Washington Extra – Slipping away

WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (BestGrowthStock) – This is a daily newsletter
about politics and economics in Washington, compiled by Bureau
Chief Simon Denyer and sent to subscribers by email. To be
added to the mailing list, please email us at
[email protected]

The Democrats’ chances of retaining control of the House of
Representatives are slipping away. Our latest Reuters/Ipsos
poll suggests that Republicans are poised to win around 227
seats and Democrats about 208 seats in next month’s election.
Unemployment is top of the agenda for voters, and there is no
good news coming on that front between now and November 2 (the
next reading on the jobless rate doesn’t even come until the
Friday after the election). That means there is very little
chance that Democrats can pull off a late surge.

Also slipping away is President Barack Obama’s approval
rating, to a new low in our poll, with much of the decline
coming from his own Democratic supporters. His handling of the
economy remains a leading cause of the drop. Again, any hope of
energizing the Democratic base now looks slim.

More interesting is the race for control of the Senate.
Ipsos says the poll numbers suggest Democrats will win 52 seats
to 48 seats for the Republicans, the same margin predicted by
the poll of polls compiled by Real Clear Politics. But a number
of races are still very close.

Here are our top stories from Washington today:

Republicans likely to take House at election

American voters unhappy at high unemployment are set to
oust Democrats from control of the House of Representatives in
November, a Reuters-Ipsos poll projected. [ID:nN13258322]

For a graphic showing the poll results, click here.

http://link.reuters.com/dys38p

For a factbox on Senate poll averages from Real Clear
Politics, click here. [ID:nN05263368]

States probe mortgage industry practices

All 50 U.S. states launched a joint investigation of the
mortgage industry, a move some experts fear may slow sales of
foreclosed homes and threaten the recovery of the fragile
housing market. [ID:nN13211357]

U.S. campaign taps fears about job outsourcing

Hoping to tap into deep voter anxiety about unemployment
and the stumbling economy, candidates in both parties have
launched a wave of new attacks accusing rivals of helping ship
jobs overseas. [ID:nN13247880]

U.S. allows more ethanol in gasoline for newer cars

The U.S. government approved a 50 percent boost in the
amount of ethanolin gasoline for newer cars, a decision that
could help Democrats in the Midwest corn-growing states but be
opposed by food companies, automakers and environmentalists.
[ID:nN13243789]

U.S. clean energy sector buffeted by U.S. election winds

In a large Atlantic City conference hall bustling with
entrepreneurs in the renewable energy sector, Parker Hadlock
offered a blunt assessment of the industry. “I am scared to
death that I’ve spent a couple years of my life dedicating a
lot of time to this business and it really isn’t going to come
together in my lifetime,” said Hadlock, an advocate of wind
energy. Political uncertainty is roiling an industry once
brimming with promise. [ID:nN07231852]

US SEC starts policing opaque derivatives market

The SEC took its first stab at policing the $615 trillion
over-the-counter derivatives market with a plan to mitigate
conflicts of interests at venues that will handle the swaps.

Senate poised to follow House on China yuan -Baucus

The Senate is poised to follow the House of Representatives
in passing legislation aimed at pressuring China to raise the
value of its currency, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max
Baucus said in a speech in Beijing. [ID:nN13249212]

NATO facilitating Taliban contacts with Afghan govt

NATO-led coalition forces in Afghanistan are facilitating
contacts in Kabul between senior Taliban officials and the
Afghan government, a senior NATO official said. [ID:nN1358350]

U.S. steps up military-civilian cyber defense coordination

President Obama’s administration announced steps to boost
civil-military coordination against cyber threats said to be
mounting against sensitive U.S. computer networks.
[ID:nN13261478]

Court considers Texas death row DNA case

In a case with broad implications for states with the death
penalty, the Supreme Court considered whether a Texas death row
inmate should be allowed to use civil rights law to gain access
to DNA evidence that could prove his innocence in a triple
murder. [ID:nN13265707]

What we are blogging:

Hillary Clinton stops to see Bill’s statue in Kosovo
Hillary Clinton, on her first visit to Kosovo as secretary of
state, stopped and looked up at Bill – now 12 feet high and a
shimmering gold – and expressed her satisfaction with the
likeness. She then plunged into the crowd, or at least as far
as security would allow, pressing the flesh campaign-style and
expressing her delight at being back in Kosovo as an
independent country.

For Andrew Quinn’s full post, click here:
http://blogs.reuters.com/frontrow/2010/10/13/hillary-clinton-stops-to-see-bills-statue-in-kosovo/

Washington Extra – Slipping away