Israel lays Claims on 1,000 Acres of West Bank….

This move is sure to bring condemnation to the Jewish state from the US , UN and others….

It will only embolden the Palestinian hardliners …

Israel laid claim on Sunday to nearly 1,000 acres of West Bank land in a Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem — a step that could herald significant Israeli construction in the area — defying Palestinian demands for a halt in settlement expansion.

Peace Now, an Israeli group that opposes the construction of settlements in the West Bank, said that the action on Sunday might be the largest single appropriation of West Bank land in decades and that it could “dramatically change the reality” in the area.

Palestinians aspire to form a state in the lands that Israel conquered in 1967.

Israeli officials said the political directive to expedite a survey of the status of the land came after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed in June while hitchhiking in that area. In July, the Israeli authorities arrested a Palestinian who was accused of being the prime mover in the kidnapping and killing of the teenagers. The timing of the land appropriation suggested that it was meant as a kind of compensation for the settlers and punishment for the Palestinians.

The land, which is near the small Jewish settlement of Gvaot in the Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem, has now officially been declared “state land,” as opposed to land privately owned by Palestinians, clearing the way for the potential approval of Israeli building plans there….

More…

Red State on the Democrats At-Risk and DOOM Senate Seats…8/31/14

At-Risk Senate Seats, 08/31/2014 edition (Includes DOOM calls).

By: Moe Lane (Diary) | @ Red State

Here is my latest At-Risk races… and there are DOOM calls. Hey, it’s Labor Day Weekend. Time to start in on that.

Alaska Mark Begich High Risk
Arkansas Mark Pryor High Risk
Colorado Mark Udall Serious Risk
Iowa Retiring High Risk
Louisiana Mary Landrieu High Risk
Michigan Retiring Some Risk
Minnesota Al Franken Low Risk
Montana Retiring DOOM
New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen Some Risk
New Mexico Tom Udall Off list
North Carolina Kay Hagan High Risk
Oregon Jeff Merkley Low Risk
South Dakota Retiring DOOM
Virginia Mark Warner Low Risk
West Virginia Retiring DOOM

In order:

Alaska: Mark Begich has one of the Dan Sullivan Collective running against him, and Begich barely won last time, and Barack Obama hates oil development. High Risk – and yes, I know about the current polling. Incumbents at 46% with Begich’s disadvantages should be grateful for a lack of DOOM.
Arkansas: Mark Pryor is behind in the aggregate polling and he’s stuck with a Democratic identity is a state that is trending less Democratic every year. High Risk.

More…..

White man jaywalks with gun…guess what happens?

by Denise Oliver VelezFollow for Daily Kos

I saw a white man with a gun.

I heard a policeman saying, “Place the weapon down on the ground, please. … are crossing the street illegally … I need you to put the gun down before I talk to you. … You have committed a crime … you are jaywalking. … I don’t want to shoot you, I’m not here to do that. … Why are you so angry. … Why are you cursing at me?”

Watching the whole incident all I could think of were those dead (unarmed) black men and boys who never had the opportunity to be “talked down,” called “sir,” and were murdered by police.

Or they were leaning on a toy gun in Walmart. Like John Crawford III.

a photo of John Crawford III gunned down in Walmart

John Crawford lll, gunned down by Beavercreek, Ohio police in Walmart, August 5, 2014.

I wanted to find out what happened to this white man who defied police, made obscene gestures at them and who cursed them out.

The man, Joseph Houseman, is a gun rights advocate. He got his 15 minutes (more like 40 or 50) of fame and walked.

In the Department of Public Safety’s decision not to pursue charges, Webster said later that even though Houseman did not have the rifle in a sling and was  “fidgeting” with it, it was not evident that he was “brandishing” it.

This news got covered as a “gun rights” story.From my perspective it’s a “white rights” story.

Does anyone honestly believe a black man, or teen, or boy would have walked away from this alive?

More…

ISIS Update 8/31/14…More US bombs help free Amerdi…Bomb Syria?…McCain wants More troops…

What is significant is the boots on the ground for the Amerdi sweep where Iraqi military, and Shia militia…..

House members are very vocal on asking why the President hasn’t engaged in MORE military action against OTHER ISIS/ISIL targets…..

Also…

Sen John McCain want more ground troops, but wants them in support roles?

WHAT does THAT mean?

Iraqi troops aided by U.S. airstrikes entered the besieged town of Amerli on Sunday, residents and Iraqi officials said, breaking a months-long blockade of the Shiite Turkmen village by Islamic State militants that raised fears of a massacre.

“Amerli has been liberated,” said Mahdi Taqi, a local politician and resident who was in the town during the siege. “There is so much joy, and people are cheering in the streets.”

Jihadists had surrounded the town in June, preventing food and other aid from reaching the population. Residents had armed themselves to fend off the militants, who have made sweeping gains across the country in recent months, but critical supplies began to run low.

The U.S. strikes around Amerli on Saturday appeared to swiftly tilt the balance in favor of Iraqi forces. The Pentagon said the air raids would be “limited in their scope and duration.”

Militia leaders aiding the offensive and Iraqi government officials had said that a coordinated assault to clear Islamic State-controlled towns around Amerli — and, eventually, the siege’s front line — began after nightfall Saturday….

More…

A pair of House lawmakers on Sunday clashed over the likelihood the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) would carry out an attack on the U.S. homeland.

The debate comes after the Obama administration on Friday said the U.S. likely would not follow the United Kingdom in raising its terror alert level because of the threat posed by the militant group.

“We have to face it as much as the British do,” Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

He said there are potentially thousands of people with Western and European passports that have been inspired to fight alongside the group and potentially head back to their home countries to carry out attacks.

King said President Obama should take action against the group’s targets in Syria, a step the administration is currently weighing.

“What is the president waiting for?” King asked.

More…

Sen. John McCain on Sunday called for “additional U.S. troops” to help in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, but he said those troops should continue playing a support role and not be directly involved in combat.

Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” the Arizona Republican blasted President Barack Obama’s handling of the issue, saying “he’s either in denial or overwhelmed.”

“This is a direct threat to the United States of America,” McCain said of the extremist group’s grip on parts of Iraq and Syria. “It may be one of the biggest we’ve ever faced.”

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Ukraine Update 8/31/14…Prisoner Swap…Putin asked for talks between militants and Ukraine…Congress wants US arms to the Ukraine….

The Russian President is trying to leverage his countries military support for the failing separatists into some sort of autonomy ….

The separatists have reeled trapped Ukraine soldiers and the Ukraine has returned Russia solider ‘s back home….

Meanwhile American Congressmen have called for President Obama to offer arms to the Ukraine something NATO and EU have NOT done in trying NOT to give Putin a reason to increase HIS military aid past the current 1,000 troops that just marched into the Ukraine…

The militants remain enclosed in the area of two cities , while a group of Russian troops push towards along a land route to the Crimea…

The European Union is taking about tightening their already issued sanction…

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Sunday called on Ukraine to begin talks on “the statehood” of that country’s rebellious southeast, a vague and provocative turn of phrase used by Mr. Putin as he demanded that the Ukrainian government negotiate directly with pro-Russian separatists.

Western governments have accused Russia of backing the separatists with arms and fighters and of sending Russian troops to lead a counteroffensive in Ukraine over the past week that threatened Mariupol, an important port city, and left thousands of government troops encircled.

“We must immediately begin substantive, meaningful negotiations, not on technical questions, but about the political organization of society and the statehood of Ukraine’s southeast for the unconditional securing of the legal interests of the people who live there,” Mr. Putin said.

Dmitri S. Peskov, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, said that Mr. Putin was not calling for independence for eastern Ukraine. Rather, he said, the Russian leader was seeking inclusive negotiations that would provide greater autonomy for the country’s southeast as it remained a part of the country…..

More….

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Sunday said the U.S. and its allies should provide lethal aid to Ukraine’s military, calling Russia’s recent incursions into the country an “invasion.”

“This is a watershed moment,” Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said during an interview from the capital city of Kiev on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Thousands of Russian troops are here … and they are directly engaged in an invasion.”

President Obama has been reluctant to provide even defensive weapons to Ukraine’s military, believing Kiev had the capabilities to fight pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country.

Menendez said that while that may have been the president’s “initial assessment,” circumstances on the ground today are “dramatically different.”

“This is no longer the question of rebel separatists, this is an invasion,” according to Menendez, who is on a trip through Estonia, Poland and Ukraine.

The senior lawmaker late Saturday fired off a letter to the administration, urging it to change its stance and to get NATO allies onboard with a such a strategy when the countries meet this week in Wales.

Menendez said that providing defensive equipment to Ukraine’s military “may very well be on the table right now” within the administration due to the “changed circumstances.”

He dismissed concerns that such action would provoke Russian President Vladimir Putin into greater military against Kiev

More….
European Union leaders have given Russia a week to reverse course in Ukraine or face a new round of sanctions as Kiev warns it is on the brink of full-scale war with Moscow.

Fears are growing that the confrontation on the EU’s eastern borders could engulf the whole continent after Russia sent troops to back a new offensive by pro-Kremlin rebels in south-east Ukraine.

The EU president, Herman Van Rompuy, said the 28 leaders meeting in Brussels had agreed to take “further significant steps” if Moscow did not back down.

He said the European commission had been ordered to produce options for fresh sanctions within a week. “Everybody is fully aware that we have to act quickly given the evolution on the ground and the tragic loss of life of the last days,” Van Rompuy told a news conference.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said the new sanctions would build on existing measures against Russia.

Senior diplomats confirmed the punitive measures were not so much new as a tightening of the restrictions imposed in July on the financial, energy, and defence sectors in Russia. ”

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Hillary Clinton catches up to Gay Rights….

Why a few in the gay community are resentful of how long the wife of the President that ant for ‘Don’t Ask…Don’t Tell’….

Most understand that Hillary Clinton, On HER watch at the State Department has done her part…

And are happy to support her …..

Times HAVE changed….

The shores of Long Island are not exactly a proxy for the enthusiasm Mrs. Clinton may find on a nationwide presidential campaign. But among the many gay couples in the crowd, a refrain emerged.

“You literally brought tears to my eyes when you said gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights,” said a stylish man in white jeans who greeted the former first lady with his partner in tow.

It’s a sentiment often expressed as gay voters mull what Mrs. Clinton’s potential 2016 presidential campaign would mean for gay rights. In her four years at the State Department, she prioritized international gay rights, including a 2011 speech in Geneva in which she urged countries to accept gays and lesbians. In the year and a half since she left her post, she has made gay rights a focus. Last fall she accepted an award at the Elton John AIDS Foundation gala in New York; the singer praised Mrs. Clinton’s efforts for human rights.

In June, at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Mrs. Clinton denounced Russia’s treatment of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people. In March 2013, she released a video endorsing same-sex marriage both “personally and as a matter of policy and law.”

The efforts have endeared Mrs. Clinton to many gays and lesbians who are raising money toward her potential run. But others look back on the policies of the Clinton Administration and question why it took Mrs. Clinton so long to get on board.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 measure President Clinton signed into law that barred federal recognition of same-sex marriages, are widely viewed as among the most significant setbacks the gay rights movement has encountered.

“She wasn’t at the back of the pack, but was she out in front with a banner? No,” said Tom Sheridan, a lobbyist who works on H.I.V.-AIDS policy. The Economist put it more bluntly, calling her “belated conversion” to support same-sex marriage “cautious to the point of cowardice.”

So far, Mrs. Clinton does not have an easy answer as to where she stood in the 1990s. An interview with NPR’s Terry Gross in June to promote “Hard Choices” turned awkward when the Defense of Marriage Act came up. Ms. Gross pressed Mrs. Clinton on whether she supported same-sex marriage as first lady but backed Mr. Clinton’s policies for political expediency.

“For me, marriage had always been a matter left to the states,” Mrs. Clinton said. As for whether she supported same-sex marriage when she was in the White House, she said, “I think I’m an American, and I think we have all evolved.”

More…

Note….

Barack Obama also evolved from being against same-sex unions to lead the issue out of the forest….

Rand Paul attacks Hillary Clinton on Benghazi….

Rand Paul maybe throwing political barbs at President Obama once and while, but he saves the most to throw at Hillary Clinton these days….

Rand Paul continued his assault on Hillary Clinton and trumpeted the potential of his own brand of libertarian-infused Republicanism in a Friday afternoon speech to several thousand small-government and tea party activists.

……Paul saved special scorn for Clinton, the prospective frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, specifically highlighting her role in the events surrounding the deadly 2012 attacks on American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

“If she wants to be commander in chief and she cannot protect our embassies, I don’t think that she could or should be,” Paul said. “I think it precludes her from ever being considered as commander in chief.”

Addressing criticism that his scrutiny of Benghazi is politically motivated, Paul said “Yeah, politics is what happens to discuss whether people are fit for office. There will be a discussion over the next four years whether or not Hillary Clinton is fit to lead this country.”

He was speaking on the opening day of a summit organized by Americans for Prosperity, the flagship of a robust small-government political network fronted by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, whose own conservatism is similarly grounded in libertarianism.

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A look at some 2014 College Football Forecasts….

The 2014 college football season is rapidly approaching. Are you excited? We’re excited! We’re also here to help you prep for the impending campaign with a steady stream of preview content. So check back daily (well, not on weekends!) for more on the players, teams, leagues, trends, and emojis destined to define this season. Roll Tide. Or War Damn Eagle. Whichever.

Today: Grantland’s college football enthusiasts offer their forecasts for the 2014 playoff participants, national champion, and Heisman winner, and share their outlandish predictions. We’re all prepared to look very dumb in a few months; are you prepared to join us?

Holly Anderson

Playoff Participants

• Florida State: As much as I’d like to see Duke football make the big time, I live in the world.

• UCLA: My concern about the personnel turnover on defense is overridden by a schedule that gives the Bruins a couple of warm-up weeks and stacks most of the scariest games at or after the season’s midpoint. (This makes facing Texas in the Jerry Dome and Arizona State on the road in September the “easier” games, which, welcome to the Pac-12.)

• Baylor: This could just as easily be an Oklahoma pick; all I’m comfortable counting on out of the Big 12 is a terrifically fun cannibal fight to watch in November.

• South Carolina: This is one of those times when I’m counting on all of you to clap your hands if you believe in the Gamecocks, so that we might all be treated to the spectacle of Steve Spurrier press conferences well into January.

National Champion

Florida State

Heisman Trophy Winner

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State: An already preternaturally gifted player will be further elevated by wagonloads of surrounding talent and experience, and by a schedule that helpfully spaces out marquee games with many sure blowouts.

Outlandish Prediction

I’m doubling down on my prediction for an undefeated Navy season. The misfortunes striking both Ohio State and Notre Dame over a single week suggest powers beyond our understanding shaping events to fall the way of the Middies — unless you’re prepared to suggest the gods are Michigan fans, and I think we all recognize that’s far-fetched. Best of all, if you disagree with me, you are anti-American.

Matt Hinton

Playoff Participants

• Florida State: No. 1 beyond a shadow of a doubt.

• Oregon: The Ducks look as good as ever on paper. If this isn’t the year, with Marcus Mariota in (presumably) his final tour at quarterback, then when?

• Oklahoma: I’m not sold that Trevor Knight has turned the corner for good, but I am sold on the defense and the respectable-but-not-too-tough schedule.

• USC: Believe me, I know. I was prepared to go with Ohio State before the Buckeyes’ season entered code red. But the Trojans remain the gold standard for raw talent west of the Mississippi, they have a relatively manageable schedule (no Oregon or Washington from the Pac-12 North), and we saw over the back half of last season how high their ceiling is when they’re no longer burdened by Lane Kiffin. I could go on — Leonard Williams! Nelson Agholor! A competent quarterback! — but do you really need to hear more than “fired Lane Kiffin”?

National Champion

Florida State

Heisman Trophy Winner

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: I realize this pick is as infuriating to Florida State fans as it is boring to everyone else, but with all due respect to Jameis Winston’s game, it’s nearly impossible for a reigning Heisman winner to repeat under any circumstances. As long as he’s healthy, Mariota is a known quantity whose time has come.

Outlandish Prediction

The SEC will be shut out of the playoff. Capitals will burn if this happens, but none of the contenders in God’s Own Conference looks like an obvious choice to run away from the pack. Most of them — Alabama, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas A&M — are breaking in new quarterbacks in place of wildly productive, multiyear starters. The defending champ, Auburn, got by on the skin of its teeth in 2013, and with a relatively atrocious defense. (You wouldn’t know it from the preseason polls, but the Auburn offense also lost a Heisman finalist in the backfield and the second overall pick in the draft on the offensive line.) Missouri lost the core of the lineup from last year’s surprise run to the conference championship game. Florida is coming off its worst season in decades. Ole Miss is beginning to close the talent gap, but is still a year away from a real breakthrough. And the perennial problem: They all have to play each other. Alabama is the de facto pick to win the conference because the Crimson Tide are the equivalent of a safe, blue-chip stock. Just as likely, though: No front-runner will emerge, every team will suffer multiple losses, and the playoff committee will opt for teams with fewer scars from the other dogs in their own leagues….

Lots More….

President Obama highlights the media noise….

He DOES have a point …..

President Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart.”

“I can see why a lot of folks are troubled,” Obama told a group of donors gathered at a Democratic National Committee barbecue in Purchase, N.Y.

But the president said that current foreign policy crises across the world are not comparable to the challenges the U.S. faced during the Cold War.
Acknowledging “the barbarity” of Islamist militants and Russia “reasserting the notion that might means right,” Obama, though, dismissed the notion that he was facing unprecedented challenges.

“The world’s always been messy … we’re just noticing now in part because of social media,” he said, according to a White House pool report.

“If you watch the nightly news, it feels like the world is falling apart,” said Obama.

The president acknowledged that conflicts in the Middle East posed difficulties, “but it’s been challenging for quite a while,” he said.

“We will get through these challenging times just like we have in the past,” Obama added.

 More….

Politico has suggestions on what the President should do about ISIS/ISIL…

Six Strategies Obama Could Use to Fight the Islamic State

The president says he doesn’t have a plan yet.

So we asked defense bigwigs for some ideas…..

By POLITICO MAGAZINE
August 29, 2014

Bomb the Islamic State

Strike the Enemy, Arm the Rebels

Root Out Extremist Ideology

Get America’s Friends On Board

Lead a Diplomatic and Economic Offensive

A (Nearly) All-of-the-Above Approach

More and the Source….

Red State on President Obama leading…’From Behind’…

What Leading From Behind Looks Like

By: Erick Erickson (Diary) @ Red State….

I do not think Barack Obama is a closet sympathizer of muslim Jihadists bent on our destruction, but God help me I suddenly understand how some have arrived at that conclusion. To stand up and tell the world that we are going to do zero to help Ukraine and have no strategy to defeat ISIS is just insane.

That the White House staff had to go into complete and total damage control afterwards is telling. But even their damage control was insufficient. They told Wolf Blitzer we had a strategy, just not a strategy to go after them in Syria. But that’s the problem. They keep their leadership in Syria knowing they’ll be perfectly safe from us.

Here’s Josh Earnest doing damage control on CNN:

[T]he president was asked a specific question about what approach he was going to pursue when it came to possible military action in Syria against ISIL. That was the specific question he was asked and the president was explicit, that he is still waiting for plans that are being developed by the Pentagon for military options that he has for going into Syria.

How long has Syria been a problem? The President addressed the nation on September 10, 2013, about Syria and the actions we would take. But he said we would not get involved outside of forcing Syria to give up chemical weapons. Our military leaders have insisted we do more, but the President has dithered, much like he dithered trying to save James Foley.

And what of the strategy to defeat ISIS in Iraq? “Just words” and a few tactical missile strikes. More from the White House Press Secretary.

But when it comes to confronting ISIL, the president has been very clear for months about what our comprehensive strategy is for confronting the ISIL threat in Iraq. It starts with a unified Iraq government, that can unite that country to meet the threat that’s facing their country right now.

It includes strengthening our relationship with the Iraqi and Kurdish security forces, to make sure that they have the equipment and training that they need, to take the fight to ISIL on the ground in their country.

The third component of our strategy is engaging regional governments…..

More…

Daily Kos Elections Polling Wrap 8/29/14… Brownback poll shows how internal polls can be quite unconvincing

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Steve Singiser

If you have perused our awesome new Poll Explorer feature, you already know that the last few days have brought some examples of better-than-average polling news for the Democrats.For the first time in a very long time, the Democratic nominee has been shown in the lead in polls in gubernatorial races in Arkansas and Michigan. Marquette confirmed their earlier poll showing that the Democrats have a very real shot at knocking off Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Republicans also had to be a bit surprised to see that Rasmussen gave Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor the slightest of leads over Tom Cotton in Arkansas, a race that most GOPers have been pretty confident about.

But maybe the banner headline was a double whammy of data that came out of the heartland. In our inaugural Polling Wrap of the cycle on Tuesday, we talked about how the release of internal polls can often drop us hints about the relative strengths of the parties heading into an election. In the case of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, however, his internal poll dump, coming in the immediate wake of a SUSA poll showing him losing to Democrat Paul Davis by a fair margin, raised more questions than it answered.

Before we look at Brownback’s plight, however, let’s grab the numbers, in the form of all the general election polls released to the public in the last three days (Aug 26-28):

AR-Sen (Rasmussen): Sen. Mark Pryor (D) 44, Tom Cotton (R) 43IA-Sen (PPP): Bruce Braley (D) 41, Joni Ernst (R) 40

IA-Sen (Suffolk): Bruce Braley (D) 40, Joni Ernst (R) 40

KS-Sen (SurveyUSA): Sen. Pat Roberts (R) 37, Chad Taylor (D) 32, Greg Orman (I) 20

ME-Sen (PPP for Shenna Bellows): Sen. Susan Collins (R) 57, Shenna Bellows (D) 33

MI-Sen (EPIC-MRA): Gary Peters (D) 45, Terri Land (R) 39

MI-Sen (Mitchell Research): Gary Peters (D) 46, Terri Land (R) 44


AK-Gov (Rasmussen): Gov. Sean Parnell (R) 47, Byron Mallott (D) 36

AZ-Gov (PPP for Progress Now Arizona): Doug Ducey (R) 35, Fred DuVal (D) 35, Barry Hess (Lib) 12

AR-Gov (Rasmussen): Mike Ross (D) 46, Asa Hutchinson (R) 44

IA-Gov (PPP): Gov. Terry Branstad (R) 48, Jack Hatch (D) 35

IA-Gov (Suffolk): Gov. Terry Branstad (R) 47, Jack Hatch (D) 35

KS-Gov (Cole Hargrave Snodgrass for Brownback): Gov. Sam Brownback (R) 43, Paul Davis (D) 42

KS-Gov (SurveyUSA): Paul Davis (D) 48, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) 40, Keen Umbehr (Lib) 5

MA-Gov (Social Sphere): Charlie Baker (R) 38, Martha Coakley (D) 37

MA-Gov (Social Sphere): Charlie Baker (R) 37, Steve Grossman (D) 33

MA-Gov (Social Sphere): Charlie Baker (R) 44, Don Berwick (D) 19

MI-Gov (EPIC-MRA): Mark Schauer (D) 45, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) 43

MI-Gov (Mitchell Research): Gov. Rick Snyder (R) 47, Mark Schauer (D) 46

PA-Gov (Franklin & Marshall): Tom Wolf (D) 49, Gov. Tom Corbett (R) 24

SC-Gov (Rasmussen): Gov. Nikki Haley (R) 51, Vincent Sheheen (D) 36

WI-Gov (Marquette): Mary Burke (D) 49, Gov. Scott Walker (D) 47


No House polling was conducted in the past several days….

More….