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generic congressional ballot, now favoring D's slightly
Republicans remain Democrats' best asset

Richard Wolf:

The Supreme Court blocked the execution of a convicted Missouri murderer Wednesday evening rather than risk another in what has become a series of botched lethal injections.

The ruling marks a stark reversal from the court's practice of denying last-minute appeals by death-row inmates. That could mean a majority of justices are concerned about a shortage of drugs that has forced states to rely on unregulated compounding pharmacies. Some states have refused to say where they get their drugs or specify which drugs are used.

Rick Hasen:
UPDATE: Via Chris Geidner comes news that the Court also denied a cert. petition at the Court, thereby leaving the issue to run its full course in the 8th Circuit. This makes the issue even more unusual, because you have the Court suggesting that an evidentiary hearing would be a good idea while the case remands in the hands of the lower courts. Kind of meddlesome by Supreme Court standards.

SECOND UPDATE: A reader suggests that the inmate in this case has a rare medical condition, which his lawyers allege would cause great pain at death. So it is possible this case is sui generis, and that it does not say anything broader about the lethal injection protocol. Even so, the hint for the evidentiary hearing remains unusual.

EJ Dionne:
Anyone with a weak stomach and refined sensibilities should stay out of Kentucky for the next six months.
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More politics and policy below the fold.

CBS:

Tea party support hits new lows: Poll

The tea party was an important factor in the 2010 elections, but its support may be waning, according to a new CBS News poll. Today, just 15 percent of Americans say they are supporters of the tea party movement - the lowest since CBS News began asking about the tea party in February 2010. The tea party reached its highest level of support (31 percent) in November 2010, soon after the midterm elections.

CBS:
Poll: Views on economy highest in six years

In the wake of a positive jobs report in April, which showed a drop in the nation's unemployment rate, Americans' views of the economy have shown the first significant boost in over six years, according to a CBS News poll released Wednesday. Forty-three percent now think the economy is at least fairly good - a six point rise from March and the highest rating of Barack Obama's presidency. Still, 55 percent view the economy as at least somewhat bad, including one in five who say it is very bad.

Charles Blow:
But as a Pew Research report issued last week makes clear, there has been a “sharp rise in the number of immigrants living in the U.S. in recent decades,” and many of the states with the largest foreign-born populations have seen the percentages of those citizens increase.

According to the report, in 1990 the 10 states with the largest foreign-born populations had between 21.7 percent foreign-born residents, in California, and 8.5 percent, in Connecticut. In 2012, the range was from 27 percent foreign born in California to 13.8 percent in Illinois.

Thomas B. Edsall:
Three unlikely sources are providing qualified encouragement to Republicans who are either openly or covertly committed to a campaign strategy that focuses on white turnout, as opposed to seeking votes from Hispanics and African-Americans.
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