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Congressional Countdown: Dems Have Edge in Split Districts, Open Seats

Congressional Countdown

A Key Race Scorecard -- Oct. 27, 2006

House (35 contested races)

Leans GOP
Leans Dem

Senate (9 contested races)

Leans GOP
Leans Dem

» Full Analysis

Today's Congressional Countdown takes a look at the advantage Democrats appear to have in open seat and split district races.

The fact that Republicans are defending almost twice as many open seats gives the Democrats an advantage from the start, but more telling is just how many of the GOP-held seats are considered competitive, compared to the Democratic-held seats. As a senior House Republican put it recently, "We're getting killed in the open seats."

The Split Districts offer an even more interesting storyline. Here, Republicans have far more opportunities than Democrats but are having trouble taking advantage of favorable terrain because of the national mood.

Read the full analysis...

By Editors  |  October 27, 2006; 8:46 AM ET
Categories:  House , Senate  
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Next: GOP Pullout in Ohio Could Have Ripple Effect


sure wish the campaign countdown
was formatted online in a way that would allow for it to be printed.
the whole webpage is formatted too far to the right and thus less than 1/2 page can print.
i'm trying hard to keep up with the
most challenging races.
thanx for considering this for upcoming
P.S. the more i read & listen to you,
chris, the more impressed i am with
the scope and depth of your knowledge and thus your "forecasting."
you were great on the bu panel yesterday, which i saw on cspan.

Posted by: thunderstar | October 28, 2006 1:08 AM | Report abuse

You can take PA-8 off of your tossup list. Keystone Poll today in the Philadelphia Daily News (NOT a Republican outfit) has Mike Fitzpatrick ahead by 9 points and pulling away.

Posted by: Actual voter | October 27, 2006 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Bobby: You have an obligation to vote for the individuals you feel are the most qualified/will do the best job. You aren't voting for the party, you are voting for the person who will represent YOU best.

JEP: We don't vote for parties in this country. We vote for individuals. There are bad D's and bad R's. It's people who loyally vote along party lines that keep the likes of Kennedy in the Senate.

People should vote for the person that will best represent them on the most issues.

Posted by: Dan W | October 27, 2006 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Dan & Chris, I think you got the split districts reversed. There are 41 Bush-Dem districts, and 18 Kerry-GOP districts, not the other way around as you described it.

The rest of your analysis is right: only 4 of the 41 Bush districts that Dems hold are at risk, while 14 of the 18 Kerry districts that the GOP holds are at risk. Please correct, as it's confusing and took me awhile to figure out why your analysis didn't make sense.

Posted by: DCCyclone | October 27, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I did a Google search on "Diebold 2004 Election" and found a summary, in wikipedia of all places, with seemingly both sides of the issue. It isnt an "academic" article, but might be a good place to start for those with questions about possible election irregularities.

Posted by: Mikepcfl | October 27, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Earlier this week, the New Jersey Supreme Court handed the Republicans a nicely wrapped gift on a silver platter - an admirable but incredibly poorly timed decision on equality for gay couples. Naturally, the ultra-cynical and morally bankrupt Tom Kean Jr. suddenly endorsed the Federal Marriage Amendment after years of cautiously supporting gay rights in most cases. It's a gamble for him, but he probably figures that his baseless charges against Menendez ("under federal criminal investigation" blah blah blah) will not be enough for him to actually defeat the incumbent Democrat in a state where Republicans have not won a Senate race since 1972. Now Kean and Menendez are tied in the latest polls, and Menendez will be extremely lucky if he can eke out a victory on November 7. New Jersey voters are notoriously indecisive and independent, so this race will be among the 2 or 3 that determine which party ends up with a Senate majority.

Posted by: Progressive | October 27, 2006 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I understand completely why people would not want to vote for a crooked Dem. However, if we don't get at least the House this election, we will lose any rights we ever had.

I went to a presentation by legal scholars at a law school near here, and I was appalled to see just how bad the detainee act is. Wore than I thought. Curdles your blood if you love democracy.

Remember that a one-party ideological system is what gives rise to dictatorships. We have no protection from that now.

There was a guy that showed up who started railing against courts and judges -- all of them. And it isn't the first time I've heard this kind of ranting. When did hating the laws and the courts and justice guaranteed by the Constitution become a 'conservative' value?

Ask yourself that... it's creeping fascism and you know it.

Posted by: drindl | October 27, 2006 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Del::: the repugs have held the House since 1994, the Senate since 2002, and the White House since 2000..and abortion is still legal..Have you not figured out yet that the repugs play you folks for patsies? The repugs know that an abortion ban generated by them is political suicide.. Heck while were at it are we praying in public school yet?? Gay marriage banned yet?? Time for you folks to wake up to reality and realize the gop uses you then kicks you to the curb....

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | October 27, 2006 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Going back to the conversation between Bobby and JEP. I am also not voting for my Democratic representative, fortunately, there is absolutely no way that he will get less than 65% of the vote. I refuse to vote for anyone whose Dad rigged the system so that his son could inherit his seat, without even having to run in the primaries. As long as I live I will never be able to support Dan Lipinski. Now if only he could get a credible rival in the primaries.

Posted by: Chris | October 27, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Those of you reacting to Del are wasting your time, and your breath, in doing so.

Del is the quintessential "one-issue" voter. She/he genuinely believes that to have an abortion is to murder a baby. Trying to get her to change her mind, vote Democrat, acknowledge any other issue that may be important, etc. is futile.

As others have already stated with a few example issues, Republicans hardly have a monopoly on Christian ideals. I would add to the list of those issues already raised that no TRUE Christian would vote to support candidates who favor torturing other human beings, as most Republican candidates apparently do.

"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."
-Jesus - Translates into a very early declaration for the strict seperation of Church and State

Posted by: J. Crozier | October 27, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Here, I'll just get you started...

'Days after the 2004 Presidential election, Diebold agreed to pay $2.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the State of California alleging that they had sold shoddy voting equipment.[2]
In December 2005, Diebold's CEO Wally O'Dell resigned following reports that the company was facing securities fraud litigation surrounding charges of insider trading. [3]
In May 2006, a registered lobbyist for Diebold Election Systems contributed the individual maximum of $10,000 to the election campaign of Republican Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell - whose office approved Diebold's selection as a vendor and negotiated the price of its machines for county election boards.[4] One month earlier, Blackwell claimed that his purchase of 178 shares of Diebold stock had been the result of an oversight by his financial manager.[5]
Stephen Heller, a former employee of a law firm representing Diebold, is currently facing three felony counts for allegedly stealing documents exposing irregularities in some of Diebold's electronic voting machines. One of the memos warned Diebold that uncertified software it had installed in machines used by Alameda County violated California election law. Stephen Heller has been called a "quintessential whistleblower" by Michael Kohn, general counsel for the National Whistleblower Center. [6][7]

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Or is it that you work for Diebold? I mean, you must be kidding. Proof? There's so much proof I don't even have time to get into it. Try googling a little-- you'll find over 3 million entires on 'diebold election'--solid documentation.

Or are you one of those blind, stupid republican partisans who put party before country?

I thought so.

Posted by: drindl | October 27, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

ErrinF--where is the spider hole you live in located?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqismany of them children, have been killed in the Irqi war

Vote Democratic to stop the slaughter.

Posted by: j | October 27, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Tell me more about Diebold stealing this upcoming election, JEP. Please give me specifics as to where these machines are, what races they are going to effect, and how exactly they are going to be hacked. I am sick and tired of people making baseless claims of our democracy being subverted without any real proof of such. Having actually looked into Diebold, I realize there are simply not enough Diebold machines out there to sway this election. I also realize that the only so-called 'proof' of Diebold throwing the 2004 election is a bunch of innaccurate exit polls, and that's all. There is reasonable doubt that no such electioneering ocurred. People believe the Diebold myth because they want to believe, not because they have concrete proof.
It is well established that JEP is a Democratic partisan. It is obvious that he believes in and perpetuates the Diebold myth because of his partisanship, not because he has any proof. Any story that casts the GOP as evil subversives stealing our elections is proof enough to convince him. I for one demand solid proof if you are going claim our democracy is being subverted. Face facts: Your party lost in 2004, and the Diebold lie is only so much sour grapes. Diebold didn't cost you the 2004 election; Kerry did. But you'd rather believe a big lie that let's the Democratic leadership off the hook rather than hold your own politicians accountable.
Come election day this year, when the Democrats take over the House and Senate, you will see for yourself that the Diebold myth is untrue. Thing is, will you then do the responsible thing and recant all your baseless accusations against Diebold? I'm guessing no, as you partisan types are too wrapped up in your little partisan games to act responsibly. Meanwhile, the rest of us are tired of people like you that put party before country.

Posted by: ErrinF | October 27, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Christians do not vote for people who support immoral, murderous unnecessary wars

Christians do not vote for people who support war profiteering

Posted by: j | October 27, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse


How many unwanted children have you adopted? You fanatics are all pro-life, except when you're pro-death penalty, pro-torture and pro-war. You're pro-life until that life is outside the womb and then you support an administration that has done nothing to improve the lives of children living in poverty and those families without health insurance. You choose the abortion issue because that's what get press coverage. God isn't fooled by your fake compassion. Finally, if you're a man, when you can get pregnant and have to make the decision, then you have something to say about the issue.

Posted by: KAS | October 27, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Whoa... What the?..

Posted by: Political Junkie | October 27, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Over 420,000 Americans have been tortured and killed in this country this year through Democratic supported abortions.

Vote Republican to stop the slaughter.

Christians do not vote for people who support abortion.

Go to to learn more.

Posted by: Del | October 27, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The latest Rasmussen poll has the VA-Senate race at 49-48 in favor of Allen. Hope nobody planning on sleeping the night of November 7....

Posted by: Zathras | October 27, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"It is very difficult for a "public figure", as any candidate for office would be classified, to win a libel case."

How about a class action lawsuit against those 527's, brought by the unwilling viewers of this trash? ALL of us...

I mean, who needs sex education in the schools when you've got Republican sex-attack ads running day and night.

Just a thought...

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"Well I imagine, JEP, that Rove and Mehlman and Dick have strategy meetings and coordinate policy... Rove usually goes so far as to announce what they are going to do -- he said they were 'going on the attack' and that means a pit bull barrage of hate and vitriol."

"Rove usually goes so far as to announce what they are going to do..."

And Cheney either nods or shakes his head...

If he nods, its a go, and the wheels start turning.

But if he shakes his head, the room falls silent waiting for the next command from Dick. They may even break-up for a top-secret one-on-one session between the turdblossom and the turd.

Cheney's "The Man" when it comes to the final word, but I would guess you are quite accurate here, Drindl, and from Rove on down, once they have gotten the nod, it just falls into place because they've all done it before so many times.

This time, though, it may well be a case of "too much, too late."

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Never have... never will

Posted by: RMill | October 27, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks RMill. Didn't you used to be a republican, or am I sliming you?

Speaking of Korea, this guy's funny.. and right on:

'Oct. 17, 2006 - In a nationally televised speech from the White House today, President George W. Bush warned North Korean President Kim Jong-Il that he is prepared to back up his tough talk on North Korea's nuclear program with "even tougher talk."

After the mercurial Kim tested his nation's first nuclear device two weeks ago, many in diplomatic circles wondered if Bush would retaliate with more than strong words. Today's speech left little doubt on that score as the U.S. president said that he was "prepared to strike back with the strongest words ever."

"To Kim Jong-Il, let me say this," Bush said. "Abandon your nuclear program at once, or you will face the full fury of the United States of America's harshest rhetoric."

At the Pentagon, officials said the President was mulling a series of options to punish North Korea, including a tactical speech lasting ten to fifteen minutes or a more devastating verbal assault that could last up to an hour.

Later in the day, White House spokesman Tony Snow said that President Bush had conducted a test of his "meanest speech ever" in front of the White House staff and that the speech had been "totally successful."

"In his speech, the President called Kim Jong-Il 'evil,' 'wicked,' 'immoral' and 'iniquitous,'" Snow said. "The message is clear: the United States has a thesaurus and we're not afraid to use it."

Posted by: drindl | October 27, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse


It is very difficult for a "public figure", as any candidate for office would be classified, to win a libel case. There have been numerous court cases establishing this. Also, the courts have given tremendous leeway to political speech. Furthermore, the legal arm's length most of the candidates have from the "independent" attack ads insulates them even more.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 27, 2006 10:36 AM | Report abuse

What exactly is Bush and Rove so optimistic about. What polls do they see? Obviously they have to continue the drum beat.

Nuclear Proliferation:

If they can't control North Korea (Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter's fault anyway) at least they have put their foot down in Iran.

Iran Starts Second Nuclear Fuel Network
Yahoo News today

Well Iran, as Sen. Rick Santorum, is the real problem. At least things have stabilized in Iraq, cause that Mission has been Accomplished since 2003, right!?

US Troop Deaths at Record Level for Month
Boston Globe today

Insurgent Attacks Surge

Iraqi PM at Odds with US on Benchmarks
USA Today this week

Well, Iraq is complex and fluid and we can direct all our energies now that we got Afghanastan figured out.

NATO kills dozens of civilians in Afghan attack
Philadelphia Enquirer today

Taliban Strikes, 14 dead
Sun Times Today

Well, foreign policy things isn't going too well. It's the midterm elections so we should really focus on domestic stuff anyway. At least the economy is chugging along.

Economic Growth Weakest in 3 Years

CNN/Money today

(I tried sending with links but it bounces back.)

Posted by: RMill | October 27, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"Bush- by his own account although he never used the word. He basically said he quit drinking because he couldn't seem to control it."

Then by that basic logic, shouldn't he quit the Presidency? Or at least the war in Iraq?

"Rove has a history of sleazy campaigns. Every campaign he has run has seen some of the sleaziest attacks - although there was never direct evidence linking him personally."

Well, after a few of those sleazy campaigns rolled under the bridge, the evidence of Rove's culpability is clear just in the history, if not in the daily newspapers.

How is it they get these "whispering campaigns" to so many operatives? Is there ever an email trail, or a phone-call record? Rove screwed up big time with the New Hampshire voter-fraud, he's proven he's far from infallible.

It would probably be easy to prove, if Rove's personal contacts were scrutinized, along with Cheney's.

But these days, to get any kind of classified info, we would probably have to be a Republican congressional candidate.

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse

MikeB, I was raised as a fundamentalist Pentecostal, and while I found the church to be too radical for me, I have always believed in the teachings of Jesus. And what these people are doing in his name is nothing short of evil, is monstrous.

I sin, I admit it, I fall short, but I don't cloak myself with the mantle of goodness -- which is an affront to Christianity itself. I wonder how people can be so easily manipulated by this transparent manipulation?

Posted by: drindl | October 27, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Is there some secret provision in The Patriotic Act that protects Republican candidates from lawsuits for libel?

I understand that they are desperate, but some of these ads are so far beyond the pale, they surely land in the "libelous" category.

So, what gives? Why are they so "easy with the sleazy?"

Don't our libel and slander laws apply to Republicans any more?

If enough of this happens, is there grounds for a class-action suit, either on the behalf of the Democratic candidates, or even the public itself?

Just wondering...

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 10:23 AM | Report abuse

drindl -
We received one of those automated telephone calls last night from some group caled the "Children and Family Coalition". Now we are and always have been "Evangelical" Christians in my household. We were members of a Conservative Baptist convention church and now attend a Calvary Chapel. (We also happen to be liberals.) So I called and asked my pastor and former pastor who was making these calls, funding these very expensive automated telephone dialers and phone lists. They didn't know. I was told that the churches simply didn't have the money "for this sort of nonsense. We have enough trouble funding missions our building fund and paying the staff salaries." I'm still searching today, but it is apparently the Oregon Republican Party that is funding this disgrace under the guise of "christian". These people, I want to iterate, have no connection whatsoever with churches or with Chistians. That these flat worms, these evil twisted monsters, have done so much harm to my country is bad enough, but that they are trying to do it in the name of Christ is so despicable, so awful and contemptable, that hell is too nice a place for these swine. Chris, drindl, all - get this out there. The Amercian people deserve to know the truth and need to understand the depths to which the Republican's will stoop.

Posted by: MikeB | October 27, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Rove has a history of sleazy campaigns. Every campaign he has run has seen some of the sleaziest attacks - although there was never direct evidence linking him personally.


An early race in Texas featured a Democrat who campaigned as a champion of children. His campaign featured a number of pictures of the candidate with children's groups. A whispering campaign started that accused him of being a pedophile. No proof of this ever surfaced.

In Bush's first Texas governor's race against Anne Richards, whispering campaigns about her sexual orientation and drinking arose. Incidentally, she was a recovering alcoholic as is Bush- by his own account although he never used the word. He basically said he quit drinking because he couldn't seem to control it.

In the South Carolina presidential primary in 2000, a "push" poll asked voters if knowing that John McCain had fathered a black child with a prostitute would change their vote. Incidentally, McCain had adopted a daughter from Bangladesh so there were family pictures of him with a child of color. There was also a whispering campaign that McCain was mentally unstable as a result of what he endured as a POW in North Vietnam.

The Swift Boat campaign was financed by Texas contributors with a long history of supporting Rove's campaigns.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 27, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"Al" for President, 08!

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"No, and neither do you."

Sounds like "thought reform" to me...

Speak for yourself, not those of us who have our own perspectives...

Yes, I do see a pattern, and I am not naive enough to think it is purely coincidental.

It doesn't take much of a conspiracy to make these things happen, to suggest it is simplyout of the question sounds more like your policy than your opinion.

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 10:11 AM | Report abuse

'Oct. 24, 2006 - A man who found himself in Denver with absolutely no memory of who he was or how he got there has now found himself at the epicenter of the midterm election campaign, as the White House moved aggressively today to court his vote.

The amnesia victim, who was known only as "Al" and could not recall any recent events, was instantly pegged as an "ideal voter" by GOP political strategist Karl Rove, who flew the man to Washington today for a private meeting with President Bush in the White House.

"Here's a guy who has no memory of Iraq, Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff or Mark Foley," Rove told reporters today. "From where I sit, I think we have a chance at getting this guy's vote."

According to White House aides, the amnesia victim's meeting with the president went well, and was capped by Bush presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

"The guy didn't seem to know exactly why he was getting it," one aide said. "But then again, the same could be said of a lot of past recipients."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Well I imagine, JEP, that Rove and Mehlman and Dick have stratergy meetings and coordinate policy... Rove usually goes so far as to announce what they are going to do -- he said they were 'going on the attack' and that means a pit bull barrage of hate and vitriol.

They also use certain consultants and agencies that are known for that sort of thing..

Of course, most cons are pretty avaricious to begin with--it's just more out there in campaigns.

Posted by: drindl | October 27, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else see a pattern here of gay marriage issues being stirred up, always just before an election?

No, and neither do you. Two very important points:

Massachusetts ruled in late November 2003, 11 months before an election. Newson held his weddings in February 2004, 9 months before the election. Massachusetts marriages began in May, 5 months before the election, and already anticlimactic following San Francisco. Given that there's always an election coming within two years, this is not equivalent to an October Surprise. February was a hell of a long time ago--weren't we still talking about Dubai Ports then?

Secondly, how on Earth do gays (conservative, liberal, whatever) control the timing of these announcements? This lawsuit was filed in 2003, and it was heard in February of this year. The court set the timetable for the hearing AND the announcement. How does anyone attribute this to gay people?

Posted by: Brittain33 | October 27, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

"Anyone know of an instance where these ads are having an effect."

No, but they may claim it after-the-fact.

If they steal this election, they will use these ads as thier excuse, something to the effect of; "our last-minute ad campaigns and financial advantage worked, turning the conservative voters out before the polls could measure it."

Beware the flip-flopping diebolds!

If your district votes primarily Democratic up and down the ticket, except for the National races, you may have been "flip-flopped." Yoiu don't have to control everty vote, if you can just manage the totals.

Control of the House is thier only protection from oversight, and with profits like Exxon's at stake, don't you suppose they would be willing to do anything to maintain that status-quo?

These days, Exxon makes enough profit in one quarter to finance the next twenty years of election expenses.

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 9:57 AM | Report abuse

more dirty tricks

Joe Sestak is a retired Vice Admiral, not a Rear Admiral. That is a very significant difference. There are over 200 Rear Admirals compared to about a dozen Vice Admirals.

Weldon is getting increasingly desparate and shrill. He blamed Bill Clinton of all people for the ongoing FBI investigation of possible bribery connected with his daughter's consulting business.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 27, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Stuart Rothenberg explains how 2006 is a bigger wave election than even 1994, and argues that a 45-60 seat Democratic gain is possible:

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | October 27, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Here are some questions that pop to mind.

Is there just one studio producing all these ads?

Is there an office of Republican sleaze managing all these new trash ads?

Or are they all so similarly inclined that these ads just pop up spontaneously all across the country, with no one in charge?

Or is there a model, or a manager, that ties them all together.


Maybe, butmy guess is he takes his cues, and probably his ideas, from Rove, who gets his final orders from...


Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: RMill | October 27, 2006 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Please watch the anonymous posts with quotes that are unattributed.

The above post about a Kirk staffer sending threatening emails to Tel Aviv Univ President can be found at:,CST-NWS-sweet26.article

Posted by: RMill | October 27, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

'E-mails recently forwarded to the Justice Department by a government watchdog group describe alleged efforts by staff of Congressman Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania to call Navy employees for information and negative statements about his Democratic opponent, retired Rear Admiral Joe Sestak. Two e-mails that were forwarded to the Sestak campaign by one current and one former Pentagon employee appear to detail guidance from superiors to staff not to speak with Weldon's office should it call soliciting information about Sestak; Weldon's office is described in one e-mail as "calling everyone and his brother" in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) about Sestak. A third e-mail written by a defense contractor to the Sestak campaign says that he had been told that Weldon's office had allegedly compiled a "hit list" of defense contractors whose officers had donated to the Sestak campaign, of which he was one, and suggested "retribution" against them.'

Posted by: more dirty trickS | October 27, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

GOP has never ran this scared. The shear volume of slime these propagandist pedophiles are slinging is downright absurd. Here's the odd part, none of it is sticking. Anyone know of an instance where these ads are having an effect. As far as I can tell, the collective bunch of these ads are reinforcing the general attitude the GOP is a party of corruption, morally challenged, and a bunch of liars.

Posted by: Stick a Fork In it | October 27, 2006 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Likely Dem 8
Lean Dem 8
Toss Ups 22 (1 D, 21 R)

AZ 1 moves from lean D to lean R
NY 26 moves from lean D to toss up
NY 19 moves from likely D to lean D

OH moves from lean D to likely D
RNC pulls ad funding, Brown now +10.8%

ME moves from lean D to likely D
Baldacci +11

Posted by: RMill | October 27, 2006 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately for all of us, in order to change the dynamic and reassert a Congressional check on unbridled Executive action, we have to vote for Dems, Libertarians, Greens, anyone running..... that is not now with the majority party. It has gotten vicious because "true believers" see that any means are justified for the "truthful" ends.

As far as the posting on conservative and neocon "gays" ginning up the marriage issue to drive the Evangelicals wild, that's a strategy that I am certain the Log Cabin Repubs worked out ahead of time. Ideology always trumps lifestyle. Does anyone remember Ernst Rhoem of the National Socialist Workers Party (NDAP)? Hew was the ultimate "Gay" rightwinger from the 1930s, and didn't miss beat when it came to trashing "non-conformers", no matter what their "lifestyles".

Posted by: L.Sterling | October 27, 2006 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"A staffer for Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.), in a threatening e-mail, tried to get the president of Tel Aviv University to pressure a prominent supporter of Democrat Dan Seals to back down," the Chicago Sun-Times reports today.

Chicago insurance magnate Robert "Bob" Schrayer had been a big supporter of Kirk's, but switched this election to throw his weight behind Kirk's Democratic opponent, Dan Seals.

Schrayer is also a mucky-muck with an advisory council for Tel Aviv University. In July, Kirk staffer Caryn Garber e-mailed another University official, pressuring him to get Tel Aviv University's president to persuade Schrayer to drop his support for Seal.

If he didn't, Garber warned, bad things could happen to the university, which receives U.S. government funding.

"[University president] Itamar [Rabinovitch] should call Bob [Schrayer] and tell him his actions can have a very bad effect on the university," Garber wrote from her personal e-mail account. ("Kirk is a member of the House Appropriations Committee's Foreign Operations subcommittee, which handles grants to entities in Israel and other countries," the paper notes.)

Garber added, "Revenge is a dish best served cold."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I think what got 'left behind' was Jesus...

Posted by: drindl | October 27, 2006 9:30 AM | Report abuse

'Chevron Corp.'s third-quarter profit soared to $5 billion to easily surpass analysts' estimates, continuing the prosperous times in the oil industry.'

Funny thing, how I just got a letter from Con Edison telling me home heating costs where going to be the highest ever this winter... coincidence?

Posted by: drindl | October 27, 2006 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"Your TV programs, your books, even your churches are sick and putrid and full of hatred."

Wouldn't it be ironic, if these self-appointed "Christians" who have willingly trapped themselves in this neocon bizarro world of ultimate hypocrisy, are actually those who were "Left Behind?"

As part of thier political programming, which they think is all about gay marriage and abortion, they actually promoted war and torture and the benefits of rich over the poor.

Which is what really matters to the neocons, not those moral issues.

Is it possible these "Evangelicals" got trapped, re-programmed, and used politically by the neocons for the purpose of dominating the world with war, not peace?

And is that how they actually got left behind?

Just food for thought...

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 9:27 AM | Report abuse

JEP is actually right on with this analysis. While I certainly understand Bobby's disenchantment with his Democratic Member of Congress, it is imperative that we understand the importance of looking at the big picture. To provide a healthy change to a trifecta control of the WH, Senate, and House, we need to remember that we need to get as many Democrats elected to Congress. That is why I am always so upset with some here to criticize Lieberman. Sure he lost the primary, but he has every right to run as an independent. And if hard-core Democrats continue to bash him, all you are doing is pushing him more in the direction of caucusing with the Republicans. You criticize Republicans for not being open-minded, yet you are quick to attack Lieberman. Think people!!!! Keep your eye on the prize! The House, and perhaps the Senate!

Posted by: Political Junkie | October 27, 2006 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"Bobby, there's more to the "whole ticket" concept than you apparently realize.

It is in the total numbers, not the individual seats, where the real power dwells particularly in Congress."

That is not insane, it is simply true.

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 9:11 AM | Report abuse


"Insanity" is a bit extreme for this description.

Let me repeat, if the need for change is not substantial, then your blank votes don't really matter.

But considering the imbalance of power in DC, your selectiveness is certainly not the best strategy.

Now if you consider that insane, you need to stop and take a deep breath and, as Rummy suggested, "relax."

You have turned some simple strategic advice into "insanity."

Seems a bit over-reactive to me.

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 9:09 AM | Report abuse

JEB's position - better to vote a str8 democratic ticket - even if it means voting for people on the take than chance someone else might actually be honest.

Is this the definition of insanity?

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | October 27, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse

have to say that possibly the most disturbing thing about the 'conservative' con artists is their sheer viciousness. You know, when their whole raison is 'values' and 'morals' -- their icon is one of the basest, most vile men on earth -- a drug addict, a ho, a slime who brags about his many black mistresses on radio, a degenerate who takes advqntage of the child sex trade in the dominican republic, and who attacks a terribly sick man. Your hero, conservatives, Rush Limbaugh. What the hell happened to you people? How did you become this degenerate? I'm serious- how did half of America become inflicted with this disease? Your TV programs, your books, even your churches are sick and putrid and full of hatred.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 8:43 AM | Report abuse

"It is not enough that I distrust the Republicans - I need substance - otherwise I am not voting..."

Key words here are "strategy," "baby-steps," and "cooperation."

Bobby, there's more to the "whole ticket" concept than you apparently realize.

It is in the total numbers, not the individual seats, where the real power dwells particuylarly in Congress.

By being so personally selective in your voting process, you might deny more than one caucus its majority status, and by doing that, you have denied the only real course to power available.

Sorry, Bobby, but unless you vote the ticket, at least for now, you just play into the Republican plans to "divide and conquer."

So much personal self-will makes for great self-approval, but it doesn't promote the necessary changes that face us so imminently.

If you are waiting for a slate of perfect candidates that match your own personal whims, and can't vote strategically, then the Roves of the world have had thier way with you, just as if you voted for thier sleazy candidates.

Vote strategically, not emotionally. And you should also consider change itself substantial enough to commit your vote to a new party.

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 8:41 AM | Report abuse

"I haven't been this angry at Rush in a long time because it's all such silly theater, but this really makes me mad. Michael J. Fox is not pretending to have Parkinson's disease," said John McIntire, a left-leaning host on KDKA Radio. "I wish there was a synonym for unconscionable that meant satanically unconscionable. ... there are lines you shouldn't cross."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 8:40 AM | Report abuse

'House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) announced Wednesday that the Freedom Project is launching a strategic communications effort -- the Majority Project -- that will work in concert with the RNC and NRCC to support GOP House candidates across the country. The Majority Project will provide House Republican candidates with a daily, aggressive message campaign that draws a stark contrast between Republicans and Democrats on key issues. This effort will include press releases, a counter-communications message, briefs on key campaign issues, and a component that includes radio and television, among others.'

expect to be deluged with filth...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 8:37 AM | Report abuse

· In Ohio, GOP gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell, trailing by more than 20 points in polls, has accused front-running Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland of protecting a former aide who was convicted in 1994 on a misdemeanor indecency charge. Blackwell's campaign is also warning voters through suggestive "push polls" that Strickland failed to support a resolution condemning sex between adults and children. Strickland, a psychiatrist, objected to a line suggesting that sexually abused children cannot have healthy relationships when they grow up.

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· The Republican Party of Wisconsin distributed a mailing linking Democratic House candidate Steve Kagen to a convicted serial killer and child rapist. The supposed connection: The "bloodthirsty" attorney for the killer had also done legal work for Kagen.

· In two dozen congressional districts, a political action committee supported by a white Indianapolis businessman, J. Patrick Rooney, is running ads saying Democrats want to abort black babies. A voice says, "If you make a little mistake with one of your hos, you'll want to dispose of that problem tout de suite, no questions asked."

Posted by: more con filth | October 27, 2006 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Well you knew they were disgusting... and stooopid...

'Rep. Ron Kind pays for sex!

Well, that's what the Republican challenger for his Wisconsin congressional seat, Paul R. Nelson, claims in new ads, the ones with "XXX" stamped across Kind's face.

It turns out that Kind -- along with more than 200 of his fellow hedonists in the House -- opposed an unsuccessful effort to stop the National Institutes of Health from pursuing peer-reviewed sex studies. According to Nelson's ads, the Democrat also wants to "let illegal aliens burn the American flag" and "allow convicted child molesters to enter this country."

To Nelson, that doesn't even qualify as negative campaigning.

"Negative campaigning is vicious personal attacks," he said in an interview. "This isn't personal at all."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 8:30 AM | Report abuse

NEW YORK ( -- The pace of the nation's economic growth slowed to weakest level in more than three years, as the government's key reading on the strength of the U.S. economy came in much lower than forecasts.

The gross domestic product, the broad measure of the nation's economic activity, grew at an annual 1.6 percent rate in the third quarter, according to the commerce department. That's down from the 2.6 percent growth rate in the second quarter.

Economists surveyed by had forecast a slowdown, but only to a 2.1 percent growth rate in the period.

A rising trade gap, which subtracts from U.S. economic activity, and a slump in the nation's housing market has been a major drag on growth in recent months. Consumer spending also came in a lot weaker than expected.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 8:27 AM | Report abuse

'My point is I think people are going to vote for people and stop with the party labels'

Not on your life--not this time

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Are the gay conservatives fomenting this furor for political purposes?

Well Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman are... and we know about them.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Texas has two weeks of early voting - no reason needed - I voted yesterday - in the US House race I voted Republican (Republican cannot win) because our Democratic Congressman has done nothing for South Texas - I did not vote for the CEO for the County - the Democrat is in bed with every corrupt force in town - the Republican refused to tell us how he would be different -

ALthough I dispise Kay Bailey Hutchison (Rep) - I did not vote in the US Senate Race because the Democrat is an idiot who thinks she is running for the school board

The remainder of the races I switched back and forth between Democrats and Libertarians

Most people I know in traditional Democratic South Texas are voting a similar mixed ticket-

My point is I think people are going to vote for people and stop with the party labels

It is not enough that I distrust the Republicans - I need substance - otherwise I am not voting

Bobby Wightman-Cervnantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | October 27, 2006 8:20 AM | Report abuse

'Everybody goes inside with news that President Bush signed legislation authorizing the construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Many see this as a way for Bush to help GOP candidates have something to back their tough talk on immigration reform. But everyone notes it is not clear whether the entire fence will actually ever be built. Only a small portion of the money needed for the fence has been appropriated, and Bush emphasized he thinks it should only be one part of a broader immigration reform plan.'

What a joke this is. What a huge joke. This is prospected to cost in excess of $8 million dollars a mile - {I guess Halliburton is building it] -- no one has any clue where the money will come from -- and it will have a number of enormous gaps because they aren't building it anyplace where there's more than a 10% elevation. Which means it will be completely porous and easy to penetrate. How stupid, how utterly moronic, are 'conservatives' that they can be fooled so easily? It's clearly child's play to dupe these people.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else see a pattern here of gay marriage issues being stirred up, always just before an election?

I had a gay relative the other day suggest that it is not the liberal gays who are dooing this, but the conservative gays, because they are much more concerned about thier political ideology than thier lifestyle ideologies. Apparently, they (the R gays and lesbians) are the ones showing up for these front-step marriage ceremonies that are all over the TV. These are the scenes that drive the Evangelicals right into the ballot box, in order to protect thier children and thier own confused psyche from such "offensive bahaviour."

Interesting thought, that it is Republican gays staging these events, and that thier progressive fellow gays know it is a stunt.

Apparently there are easily enough open and closet gays in the Republican party to stsage such an annual event.

Anyone else have a perspective on this one? Are the gay conservatives fomenting this furor for political purposes?

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 8:14 AM | Report abuse

'The NYT fronts the commissioner of internal revenue, Mark W. Everson, telling his employees they should hold off on trying to collect back taxes from Hurricane Katrina victims until after the November elections.'


Posted by: drinndl | October 27, 2006 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, everyone stuffs a news conference held by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in which he said critics of the Iraq war "ought to just back off, take a look at it, relax, understand that it's complicated." Administration officials also tried to downplay what has been reported as disagreements with the Iraqi government on whether benchmarks and/or a timeline were actually agreed on or not. Rumsfeld said the whole thought of setting benchmarks for Iraq is "a process, not an event." Naturally, Democrats seized on Rumsfeld's words, saying it illustrates how he is out of touch with reality.

Meanwhile a State Department official assured the LAT, "no one is imposing benchmarks or imposing timelines, and the [Iraqi] prime minister acknowledges this." Nobody seems to mention the NYT actually reported on Wednesday that it got a copy of a document that "sets a seven-month schedule, running from this September to March 2007, to complete a 16-point agenda on divisive issues." But the main distinction seems to be that U.S. officials are emphasizing there will be no consequences for not meeting any timelines or bench marks.

Posted by: j | October 27, 2006 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Intrepid Liberal,
I think if you look at where the money is going they are targeting their best chances. Also the Dems have a ton of money to spend.
The problem for the Republicans is that they are going to have to spend money in fringe cases that they need to keep. For example Reynolds in NY. He should be safe, but the Foley scandal has put his seat in play. The Dems won't spend a dime, but the GOP will.

Posted by: Andy R | October 27, 2006 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Arizona's Senator Kyl's (R) lead is now only 6 points. Challenger Jim Pederson just might pull off the upset.

This is the senate race nobody's talking about.

Posted by: Rob | October 27, 2006 8:09 AM | Report abuse

In 2004, we learned that our government's lawyers had privately opined that inflicting intense physical and mental pressures on people was not really torture. A person's organs had to be failing for harm to rise to the level of torture, the Justice Department's 2002 memos argued, and, moreover, torture required the specific intent "to inflict excruciating and agonizing physical and mental pain or suffering." The memos also claimed that the president, when acting as commander in chief during a war, was not bound by various treaties and conventions the United States has signed, nor constrained by domestic law, in authorizing interrogation procedures.

Why were these memos written? The United States has constitutional guarantees against mistreatment and had joined with nations around the world in a treaty banning torture. Anyone charging such harms had rights under American law to go to court seeking protection and redress. By putting these noxious and faulty arguments on Department of Justice stationery, Bush administration lawyers sought to manufacture legal defenses for interrogators and others involved in the mistreatment of detainees.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Apparently the White House has its own numbers to look at. Rove is much too confident in his own polling numbers, makes one wonder just who has reassured old trudblossom of what.

Is "The Fix" in? How many districts will have a long list of Democratic state and local offices, but the national offices are switched?

It happened in 2004, it could happen again.

Its no wonder the neocons are desperate, even the Republican oversight hounds are closing in... Grassley's bird-dogging the SEC, and he's on point right now.

From today's NYTimes;

"(S.E.C. investigator) Mr. Aguirre has told the Senate that ... his superiors blocked him from taking the testimony of John J. Mack, an influential Wall Street executive and a friend of Mr. Samberg. Mr. Mack now heads Morgan Stanley.

S.E.C. officials argued that Mr. Aguirre was not justified in taking Mr. Mack's testimony because he could not show that Mr. Mack had inside information or a clear motive for giving it to Mr. Samberg. The investigator said he was simply asking to interview Mr. Mack, not bring charges. Mr. Aguirre protested the decision and was fired in September 2005, a year after he was hired."

Well, obviously."The Fix" was in at the S.E.C. and if thier most sacred cow is being loked at for slaughter, I would suggest some of thier other shenanigans will come to light, no matter who wins.

Some of these Republicans know they have two options; face up to the problems, admit they were wrong, fess up to any outright deceptions, and help the American people retrieve and rebuild the glorious nation we once hoped to be.

Either that, or they can scurry around like (R)ats trying to hide from the truth until they can get out of the light.

Not much wriggle room between those two options.

Posted by: JEP | October 27, 2006 8:08 AM | Report abuse

What a disgusting bunch of vultures -- and they call themselves Christians. The only thing that gets them off is the idea that some poor homosexuals who love each other will be denied the same rights they have. Only I don't think these so-called 'conservative' Christians are actually capable of love.

'The New Jersey court decision that gay couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples was bad news for social conservatives -- the bad news they were hoping for.

"Pro-traditional-marriage organizations ought to give a distinguished service award to the New Jersey Supreme Court," said the Rev. Richard Land, head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Land and other conservative religious leaders predicted that the court's 4 to 3 ruling, which was handed down Wednesday, would boost turnout of social conservatives in the midterm elections, particularly in the eight states that have constitutional amendments against same-sex marriage on the Nov. 7 ballot.'

What do the words 'compassionate conservative' actually mean? Bloodsucking vampire?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 8:04 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats may actually have a champaigne problem: with so many competitive races their funds are being spread out instead of concentrated on targeted districts. The party has some interesting strategic choices to make in the coming days.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | October 27, 2006 8:01 AM | Report abuse

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