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Parsing the Polls: Surveying the Senate Battlegrounds

Over the last few weeks, The Fix's weekly Parsing the Polls feature focused on national polls -- all of which, unsurprisingly, show a dismal atmosphere for Republicans in the coming midterm elections.

Congressional Countdown

A Key Race Scorecard -- Oct. 25, 2006

House(35 contested races)

Leans GOP
5
Toss-Up
21
Leans Dem
9

Senate (9 contested races)

Leans GOP
0
Toss-Up
4
Leans Dem
5

» Full Analysis

But with less than two weeks left before voters actually vote (what a concept!), it's important to remember that control of the House and Senate will come down to a series of separate races, not a single national election. With 390 (or so) House incumbents virtually immune to a challenge and less than ten percent of senators facing tight reelection fights, it is the opinions of voters in a handful of targeted districts and states who will make the difference between joy and jilt on election night.

A series of polls released Tuesday by Mason-Dixon for MSNBC/McClatchy provides an opportunity to examine just what is on the mind of these swing-state voters.

Let's Parse the Polls!

Over the last week, Mason-Dixon conducted polls in nine Senate races: Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Missouri, New Jersey, Washington, Ohio, Montana, Tennessee and Virginia. In seven of the nine, Democrats held an advantage in the head-to-head ballot question, only trailing narrowly in Tennessee and Virginia. If those margins remain static until Election Day, Democrats would come up a single seat short of the majority.

More interesting than the horse-race numbers was the remarkable consistency across the states when voters were probed about their opinions on this election.

In each of the nine states, more voters disapproved of the job President Bush was doing than approved. And when narrowed to those who strongly approved or strongly disapproved of the president, the gap grew even wider.

Bush's worst showing came in Rhode Island, where just 22 percent approved of his job performance while a whopping 77 percent disapproved. (Eight percent strongly approved while 59 percent strongly disapproved.) His best state was Montana where 48 percent (24 percent strongly) approved while 52 percent (41 percent strongly) disapproved.

Here's a look at the state by state breakout (Virginia is not included because Mason-Dixon did not ask the same questionnaire as in the other states):

        Approve    Disapprove   Strong App.  Strong Disapp.
R.I.      22          77            8             59
Mo.       45          53           23             41
N.J.      38          61           21             48
Wa.       34          65           21             55
Mont.     48          52           24             41
Pa.       43          56           22             46
Ohio      43          56           24             43
Tenn.     47          51           26             38

The other intriguing result from these polls is voters' responses about the most important issue for them in the coming midterms.

In every state but Ohio (and again excluding Virginia), the war in Iraq rated as the No. 1 issue. Iraq's high-water mark was in Rhode Island where 36 percent of the sample said it was the most important issue for them; the lowest Iraq rating came in Ohio were 19 percent cited it. (21 percent in Ohio said the economy was the issue most important to them).

The Washington Post's new polling guru -- Jon Cohen -- provides further insight with a breakdown of the partisanship of those voters surveyed by Mason-Dixon who say Iraq is their top voting issue.

Here's a look at Cohen's breakout, with the percent of voters saying it is the most important issue in parentheses:

                              
            Democrat     Republican
Mo. (22)      68%            26%
Mont. (26)    65             28
N.J. (27)     83             10
Penn. (29)    77             16
R.I. (36)     65             27
Tenn. (22)    79             15
Wa. (24)      81             10

The above chart shows that Iraq is clearly a defining issue for most Democrats, and it's not too far of a stretch to suggest that these voters will be even more motivated to show up at the polls on Nov. 7 to send the White House a message than GOP voters who support the administration's policy.

There were a few other interesting results when voters were asked to rank their most important issues. Health care was the most common second choice; voters in Missouri, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania named put it behind the war in Iraq.

In New Jersey and Montana terrorism/security was rated as the second most important issue. That makes sense in the Garden State, given its proximity to New York City, but is more difficult to understand in Montana. Washington state voters said that the economy was their second most important issue, while Volunteer State voters cited moral values and family -- perhaps explaining Republicans' recent efforts to raise questions about Rep. Harold Ford Jr.'s (D) character.

While these numbers are hardly encouraging for Republicans, they do suggest that despite a horrendous political environment in key states their candidates are still running competitively in the three races likely to decide Senate control -- Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia.

The biggest unknown is how much of an effect the political environment will have on those voters who haven't yet decided on a candidate -- 9 percent in Tennessee, 8 percent in Virginia and 9 percent in Missouri. Will these on-the-fence voters be persuaded en masse to vote for Democrats due to the overall distaste for the war in Iraq and President Bush? Or will they break evenly between the two candidates, a move that would likely see Republicans hold all three?

In 13 days we'll know the answer.

Check out today's Congressional Countdown Scorecard.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 25, 2006; 8:55 AM ET
Categories:  Parsing the Polls , Senate  
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Next: Tenn. Senate: Race-Baiting or Rough and Tumble?

Comments

King of Zouk, you really need to get off those Limbaugh meds......

As an American, I am absolutely ashamed of folks like you who are Ditto heads who follow an idiot like Limbaugh with such zealous extremism. Your (NEOcon) place in history is cemented as the most inept, corrupt, pedophilic in the history of American politics.

Posted by: Stick a Fork In IT. | October 25, 2006 9:59 PM | Report abuse

You keep repeating that only 10% of Senate races are competitive. What math are you using? There are 33 or 34 Senate seats up for election every two years. In 2006, 9 of them are competitive, which makes 9/33 or 27% of the Senate seats up for election competitive, not 10%. Using the 10% number is misleading to say the least.

Posted by: Mathteacher | October 25, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The only right in the U.S. Constitution that is reserved to Citizens is the right to vote. Nowhere in the Constitution does it delineate that rights enshrined in it are for Citizens only. It does delineate that the Right to Vote and the right to hold public office is reserved for Citizens, with the Presidential office being reserved for Citizens born in the United States.

Multiple Supreme Court rulings have upheld that the Bill of Rights applies to everyone within the Jurisdiction of the United States, including the recent ruling that stated that the detainees in Gitmo have the right to demand Habeous Corpus.

Posted by: Michael Caine | October 25, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Ah, KOZ slimes to the blog again!

Dems stoop to character assasination?

Name one Dem who said he didn't want us to wiretap suspected terrorists? Yet, our President used the "Some Democrats say...." argument with gusto.

"Defeat-o-crats"

The whole sordid Swift Boat incident.

Please! If anything both sides are guilty of sliming...

And you know, while you make a good point about Webb's last name - come on - Don't be obtuse! When you run for office, your damn last name needs to be on the stinking ballot - c'mon - use the brains God gave you!

Posted by: John D in Houston | October 25, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"Yet I can point to almost 3000 who actually did die. We have always had the policy that spies were to be hanged. why do you want to lose this war? Are you that power-deprived?"

Wow, that's cheap. using the deaths of 3,000 innocents to try and score points in the comments of a blog. You must be really proud.

Posted by: Will | October 25, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Zouk -
Waterboarding is torture. It's allowed now

I'm not thinking about shoebombers, I'm thinking about me and you. it's the same argument as the one against gun control: First they take the assault rifles, next they're knocking on the door taking your pistol.

You don't seem to want to look at the truth here. I don't get it. You and I could be declared an enemy combatant. you want to make this just for foreigners that's another argument altogether, but this absolutely applies to americans, and that is dangerous. I'm sure you know alawyer. Ask them if this new law can be applied to American citizens or not, then we'll talk.

And drop that mollycoddling terrorists BS. We are all Americans fighting. I want terrorists dead, so do you.

Posted by: Will | October 25, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

...or will the undecided voters simply not vote....

Posted by: Jeff in DC | October 25, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

...or will the undecided voters simply not vote....

Posted by: Jeff in DC | October 25, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

News: A team of political scientists took information from past polls, current polls and created a computer simulation to predict how many seats the democrats would gain in the house. The results, "we forecast an expected Democratic gain of 32 seats with Democratic control." Hence, my prediction of 39 and suggestion of expanding the list to 50 battle ground seats seems reasonable Chris!

www.politicalwire.com

Posted by: Scott | October 25, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Case in point - MJ fox misrepresenting the facts about federal funding of stem cell research to gain political edge. Why lie? why not present the case in an honest way and let an informed public decide? Trying to confuse the issue with embryonic vs adult and federal funding vs all funding is simply dishonest. but that is your way.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 25, 2006 2:08 PM | Report abuse

BTW - torture is illegal and always has been. why do you feel the need to misrepresent the facts to try to win an argument. Either that or call names. Is that because you stand no chance in a debate on the facts? Dems always resort to character assassination when forcibly confronted with logic, fact, reason and science. Take a look at the extreme version of this strategy above if you doubt me. and probably the responses to this post.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 25, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Will, so you will sacrifice all of us at your alter of political correctness to save a single shoe-bomber. can you please name the rest of the poor unfortunate victims of this law? Certainly your lame media would want to champion one of these guilt free citizens. can't find one? Yet I can point to almost 3000 who actually did die. We have always had the policy that spies were to be hanged. why do you want to lose this war? Are you that power-deprived? try offering something that would motivate your fellow citizens in the marketplace of ideas.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 25, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Do you pinheads understand that the US Constitution and all its associated rights are not available to foreign citizens, particularly ones who easily fall into the spy category. (no uniform, kills civilians). Because you want to grant full rights and processes to our enemies, you should and will lose this election. That is a dumb idea. If you want to go out and kill yourselves, go right ahead, but don't take me with you.

how dumb are Dem voters who can't figure out that James Webb is aka Jim Webb. this is why his name got cut off. If we instated an intelligence test at the polls, R s would win every time. but I guess dimwits need representation too.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 25, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

No it's not time to make Montana a toss-up. The three-point Mason Dixon poll is in conflict with a poll one week earlier conducted by the Political Science Department of Montana State University-Billings. Historically accurate, the home-grown poll shows Tester with an 11-point lead, with only 35 percent of the electorate committed to Burns.

Mason Dixon does not use Montana poll takers. It is not set up with a full knowledge of the state's demographics. MSU-B has proved right on in past elections. MSU-B does show approximately 15 percent who have not yet committed to a candidate. Burns would have to claim almost all of them to catch up.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | October 25, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Do you republican pinheads understand the fundamental difference between 'Enemy Combatant' and 'foreign fighters'? You or I could be declared an 'Enemy combatant' DESPITE our US citizenship because of this law. Then we can be tortured and denied a lawyer or even an appeal in a court of law. It's already happened to Padilla, who may or may not be a terrorist, but is certainly a US citizen. We will never know if he's guilty or not because we will never know the case. Do you republcan pinheads understand how fundamentally opposed to democracy and the constitution that idea is? Or would you rather just act tough so you can sleep at night. Don't worry KOZ, when you get swept up in some unauthorized wiretapping dragnet, the ACLU will still go and fight to the end to give you your due process of law wether you want it or not.

Posted by: Will | October 25, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

i see he crawled out of his hole. do you think he's a night watchman for sewage disposal company? there's always this pervasive stink every time he arrives.

or maybe it's just the smell of fear and hate and decay...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

AZ
Oct. avg Kyl(R)*47.84% Pederson 39.17%
Kyl +8.62%
Last two weeks Kyl +8.67
First two weeks Kyl +9 (one poll)

Posted by: RMill | October 25, 2006 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Do you pinheads understand that the US Constitution and all its associated rights are not available to foreign citizens, particularly ones who easily fall into the spy category. (no uniform, kills civilians). Because you want to grant full rights and processes to our enemies, you should and will lose this election. That is a dumb idea. If you want to go out and kill yourselves, go right ahead, but don't take me with you.

how dumb are Dem voters who can't figure out that James Webb is aka Jim Webb. this is why his name got cut off. If we instated an intelligence test at the polls, R s would win every time. but I guess dimwits need representation too.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 25, 2006 1:09 PM | Report abuse

jojo-republicans don't want you to stop thinking about 9/11, ever. Not for a minute. They want you to be terrified all the time, so you can't think about how badly they have botched things up. They are terrorists -- that's why they want to keep showing the towers falling and the people jumping, over and over and over.

They don't want you to think about having no health insurance, no retirement, about how you will pay for your kid's college, about the mess they made in Iraq and NO. They don't want to build for the future, they want to live off fear and dread and blood, like vampires. What is their campaign always about? Fear. Fear of immigrants, fear of terrorists, fear of taxation, fear of boogeymen like Nancy Pelosi, for chrissake. fear, fear, fear.

Gee, look who made money off Medicare:

'The Wall Street Journal's story looking at pharmaceutical giving Notes that Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), who was a leading proponent of the 2003 Medicare law, has been the biggest beneficiary of the pharmaceutical industry's largest, receiving almost $500,000 from pharmaceutical interests and their employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, $150,000 more than the next closest politician.

Sen. Santorum has a new ad up called "Baltic Avenue." It features Casey's face next to Kim Jong Il, a mushroom cloud and Ahmedinijad at different parts of the ad. You can view the ad here: '

You see, Mark Halperin and many other repug strategists have noted that now they need to scarethe bejesus out of people with North Korea. So get ready for lots more of that subject.

Posted by: drindl | October 25, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Above should read

AZ
Kyl +8.62%

Spreadsheet rounded up.

Posted by: RMill | October 25, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

'Clinton came to Cincinnati on Tuesday to jump feet-first into one of the most hotly contested House races in the country, in a year when his political party is putting it all on the line to win back the Congress that it lost 12 years ago on Clinton's watch.

This year is the perfect year for Democrats to take it back, the 42nd president told a crowd of about 600 who paid anywhere from $250 to $2,100 to hear him speak at the Millennium Hotel downtown.

Because the Republicans in Congress and the White House embraced "extreme ideology" and have kowtowed to special interests, Clinton said, "the Democratic Party can be the party of both conservatives and progressives.''

Clinton said the GOP campaign theme goes something like this:

"So we messed up, so Iraq's not going so well, and we probably shouldn't have put the head of the Florida Show Horse Association in charge of FEMA,'' Clinton said, drawing a laugh from the crowd.

"But you still have to vote for us, the Republicans say, because the other side will tax you into the poorhouse and on the way there, on every street corner, you will find a terrorist, and when you try to run, you will trip over a terrorist.''

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

In all honesty...who really saw "Path to 9/11"? I mean I felt like I didn't need to see it because 1) the media kept rambling about it nonstop and 2) I'm trying to carry on my life and I don't need to be constantly reminded about a day that I don't need to be reminded to forget. I'm sure many Americans feel this way.

Posted by: jojo | October 25, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the Trends

While I provided an October average, there are trends developing so I will attempt to split them from the beginning of the month and the end of the month and then the last week before the election.

AZ
Oct avg.Kyl(R)*48% Pederson(D) 39%
Kyl +9
Last two weeks Kyl +9
First two weeks-n/a
STABLE ONLY 4 POLLS THIS MONTH

MD
Oct avg.Cardin(D)49.33% Steele(R)43.3%
Cardin +6
Last two weeks Cardin +5.67%
First two weeks Cardin +9.67%
THIS RACE IS TIGHTENING (-4%) IN PAST TWO WEEKS

MI
Oct avg. Stabenow(D)*51.25% Bouchard(R)39.5%
Stabenow +11.75
Last two weeks Stabenow +8.5
First two weeks Stabenow +14
TIGHTENING BUT BASED ON ONLY 2 POLLS IN PAST TWO WEEKS

MO
Oct avg.Talent(R)*46.8% McCaskill(D)45.5%
Talent +1.3%
Last two weeks Talent +1.4%
First two weeks McCaskill +1.8%
DEAD HEAT BUT SLIPPED FROM SLIGHT DEM TO SLIGHT REP LEAD (3.1% swing)IN PAST TWO WEEKS

MT
Oct avg. Tester(D)47.17% Burns(R)* 41.5%
Tester +5.67
Last two weeks Tester +6.67%
First two weeks Tester 4.67%
SLIGHT WIDENING OF DEM LEAD (+2%) IN PAST TWO WEEKS

NV
Oct avg. Ensign(R)*52.05%
Carter 43.1%(D) Ensign +9.95%
Last two weeks Ensign +9.95%
First two weeks n/a
STABLE ONLY TWO POLLS THIS MONTH

NJ
Oct avg. Menendez(D)*45.71% KeanJr.40%
Menendez +5.71
Last two weeks Menendez +6.5%
First two weeks Menendez +4.25%
SLIGHT WIDENING OF DEM LEAD (+2.25%)IN PAST TWO WEEKS

OH
Oct avg. Brown(D)48.42% DeWine(R)*41%
Brown +7.42%
Last two weeks Brown +9.62%
First two weeks Brown +3%
SIGNIFICANT WIDENING OF DEM LEAD (+6.62%) IN PAST TWO WEEKS

PA
Oct avg. CaseyJr(D)51.13% Santorum(R)* 39.88%
Casey Jr. +11.25
Last two weeks CaseyJr +11
First two weeks CaseyJr +11.4
STABLE AND SIGNIFICANT LEAD FOR DEM

RI
Oct avg. Whitehouse(D)46.86% Chafee(R)*41%
Whitehouse +5.86
Last two weeks Whitehouse +6.5%
First two weeks Whitehouse +5.6%
SLIGHT WIDENING OF LEAD (+0.9%)FOR DEM IN PAST TWO WEEKS

TN
Oct avg. Corker(R)45.22 Ford(D)44.89%
Corker +0.33%
Last two weeks Corker +4.67%
First two weeks Ford +1.83%
SIGNIFICANT SHIFT TO REP (swing of 6.5%) IN PAST TWO WEEKS

VA
Oct avg. Allen(R)*47.7% Webb(D)44.2%
Allen +3.5%
Last two weeks Allen +1.8%
First two weeks Allen +5.2%
DECLINE IN REP LEAD (-3.4%) IN PAST TWO WEEKS

ReCap
Dems lead
MD, MI, MT, NJ, OH, PA, RI
Reps Lead
AZ, MO, NV, TN, VA

For Dems
MD trending down
MT, NJ, OH, RI trending up
PA stable

For Reps
MO, TN trending up
VA trending down
AZ, NV stable

Posted by: RMill | October 25, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Watch the news out of New Jersey today. A ruling on gay marriage is expected from the state Supreme Court this afternoon. If gay marriage is allowed you can expect to see a Republican resurgence in many areas.

Posted by: Zathras | October 25, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Dear Scott,

What is the address of the site?

Thank you in advance,
Che

Posted by: che | October 25, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Political ads coming from the right, groups in control of what is "necesary to protect us against our enemies", even if it bends our constitution a little bit, proves to me what I knew would happen, Spying will be abused if it can be.

Posted by: EdA | October 25, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

j,
Don't kid yourself; it's not just Republicans that have drinking problems. It's Democrats too (and for that matter most politicians). Alcohol is part of the game in politics. To some people, it's the name of the game. It certainly is for me.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

With Democratic momentum mounting and control of the House at stake, senior Republican strategists are urging donors to contribute to 33 GOP members and candidates who are "most in need of support right now."

The National Republican Congressional Committee's (NRCC) "Final Push List" consists of 29 Republican seats and only four Democratic seats, indicating that the GOP is playing defense.

The list, obtained by The Hill, provides a rare glimpse of the races that congressional strategists are concentrating on close to Election Day.

Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), who heads the NRCC and is in a tight race with Democrat Jack Davis, is not on the Final Push list.

Reynolds has repeatedly said there will be three dozen hotly contested House races this fall, but polls suggest the universe of competitive contests is closer to 50. Most political experts anticipate Democrats will win the necessary 15 seats to gain control of the lower chamber, with some predicting they could gain a net of 30 seats.

Some Republicans who made the NRCC cut already enjoy significant cash advantages over their opponents. Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) has $1.65 million in the bank compared to his adversary, former Rep. Ken Lucas (D-Ky.), with over $380,000 cash on hand. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), also on the list, has a three-to-one cash advantage over her opponent.

Peter Roskam, the GOP nominee to replace retiring Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) is on the list, even though he has $1.5 million to play with while Democrat Tammy Duckworth has just over $200,000.

These numbers do not include the infusion of cash to candidates from the NRCC and DCCC.

Joe Negron, who is seeking to fill ex-Rep. Mark Foley's (R-Fla.) seat, needs 16th district voters to punch in Foley's name in order for him to win. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) publicly conceded that Republicans are unlikely to win this race, but the NRCC nonetheless has Negron on its list.

The four Democrats that the NRCC is targeting in its Final Push are Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Melissa Bean (Ill.), Leonard Boswell (Iowa), and Jim Marshall (Ga.). Independent political analysts say Republicans will be fortunate to win one of these races.

Earlier this year, NRCC was targeting Reps. John Spratt (D-S.C.) and Alan Mollohan (D-W. Va.). Republicans now appear to be throwing in the towel on those races by pulling back ads on these two Democrats and not targeting them in their Oct. 19 document.

Open seats that the NRCC is not making a final push for include the competitive contests for retiring Reps. Bob Beauprez (R-Colo.) and Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) as well as Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running for the Senate. Peter Welch, the Democrat seeking to win Sanders' seat, enjoys a major cash-on-hand advantage over Republican Martha Rainville.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Poll released by Susquehanna 10/22

PA4
Altmire(D)42%
Hart(R)* 46%

New entry in the "leans R" category

Posted by: RMill | October 25, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

News: A team of political scientists took information from past polls, current polls and created a computer simulation to predict how many seats the democrats would gain in the house. The results, "we forecast an expected Democratic gain of 32 seats with Democratic control." Hence, my prediction of 39 and suggestion of expanding the list to 50 battle ground seats seems reasonable Chris!

Posted by: Scott | October 25, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Morris writes: "Bush needs to distract the country from Iraq, and North Korea offers the best way to do so. Americans are justifiably scared by the prospect of a nuclear North Korea and Bush's efforts to assemble a global coalition to press Pyongyang have shown that Rice has learned how to play the game and win. But the president needs to bring the issue to public attention and use it to save himself from two years of subpoenas and hearings by making the next two weeks about Korea."


The Way to Win:
Conservative radio and TV host Sean Hannity, who calls Mark Halperin "a great American," has added a new book to his book club: The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008. LINK.

It should be Noted, of course, that Hannity called Donald Rumsfeld the same thing yesterday, and also that Bill O'Reilly called Halperin "gutsy" last night on The Factor.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Per the Washington Times' Greg Pierce, a new ad scheduled to run in Missouri characterizes the Michael J. Fox ad as misleading, using St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan, who is scheduled to pitch in the World Series tonight, "warning voters that the ballot initiative would legalize human cloning. 'Don't be deceived,' he says. Former St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, who led the team to a Super Bowl victory, says, 'Don't be tricked' into thinking that stem-cell research will bring any cures within the next 15 years. The ad is introduced and ended by actor Jim Caviezel, who portrayed Jesus in 'The Passion of the Christ.'"

--oh look, the GOP is so desperate they've not only called in Osama bin Ladin, but also Jesus Christ.

Posted by: drindl | October 25, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I hope Jon Cohen is less biased and more professional than the previous polling guru at the Post.

Posted by: Greg in LA | October 25, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

--More repubglican filth and scumbaggery in Tennessee:

Democrat Harold Ford Jr.'s campaign called on Tennessee TV stations Tuesday to cease airing a new ad from the Republican National Committee that says he voted to "recognize gay marriage" and "wants to give the abortion pill to our schoolchildren" -- charges his lawyers called false and libelous.

'give the abortion pill to our schoolchildren' -- oh for christ sake. please tell me people are not stupid evnough to beleive this. never mind...

Posted by: drindl | October 25, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

'There is an article in today's Boston Globe about the Bushies promulgating rules that would restrict Gitmo and other detainees, the right to unlimited and private contact with their counsel during detention. This is a fundamental, 6th Amendment. Constitutional right, and is at the center of our system of jurisprudence. '

Yes, Sterling... that's what the Detainee Act is all about, plain and simple. Gutting the Constitution. But you left out other Amendments that are gutted, all of the except the 2nd, naturally.

Posted by: drindl | October 25, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Fix:

What do you make of Karl Rove's insistence that the public polls aren't trustworthy?

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/05/15/rove-polls-bush/

Is there something there or is it just more happy talk?

Posted by: Derek B. | October 25, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse

It's a fine show of contempt for any notion of true representative democracy that 390 house seats are "virtually immune" to any challenge. That's only about 90 percent of the House. No wonder only half of the voters show up.
Governor Gerry would be amazed that his "salamanders" are preserving the reactionary status quo so successfully nearly 200 years on.
I don't know what you call this - Government by the Dollar, via K Street for the usual Fortune 500 and plutocratic suspects? - but I don't think it's the democracy that Mr.Jefferson had in mind.

Posted by: Colin | October 25, 2006 11:24 AM | Report abuse

It seems that there is one country where things will change under the threat of a deadline: George Bush is now Mr Cut and Run, only he says it all depends upon what the meaning od stay the course is.
Hey, if it works for him, why won't a deadline work for Iraq?

Posted by: NoVA | October 25, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

There is an article in today's Boston Globe about the Bushies promulgating rules that would restrict Gitmo and other detainees, the right to unlimited and private contact with their counsel during detention. This is a fundamental, 6th Amendment. Constitutional right, and is at the center of our system of jurisprudence. I don't believe anything this drastic has been proposed since the suspension of Habeas Corpus petitions during the Civil War. Denying access to the judicial system for anyone through the "Rule of Law" is equivalent to the Soviet show trials of the 1930s, and the "guilty" pleas of the defendants. There is now no Congressional check on Executive fiat. If this is where our national government has gone, EVERYONE should vote against majority incumbents, while we still have the chance, on that issue alone.

Posted by: L.Sterling | October 25, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Election Alarm!!!

For uncensored news please bookmark:

otherside123.blogspot.com
http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/
www.wsws.org
www.takingaim.info
www.onlinejournal.com

http://www.rollingstone.com/nationalaffairs/?p=625

The Ten Worst Congressmen

"There's stiff competition for this designation," Nancy Pelosi told me as I was working to compile this list of the worst members of the House.

And it's true. We started with a the Terrible 20, before whittling the list down first to the Sleazebag 17, the Dirty Dozen, and finally our excreble, bottom-feeding Terrible Ten.

The list doesn't include those bastards we've already watched slink away to prison or ignomy this year (bribe seekers Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney, or child predator Mark Foley) or those whose misguided vanity led them to abandon their House posts in search of higher office (Katherine Harris, you won't be missed.)

Without futher ado, the envelopes please:

1) Denny Hastert (R-Ill.):

"Most of us aren't speaker of the House, and most of us don't have a $200 million earmark running through our back yard. Hastert does, and he made a fortune from it."

2) James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.)

"He treats us all equally," says Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.). "He treats us all like dogs."

3) Don Young (R.-Alaska)

When Sen. John McCain proposed that Young redirect his prized pork money to help rebuild New Orleans, Young accused his detractors of "ignorance and stupidity." The victims of Katrina, he suggested, "can kiss my ear!"

4) "Dollar" Bill Jefferson (D-La.)

Despite his unethical behavior, Jefferson is cruising to re-election. "In Louisiana, they have a long tradition of corruption -- a Huey Long tradition."

5) Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.)

Even Brent Wilkes -- the defense contractor whose payoffs sent Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham to prison earlier this year -- has complained about Lewis' shakedown operation.

6) Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.)

"He's got the best track record in Congress," raves Gordon Baum, head of the Council for Conservative Citizens, a "pro-white" group that lauds Tancredo for protecting America from a "full-scale invasion" of Latin immigrants.

7) Dick Pombo (R-Calif.)

"Dick Pombo is the most dangerous member of the House," says Carl Pope of the Sierra Club. "There's no one who represents the threat to our public lands that he does."

8) Curt Weldon (R-Penn.)

"Curt Weldon has outlived his usefulness to the country," says House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. "He's seeing ghosts and conspiracies."

9) Hal Rogers (R.-Ky.)

He has placed the interests of his own district ahead of defending the nation from Al Qaeda, prompting even the archconservative National Review to call him a "congressional disgrace."

10) Marilyn Musgrave (R.-Colo.)

"She doesn't like the idea of one gay person," says Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts. "So obviously the idea of two of us hanging out makes her very unhappy."

-- Tim Dickinson

Posted by: che | October 25, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

And just like The Rodent promised, ABC is delivering for cons:

'ABC News' Claire Shipman traveled with the First Lady today and plans to air her "Day in the Life with Laura Bush" tomorrow morning on Good Morning America.'

Posted by: drindl | October 25, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse

'. As the Wall Street Journal hints this morning, the next two weeks are going to see major corporate spending by the pharmaceutical industry and other interests who have a Roveian sense of the stakes involved. Spending tens of millions of dollars now can potentially save these companies hundreds of millions -- maybe billions -- down the road.'

More of The Rodent. See- he thinks it's perfectly fine for corporations to propagandaize citizens into voting their way so they can rape them at the cash register later. Those billions he's talking about are your taxpayer dollars.

Posted by: drndl | October 25, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (the credible, non-Scaife newspaper) has announced today that it is endorsing the Democratic challenger over Rep Melissa Hart for Congress. Hart is a simple Republican functionary who does what she is told and supports Bush on the war. This race is still a struggle for the Democrats, but it is doable.

Posted by: PA voter | October 25, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Here's a sample of chris' pal, the rodent Mark Halperin's, handiwork. ABC's trashy THe Note. Here's your 'liberal media'

A. The flaps over the RNC ad attacking Harold Ford and the Michael J. Fox ad are a three-fer for the Republicans:

1. They get the national debate focused away from Iraq. Every day for the next two weeks that the network news says the election is about ANYTHING but Iraq is a good day for George W. Bush's party.

2. They give Republicans some sense of hope that their negative messaging might finally break through and define Democratic candidates as liberal and unacceptable.

3. They produce an Old Media reaction (pro-stem cell research, pro-Fox, pro-Hollywood, pro-Ford) that Republicans can use to go to the base and say, "Don't let the Old Media steal this election!"

--You see, it's the standard filthy tactics.

•"Negative messaging'' is simply gutterslime swiftboating. This is all they've got. So much for ideas. The concept that the ads would be so disgusting as to provoke a backlash is apparently the plan.

•'Liberal' = 'unacceptable' in The Rodent's mind.

•No 3 speaks to one of the main conservative goals -- to destroy the free press, to discredit any media that refuses to accept rightwing frames. 'Liberal media', 'Drive-by media', 'Old media'. The base is so basely brainwashed at this point that they are willing to turn on their only sources of truth, in favor of fascist propaganda. Just like the germans did in the 30's,

This guy's an insider in the rightwing media machine, so this is the real strategy. Filth.

Posted by: drindl | October 25, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Remember, these are averages of all October polling from independent sources.

AZ
Survey USA 10/16
Pederson(D)43%-Kyl(R)*48%
Rasmussen 10/15
Pederson(D)42%-Kyl(R)*51%
Zogby/WSJ Battleground 10/16
Pederson(D)43.7%-Kyl(R)*49.9%
Northern Arizona Univ 10/16
Pederson(D)33%-Kyl(R)*49%
Arizona State Univ 10/22
Pederson(D)41%-Kyl(R)*47%

You are correct on MI. I was looking at MI GOv data.

MI
Survey USA 10/8
Stabenow(D)*53%-Bouchard(R)42%
Rasmussen 10/4
Stabenow(D)*56%-Bouchard(R)39%
Zogby/WSJ Battleground 10/16
Stabenow(D)*48%-Bouchard(R)44%
Detroit Free Press
Stabenow(D)*48%-Bouchard(R)35%

Stabenow (D)* +11.25%

Posted by: RMill | October 25, 2006 10:37 AM | Report abuse

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (Reuters) - Lincoln Chafee, the only Republican U.S. senator to vote against the Iraq war, often breaks ranks with his party to survive in one of the nation's most liberal states.

But in two weeks Rhode Island may break ranks with Chafee, ousting one of the most moderate voices in the Republican Party and handing the Democrats one of six key seats needed to seize control of the Senate.

Democratic challenger Sheldon Whitehouse is casting the November 7 election as a referendum on President George W. Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress, saying not just Rhode Island's future but the direction of the country is at stake.

Trailing by four to 11 points in recent polls, Chafee is stressing his unique brand of Republicanism -- from championing environmental issues to fighting Bush's tax cuts, pressing for direct talks with Iran, opposing Bush's Supreme Court nominee and even voting against Bush in the 2004 election.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

JEP

That kind of public record can be retrieved by a Freedom of Information request.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 25, 2006 10:07 AM | Report abuse

RMill,

Are you sure about the Stabenow numbers? I've been following the race very closely, and it's been a while since I've seen a lead just in the single digits. The most recent poll (Rasmussen) has her up 16 (55-39).

Posted by: Zathras | October 25, 2006 9:57 AM | Report abuse

So, just how did Blackwell dredge up that voter-registration technicality on Strickland?

...in a data-base diving expedition intended to suppress voters, a virtual information sweep that was financed WITH TAXPAYER MONEY AND RESOURCES!

SO while they may have had access to the information once it was public, I would guess they have access sooner that we are told.

If you were the Republicans and you had acces to these databases, would you use them to win?

Power at any cost...

Or the Samson solution.

Just wondered, when they named our Afghanistan military campaign "Operation Enduring Freedom," were they talking about Bin Laden?

...maybe they were just making sure he was available to conjur up whenever general fear is lagging, or an election is close.

Posted by: JEP | October 25, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse

RMill: Off the Real Clear Politics site, the last 2 polls in AZ show Kyl only 5-6% up. That's less than Cardin's advantage in all but one poll. The LA Times numbers actually show Corker expanding his lead. It's OH, and VA of course, that look tighter than other polls. I'll be curious aboutif there is backlash on the TN white woman ad and if the Fox ad in MO moves numbers. By the way, am I the only one who saw the rightie talker denying the TN ad was racist go after the one black guy among Barnicle, Matthews and Hebert (sp?)? If he threw a dart, he had a 1:3 shot.

Posted by: Jon | October 25, 2006 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Public officials are required to submit their bills for reimbursement. Because the official in this case Arcuri, was seeking public compensation for his trip, the phone records are submitted voluntarily to the governmental authority from which compensation is sought. At that point, it is a public record.

Posted by: RMill | October 25, 2006 9:30 AM | Report abuse

jfusll5. I also think docudramas are stupid. I especially dislike the claim to authority they frequently use as a justification for cheap drama. In the case of "Path to 9/11' that fallacious appeal to authority included a claim of basis on the findings of the 9/11 commision. It is this abusive claim of truth that sets it appart from the very liberal program and movies that you list. You admonish me to "live with it" and suggest that you have endured some abuse with great patience. Perhaps you have. I would disagree with any assertion that the right is more abused than the left. 'Conservative' still connoted a respectable set of beliefs while 'Liberal' was turned into an insult. I am a liberal, and I can take anything that I dish out.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | October 25, 2006 9:28 AM | Report abuse

LA Times/Bloomberg Polls
10/20-10/23

MO
McCaskill(D)45%-Talent(R)*48%
Plus
Survey USA 10/23
McCaskill(D)45%-Talent(R)*48%

NJ
Menendez(D)*45%-KeanJr.(R)41%
OH
Brown(D)47%-DeWine(R)*39%
TN
Ford(D)45%-Corker(R)49%
VA
Webb(D)47%-Allen(R)*44%

While none of these polls moves the seats into new categories, it tightens considerably the MO, TN and VA races.

Oct. avgs. (including new LA Times/Bloomberg and Mason Dixon/MSNBC/McLatchy News)

MO McCaskill (D) +0.22%
TN Corker (R) +0.5%
VA Allen (R) +2.57

Others
MD Cardin (D)+5.67%
MI Stabenow(D)* +7.1
NJ Menendez (D)* +4.81%
MT Tester (D) +6%
OH Brown(D) +8%
RI Whitehouse (D) +6.5%
AZ Kyl (R) +9%
NV Ensign (R) +9.95%

Posted by: RMill | October 25, 2006 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"The expense reports might be a matter of public record and it would be fairly typical opposition research to go after such records."

One way or another, it took some felonious rule-breaking to get this obscure information.

But most of us conspiracy theorists know that kind of information can only be gained by very sophisticted and dedicated equipment and operatives. Which brings to mind a series of questions.

Is the NSA actually the RNSA?

Does Poindexter's pervasive data-beast answer to the WH political office first, and the intelligence community second?

How often does Cheney get the "real information", and then he decides what the public gets?

And, just wondering, who actually has access to our government databases?

Remember when Delay used Federal and State offices to try and track down those heroic legislators who fled Texas to defer re-districting?

Well, here they go again, using our taxpayer-financed resources for their partisan political purposes.

Just how many trivial little secrets do they have in hand?

And where did they get all this worthless information? What do they have access to?

Makes you wonder, just who IS using our State and Federal databases for Republican political purposes? Will we be able to track it after the election? If someone is using our federal or state resources for political purposes, wouldn't that constitute a serious crime?

Maybe someone in authority should be asking where this information came from RIGHT NOW, not after-the-fact.

Sometimes, foresight is 20-20.

Posted by: JEP | October 25, 2006 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget about Rush Limbaugh mocking the effects of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease which are apparent in the commercials Fox made for candidates who support stem cell research.

If these type of slimy GOP attacks and their mud-slinging commercials work, then I guess we'll continue to get the government we deserve.

But, I suspect (and feverently hope) the country has had a bellyful of the politics of personal destruction and moral high-ground hypocrisy.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | October 25, 2006 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Montana

The October average is Tester +6%. It's a leaner.

Only two polls in the last two months have show the race down to 3% pts (1 in Sept., 1 in Oct.)

Posted by: RMill | October 25, 2006 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Are Republican's Giving Up on their Minority Outreach Program-
More face-slapping than Outreach

On the one hand, George W. Bush has promoted heavily a GOP minority outreach program. He was elected in 2000 and again in 2004 with strong support from the Hispanic community. African American's have been told that Democrats take their vote for granted (not an unfounded accusation) and should give Republicans a fair chance. They recruited several high profile African American candidates in key states (Ken Blackwell-OH, Lynn Swann-PA, Michael Steele- MD) and races. The talked the talk and started the walk. What happened next?

The RNC has run a despicable ad in Tennessee against Congressman Harold Ford Jr., who is locked in a tight battle for Majority Leader Bill Frist's open senate seat. It shows a young white woman who says she met Ford at a Playboy party. The end of the spot shows the woman mouthing "Call me".

A discussion on MSNBC's Hardball derided the commercial, which was posited as racist by two of three panelists and host Chris Matthews. The third, a conservative radio talk show host said it was not racist but humorous. This drew immediate fire "There is nothing funny about this ad."

Ford was diplomatic in his response but told reporters if Corker really wanted the ad pulled, it would have been.

In the Massachusetts governors race, Lt. Gov. Healey has run an ad against Deval Patrick that shows a young white woman, walking alone in a dark parking garage. Then launches into a diatribe against Patrick suggesting he supports rape. In a debate, this was brought up, to which Patrick responded more forcefully. "I am the only person up here who has actually prosecuted rapists. If Ms. Healey wants to get down from her high horse and into the street, I'll be happy to show her around." A stunned Healey sits silent.

How does one defend against such libelous attacks without drawing more attention to them? They must be repudiated, but unfortunately, the best repudiation will be done by the voters. Electing the first African American governor in Massachusetts (and only the second in American history) and the first African American southern Senator since reconstruction will send this message, nothing else.

And while President Bush and some scattered others have long pushed for an immigration plan that allows for illegal immigrants access to citizenship, the majority of members of the House and Senate have stalled this effort in favor of a much stricter set of rules, including arrests and deportation.

This is seen as a direct assault on the large and growing Hispanic community.

So for all the talk about reaching out to minority voters, when the rubber meets the road, the GOP has wasted its time in money in providing such lip service when they spend millions of dollars of political advertising and invest in public policy that does exactly what Democrats have long asserted--that the GOP doesn't care about minorities and their interests. When times are tough, they fall back on old and reliable tactics that work with white, evangelical voters they can count on to vote Republican.

So the choice is between being taken for granted or openly slapped in the face. What will minority voters do?

Posted by: RMill | October 25, 2006 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Jim Gibbons is facing more tough questions on a whole new issue. These questions revolve around an illegal immigrant whom Gibbons and his wife Dawn employed as their housekeeper and babysitter.

The woman, Patricia Pastor Sandoval, says she worked for the Gibbons' for years and the family occasionally made her hide in the basement to keep her illegal status a secret.

Click here to view the slideshow of photos with Patricia Sandoval and the Gibbons family.

It is illegal to knowingly employ an undocumented alien. It's also illegal to employ such a person, pay them under the table, and then fail to pay employer taxes.

Sandoval says she worked for Jim Gibbons and his wife Dawn for several years, starting in 1987, and that the family has tried to cover it up. It's a story pregnant with political implications.

Click here to read the employment agreement between Dawn Gibbons and Patricia Pasto

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Isn't time to include Montana in the "toss-up" category? If Burns is only down by 3 in the polls before election day, he will win.

Posted by: Mike | October 25, 2006 9:07 AM | Report abuse

The GOP mercenaries and Halliburton are making out big time, but our soldiers? They're paid so meagerly their families are starving. Think about the National Guardsmen who are deployed over and over, and lose their jobs. Have you any idea how many Iraq war veterans are homeless now, after suffering severe injuries? The GOP has crushed our military under the malignancy, the cancerous tumor that is Rumsfeld:

'The women and children who formed a line at Camp Pendleton last week could have been waiting for a child-care center to open or Disney on Ice tickets to go on sale.

Instead, they were waiting for day-old bread and frozen dinners packaged in slightly damaged boxes. These families are among a growing number of military households in San Diego County that regularly rely on donated food.

As the Iraq war marches toward its fourth anniversary, food lines operated by churches and other nonprofit groups are an increasingly valuable presence on military bases countywide. Leaders of the charitable groups say they're scrambling to fill a need not seen since World War II.

Too often, the supplies run out before the lines do, said Regina Hunter, who coordinates food distribution at one Camp Pendleton site.

"Here they are defending the country. . . . It is heartbreaking to see," said Hunter, manager of the on-base Abby Reinke Community Center. "If we could find more sources of food, we would open the program up to more people. We believe anyone who stands in a line for food needs it and deserves it."

The 'Support Our Troops' magnets will go down in history as one of the cruelest jokes ever.

Posted by: drndl | October 25, 2006 9:00 AM | Report abuse

drindl

The expense reports might be a matter of public record and it would be fairly typical opposition research to go after such records. That does not make the ad any less dishonest, of course.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 25, 2006 8:59 AM | Report abuse


Election Alarm!!!

For uncensored news please bookmark:

otherside123.blogspot.com
http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/
www.wsws.org
www.takingaim.info
www.onlinejournal.com

http://americablog.blogspot.com/2006/10/breaking-scandal-in-nevada-involving.html


Breaking scandal in Nevada involving, of course, a Republican

by John in DC - 10/24/2006 11:23:00 PM

BIG UPDATE: Did Gibbons' wife, the possible next First Lady of Nevada, commit perjury?

The local news coverage, in the video below, makes clear that Gibbons' wife Dawn signed federal legal documents in 1988, under the penalty of perjury, stating that everyone knew the woman, Patricia, was undocumented and that she'd worked for the family since 1987, cooking, cleaning and babysitting, and even had an employment contract for $800/month. The employee, Patricia, says she was paid every two weeks, and worked ten hours days, 50 hours a week. But then, at the end of the broadcast we learn that the TV news team has just received a statement from Dawn Gibbons claiming that she tried to help Patricia for a time, but only with occasional odd jobs, and not as a full time employee. The news broadcaster said that this statement contradicts what Dawn Gibbons said under oath in the federal documents. If true, that's called perjury - from the woman who plans on being Nevada's next First Lady. This story is huge.
---------
This time it's the governor's candidate, Republican Congressman Jim Gibbons, the guy who was accused last week of attacking a young woman in a parking lot. Today we find out that the very anti-immigration Gibbons had an illegal alien working for him for years, and even hid her in the basement.

It's 8 minutes and 24 seconds of local news in Nevada, that is a HUGE story, no one does a story that long.

Oh man. Here is the local news story in Nevada from the 5pm news tonight in Las Vegas.

Posted by: che | October 25, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Last month, we inaugurated the Fear-mongering Hall of Shame. And now with just two weeks to go and the polls heavily skewing Democratic, the administration's panic-button pushers have brought out the big guns, including an ad featuring Osama Bin Laden saying that 9/11 was "nothing compared to what you will see next," the specter of colossal tax raises, Dick Cheney repeatedly mentioning the possibility of "mass death in the United States," and even that old race-baiting favorite, the fear of black men lusting after southern white women. It's beginning to look a lot like November.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2006 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Amazing comments about "the Path to 911". I did not watch b/c I think docudramas are stupid. It may have been a hit job on Clinton, but the entire tv series "the West Wing" was a tv commerical for Clinton and dems. So were the movies "the American President" and "the Contender". I did not see stories in the Post or Times questioning the bias in these features.
BTW, I liked all three. Just liberals cannot take what they dish out.
Air America hosts rants about coorperate CEOs making millions while they run companies into the ground and then Air America pays Franken millions and guess what, they run the company into the ground.
The media is liberal except for FOX and talk radio and a few newspapers. Live with it, we have.

Posted by: jfusil5 | October 25, 2006 8:49 AM | Report abuse

This election comes down to whether it's a national anti-GOP wave (a la '94 with the Dems) or it's state-by-state, district-by-district.

The D's can take the House under either scenario, but the only way the Senate turns is if this really is the "tsunami."

The math is just too hard for the Senate to change based on tactical, by state, races. Of course then there's Lieberman--he could end up holding the cards. And that's just wrong.

New on EWM: you won't believe it.
Bush Enters Rhetorical Rehab
http://www.eyewitnessmuse.com/musings.php?p=241

Posted by: The Eyewitness Muse | October 25, 2006 8:49 AM | Report abuse

These kinds of attacks are deplorable and unfortunately, effective. If nothing else, it distracts from an opponents message at worst, destroys a candidate.

Sometimes, they backfire.

Ken Blackwell has launched an assault on the charecter and judgement of Congressman Ted Strickland, stating that he kept a known child flasher (4th degree misdemeanor) on his payroll and travelled with him, insinuating that Strickland is gay. Blackwell denied he is suggesting Strickland is gay but goes full force after his hiring of a child sex offender.

The Columbus Dispatch this morning reports that Blackwell had on his payroll when he was State Treasurer, a man who was a known felon with a long arrest record which was brought to Blackwell's attention. He was not dismissed. He remained on staff of the succeeding State Treasurer until 2002 when he left before he was convicted of sexual abuse of a young girl.

http://www.ohioelects.com/governor/?story=dispatch/2006/10/24/20061024-A1-03.html

The RNC commercial against Ford and the Healey commercial in MA against Deval Patrick were discussed in depth on Hardball last night.

With sexual and racial overtones from desperate candidates should have no place in modern politics. But again, they would not if they were not effective in some circles.

Posted by: RMill | October 25, 2006 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the mostintriguing question of this election is season is whether conservative white rural voters in Tennessee who say favorable things about Harold Ford will actually pull the lever for him on November 7th. That will say much about where we are as a country and perhaps serve as a bellweather for Barack Obama's future.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | October 25, 2006 8:46 AM | Report abuse

CC, the ad in Tennessee doesn't 'raise questions about Ford's morals'. It openly attacks his race. Come on call it what it is, race baiting.

Also in the past history has shown that in situations like this the majority of undecideds break to the challenger. if you look at the polls for Allen for example he has stayed level at around 48% for the past two months. Basically, the other 52% have decided that they don't want him, they just haven't been sold on Webb yet.

Posted by: Andy R | October 25, 2006 8:44 AM | Report abuse

As if there weren't enough concerns about the integrity of the vote, a non-partisan civic organization today claimed it had hacked into the voter database for the 1.35 million voters in the city of Chicago.

Bob Wilson, an official with the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project -- which bills itself as a not-for-profit civic organization dedicated to the correction of election system deficiencies -- tells ABC News that last week his organization hacked the database, which contains detailed information about hundreds of thousands of Chicago voters, including their Social Security numbers, and dates of birth.

"It was a serious identity theft problem, but also a problem that could potentially create problems with the election," Wilson said.

A nefarious hacker could have changed every voter's status from active to inactive, which would have prevented them from voting, he said.

"Or we could've changed the information on what precinct you were in or what polling place you were supposed to go to," he said. "So there were ways that we could potentially change the entire online data base and disenfranchise voters throughout the entire city of Chicago."

"If we'd wanted to, we could've wiped the entire database out," Wilson claimed.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2006 8:42 AM | Report abuse

And so it begins. Watch how many of these little 'accidents' start piling up:

'U.S. Senate candidate James H. "Jim" Webb has lost his last name on electronic ballots in three Virginia cities where election computers can't cope with long names.

It affects only the three jurisdictions that use balloting machines manufactured by Hart InterCivic of Austin, Texas.

Every candidate on Alexandria's summary page has been affected in some way. Even if their full names appear, as is the case with Webb's Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. George F. Allen, their party affiliations have been cut off.'

Well, how convenient for George Allen, to have that scarlet letter R removed. How very convenient that Mr. Webb's last name is cut off. The funny thing is, 'Webb' is not a long name. It is shorter than 'Allen' in fact. christ, how stupid do they think we are?

Btw, Hart InterCivic's is a privately-owned company and its principal investors are listed below:
- Stratford Capital Partners, L.P. / Stratford
- Equity Partners L.P. Dallas TX
- Triton Ventures Austin, TX
- Texas Growth Fund Austin, TX
- Capstreet Group, LLC Houston, TX
- RES Partners, Ltd. Austin, TX

Sounds like a group who might be interested in keeping capital gains tax-cutters in power, hmm?

Posted by: drindl | October 25, 2006 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Another Repub needs Rehab:

' A state legislator acknowledged leaving a profanity-laced message that included a racial slur on a colleague's voice mail, and said he will seek counseling to control his temper, especially when drinking.

Police and the state Department of Law Enforcement are investigating the message the message left by Rep. Ralph Arza, as well as an anonymous message, because the recipient, Rep. Gus Barreiro, said the calls sounded threatening.

Barreiro, a Miami Beach Republican, filed a complaint last week with the House Rules Committee, claiming Arza used a racial epithet when referring to a black school official.

Arza, a Miami-area Republican, denied a similar allegation in May but apologized at the time for anything construed as offensive.

The Miami Herald reported Barreiro's latest complaint Saturday. Arza called Barreiro and left a message over the weekend, cursing him and referring to the school official with a racial slur, the newspaper reported. Barreiro filed a complaint with police Monday.'

Sure seems like a lot of R's have drinking problems, doesn't it?

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

Seomething JEP asked yesterday has me wondering... there are all these personal attack ads against Dems on the air. Where is all this very personal info coming from? Who is providing it? Isn't it illegal for a hotel, say, to divulge private information like that about guests? Is a law enforcement agency involved?

FBI? NSA? We don't really know who they are spying on, do we?

Posted by: drindl | October 25, 2006 8:23 AM | Report abuse

--Hey Chris, your buddy Mark Halperin, the GOP water boy, was on O'Reilly yesterday, promising that ABC was going to deliver the goods for conservatives:

'I just heard the most remarkable bullsh** on O'Reilly, which is saying something when it involves O'Reilly and the Note's Mark Halperin, ABC's political director. Halperin told O'Reilly that the Right was correct in distrusting the Liberal Media who conspire for ways to make Republicans look bad. Halperin, one of the leading GOP bootlickers in all of the Media has the gall to say that. And of course O'Reilly ate it up. O'Reilly was shocked that someone theoretically sane agreed with his insane conspiracy theory. O`Reilly said, roughly, "So you're saying the liberal Media, like ABC, CBS and the New York Times all work to denigrate Republicans?" And Halperin answers roughly, `we've documented it in our book and we the Media have to work hard these two weeks to regain the trust of conservatives.' Understand what he is saying. The Right will be pleased with ABC's coverage. '

ABC, by broadcasting that shameless revisionist garbage, 'Path to 9/11', has already proved that they are the next Fox News. I urge people to monitor their coverage and scream when you detect their rightwing bias. It's truly disgusting how they pander to the degenerate wingers.

Posted by: drindl | October 25, 2006 8:07 AM | Report abuse

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