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Off to the races: A closer race in Virginia

Mike Lee in a speech about conservatives’ future at Heritage said, “The gaping hole in the middle of the Republican party today, the one that separates the grass roots from the establishment leaders, is precisely the size and shape of a new unifying conservative reform agenda. The establishment will not produce that agenda.”

Roll Call: “In the speech entitled ‘What’s Next for Conservatives,’ Lee characterized his leading role in the government shutdown as part of a touchstone moment for Republicans fed up with party leaders who have strayed too far from conservative ideals. The GOP faces sagging approval ratings from its unsuccessful stand to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, but according to Lee, the fight evokes memories of Reagan and like-minded Republicans bucking the party line in favor of more conservative ideals in the late 1970s. At the time, pundits said the infighting served only to elect Democrats, Lee explained, but history would prove them wrong. And if Lee and others like him continue fighting, ‘our own vindication, our generation’s own 1980 is just around the corner,’ he said.”

 Could the 2016 RNC convention be in Vegas?

Ted Cruz said President Obama has “absolutely been abusing his power.”

NBC’s Taylor Hiegel reports: A majority of voters in swing states support the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulations on carbon pollution for power plants, according to a new poll sponsored by the League of Conservation Voters and conducted by Democratic polling firm Hart Research, half of the NBC/WSJ poll. Nearly three in four voters, 74 percent, living in 11 states with competitive Senate seats say they support the suggested standards. This number includes 72 percent of independents and 58 percent of Republicans. The poll also found that voters were less likely to support a candidate who opposed the new regulations, rather than more likely, by a 48 percent to 17 percent margin. The 11 states surveyed were Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Virginia. Republican nominee Mitt Romney won seven of these states in the 2012 election, while President Obama won four.

ALABAMA: Roll Call: "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group that regularly spends millions to boost business-friendly congressional candidates, will endorse former state Sen. Bradley Byrne in Alabama’s 1st District special election on Tuesday....The Byrne endorsement marks the chamber’s first big move to combat tea party conservatives in the GOP whom they blame — along with many Americans — for the shutdown of the U.S. government earlier this month."

FLORIDA: Alex Sink is running again in Florida, but this time for Congress and the late-Bill Young’s seat. Currently, she lives 45 minutes outside the district but is looking for a home in Pinellas.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Gov. Nikki Haley (R) leads in her bid for reelection, 48%-39%, according to a new Harper poll.

VIRGINIA: A Quinnipiac poll shows a tightening race in the governor’s contest, with Terry McAuliffe (D) now holding just a 4-point edge, 45%-41%, a week before the election. Libertarian Robert Sarvis gets 9% and with him out of the race, it is even tighter with McAuliffe leading just 47%-45%.

National Journal argues with itself saying Ken Cuccinelli shouldn’t worry the GOP and at the same time that he should “terrify” it.

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent notes tough fav/unfav numbers for the GOP in the recent Washington Post poll.

Among likely votes: 32%-65%

Independents: 25%-69%

Women: 28%-69%

White college grads: 31%-69%

McAuliffe has an op-ed in Politico about why he’s running for governor. He lays out what his priorities will be as governor: (1) Protecting environmental concerns, like rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, (2) Preserve open space, (3) Use gas royalties to pay landowners owed money, (4) Attract and retain talent by protecting researchers at places like the University of Virginia from investigations like Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s into a climate scientist.

Rachel Maddow found some striking similarities between Rand Paul’s eugenics/Gattaca speech in Virginia for Ken Cuccinelli and… Wikipedia.

A conservative crowd of Ken Cuccinelli supporters booed mentions of Chief Justice John Roberts.

WISCONSIN: A year before he’s up for re-election, Gov. Scott Walker is in a tight race with Democrat Mary Burke, a Madison school board member, up just 47%-45% in a new Marquette Law School poll. Walker gets a 49/47% job approval, and a 50/46% fav/unfav