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Give some credit to the Teabaggers. Today, RNC Chairman Michael Steele got around to askingthe Chicago "Tea Party" organizers if he could speak. They smacked him down, hard.

I've copied the rest of the story from my post at the Washington Independent.

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What will Michael Steele do on April 15?

25%35 votes
19%27 votes
55%76 votes

| 138 votes | Vote | Results

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I have a story today about the National Republican Trust, the 527 founded by a self-described "wingnut" who, by buying a bunch of right-wing mailing lists, funded millions of dollars in Jeremiah Wright ads against Barack Obama. It's now buying ads in NY-20 attacking Democrat Scott Murphy, and being promoted by Dick Morris.

Oh, and the guys who run the 527? They don't think President Obama's an American citizen.

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Democrat Scott Murphy is catching up with Republican Jim Tedisco in the race for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s vacated seat in New York’s 20th Congressional District, according to the new Siena Research Institute Poll. The trend lines are from the last poll released on February 26.

Republican candidate Jim Tedisco - 45 (-1)
Democratic candidate Scott Murphy - 41 (+7)
Libertarian candidate Eric Sundwall - 1 (+1)

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Who'll win in NY-20?

9%5 votes
78%41 votes
3%2 votes
1%1 votes
5%3 votes

| 52 votes | Vote | Results

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From reason, where I blogged this...

Last week, Campaign for Liberty press guy and Ron Paul grandson-in-law Jesse Benton was driving to a constituent event with his boss and the subject of 2012 came up.

"He hasn’t closed out the idea of another run," said Benton today. "We have some time to decide whether he runs again, or whether he gets behind somebody else. But we don’t have tons of time. By the middle of 2009, the decision needs to be made."

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I've been mulling this over. I've spent a lot of this year arguing with conservatives and debunking Obama smears. The Politico was nice enough to give me credit for debunking Larry Johnson's "whitey tape" rumor. In thinking about that, I realized something.

I reeeeeaaaaally want to read Johnson's blog if Obama wins.

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What righty blog will you click on to laugh at if Obama wins?

11%27 votes
3%7 votes
1%3 votes
5%12 votes
10%24 votes
0%1 votes
5%12 votes
0%0 votes
4%11 votes
2%6 votes
0%1 votes
33%75 votes
21%48 votes

| 227 votes | Vote | Results

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[UPDATE: This is now the dumbest diary I've ever written. Early trends revealed nothing: In the big counties, Jim Martin is smoking Vernon Jones. He's going to win by 20 points.]

I've been watching the returns from Georgia's Senate runoff, and it looks like incompetent moron Vernon Jones will beat Jim Martin, about whom I know nothing other than the fact that he's not Vernon Jones. Check out the trends.

Here are the first round results.

Here are tonight's.

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I confess, I've been flabbergasted by the success that John McCain's had pushing the "Obama is presumptuous" meme. Does anyone in the press have a short-term memory? McCain was on the air with this ad two bleedin' months ago.

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The "arrogance" meme

6%77 votes
39%432 votes
53%592 votes

| 1101 votes | Vote | Results

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Get ready for some breathless coverage of this.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain moved from being behind by 6 points among "likely" voters a month ago to a 4-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama among that group in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. McCain still trails slightly among the broader universe of "registered" voters. By both measures, the race is tight.

It's way off today's 8-point Obama lead in the Gallup tracking poll, but that's nothing new.

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I attended Larry Sinclair's press conference today and was confused when he concluded by rushing out of the room, taking no more questions. The reason? He was arrested by the D.C. metropolitan police. I called the First District station where he was being held and confirmed that Lawrence Wayne Sinclair was charged as a fugitive from justice based on an outstanding warrant.

The first story, I think, is up at my magazine's blog. But expect to hear it reported elsewhere soon.

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Early exits (especially ones released three hours before polls close) are dicey, but if we can believe Fox, Clinton will squeak out a win in South Dakota.

Fox has men going 52/48 for Clinton, and women going 57/43 for her. They're tied on which candidate "shares your values." Clinton won late deciders 62-38. If she wins, she was put over the top by her last-week, positive campaigning.

Poll

Who'll win South Dakota?

53%199 votes
25%94 votes
21%79 votes

| 372 votes | Vote | Results

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Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 08:48 AM PDT

The Larry Johnson meltdown

by daveweigel

If I'm wrong about this, I'll (unhappily) eat my words. But I don't think I'm wrong. I think the "Michelle Obama whitey tape" story is a smear spread by people who want Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination, and are trying to keep superdelegates on the fence by exploiting fears of "more shoes to drop." The Wright and Pfleger tapes have stoked that fear, so the smearsters have got a little credibility when they work the phones and spread the stories.

So: Larry Johnson's 9 a.m. update convinces me that the story is a smear. At worst, there might be a video along the lines of what Booman suggests, a video of Michelle Obama sounding like she's attacking "whitey" when she's actually saying "why'd he." But Johnson claims:

It features Michelle Obama and Louis Farrakhan. They are sitting on a panel at Jeremiah Wright’s Church when Michelle makes her intemperate remarks.

This is odd.

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The Michelle Obama tape

5%28 votes
16%82 votes
78%391 votes

| 501 votes | Vote | Results

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The latest Public Policy Polling survey shows an Obama surge in North Carolina. This is the poll that showed Obama falling to a tie with Clinton during Wrightgate: Now, thanks to increased white support, he's up 21 points.

Barack Obama - 55 (44)
Hillary Clinton - 34 (43)

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How much would Obama have to win by in NC to knock out Clinton?

30%85 votes
21%62 votes
25%72 votes
22%63 votes

| 282 votes | Vote | Results

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