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The Ten Best Incumbent Campaigns

With just six days left before Election Day, The Fix is already growing nostalgic about campaign 2006.

In that vein, we will spend at least part of the final days of the campaign season looking back at its high and lows

Today we tackle the top 10 campaigns run this cycle by incumbents. The choices are informed by an informal poll of consultants, campaign operatives and other political junkies. This list is meant as a starting point for discussion -- it's not meant to be definitive or comprehensive. And, it's not meant to be predictive of the election outcome; candidates can run great races and lose. Your thoughts are welcome in the comments area below.

Top 10 Campaigns Run by Incumbents (listed alphabetically)

Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.): Bean started the cycle as Republicans' top target. After all, President Bush carried the 8th District by twelve points in 2004, and even Democrats admitted that Bean's victory that year had much more to do with the ineptitude of former Rep. Phil Crane (R) than Bean's own appeal. Fast forward two years. Bean has voted in the House with a keen eye on avoiding giving Republicans any campaign ammunition. She has also proven a successful fundraiser -- a must in this district covered by the costly Chicago media market. Bean isn't out of the woods yet, but she is in much better shape than many neutral observers assumed she might be just two years ago.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.): Yes, we know that Clinton's competition isn't exactly stellar. But we also know that the reason no big name Republican would undertake a race against her is because she worked hard over the first five years of her Senate term to insulate herself. How? By reaching across the aisle to work with Republicans on legislation and also raising tens of millions of dollars to scare away any serious challenge. By clearing her path to reelection, Clinton spent 2006 broadening her donor base and campaign infrastructure for her expected 2008 White House bid. She is not to be underestimated.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.): Granholm started the cycle as one of the most targeted governors in the country. Republican hopes rose even higher when businessman Dick DeVos showed a willingness to spend heavily from his own pocket to finance a slew of statewide television ads that moved him into a mid-single digit lead over the Democratic incumbent heading into the summer. Despite protestations from within the party, Granholm held her campaign fire for months. When she let fly, she did so with a series of ads that highlighted her efforts to bring jobs to the state while knocking DeVos for allegedly moving jobs to China. What once looked like a toss-up now tilts slightly but significantly in her favor.

Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas): Even in a cycle where the national landscape heavily favors Democrats, Edwards should be in more trouble than he currently finds himself. He has President Bush as a constituent and his central Texas district went for the president with 70 percent in 2004. Republicans were initially high on GOP nominee Van Taylor thanks to his wealth and military credentials, but the party watched as Edwards quickly discredited the Republican as a carpet-bagger. This isn't Edwards's first rodeo. His campaign skills were also on display in 2004 when he was the lone Democratic incumbent targeted by the Texas "re-redistricting" plan to survive.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn): Lieberman makes this list for how he has run his general election campaign. After a disastrous primary campaign (see if it makes our 10 worst list later this week), Lieberman brought in a new team that includes pollster Neil Newhouse, a Republican, and media consultant Josh Isay, a Democrat -- moves that totally changed the dynamic of the contest. It went from a referendum on Lieberman and his position on the Iraq war to a debate over whether businessman Ned Lamont (D) is ready to serve in the Senate. This represents a remarkable political turnaround for an incumbent who was dead in the water just a few months ago.

Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.): Georgia Republicans re-redistricted Marshall into a district that President Bush carried with better than 60 percent of the vote in 2004 and then recruited former Rep. Mac Collins (R) to challenge him. Marshall could have panicked. Instead, he focused on consolidating his base in the Macon media market and raising the sort of money ($1.7 million at last count) necessary to defend himself against Republican attacks. As a result, he looks likely to win next Tuesday in a seat that Republicans once believed would be theirs.

Rep. Anne Northup (R-Ky.): There's a reason that Northup has held Kentucky's Democratic-leaning 3rd District since 1996. She raises millions of dollars and uses the money to savage her Democratic opponents. And time after time, she wins. This cycle is no different, as Northup has unleashed a series of attacks of former alternative weekly executive editor John Yarmouth (D) -- most of which have centered on columns he has written over the years. Interestingly, Democrats insist that Yarmouth remains in contention but that seems to have more to do with the pro-Democratic national environment than anything he has done.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.): One year ago, Schwarzenegger looked like one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country. Polling showed that California voters had soured on him and his in-your-face style of governance. Enter Steve Schmidt, Matt Dowd and several other veterans of the Bush-Cheney reelection race. Focused on winning each news cycle, that campaign team rebuilt Schwarzenegger's image day by day. They also got a bit of help when state Treasurer Phil Angelides beat state Controller Steve Westly in the Democratic primary. Schwarzenegger immediately cast the race as a choice between the past and the future -- retaking the reform mantle that he had temporarily lost. Because of the Democratic tilt of California, Schwarzenegger won't win overwhelmingly. But that he will win at all is a testament to his campaign's efforts.

Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.): As we said above, running a good campaign does not ensure that a candidate will win. Talent typifies this conundrum. In an election cycle where many of his fellow incumbents have endangered themselves through verbal miscues or poor decision-making, Talent has remained remarkably steady. His ads -- produced by Scott Howell -- have not only looked good but struck the right message. Talent himself exudes competence and makes it difficult for Democrats to label him as a right-wing extremist. That said, Talent is in a dogfight against state Auditor Claire McCaskill, who herself has run a decidedly sound campaign. From a pure political junkie perspective, this race has been the highest quality contest in the country.

Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.): Like Talent, Wilson may not win reelection in her Albuquerque-area 1st District despite running a near-flawless campaign. Wilson followed a blueprint similar to that of Northup: Raise wads of cash and use it to raise questions about your opponent's fitness for office. Wilson's latest ad, which shows state Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D) unable to answer a question about tax increases during a recent debate, is a doozy. This race may be the single closest House contest on Election Day; it's so close that neither side is willing to make predictions.

Tune in tomorrow for our 10 worst campaigns by incumbents.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 1, 2006; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Governors , House , Senate  
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Next: Congressional Countdown: Senate Playing Field Continues to Shift

Comments

I have been following this race as my term project and the posts are actually pretty right. When Yarmuth didn't metion her name and attack right away it through her off her game. For the first time she attacked first and lost her facade of a "Nice southern woman". Her first attack, which you think was so brilliant, wound up losing credibility when John sent her manager out to refute the "lies" and established to her and the media that he wasn't going to engage in her tactics and be knocked off his message. The ad had to many (6) claims that seemed non-sensicle. Instead of being on the defensive Yarmuth put out what is maybe the best response ad of the cycle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waFeZ8n77F8, and innoculated himself for the rest of the campaign. Political Tsunami or not, the Yarmuth campaign is one of the best of the cycle and the reason why he may win

Posted by: Poli student | November 4, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

that couldn't be more right about Northup. Jack Conway's campaign acted like a coward, Tony miller was a joke. See what Yarmuth is doing. 3-1 registration and no one has run as a democrat. Every candidate has let her get away with her attacking them. John campaign has been on the offensive, challenged her on the things that you in the media take as fact and has run the best organization since Wendell Ford. The myth of Northup is far greater then the facts and John has pointed out the facts. Northup has been a paper tiger and the Yarmuth campaign is the only one who had the courage to tell Louisville that "the emperor has no clothes". pay attention to the Ads and the responses. Pay attention to the debates and organization. If any one here in town had run this campaign years ago, she would have been a one termer. Wake up Chris, she should be on your worst run and John should be on your best run

Posted by: BCS town | November 4, 2006 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Herald S. | November 2, 2006 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Those who can do, DO. Those who can't, write about it! You couldn't be any more clueless about the KY 3 race. Anne has run her typical race and it has backfired. For the first time in her career she is runnig against someone who is actually running as a democrat and not backing down. Reading columns and doing ads on them does not constitute a "well run campaign". The campaign that John Yarmuth is running is the reason why this race is competetive and he will win. He is the first candidate to actually stand up to her. look at all the golden boys who ran against her in the past.

They spent there whole race on the defensive. JY took her on immediately in the press and on TV and she has been chasing him ever since. Her TV is all over the place and confusing. She changes traffic every 4 days with out getting any traction, and has not been able in debates or in the press to go on the offensive.

This race isn't about the "WAVE". Look at the polling. They have been tied since August in every internal and independent poll. No movement after Foley. 7-10 undecided for 6 months. A well know and well like challenger. Better TV, better organization, better campaign.
They are running the most extensive and intelligent field prgram ever run in the district.

Get a clue and stop listening to the punditry and talk to some real campaign people. John Yarmuth will win because he's running a better campaign.

Posted by: Joking | November 2, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Those who can do, DO. Those who can't, write about it! You couldn't be any more clueless about the KY 3 race. Anne has run her typical race and it has backfired. For the first time in her career she is runnig against someone who is actually running as a democrat and not backing down. Reading columns and doing ads on them does not constitute a "well run campaign". The campaign that John Yarmuth is running is the reason why this race is competetive and he will win. He is the first candidate to actually stand up to her. look at all the golden boys who ran against her in the past.

They spent there whole race on the defensive. JY took her on immediately in the press and on TV and she has been chasing him ever since. Her TV is all over the place and confusing. She changes traffic every 4 days with out getting any traction, and has not been able in debates or in the press to go on the offensive.

This race isn't about the "WAVE". Look at the polling. They have been tied since August in every internal and independent poll. No movement after Foley. 7-10 undecided for 6 months. A well know and well like challenger. Better TV, better organization, better campaign.
They are running the most extensive and intelligent field prgram ever run in the district.

Get a clue and stop listening to the punditry and talk to some real campaign people. John Yarmuth will win because he's running a better campaign.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 2, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Chris is looking at the 2004 Northup campaign, because in 2006, Anne has dropped 3 mil on the least effective filth in history. She is running up to 5 commercials at a time, changes traffic twice a week, and my mail box is suffed with glossies of Yarmuth looking like Satan. The result: an invincible incumbent is down in 4 straight polls. Now she's yelling at tv news cameras, and leaving her supporters embarassed.

Yarmuth has undercut her credibility every step of the way. He's been funny, warm, and thoughtful without sacrificing a bit of strength. Louisvillians are convinced, like they never have been, that this is the guy to move us forward.

Honestly, it's like praising Mondale 1984 or saying Sunny Liston put up a good fight against Ali. If Anne has run a good incumbent campaign then Yarmuth team must heaven-sent, because they're licking her a$$.

Posted by: voter in the ville | November 2, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

OG,

If Lieberman isn't a democrat, then what is he? He's no Republican, I tell ya that. With his support of labor and liberal judges...yeah, he's a democrat alright.

Posted by: reason | November 2, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Best campaigns not mentioned in this letter.

Robert Ehrlich-the Md. governor had ran an incredibly effective race against O'Malley. In a democratic state in a dem. year, close polls now are a testament to his campaign.

Mike Hatch- the DFL nominee for gov. of Minn. has ran a great campaign to stay close with Pawlentry this cycle. He may win it.

Bob Riley- the Alabama governor first had to fend off a primary challenge from the right in Roy Moore. He beat him handily. Now, he has to face off with Lt. governor Lucy Baxley, and it looks like he will defeat her handily. After recovering from the botched tax increase, he has been a successful governor and a great campaigner.

Ed Randell- the gov. of Pa. has been a great campaigner! He really works Philly and mobilizes people to the polls. His campaign is ran like clockwork. For him to lead Swann well into double digits at this part in the election is astonishing. Yea, Swann has botched many opportunities, but Rendell has put him away early through great campaigning.

Worst campaigners:

Katherine Harris-She won the Republican primary in Florida over Leroy Collins...who counted those votes?! She's dead in the water vs. Nelson.

Jean Schmit- Ohio congresswoman has had so many botches in her campaign, it sometimes looks like she's trying to lose. It sometimes looks like she may still win re-election, though.

George Allen- One word: macaca. Allen is still the favorite though, amazingly.

Kerry Healey- The Mass. Lt. Gov. and gov. nominee had a great chance to win this race. The dems. did everything in the primary possible to giver her a chance...and she blew it completely. She didn't start spending the $15 million early enough and blew great chances to be competitive.

Bob Beauprez- The Rep. gov. candidate in Colorod. Amazingly, a new zogby intl. poll shows him in a virtual tie with Ritter. He may still pull this one out, despite the campaign issues.

Butch Otter- a really close race for gov. of...Idaho? Otter really has to be running an inept operation not to have this one put away.

Rod Blagojevich- Ill. gov. is in for a nail biter at the finish against Topinka.

Posted by: reason | November 2, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Accountability is fine. If Democrats want to retain power, they can't be seen as seeking revenge. The first thing out of the RNC on any investigation will be "This is revenge!" The Democrats will have to have some skilled tacticians figuring out how to do this, because there sure is a lot to investigate.

Hadn't thought about "Speaker" Pelosi being just "two heartbeats away from the Presidency." Interesting.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | November 2, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have a link to poll numbers for Melancon (LA3)? I have seen nothing so far.

Thanks

Posted by: RMill | November 2, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Nor'Easter,

"If the Democrats win both chambers of Congress, "Impeachment" should be a word struck from their vocabularies; unless they want to cede the Congress and the White House to the Republicans in 2008."

If not impeachment then accountability. Such as Bush administration witnesses sworn in under oath. On the other hand, impeachment against Bush and Cheney simutamiously would make Nancy Pelosi President.

Posted by: South'Easter | November 2, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse

If the Democrats win both chambers of Congress, "Impeachment" should be a word struck from their vocabularies; unless they want to cede the Congress and the White House to the Republicans in 2008.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | November 2, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Since the campaign started, Granholm has been playing defense, not offense. That's a bad sign for any incumbent.

Nobody seems to notice that her "jobs today, gone tomorrow" plan is about creating temporary construction jobs, not long-term, quality positions for our workforce.

Posted by: vilora | November 2, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse

That's a tough call amod--but they may have enough clout to at least stop bush from doing as much damage -- like privatizing social security, to buiild support.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2006 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Amod,

It's much too soon to say what impact the Dem's controlling the House will make for the 2008 Pres election. It will depend heavily on several factors, not the least of which are:

1. Who the candidates are from each party.

2. What legislation was blocked by the Dems.

3. What legislation was passed but vetoed by Bush

4. What legislation was passed and enacted.

5. The status of the Iraq war.

6. Scandals as yet unknown.

7. Conressional investigations.

I for one do NOT want any investigations whose sole purpose is to provide fodder for impeachment attempts. I'd prefer to stop the cycle of "you did it to us, so now we're going to do it to you". There will, however, be some investigations that may reveal criminal activity. That could/would likely continue to divide the country. The GOP tends to do better when the nation is divided, which is reflected in their campaign tactics. Howver, the Dem's tend to shoot themselves but internal fratricide once in power, unable to form a cohesive front on issues.

Bottom line: Too soon to tell. 2008 is a toss up right now. I'd love to see a race between, say Edwards/O'bama vs McCain/Romney (sp?).

Posted by: BlueDog | November 2, 2006 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I am curious what all of you think.

If the Dems win control of both the house & senate (probably by 1 seat in the senate); can they actually implement substantial change? I mean, with some 'moderate' democrats and probably 2 independents, will they make a difference over the next 2 years? Enough to get the voting public to want a Democratic President?

Posted by: Amod D | November 2, 2006 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"when you lie with dogs, you're bound to get fleas"

Speaking of dogs and fleas, what was Dewine's Delay connection?

Seems to me there was more than one reference, but I can't find them now.. or was it the Foley scandal, somehow Dewine had connections that Brown has never exploited.

Imagine if the roles were reversed!

But are these potentially indictable offenses, like Pombo and Doolittle in California and Burns in Montana (that is a short "short list") might face, especially if they get re-elected?

Some of these guys like Dewine would be smarter to pull off thier own macaca moment shortly before Tuesday, and assure a last-minute loss. The further away from Washington they are over the next couple years, the better thier chances of staying out of the hoozgow.

But if they win, they get stood right back up in the scrutiny spotlight that has been shining on Congress since Delay just before bit the dust. If the hammer can fall, everyone from the bottom up could see the same fate.

That old "Delay" dirt rubs off, but it won't come off. Kinda' like an oil stain.

Truth is surely a cleansing factor. Washington DC may not be a friendly place for those who took part in the feeding frenzy at the neocon/K-street no-bid hog trough.

Posted by: JEP | November 2, 2006 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Only 29 percent of Americans approve of the way President Bush is handling the war in Iraq, which was cited as the most important issue in the upcoming elections. In addition, 69 percent of respondents said George W. Bush has not developed a clear plan for dealing with Iraq, and 76 percent say a Democratic Congress is more likely to bring U.S. troops back home sooner. Fifty percent of independents said they plan to vote for a Democratic candidate, while 23 percent for Republicans. Despite Republican efforts to paint Democrats as weak on national security issues, slightly more Americans seem to believe the threat of terrorism would increase under Republican rule.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 2, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

good piece....

'Last week, I turned on the TV set in a hotel room in Phoenix. The first commercial I saw, for Rick Renzi, a vulnerable Republican congressman, was an effusion of pure political poison. In a voice rancid with contempt, the announcer declared:
Over 100 Democratic elected officials are opposing Democrat trial lawyer Ellen Simon. Liberal Ellen Simon served as the president of the ACLU, a radical organization that defends hard-core criminals at the man/boy love association, a national group that preys on our children. One Democratic mayor called Simon's actions "utterly disgusting." He's right. Ellen Simon: radical, liberal and wrong for Arizona.
While hearing this, the viewer sees just key terms superimposed on the Democrat's face: "LIBERAL" ... "Served as the President of the ACLU" ... "Radical Organization defends hard core criminals Man/Boy Love Association" ... "ACLU Defends Child Molester Group" ... "Preys on our children" ... "utterly disgusting" ... "radical, liberal."

Dutifully performing the fact-checking function expected of responsible newspapers, the Arizona Daily Sun analyzed the content of the ad. It could not "independently verify" that 100 elected officials had endorsed Renzi, though 55 are apparently members of a Navajo tribal council whose gambling interests Renzi has championed. Ellen Simon was not the president of the American Civil Liberties Union, but a volunteer lawyer in Cleveland who represented the group in precisely one case. That case had nothing to do with NAMBLA or child molesters. The "Democratic mayor" who called Simon "utterly disgusting" is effectively a Republican. Simon, who supports school choice and cracking down on illegal immigrants, is by no means a "radical liberal." In other words, not a single claim in the ad is actually true.'

Posted by: Anonymous | November 2, 2006 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I have to add to this also John Hall, in New York 19. who came up out of nowhere [he's a musician and businessman, formerly of hte group Orleans]--his political experience was on a school board and some other local office. But he hit hard on local issues and also his opponent's refusal to pledge not to privatize social secuirty, and the war -- and got over 1000 volunteers working for hi, making tens of thousands of calls. It's been great seeing all these enthusiastic young people involved, working for change--very upbeat and hopeful. The corporations may yet beat us, but we'll go down fighting.

Because that's really what it's all about now -- can we take back our government from the transnational corporations that now own it, along with their sock puppet 'representatives'?

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2006 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you that Cheney is the best excuse not to impeach King George. But if we could get them both.....

Posted by: Andy R | November 2, 2006 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Spitzer's that pitbull I mentioned.

If he was the AG it would surely send the rats scurrying to long vacations on thier off-shore island tax-shelters.

But, then again, even as Governor of NY he could quite righteously demand an investigation into the internal negligence and bureaucratic deceptions that preceded 9-11.

HMMMM!

Now there's a thought...

Gotta start somewhere.

Conyers may be wise to impeach Cheney first, then use that overlapping information to expose "the rest of the story".

Think about it; impeaching Bush with Cheney in the wings does not bode well for the future of democracy.

Bush may have realized that, too, which is why he announced (with that goofy, s#@t-eatin' chickenhawk grin) that he would keep Cheney aboard for the duration.

Bush may be a dummy, but when it comes down to survival of the last man, he's his own dummy.

No wonder Cheney's so grouchy lately.

Posted by: JEP | November 2, 2006 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Re. DeWine & Blackwell in OH....

....when you lie with dogs, you're bound to get fleas

never mind, Blackwell is the dog and DeWine is the flea

Posted by: DCA2CMH | November 2, 2006 8:21 AM | Report abuse

JEP,
I would add Eliot Spitzer to that list of populists that are rising quickly through the ranks.

Posted by: Andy R | November 2, 2006 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I hope so JEP,
My vote for best campaign by a challenger is Deval Patrick in Massachusetts. He really has changed the political discourse from a state where the voters are f'ing pissed about the state of our government, to a hopeful message of change. Masterful work throughout the campaign season.

Posted by: Andy R | November 2, 2006 7:48 AM | Report abuse

"an abiding faith in the everyday American dream, and a perpetual acknowledgement of the equal value of all people, everywhere,"

That sounds like a populist creed to me...

Posted by: JEP | November 2, 2006 7:36 AM | Report abuse

"Instead, Brown turned his positions on the issues into advantages given Ohio's economic and political climate, and has built extraordinary populist momentum."

There's a new breed of politician rising from the ranks, and this comment from the Sandwich Repairman holds the key to that club. Most of them are Democrats, but some come from other parties, too.

"Populist" is an old word in American politics, spoken with reverence by the intelligent public, but with trepidation by status-quo authoritarians.

And like the non-partisan league of the early 20th Century, (see "political Prairie Fire" by Robert Norlan)in the wake of a loose and lawless age in national politics, these new-age populists are finding thier stride, responsive to a nation yearning for good government.

Of all the potential 08' Presidential candidates, John Edwards fits this description best, and could ride that populist wave right into the White House.

But there are many others, at every political level, who can tap this new/old spirit confidence in our self-government.

They can lead us into the future with an abiding faith in the everyday American dream, and a perpetual acknowledgement of the equal value of all people, everywhere, as the guiding principle for our ship of state.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 2, 2006 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Will we get a top ten "good and bad" list for the challengers and open-seat campaigns?

Posted by: JEP | November 2, 2006 7:04 AM | Report abuse

...when the balance of power is returned to the people, we need to put together a mean old congressional grand jury, with a constitutional chip on its shoulder, leashed-up to a pitbull of a prosecutor with so much public authority, no one alive in this entire nation, from the President down to the local political operatives, can say "NO" to one of thier subpoenaes.

If that somehow threatens anyone, they surely have something to hide.

Waiting for the morning post...

Posted by: JEP | November 2, 2006 7:02 AM | Report abuse

"It's like the Mafia, with laws."

Wisdom, thy name is woman...

Posted by: JEP | November 2, 2006 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Bruce Braley, running for the house in Iowa's 1st District, has managed a very good campaign, but rank and file Iowans are getting burned out on this process.

Here's a good story from today's WaPo about it, and a quote from someone who represents way too many Americans.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/01/AR2006110103407.html

"Gau, 52, a Democrat, supported the war. She thought Iraq had attacked the United States, and she thought it right that the United States should hit back. But then the war dragged on. The death toll rose. She's got a brother working as a civilian contractor over there and worries about him every day.

"I just don't think we should be over there," she says. "We should just leave."

Gau, for one, is not even sure she'll vote. She's disaffected from politics altogether.

"I just think politics is crooked," she says. "The rich pay to get what they want from the people in office. . . . It's like the Mafia, with laws. They get to run what they want, when they want. They don't mean nothing that they say."

I could not have said it better myself.

When this election is over, if there is one thread we need to follow, it is how to get people like this woman involved in our political process.

And the starting point to that thread might be something to the effect that ; any political party that discourages voter registration and supresses election-day turnout is not a democratic institution.

And get a load of that line "She thought Iraq had attacked the United States, and she thought it right that the United States should hit back."

Rightwing media nuts like like "Rush" Limbaugh and the Fox news liars club, along with George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, created that BIG LIE, and they ALL should be held accountable for it.

Posted by: JEP | November 2, 2006 6:40 AM | Report abuse

The campaign of incumbent Republican Rep. Anne Northup (R-Ky.) has been far too negative and over-reaching.

Instead of focusing on a few impolitic writings of John Yarmuth, her publisher/columnist opponent, she distorted his words so early, often and demonstrably that it backfired.

Democrat Yarmuth was able to prove he was smeared and thus immunize himself against legitimate assaults.

The contest is so close that Northup recently called for Rummy's resignation. Sorry to differ with you, Chris, but this race has all the omens of an upset.

Posted by: Steve | November 2, 2006 5:03 AM | Report abuse

I think a candidate's name can sometimes be the key to victory. Take Indiana-2 for example: the Dems would win against GOP Rep. Count Chocula if they had found a candidate named "Frankenberry." Or in Montana, they could easily beat Sen. Monty Burns if they ran Bart Simpson. (Names may differ on ballot). Now as for California-4 between Congressman Do-little and Charlie Brown, that's such low-hanging fruit that I won't even... well... I will note that "Doctor Doolittle's Amazing Book of Oppo" has evidence Lt.Col Brown owes his rank to the back-room string-pulling of - you guessed it - Major General Snoopy!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 2, 2006 3:35 AM | Report abuse

For your ten worst, I offer Tom Feeney of Florida's 24th District. He's managed to bring his unknown and underfunded challenger, Clint Curtis, up from nowhere to a statistical tie almost entirely by his own - very strange - direct mailings. One of those mailing caused a local stink by including pictures of Hustler Magazine and a digitally altered image of Curtis' head on Hugh Hefner's body, while another said that Curtis was opposed to cutting Social Security payments, while Feeney wasn't, and several other things more positive to Curtis than Feeney. It's thought that the later mailing (which came out before the primary) was an attempt to get Curtis as his opponent, but it's now being used as fodder for a Curtis TV ad. If Feeney loses next week it will be almost entirely his own fault - the dems have put almost no outside money into the race - and that's currently looking like a real possibility. And did I mention this guy's a deputy whip? Your ten will have to be pretty bad to top that.

Posted by: SR | November 2, 2006 1:23 AM | Report abuse

My vote for the Worst-of-the-worst campaigns in 2006 - maybe in my entire lifetime - it's Ken Blackwell, GOP candidate for Ohio Gov.

The GOP owns both sides of the O. General Assembly, all state-wide offices, a strong majority on the O. Super Court. He's the sitting Sec of State, was Bush's O. campaign Chair and gifted him the POTUS in 04. He's a leading member of the Bible Thumpers for GOPers, has a vault of his money and a second one filled with their cash.

Blackwell's filled with ideas - all of them bad to very scary. He opens his mouth and jaws all across the state hit the floor.

He's running against a lackluster, down-state, congressman named Strickland, that no one heard of until May and who doesn't have a campaign platform, other than "Vote for me, I'm not Backwell."

I'm guessing a majority of registered GOPers will either vote against Blackwell, leave that race blank or play bingo all day. Polls have Blackwell in the 20s and Strickland over 50.

Can anyone beat that for worst-of-the-worst?

Posted by: OhioRepublican | November 2, 2006 1:09 AM | Report abuse

To the Sandwichman - Sherrod Brown hasn't run a good campaign at all. Anyone's Democratic dog could run as well in Ohio this year. The only successful thing Brown's done in this campaign was use backroom influence to boot that nice Iraqi vet lawyer Paul somebody off the Dems primary list - tell me that's a class act?

As for Mike 'hey kid wana cigarette' DeWine - in any other year he'd be eating Brown's lunch.

Just because you're winning or eventually win doesn't mean you ran a great or even good campaign. Ugly describes most campaigns wins these days.

Posted by: OhioRepublican | November 2, 2006 12:45 AM | Report abuse

West Va Congressman Alan Monahan (District 2) has had to raise his profile immensely in a state that has turned purple by all estimations while under a cloud of ethics. His district is primarily in the Northern panhandle which is less reliable as a DEM stronghold than the coalfields of SO WV. Given his odds, he may win by a larger margin than two years ago. Many had this guy along with Jefferson of LA as two of the most vulnerable DEMS.

Posted by: Stick A Fork In IT. | November 1, 2006 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Bubba.... the Melancon race was on everyone's radar list a few months ago, and now it's nowhere to be seen. Melancon was seen as just as vulnerable as Bean and Marshall, who made the list, but they still have really tough races on their hands. What's more, it's not like he hasn't had a stiff challenge. His opponent has raised nearly 2 million, which is one of the highest totals for a Rep. challenger around the country.

Melancon definitely deserves to be on the list.

Posted by: chilidogger | November 1, 2006 11:25 PM | Report abuse

What about Charlie Melancon in Louisiana? He was number one on the NRCC target list 2 years ago after beating Billy Tauzin by 568 votes. Fast forward two years and he has a 30 point lead in some polls and has raised 2.5 million dollars. His opponent Craig Romero has raised and spent $2 million and not budged an inch. The Melancon campaign was so strong that the NRCC and DCCC took a pass.

Posted by: Bubba | November 1, 2006 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Erlich -

this has been the biggest non-campaign that I have ever seen - by both parties. Erlich may pull it out. dull dull dull. I live in MD and I can't tell you how surprised I am by how much of a non-event this has been.

Posted by: star11 | November 1, 2006 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Bob Erlich in Md has run a pretty strong campaign against a good democratic opponent in a strongly democratic state, he should get some credit for it

Posted by: chet | November 1, 2006 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, in Missouri you have not been watching the ads. The NRC has run some of the most disgusting ads possible (outside of their racist ads in TN). They wrongly target McCaskill's Husband, for God's sake, and wrongly state that as an auditor she did nothing (as was all she could do as auditor). Talent has gone way down in my estimation. He is another lousy political hack.

Posted by: EH | November 1, 2006 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, in Missouri you have not been watching the ads. The NRC has run some of the most disgusting ads possible (outside of their racist ads in TN). They wrongly target McCaskill's Husband, for God's sake, and wrongly state that as an auditor she did nothing (as was all she could do as auditor). Talent has gone way down in my estimation. He is another lousy political hack.

Posted by: EH | November 1, 2006 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Murphy, Lamont's campaign is NOT the reason Loserman is going to be in that position. It is his disgusting synergy with the Republican party that is putting him over the top as an "Independent".

In fact, now that you mention it, I'd put Ned's campaign as one of the 10 best of the cycle for its hard-hitting progressive values and nation-wide appeal to people of all parties who are against the war in Iraq. Of course Loserman had to go and squash that tide of positive sentiment by aligning with Darth Cheney and suggesting that a vote for Lamont is a vote for Al Qaeda. Lamont has run a courageous campaign against an 18-year incumbent with large special-interest funding and he has shown that he is not only fully-qualified for the job, but he really deserves to be Senator of Connecticut and vice versa.

Posted by: F&B | November 1, 2006 9:27 PM | Report abuse

"He's not a Democrat in any sense of the word, not anymore."

You'd better be crossing your fingers that he is...Lamont's little primary stunt may just end up puting Lieberman in a king-maker position in the Senate come November 8.

Posted by: murphy | November 1, 2006 8:27 PM | Report abuse

You missed one! The relection of Tennessee Governor Bredesen. He is polling over ^0% in a GOP leading state. His team stated early and have kept the momentum high all during the campaign.

Posted by: BS Smith | November 1, 2006 8:13 PM | Report abuse

You missed one! The relection of Tennessee Governor Bredesen. He is polling over ^0% in a GOP leading state. His team stated early and have kept the momentum high all during the campaign.

Posted by: BS Smith | November 1, 2006 8:13 PM | Report abuse

You missed one! The relection of Tennessee Governor Bredesen. He is polling over ^0% in a GOP leading state. His team stated early and have kept the momentum high all during the campaign.

Posted by: BS | November 1, 2006 8:12 PM | Report abuse

As one who has had the dubious privilege of being exposed to the Talent/McCaskill campaign commercials, may I say that only the fact that their commercials are followed by the commercials for the candidates for Kansas attorney general denies them the award for most mud thrown.

Posted by: abbyandmollycats | November 1, 2006 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"But we also want new tough laws limting every sort of "guest worker", a roll back of H1-B and similar programs, and the deportation of the illegals."

Only the right wingers care about restricting immigration. Normal Americans have more important things to worry about.

Posted by: JoeyJoeJoe | November 1, 2006 7:44 PM | Report abuse

In a close election adverse weather can hurt Democrats and help Republicans. It's still early, but the long range forecast favors the Democrats in the senatorial toss ups, but this could change.

Election day weather forecast for the three key Senatorial Races. Cities were selected on a generally East to West line to provide an overall estimate of weather conditions on election day.


Missouri,

St. Louis:
Rainy in the evening; mostly cloudy. Winds from the SSE at 9 mph.
High: 61 °F

Kansas City:
Times of clouds and sun. Winds from the E at 12 mph.
High: 60 °F

Tennessee,

Memphis
Times of clouds and sun. Winds from the SSE at 9 mph.
High: 68 °F

Nashville
Clouds and intervals of sunshine. Winds from the S at 10 mph.
High: 65 °F

Knoxville
Sunny to partly cloudy. Winds from the S at 7 mph.
High: 61 °F

Virginia,

Roanoke
Overcast with a shower. Winds from the SW at 11 mph.
High: 60 °F

Richmond
Mostly cloudy. Winds from the WSW at 9 mph.
High: 60 °F

Alexandria
Considerable clouds. Winds from the WSW at 9 mph.
High: 55 °F

Posted by: DC | November 1, 2006 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely agree that Hillary has run an excellent campaign. And she had an excellent record to run on. She is smart enough and strong enough to win the presidency in 2008. And she's smart enough to govern.

Posted by: Craig | November 1, 2006 7:41 PM | Report abuse

My latest count?prediction has the Democarts picking up 27 House seats and 6 Seanate seats, nbarrowly taking vcontrol of both Houses of Congress. My only fear is that these twits will take it as some sort of mandate, rather than the anti-Bush vote it really it. There are somethings Democartic politicos stand for that wer all want - a national heathcare program, a clean environment, tough - really tough - laws against corporations for their continuing unethical practices, and huge-flat out enormous tax increases n the wealthy and investors. But we also want new tough laws limting every sort of "guest worker", a roll back of H1-B and similar programs, and the deportation of the illegals. And, if we don't get these things there is going to be hell to pay. I, for one, will gladly work with *any* candidate that represents *American* workers and ordinary *American* people against corporate intersts or the interests of millions of illegals.

Posted by: MikeB | November 1, 2006 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I expected to see Talent on this list. I'd think Sherrod Brown should be on it too. A year ago we were seeing polls where he was essentially tied or maybe slightly behind Mike DeWine, and we were hearing about how a progressive like Brown would have such an uphill battle winning "red" Ohio. Even Chris Cillizza openly wondered whether his early lead would be able to survive DeWine's coming attacks telling Ohioans how liberal Brown really is. Instead, Brown turned his positions on the issues into advantages given Ohio's economic and political climate, and has built extraordinary populist momentum. Last month we read all about the NRSC, then the RNC, pulling out of Ohio and how DeWine's campaign has become a lost cause. Yesterday we got a bizarre, amazing Hail Mary from DeWine in the form of marijuana-laced bananas. DeWine hasn't polled within 10 points of Brown for weeks now, and Brown is pretty consistently topping 50%. Obviously Ohio's toxic nature for Republicans this cycle helps, but DeWine was portrayed by the media as a moderate who's made no "fireable offenses". Brown is coming off not as a liberal, but a populist who has championed and will continue to push policies Ohioans want and benefit from.

Brown deserves at least an honorable mention here.

http://sandwichrepair.blogspot.com

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | November 1, 2006 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I second the motion to change Lieberman's affiliation label: Loser-man makes FDR roll in his grave in the same way GW makes Jefferson roll in his. He's not a Democrat in any sense of the word, not anymore.

Posted by: angelina | November 1, 2006 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Edwards was not the only target to survive Texas redistricting -- Lloyd Doggett survived the '02 redistricting and looks like he will also do fine following the '06 mini-re-districting.

Posted by: TX Reminder | November 1, 2006 7:14 PM | Report abuse

'This ragtag bofffon of a president is nothing but a posturing stuffed shirt.'

--not to mention an empty suit. an empty cowboy hat, come to think of it.

Posted by: dybeck | November 1, 2006 7:09 PM | Report abuse

JEP, And we can contrast Kerry's mis-statement with Bush's decision to not use the Israeli developed anti-RPG system, the one that cost around $200,000 to retrofit to *any* U.S. vehicle and instead awrd a contract to some corporate cronies to develope such a system, one that wont even be deployable for at least 6 years and will well over $1,000,000 and cannot be retrofitted to existing vehicles. So, is he ging to apologize to the mothers and fathers of wounded and dead soliers for that "well, I needed the campaign monbye and support". This ragtag bofffon of a president is nothing but a posturing stuffed shirt. He could care less about the lives and safety of Amercian troops. For him it is all about appearances "Mission acomplished", "the wartime president" - what an ass, what an international embarrasement, what a lousy excuse for a "leader".

Posted by: MikeB | November 1, 2006 6:56 PM | Report abuse

How about this from Richard Perle a few days ago on a "dysfunctional" Bush administration, if it "..can't get itself together to organize a serious program for finding nuclear material on its way to the U.S., then it ought to be replaced by an administration that can." Although he's sure Bush would be SHOCKED if he realized this vulnerable state of affairs.... (why don't you just tell him?)

So what does this do for GOP incumbents who are hanging their campaigns on the "we'll keep you safer than the Democrats from terrorism" peg? Luckily for them, the Kerry dustup came along to muffle Perle's remarks.... and the latest Iraq outrages, even from our hand-picked PM Maliki.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | November 1, 2006 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Let me re-post, this Kerry event has refocused the media on Iraq, which the R's don't want. There's a convergance of issues with Iraq swirling around the news that does not make Bush or his minions very good.

Kerry's goof may actually serve the Dems well, because it brings the war back home on the tube.

Posted by: JEP | November 1, 2006 6:17 PM | Report abuse

That's great KOZ, keep talking about John Kerry. Really pertinent to this discussion.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | November 1, 2006 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Darcy Burner has run a great campaign -- raising herself from total obscurity to tied or within striking distance of a popular incumbent.

Also, Amy Klobuchar gets best campaign of the cycle.

Posted by: drew | November 1, 2006 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam".

Ask the airborn rangers if this is all true...

Like amphetamines on the road to Baghdad, you'll have to ask the troops who were there if these "rumors" are true.

Everyone else is just guessing.

Kerry just apologized... and the Republicans have "accepted" it because they want this Iraq story to go away, even if it came from left field, it still focuse attention on IRAQ.

The R's across the country trying to get re-elected or elected can't afford any more of this Iraq talk, especially now that there's ethnic cleansing going on in Baghdad.

Posted by: JEP | November 1, 2006 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Darcy Burner has run a great campaign -- raising herself from total obscurity to tied or within' striking distance of a popular incumbent.

Also, Amy Klobuchar gets best campaign of the cycle.

Posted by: drew | November 1, 2006 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The Moron is simply following the media's lead -- trying to drum up support for R's by trashing Kerry -- this just like what they did to Kerry with the swiftboaters, to Al Gore with the phony 'invented the internets' nonsense to Howard Dean and the 'scream'.

Since R's have no message, it's up to the Pravda media to invent incidents out of whole cloth in order to trash Dems. Doesn't matter that they twist it, distort it, blow it out of proportion. That's what the R's well-paid lapdog media does nowadays.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I have been following the MI Governor's race closely and have been very impressed with Governor Granholm's campaign. She was taking a lot of heat for keeping quiet until just before Labor Day, allowing Dick DeVos to drop $20 million of his own money in ads to buy name recognition, but she seems to have times it right. She has hit him hard where it hurts, his support for trade agreements that facilitated the outsourcing of MI jobs, his close ties to the Bush administration that oversaw those agreements, and his support for far right wing organizations and causes.

RCP has her up by an average of 9.5%, with another Zogby poll from yesterday putting her up 52% to 43%. The Detroit News, who backed DeVos, has there 10/30 poll (EPIC-MRA) giving Granholm a 52% to 42% lead with only about 6% undecided. So as long as the Granholm GOTV effort is on its game, Granholm wins. She deserves a second term and from what I have observed, her jobs plan is beginning to pay off.

Gov. Schwarzenegger's campaign has also defintely been amazing and as many people,including myself has written him off as of last year. Quite an impressive turnaround and influx of new blood into his administration.

Posted by: Jake | November 1, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is not a Democrat, Chris. Change your party label.

Posted by: OG | November 1, 2006 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I second that Amod D. Amy K. has run a fantastic campaign (tho not an incumbent)...

I also second Zouk. John Kerry for President in 2008 may be the most painful thing to watch since Lieberman in 2004.

Re: Heather Wilson, how can she possibly be on the "best" list when she is losing? Isnt the whole purpose of a campaign to WIN the election? She may have raised a boatload of cash and not messed up, but if her message and her issues are not resonating with her district in NM, then she has NOT run a good campaign. In the Zogby/Reuters poll released today, Madrid has reached her high mark in the last 3 months (53%). Id say her campaign trounces Wilson's in terms of being on the "best of" list JUST based on the fact that her campaign is peaking out in the week before the election. Now THAT is a good campaign.

Posted by: F&B | November 1, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, KOZ, he's just Grenade tossing. Pay him no mind. Or, wait, as I said in a previous post on another string,

"Hey, KOZ! Say something to get the Dem's mad! Please? Pretty please? We need the motivation to go vote!"

Posted by: BlueDog | November 1, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

In terms of worst, Santorum has to be up there. I'm not sure *what* he did wrong, but spending all that money and not being able to move your favorables an inch suggests some strategic errors.

Posted by: Adam B. | November 1, 2006 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Ok... totally missed the word "incumbent". Never mind

Posted by: Amod D | November 1, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

That's great KOZ, keep talking about John Kerry. Really pertinent to this discussion.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | November 1, 2006 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised to not see a mention of Amy Kloubachar, MN for US Senate. I thought Sen. Mark Dayton's seat was a highly targetted one by the GOP

Posted by: Amod D | November 1, 2006 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Kerry approached the families of fallen soldiers at their sons' funerals to seek their help in undermining the war on terror during his 2004 presidential campaign, according to the authors of a new book.

how truly tasteless and classless.

Kerry accused U.S. soldiers of terrorizing kids and children in Iraq; and recently also described troop concentrations in Baghdad as "having failed miserably."

"If any one thinks that a veteran like me would ...somehow criticize more than 140,000 troops serving in Iraq they are crazy."

"raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam".

It is getting harder and harder to keep up with his flip-flops. thank God for OH 2004.
I can only guess that you Dems wish he would just shut-up and fade away. Me too.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 1, 2006 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Just how desperate and pathetic are the Republicans' mid-term campaign antics?

George W. Bush is disgracing the honor of the White House by claiming his political party's loss will be a "win" for terrorists.

John McCain is betraying his supposed commitment to civil discourse by distorting John Kerry's recent remarks on Iraq.

George Allen is overseeing a campaign that attacked and tackled one of his constituents yesterday for asking a question at a public event.

And leading the GOP's immoral implosion, Rush Limbaugh mocks Michael J. Fox for suffering from Parkinson's disease, earning him the reward of an exclusive interview with George W. Bush today.

These craven outburst are united by one theme: fear. But this time, it's not the voters who are rattled. The Republican politicians are afraid.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I vote for George Allen, Lieberman, Santorum, Murkowski, Jim Gibbons NV [some new ugly lobbyist stuff came out on him in WSJ today, along with the shoving the waitress against the wall incident] and anyone involved with Abramoff...

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of Kansas, has done extremely well in fund raising, positioning herself, highlighting her record, and propducing first-rate commercials. The result: she'll win a second term in a classic Red state by 20 points or so.

Posted by: UncleJoe | November 1, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Worst incumbent campaign

John Kerry for President, 2008.

Well he is sort of an incumbent.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 1, 2006 5:09 PM | Report abuse

You wouldn't put Murkowski at #1? He not only lost, he came in third in primary and took out a full page ad in the Anchorage Daily News admitting he needed a personality transplant. I don't see how it gewts much worse

Posted by: Michael | November 1, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Ten Worst Incumbant Campaigns

1. George Allen
Macaca, sibling beatings, arrest records, my opponents naughty stories. The list goes on. Ended his presidential hopes and may lose his Senate seat.
2. Joe Lieberman
Lost primary
3. Rick Santorum
Just awful stuff all the time
4. Ted Kulongoski
Has fought tooth and nail starting with primary
5. Mike DeWine
Never should have been an issue
6. Jim Doyle
Should have put Green away months ago
7. Frank Murkowski
Lost
8. Joe Schwarz
Lost his Michigan seat in primary
9. Daniel Akaka
Had to fend off in-party rival in primary
10.Sonny Purdue
Should have never been close at any time

Posted by: RMill | November 1, 2006 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Ten Best (in order)
1. Arnold Schwartzenegger
He was a dead duck at the outset. He is the Guvernator!

2. Jennifer Granholm
Definately the most endangered Dem incumbant has faced a candidate with tons of cash and has steadily pulled away while fighting a miserable MI economy.

3. Ben Nelson
Nebraska's incumbant Democrat has all year fought with a weathly opponent in a red state. Pundits continue to be cautious and iffy about his outcome. Someone finally needs to tell them this is a done deal.

4. Jim Talent
I agree with the above assessment. We will be up late to see who runs the US Senate because of this race.

5. Jim Marshall
Again, I agree with the above assessment. Dealt a bad hand and it does not seem to be working as the Georgia GOP planned.

6. Dennis Hastert
Despite heavy fire, he has been workmanlike in all his duties for re-election in IL-14. His management of the GOP campaign along with Reynolds is another story. It will ultimately cost him heavily.

7. Len Boswell
IA-3 has been heavily targeted, even drawing a POTUS visit. He continues to remain level headed and ahead in all polls.

8. Heather Wilson
Like the above assessment, she is a polished campaigner. She won't survive despite that fact.

9. Mike Fitzpatrick
What PA district isn't flipping Dem this year? PA 8 was heavily targeted and yet Fitzpatrick, in an admited tough fight, has maintained his lead.

10. Chet Edwards
See above.

Posted by: RMill | November 1, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

JEP - The contributions by judges doesn't bother me a lot. 1) because it is a political process to begin with, 2) the average contribution there is under $2,000, and 3) the contributions were reported publicly

I would suspect that the contributions cited probably matched the contribution pattern of those nominees since they began making contributions.

You are not required to forfeit any civil rights to become a Federal Judge.

A judge having stock in a company with litigation before them is another matter.

Or, a Senator intervening on behalf of a company in which he had stock...heard an ad on that just this morning.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | November 1, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I saw the NM 1 debate and I must say that Att Gen Madrid is a horrible speaker and has light weight presence on stage. Wilson would win if people actually voted based on debates.

Don't know how Northup gets on the list. Yarmouth has done little I agree but if the sentiment is that bad out there that this seat is in contention (this race is a dead heat- polling average is D+0.25) to overcome a great incumbant run campaign, its worse than I thought for Republicans.

Sorry Off Topic-

Two polls one by Zogby Interactive (WSJ Battlegrounbd poll 10/27) and Survey USA have the ARK gov race flipping to Hutchinson.

On 10/24, Survey USA had Beebe 58%-Hutchinson 38%. Polled again from 10/23-10/27, Hutchinson 48%-Beebe 45%. A 23 point swing during overlapping polling seems highly dubious, especially since Beebe has lead mopst of the year and mostly by double digits.

The Zogby/WSJ Battleground poll on 10/16 had Beebe leading 49.2% to 45% for Hutchinson. Polled again from 10/23-10/27, Hutchinson now leads 48.2% to Beebe's 45.3%, a 7.1% swing in less than two weeks.

Did I miss something in ARK? Have not seen the debates (I have watched about 40 on CNN).

While I expected some tightening and other polls still have Beebe with his usual double digit lead, 12% pts by Rasmussen on 10/28, 13% pts by Constituent Dynamics on 10/18, 13% pts by Univ of ARK on 10/17, 8% pts by Opinion Research on 10/26, this does affect the overall average for the past two weeks, moving AR from solid Dem to lean Dem and Beebe holding an average of +8.68 in polling of the past two weeks.

Posted by: RMill | November 1, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse


Well let's see... you gotta include Katharine Harris as No.#1. She's so bad it's like the wrath of God or something... and Jeannine Pirro is not far behind.

Here it comes -- Florida voting machines flip D votes to R -- and poll workers are unconcerned... 'they do that all the time.'

"Florida voters using electronic ballot machines are having persistent problems choosing Democrats in early elections, the Miami Herald reports.
The touch-screen gizmos seem strangely attracted to Republican candidates. One voter needed assistance from an election official, and even then, needed three tries to convince the machine that he wanted to vote for Democrat Jim Davis in the gubernatorial race, not his Republican opponent Charlie Crist.

Another voter who went Democrat across the board kept finding Republicans listed in the summary screen. He made repeated attempts until, finally, the machine registered his votes correctly, and he cast his ballot.

Yet another frustrated voter who complained of difficulties selecting a Democrat was told that the machine she was using had been troublesome. Poll workers fiddled with it for a bit, and then it seemed to work properly.
Apparently, this happens all the time. According to the Herald, "Broward County Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman Mary Cooney said it's not uncommon for screens on heavily used machines to slip out of sync, making votes register incorrectly. Poll workers are trained to recalibrate them on the spot - essentially, to realign the video screen with the electronics inside. The 15-step process is outlined in the poll-worker's manual."
Well that's a relief. Only we have to wonder, if the screens "slip out of sync," might other components do so as well? And why are poll workers permitted to fiddle with the machines?
Unfortunately, the article tells us little. It sounds as if the machines are of poor quality, but the paper neglects to mention the manufacturer(s) responsible for them. The elections supervisor's spokesperson seems altogether too comfortable with the notion that the machines are unreliable. 'They do that all the time?'"

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/31/florida_terminals_dont_cooperate/

Posted by: drindl | November 1, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

From a post by Will Evans
Salon.com

At least two dozen federal judges appointed by President Bush since 2001 made political contributions to key Republicans or to the president himself while under consideration for their judgeships, government records show. A four-month investigation of Bush-appointed judges by the Center for Investigative Reporting reveals that six appellate court judges and 18 district court judges contributed a total of more than $44,000 to politicians who were influential in their appointments. Some gave money directly to Bush after he officially nominated them. Other judges contributed to Republican campaign committees while they were under consideration for a judgeship.

Republicans who received money from judges en route to the bench include Sens. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Sens. George Voinovich and Mike DeWine of Ohio, and Gov. George Pataki of New York.

Posted by: JEP | November 1, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I see. Incumbents.

Posted by: coyote | November 1, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Ten worst campaigns? There are nine others that can match Beauprez?

Posted by: coyote | November 1, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

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