Senate races

Senate races

Berkley, Heller trade barbs Medicare and ethics at debate

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) rehashed many of their attack ads' arguments in a testy first Senate debate Thursday night, covering little new ground but showing there is little love lost between the two candidates.

Both lawmakers all but called the other a liar during a debate that focused on Berkley's ongoing ethics issues as well as Heller's votes in support of GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan.


Poll: Donnelly narrowly leads Mourdock in Indiana

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) holds a narrow lead over Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R), according to a new independent poll.

Donnelly leads Mourdock by 40 to 38 percent in the poll, conducted for Howey Politics Indiana by DePauw University. That narrow edge, with a relatively high number of undecided voters, mirrors recent polls released by Donnelly and other Democrats.

Both sides have been spending heavily on a race some once thought would be an easy hold for the GOP, even after Mourdock beat popular longtime Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) in an April primary. Mourdock is winning just six in 10 Republicans who backed Lugar in the primary, a concerning sign for his campaign. The Hill has long rated the race a "toss-up."

Donnelly and Democrats have sought to paint Mourdock as a hard-line Tea Party candidate and frame Donnelly as a centrist, while Mourdock has sought to try to make the race in the Republican-leaning state a simple choice between a Democrat and a Republican.

The poll of 800 likely voters was conducted on Sept. 19-20 and Sept. 23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.


Union super-PAC runs Web ads framing George Allen as a racist

Workers' Voice, a super-PAC backed by the AFL-CIO, is running Web ads targeted at minority voters that accuse former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) of racism.

The ads invoke four of Allen's past controversies: his now-infamous "macaca moment" in which he used a racial slur against a South Asian Democrat who was recording a campaign event, his vote against recognizing Martin Luther King Day and reports that he kept a noose in his office and hung a Confederate flag in his living room.

None of these issues is new, and the group is clearly trying to rekindle the discussion over Allen's past. Allen has profusely apologized time and again for the "macaca" incident and has discussed the other issues at length, both during his failed 2006 reelection campaign and this year.

Allen's campaign fired back against the ads.