National Journal Online

GOP Poll: Obama Under Water Among Indies

Pres. Obama's approval rating has shrunk 18 points among independent voters over the last year, according to a new survey from a group aiming to guide the GOP back to power.

The poll, conducted for Resurgent Republic, showed Obama's approval rating falling to 48%, down from 61% a year ago. Among independent voters, 41% approve of Obama's job performance while 52% disapprove, down from the 59% who approved of Obama's job performance last year.

Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 11:31am

Biden, Sebelius Announce More Health IT Awards

Vice President Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Tuesday that the Obama administration has awarded $220 million in grants to help fund pilot projects in 15 communities aimed at promoting the use of health information technology. The communities selected will use health IT resources to meet "specific and measureable" goals, tailored to the needs and priorities of those communities, aimed at improving quality, cost-efficiency and the health of the local population.

Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 10:50am

DSCC Investing In Specter Primary

The DSCC is spending a significant amount of money to ensure a former GOP Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) wins his May 18 primary, sources with knowledge of the move tell Hotline OnCall.

One source said the DSCC is using coordinated funds to help Specter keep a robust TV presence. Ads that tout Specter's candidacy now say they are paid for by the DSCC; last week, the disclaimers on the same ads indicated Specter's campaign had paid for them.

Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 10:48am

Sestak Gaining On Specter

What a difference going on TV makes. In the weeks since he first began running ads, Rep. Joe Sestak (D) has significantly closed the gap with Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), according to a new survey.

The Quinnipiac Univ. poll, conducted April 28 to May 2, surveyed 930 likely Dem primary voters for a margin of error of +/- 3.2%. Specter and Sestak were tested.

Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 10:12am

McConnell Backs Grayson In KY Primary

Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell is taking the highly unusual step of endorsing a candidate in a contested primary in his home state, a move sure to anger grassroots backers of the snubbed contender but one that could save a seat for the GOP in the fall.

McConnell, who has been quietly supporting Sec/State Trey Grayson (R) in the race to replace retiring Sen. Jim Bunning (R), made his endorsement official in a statement released early today.

Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 9:00am

Environmental Groups Want Bill Stripped Of Drilling Expansion

From this morning's Earlybird: • "Environmental groups want language encouraging offshore drilling removed from climate legislation in light of the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that poses a potentially historic hazard to fragile coastal ecosystems," The Hill reports. • "BP and its allies are drawing on their considerable resources and deep lobbying teams in Washington as they seek to mitigate the fallout -- including Congressional grillings and possible legislative action -- from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico," Roll Call (subscription) reports.

Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 8:44am

Officials Lay Groundwork For Investigation Of Apple Licensing

From this morning's Earlybird: • "U.S. antitrust enforcers are taking a keen interest in recent changes that Apple Inc. made to its licensing agreement with iPhone application developers and are likely to open a preliminary investigation into whether the company's actions stifle competition in mobile devices, according to people familiar with the situation," the Wall Street Journal reports. • "Google Inc.

Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 8:40am

Tuesday's Starting Lineup

Good Tuesday morning. Congratulations to Bernie Tokarz, Cliff Smith, Tom Nardi and CQ/Roll Call's Greg Giroux, all of whom got our Friday trivia questions correct. Keep an eye out for more Friday trivia in the future. We had fun with that.

Here's today's Starting Lineup, previewing the people who will matter in politics today:

Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 7:53am

Finance Reform Vote Comes At Awkward Time For Lincoln

Updated at 4:05 p.m. on May 4 .On the campaign trail, Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln touts her role in pushing for tough new rules on trading financial derivatives, pointing to her bill as an example of what she can accomplish as chairman of the Agriculture Committee.But in the final two week

Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 12:00am

The Dominant Narrative

Regular readers of this column know that for over seven months, I have argued that because midterm elections are referenda on the party in power, Democrats have big problems going into 2010. The American people continue to be exceedingly unhappy with the way things are going in this country, and es

Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 12:00am