Here are 10 things you need to know today.
- Campaigns focus on Virginia: Both President Obama and likely Republican nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will campaign in the swing state of Virginia today. Obama will speak to students and parents at an Arlington high school on Friday, while Romney will be there for the second day in a row, holding a press conference in Richmond after the Obama event with the state’s Governor Bob McDonnell (R).
- Jobs report released today: The monthly jobs report from the Labor Department will be released today, and many indications have suggested that the number of positions added in April will be below the 200,000 mark, which would suggest sluggish economic growth. TPM has a round up of what to expect here.
- Poll shows Obama up in Virginia: With all the focus on the Commonwealth of Virginia, a new poll from the Washington Post shows President Obama up by 7 points there, 51 - 44. The Post noted the lead is really fueled by independent voters, who are breaking for Obama over Romney by 10 points, and women, who go for the President by 18. The TPM Poll Average shows Obama trending up to 52.4 percent to Romney’s 43.3.
- Hollywood fundraiser expected to draw $12 million for Obama: The Hollywood Reporter notes that a fundraising dinner for President Obama thrown by actor George Clooney has sold out and looks to raise about $12 million. “One-hundred-and-fifty high rollers — including Hollywood studio heads, celebrities and an array of entertainment industry execs — have paid $40,000 apiece to dine with the president at Clooney’s Studio City home on May 10,” the Reporter wrote.
- Indiana GOP Senate challenger evokes Obama: Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R), the Tea Party challenger to Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), attacked his opponent as “Obama’s favorite Republican,” in a release to reporters yesterday. Mourdock listed Lugar’s support of Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, the financial bailout, and raising the debt ceiling as indications that Lugar is too close to Obama. The Indiana primary is Tuesday, May 8th.
- Santorum endorses Nebraska Senate candidate: Former Pennsylvania Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum (R) has lined up behind the consensus Republican in the Nebraska Senate race, Jon Bruning, the state’s Attorney General. “Jon Bruning is a trusted conservative who is unapologetically pro-life, will fight to reduce the size of the federal government and will ensure that the government spends less and does not tax more. And there is no question that Jon is the strongest conservative candidate to defeat Bob Kerrey in November and help Republicans take back the Senate,” Santorum said in a statement.
- Gingrich sends fundraising pitch for Walker in Wisconsin: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who just dropped out of the Republican presidential race on Wednesday, sent out a fundraising pitch on behalf of the Wisconsin Recall Action Fund, a PAC supporting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who is facing a recall election June 5th. A web video that accompanied the email says those at the PAC “refuse to be intimidated” by unions and Democrats, intersplicing shots of the mass protests sparked by Walker’s anti-union measures passed in 2011. Watch it here.
- Bachmann formally endorses Romney: Former presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) also lined up behind Gov. Romney yesterday, with a somewhat lukewarm endorsement. “This is the last chance we have to keep America from going “forward”, over the cliff, as Governor Romney said, and restore the values of prosperity and freedom. This is the opportunity for conservatives, independents, and disaffected Democrats to join me and Governor Romney in denying Obama a second term. On November 6th, the only option is Mitt Romney for President,” she said in a statement.
- Conservative group mocks Obama slogan in web ad: A day after Romney mocked the Obama campaign’s new slogan “Forward,” conservative group American Crossroads followed up with the same critique. “Under Barack Obama, unemployment, home ownership and inflation are going backward, and the only thing going forward is the national debt,” the ad says, which you can watch here.
- Nevada Senate candidate highlights PTSD: Rep. Shelly Berkley (D-NV), released the first ad in her run for Senate in the state, highlighting veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The ad features the father of a Marine sent to Iraq who was affected with PTSD upon return, who praises Berkley for helping their son get the help he needed. Watch it here.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.