent in North Carolina, according to the latest survey from Democratic-affiliated firm Public Policy Polling.

Obama leads in Pennsylvania with 51 percent support to Romney's 44 percent, according to the latest survey from Democratic-affiliated firm Public Policy Polling.

Voters believe that Obama is more likely than Romney to go bungee-jumping — but still would rather have the president babysit their children, according to a survey by The Washington Post and ABC News.


AD WATCH:

President Obama's campaign released a new television ad, touting the administration’s jobs record and the resurgence of the American auto industry.

Musician and entrepreneur Jay-Z is calling on Obama supporters to exercise their "right to vote" in a campaign video.

Liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org unveiled a new ad featuring Hollywood stars Scarlett Johansson, Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington criticizing Mitt Romney's policies toward women.


BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:

The National Republican Congressional Committee launched 16 new television ads targeting Democratic candidates in 12 states nationwide, backed by more than $6 million. Watch the ads: CA-07, Ami Bera; CA-09, Jerry McNerney; CA-24, Lois Capps; CA-52, Scott Peters CO-06, Joe Miklosi; GA-12, John Barrow; IL-11, Bill Foster; MI-01, Gary McDowell; MN-08, Rick Nolan; NV-03, John Oceguera; NY-19, Julian Schreibman; OH-06, Charlie Wilson; OH-16, Betty Sutton; TX-23, Pete Gallego; UT-04, Jim Matheson; WI-07, Pat Kreitlow

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee brought in $35.1 million in the third fundraising quarter, outraising its Republican counterpart by $4.2 million and breaking DCCC records. The haul marks the largest fundraising quarter in the history of the group, and brings the DCCC's fundraising total for the cycle to $142.4 million — $14 million more than the National Republican Congressional Committee has raised thus far.

The American Action Network (AAN) and its super-PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), launched five ads as a part of the $15.3 million blitz it announced last week. AAN launched ads targeting Democrat Jose Hernandez, running to unseat Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.); Rick Nolan, running to unseat Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.); Carol Shea-Porter, running to unseat Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.); and Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), facing a challenge from Chris Collins. CLF is targeting the incumbent-on-incumbent match-up between Reps. Leonard Boswell (D) and Tom Latham (R) in Iowa.

ILLINOIS: Federal investigators are probing allegations that Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (Ill.) illegally used campaign funds to redecorate his house, according to The Wall Street Journal.

MASSACHUSETTS: Republican Richard Tisei leads Rep. John Tierney (D) by 17 points in a poll conducted by GOP pollster John McLaughlin for the National Republican Congressional Campaign. That poll also puts Sen. Scott Brown (R) up by 15 points in the district.


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

FLORIDA: Rep. Connie Mack (R) released a feel-good spot featuring his mother vouching for his character. "My Connie was a good kid — a bit of a handful. We mothers understand," she says. She goes on to compare him to his father, former Sen. Connie Mack III, who also appears in the ad.

HAWAII: Since the July primary, Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) raised more than $1.2 million, and Republican Linda Lingle raised $822,000.

MAINE: Independent candidate Angus King's fundraising skyrocketed in the third quarter, with the candidate bringing in more than $1.1 million since the end of July. King's total fundraising for the cycle now tops $2 million, and he has more than $463,000 cash on hand. His totals dwarf those of Republican challenger Charlie Summers and Democratic challenger Cynthia Dill. Summers reported raising just over $500,000 in the third quarter, amounting to a total of about $746,000 raised this cycle. Dill, running without the backing of the national party, announced that she had raised just over $57,000 in the third quarter and currently has about $10,000 cash on hand.

MASSACHUSETTS: Democrat Elizabeth Warren raised more than $12.1 million in the third fundraising quarter, far outpacing Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who brought in only $7.45 million during the same period for his bid to keep his seat. Warren raised nearly as much in September as Brown did for the entire quarter. She brought in $7 million of her total third-quarter haul in September alone, making it the best month of her campaign. Brown posted approximately $10.2 million cash on hand. Warren has not yet announced her cash-on-hand total.

MISSOURI: Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) leads Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in his bid for the Senate by a slim margin, according to a new poll. Wenzel Strategies, a Republican-leaning pollster, found Akin leading McCaskill 49 to 45 percent with 7 percent undecided. McCaskill released a new ad touting her efforts to crack down on China's violations of trade laws. Akin's campaign announced that former GOP Rep. J.C. Watts appeared with Akin at a fundraiser this past weekend.

NEBRASKA: Republican Deb Fischer raised $2.42 million in the third quarter with $1.45 million cash on hand, while Democrat Bob Kerrey brought in $1.69 million and has $780,000 cash on hand. Kerrey released a new minute-long ad questioning Fischer's character by sharing the story of the Kime family, whom the ad says was sued by Fischer's family.

NEVADA: Sen. Dean Heller (R ) raised $1.9 million and has $1.9 million cash on hand, and Rep. Shelley Berkley (D) raised $1.65 million and finished the quarter with only $925,000 on hand.

NORTH DAKOTA: Democrat Heidi Heitkamp slightly outraised Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) in the third quarter for the North Dakota Senate race, posting $1.6 million to Berg's $1.57 million in the same period.

PENNSYLVANIA: Sen. Bob Casey leads Republican challenger Tom Smith 50-39, an 11-point lead, in a survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling. Last week the Smith campaign touted an internal poll that showed him within 2 points of the senator.

WISCONSIN: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) took a break from the presidential trail to fundraise for Tommy Thompson on Sunday afternoon. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) raised $4.6 million for the quarter, and Thompson has not yet released his totals, though a campaign source told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his total would be between $2 and $3 million for the quarter. Also, Baldwin released an ad touting her efforts to crack down on "Chinese cheating" and highlighting Thompson's involvement with a company that it says outsourced jobs.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Mitt Romney's campaign raised $170 million in September, nearly matching President Obama's $181 million haul and far surpassing his previous record, an August effort that brought in just under $112 million.

Vice President Biden will appear on the early-morning TV shows on ABC, NBC and CBS the day after the second presidential debate.

Ann Romney expressed her confidence in Mitt Romney's debate preparation. "One thing I know for sure: Mitt's prepared. Mitt's confident. Mitt's got a good presence about him," Ann Romney told the crowd at a campaign rally in Elizabethtown, Pa.

The election is still three weeks away, but first lady Michelle Obama voted for the president on Monday. "The president and first lady are making history by voting early in person and by mail in order to promote the ease, convenience, and importance of voting," the Obama campaign said.

Romney has canceled his upcoming appearance on “The View” due to a scheduling conflict, but Ann Romney will still appear on the show Thursday.

The Romney campaign will give away a guitar signed by Kid Rock and Paul Ryan to one lucky fan. Supporters who sign up to be on the Romney campaign list will automatically be entered in a drawing for the prize, which is said to retail for $300.


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