A new daily blog, covering the latest news and controversies across a wide range of races and issues. As the author of three books about influential political campaigns, I also bring a certain historical perspective to this very topical task. You can bookmark the blog by clicking my name at the top or by going here. Send me tips at epic1934@aol.com.

2:15 ATHEiSTS WORSE THAN MUSLIMS?  We cited Gallup poll yesterday finding that 18% still would not vote for a  qualified candidate for president if he happened to be a Mormon. Now the full results are in and they find that a much higher number would not back a gay.  Fully 4 in 10 would never vote for a Muslim–but this is topped by the 43% who would shun an otherwise qualified atheist.  Thankfully there’s an enormous age gap, with younger folks much more likely to back gay, Muslim and atheist candidates.

1:55 AFTERNOON DELIGHTS   From Rolling StoneSucking up to the voters, a guide….Koch classic:  David Koch to host $50,000 a plate dinner for Romney in the good old blue-collar Hamptons… After Wash Post probe today, David Axelrod says Romney is running for "outsourcer-in-chief"… Dick Cheney’s daughter Mary married her longtime partner Heather today…

10:45 GAY PUREE  From my assistant Zoe Schlanger: "The gay Republican group GOProud endorsed Romney, but it turns out only 4 of their 7 members are gay and two of the four voted against endorsing him."… And from Andy Borowitz:  "Romney can’t decide whether to convince Florida Latinos to vote for him or to get Rick Scott to prevent them from voting at all."

10:00 POLITICO SUSPENDS REPORTER  Breitbart site taking credit for drawing attention to views of Whtie House correspondent Joseph Williams for such things as claiming Romney only feels "comfortable" around white folks (impossible!), and what it calls an Ann Romney "dick" joke in a tweet. Politico:  "Regrettably, an unacceptable number of Joe Williams’s public statements on cable and Twitter have called into question his commitment to this responsibility."

GOP CANDIDATE IN JAM  We brought you news last week that Pearl Jam was backing the kind of crewcut, Sen. Jon Tester,  in his tough fight for re-election in Montana, and providing some help via a Sept. 30 concert in Missoula.  Now: "The Tester campaign is itching to know what [GOP opponent] Rep. Rehberg will be doing Saturday night and why it would have prevented him from attending the now-canceled Sunday morning event, so it’s offering two free Pearl Jam tickets to the first person who finds out. Tester spokesman Aaron Murphy said the congressman himself is eligible to win the contest, provided he’s interested in divulging his whereabouts."

THE YOUTH VOTE   New poll finds Obama easily carrying young (18 to 29) vote over Romney 50%-37%, but also shows erosion since 2008.  They seem to back the GOP on jobs and the deficit but: "By almost two to one (50%-26%), the young voters think Democrats will do the best job of making sure Social Security is available for them when they retire."

WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST  New poll finds 63% of Republicans still believe Iraq had WMD.  I have reported  such findings for many years and while this number is a little high it is not inconsistent with past findings.  In contrast, 27% of independents hold this view (still amazingly high) and 15% of Democrats. High number of GOPers in past polls also asserted Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11.

A PAUL ON THE CAMPAIGN   Libertarian writer tackles question of what’s next for Ron Paul supporters, in NYT piece.  Apparently they will back Romney and then  try to take over the GOP from the ground up, so the "movement" will continue. "It’s easy for establishments to mock that sort of fervor. But the Republican Party has seen young, radically anti-government, quirky, curious movements conquer before."  Ah, for the days of Goldwater and Ralph Reed.

JOE THE DUMBER  Two days ago we brought you a new Joe the Plumber campaign spot (yes, he is the GOP nominee for a House seat in Ohio) in which he claimed gun control led to the Holocaust.  Now he refuses to back away from that. "Nowhere did I mention the Holocaust or was I even talking about it,"  he asserted.  Oh, he must have been talking about something else when he referred to "six million Jews and seven million others unable to defend themselves were exterminated."

OBAMA GETS MOVEON  Not exactly a shock, but MoveOn announced yesterday that the ballots had been tabulated–and 91% of its members (it has 7 million) had voted to endorse and work for Obama this year. "MoveOn members have fought the Administration hard — on the public option, the 2010 extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and the disastrous debt ceiling deal, for starters. This year, we’ve pushed the President to do more to hold Wall Street accountable and to commit publicly to vetoing any further extension of the tax cuts for the rich. Our members believe that re-electing the president will not bring progress in itself, but, rather, is a precondition for progress."

NO ON MORMONS, WHAT ABOUT MAMMON? Slate probes new poll from Gallup finding  nearly 1 in 5 say they would not vote for a Mormon who is otherwise qualified to be President.  This 18% is just one percent higher than in 1967 when Mitt Romney’s dad briefly ran for President.  But the "good news" for Romney: "voters can only hold his faith against him if they know about it and, at least currently, that’s not the case for the 43 percent of Americans. (Thirty-three percent said they didn’t know the presumptive GOP candidate’s religion, while the other ten percent was split among those who misidentified him as a Protestant, Catholic or ‘other.’)"

MOVING VAN   At this week’s Rebuild the Dream conference keynote Van Jones hit liberal groups for failing to act strongly in presidential race and the Wisconsin recall:


MORNING SHORT SHOTS   And now, a vote-purge effort in Georgia….Wash Post can’t fully decide how much Mitt outsourced jobs at Bain but details damning… Nancy Pelosi: Is GOP attacking Holder to suppress voters?…Dan Kennedy with more on Scott Brown rejecting debate with Eliz Warren…. Fun tweet from @MotherJones;  "Why can’t we say ‘vagina’ in a room full of douchebags?"…Welcome to the club:  Romney calls himself a "self-employed author" in campaign filing report….TPM asks: Is Grover Norquist losing grip on GOP?  

From late Thursday

KOS AND EFFECT Markos Moulitsas, the Daily Kos founder and still publisher, just sent out a funding appeall for Elizabeth Warren, noting a new mailer from her Senate race opponent, Scott Brown, citing Daily Kos backing for her as a reason to get scared (it also IDed Van Jones as another evil backer).  Moulitsas writes of Brown: "It may have taken him a while, but he is finally realizing that progressives like Elizabeth Warren because we want senators who belong to the people, not to Wall Street and teabagger dupes."

DUKE IN THE HOOD Charles Barron, a former Black Panther running for the House in New York, has been called "the David Duke of New York" for his (I guess) strong statements against Israel and some whites.  Naturally someone asked Duke–the former congressman from Louisiana now Grand Dragon of the KKK–if he, therefore, backed Barron.  He responded with this video backing Barron for his anti-Zionist stand despite his alleged "anti-white" views.  He even throws in a clip from the new Tarantino movie from the "ZIonist" Harvey Weinstein. Plenty of references to the "Zio-media" and the "Zio-bankers." 

LIFE’S BEEN GOOD TO HIM  Our favorite fly-like-an Eagle GOPer, Rep. Joe Walsh, now in tough re-election fight, says Romney should brag about his wealth.  Mitt should not take it easy but rejoice and sing: "You know what? I worked my butt off to get this way. And you know what? I want you to be rich like me.”

AFTERNOON DELIGHTS   In Kansas primary, hot race pits a leading Democrat incumbent who is famously anti-gay (and just moved into a church) against an openly gay young insurgent who happens to be son of a KKK leader….Politico with "duh" story of day: Hey, there’s a big "race gap" between Obama and Romney backers!… Sen. Bill Nelson has decent lead over Rep. Connie Mack in Florida in new poll… Romney’s big speech today on immigration: he  promises to "supercede" DREAM with his own plan.

SWINGERS Too much hype about "swing" voters?  Pew Research finds 78% of all voters have already made up their minds on who to vote for in race for White House and likely little can change that–and no doubt many others are virtually certain.

FORMER PRESIDENT BACKS SHERROD BROWN  Martin Sheen, longtime boss of the "West Wing," stars in fundraising email just sent out by Sherrod Brown’s folks in Ohio.  "You know me best as an actor, but I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and early on in life decided I wouldn’t sit on the sidelines when it came to issues of economic and social justice. When a true leader crosses my path — one who doesn’t just talk about progressive values but embodies them — I act. And I hope you will, too, by supporting Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. Sherrod is dedicated to the middle class, to seniors, and to women and families. He doesn’t work for the special interests — he works for the middle class people who make Ohio great."

Greg Mitchell’s campaign books include The Campaign of the Century (Upton Sinclair, 1934), Tricky DIck and the Pink Lady (Nixon-Douglas, 1950) and Why Obama Won.