US & Canada

US Election at a glance: 13 Oct

Day in a Nutshell

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Media captionKatty Kay weighs in on Michelle Obama and the mid-terms

The committee tasked with electing Republicans to the US House increases its use of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a campaign advert punching bag.

The National Republican Campaign Committee has run anti-Pelosi ads in 47 of the 56 districts where it has spent its own money on advertising, the Washington Post reports.

Michelle Obama makes her mid-term campaign debut in Milwaukee, at a fundraiser for beleaguered Senator Russ Feingold - the first event in a seven-state tour.

In Delaware, Republican Christine O'Donnell and Democrat Chris Coons face off in a highly anticipated debate in their race for a Senate seat. Ms O'Donnell, a self-confessed one-time witchcraft dabbler and former abstinence campaigner, is a favourite of the Tea Party movement. Mr Coons is a county executive.

Quote - Unquote

"This isn't something I do very often," First Lady Michelle Obama says about her stop on the campaign trail, in Milwaukee.

"B-plus, A-minus on substantive accomplishments... and a D-plus or C-minus on communication." Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell rates President Barack Obama's first two years in office in a newly released interview with the New York Times.

"Even if I had the exact same Congress, even if we don't lose a seat in the Senate and we don't lose a seat in the House, I think the rhythms of the next two years would inevitably be different from the rhythms of the first two years," President Barack Obama says in the same piece.

"Senator Lincoln is very proud of being the deciding vote of Obamacare. I want to be the deciding vote to repeal it," Arkansas Republican Senate candidate John Boozman attacks Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln's vote on Mr Obama's healthcare legislation.

Key numbers

More than half of likely voters in 10 key open House districts say they want a viable third party in American politics, according to a poll by The Hill. The proportion rises from 54% to 69% among self-identified independents.

Meanwhile, a Gallup poll shows 59% of Americans think the US government has too much power, up 8% from a year ago.

Random tweets

SamLevine123 Can't sleep, my doctor diagnosed it as "PES" Pre Election Syndrome, what about u? (#election2010)

martyandrade After looking over all the contrasting information available, I have moved from guarded realism to unfettered optimism. (#elections2010)

Wolfrum Alvin Greene Vs. Christine O'Donnell - the only political debate worth having.

hanaemoree When politicians keep harping on opponent's 1 weakness, it makes them look like a 1-trick pony #chicago #elections

zaheerana #Americans please maintain your Support for #Democrats to #WinJobs, #PreserveYourHomes #AvoidWar and #AmericasHonour in #Nov2010 #Elections.

Daily Picture

Image caption First Lady Michelle Obama makes a rare appearance on the campaign trail, for Democratic Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin

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