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Parsing the Polls on Tom DeLay and Georgia's 8th District

It's Wednesday morning and time for the latest edition of Parsing the Polls.

The decision Monday by a Texas judge to uphold one of the charges against Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) ensures the controversial former House majority leader will remain in the news for weeks or months to come. How will it impact his political career?  If a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey is to be believed, DeLay could be in real trouble next November.

The poll, which was in the field from Dec. 1-4 and tested 713 registered voters in DeLay's Houston-area 22nd District, showed the congressman trailing a generic Democratic candidate 49 percent to 36 percent; 12 percent of respondents said they had no opinion and three percent chose the "other" option.

Kevin Madden, DeLay's spokesman, took issue with the survey, arguing that "when you put a name candidate versus a generic candidate you are always going to have results that are somewhat skewed." 

Under this line of criticism, a generic candidate does not carry the baggage that a specific person does in the minds of voters (like, say, DeLay's likely opponent next year -- former Democratic Rep. Nick Lampson).  So survey respondents idealize the generic candidate as opposed to being forced to choose between two -- inevitably -- flawed, real-life candidates.

One Republican pollster, who was granted anonymity so that he could speak freely about DeLay's political situation, agreed with Madden -- to a point. The source said that if the survey had tested DeLay versus Lampson it might have shown a tighter race, but added the most important finding in the poll was that DeLay got only 36 percent of the vote. "If he's at 36, you can forget the other side of the question," he said.

DeLay's favorable/unfavorable numbers aren't much better. Thirty-seven percent of registered voters said they view him favorably compared to 52 percent who see him in an unfavorable light.

Madden, DeLay's spokesman, called the poll results "a snapshot in time." But Sarah Feinberg of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee insisted that the survey shows that "Texas families are sick and tired of the corruption and pay-to-play politics that have come to define Tom DeLay."

What's your take on these numbers and what they say about DeLay's political future? Use the comments section below to weigh in.

Rep. Marshall's Strong Support?

In other House race news, former Rep. Mac Collins's (R) pollster released a memo this week calling into question the results of a Mercer University survey that showed the Republican badly trailing Rep. Jim Marshall (D) in Georgia's 8th District -- 57 percent to 23 percent. (A PDF copy of the survey is here.)

Glen Bolger, a partner in the GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies, questioned the dates that the poll was in the field -- Nov. 7, 9 and 14. "This is too wide a time-frame in which to reasonably gauge public opinion," he said.

Bolger also said the sample (40 percent men, 60 percent women) is "way out of whack," arguing it should be closer to 48 percent male, 52 percent female.

And finally, Bolger noted that Marshall was a law professor at Mercer from 1979 to 1995. "It's questionable for a candidate's former employer to conduct a legitimate scientific poll," Bolger wrote.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 7, 2005; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  House , Parsing the Polls  
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Comments

Your site is realy very interesting.

Posted by: Dublin Flats | March 22, 2006 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I have heard that DeLay is going to have a real opponent in the 2006 primary. Finally we will have a choice in CD22. Like many others in his district, I had resigned myself to not voting for him again and was even willing to vote for a Democrat if I had to. I look forward to learning about this new candidate and being able to vote Republican without feeling guilty for sending DeLay back to Congress.

Posted by: New Blood | December 27, 2005 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Let me point out something. Tom Delay is clearly against Seperation of Powers, and Seperation of Church and State. What don't you get that when he swears to uphold the Constitution of These United States of America, and he doesn't that he has violated his oath and should be impeached. He has gone on radio and said that he thought that the House and Senate should punish the judicial system for not cooperating with the churches view of how law should be meted out. He has gone on television to talk about, in a church, how church should be used to influence politics.

He doesn't uphold the constitution send him home.

Forget about some little slimey money laundering scheme.....they got you to buy a monkey for president and you're worrying about $20,000? You should be suing your state public school system for graduating you without teaching you how to think. Anyone can answer multiple choice questions, anyone can parrot, answer by rote....have them teach your children to think so that they learn how to vote for who actually passes laws that create a better standard of living and emotional growth.

The official church was born as an extension of Roman Rule.....my god will kick your butt if you don't do what he says as he's the biggest/contains all other gods and only my priests can talk to him. Holy Roman Empire....christianity in the old days was originally a personal thing...Rome didn't like that and bought the rites. All so-called Christian churches are descended from the Holy Roman Empires power-over mindset.....allll of them started out Roman Catholic....all churches came from that....ProtestANTS too. Intimidation, power over, bullshit and bluster....your president to a T.....sometimes you can take back what you bought if you can show the defect in the product.....it aint hard.

Posted by: Hello simple people. | December 9, 2005 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Yo guys, the proper response to someone who is considering voting against Delay isn't, "wow are you stupid for not doing so sooner". Cut the guy some slack.

Posted by: J. Crozier | December 8, 2005 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Bill W, Never realized Delay was a crook? Voted for him anyway. Same reason you probably voted for Bush. Didn't pay any attention to what HE was about either, did you? Too bad. Wish Repubelicons were a little smarter.

Posted by: modaddy | December 8, 2005 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I am fully aware that some Democrats have received contributions from various Indian tribes. However, one thing that should be pointed out is that not all members who have received donation from tribes did so as the behest or directly from Jack Abramoff; this rhetoric is rather misleading.

It is also worth noting that while Abramoff or his firm did contribute to Democrats, they contributed far more to Republicans; by a 2-1 margin. Furthermore, simply receiving money from Abramoff or his firm should certainly warrant scrutiny considering all the crap that Casino Jack was trying to pull, the members and other political operatives that are actually targets of the investigation are those engaged in serious ethical and quite possibly legal misconduct; for example, Tom Cornyn and Bob Ney. It is not illegal to take contributions from a lobbyist (however sleezy he or she happens to be); it is, however, illegal for a lobbyist to pay, for example, for foreign travel.

Second, I never said that the Abramoff scandal wouldn't touch Democrats or that it would only affect Tom Delay. I merely pointed out that the scandal is going to take a long time to play out and that it is entirely likely that it could continue through the 2006 midterms. It is also true that the first name associated with Jack Abramoff is Tom Delay due to their close relationship. Furthermore, whenever there is a major scandal in Congress, the voters typically take it out on incumbents and, specifically, to the party in power. From what I've seen so far, the only Democrat that could have an issue is Dorgan, but he is nowhere near in the same position as, say, Bob Ney. Again, if he is guilty of ethical or criminal violations, throw the bum out.

Lastly, I will point out that your analysis about the campaign contribution laws in Texas is simply incorrect. Corporate money can be used for administrative purposes, but there are specific rules involved about this. The money that TRMPAC laundered through the RNC was given directly to the general campaign funds for individual candidates in Texas; this is illegal. The only question that has to be proven in Delay's case is whether or not he knew or was involved with what has already been shown to have happened. Your blanket statements about this happening elsewhere are also factually incorrect; the rules for corporate contributions are different from state to state. In one last note, I should also point out that I found several articles on Democrats being possibly implicated in the Abramoff debacle in the "liberal media" including front page articles in the Washington Post.

Posted by: Matthew Schmidt | December 8, 2005 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone want to wager (not actually bet but figurately speaking) that Dems will take over the House next year. American are so so tired of the GOP. They are also tired of the far right having so much influence in our government. There are eight to ten negative images I would run against every Republican next year(except Richard Lugar who I respect)

1 Congressional vote on Terry Schiavo
2: Tom Delay in court,Duke Cunningham going to prison,Scooter Libby being indicted and Karl Rove being indicted(still to come)
3: Clips of Pat Robertsons tirades, pick one of your favorites

4: Intelligent Design as science

5: Patriot Act overstepping and trampleing on American rights

6: Irag and WMD lies.

7: Armstrong Williams being paid to peddle No Child left behind

8: Home heating bills rising 50% and gasoline over $3.00 while Oil companies made record profits ( a shot of Cheyney and his secret meeting with the Oil executives is needed here)

9: Hurricane Katrina and Fema

10: Record Deficit spending

WHo cares in dems have an agenda right now, lets keep the focus on the idiots who stole the election in 2000 and used proganda throughout to come to power and abused that power. Merna's crowd has run this country in the ground. Period.

Posted by: DB | December 8, 2005 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Pity the poor Merna's of the world I tell ya, too much of the 700 and PTL Clubs can brainwash you. The problem with the NEO Cons like Delay, Rove, Bush, and especially Cheyney is they actually believe that god made them so special they are above everyone else. Merna appears to believe anything Fox News, Christmas Bill O'Reilly and Ditto dumbhand Limbaugh.

What Delay did is not only illegal but immoral and un-American. His efforts violated the Voters Rights Acts. As soon as a court not appointed by a Republican hears this case about the Justice Dept objecting but political operatives overruling them as the Post reported last week, we are finally going to see the truth of what really has gone on. Delay's actions before the courts today are only the tip of the iceburg. He is a megomaniac.

I once read in a Texas newspaper that another former Texan who was a right wing nut as well ( Dick Armery) once said that there are conservatives and conservative values, Tom Delay has neither values nor is he a conservative. He is is right wing nut case. Too many pesticides have hit his brain.

As for Merna's assertion that a lot of Democrats are going down with the Abramoff scandal. ThinK twice. Giving donations to the lawmakers was not and is not illegal. What is illegal is using your position of power to insert language into legislation that specifically benefits the lobbyist client outside the normal legislative debating process is illegal. It is payola and is a bribe.

As for all those Democrats, here is the problem for the GOP to tie them to corruption. The GOP house and most of the Senate does not allow Dems to insert language into legislative bills. Has anyone read the story on how Congressman Virgil Goode did this with MZM the same company that Duke Cunningham took bribes from.

This whole way that Delay governed with Hastert as his lap dog, will vindicate all House Dems who received any contributions from Abramoff. Instead of working with the minority party as the dems use to do with the GOP, the GOP have ran rough-shod over the democrats. Now they are paying the price. If there is one thing for sure is that Delay has unified the Dems in the House. So my theory goes like this, taking a contribution is one thing, inserting language in bills one day and receiving lobbyists money the next like Virgil Goode has done is another. In the House, only the GOP has the privelage of writing legislation under the Delay rules.
The only person I worry about on the Dem side is Dorgan of North Dakota. Let's see
where the paper trail goes before rushing to judgement as Dorgan has a long history of integrity.

Posted by: db | December 7, 2005 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Damn Merna...you gotta slow down dude. If you want to have an actual discussion rather than just throwing out recycled Republican spin you have to actually let a few other people post the other side, otherwise you're doing what's known as "speechifying".

As for the numbers game, I think you missed the "Scorecard" that The Fix posted last week wherein a few helpful debaters listed the Republican ethics violations vs. the Democratic ones. I'm afraid that your assertion that the Dems are going to have more people under indictment than the Republicans just doesn't hold water when you mix in something that is fashionable in moderate/liberal political circles. It's a little thing we like to call "Reality Based Politics" (sometimes shortened to just "facts").

Anyway, sarcasm aside, I've said before and I will say over and over again...it's fashionable to just throw out names of Democrats who have gotten Abramoff campaign funds to muddy the waters. However, what is missing whenever someone throws out a few Democratic names is the "Quid pro Quo" relationship that prosecutors going after Republican Congressmen are indicting on. Simply accepting special interest money isn't in itself a crime. It is when you are literally selling your votes that it becomes a problem.

Granted it is a fine line distinction, but with Michael Scanlon singing like a canary in order to get a lighter sentance I'm guessing the sordid details of who did what will end up coming out eventually. If some of the Democrats go down, then so be it. They deserve it.

Thus far though, all the politicians touched by indictment due to their connections to Abramoff have been Republicans. Either that is one monumental coincidence or the Republicans ethical problems ARE that much more blatant than the Democrats' are.

As for the Delay issue, lets stick with pure facts again - what can be proven.

Fact 1: Republicans control both houses of Congress
Fact 2: A Republican controlled ethics committee voted THREE TIMES to censure Tom Delay for ethics violations
Fact 3: The Republican leadership, not liking this, removed the Republican on the committee who was voting to censure Delay and replaced him with a Republican who accepted Delay's leftover campaign money for his own campaign
Fact 4: The Republicans further tried to shield Delay by making a change to the rules to allow a Congressman under indictment to retain their leadership post, relenting only when Democrats had a field day trumpeting that little change in the media

I could go on. The point is that Delay being innocent or guilty of his federal criminal indictments aside, he has consistently pushed the boundaries of what is ethical in Congress and therefore it is hardly surprising that the "liberal media" is reporting that fact. When a clear pattern emerges sometimes the facts speak for themselves.

Posted by: J. Crozier | December 7, 2005 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Delay did nothing wrong and Democrats do the exact same thing every single day.
Coporate funds can not be used except for administrative purposes. If you have more coporate funds than you need for over-head, you send it to the national party headquarters for them to use for administrative purposes.
National headquarters of both parties send funds, funds recieved through small individual donations. Two seperate accounts, the funds were never co-mingled.

Posted by: Merna | December 7, 2005 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Ass far as the Abromoff investigations go, many more Democrats than Republicans may find themselves under indictment.
Sen.Byron Dorgan (D-ND), top Dem on the Sen. indian affairs committee, accepted nearly $95,000 in Abramoff related money between 2001 and 2004. He even held a political fund-raiser in a stadium sky-box leased by Abramoff.
Dorgan recieved $19,000 in donations in the month following a letter Dorgan signed to benifit an Abramoff client.

Harry Reid,(D-NV) Senate Minority leader, his political group, the Senate leadership fund took Abramoff funds.
Reied also recived $40,000 from Abramoff.
Patrick J. Kennedy (D RI) recieved $128,000 from Abramoff
Tom Daschle (D-SD) recieved $40,000 from Abramoff.
Dick Gephardt (D-MO) recieved 32,500 from Abramoff.
Patty Murry (D-WA) also recieved donations from Abramoff
Sen. James Clyburn (D) and Concressman Dobson ( D) and Bernie Tompson ( D-MA) all recieved travel expenses and took trips paid for by Abramoff they even logged them as having been paid for by the lobbist, and changed the record after it was made public.

And as far as one of DeLays former aaids being involved being a reason to condemn Delay, how about then condemning Sen. Schumer for his two aids breaking federal law and stealing the credit report of Rep. Lt. Gov. Michael Steel? Or maybe condemingSen. joseph Biden as his aid Rodger Blevins III, was ssentanced to three years in prison for stealing $400,000 in campagin funds partly to buy gifts for men he met through the internet.
I could make entrys for hours of Dem's caught on the take, racketeering and worse.

Point being the media does not tell you about these crooks. They selectively-edit the news you get.
and they wonder why we don't trust them anymore.

Posted by: Merna | December 7, 2005 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Despite what Merna may claim, or what Tom Delay himself claimed on the ABC program This Week, there was never any coordination between the Democrats in Congress. Delay was asked directly if he had any evidence of this to which he retorted that it would be made available when it was timely. Well, no information has been presented. It would seem to me that if you were under indictment and you had a motion before the court to have the charges against you dismissed, that that would be an awfully timely oppotunity to produce this evidence.

The truth of the matter is that Delay and the Texans for a Republican Majority PAC, in colution with the RNC, successfully funneled $190,000 from corporate donations, through the RNC back into individual Texas campaigns; this is a direct violation of Texas campaign finance laws.

There are no Democrats lieing about this, these are simply the facts. It is also interesting to note that Ronnie Earl, in his career as DA has prosecuted 15 public officials for violations such as this; of those 15, I believe 12 were Democrats. Personally, while I happen to be a Democrat, I'm also for clean government, so I would gladly stand up and cheer Mr. Earl for nailing to the wall those 12 Democrats as well as the 3 Republicans.

I do find it sad that in response to a well reasoned argument, the previous posted has to just come back with tired refrains like "Bush hater" and "liberal media". If you want to have an intellectually honest discussion, by all means, come back at me with an actual argument. If you are simply going to throw around diatribes from the far right-wing blogs and talk shows, then you have nothing to add.

Posted by: Matthew Schmidt | December 7, 2005 9:42 PM | Report abuse

As far as polls, the skewed ones are pumped up in the press, who hates Bussh and any other Republican, and the real ones are hidden.
All the while Time, Cnn, Newsday and co. were pushing their loud and skewed polls about the Presidentss approval rating, rasmussen had him aat 46% the whole time.
Rasmussen was the only polling agency to get the presidential election right.
A new poll of colleges taken by Harvard showed that 85% of students polled trusted the president to do the right thing. Likewise 97% felt the same about the Military.
See: "Political Zeal Fizzles on campus" by Jennifer Harper Washington Times Nov. 17th

The louder the Dem's lie, the deeper RED this nation becomes. The map has not changed. The peoples support has not changed.
You would think that after the last debachle of the press trying to form public opinion through selectively-edited documents and out-and-out cover-ups and lies told for the Democrats benifit, they would see we are not as stupid as they think we are.

Thier politically motivated lies about Tom DeLay will come back to bite them. It and so many other things just like this are already coming back to bite the press, who are finding it harder to sell their lies to an increasingly self-informed public.

Posted by: Merna | December 7, 2005 9:25 PM | Report abuse

What is happening to Tom DeLay is a shame and a travesty of justice.
Anyone who is looking at this logically caan see this is a put up job. Nasty Nancy Pelosi who herself was convicted by the FEC for the very same thing she is alledging at the top of her hypocritical lungs of Tom DeLay.
She just barely avoided criminal charges and keeps her position as House Minority Leader only as the Democrats do not require ethics of their members. They have no rule like the GOP rule that requires a member under indictment (even an unjust one) to step down.
If a real investigation were done, I think we would most likely find a sscurry of emails between Pelosi and Ronnie Earl.
Much as the memo from Harry Reid to Gov. Blanko assuring her of the lock-step Democratic slime machines aid in covering up her and Nagans failures by pushing the blame on the Bush adminstration and FEMA.

Pelosi has long wanted Delay out of her way and I have no reservation in being of the opinion that if she herself did not instigate these phony charges she has at the very least aided in their being brought and publicized.
When it is all over, DeLay will be cleared and Earl will be exposed and more than likely charged for misconduct, and as it seems compulsory for Democrats to eat their own, when he is indicted he will take any Democrat involved in the conspiracy to bring DeLay down, down with him.

Posted by: Merna | December 7, 2005 9:03 PM | Report abuse

What Bill W. said is deeply saddening. It's exactly that kind of complacent ignorance of politics that keeps Americans voting against their own interests and gave Republicans total control of our government. To live in DeLay's district for 20 years and not know the man is corrupt? It's been obvious for easily a decade.

Among political scientists, Capitol Hill insiders, and other like creatures, we have a saying: "The people get the government they deserve". I find that again to be true. If people started paying attention without blinders on, our government and political system would be drastically better.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 7, 2005 6:01 PM | Report abuse

One thing is certain, Tom Delay will never step foot in Congress again. Aside from the possibility of his conviction and prison sentence, recent polls have shown that a very solid majority of Texans are very upset about the redistricting stunt that he organized. However, unless he's in jail, my guess is that Delay will try as hard as he can to win the Republican nomination again in 2006 (if he isn't convicted, surely he will face some form of primary challenge).

Now consider the fact that it is quite conceivable the Delay will become even more ensnared in the Abramoff scandal than he already is. Unlike the current charges against him, there most likely will not be an quick a decicive end to this one. What this means is that it is quite conceivable that we won't even know all the fallout from the various investigations going on until AFTER the 2006 midterms.

Lastly, Nick Lampson is a solid "blue dog", conservative Democrat who was basically redistricted out of his former congressional seat by Delay's strong-arms tactics. Furthermore, he is actually originally from the 22nd district and is, in a sense, coming home to set things right. This is a theme that will play particularly well if Delay is his opponent. The only chance the Republicans have to retain this seat is for Delay to step aside which, barring a prison term, I would be surprised (pleasantly) if he will be willing to do.

Posted by: Matthew Schmidt | December 7, 2005 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I live in Delay's district in Texas. ALL the adults members of my extended family who live here in the 22nd District voted for him in the last election as we are a SOLIDLY Republican family; however, ALL of us over Thanksgiving dinner made it clear that NONE of us will vote for Delay in '06! We will vote for ANYONE but Delay (another Republican hopefully but a good MODERATE Democrat if need be!). Until this scam hit the papers, we NEVER realized how crooked Delay really was. We wish we had paid closer attention in the past with his ethics violations, etc. The current charge, IMHO, is NOT what is really hurting Delay; it's the fact that his PREVIOUS ill deeds are NOW coming to light for a majority of the Republican voters in the 22nd District! We don't really care what happens one way or the other in court NOW that we are well aware of all his negative, unethical actions due to the NUMEROUS news reports in the past few months!!! It's hard to say this as a strong Republican, but MAYBE it is time that the Republicans lose control of the US Congress to teach them a lesson that they are their representing US (not themselves). Based on conversations at work, church, with others who supported Delay in the past, he's TOAST in November no matter what happens in the courts! It would be best if he stepped down now so that another HONEST Republican could take over! Delay just retire in 2006, or better yet, please just resign like Rep. Cunningham in California. Although as far as I know NONE of my family was contacted in the poll you mentioned, I can see its validity based on just my own observations in 22nd District. Just my $.02 as a concerned citizen and voter.

Posted by: Bill W. | December 7, 2005 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I firmly believe that Republicans especially ones from Texas should not have to adhere to any of the laws of the land. Or better yet, any election, political, and or contribution laws. Look Tom DeLay is above the petty laws of the Congress and the sooner you wussies and Democrats get that thru your heads the better. Republicans are your boss!
Remember that!

Posted by: The Thomas Report.com | December 7, 2005 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Until the Supreme Court of this country decides that money does not equal speech, we're going to have compromised politicians/branches of government on both sides.

Do I have $5000 to spend on a plate at either party's fundraiser? No. Then why should they listen to my needs? I get a pat on the head or swift kick in the rear (depending on the party) and told that decisions they make are in my best interests.

Tom Delay is just a symptom of a bigger problem: the inability of our government to function without being manipulated by interests other than "We the People", no matter how they try to justify it.

Posted by: South Carolina Demo | December 7, 2005 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The Mercer survey PDF is fixed. Click at will.

Posted by: washingtonpost.com | December 7, 2005 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Republicans' best hope of holding this seat is probably to pull a Torricelli in late 2006. Lampson was a solid Congressman and is a great candidate. I think his 11-15 point lead over DeLay will only grow, whether DeLay is convicted or not. DeLay's number is up.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 7, 2005 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I always thought that, politically at least if not what is best for the country, the Democrats should do their absolute best to keep Tom Delay right where he is in Congress. He's become a walking, talking, fundraising letter for the Democratic party. Every time the man opens his mouth he says something that banks a million bucks or so for the Democratic fundraisers. (Although we never get "The Fix" to write a column along the lines of "Delay pops off!")

At this point in his career, Delay is carrying so much baggage that he has become a symbol for what the Democrats are trying to claim: that the Republican party is corrupt to its core.

Replacing Delay with some fresh faced, anonymous Republican would, politically at least, make things worse for Democrats.

Now if we're talking about what's good for the country that's a different story. The voters in Delay's district should toss both him and the horse he rode in on out on their respective hineys.

Posted by: J. Crozier | December 7, 2005 11:17 AM | Report abuse

If your negatives are at 52 you probably need to outspend your opponent by 10-1 instead of the normal Republican 3-1 margin in order to win. T-O-M is now spelled T-O-A-S-T. Mercifully, his massively pickled ego will prevent him stepping down for another Republican in 05, who might very well win.

Posted by: Slangist | December 7, 2005 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Living in the district adjacent to DeLay's, I've seen his shenanigans for years and always wondered how he continued to hold his seat. One of the unintended consequences of his redistricting plan was to reduce his percentage of safely Republican voters to dilute the Democratic vote in other districts. The seat is not nearly the Republican lock of the the past. One thing is sure. Both parties will flood the next campaign with dollars and we locals will detest DeLay and Lampson long before November...Jackie

Posted by: Jackie | December 7, 2005 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I think that either Delay will regain his seat in '05, or another Republican will replace him. Unless the Dems find that rare candidate who's squeaky clean, charismatic and visionary, the GOP will tear him apart like they've done so many others. Plus, I think that if Delay's in this bad shape in a few months, and particularly if he loses his party leadership role, he'll retire into private life. In a solidly Republican area, new GOP blood in the race would be tough for the Dems to compete with.

Posted by: ACM | December 7, 2005 10:49 AM | Report abuse

we're getting the PDF of the Mercer survey fixed. Should be updated in the next 20 mins.

Posted by: washingtonpost.com | December 7, 2005 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The pdf document of the poll results from the 8th district is largely unreadable.

Posted by: RC | December 7, 2005 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"If he's at 36, you can forget the other side of the question." That from a Republican. What's there to parse? Get back to bashing Hillary, Shillizza.

Posted by: jf | December 7, 2005 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Chris, there comes a point in every debate where legitimate spin gives way to self delusion. I believe Delay has reached that point on the problems he is having, and I believe that both Bush and Cheny have reached that point on the Iraq war.

When you reach the pint where you wall yourself off from the undeniable reality that is going on around you, you become a joke, a laughingstock. When OJ Simpson got his "Not Gulity" verdict, he left the courthouse believing that people were celebrating his triump all over the country. Sources told that OJ was flat out stunned when he got closer and closer to his old neighborhood as the crowds and the signs grew more hostile by the moment.

Why? Because he believed the nonsense being peddled to him by his defense team. Wasn't it Jay Leno who quipped: "You wanna know how good this guy (Johnnie Cochran) is? He's even got OJ believing he's innocent!"

That joke apples in spades to Bush, Cheny and Delay.

Posted by: Jaxas | December 7, 2005 10:14 AM | Report abuse

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