Today's Power Play

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The Day in Quotes

"But first thing that happens is, you know, I come in and he'll say ‘Boehner, you're almost as dark as me.'"

-- House Minority Leader John Boehner on "Hannity" describing his interactions with President Obama.

"He uses these idiot boards to read speeches in television, and I think he loses the connection that he needs emotionally with American voters."

-- Former Vice President Walter Mondale on CNN discussing president Obama's reliance on Teleprompters.

"If they ask me to testify at the trial, absolutely... we'll love... well, not love... But we'll do it."

--Rahm Emanuel, candidate for Chicago mayor, to reporters on the possibility that he might be called to testify in the corruption trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

"Every day is a new experience. Just we take them on as they come. We punch them down, bloody them up, send them back."

- New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino discussing critics on "Your World With Neil Cavuto."

"We've got a lot of room to operate under the radar."

-- Justin Coussoule, the long-shot Democrat running against House Minority Leader John Boehner in Boehner's conservative suburban Cincinnati district, making a plea for online support on MSNBC.

"I wish my mom would run, but who knows what she'll do next. I think that she would be the best fit for our country right now, and I think that people will realize that and want her to run, but it would be amazing, and I would be so proud of her."

-- Bristol Palin to Conservative Blogger Rachelle Friberg.

"I am not a witch. I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you."

-- Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell in her first television ad.

"It was one of his common speeches. It was well done, but it was something you'd expect to hear him say."

-- Ellen Jordan, an attendee at the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival in Madison Wisc., offering a review to a Real Clear Politics reporter of President Obama's speech in the city last week.

"It may cost me votes. It may cost me an election."

-- Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX) talking about the Obama stimulus to the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News."I view that as a highest compliment, that they want to take us down,"

- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking at Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington."I wish that the business community gave to Republicans like the labor unions give to democrats. I think you'll see most of these corporations that give to the RGA also give to the DGA."

- Republican Governor's Association Chairman Haley Barbour (R-MS) in an interview with FOX News colleague James Rosen set to air today.

"This administration has probably been more pro-business than anybody in the past."

-- Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, bemoaning a lack of "pro-worker" focus among Democrats in an interview with Grit magazine."A job is created-and it can be in a variety of ways-by a variety of people but principally by people and businesses in response to demand for products and services, and the main point about jobs in Connecticut is we can and we should create more of them..."

-- Connecticut Democratic Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal when asked about how jobs are created during a debate moderated by "Special Report" anchor Bret Baier.

"Government, government, government. Government does not create jobs. It's very simple how you create jobs. An entrepreneur takes a risk.''

-- Connecticut Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon in response.

"People are willing to listen to other ideas when they're worried about the future."

-- Republican Dino Rossi on "Hannity" explaining why he has found traction in his race against incumbent Sen. Patty Murray.

"I've never seen a time that would be a more likely time than now."

-- Donald Trump to Time magazine on a possible 2012 run.

Poll Check - Not So Generic Ballot

Each of the next three Monday evenings will see new numbers released on the generic congressional ballot - the percentages of Americans who generally prefer Democrats or Republicans for House seats this fall.

Your historical guide is that Republicans generally run behind about 3 to 5 points owing to their more reliable performance on Election Day. Anything tied or better is a good harbinger for the GOP.

Pollsters watch this number and the approval rating of the president most closely to predict changes in the House. The forecasts that Republicans will gain dozens of seats are based on the fact that a president of the same party as the House majority has approval ratings in the mid 40s and Republicans are outperforming Democrats in the generic ballot.

But how can it be that the generic ballot changes so widely from week to week? Gallup, infamously, saw its generic ballot measure go from a 10-point GOP advantage to a tie in two weeks' time.

This week, we see how.

Gallup actually reduced three generic ballots this week. One is based on registered voters. Republicans lead that by 3 points. Another is based on likely voters in a high turnout year when both sides are fired up. Republicans lead that by 13 points. Another is based on a more typical midterm election year. Republicans win that one by 18 points.

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, meanwhile, gives Republicans a 6-point edge among likely voters, down from 13 points a month ago.

Rasmussen Reports, which always samples likely voters, shows a 3-point Republican advantage.

The point about generic ballots is this: Pollsters now have to guess who will and will not vote based on past performance and self-described intensity. That's tricky and always a little subjective.

What we do know, is that Republicans hold a strong advantage with voters this year. What we don't know is who will actually show up four weeks from today.

Other Polls:

Rasmussen: Housekeeper Drama Helps Brown for California Governor, Now Leads Whitman 49-44

Florida Chamber Poll: For Senate -- Rubio (R) 40, Crist (I) 33, Meek (D) 16; For Gov. -- Scott (R) 46, Sink (D) 42Suffolk U: Hillary Gets 61 Percent Approval in Illinois, 9 Points Higher Than Obama

Thanks to today's Power Play Crew: Kimberly Schwandt, April Girouard, Heidi Noonan, Jason Donner and Molly Mathews

Trail Riders - GOP House Endgame; Dissing Romney in Alabama; Krauthammer Predicts

GOP's Final House Game Plan

In a strategy memo to be released today, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), head of the National Republican Campaign Committee, will predict that Democrats will lose "at the very least, lose functional control of the House," even if the GOP doesn't win an outright majority.

The memo, provided in advance to Power Play, urges Republicans to "close the deal."

Sessions writes that if the current GOP advantages persist - reflected in a 3.5-point lead in the generic ballot in the Real Clear Politics average - the GOP will win enough of the 86 seats he deems in play to take control of the House. Republicans need 39 seats to take control.

"The next four weeks will determine the extent of their losses," writes Sessions.

The NRCC launched more than $4.4 million in new ads on Monday, targeting 40 districts.

Obama's Day - Ladies Night

No campaigning, per se, by President Obama today. He will speak on the importance of community colleges and address Fortune magazine's "Most Powerful Women" summit.

Vice President Biden will travel to St. Paul, Minn. For a rally for former Sen. Mark Dayton, who is ahead in a three-way race for governor.

Follow the Money

Dems' Big Haul

The Democratic National Committee reports $16 million in fundraising for September, the party's biggest haul so far this cycle. The Republican National Committee has yet to announce its September numbers.NRSC Doubles Down For Fiorina

National Republicans are hoping to keep Sen. Barbara Boxer's California Senate seat in play with a $2 million ad buy. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is pushing the ad, which highlight's Boxer's 28-years in Congress, but GOP Senate nominee Carly Fiorina is putting her own money behind the spot.

Boxer holds a 6.2-point lead in the latest Real Clear Politics Average. 2012 Watch

They Want Christie

A New York Post profile of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (Post hed: "THE GOP FINDS A HEAVYWEIGHT") says that Christie has received more than 100 requests for endorsements from Republican candidates this cycle.

Not Down With Romney Down South

Robert Bentley, the Republican nominee for Alabama governor, declined an endorsement offer from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney last week, according to the Birmingham News.

A spokeswoman for Bentley, a near-prohibitive favorite in the election, told the paper that Bentley didn't want to create the impression of an endorsement for 2012.

And Now, A Word From Charles

"In the House I think there's about a 60 percent chance, maybe 70 percent, that the Republicans will win the House. I think there has been a little bit of a rebound [for Democrats]... If you are a lefty and not happy with everything that Obama delivered, but when Election Day approaches, I think you might get off your duff and vote against Republicans. I think the fear factor may work and there will be a bump."

-- Charles Krauthammer prognosticating on "Special Report with Bret Baier"

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Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C.