John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
October 26th, 2010
01:11 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

It's one week out, which for the candidates means no time to waste and for you means the already nasty tone of the ads is likely to turn even more negative. Our experience at the Florida gubernatorial debate last night certainly showed open acrimony between the candidates in one of the nation's most important contests. I checked in with more than a half-dozen leading strategists in both parties this AM. They disagree on some things, but here was a bipartisan consensus: several of the big Senate races are tightening, as Democrats improve their standing a bit. (or the GOP candidate slips a bit.) All still see Republicans taking the House; one of the less optimistic Republicans (who has a great track record) predicts a net gain of 45-50 seats, which is down a bit from his prediction last week.

On to the bullet points: In his No. 1. and No. 2, Erick sees false Democratic hope. In No. 3, he pushes one of the interesting turns in the FL debate. John's No. 1 is worth reading even if you don’t agree with how he has connected the dots. This is an emotional, high stakes election, and passion is good – anger and violence reprehensible. His No. 3 is to a point all the consultants will be studying post-election (as well as the mayor of New York) what worked and didn’t work for independent candidates? The races he cites are good laboratories as we see if 2010 ultimately produces more three way races. Enjoy the day – and if you don’t know where it is, this is the week to locate your polling place!- John King

Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington.

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

-Democrats today are putting a lot of hope in yesterday's Newsweek poll showing a Democrat resurgence. That poll and one dollar could buy you the entire Newsweek corporation. Seriously, that's what we call a false hope.

-Hispanic voters in Arizona are mobilized to go all in with the Democrats over Arizona's recent anti-illegal immigrant legislation. Meanwhile, the Democrats appear set to be wiped off the map in Arizona.

-Alex Sink cheated in the debate with Rick Scott last night. One would have hoped the message from her staff would have told her to stop talking about all her newspaper endorsements and talk about real issues instead.

Senior Political Columnist for John Avlon:

-Violence outside the final Rand Paul-Jack Conway debate – A protestor wearing a blonde wig was trying some street theater in Kentucky and ended up getting stomped on by a Paul-supporter who put his boot to her head. This is what can happen when elections get ugly and the politics of incitement gets out of hand.

-Jerry Brown delivers the final cut – in what might be the most positive ‘negative’ ad ever, Brown’s campaign takes Meg Whitman’s statement of nostalgia for the California she moved to 30 years ago and reminds people that he was governor then . But reality looms for the governor- San Francisco’s retirement costs for public grew by 66,733 percent over the past ten years – “In fiscal year 1999-2000, the city spent about $300,000 on its retirement system. In fiscal year 2009-10, it was $200.5 million.”

-Lincoln Chafee is leading in Rhode Island polls to be the state’s first independent governor. This is one of the 10 states where registered independent voters outnumber Democrats or Republicans, and what too many missed about the Dem candidate’s “shove it” comment to Obama yesterday was that it was in reaction to the president’s de facto endorsement of Chafee. Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler is racking up a half dozen newspaper endorsements in Maine, while independent write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski is neck and neck in the polls with Joe Miller. Charlie Crist, not so much.

Filed under: Bullet Points