Senate races: McCaskill surges; Rehberg, Tester spar in Montana

Meanwhile, Medicare is playing big in one Minnesota House race.   

The Kansas City Star:  McCaskill Surges In Polls As Akin's Abortion Comments Draw Fire
Two new polls Wednesday showed Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill leading Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Akin by six points as Akin faced a new round of questions about four-year-old comments about abortion providers. In a 2008 speech on the House floor, Akin linked abortion providers to terrorists and suggested it was a "common practice" for those providers to give "abortions to women who are not actually pregnant." The remarks made the rounds on the Internet as Akin was in Washington raising money for his Missouri race against McCaskill. For Akin, the attention to the remarks was ill-timed as he struggles to emerge from the weeks-old shadow of his remarks about "legitimate rape" that were broadcast Aug. 19 on a St. Louis television station (Kraske, 10/3).

The New York Times: Tester And Rehberg Fight Over Outsider Label In Montana
The mustachioed Mr. Rehberg campaigns in cowboy boots and denim, telling stories about his family's old ranch and his days at Billings West High School. His speeches and advertisements are aimed at yoking Mr. Tester to President Obama, bailouts, deficits and health care reform -; none of which are popular here. …Mr. Tester, sporting an $8 buzz cut, argues he is the real agrarian. His family runs an organic millet and alfalfa farm near Big Sandy, and in his campaign ads, he drives a red combine across his fields and talks about understanding the lives of farmers. He has dismissed Mr. Rehberg as a "mansion rancher" who converted much of his ranchland to housing developments (Healy, 10/3).

MPR: Cravaack, Nolan Battle Over Medicare
Republican Chip Cravaack and Democrat Rick Nolan are battling over Medicare in their campaigns for the 8th District congressional seat. Both candidates have aired new TV ads on the subject earlier this week to criticize the other over who would better protect health care for seniors. Cravaack started the Medicare campaign war this week with a television spot criticizing Nolan for supporting a proposal to cut the Medicare spending growth by nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars. In the television ad Cravaack says, "My opponent believes cutting $700 billion from Medicare won't have an impact on seniors. I disagree. I approve this message because Medicare is a commitment we made to our parents. It's a promise I plan to keep" (Zdechlik, 10/4).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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