First lady Michelle Obama will host a fundraiser in Los Angeles and then tape an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is on Day Two of bus tour of Florida for Romney, with stops at the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum in Fort Lauderdale and the Bay of Pigs Museum and Library of the 2506 Assault Brigade in Miami. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will be campaigning for Romney in Waukesha, Wis.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I can’t tell you who I’m voting for. It’s a secret ballot.” — President Obama, on his early voting in Chicago on Thursday
President Obama has a 5-percentage-point advantage over Mitt Romney in Ohio, thanks to a massive lead among those who say they have already voted, according to a Time magazine poll. Obama takes 49 percent support over Romney at 44. Among those who say they have already voted, Obama leads by a 2-to-1 margin, 60 percent to 30 over Romney.
Obama is also leading in another poll of Virginia and in one of New Hampshire. The president holds a 48-45 percent lead over Romney in New Hampshire, according to the survey from USAction and the Mellman Group. In Virginia, a similar poll gave the president a 46-to-45 percent lead over Romney.
Michelle Obama appears for the first time this election cycle in a TV ad for the Obama campaign. The ad is partially in Spanish and features a Spanish-language TV host. It will air in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia, all key swing states with a high Hispanic population.
Team Obama unveiled two television ads Wednesday — one aimed at getting supporters to the polls and the other to convince voters that Obama deserves another four years in office.
The Obama campaign is invoking former Vice President Al Gore's loss in the 2000 presidential race to encourage Americans to vote. The ad, "537", warns that the margin of victory in the 2012 presidential race could be only a few hundred votes, similar to former President George W. Bush's margin of victory in Florida over Gore during the 2000 presidential race.
American Crossroads is up with a $12.6 million, seven-state ad blitz, including a spot featuring actor Clint Eastwood. "Obama's second term will be a rerun of the first and our country just couldn't survive that," Eastwood says in one of the three ads the group is launching. "We need someone who can turn it around fast, and that man is Mitt Romney. There's not much time left — the future of our country is at stake."
A new Web ad from the Republican National Committee (RNC) depicts Obama as desperate and lashing out with attacks over "Big Bird, binders and bayonets."
BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released new ads hitting Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) and Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) on Medicare, Dan Webster (R-Fla.) for ties with lobbyists and Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) for "turning his back" on the troops.
CALIFORNIA: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) endorsed Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) over Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) in their bitter member-on-member matchup.
FLORIDA: Florida's state Ethics Commission said it had found “probable cause” that Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.) might have violated ethics laws in 11 instances while serving in the state Legislature. The possible violations include the misuse of campaign funds and accepting income from a company that could have influenced his vote in the Florida House of Representatives. In a statement, Rivera again denied the charges and accused the commission of making a politically motivated ruling on the eve of an election.
And House Majority PAC issued its first ad in Florida's 2nd District, hitting Rep. Steve Southerland (R) for his position to eliminate the Department of Education and what the ad characterizes as cuts to Medicare and tax breaks for millionaires. The ad is supported by a $275,000 buy.
NEW YORK: Rep. Chris Gibson (R), running to keep his seat in New York's 19th District, released an ad accusing Democrat Julian Schreibman of being in favor of higher taxes and characterizing himself as supportive of policies to create jobs. And Rep. Nan Hayworth (R), protecting her seat in New York's 18th District, issued a new ad touting her own "priorities," including protecting Social Security and Medicare, and putting "the interests of our Hudson Valley, where I've lived for 24 years, ahead of partisan politics." Democratic opponent Sean Patrick Maloney released an ad calling Hayworth a "Tea Party Congresswoman" and charging that her policies will end Medicare and defund Planned Parenthood.
TENNESSEE: The Tennessee Democratic Party asked a county judge to unseal records dealing with Rep. Scott DesJarlais's (R) divorce, in a bid to learn more about what Democrats say is an "unethical sexual relationship" with one of his medical patients.
SPECIAL INDIANA SENATE EDITION:
Given all the coverage of Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s (R) comment on abortion, we’ve complied all the stories here:
Mourdock said Democrats have twisted the meaning of his comments about abortion.
His position is that abortion should only be legal when necessary to prevent the death of the mother. He argues abortion should be illegal in cases of rape and incest, and on Tuesday night said that "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something God intended to happen."
"I believe life is precious," Mourdock said. "But certainly I did not mean to suggest that God wants rape, that God pushes people to rape, that God wants to support or condone evil in any way."
Mourdock said during his debate with Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.): "I struggled with it myself a long time but I came to realize that life is a gift from God, that I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Watch video of his remarks here.
The Obama campaign sought to capitalize on Mitt Romney's ties to Mourdock in order to make a push for women voters.
Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki used the connection to zero in on Romney and argue Republicans would hurt women's abilities to make choices about their health.
"The president felt [Mourdock's] comments were outrageous and demeaning to women," Psaki told reporters on Air Force One, according to a White House pool report.
"This is a reminder that a Republican Congress working with a Republican president Mitt Romney would [feel] that women should not be able to make choices about their own healthcare. ... This is an issue where Mitt Romney is starring in an ad for this senator (sic) and it is perplexing that he wouldn't demand to have that ad taken down," Psaki said.
Romney’s campaign reiterated its support for Mourdock, saying it will not ask him to pull down an ad featuring the GOP presidential nominee.
Romney had already cut the ad for Mourdock, who's in a tough race. It was a rare move for the GOP nominee, who's not gotten involved in many Senate contests.
"Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock, and Mr. Mourdock’s comments do not reflect Gov. Romney’s views," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told The Hill in a statement Wednesday morning. "We disagree on the policy regarding exceptions for rape and incest but still support him."
National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) is standing by Mourdock.
"Richard and I, along with millions of Americans — including even Joe Donnelly — believe that life is a gift from God. To try and construe his words as anything other than a restatement of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous," Cornyn said in a statement. "In fact, rather than condemning him for his position, as some in his party have when it's comes to Republicans, I commend Congressman Donnelly for his support of life."
The Louisville Courier-Journal endorsed Donnelly over Mourdock: "Indiana voters wondering who to vote for in the U.S. Senate race should have no doubts after Tuesday’s spectacular implosion on the abortion issue by Republican candidate Richard Mourdock. It is clear that the only rational choice for voters in this election is Democrat Joe Donnelly,” the paper wrote in its endorsement. Many suburban Louisville voters live in southern Indiana.
Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.) called on Mourdock to apologize for "comments totally contrary to our basic human beliefs & values."
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) distanced himself from Mourdock’s remarks. "It’s not what I believe," Brown told reporters at a campaign event. "I’m a pro-choice Republican and that’s not what I believe. I disagree with what he said."
CONNECTICUTT: Rep. Chris Murphy (D) has expanded his lead over Republican Linda McMahon, posting a 6-percentage-point lead over the Republican just two weeks out from the election. The Quinnipiac poll gives Murphy 49 percent support to McMahon's 43. Murphy released two new ads pivoting from the typically combative back-and-forth of the Connecticut Senate campaign to a more positive tone. The first features average people sharing how Murphy helped them, ranging from a veteran looking for a job to a person working to pay off their student loans. "Nobody has worked harder for us than Chris Murphy. Nobody," the ad closes. The second features clips of Murphy speaking at a recent debate about the choice between him and McMahon interspersed with quotes from various newspaper endorsements he's received.
MASSACHUSETTS: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) appeared on the stump with Sen. Scott Brown (R), where he accused Democrat Elizabeth Warren of being a party-line partisan and said she "won’t even look across the aisle, let alone reach across the aisle.” It's part of an effort from the Republican to paint his opponent as too far left and himself as the independent centrist in the race. Brown attempted to back that up in an interview with ABC News, during which he said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would have to earn his vote for majority leader if the GOP takes the majority.
NORTH DAKOTA: Democrats are hammering Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) again for his ties to a controversial real-estate company in a new ad. And the race is in a statistical dead heat, according to a new poll that gives Democrat Heidi Heitkamp a 1-percentage-point lead over Berg. Heitkamp has 49 percent support to Berg's 48 percent support, with 3 percent undecided.
PENNSYLVANIA: Majority PAC is launching its first foray into Pennsylvania with a positive spot that touts Sen. Bob Casey's (D) efforts to support education funding, as a spate of recent polls show the Democrat's reelection prospects may be endangered.
WISCONSIN: Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s (D-Wis.) campaign came out with an ad calling opponent Tommy Thompson’s use of the 9/11 tragedy to attack her a “disgrace” while also accusing him of profiting from the victims. The tight Wisconsin Senate race has become increasingly negative, with both campaigns using the tragedy in ads this week.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
President Obama in a previously off-the-record interview with an Iowa newspaper said he believes a "grand bargain" on the deficit can be reached six months into his second term and that immigration reform can also be approved in 2013. The Obama administration reversed course and allowed the Des Moines Register to release an interview with the president that had previously been off the record.
Obama leveled harsh attacks against GOP nominee Mitt Romney and put a renewed emphasis on his plans for a second term during a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa.
Obama said in an interview aired Tuesday that he was hopeful Republican opposition to his agenda could weaken if he's elected to a second term. "If we win — when we win — I think what you’ll see is that initially there may be some resistance, but you know, they’ve been obsessed over the last four years with defeating me," Obama said in an interview with radio host Tom Joyner. "After the election I will have won my last race. And hopefully they’ll recognize that the kind of obstruction that they’ve engaged in is not good for them politically and it’s certainly not good for the country."
Romney looked to project confidence with the wind in his campaign's sails Wednesday during a stop in Reno, Nev., that attracted some 2,500 supporters in the crucial swing state. With less than two weeks to Election Day, Romney told supporters that the presidential debates "have really propelled our campaign."
Donald Trump offered Obama $5 million to release his college and passport records. "All he has to do for $5 million to the charity or charities of his choice is get his colleges to immediately give his applications and records and also to release his passport records," Trump said in the announcement. "When he does this to my satisfaction, if it's complete, this check will be sent immediately."
Tagg Romney has apologized to Obama for saying that he’d like to “take a swing at him” for the way he attacked his father during the second presidential debate. The eldest son of the GOP nominee made the apology in person after Obama and Romney wrapped up the final presidential debate on Monday night in Boca Raton, Fla. Tagg was among the Romney family members onstage after the event was over.
GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said that “poverty’s winning” in America due to the current administration’s policies. "Upward mobility is the central promise of life in America. But right now, the engines of upward mobility are not running as they should,” the Wisconsin congressman said, speaking at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. “In this war on poverty, poverty’s winning.”
Former first lady Laura Bush sympathizes with both Ann Romney and first lady Michelle Obama, saying in an interview “I know what it’s like” during the last weeks before the election. “You know, I just wish them both the best,” the former first lady said on Fox News Channel’s “America Live.” “I know what it's like. I know people are tired. They're tired, probably, because they've campaigned really, very hard.”
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