Michael Bloomberg launching super PAC to support moderate candidates

October 17, 2012

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: 

* President Obama and Mitt Romney are running about even in Wisconsin, with Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 48 percent among likely voters, according to a new Marquette Law School poll. Just two weeks ago, Obama led Romney 53 percent to 42 percent. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Senate race is also about even in the latest poll, with former governor Tommy Thompson (R) at 46 percent and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) at 45 percent. 

* Obama seized on Romney's "binders" comment at a Wednesday campaign rally in Iowa. "We don’t have to collect a bunch of binders to find qualified, talented, driven young women, ready to learn and teach in these fields right now," Obama said. Meanwhile, women who served in Romney's Cabinet when he was governor of Massachusetts sing his praises in a new Web video his campaign released Wednesday. Romney remarked at Tuesday's debate that he asked women's groups to help him identify well-qualified potential female cabinet members, "and they brought us whole binders full of women."

* California Rep. Howard Berman (D) is using footage of his debate last week with fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman to cast Sherman as "too angry" and "mean" in a new ad. If you missed it, Sherman put his arm around Berman at the debate, asking, ”Do you want to get into this?" Sherman and Berman are competing in a heated race for a San Fernando Valley district as a result of redistricting. 

* The anti-tax Club for Growth is adding to its buys in the Indiana and Arizona Senate races. The club is spending $900,000 more in Arizona and $600,000 in Indiana. The new Arizona ad contrasts the records of Rep. Jeff Flake (R) and Richard Carmona (D), while the Indiana ad attacks Rep. Joe Donnelly (D). 

* Romney launched a new Spanish-language TV ad hitting Obama over his record on immigration. “The liberal Democrats promised immigration reform …Now, the Democrats say they never made a promise," the narrator of the ad says in Spanish. 

WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS:

* New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is launching a super PAC to help moderate candidates during the final weeks of the campaign. He expects to spend $10-$15 million on the effort, which Howard Wolfson will head. Among the candidates Bloomberg will support: former governor Angus King (I), who is running for the Senate in Maine, and Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.), who is in a tough reelection fight against Democrat Brad Schneider. 

* Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said in an interview that the economy was not in a free fall when Obama took office. “The reason we're not creating those jobs is because of the choices, the policies, that President Obama took. You know, because here is the fact: He did not come into office with the economy in a free fall. We were losing jobs, but the fact is, within two months, we entered the second quarter, we only lost 0.7 percent GDP. But the economy bottomed out and then we started recovery the third quarter."

* Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) may be in some trouble back home, where a poll conducted for Democratic challenger Eric Stewart on Sunday and Monday showed the Republican leading by just five points, 49 percent to 44 percent. DesJarlais was the subject of a report last week detailing pressure he once applied on a mistress to get an abortion. Myers Research & Strategic Services conducted the poll of 400 likely voters. 

* The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has pulled its $315,000 ad reservation in Rep. John Garamendi's (D-Calif.) district. The DCCC has not run ads for Garamendi, who appears likely to defeat GOP challenger Kim Vann, but it is spending money in the Sacramento media market on other races. Republicans have not spent money on Garamendi's seat either.

* Larry King will moderate a third party presidential debate hosted by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation on Oct. 23 in Chicago. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, Green Party nominee Jill Stein, Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode and Justice Party nominee Rocky Anderson are slated to participate. 

THE FIX MIX:

The debate, songified!

With Aaron Blake

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Chris Cillizza · October 17, 2012