John McCain compared Michele Bachmann to “Senator Obama,” Tammy Duckworth has a huge lead in her own poll, the generic Republican is beating Obama, and Ron Paul is blowing everyone else out of the water, ad-spending-wise.

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* In a National Review interview, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) compared Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to “Senator Obama” in her refusal to raise the debt ceiling and warned that it was a bad idea. “What some of my colleagues on the Republican side don’t understand is that sometime before August 2, the markets would start reacting in a negative fashion,” he said. “Some people say we wouldn’t get the blame — we would get the blame.”

* According to her own polling, former Veterans Affairs official Tammy Duckworth has an insane 61 percent lead over primary rival Raja Krishnamoorthi in the race for Illinois’ 8th district. Duckworth bests former Obama adviser Krishnamoorthi 69 to 8 in the Normington, Petts & Associates survey. “The reality is that any poll conducted 8 months before an election is based solely upon name recognition,” said Krishnamoorthi spokesman Mike Murray. “Today, even with modest name recognition, Raja has quickly raised over $400,000 in 5 and a half weeks, and he has assembled a formidable base of political and grassroots support.”

* The generic “"Republican Party's candidate for president"” now beats President Obama 47 percent to 39 percent in Gallup polling, besting the Democratic president for the second consecutive month. Republicans are more loyal to their candidate than Democrats, and Independents are swinging to the GOP. It’s worth remembering, however, that these polls do not have a ton of predictive power — candidates matter.

* She hasn’t officially declared her campaign, but Christie Vilsack (D) raised a serious $424,399 for her likely Iowa congressional bid. Vilsack, the wife of former governor Tom, is preparing to run against Rep. Steve King (R) under a new map that makes the high-profile conservative’s seat less safe. King has yet to release his second quarter numbers, but he probably won’t have trouble raising cash. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is hosting a fundraiser for King later this month.

* California Republicans are not at all happy about the Citizens Redistricting Commission. “The ideal of a citizens’ commission is good. We should not have politicians picking their voters,” wrote chairman Tom Del Beccaro in an op-ed on the conservative news site FlashReport. “But ideals often prove impractical. In the case of the Citizens Redistricting Commission, impractical would be an upgrade.” Del Beccaro blasts the commission as incompetent and partisan and suggests voters remove it by referendum. The proposed map definitely helps Democrats — they could gain between three and five seats from the new lines.


* Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) will be the keynote speaker at the West Virginia Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner on August 6th. Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Rep. Nick Rahall are all speaking too, but they probably won’t be as funny.

* A tentative date has been set for ex-senator John Edwards’ felony corruption trial. It will be some time in October. Edwards faces six felony counts over how money was spent during his 2008 presidential campaign. Prosecutors say the North Carolina Democrat illegally used campaign contributions to cover up his affair. He has pleaded not guilty. Edwards attended the hearing but did not speak to reporters.

* The former national director of Conservatives4DeMint has joined the growing movement to draft Texas Gov. Rick Perry into the Republican presidential primary. Angela Toft’s group was active in 38 states until Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) made clear that he was not interested in running for president, and she brings an extensive network with her. “We’re adding boots on the ground, basically,” she said. “It’s just showing that Rick Perry definitely does have the grassroots support from the conservatives.”

* Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is out with his first television ad, and his $166,000 cable and broadcast buy — in five different television markets — dwarfs what Bachmann and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty spent on their initial ad buys. Paul focuses on the debt ceiling, strongly opposing any deal to raise it, as he has for years.


Obviously a sign of the apocalypse:

With Aaron Blake