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.

7:20 LOSING ON HIS RELIGION? Slate probes new poll from Gallup finding nearly one in five say they would not vote for a Mormon who is otherwise qualified to be president. This 18 percent 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 10 percent was split among those who misidentified him as a Protestant, Catholic or ‘other.’)”

4:35 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.”

3:05 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 and 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.”

 

2:55 LIFE”S BEEN GOOD TO HIM Our favorite fly-like-an Eagle GOPer, Representative 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.”

2:50 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! …Senator Bill Nelson has decent lead over Representative Connie Mack in Florida in new poll… Romney’s big speech today on immigration: he promises to “supercede” DREAM with his own plan.

2:25 SWINGERS Too much hype about “swing” voters? Pew Research finds 78 percent 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.

12:10 FORMER PRESIDENT BACKS SHERROD BROWN Martin Sheen, longtime boss of the West Wing, stars in fundraising e-mail 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.”

11:30 SON STROKE In new column, the ever-vile Micheal Reagan compares Obama to Jerry Sandusky: “Now he’s doing to Latinos what Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky allegedly did to the children of Pennsylvania—using and abusing them. With his short-sighted politicking, Emperor Obama has hurt the Latino cause in the long run.”

11:00 TAMMY TELLS US TRUE Tammy Baldwin releases first ad spot in key Wisconsin Senate race:

 

10:30 MITT’S OFF Some polls show Obama improving in Florida, and now Andy Borowtiz comments: “After Governor Rick Scott slipped and said Florida’s economy was improving, Romney issued a zero tolerance policy toward telling the truth.” Here’s the rosy Florida forecasts that worry the GOP—since they want economy to fail. GOP problem is that GOP governors want to point to good news as evidence that they are doing a good job, and this conflicts with what other GOP candidates desire.

GAG ALERT Super-sized fan (been to 129 shows, even more than me) Chris Christie’s ten favorite Springsteen songs. Of course, he has learned to shut out the lefty lyrics. He dreams of playing drums in the band, but Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic notes, “the Boss is a bard of the left, the governor a hero of the right — and Springsteen won’t talk to Christie, despite many overtures.” But Romney still considering him for Veep.

POLL WATCH After being widely ridiculed all day for his very outlying national poll—it found Obama suddenly leading Romney by 13 percent—the Bloomberg pollster defends himself. But two new polls find Obama with only small lead…. New poll finds Obama back on top in Florida. Another has him up 6 percent in Wisconsin but tied in Michigan… Nate Silver looks at the race in MontanaNew poll shows most Americans don’t want healthcare bill tossed out—as SCOTUS may do today.

CRASH AND KERREY Two new polls in Nebraska show former senator Bob Kerrey getting beaten badly in new try for old seat. Maybe it was that NYT Magazine piece. Or heading the New School… Meanwhile, Alan Graywon, trying to return to House via Florida race, raises money—using Romney’s roof-riding dog Seamus… Whoops, Romney committee held meeting in racy Arizona club.

SHOUT OUT Jon Stewart probed “Guys, Interrupted” and offered candidates advice on how to confront hecklers;

 

GAME CHANGER? Obama campaign yesterday touted new “Dashboard” site as game changer in campaign and unique (although doesn’t look that way at first glance). “It’s our national online organizing platform, and if you’re hoping to make an impact on this election, it’s where you need to be…. You can join or organize an event right then and there. Dashboard will help you stay in touch and swap stories with other supporters to keep one another inspired for what lies ahead.”

GOOD DAY, SUNSHINE That Fox and Friends anti-Obama video drew angry call from White House… Birther with wonderful name Gary Kreep finally declared winner of judgeship in California… Classic: Herman Cain in new column hits our own Ari Berman and The Nation in general… It’s now clear that even if Norman Solomon pulls out second place in that California primary for House seat (counting continues) that the national Democratic party will be backing the first-place finisher, a more conservative Dem… CJR with full report on the ad barrage in one swing state—Virginia—focusing on local TV and a newspaper… Romney plans retreat with Rove, PAC men, Veep candidates…

From late Wednesday

REVERSE BIRTHERISM Now we’ve heard it all. That Arizona elections official—also a co-chair of Romney campaign there and possible candidate for governor in two years—has changed his tune about Obama not being born in USA after much ridicule. Now he claims that he was born in Hawaii—but lied and said he was born in Kenya to get into college, and has spent millions covering it up. It’s a good thing Obama is too young to have been on the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

PUBLIC STILL DOESN’T UNDERSTAND HEALTH REFORM And that can’t help Dems in election, no matter how SCOTUS rules, maybe tomorrow. Trudy Liebeman at CJR probes Kaiser Foundation finding that fewer people know about certain aspects of Obamacare than they did two years ago.

ROMNEY: VAMPIRE JOB KILLER? New Obama attack ad:

 

UNITED STAKES From The Atlantic: Can unions survive in a post–Citizens United world? Unable to match the Koch brothers in campaigns, “The AFL-CIO revealed last week that it is pulling back direct contributions to political candidates, including President Obama, and pouring more money into its own internal infrastructure.”

CAMPAIGN BAD FOR ENVIRONMENT Politico titles its story, ‘”EPA in the bullseye.” GOP attacks have made Obama back off needed regulations. “The Senate is voting on whether EPA planes can take pictures of farms—after it was mistakenly reported that drones were flying over the heartland. House Republicans want to cut the agency’s funding to pre-1998 levels. And the president has threatened to veto a House bill, due up Wednesday, that would restrict Clean Air Act rules.”

AND NOW: “THE ASIAN VOTE” You may have missed the news this week about immigrants to the USA from Asia topping all others now. Combined with Romney’s problems with Hispanics, and presto, you’ve got a Fiscal Times piece on Mitt needing the “Asian Vote” this year to “shrink the ethnic gap.” (h/t Zoe Schlanger)

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.