Mitt Romney has vowed to cut government funding for Big Bird and his PBS friends, but the results of a new poll indicate the GOP candidate is out of step with most Americans on this issue.

A survey of 800 likely voters, commissioned by the Washington Times and conducted by Zogby from Friday through Sunday, found that 55 percent of voters oppose cuts in spending to public TV and consider it a "worthwhile" use of federal funds. In contrast, only 35 percent of voters believe "the government cannot afford to subsidize public television."

Although defunding PBS has been a conservative legislative priority since at least the mid-'90s, the poll's results suggest that public TV enjoys more bipartisan support than, well, just about anything does these days.

That may be why the Obama campaign has been so quick to seize upon the "Save Big Bird" meme. Tuesday, they released a satirical new video criticizing Romney for going after "Sesame Street" rather than Wall Street. The ad features footage of Big Bird with a faux-ominous voiceover describing him as "a menace to our economy." But Big Bird refuses to be anyone's political pawn: Within hours, Sesame Workshop issued a statement requesting the spot be pulled.




President Obama's advantage over Mitt Romney has narrowed in Ohio following the challenger's performance in his Oct. 3 debate with the president in Denver, according to a new CNN poll of likely voters. The Oct. 5-8 survey found 51 percent in Ohio supporting Obama, 47 percent backing Romney. The president had held a 52-43 percent lead over Romney in the state in the CNN/ORC International poll that surveyed likely voters through Oct. 1.

Both candidates campaigned hard in Ohio Tuesday, the last day of voter registration ahead of Election Day, now just four weeks away.



Nearly a week after President Obama stopped his campaign's momentum with a lackluster debate performance, Bill Clinton sought Tuesday to help him recover by offering a withering new critique of Mitt Romney.

"I had a different reaction to that first debate than a lot of people did," the former president told nearly 2,000 supporters at a campaign rally for Obama and other Democrats in Las Vegas.

"I thought, 'Wow, here's old moderate Mitt. Where ya been, boy?'"

Clinton compared Romney's performance in Denver to a sales job at the Boston private equity firm where the Republican presidential nominee made his personal fortune. "It was like one of these Bain Capital deals, you know, where he's the closer," Clinton said.

"So he shows up, doesn't really know much about the deal and says, 'Tell me what I'm supposed to say to close.' The problem with this deal is the deal was made by severe conservative Mitt," alluding to Romney's description of himself in February as a "severely conservative" governor of Massachusetts.