US & Canada

US Election at a glance: 5 Oct 2010

Day in a Nutshell

The Democrats and a non-partisan election watchdog file complaints with US tax and election regulators. They say two non-profit groups that have spent heavily on advertising backing Republican candidates have failed to file appropriate financial disclosures or have violated tax laws forbidding certain non-profit groups from spending on political advertising.

Meanwhile, there is better news for the Democrats as a poll suggests they are generally making ground on Republicans.

Quote - Unquote

"I'm not a witch. I am nothing you've heard... I'm you" - Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, in a new television advertisement, referring to her own admission in the 1990s that she had "dabbled in witchcraft".

"Nobody should be cavalier about any election in any election cycle, particularly in this one. And I can say with absolute conviction that Chris Coons is not treating this election in any kind of cavalier fashion and neither is the Democratic Party of Delaware" - Delaware Gov Jack Markell, a Democrat, on Ms O'Donnell, referring to the Democrats' candidate.

"Boehner, you're almost as dark as me" - Republican Leader John Boehner, the aspiring House Speaker who sports a tan the colour of a roast chicken, paraphrasing a remark he said President Barack Obama made to him.

"He uses these idiot boards to read speeches in television, and I think he loses the connection that he needs emotionally with American voters" - former Vice-President Walter Mondale, on President Barack Obama's use of teleprompters to give speeches.

Key numbers

After months of ominous portents for the Democrats, polls are showing the majority party's chances of avoiding a rout in the November election and retaining power are improving. A Washington Post poll shows the Democrats have halved the Republicans' lead on a generic congressional ballot, in which voters are asked who they would back, an unnamed Democrat or an unnamed Republican.

Meanwhile, in California, Democratic candidates for the Senate and governor's office are holding on to their lead over their Republican rivals, a Reuters/Ipsos poll suggested.

Daily picture

Image caption Former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel signs an autograph for a supporter