Howell to Hatch: release medical records. Cell-phone polls better for Obama. 47 days until Nov. 6.
Happy Thursday. Scott Howell, the Democrat challenging Sen. Orrin Hatch, says both he and the senator should release five years worth of health records to prove their fitness for office -- a move that comes in response to our interview with ex-Sen. Bob Bennett who noted that people have died in office at a young age and others have lived well after serving.
-> Howell statement: "Bob Bennett is right when he says that I may not live to see the end of my term as U.S. Senator. I propose that Orrin Hatch and I both release five years worth of medical records to show voters that we will hopefully both be around at least until November 6."
Topping the news: Reacting to that leaked video talking about the "47 percent," Mitt Romney now says that his campaign is about the 100 percent of Americans. [Reuters]
-> Karl Rove says Romney's gaffe will go away as long as he can explain to voters what he'd actually do as president. [WSJ]
-> Obama is doing much better in polls that include calls to cell-phone-only voters. A third of voters now don't have a landline, arguing to some that skews the results unless cell phones are included. [NYTimes]
Tweet of the day: Great wisdom from @LarrySabato: "Campaigns that pop champagne corks too early may be crying in their beer on election night."
In other news: Hatch says the media's fact-checkers "failed to do their due diligence" in analyzing the president's welfare waivers. [TheHill]
-> Hatch has agreed to two, and only two, debates with Howell whose campaign is still pushing for more, citing Hatch's 1976 demand for eight debates against then-Sen. Frank Moss. [Trib]
-> Two test 80-mph stretches of highway near Fillmore are on their way to becoming permanent after the road's average driving speeds increased only minimally and accidents there decreased by 11-to-20 percent. [Trib]
-> Candidates in the Salt Lake County mayoral race push platforms they say will make the county government more efficient and cost-effective. [Trib]
-> Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, introduced the High Quality Preschool bill to the floor on Wednesday, a plan that he says would provide money to school districts willing to improve their standards for preschools. [DNews]
-> The biggest threat to House Speaker Becky Lockhart's seat, Majority Leader Brad Dee, said he would no longer be making a bid for the spot. [Trib]
-> The director of the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands said that none of the summer's forest fires were caused by terrorists, despite a May article published in an al-Qaida-affiliated magazine that encouraged people to set them. [Trib]
-> Utah lawmakers are told the class-size reduction program is a "sham." [UtahPolicy]
-> Legislators are considering a proposal made by Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, that would allow a person to carry a holstered gun without facing criminal charges. [DNews]
-> The New York Times has a fascinating look at how President Barack Obama has leveraged his office for benefit on the campaign trail. [NYTimes]
-> In a televised forum with a Spanish-language network, Romney tells Hispanic voters that he wouldn't order a country-wide search to simply deport illegal immigrants but would work to find a "long-term solution." [BusinessWeek] [NYTimes]
-> If miners in Romney's latest "war on coal" ad don't look too happy it may be because the workers were forced to attend the rally where the spot was filmed and miss out on a day of pay. [Politico]
-> An author and Mormon appeals to voters to not judge Mormonism by Romney's actions and comments. [HuffPost]
-> Romney's mother, Lenore, talked a lot about helping the lower-income, welfare-taking folks when she ran for the Senate. [NPR]
-> Ann Romney defended her husband after the recent video-induced media frenzy: "I know the guy, I know him really well, I know he cares, and that's why we're running." [TheHill]
-> Bills passed in both the House and Senate aim to end federal funding of national political party conventions. [WaPost]
-> A television content tracking company found that Romney had 7 percent more negative than positive mentions on major broadcasting networks Tuesday, while Obama had 16 percent more positive than negative mentions. [LATimes]
-> A new Pew Research Center poll reports that Obama has an 8-point lead. [Pew]
-> Obama's "Late Show with David Letterman" appearance yields the show's highest ratings in two and a half years. [Politico]
-> The Trib's Peg McEntee says that Romney has no right to call anyone entitled but himself. [Trib]
-> So... does anyone in the "47 percent" think Romney is talking about someone else? [NYTimes]
Where are they?
-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard
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