US election at a glance: 22 Oct


Day in a Nutshell

Vice-President Joe Biden said in an interview that campaign money from special interest groups is threatening Democratic control of the house on the same day that two competing reports about campaign spending are released.

The New York Times leads with a story about the US Chamber of Commerce, a pro-business group they say is the top political spender this year, outside of political parties. The Times names a handful of large companies who have made significant donations to help the chamber push its conservative, anti-regulation agenda. The donations had not been disclosed by the chamber.

But the Wall Street Journal has a conflicting report, pointing to a labour union for government employees as the biggest spender.

Several leading Republicans are calling for public funding for NPR, America's public radio network, to be withdrawn after political analyst Juan Williams is fired over anti-Muslim comments he made on Fox News. They claim the sacking is evidence of liberal bias at NPR.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama recorded an anti-bullying message for the It Gets Better project.

Quote - Unquote

"People are afraid of her. She would be an embarrassment to the state of Nevada," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on his opponent, Republican Sharron Angle.

"He is just baffled and bewildered about why there has not been a more coherent message talking about what the party has done, why we allowed ourselves to become human pinatas," former Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe on why President Clinton is "agitated" by Democrats' strategy for mid-terms.

Key Numbers

Several polls in recent days show the senate race in Pennsylvania between Democrat Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey narrowing. After trailing Mr Toomey for weeks, the Real Clear Politics average of polls now has Mr Sestak just 1.2 points behind.

The seat is currently held by Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter, who was beaten by Mr Sestak in the Democratic primary, ending his decades-long stint in the US Congress.

Daily Picture

Image caption,
A confidante says Bill Clinton - here campaigning for Democrats in Florida - is "baffled and bewildered" by Democrats' strategy heading into mid-terms