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What would prompt Todd Akin to end his Senate campaign?

The 10 biggest surprises of the conventions

How President Obama’s acceptance speech stacked up — in 1 chart

Jobs report is more bad news for Obama

Joe Kennedy III sails to primary win

Obama gets defensive


* Gallup Daily tracking data released Friday show President Obama's approval rating is 52 percent, the highest it has been since May 2011, after the killing of Osama bin Laden. The latest approval rating figure is a rolling average from interviews conducted Tuesday through Thursday of this week — so mostly before Obama gave his convention address.

* Former Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter is fighting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Specter, who has survived Hodgkin's disease, has been released from a Philadelphia hospital but was expected to go back for more treatment. "It’s another battle I intend to win,” Specter said.

* Independent former governor Angus King is up with his first TV ad in the Maine Senate race. The spot says he is "as independent as Maine" and can shake up Washington. King is a heavy favorite in the three-way open seat race.

* Ana Alliegro, a witness in the federal investigation of Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.), did not not show up for an interview with prosecutors and federal agents, and her family is worried about her whereabouts. Alliegro is the former campaign manager for Justin Lamar Sternad, a Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged Joe Garcia in the Democratic primary campaign for the chance to face Rivera. Federal investigators are looking into whether Rivera helped fund Sternad's bid.


* In an interview with Iowa's KWQC, Ann Romney wouldn't answer questions about birth control and gay marriage. "I’m not going to talk about the specific issues,” she said when asked about lesbian parents.

* Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has released a new TV ad touting his work spearheading a measure to stop insider trading in Congress. The ad features footage of Obama shaking Brown's hand after signing the bill.

* So when exactly did Clint Eastwood decide to use an empty chair to help portray a conversation with Obama during his speech at the Republican National Convention? In his first interview about the speech, Eastwood revealed that he thought of the idea when he was backstage waiting to speak.

* Paul Ryan (Wis.) will make his Sunday show debut as the Republican vice presidential nominee this weekend, with appearances on CBS’s “Face The Nation” and ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos."


Hey, 2015 is just around the corner.

With Aaron Blake