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The Friday Line: U.S. Senate

The closer we get to the election (82 days but who's counting), the more volatile the bottom half of our Senate Line becomes.

Two races dropped precipitously over the last month: Tennessee and Minnesota. In Tennessee, Rep. Harold Ford Jr.'s (D) chances took a major hit when former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker won the August 3 primary rather easily over former Reps. Van Hilleary and Ed Bryant. Corker was the most moderate of the three Republicans and carried the added bonus of being neither a lawmaker nor a lobbyist -- two major strikes against a candidate in this year's political atmopshere.

In Minnesota, two polls -- one conducted for Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar's (D) campaign, the other for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune -- showed the Democrat with a wide lead (19 points and 18 points, respectively) over Rep. Mark Kennedy (R). While even Democrats admitted that the surveys likely caught Klobuchar at her high-water mark, Republicans acknowledge that their candidate trails by high single digits or low double-digits at the moment. That makes the contest difficult for Kennedy to win given the current political climate.

The fastest riser of the month is Washington State's Senate race, which moves up four spots in the rankings. Polling continues to show that former Safeco Insurance executive Mike McGavick (R) is within striking distance of incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell (D), who now carries the ignominious distinction of being the most endangered Democratic incumbent in the country.

Two other races are vying to crack next's month Senate line: Virginia and Michigan. In Virginia, much has been made of Sen. George Allen's "macaca" comments. While we believe the episode did damage to Allen's campaign, we don't think it will lead to his defeat. Much more worrisome for Allen are the rapidly changing demographics of the Commonwealth, where the northern Virginia suburbs are growing larger and more Democratic by the day.

Republicans in Michigan and nationally are more and more optimistic about their candidate -- Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard -- and his chances of beating Sen. Debbie Stabenow this fall. Bouchard won a comfortable victory in the Republican primary and his latest ad, which his campaign left on the air following his win, is excellent. But beating an incumbent -- especially one as well-financed and savvy as Stabenow -- is never easy, and this race still hasn't gelled enough to crack the top 10. It is, however, on the cusp.

Remember, the top ranked race on the Line is the most likely to change party control in November. Agree? Disagree? The comments section is ready and waiting.

To the Line!

10. Tennessee: We can already hear Democrats complaining about our decision to drop this race three slots following former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker's victory in the Republican Senate primary earlier this month. But, we can't find a single neutral observer who believes that Rep. Harold Ford's chance at victory increased or even stayed the same with Corker's nomination. For a Democrat to win an open U.S. Senate seat in the South these days he or she needs a problematic GOP opponent. In 2004, Republicans swept the South -- winning five open seats there (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Florida). Two years earlier, Republicans won open Senate seats in North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Tennessee. (The last time a Democrat won an open seat in the South was in 2000 when Bill Nelson took Connie Mack's seat.) Given that track record, it's hard to see how Ford wins despite his demonstrated fundraising skills and political savvy. (Previous ranking: 7)

9. Minnesota: While we don't believe that Amy Klobuchar (D) is ahead of Rep. Mark Kennedy (R) by 18 or 19 points, we do think the Democrat has a margin either in the high single or low double digits. Now that Kennedy is on television (with several terrific spots courtesy of media consultant Scott Howell) we would expect that margin to narrow somewhat, but even Republicans admit that this is a difficult race. We are beginning to suspect that our initial read on this race was right: In a matchup between a traditional Republican and a traditional Democrat in a Democratic-leaning state in a year in which the political wind is blowing at the Democrat's back, it's likely the Democrat will win. Republicans believe Kennedy's quirkiness will be a major asset in the fall and help him avoid being labeled as just another rubber stamp for President Bush. Maybe, but this race seems to be a longer shot than it was at the start of the cycle. (Previous ranking: 6)

8. New Jersey: There's no question that appointed Sen. Bob Menendez (D) is running a considerably more aggressive campaign than state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. (R). Love him or hate him, Menendez is the consumate pol -- in twenty places at once and constantly issuing press releases. By comparison Kean is running a relatively low-key campaign and is a much less proven commodity on the stump, having served less than two full terms in the state Senate following an unsuccessful Congressional bid in 2000. Kean does, however, have the benefit of his last name -- political gold in the state. His father -- former Gov. Tom Kean -- is a beloved figure in new Jersey and remains in the public eye thanks to his stewarship of the 9/11 Commission. Still, New Jersey Republicans haven't won a contested race for governor or Senate since Christie Todd Whitman was elected governor in 1993. (Previous ranking: 8)

7. Maryland: Despite his incredibly poor fundraising, former Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D) continues to poll even (or close to it) with Rep. Ben Cardin (D). Cardin's nascent statewide television campaign could give him a boost, but it looks more likely that the Sept. 12 primary will be competitive. Wealthy developer Josh Rales (D) is also flooding the airwaves with ads and former Baltimore County Executive Dennis Rasmussen (D) and American University professor Allan Lichtman (D) are both running active campaigns. Any vote for those three candidates comes directly out of Cardin's total and complicates his chances of beating Mfume. General election polling shows Mfume running even with Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R), and a race between two such prominent figures in the black community would assuredly draw national attention. (Previous ranking: 8)

6. Washington: Ask Republican strategists privately to list their best chances of a pickup this fall and this is often the first race mentioned. Months of polling -- albeit it all conducted by the Republican firm Strategic Vision -- has showed incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell with a 4 to 5 point lead. Challenger Mike McGavick has run an interesting campaign to date -- casting himself as a populist outsider who will bring a much-needed business perspective to the Senate. He has also strategically used his considerable financial resources, donating millions to his campaign in advance of the state's Sept. 19 primary. But McGavick's giving has not yet triggered the Millionaire's Amendment, which would allow Cantwell to tap past donors for more cash. Cantwell is hamstrung by the fact that the candidates' current funds are technically for the primary -- not the general election. Since McGavick faces scant competition in his primary and most of his spending will in fact help him in the general election contest, the Cantwell campaign has asked for an advisory opinion on the matter from the Federal Election Commission. (Previous ranking: 10)

5. Missouri: If there were any questions about whether targeted Republicans would distance themselves from President Bush in order to win re-election this fall, the last month in Missouri has answered them. Sen. Jim Talent went on the air with his first ad, in which a narrator says "most people don't care if you're red or blue, Republican or Democrat." The commercial never mentions Talent's party affiliation. Instead it ends with the phrase "Jim Talent. Works." (One cool sidenote: On his website, Talent provides commentary about the ad -- a sort of political "pop up video".) State Auditor Claire McCaskill and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will be sure to remind Missouri voters of the "R" after Talent's name and turnout should be in their favor thanks to two ballot initiatives -- one on an increase in the minimum wage and another on the expansion of stem-cell research -- that are expected to draw Democrats to the polls. (Previous ranking: 4)

4. Ohio: Although we still believe Republicans will have a field day with Rep. Sherrod Brown's (D) voting record, we also can't ignore polls. In a July Columbus Dispatch survey, Brown had a 45 percent to 37 percent lead over Sen. Mike DeWine -- a VERY dangerous place for an incumbent to be with just a few months left before the election. DeWine's campaign also muffed an ad attacking Brown for his alleged weakness on national security by doctoring a photo of the World Trade Center. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hit back immediately with an aggressive attack on DeWine's own security bona fides -- perhaps an early signal that the party will not take attacks lying down this cycle. (Previous ranking: 5)

3. Rhode Island -- While conventional wisdom dictates that the primary loss by Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (D) was a bad omen for Sen. Lincoln Chafee's (R) chances against Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey in the Sept. 12 primary, we think a point made in a recent column by Stu Rothenberg is actually more meaningful when it comes to assessing Laffey's chances. In it, Rothenberg effectively debunks the idea that the number of Democrats who have re-registered as unaffiliated voters (in order to vote in the Republican primary) is any higher than in a typical election year. Without a heavy influx of unaffiliated voters, it's hard to see how Chafee wins this race. (Previous ranking: 3)

2. Montana -- Sen. Conrad Burns (R) has made a career of committing foot in mouth gaffes. His latest came when he exploded at a group of firefighters who he accused of not doing their jobs effectively. In post Sept. 11 politics it's hard to imagine a worse group to offend than firefighters and Burns's comments drew widespread press attention within the state and across the country. As long as this race is a referendum on Burns, it is state Sen. Jon Tester's (D) to lose. Tester must be careful not to assume, however, that Montana has undergone a wholesale ideological change in the last few years -- it still has a conservative minded electorate. Remember that Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) won in 2004 not by emphasizing his Democratic bona fides but by presenting himself as a non-partisan Montanan. (Previous ranking: 2)

1. Pennsylvania -- Republicans rejoiced with the release of a new Quinnipiac University poll that showed Sen. Rick Santorum (R) down just six points to state Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D). There's no question that Santorum is moving upward, but there were signs in that Quinnipiac poll that showed just how tough a race this is for the incumbent. More voters (44 percent) disapprove of Santorum than approve (42 percent) of him. On top of that President Bush seems to be a major drag on Santorum, with just 33 percent of those surveyed approving of the chief executive and 64 percent disapproving. Santorum will never stop working to win this race (which has won him grudging, but private, admiration from Democrats) so it's impossible to write him off. No one expected Casey to win this race by double digits so don't read too much into Santorum's improving numbers. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 18, 2006; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Line  
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Sorry to go off topic, but there is a nagging House question I'd like to have some input on. Chris, I was wondering if you had any input on two Congressional races in western New York, Tom Reynolds in the 26th and Randy Kuhl in the 29th. Reynolds won 56-44 last time, the lowest percentage of any NYS Rep, and his opponent Jack Davis is very well financed. Randy Kuhl is running against a former Naval officer and the race could be like Fitzpatricks race in Philadelphia. Both are mentioned locally as some of the most competitive in '06. Wondering what your thoughts were.

Posted by: P Chase | August 23, 2006 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Yer Welcome N'E. To me it is a brilliant site for a few reasons. It is a great motivator for the Liberal base, obviously. But take away the political nature of the content and you have a really amazing intersection of interactive hypertext (links, etc), blogging and discussion, multimedia (video/audio) and external communications (email to contacts on the site). While people like Cilliza will hold up Frist's podcasts as an example of political use of the internet, it is clearly the progressive community that is way ahead of the curve.

Posted by: F&B | August 22, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

F&B - Thanks. If it works - More power to 'em!

Posted by: Nor'Easter | August 22, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

>>>The game Media Matters is going after are just too easy to bag, and they won't change any minds even as they do catch them. At best, they are preaching to a choir.

Not exactly the point of the site, Nor'Easter. A key aspect of the site is getting people off their collective butts and doing something about the despicable behavior of these Republican clowns. You'll notice that in each "article" they have the contact info and links to contact the media organizations and complain about some of the things these ingrates have said.

It not only informs the Liberal base about some of the more insane comments, but also excites them to get active and to stand up against such inappropriate behavior. If you dont think that is important, then you are ignoring an important part of not only Democratic ideals (as in party), but democratic ideals (as in form of governance).

Once again, the Left has democracy and active participation in democracy... The Right has CLOWNS.

Posted by: F&B | August 22, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks RMill: Virginia

Survey USA
August 21
Webb (D)45%
Allen (R)* 48%
Parker (I) 2%

Interesting, because this is without Webb doing any visible statewide campaigning yet.

Of course Allen's had visible statewide campaigning, it's just that it wasn't supposed to be.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | August 22, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

US Senate Polls


Survey USA
August 21
Webb (D)45%
Allen (R)* 48%
Parker (I) 2%


August 15
McCaskill (D) 44%
Talent (R)* 46%

Survey USA
August 16
McCaskill (D) 47%
Talent (R)* 46%

Posted by: RMill | August 22, 2006 9:41 AM | Report abuse

F&B - Honorable, maybe. I looked at a lot of the material on their website. I have to wonder what purpose does it serves to spend so much effort on debunking O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh and Coulter?

The niche audience for these supposed advocates of Conservatism (the "Little old ladies in tennis shoes" which Reagan was chided about in his early days) aren't going to believe that their heroes aren't correct.

Seems to me like Media Matters is tilting at windmills. The real fight is somewhere else, while they are out on the margins.

Debunking (L.) Brent Bozell (I did see his name on one Media Matters item) or his Uncle William F. Buckley, Jr. (maybe on a basic premise; but hardly on the facts marshalled in support of a Buckley premise) would be another matter.

Didn't see any of the heavy hitters being debunked on their site. Joe Scarborough doesn't count, especially when they "nail(?)" Chris Matthews also.

The game Media Matters is going after are just too easy to bag, and they won't change any minds even as they do catch them. At best, they are preaching to a choir.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | August 22, 2006 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Are there any Senate races out there that have potential to become competitive, or besides these dozen or so possibilities, is every pretty much nip-tuck?

Posted by: P Chase | August 21, 2006 8:10 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, still waiting on your Media Matters lie. Just one. That's all I ask. Prove one lie on MM website and I will be satiated. Otherwise, Im right, you're wrong, and you'll have to accept that Media Matters is in fact an honorable organization. Thanks.

Posted by: F&B | August 21, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Another thing you in the east should consider is we are almost all vote by mail here in the West. WA has all but one county voting by mail, and that county, King County where I live, has more than 80 percent permanent absentee (aka vote by mail).

We also have some initiatives that really light the fire under the Dem base - so I wouldn't be suprised if Maria ends up with 10 points over Mike in the final tally.

Kind of hard to fix electronic ballots when they go via the US Postal Service ... on paper!

Posted by: Will in Seattle | August 21, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

wouldn't count on a GOP win in WA, right now people in this mostly independent state (40 percent Ind, 35 percent Dem, 25 percent GOP) are mad as heck.

Assuming Maria pulls her head out of the clouds and wakes up to realize supporting the war means she will lose in November, no matter what she "thinks".

And starts hammering at the Senator from Alaska, Mr. Mike M.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | August 21, 2006 5:28 PM | Report abuse

>>>it does not display the truth

Prove your assertion KOZ! You've had many opportunities to so, but you still haven't. Show me an exact quote that is on MM that is false, show me proof as to why it is false, and the link to both. Is it that hard? Cmon, its supposedly FULL of lies. So which ones are lies? And why are they lies? I still have not seen one iota of an argument from you other than "its all lies."

>>>funny how you call all those clowns amusing

They ARE amusing. They are caricatures. Look, there are probably 15 Rushs and Ann Coulters out there who fail in terms of popularity b/c they do not have the t.v. "look" or that "radio voice." You know it and I know it. But you continue to go on as if Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh are actually Conservative heroes when they are simply entertainers who do nothing but spout the same old rhetoric that YOU do! Ya know what KOZ? You are probably WAY smarter than Ann Coulter but you will never get your own TV show or column b/c you dont have the 6' blonde sex appeal or cigar chomping bubba appeal. If you cant dissociate the "entertainer" aspect from the "ideology" aspect than you truly are hopeless.

And that's what I like abt Media Matters, for example. They dont NEED sex appeal or Bubba appeal to get their point across. Thinking people of any political persuasion can look at their site and their pages and determine for THEMSELVES whether or not the stories they are dissecting are "misinformation" or not. I readily admit that not all of what MM posts is important. But they CLEARLY are only interested in posting information to counter PROVABLE falsifications disseminated by the Right Wing Clowns. And that to me is a valuable service in this day and age of the Ann Coulter best seller. And kudos to her for making lots of money in a free market... but that doesnt make it right.

Posted by: F&B | August 21, 2006 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The point is that you have claimed that this site exposes right wing falsifications, supposedly to make the truth available. but it does not display the truth, it displays its own agenda. there are tricky ways to avoid outwardly admitting it is doing this - like "reporting" what others say, strangely only one side of what others say. I guess you could say that they never claimed that what the others said is fact, but then what is the point of any of it. Just circular reasoning chasing an agenda whcih is not truth in journalism by any stretch.

funny how you call all those clowns amusing. I guess many others are amused - O'Reilly - highest rated cable show, coulter - best seller for weeks now, Limbaugh - highest rated talk radio show. you seem envious that the real clowns - your Dems, aren't getting enough attention. I guess people want to watch someone who is serious and that lets your side out.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 21, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Annonymous poster from 03:37 PM: >>>this is from their lead story trying to explain that wiretapping is ineffective

But you dont post the bit about how MM thinks the program is inneffective?!?! And you dont post the link itself? Why not? Why dont you support your argument with MM's actual words and URLs?

And it is interesting that the bit you decided to post abt NSA is factually correct ('many observers -- including conservatives -- have criticized the administration for conducting wiretaps outside of the law').

Show me the link where they try to prove that the NSA prog is "ineffective."

>>>It was easy pickings to find flawed logic and outright lies, twisted in a very clever way to seem like actual journalism.

Ok, so where are they? Outright lies? But you cant show me proof? Cmon. Put up or shut up.

Nor'Easter: >>>Then how can anybody take them seriously? How can you have a rational discourse and hope to accomplish anything if there isn't objectivity?

Ask Shawn Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh. Why doesnt anyone on the Right question their objectivity? Oh I forgot, THEY ARE ALL JUST CLOWNS!!! HERE TO MAKE US LAUGH!! HA HA HA HA HA!

Left has Media Matters.
Right has Clowns.

Posted by: F&B | August 21, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

F&B - Thanks for the links to MediaMatters, and the "About Us) tip.

With respect to "Theyre not TRYING to be objective. Why should they be?"

Then how can anybody take them seriously? How can you have a rational discourse and hope to accomplish anything if there isn't objectivity? (I submit The Fix postings as Exhibit #1)

Having to "mine" for content isn't worth the effort, if you can't tell that the slanted is mixed-in with the objective.

In essence, aren't the MediaMatters people no better than Richard Mellon Scaife's puppets?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | August 21, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Rush doesn't make policy. He runs a radio show for profit. Air America ought to try that aspect of radio. I know you Dems have a very hard time distinguishing between entertainment and reality and that most of your great thinkers are actually movie stars. but out criticisms of your lack of ideas is based on your legislative priorities. this is distributed by your elected representatives. the last I heard it was minimum wage and universal health care. Get out of any foreign conflicts immediately and keep everything else the same. Was there more?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 21, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"As Media Matters has documented, many observers -- including conservatives -- have criticized the administration for conducting wiretaps outside of the law."

-this is from their lead story trying to explain that wiretapping is ineffective and also that it is contrary to the law. they then cite all the opinions about why it is against the law.

I have no idea how they arrive at the conclusion that it is ineffective since these results are not usually reported to the media.

this was just the first paragraph of their story from today. It was easy pickings to find flawed logic and outright lies, twisted in a very clever way to seem like actual journalism.
there are many people more qualified at this sort of debunking than I am, but the ease of this particular process denudes your claim to an all-fact website.

The facts: Until this most recent ruling, the intricacies of the law is mostly unknown. the ruling has a stay issued and is widely believed to be flawed, amaturish and agenda-driven. the court and judge shopping is obvious and ultimately, this wire-tapping will most likely stand. so past, present and future, it is a law.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

btw, KOZ, in all seriousness, here is the basis for your #5 and Rush's whole gag:

1. Present a misrepresentation of the opponent's position, refute it, and pretend that the opponent's actual position has been refuted.

2. Present someone who defends a position poorly as the defender, refute that person's arguments, and pretend that every upholder of that position, and thus the position itself, has been defeated.

3. Invent a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs that are criticized, and pretend that the person represents a group of whom the speaker is critical.

Amazing that you call us Liberals the 'party of no ideas' when your entire ideology is based on a logical fallacy.

But at least you are entertaining! The world LOVES A CLOWN!

Posted by: F&B | August 21, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

B20 - you sound like a bitter old man full of bigotry, callousness and hatred. Are you a Republican?
You also are using rule #5 from above. try something new for a change.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 21, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

>>>I did look at media matters. I saw 100% negative take on Republicans without even a semblance of objectivity

Theyre not TRYING to be objective. Why should they be?

All Im asking you to do is look at the CONTENT they post and tell me that based on FACTS that you think it is INCORRECT. That's all. B/c otherwise, you can go on and on abt some mythical "rule #5" but if everything MM says is factually accurate then you have no basis for your argument.

PROVE to me that ONE THING that has MM posted is factually incorrect and then I will look at your little #5-proof site.

Posted by: F&B | August 21, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"NRO is totally clueless and blindly supporting Rove's talking points." I guess you wandered through without paying much attention.

Using #5 again. Please continue chanting.

consider that Rove may be sometimes correct. then is it OK to agree?

I did look at media matters. I saw 100% negative take on Republicans without even a semblance of objectivity. I would assume from this that all Dems and Libs are perfect since they run the media and didn't make it onto the website? My media site covers all media and even takes shots at fox. not possible for you given rule #5.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 21, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"I was a liberal in my young days before my real world experiences told me liberlism is a bunch of 'I feel your pain nonsense.' "

Translation: "I used to care about people and the world beyond myself, until I became a bitter old man who retreated into a shell of hatred, bigotry and callousness. Now, I proudly vote conservative and listen to Rush."

Posted by: B2O | August 21, 2006 3:11 PM | Report abuse

>>>spreading vile garbage about conservatives

Like what? What that they have posted is "vile garbage about conservatives?"

And it better be something that is factually incorrect, or it doesnt fall into the "vile garbage" category. It may be vile in your eyes, but if it is factually accurate then you cannot have a beef with that (unless you dislike facts).

>>>Don't go to sites that just reinforce your views, branch out and stretch your mind with conservative ideology.

I go to red blogs all the time just to see whats up. NRO, Red State, Powerline, occasionally freeperville. It is a total mess. A total disaster. They are pretty much always clueless and blindly supporting Rove's talking points.

But do YOU do the same? Will you look at Media Matters and look at it critically, or just brush it off? B/c how can you ask me to do so if you do not?

Posted by: F&B | August 21, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Who is behind Media Matters? Try their "About Us" section for starters.

Oh and KOZ, maybe you shouldn't be so defensive abt Rush b/c according to bhoomes, "a lot of the stuff he says is a parody and not to be taking seriously. Remember he is an entertainer first and a commentator second."

HA HA HA! I get it, Rush is just a clown!!! A big fat Conservative Clown!! Oooh look at me! Im a Conservative Clown! HA HA HA! He is sooooo funny!!! HA HA HA! Whatta CLOWN!

Posted by: F&B | August 21, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 21, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Much as I suspected, MediaMatters is not an objective media outlet but a left wing site for spreading vile garbage about conservatives. Come on FB: Don't go to sites that just reinforce your views, branch out and stretch your mind with conservative ideology. There is still hope for you, I was a liberal in my young days before my real world experiences told me liberlism is a bunch of "I feel your pain nonsense."

Posted by: bhoomes | August 21, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Media matters - spreading Liberal falshoods: Here is their ultimate tagline. Now that doesn't sound objective to me.

"Help Stop Conservative Misinformation
You can join Media Matters for America in the fight against conservative misinformation in the media. We regularly provide action items based on our real-time monitoring of the media and conduct action campaigns to prevent the spread of conservative misinformation.

Thousands of activists like you take advantage of these tools to hold the media accountable for spreading conservative misinformation."

Is this fight fire with fire? this is right off the strategy list I supplied earlier - see #5 above.

One thing they couldn't gloss over though:
"an estimated audience of nearly 15 million weekly listeners" compare to Air (should be called dead air) America. Or compare fox news (tops in ratings) to CNN or MSNBC - bottom of the barrel. Explain?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 21, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I wonder who is behind MediaMatters also.

We may regard Limbaugh as an entertainer (good or bad); the problem is that he identified a niche audience who would believe anything that he says. They don't recognize the "entertainment" aspect.

If his ratings were dropping and he believed that saying that Bill Clinton was actually a good President would get the ratings to stop dropping and go back up, he'd say it. It's all in the ratings (= money) for him.

Remember the fan in a Colorado town about 10 years ago who got his community to have a day honoring Limbaugh. They invited Limbaugh to the celebration. Limbaugh demanded an "appearance fee;" which was probably in the $10,000 to $25,000 range (plus expenses) at the time.

In a previous time in this country he'd be a snake oil salesman. Tremendously good at what he does; but is there any "there" there? Not that I can tell!

Interesting take on Coulter. I'd never seen her smile when she was being interviewed on any of the non-Fox outlets. Never. Always the scowl. Last week I happened to be watching Fox News and there was Ann beaming like a happy school girl. Ann Coulter, Fair And Balanced!

Posted by: Nor'Easter | August 21, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Zippy, just to set the record straight because I realize you are uninformed, President Bush is not a junior. Different middle names from his father. FB: Just curious, who is behind MediaMatters? Rush can defend himself better than me, but a lot of the stuff he says is a parody and not to be taking seriously. Remember he is an entertainer first and a commentator second. Oh I forgot, you liberals have no sense of humor.

Posted by: bhoomes | August 21, 2006 2:05 PM | Report abuse

>>>I recommend you listen. You and your ilk, might learn a few things

Bhoomes, I recommend you look at the Media Matters page for Rush Limbaugh. You and your ilk might learn something.

Posted by: F&B | August 21, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse


I thought "Bush Derangment(sic)syndrom (sic)" was how the civilized world views the US's "" international policies of the past six years.

I am told that Junior is a fan of Teddy Roosevelt.

Sadly it seems that Junior's genetics tie to the inbred English Royal Family, not the Roosevelts.

Paraphrasing with apologies to Mr. Lloyd Bentsen, one of Texas's notable statesmen, 'You Mr. Bush are no Teddy Roosevelt.'

Posted by: zippy | August 21, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

lools like most of it is in the margin of error, hard to make out any trends. I say Burns is toast but kean should win in NJ because of the increase in taxes.

Posted by: bhoomes | August 21, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

More Senate Data

Survey USA August Approval

AZ- Kyl (R)* 57%, up from 53% in July and 47% in Feb. BEST OVERALL REP GAIN IN APPROVAL SINCE FEB

CT- Lieberman (I)* 53% down from 54% in July and 59% in Feb BIGGEST OVERALL DEM DROP SINCE FEB

FL- Nelson (D)* 47% down from 48% in July and 49% in Feb

August 9
Cardin (D) 47%
Steele (R) 42%

Mfume (D) 46%
Steele (R) 44%

MI- Stabenow (D)* 51% up from 50% in July and 49% in Feb

MO- Talent (R)* 52% up from 49% in July and 48% in Feb

MT- Burns (R)* 39% up from 37% in July but down from 42% in Feb WORST REP APPROVAL

NV- Ensign (R)* 50% down from 52% in July and Feb

NJ- Menendez (D)* 42% down from 45% in July but up from 36% in Feb

OH- DeWine (R)* 42% down from 45% in July and 43% in Feb

PA- Santorum (R)* 48% up from 43% in July and Feb BIGGEST GAIN BY REP

RI- Chafee (R)* 51% up from 48% in July and 49% in Feb

VA- Allen (R)* 51% same as July and Feb TAKEN PRIOR TO CURRENT FLAP

August 17
Webb (D) 42%
Allen (R)* 47%

WA- Cantwell (D)* 55% up from 49% in July and 50% in Feb BIGGEST GAIN BY DEM

Posted by: RMill | August 21, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

See Libs do cower in the face of strong and reasoned opposition. funny how you need all your chanting minions to feel good about your place in the world. No philosophy, just power in numbers.
I have never listened to Rush but I do understand why he is so popular if he is able to come up with the same points as I. Maybe it is because they are mostly true. the truth does come out in the end, despite the NYT's efforts to the contrary. I must assume you have listened to Rush since you claim to know what he is broadcasting. If so, that is very open-minded of you and I wouldn't have suspected that. then you must be capable of constructing a reasoned, linear, logical debate offering your side and the other with facts to support your conclusions. If not, then I can only guess that you don't listen to Rush and can only mimic what you hear from third-hand sources. sounds like what you always accuse others of doing.
And this site is a waste of time every single day, not just today. I know you will be back since you seem to thrive on offering your unsolicited opinion to others. I suspect you have no other hobbies. Bush derangment syndrom is not a hobby, it is an illness for the feeble minded out there.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 21, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

'Drindl wants us to live in a police state, where leakers are thrown in jail.'

God bhoomes you are stupider than I thought. Do you really not know that's exactly what bush is doing to journalists? So, do we live in a police state? Becuase you have just said we do.

And zouk, you'v never had an original thought in your life. All you can manage to do is spout talking points you heard on Limbaugh.

I'm leaving. there's no one around but morons this morning... whta waste of time.

Posted by: Drindl | August 21, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Drindl and her ilk already seem to know everything there is to know. They have no need for any additional insight. the role of this website is to demonstrate that idea and clearly allow us ignoramasus to profit from the free education. the only problem is that the lesson is fact-free and very heavy on chanting the same tired old shallow mantras. for example:
1. if we just go home, all the mean people will leave us alone.
2. We have more to fear from Bush than from random killers.
3. Libs are financially responsible and can be trusted to be stern on foreign policy.
4. Agenda polls tell all you need to know. no need for thinking or elections. Experts have no worth.
5. all who do not share the D enlightened opinion are stupid, evil, greedy, facists, hypocrites or philanderers.
6. all corporations who post any profit are ripping off the consumer.
7. this is all you need to know, If you encounter any difficulties, like a reasoned argument, please chant one of the above.
Ha, ha ha.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 21, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

So much for a free and open society, Drindl wants us to live in a police state, where leakers are thrown in jail. Of course the thing about a leak, is you do not know where it is coming from. Could be from the Brits for all we know.

Posted by: bhoomes | August 21, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

For the simple folks who still don't quite get it about the politicization of the last so-called 'terror plot':

'Anti-terror police in Britain have made an angry request to their US counterparts asking them to stop leaking details of this month's suspected bomb plot over fears that it could jeopardise the chances of a successful prosecution and hamper the gathering of evidence.

The British security services, MI5 and MI6, are understood to be dismayed that a number of sensitive details surrounding the alleged plot - including an FBI estimate that as many as 50 people were involved - were leaked to the media.

FBI sources confirmed to The Observer that the bureau had been ordered to stop briefing at the request of the British authorities. 'The shutters have come down,' a bureau source said. 'We have been told not to discuss the case any more.'

Posted by: Drindl | August 21, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Rush will be on today at 1200 hours on about every radio station in America, Drindl, if you don't mind listening to the voice of reason and common sense, I recommend you listen. You and your ilk, might learn a few things. Then we could have more substative conversations on why you people are screwing up the country.

Posted by: bhoomes | August 21, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

richard, oh I kinda figured you didn't write it... I was an English major too-- but you cite well and true!

'I believe Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh has got you people pretty much figured out'

HAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Right. Yes, the genuises Limbaugh and Coulter. The only thing they've got figured out is how to sucker the truly stupid. And they do very well, because as PT Barnum pointed out, there's one born every minute.

Posted by: Drindl | August 21, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Drindl takes the bait because she lives in a very simplistic world where her side represents good and mine evil. I believe Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh has got you people pretty much figured out. Like "A few good men" You want the truth, you can't handle the truth."

Posted by: bhoomes | August 21, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse


'Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.'

It just shows how timeless the battle to prevent abuse of political power we are fighting is.

I'd love to take credit for the prose, but I took from a much better wordsmith-Shakespear from Pericles, Act II (I think. I wasn't an English major, just an engineer. I married the english major so some things rub off!)

But it is very appropriate.

Posted by: poor richard | August 21, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

'If you don't care what Bhoomes thinks, then why do you keep responding to his posts? He admittedly puts "bait" into his posts to stir the emotions. Why take the bait?'

--you're right. ansolutely right. i guess sometimes I'm in the mood for a fight, too.

Now where is that lazy Chris?

Posted by: Drindl | August 21, 2006 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Santorum did not trail Ron Klink in 2000. In fact, Santorum held double digit leads for most of the summer only to barely beat Klink 52-47.

Posted by: Deek | August 20, 2006 10:51 PM | Report abuse

FYI: Watching Chris M. show on CNBC. Dan Rather made a comment about crossing road by Alligator. Could be he looks at this blog and got my quote a little mixed up. [Do not insult the crocodile until you have crossed the river.] Just wondering.

Posted by: lylepink | August 20, 2006 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I see that Jackson Lander was dead on with the Rasmussen poll on the Virginia Senate race that came out on Saturday--only a 5 point lead for Allen. Sounds like JL has some serious inside information.

JL, I hope you keep on posting here, early and often.

Posted by: Zathras | August 20, 2006 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Drindl - Not defending Lieberman, just saying that this "is what it is." Practical politics, not theoretical or wishful thinking.

If you don't care what Bhoomes thinks, then why do you keep responding to his posts? He admittedly puts "bait" into his posts to stir the emotions. Why take the bait?

With respect to Coulter, she is unethical, souless, and whatever else you use to describe people without any personal values.

We shouldn't even discuss her; other than hopefully in the future to remember that she quickly disappeared from public view in 2006. Simply discussing her as a player in politics gives her the forum she seeks.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | August 20, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: Very well put. You and I know what we are talking about and are only trying to get [facts] to those who do not wish to know them. That is almost impossible for those that choose not to think. I will keep trying remembering every journey starts with a single step.

Posted by: lylepink | August 20, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Projection, lylepink.Doublespeak. War is Peace. The Ministry of Truth... you know the drill. Orwell ought to be required reading. Here's an interesting bit about the GOP strategy of lumping all disenchanted arabs into one 'enemy'...again, basic cliched strategy but works really well on the simple-minded:

But like "terror," and "evil" before it, "Islamic fascism" has the effect of reducing a complex story to a simple fable. It effaces the differences among ex-Baathists, al-Qaida and Shiite mullahs; Chechens and Kashmiris; Hezbollah, Hamas and British-born Asians allegedly making bombs in a London suburb. Yes, there are millions of people in the Muslim world who wish the U.S. ill, and some of them are pretty creepy about it. But that doesn't mean they're all of a single mind and purpose, or that a blow against any one of them is a blow against the others. As Tolstoy might have put it, every creep is creepy in his own way.

--Nunberg is a linguist at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Information. His new book, "Talking Right," is about politics and language.

--or that a blow against any one of them is a blow against the others--

The key phrase to me. The problem with how we're fighting is not that Dems have a 'pre 9/11 mindset' but that republicans have a pre-1950's mindset. They're trying to fight this like it was a traditional 'war' when it isn't at all...we desperately need people who know how to think, rather than just react.

Posted by: Drindl | August 20, 2006 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: I spent some time reading the link. Ann Cold-er, is one I actually enjoy watching from time to time for a simple reason, it always brings me back to see how far anyone will go to make a buck. The quotes are the same from these people. They get away with them for the same reason, accuse the people of doing what you yourself are doing. Can I explain any better?, I don't think so.

Posted by: lylepink | August 20, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse


The attacks on liberals coming out of the GOP... guess who write the script? Why Hitler, of course.. if the GOP is so offended when anyone compares them to Nazis, then why do they plagarize Hitler?

"Liberals have a preternatural gift for striking a position on the side of treason...Whenever the nation is under attack, from within or without, liberals side with the enemy.'

Nor'Easter--Try reading a bit more analysis of the damage Leiberman is doing to his party and then get back to me. You are not seeing the full picture or the implications. What jdo I care what bhoomes 'thinks'? He loves Leiberman, and I'm sure is thrilled you're defending him.

And as far as defending industries, why should I have to get more specific? Can't you see with your own eyes that the oil industry, say, is the most profitable in the world? That they continue to take enormous subsides of taxpayer money, which rather than investing in infrastructure [which they are allowing to rot] goes straight in their pockets. Is it any coincidence that Exxon Mobil has had the most profitable year EVER, while gas prices are the highest they have ever been?

Am I supposed to be thrilled that an industry that supplies a basic need is guilty of price gouging, price-fixing and extortion?

Posted by: Drindl | August 20, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Drindl - Time to put your glasses on; and stop the ranting and the nit-picking.

Joe wasn't personna non grata to the Democrat Establishment during the Primary. If he wins the General Election, there is a good chance that the Senate Democrats will probably allow things to exist exactly as they did before. He'll only be a villain if Schlesinger wins; and nobody believes that is even a remote possibility.

Joe's positions on the War are significant enough that they can be said to be 180 degrees opposite of what's in this country's interest, and some other areas on which most Democrats disagree. But by and large, take out the War issue, and most Democrats don't see Joe as a Moderate or Liberal Republican; they see him as a Democrat.

If he wins, he and the Democrats will "play nice" because it is in both of their interests. He's not Jim Jeffords or John or Lincoln Chaffee who were (are) being knifed-in-the-back within their own Party.

"Joe is a genuine lunatic neocon--why would CT Dems want him?"

Because they know him, and have for 25 or more years now. They trust him; because they certainly know where he stands. There's a lot to be said for that. It's the one thing which gives Linc Chaffee a chance in Rhode Island.

Also, Joe's not the only Democrat to have a spouse who is a lobbyist (or a high-level Administration official when Clinton was President - see Ann Bingamon) who can influence their thinking.

Do you rant about the Financial industry when you look at your IRA, the Pharmaceutical industry when you take whatever medication you take (even if it's only aspirin, Tylenol or Advil), or the Oil industry when you need gas to put in your car? (I'm talking about the availability of gas here, not pricing)

Rant about the specific abuses in those industries, not the industries as generic villains. Either that, or stop using their services and products.

I called Joe a Weasel last month, but it was for the threat to run as an Independent rather than accept the Primary decision. Now that it's a reality, I don't see the World coming to an end if he wins. Things may be better with one less (of a hundred) supporting the President on Iraq; but how much influence does Joe have on that anymore anyway? Even the Joint Chiefs of Staff are being allowed to testify that we're in trouble in Iraq.

You're just giving Bhoomes ammunition with the thin substance of your attacks on Lieberman.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | August 20, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Making us "safer at home":

US facing wave of murders and gun violence
Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:27am ET138

""""In a shift from trends of the past decade, violent crime is on the rise, fueling criticism of Bush administration policies as a wave of murders and shootings hits smaller cities and states with little experience with serious urban violence.

Explanations vary -- from softer gun laws to budget cuts, fewer police on the beat, more people in poverty and simple complacency. But many blame a national preoccupation with potential threats from abroad.

"Since September 11, much of the resources that were distributed to crime-fighting efforts in Boston and other major cities were redistributed to fight terrorism," said Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University.""""

Bush has single-handedly reversed a DECADE of progress on violent crime. But the Civil War in Iraq makes us safer!?

Posted by: F&B | August 20, 2006 11:28 AM | Report abuse

OT: this is for all the Republicans who think Bush is keeping them "safer":

DHS Terror Research Agency Struggling

Science and Technology Unit Crippled by Turnover, Budget Cuts, Priority Shifts
Sunday, August 20, 2006; Page A08

The federal research agency in charge of countering emerging terrorist threats such as liquid explosives is so hobbled by poor leadership, weak financial management and inadequate technology that Congress is on the verge of cutting its budget in half.

The Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate has struggled with turnover, reorganizations and raids on its budget since it was established in 2003, according to independent scientists, department officials and senior members of Congress.


"There was a period that actually very little was getting done . . . even though this was something that everyone thought would be heavily funded," said Fred Roder, manager of the explosives countermeasures portfolio at Homeland Security from 2003 to 2006.


In a 2007 spending bill awaiting a vote after the August congressional recess, the Republican-led House would cut spending by the Science and Technology Directorate from $1.3 billion to $668 million. Congress noted about $250 million in unspent agency funds.


Republican and Democratic senators are offering the agency $712 million, but in a budget report cited the agency's lack of goals, mystifying accounting and unspent money, and called it a "rudderless ship."

This Republican Administration is underfunding Homeland Security, leaving us all open to attack from Terrorists. But, thank God, the Civil War in Iraq will keep us safer?! These children cannot be trusted to run a government.

Posted by: F&B | August 19, 2006 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Today I have seen the most flat out false statements regarding dems in the house and senate. Without exception these are followed by the word LIBERAL in one form or another. The same is being done to the dem challengers.

Posted by: lylepink | August 19, 2006 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I knew things would get ugly beofre the election, but they are getting quickly nauseating:

'Hatch says Demo win could help terrorists
Orrin Hatch, who continuously decries the bitter partisanship in Washington, implied this week that Democratic success in November's election could result in terrorist attacks on America.

Hatch was quoted in Tuesday's Tooele Transcript Bulletin as saying Middle East terrorists are "waiting for the Democrats here to take control, let things cool off and then strike again."

Posted by: Darryl | August 19, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if anyone posted this yet:

'Sen. George Allen's (R-VA) recent controversial reference to an Indian-American man as a "macaca" appears to have hurt him in the polls, according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey. Despite leading by challenger Jim Webb (D) by 11 points in July, Allen now only beats Webb 47% to 42%.'

Posted by: drindl | August 19, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Leiberman is a very compromised man, married to a loybbist for the financial and pharmaceutical industries, who has changed his voting patterns in favor of these industries since his wife became employed. He even hired lobbyists to campaign for him in CT. He has taken any number of odious stands becuase of his catering to far right religious groups. He is being backed by pro WW3 folks like Gingrich and Limbaugh, not to mention Rove. Why would Dems let Karl Rove choose their senator?

And yes, there are people actively pitching for WW3 and Leiberman is one of them. Joe represents the reason the Dems keep losing --they represent nothing but republican lite. Joe is a genuine lunatic neocon--why would CT Dems want him? I am surprised that any support him at all. Maybe he was ONCE good on social issues but not any more. Worse than anything, he simply echoes everything cheney says about Democrats.

Is CT a state full of Rove Democrats? Of Cheney Democrats? God help us.

Posted by: Drindl | August 19, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I think all these comments about Lieberman versus the Demcoratic national establishment are a bit overblown. The national Democrats were for Lieberman in the primary. Lieberman has been in the Senate for a long time and has many friends. I seriously doubt that any move will be made to strip Lieberman of seniority. While Democratic leaders have to support Lamont, the question becomes how much they will exert themselves on his behalf. How much money does the Senatorial campaign committee commit to the race, how actively do leading Democrats campaign for Lamont. I expect the presidential wannabes will have to put in some appearances but I think the money trail will be interesting to follow. If Lieberman continues to hold big leads in the polls, I would expect a lot of lip service but minimal support from the national party. The Senate will be very closely divided - even if the Democrats hold a slim lead without Lieberman after the election, they would welcome him caucusing with him. One or two vote leads are precarious. The Dems in the Senate will not do anything to push Lieberman towards the GOP because they know that his vote might be crucial in January.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 19, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Correction of an earlier correction - "FYI, it's Sheldon Whitehouse (not Sheridan) - Sheridan Whiteside is the main character in The Man Who Came to Dinner."

Posted by: Nor'Easter | August 19, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

"Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear -- kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor -- with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant funds demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened,seem never to have been quite real."
General Douglas MacArthur, 1957[1]

Posted by: che | August 19, 2006 5:57 AM | Report abuse

Though a warning not to take the race for granted is always wise, your premise that Montana is a "Red State" not going through ideological change is wrong.

Montana was never a "Red State." Anyone who thinks so doesn't know Montana politics and Montana history. Conrad Burns is an anomaly in Montana politics, not the norm. He was only the second Republican Senator elected in this century. Zales Ecton was a one termer that was helped by the post-war Republican surge in the nation and the bitter Democratic primary battle that saw Democratic Senator Burton K. Wheeler defeated, largely for his isolationist views.

Montana has a record of sending Democrats to the Senate. Burns beat an unpopular moderate Democrat John Melcher largely because the green vote in the Democratic party took a pass on him in the ballot. He was reelected to a second term because of the lucky timing of the nationwide REpublican surge in 1994. He was vulnerable in 2000 but seemed safe, with only political unknown Brian Scheitzer to chaqllenge him. Schweiter had never held political office, not even at a local level. Yet he managed to lose by justy four poiints in his first-ever political race. That race made him known statewide and he won the Governorship in 2004.
Tester doesn't have it in the bag yet. He's smart enough to know that but is running a brilliant campaign.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | August 18, 2006 8:58 PM | Report abuse

As a columnist covering the Cantwell-McGavick race, I'm amazed you would put any credibility in Strategic Vision surveys.
Vision refuses to disclose who pays for its polls, claiming they're done as a business promotion. They have continued to deliver low ratings for Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, while other polls show her on the rebound.
In the Senate race, they've come out with numbers favorable to McGavick, usually just when he needs 'em. Methinks they're ringers.

Posted by: joel connelly | August 18, 2006 8:39 PM | Report abuse


I'll take your word that you're no anti-Semite, but I do still want to ask you about your first comment.

In your last, you wrote, "My comment about Mr. Lieberman who everyone seems to say will participate in the democrat caucus was more aimed at my experience that one has to be mad to trust in the tameness of the wolf. Politics doesn't work that way. There 's daggers in men's smiles. With the democrats in Lamonts courts, his loyalty may not be true blue." I have NO objection to the substance of your point; I agree absolutely that there are daggers in Lieberman's smile.

But what caused me to write that your first post was anti-Semitic was NOT that you're anti-Lieberman, but HOW you expressed your worry that JL will be reelected. You wrote that he "will extract his pound of flesh from the Democrat side of the aisle." Writing that someone who not only is Jewish, but is famous in large part FOR his Jewishness, "will extract [a] pound of flesh," very reasonably sets off alarm bells, because the expression is a reference to Shylock (most controversial depiction of a Jew in the canon, blah blah blah). That name applied to Jews is a slur, and what you wrote struck me as a not-very-subtle means of implying it. I think my stating so was anything but scurrilous -- once more, my point was not, "you don't like Lieberman, thus you're an anti-Semite" (which is terribly dishonest whenever it occurs), but "those are some pretty suspect words with which to make the point that you don't like Lieberman."

I was wrong, it seems, and I'll apologize to you unconditionally -- but I would like to know if you had the origin of the "pound of flesh" expression in mind when you chose those words.



Posted by: Max | August 18, 2006 8:34 PM | Report abuse


I'll take your word that you're no anti-Semite, but I do still want to ask you about your first comment.

In your last, you wrote, "My comment about Mr. Lieberman who everyone seems to say will participate in the democrat caucus was more aimed at my experience that one has to be mad to trust in the tameness of the wolf. Politics doesn't work that way. There 's daggers in men's smiles. With the democrats in Lamonts courts, his loyalty may not be true blue." I have NO objection to the substance of your point; I agree absolutely that there are daggers in Lieberman's smile.

But what caused me to write that your first post was anti-Semitic was NOT that you're anti-Lieberman, but HOW you expressed your worry that JL will be reelected. You wrote that he "will extract his pound of flesh from the Democrat side of the aisle." Writing that someone who not only is Jewish, but is famous in large part FOR his Jewishness, "will extract [a] pound of flesh," very reasonably sets off alarm bells, because the expression is a reference to Shylock (most controversial depiction of a Jew in the canon, blah blah blah). That name applied to Jews is a slur, and what you wrote struck me as a not-very-subtle means of implying it. I think my stating so was anything but scurrilous -- once more, my point was not, "you don't like Lieberman, thus you're an anti-Semite" (which is terribly dishonest whenever it occurs), but "those are some pretty suspect words with which to make the point that you don't like Lieberman."

I was wrong, it seems, and I'll apologize to you unconditionally -- but I would like to know if you had the origin of the "pound of flesh" expression in mind when you chose those words.



Posted by: Max | August 18, 2006 8:30 PM | Report abuse

" 'It is amazing how much Lamont looks like the alledged Killer of Jon Benet Ramsey'

It's amazing. Once again, the laugh of the day goes to bhoomes. I can see he's been lapping up the kiddie porn that the rightwing media likes so much... "

It shows a complete lack of class on bhoomes' part IMO Drindl.

Notice how he dosen't bother trying to attack Lamont's stand on the issues (just like every other wingnut), probably b/c Lamont is more in the mainstream on every single one of them than Joe Lieberman.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2006 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Skunkemanmsu pretty much said what I was going to say about our GOP party chair Anuzis' remarks on here earlier today. However, Chris, I must disagree with your assessment of Bouchard's current ad starring his daughter. I found it totally irrelevant for someone running for the US Senate, plus it was also oddly disturbing. As Skunk said Bouchard has no personal wealth (had to take out a home equity loan for $250K to keep his ad up near the end). As a resident of Oakland County, I have to wonder who is really our Sheriff these days! Also, I was astounded to learn that he's an outside member of the board of managers for Jacknson National Life's family of mutual funds. Usually such folks are business people, not someone who's been an elected official for the last 20 years and a cop before that. For this he gets paid $60K, about 50% of what he makes as sheriff. If he should happen to win this race (which I doubt), he'll have to give up this little gig requiring just a couple hours a year.

Posted by: political junkie | August 18, 2006 7:35 PM | Report abuse

No one else mentioned it, so I will: Pollster Rasmussen Reports shows Cantwell leading 48% to 37% for McGavick in their July 31 poll.

Yes, Cantwell had a very close win in 2000. Yes, she bankrolled herself last time with dot-com cash. Yes, many Dems are mad at her for her vote for the war. But I haven't heard anything about the supposed outsourcing issue the previous posters cited. I'd say that's a non-issue.

(BTW, Dino Rossi lost the governor's race fair & square. The GOP Sec of State Sam Reed conducted the recount by both the letter & spirit of the law. Plus, Rossi's lawsuit challenging the result was so off-target that the judge -- handpicked by the GOP to hear the case -- threw out three Rossi votes, which increased Gregoire's very narrow margin of victory.)

Posted by: mr_mcmurphy | August 18, 2006 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Jackson L. - FYI, it's Sheldon Whitehouse - Sheridan Whitehouse is the main character in The Man Who Came to Dinner

In the 2000 election it was Chafee 57%/Weygand 42%. Linc wasn't even a "first-termer" then, and Weygand wasn't simply a pushover.

Linc's strong point is bi-partisan backing.

But, he won't get that in the primary; especially if Rothenberg is correct that there really aren't a significant number of "unaffiliated" cross-overs.

Circle of Life? Some Rhode Islanders believe that in 1976 it was Republican crossovers who took down Gov. Phil Noel in a Democratic Senate primary, voting for a car dealer to be the Democrat's candidate.

Who won that election? John H. Chaffee, Linc's father.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | August 18, 2006 6:44 PM | Report abuse

'Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.'

Love your prose style, poor richard.

Posted by: Drindl | August 18, 2006 6:15 PM | Report abuse

'It is amazing how much Lamont looks like the alledged Killer of Jon Benet Ramsey'

It's amazing. Once again, the laugh of the day goes to bhoomes. I can see he's been lapping up the kiddie porn that the rightwing media likes so much...

Posted by: Drindl | August 18, 2006 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Max and poor richard.

Joe must recognize that All the world 's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts

Posted by: everyman | August 18, 2006 6:11 PM | Report abuse

1. Most vulnerable democratic seat seems to be NJ. Polls always show only a slight Menendez lead even as everything is going his way. Menendez has been doing most things right, aggresive campaigning and got a boost when Keane tried to Swiftboat him on corruption in his native county (DAs that investigated the case went public calling Menendez a hero and making Keane, whose father is beloved in NJ, look slimy.

Keane can only improve and democratic corruption will hurt him in the fall.

2. In Washington state by contrast, Cantwell can only improve over time, anti-bush sentiment is strong and will go against republican. McGavick has run a great campaign, but hard to see him maintaining the good run he is having.

3. Santorum and Chafee are dead men walking. When you are that far behind with 82 days to go before the election and you are an incumbent, it is all over. Moreover, RI and Penn voters really seem to want to send a message to the President compared to some other states. I would probably say the same about Burns.

Obvious point: Almost any republican incumbent facing a reasonably well financed democrat in this political that is trailing their opponent with 80 days to go is a zombie, no longer living but still walking because they don't know they have entered the political afterlife.

4. This doesn't mean dems will retake senate, that seems pretty unlikely, but these guys are goners.

I do see Menendez and Cantwell vulnerable and don't see a democratic pickup...

Posted by: NYC | August 18, 2006 5:59 PM | Report abuse


Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood.

Your comment could have been the unkindest cut of all. As a regular here most know that anti-semitic I am not, and I do support Mr. Lamont. I would hate to be done to death by a slanderous tongue.

My comment about Mr. Lieberman who everyone seems to say will participate in the democrat caucus was more aimed at my experience that one has to be mad to trust in the tameness of the wolf. Politics doesn't work that way. There 's daggers in men's smiles. With the democrats in Lamonts courts, his loyalty may not be true blue.

And, with Rove's alleged comments about support, his support of the president, one has to take pause because 'Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.

I wish you well and so I take my leave,
I Pray you know me when we meet again.

Posted by: poor richard | August 18, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

It's nice that Saul the chairman of the MI GOP can come on here so optimistic and make statements about Michigan's economic situation, while at the same time he neglects to mention that the Republicans have been in control of both the state house and senate for years. Not to mention the economic situation starting turning sour near the end of Republican Governor Engler's disastrous tenure in office.

The MI GOP must assume that the average voter is an idiot if they actually believe Michiganders will retain the GOP majority that has dominated state elections, while at the same time ousts the Democratic incumbents, who he attributes all the economic problems to. The one thing that Saul has going for him is that Dick Devos has the finances to buy his way into power, unfortunately their right wing nominee for the senate Bouchard does not have the personal wealth to overcome Stabenow's large lead in fundraising!

Posted by: Skunkemanmsu | August 18, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

'groveling to the anti-war purists trying to purge Lieberman, and along with it their chances of victory this fall.'

Everlast, you mean the 60% of the electorate who want the US out of Iraq immediately?

Posted by: Drindl | August 18, 2006 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the posters who said Jack Carter (running against Sen. Ensign in NV) should be on the list. Not high up, but at least in the top 10. He's got a better chance than Harold Ford does, that's for sure.

Re Virginia, the rapidly changing demographics of the Commonwealth are exactly why 'macaca' has Allen on the ropes: Virginia's a lot less Good Ole Boy now than it was when Allen won his previous races, and this gives people who might've been on the fence a specific reason to see him in a different light.

Posted by: RT | August 18, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"For Dems to take control:

Win all current Rep seats down in polls +3

Hold all seats (MI, NJ, WA critical)-

Win both tied Rep seats (MO, MT) +2

Don't piss off Lieberman should he win to ensure he continues to caucus with Dems. -

Win one of the following close races (AZ, NV, TN, VA) +1-4"

--This sounds like a very tall order. Maybe like predicting that the Royals will win the Series in 4? Ha.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 18, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Poor Richard writes, "Look for an arrogant DNC to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and be down one in the senate for the reasons DW discusses, or have Joe L. sitting on the presidents bench. He will extract his pound of flesh from the Democrat side of the aisle."

Lieberman will extract his pound of flesh? Gee, which Shakespearian character is being made reference to here? Could it be a Jewish one? P.R., did you think that was subtle? Incidentally I love Lamont, I'll be heartbroken if he loses, and I think the accusations that his supporters are anti-Semitic have been laughable (though offensive) bunk. But drawing a comparison between Lieberman and Shylock is as transparently racist as a French speaker calling an Indian guy "Macaca."

I'd like to agree with those who have pointed out that Mark Kennedy's advertisements are embarrassing and un-Senatorial. "Let's elect the quirky guy with the sitcom family to help run the country!"

Perhaps unwisely, I'm not particularly concerned about the Jersey race. Weren't Kerry in '04 and Corzine in '05 supposed to have tough times? Don't the Rs always try to make it out that THIS time working-class NJ, with its proximity to NYC, is going to go their way? That the Dems are only pollilng slightly ahead? Perhaps it's just a perpetual, "let's-keep-their-eyes-off-the-ball" ruse. Kean is an unformidable candidate.

Posted by: Max | August 18, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, this is beautiful. Is there anyone out there still naive enough to think Joe's a Democrat?

'The Lieberman campaign has hired GOP pollster Neil Newhouse. Let's see who some of his GOP clients are: hmmmm, John Thune, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, and, what's this? CT Gov. Jodi Rell and Rob Simmons? Jodi Rell, who is being challenged by Democrat John DeStefano and CT-02 Rep. Rob Simmons, one of the Democrat's top targets this cycle?

Joe Lieberman, who has bemoaned the fact that Ned Lamont is going to be hurting Democrats in the other competitive races in Connecticut by running is actually going to be sharing polling data with other Connecticut GOP candidates! What's going to destroy Democrats chances in other races in Connecticut is the 300 lbs gorilla Lieberman campaign spending untold dollars on polling data that will help the GOP, a GOP voter focused GOTV effort and a Cheneyesque theme that Democrats can't keep the nation safe!

Posted by: Drindl | August 18, 2006 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Everlast00 - is that you ryan?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 18, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Allen might have a problem. Demographics have changed. He has already scheduled a meeting with an Indian-American group [with quite a large membership in VA] for a crow-eating festival.

Posted by: Drindl | August 18, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye Santorum. He barely beat a local TV weatherman in 2000! Since he already lives near DC, he can go teach politics at Michael Farris' RW fundamentalist college.

Posted by: Oscar | August 18, 2006 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I think Chris is right to retain PA as the #1 race in the country. That Santorum always rallies to win by 51% is a myth. In his first senate race in 1994--a GOP landslide year--he had a 10 point lead in an October poll, and it was incumbent Harris Wofford who rallied to lose 49%-47% after Santorum had a spat with the late Senator Heinz's widow and Wofford focused on Santorum's comments about Social Security. In 2000, the Democratic nominee, Ron Klink, never led as he never had enough money to run a single advertisement on Philadelphia television. Still Santorum won with only 52% of the vote. Apparently, Santorum and his campaign like to perpetuate this myth about the senator, even if it is lacking factually.

Posted by: Jeremy | August 18, 2006 4:37 PM | Report abuse

George Allen is a lock. His comment will not hurt him in VA, which has a lot of KKK members. Remember, VA just allowed Blacks and Whites to marry in the 1960s!

Posted by: Lindsay Markley | August 18, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

lylepink wrote: "I agree with most of todays posts. The Rasmussen will be out tomorrow. I am very curious what the Va. Senate will show. As a guess, I think Allen will be hurt badly for the comments he made and the attempts to explain were handled so badly."

Rasmussen is out. Allen ahead of Webb by 5, 47% to 42%. This is down from a 11 point lead in July and a 20 point lead in April.


Posted by: Gaithersburg, MD | August 18, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

OHIO "Although we still believe Republicans will have a field day with Rep. Sherrod Brown's (D) voting record, we also can't ignore polls"

There are several reasons for Browns positive poll numbers, not the least of which is the prevailing culture of republican corruption here [Bob Ney, CoinGate, Gov Taft's conviction etc]. Another is his voting record. In a state which has lost a phenomenal number of jobs in recent years Brown has consistently voted for working people and against job give-aways like NAFTA and CAFTA. He voted against the Iraq war 3 years ago and now better than 60% of Americans agree with him. That is leadership. Republicans can't have a field day with a voting record that resonates with working and middle class people and that is what Brown is doing. That is the message the polls are sending.

Mike Dewhine needs all the help he can get; but even John McCain tour this weekend won't be enough to save him this go round. Dewhine is Senator Nowhere, with no record of accomplishments to point to, and with ties to a failed and rejected national republican leadership [espcially Iraq] that he won't be able to shake.
Gary Staiger

Posted by: Gary Staiger | August 18, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Taylor, McGavick could be a Bush wingnut for all I care. The election is about Cantwell's outrageous support for outsourcing - it's a huge security hole, it's anti-worker, and anti-Amercian. If throwing my vote away means McGavick wins, so be it. There are many important issues, but **THE** fundimental issue is feeding and housing and clothing your family and Cantwell's support for stealing American jobs and shipping them overseas and permitting "guest workers" from China and India and Mexico to take the remaining jobs is prima facia evidence that she is NOT a suitable as a U.S. Senator. She's no Democrat and needs to be tossed with yesterday's garbage.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2006 4:16 PM | Report abuse

'Does anyone care what a bunch of bloggers are writing' is so odd on the face of it. How about, does anyone care what a bunch of people are thinking? Especially if it is a large bunch of people, with a large following...I would say if you are in politics, perhaps you do care.

Posted by: Drindl | August 18, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse


I am afraid that there is a factual error in this statement:

"Still, New Jersey Republicans haven't won a contested race for governor or Senate since Christie Todd Whitman was elected governor in 1993. (Previous ranking: 8)"

In 1997 the GOP won when Whitman was reelected.

Posted by: NJ | August 18, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

jackon landers.

Your point is interesting. ore important, does anyone care what a bunch of bloggers are writing? One could argue that this is a bit like the argument of trees in forest making a sound.

On the flip side, if there are a bunch of folks thinking as those whoare writing here (bhoomes included with respect) but aren't writing, the commentary may be a reflection of where this Old Republic is headed.

Posted by: poor richard | August 18, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree with most of todays posts. The Rasmussen will be out tomorrow. I am very curious what the Va. Senate will show. As a guess, I think Allen will be hurt badly for the comments he made and the attempts to explain were handled so badly.

Posted by: lylepink | August 18, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

And he's already shown he doesn't give a rat's a** about that...

Posted by: Drindl | August 18, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse


I can't express to you how irrelevant Harry Reid is. You absolutely underestimate Lieberman's power should he win in November and the Dems gain seats. With Frist retiring and control of the Senate up for grabs, he could hold the deciding vote.

You don't honestly think he's running just to retain what he has, do you? His vote becomes INCREDIBLY valuable ALL the time if the Dems pick up a few seats this fall. As an "independent", he can play both sides and take the highest bid. Assuming this will be his last election, he'll have no one to answer to but history.

Posted by: everlast00 | August 18, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse


The only person whose opinion on Leiberman's committee appointments counts is Harry Reid's. Harry Reid doesn't care in the slightest what a bunch of bloggers are saying. He knows that he needs to put together a majority caucus and that is all he really cares about. There's no way that Harry Reid would even consider stripping Leiberman of his assignments and Leiberman knows this perfectly well.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | August 18, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse


I think you underestimate the possibility of Senate Democratic leadership pushing Lieberman out of the party. These rumblings of stripping him from power on the committees are real. He could be the swing vote--and a vote Republicans would like to have. Reminds me a bit of 2001 with Jim Jeffords--Republicans took him for granted, went behind his back on the committee he ran, and ultimately lost him for no good reason other than the purists wanted nothing to do with him. The Dems are setting themselves up for a similar situation (lifelong member of party switches due to backstabbing by leadership).

Trust me on this one. I worked for Sen. Jeffords when he switched. Same situation now, different party.

Posted by: everlast00 | August 18, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse


Connecticut doesn't really count for the top 10 because both serious candidates say that they will caucus with the Democrats. It's an interesting race and fun to watch but at this point it has no chance of affecting control of the Senate.

For a few weeks now Chafee has been polling for a loss in the general election against Sheridan Whitehouse. Bear in mind that Lincoln Chafee has only ever actually won a single statewide election. He was at first appointed to fill that seat when it was vacated mid-term by his father's death. So from a political stand-point, he's still a one-termer which is generally regarded as much more vulnerable than a seasoned, well-entrenched incumbent. Chafee is in real trouble even if he wins his primary.

I think you're spot-on putting Virginia in a #10 slot. It's nowhere near top 5 yet but is now obviously a far more competetive race than MN (why did Chris include that one?) and probably at least tied with Washington.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | August 18, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

A little friday liteness...

this is so funny... you have to drag the cursor across not only the banner but the individual article titles to see what 'they' see..

Posted by: Drindl | August 18, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE quit writing that Connecticut is changing hands. That election is basically two democrats running against each other. If Lamont or Lieberman win both will caucus with the Democrats which is what determines who runs the Senate.

Posted by: Andy R | August 18, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention, the Connecticut race is much more important given certain Democrats' idiotic idea to strip Lieberman of seniority. Yeah, they probably won't need his vote for caucusing, since they're so likely to pick up 7 seats this fall. Joe's lead as an "independent" could be worth a lot if Dems pick up 5 seats and end up with a 50-50 tie. Or lead 51-49 with Dems trying to strip him of seniority and Republicans offering him the committee chairmanship of his choice.

If Dems are threatening to take over come November, this seat will be hugely important, especially given the party leadership's groveling to the anti-war purists trying to purge Lieberman, and along with it their chances of victory this fall.

Posted by: everlast00 | August 18, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing how much Lamont looks like the alledged Killer of Jon Benet Ramsey. Both pencil necks with stupid grins. Lamont is toast, and Lieberman just may caucus with republicans after he wins this Nov. At the very least the dems will have to be very carefull not offend him.

Posted by: bhoomes | August 18, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Landers,
I agree that Ford has a really good shot at taking Frist's seat he just isn't there yet in my opinion. But then again he has been stockpiling money, and will bring in the heavy hitters like Clinton to help out when it gets a little closer. I am interested to see what happens to the polls in the next few weeks.

Posted by: Andy R | August 18, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Saul's point actually is a risk around the country.

Numbers are that incumbents are in trouble regardless of Blue or Red leanings. The Repbulicans like poor richard says are real organized.

They are smart enough to know that they can pick off a bunch of Dem incumbents and offset losses they know they are going to take.

Chess at its finest.

I also think the Dems are going to have Lieberman haunt them. But Howard Dean will haunt them worse.

Posted by: everyman | August 18, 2006 3:07 PM | Report abuse

In Washington, the McGavick faux-moderate campaign is already starting to wear thin. Recently, they have brought it not only Bush but also Cheney and Frist to raise cash for him...that follows the notorious big fundraiser in Alaska a few months ago hosted by Ted Stevens. More and more, McGavick is getting known by the company he keeps, and he himself does the "moderate" image little good when he comes out for teaching "crative design" in school, as well as eliminating the estate tax, staying the course in Iraq, and sucking up to big oil and other corporate interests. The earlier poster who wants to "punish" Cantwell for what he perceives to be various political sins will of course only end up punishing himself and the rest of us by casting his defacto vote for the GOP candidate...but of course, "punishing heretics" is the favorite activity of self-centered lefties (and righties) in politics.

Posted by: TaylorB | August 18, 2006 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The Connecticut race MUST be ranked in the Senate Line, and it should be ranked #1 (besides, how many races has Santorum "come from behind" and won now with 51% of the vote? Jesse Helms made a long career out of 51% majorities. Same with Conrad Burns in MT).

DeWine is the most vulnerable Republican, as the party's problems in Ohio loom. Dem seats in MI and WA are at least toss-ups, since both women barely won in 2000 and have no history of winning past that. Talent is in trouble in MO, a state where elections are all about turnout. Ford is hardly the centrist some say and stands little chance in TN.

Very hard to imagine Chafee losing in the general if he squeezes out a win in the primary. The Maryland race will be interesting no matter who wins the D primary. Allen's race in VA will be closer than people think due to demographic shifts.

10. Virginia
9. New Jersey
8. Maryland
7. Rhode Island
6. Montana
5. Pennsylvania
4. Michigan
3. Washington
2. Ohio
1. Connecticut

Posted by: everlast00 | August 18, 2006 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Michigan is in a single state recession...unemployment at graduates leaving our state for jobs...Stabenow votes against tax cuts over 100 times...votes against securing our borders...supports Social Security for illegal immigrants.

Stabenow is in big trouble. Bouchard comes from Oakland county, big battleground and he's a big vote getter there as Sheriff.

Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg both list Stabenow as one of the most vulnerable Democrat incumbents...I think Republicans best chance at picking off an incumbent.

Keep an eye on us here, this is going to be a race down to the wire.

Posted by: Saul Anuzis | August 18, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse


Don't quit your day job as you have no future as a TV critic.

The Kennedy spots in MN are just God-awful.

They unveil him as a complete nerd and his sprinting away from his right wing record is hilarious.

Watch out for the MN guv race also, the Dems could take one away from the GOP.

Also what is up with Penn., I don't understand how Santorum could get elected dog-catcher, he should get beat by 20%. And I am a moderate, pro-life Catholic, but I cannot stomach that neo-fascist wing-nut. He's very spooky.

Alot of these new chicken-hawk GOPers remind of the Martin Sheen character in the movie THE DEAD ZONE. Think about it.

Posted by: true believer | August 18, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Surely you must be joking -- or, most likely, tremendously out of touch -- when you call Amy Klobuchar a traditional Democrat. (For starters, in Minnesota they're not Democrats. They're DFLers. Get the nomenclature right.) A law-and-order county prosecutor with statewide name recognition because of her father is a traditional DFLer? I am guessing you're getting your information on this race from the right side of the spectrum because no one displaying independent thought would call her a traditional Democrat.

This shows that out-of-touch bloggers are worthless -- how exactly do you "sense" the race is closer than the polls indicate, sitting at your D.C. desk? Spent any time talking to local voters? No, we didn't think so. Just because the Republicans in DC think the race is competitive doesn't mean it is, and the sense out here is that the ads for Mark Kennedy you hail are actually hurting him overall -- right-wing fundies have no reason to turn out for statewide elections other than Kennedy (the gov's race is between two moderates), and they've been loudly turned off by the ads. Losing two fundies for every moderate isn't a formula for winning.

Posted by: Tom Flynn | August 18, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Dan W

The Dems need to get 51 seats to take control of the Senate. A 50-50 tie would go to the Republicans since Cheney would cast the tiebreaker. If the Senate ends up after the election with 50 Dems, 49 Republicans and Lieberman as an Independent, the Dems will still control the Senate if Lieberman votes with them to organize it. That is how they took control in 2001 when Senator Jeffords switched from Republican to Independent and voted to organize the Senate with the Dems. The key to control is the vote to organize the Senate - voting in a Dem as majority leader and Dem committee chairs. Lieberman has said he will vote with the Dems if elected as an Ind.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 18, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Andy R.,

I think that it would take some major mudslinging to get the GOP base in TN really riled up against Harold Ford. The truth is that if you run down Ford's positions on most of the issues near and dear to Republicans, Ford is with them. He's against gay marriage, strongly pro-gun and vocally in favor of allowing school prayer.

In most blue states, Harold Ford couldn't get elected dog catcher because he'd be considered a Republican.

Corker doesn't seem like the kind of guy to just start making things up about his opponent. And Harold Ford is not the kind of guy who will take any attacks lying down. Ford has been in Congress since he was 26 years old and is sharp and aggressive a politician as you could find.

Altogether, Harold Ford is in the unique position of being right-wing enough on key issues to sway some right-leaning independants who are dissastisfied with the GOP while also drawing strong black support and presenting a very difficult target for his opponent to attack on real issues.

Harold Ford is a very, very savvy politician whose entire life and career has been nothing but politics. He knows the risk involved in trying to make that leap from the House to the Senate. If he fails he ends up with no job and a very questionable future. He's giving up a lot of seniority and power in the House. This guy is too smart to do that if he doesn't think that he can really win this Senate seat. So I think that this is a race to watch very seriously.

If Ford is polling within 5 points or so under Corker the day before the election, I think that he'll pull out a victory largely through a small number of dissatisfied Republicans seeing no reason to bother voting. Answering a question on the phone is one thing. Actually showing up to stand in line and vote is another.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | August 18, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

'Regardless of what the polls say about Bush, he is at 55% in support for handling terrorism. That is the SECURITY MOM issue, and if the Wash Post wants to try to undermine the Republicans, one good way to line up the whiners and complainers.'

In what poll? Please cite.

I can always tell a repug. They trash 'whiners and complainers' and then start whining and complaining.

Posted by: Drindl | August 18, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

DW is right. The Lieberman issue is going to haunt the Democrats.

Whilst this writer has been a critic of the Democrats lack of cohesiveness, one would have hoped that the rag tag bunch would keep things together in a year of obvious voter discontent with Junior's troops.

Ah, but no. The storm clouds in the trends are indeed ominous. The Republican organization is still effective (reference Cook county Democratic machine history for precedent. Even in the worst of times, they manage to pull their collective cookies from the fire)

Look for an arrogant DNC to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and be down one in the senate for the reasons DW discusses, or have Joe L. sitting on the presidents bench. He will extract his pound of flesh from the Democrat side of the aisle.

Maybe then the DNC will purge the train wreck in their leadership in time to save the 2008 election from perpetuating a one party system.

Exactly what Junior, Dead-eye Dick and Tom Delay planned.

Posted by: poor richard | August 18, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse

US Senate
Current Breakdown

55 Rep
43 Dem
2 Ind (VT, CT) Both currently caucus with Dems

Rep held seats with Rep currently down in polls (3)

Rep held seats with Rep currently up in polls (10)

Rep held seats tied in polls (2)

Dem seats tied in polls (0)

Dem held seats currently up in polls (16)

Dem held seats currently down in polls(0)

Ind seats

For Dems to take control:

Win all current Rep seats down in polls +3

Hold all seats (MI, NJ, WA critical)-

Win both tied Rep seats (MO, MT) +2

Don't piss off Lieberman should he win to ensure he continues to caucus with Dems. -

Win one of the following close races (AZ, NV, TN, VA) +1-4

For GOP to pick up seats
Hold all seats (AZ, NV, TN, VA critical)-
Win tied states (MO, MT) -
Win the three seats currently losing (OH, PA, RI)
Knock off DEM incumbant (MI, NJ, WA critical) +1-3

Posted by: RMill | August 18, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Dan W you are wrong. As long as Lieberman caucuses with the Dems should he win, they won't "have to win an additional seat to account for this one they are losing."

If he votes with the Dems on Senate organizational issues, they won't care if the letter after his name is D, I, Q, or Z.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 18, 2006 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Chris, interesting as ever.

I would only disagree at the margins. It is always a good time to reassess a race when competitive primaries are over, and TN definitely falls down the list after the primary there. Michigan may come on next time. It has a rather odd distinction. While there are several states with competitive races for both governor and US Senate (Ohio, Maryland, and possibly Pennsylvania) it is the only state where the GOP has a realistic prospect of two pickups.

Minnesota is certainly looking a lot less close than anyone would have expected. Even one more poll with double digit leads will probably knock this race out of the top ten.

Maryland, I share the view that a lot depends on the result of the primary. On paper Cardin is the stronger candidate, but if the Dems reject a credible African American candidate it may be hard to pull out the black vote, on which they depend, especially when the GOP candidate is Black. Mfume's attitude if he loses will be critical. If he enthusiastically campaigns for Cardin he should be able to deliver the state. If he sulks, or refuses to endorse Cardin, it will be closer.

Polling trends in Pennsylvania are interesting. The consistency of Casey's lead rightly keeps it in the top place for now, but the trend is clearly in Santorum's favour, unlike, say, Ohio. I could see these two swapping round next time.

That said, an incumbent needs to be clearly ahead at this point to have even a 50% chance of holding on. Santorum has narrowed the gap, but is nowhere near an even bet to win.

Unless there is a dramatic change in the national environment, a line with the top 5 positions all GOP held is what we will see in September, too. And that is when things start to get really serious.

I haven't yet joined those who think the Senate will change hands: the Democrats still need all ten of these races for a majority of one. But a very tightly balanced Senate is an increasing probability.

Quentin Langley
Editor of

Posted by: Quentin Langley | August 18, 2006 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Tennessee is more moderate than people think. Clinton carried TN twice. Chris' musings don't take into account the buzz Corker got from the competitive primary when ranking this race.

The only group that shows any consistent positive support for Bush in TN are the social conservatives, the very group that Corker has the worst chance of winning over. (See SurveyUSA for data). TN Right to Life has refused to support Corker, and the fear card played by Republicans is played out. Women in TN, even the "security moms" have strong disapproval for Bush. Corker is a big business guy just like Bush. His campaign chair is the Chair of Pilot Oil, the largest privately-held company in TN, and one of the Big Oil group. Ford is going to tar and feather him with that, and compare high gas prices and the war on the middle class with Corker's multi-million dollar self-funding and ties to the oil industry.

The latest Rasmussen numbers rating Corker and Ford head to head have Ford behind only 6 points (48% to 42%), a 6 point gain from a month ago.

Ford has a good shot of taking this seat because he has outraised and outworked Corker, and will continue to do so. Ford has dominated the discussion on issues. Ford continues to call Corker out, and keep him on the defensive. Conservative talk-radio guys are luke-warm on Corker. One even called him the John Kerry of the Republican Party.

And as a TN native, the sleeper point - When voters consider the prospect of having Corker and Lamar Alexander represent TN in the Senate, how many people in Middle and West Tennessee are going to support having two milk-toast Senators from East Tennessee? People from West TN and rural Middle TN have never even seen Lamar. Not gonna happen.

Posted by: Chris Gilreath | August 18, 2006 1:28 PM | Report abuse


It doesn't matter whether he votes with the Rs or the Ds, he is still an I. It forces the Ds to have to win an additional seat to account for this one they are losing.

RMill, do you have an estimate of the count by party?

CC, CT should be in the top 10. Sure it isn't "Flipping" to the other party but it is likely to be a loss for the party, even if the incumbant maintains the seat.

Ironically, he could be an example of unity as moderate republicans find candidates in teh center they can vote for. Imagine what 2008 (senate) races will look like if Independents can start getting elected.

Posted by: Dan W | August 18, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The best thing Stabenow has going for her in this state I still believe is the over-spotlighting the Gubenatorial race is receiving by both parties nationally and locally. With that being said Bouchard has a long way to go with the primary nearly draining all of his funds. Stabenow has already purchased $2.5 million in a labor day television blitz and has millions more waiting to be spent. In any other election cycle Bouchard would seem like the ideal candidate, but look for Michigan voters to differentiate Granholm and Stabenow's records as they relate to the state's sagging economy. I cannot see independent voters voting in this election cycle for a conservative who would be nothing more than a rubber-stamp for the widely unpopular President. Finally, the Bouchard campaign should expect little if any fundraising help from the NRSC who already has to defend five vulnerable Republicans, and pick and choose other open races where their chances appear to be better when compared to un-seating a Democratic incumbent in a reliably blue state on national elections. Whereas President Clinton can fly in here and campaign for the Democratic ticket all he wants(as he did in Taylor this past week), I don't expect to see Bouchard risking moderate and independent voters with campaign visits from unpopular figures like Bush, Cheney, or Rove.

Posted by: SkunkemanMSU | August 18, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Since we're talking about Senate races, I love this news. It's about how payback is a real biatch. I laughed a lot!


Katherine Harris' attempt to boost her campaign with a series of high-profile endorsements wilted Thursday when none of the officials appeared at her campaign rally and one of them said Harris wrongly included him on her list of supporters.

State Sen. Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden, said he has not endorsed Harris and instead is supporting one of her challengers, Orlando attorney Will McBride.

Harris, McBride, retired Adm. LeRoy Collins and developer Peter Monroe are battling for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in the general election.

Webster, a former Florida House speaker and now a state senator, said he has been with McBride since May, when the candidate jumped into the race.

"I've always backed Will," Webster said. "He'll make a great United States senator."

Webster said he had no idea why Harris listed him as one of her supporters. He said he never endorsed her.

Harris insisted that Webster promised to attend her rally Thursday at Orlando Executive Airport.

"They called back twice and said he'd be here," Harris said. "He said he was going to be here on the stage with me today."

Webster's office said he had never confirmed his attendance.

He wasn't the only no-show for Harris' "Soaring for the Senate" rally.

None of the nine officials listed on her event flier appeared, leaving Harris on her own to address a group of about 40 supporters, reporters and campaign-staff members.

The most prominent official on hand was former state Rep. Allen Trovillion, who left office four years ago.

Harris spoke in an airplane hangar that seemed to highlight the modest size of the crowd. She said a last-minute location change -- required because a tree fell on the hangar where the event was supposed to be held -- kept crowd numbers down.

Airport officials, however, said no hangar had been damaged by a tree and that the rally was in the hangar that had been originally booked.

Harris spoke for 10 minutes, saying she is the only candidate with the conservative credentials to defeat Nelson. When she finished, red, white and blue balloons dropped onto an empty stage, rendered unnecessary by the sparse crowd.

Read the rest at this link:,0,6787746.story?page=1

Posted by: Gaithersburg, MD | August 18, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Having lived in Washington, I can offer a slightly different and local flavor to all of this. McGavick is viewed by most Western Washingtonian's as an unknown. Cantwell, in the meantime, has been a very strong proponent of outsourcing, completely unregulated, utterly insane, a "lets ship the jobs to Indian and India" outsourcer. She was one of those hi-tech executives that was cheerleading this nonsense years ago. Her bankrupt and stupid "feminist" credentials are fake, too. As a conseqeunce, I think you would be hard pressed to find an American engineer, computer programmer, or tecnician that isn't furious with her. I mean, I'm a staunch Democrat and I *wouldn't* vote for her. So, I can certainly see Cantwell loosing. To my way of thinking, the Democratic Party can do a whole lot better than running a "free traitor". Joe Lieberman is a saint and a mainstream liberal compared to "can't work" Cantwell. I sincerely hope she not only looses, but is soundly trounced and is never heard from again.

Posted by: MikeB | August 18, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I agree with taking MN off the top ten. Rep. Kennedy's recent ad campaign trying to relay that he is "independent" and "bipartisan" actually brought additional attention to his voting record, which is even more in line with the Bush administration than an "average" republican representative. That voting record might be a good thing in his right-leaning district, but is a liability statewide, and that clumsy ad proved he knows it.

Posted by: MN | August 18, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Someone asked about the AZ race:

Rasmussen (July 18)

Kyl* (R): 53%
Pederson (D): 34%

Behavior Research (July 8-21)

Kyl* (R): 45%
Pederson (D): 27%

Arizona State University (June 15-18)

Kyl* (R): 43%
Pederson (D): 29%

Behavior Research (May 1-9)

Kyl* (R): 40%
Pederson (D): 33%

Posted by: Gaithersburg, MD | August 18, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Sam, didn't you know that OBL is on the RNC payroll with an agreement to endorse the Dem candidates directly before every election, with word or deed? that way the jack-booted thugs can keep us in a perpetual state of fear and we won't elect the proper candidates who could talk us out of this problem, if only they were given the chance. I learned this the other day by reading the wizards who inhabit this place.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 18, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Tennesse is a strong Republican state, voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004, with Frist and Fred Thompson. Strong leadership against the Dem/liberals.

Regardless of what the polls say about Bush, he is at 55% in support for handling terrorism. That is the SECURITY MOM issue, and if the Wash Post wants to try to undermine the Republicans, one good way to line up the whiners and complainers.

Look at the British plot, can any of you BUSH HATERS tell me that if the plot had been exposed on the Monday before the Lieberman primary, (and a possible win) that the Democrats would not be screaming how the plot was created ONLY to help Lieberman win? Can the media admit they would be calling for an investigation of electioneering to sway the voters?

Come on, you guys are smarter than that. If Bush helps Republicans keep the House and the Senate, will the media give the President/ VP Cheney/ and Secretary Rice any credit for keeping our nation safe and the economy thriving? NAH, you guys don't want to be seen as cheerleaders for the President.

Posted by: SAM | August 18, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Tennesse is a strong Republican state, voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004, with Frist and Fred Thompson. Strong leadership against the Dem/liberals.

Regardless of what the polls say about Bush, he is at 55% in support for handling terrorism. That is the SECURITY MOM issue, and if the Wash Post wants to try to undermine the Republicans, one good way to line up the whiners and complainers.

Look at the British plot, can any of you BUSH HATERS tell me that if the plot had been exposed on the Monday before the Lieberman primary, (and a possible win) that the Democrats would not be screaming how the plot was created ONLY to help Lieberman win? Can the media admit they would be calling for an investigation of electioneering to sway the voters?

Come on, you guys are smarter than that. If Bush helps Republicans keep the House and the Senate, will the media give the President/ VP Cheney/ and Secretary Rice any credit for keeping our nation safe and the economy thriving? NAH, you guys don't want to be seen as cheerleaders for the President.

Posted by: SAM the MAN | August 18, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

'What measures exactly are Dems prepared to do to improve my safety.'

If these people ever stopped shouting winger talking points, they might learn something.

How about port security? Border security? Better intelligence [meaning no cronies nor politiciziation of agencies], response to threats based on facts, not ideologies, effective targeted surveillance based on real info, with constitutional oversight, hiring of experienced intelligence assets who speak Arabic dialects [as of now, several hundred have been fired for being/suspected of being gay--and yet they keep Ken Mehlman].

Respect for, and closer relationships with allies around the world, including moderate Muslims. Direct talks with countries who supply terrorists, such as Iran and Syria, and financial sanctions against them if they if they balk. A recognition that the lives of others are as important as our own.

That's just a start. Sensible, pragmatic government, not simply a continuing push for unlimited executive dictorial power and a partisan ideological mania.

Posted by: Drindl | August 18, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The Fix is wrong about one fact of New Jersey politics: the last time Republicans won statewide was Whitman's narrow re-election victory over McGreevey in 1997.

Posted by: Partisan Democrat | August 18, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Of course, the lobbyists are considering the prospect of a Dem majority. From a risk perspective it would be foolish not to have resources in place to take advantage of this possibility. They are, after all, capitalists out to make a buck. The historical trends dictate that it would be very unusual for a 6th year president to maintain the status quo as far as number of seats in Congress. the only thing going for Bush in this cycle is the ever growing tendency to keep all incumbants - stemming from the mis-diagnosed "need" for campaign finance reform, and the implausability of the Dems stance on national defense and the economy.

If you think Bush spent a lot, consider that the Dems always wanted to spend more. If think that we are threatened by the Feds in a libertarian aspect, consider the grave threat of actual death by random bombing. I would rather have my phone calls monitored than be blown up on the subway. We have to stop these particular crimes BEFORE they happen, which is considerably different than the crimes we routinely prosecute.
What measures exactly are Dems prepared to do to improve my safety.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 18, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I must disagaree with you on Sen. George Allen (R-VA).... I think his "Macaca" remark made a monkey out of his campaign.

This is after all 2006, surely the voters of Virginia have better requirements for their Senator than being a racist.

Only a racist would think it entertaining to publicly pick on a someone who looked different from his audience. Only a bully would do so repeatedly. And, only GOP spinners think they can make "Macaca" go away.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 18, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious why there is no mention of the Ensign Carter Race given that Carter was within 7 of Ensign (46%-39%) before the primary. I'd have to assume that Carter got a primary bounce from national media attention on his race. Add to that the fact that Nevada has seen a large population growth in the last two years from Californians heading east and the political climate may be changing.

Posted by: Ensign Carter Race | August 18, 2006 11:08 AM | Report abuse

GOP losing the security moms, everyday we read stories in the mainstream press how everybody has turned against the republicans. Chris and your paper are going to look awfully stupid if the GOP does not lose either house.

Posted by: bhoomes | August 18, 2006 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Jack L.; Your post about Tenn. is pretty much rite-on. Thing that really decides this in Nov., in my opinion, will be the black vote. I'm not sure of the registration makeup there, and the fact of Ford being black is sure to bring a lot of the black community out to vote where they otherwise would not. This one is well worth watching.

Posted by: lylepink | August 18, 2006 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of money trails also look at the recent article about how lobbying firms are hiring democrats and playing nice with the democratic leadership. Doesn't bode well for the GOP

Posted by: Andy R | August 18, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't see any evidence that Joe Lieberman would caucus with the Republicans. First off, this would guarantee that he would never be elected again to Senate from CT - the moderate Dems who currently form a coalition with Republicans to give him a lead in the polls would certainly reject him in the future if he became a turncoat and helped preserve a slender Republican majority. As has been pointed out, Lieberman votes with the left on 90% of all issues (with a few notable exceptions of course). The Democratic establishment was almost uniformly supportive of him in the primary, with many politicians campaigning with him and voicing their support. He didn't lose the primary because he was betrayed by the national party. The idea that Lieberman would switch parties out of some need for revenge against national Democrats, or out of a nearsighted desire for a short-term committee chairmanship, seems far fetched to me.

Granted, if all the Senate and House Democrats start ripping Lieberman apart in public and enrage him, or Bill Clinton calls him out as a DINO or something, I could see him switching out of spite -- but there is no reason for the Ds to make such an unbelievable tactical error when the CT Senate race is a win-win right now from a national perspective.

Posted by: Venicemenace | August 18, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

If you want to know who is going to win, follow the money. there is no poll or vote like the transfer of funds from one account to a reelection campaign's account. this is the "put your money where your mouth is" analysis amd is seldom wrong. why not report FEC results as part of this discussion?

You will appreciate the value of this approach when those expensive, slimy ads begin to run. Although unpleasant, they are effective.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 18, 2006 10:44 AM | Report abuse

GOP voter suppression is going to really hit hard this year--this is what we have to worry about most of all:

'In a series of laws passed since the 2004 elections, Republican legislators and officials have come up with measures to suppress the turnout of traditional Democratic voting blocs. This fall the favored GOP techniques are new photo I.D. laws, the criminalizing of voter registration drives, and database purges that have disqualified up to 40 percent of newly registered voters from voting in such jurisdictions as Los Angeles County.

"States that are hostile to voting rights have -- intentionally or unintentionally -- created laws or regulations that prevent people from registering, staying on the rolls, or casting a ballot that counts," observes Michael Slater, the election administration specialist for Project Vote, a leading voter registration and voting rights group. And with roughly a quarter of the country's election districts having adopted new voting equipment in the past two years alone, there's a growing prospect that ill-informed election officials, balky machines and restrictive new voting rules could produce a "perfect storm" of fiascos in states such as Ohio, Florida, Arizona and others that have a legacy of voting rights restrictions or chaotic elections. "People with malicious intent can gum up the works and cause an Election Day meltdown," Slater says.


One of the few public declarations of their intent came in 2004, when then state Rep. John Pappageorge of Michigan, who's now running for a state Senate seat, was quoted by the Detroit Free Press: "If we do not suppress the Detroit [read: black ] vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election cycle."

Posted by: Drindl | August 18, 2006 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Jackson, interesting take on the Tennessee race. I just wonder how much of the hard right vote will come out against Ford and not really for Corker. It is also true that this is the only really big race in Tenn. The governor is a safe democrat so your theory of the GOP base being unispired might hold pretty true.
Rmill, is there any data out there about Arizona and Kyl's chances?

Posted by: Andy R | August 18, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Correct, Cantwell barely won her Senate race in 2000, taking almost 30 days to get it resolved if memory serves me right. Cantwell also used her REAL NETWORKS stock to finance her race, like $10 million to challenge an elderly statesman Gorton.

This year, Cantwell made a deal to hire her strongest challenger in the Dem primary by paying him $6000 a month. Nice way to get rid of your competition, put him on the payroll. So there is unrest with her overall performance and the Dems have a battle to keep that seat.

Cantwell was been desperate to build up her war chest, and even that dear OLD girl Hillary has helped raise money for Maria by inviting her fat cat Dem buddies to pony up to the bar at the Hillary Embassy.

2006 will be interesting to see who has the power in DC, Harry Reid or Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi. There is a dog and cat fight going on behind the scenes for who has the real POWER to move and shake the political world. So we shall see what the results are with Maria and her millions are challenged by a Republican and his millions. Sounds like a fair race to me, and the Dems can't complain since they love their own millionaires running for office.

Posted by: Sara | August 18, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Here's a take on Macaca George for you to ruminate, Chris:

'For potential presidential candidates, the bar for showing intellectual heft will be higher after George W. Bush than it was before him. Based on the conversations I've had with GOP elites and fund-raisers, the candidate most likely to suffer from this heightened standard is George Allen. The worry is that despite Allen's strong standing among conservatives, he mirrors too many of Bush's goofy, towel-snapping qualities. Those are all on display in the "macaca" video. In a general election, these Republicans worry that Allen's Bush-like cast could be deadly.

Allen's supporters know that his apparent lack of gravitas is a major liability. The senator has been meeting with foreign-policy experts, and Iraq specialists in particular, to bone up on the thorny international issues of the day. This would seem prudent for any potential candidate. Other '08 hopefuls like Mitt Romney and Mark Warner are similarly cramming. But Allen does not have Romney's reputation for cranial wattage. At least one person who has been wooed by the Allen camp came away from a meeting with the senator with this kiss-off of his chances: "Too much like Bush."

Posted by: Drindl | August 18, 2006 10:10 AM | Report abuse

In Tennessee, I have to wonder whether Corker's nomination will reduce the GOP's ability to really get their base out. Corker won with a plurality - not a majority of votes in that primary. He was attacked by his 2 opponents as being too far to the left and a 'Republican in name only.' Apparantly a majority of Tennessee Republicans agreed with this. So with a base that is generally disspirited and lacking any strong motivation nationally, will the volunteer state Republicans really turn out in droves to support Corker?

Meanwhile, Democrats are generally angry enough that the base is plenty riled up. And the black vote, which usually has abyssmal turn-out, is likely to be a little more motivated than usual with a black Democrat on the ballot. The confluence of Democratic motivations and the Republicans' lack therof could be enough close a 5 or 6 point polling gap on election day.

Not to say that you've got this race in the wrong slot since everything I'm saying is pure speculation rather than being based entirely on solid polling data. I'm just offering what I think is a rational theory for how Harold Ford can pull off a victory.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | August 18, 2006 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Rassmussen has a new poll being released tomorrow on the Virginia Senate race. Chalk it up to 'Macacca' or growing suburbs or whatever you want, but the score is now 47% to 42% with Jim Webb only 5 points behind and George Allen dangerously under 50%.

Last month Rassmussen had this race 51% to 41%. Something major is going on here in the dynamic of this race. With Bill Clinton now agreeing to raise the big money for Webb, this is now a serious, competetive race. The progression of Webb's numbers is not unlike that of Tim Kaine in his race for governor last year. He ran way behind for a long time but then as his better-known GOP opponent made the odd gaff while appealing more to the far right then the center and as Kaine got his name out there as a likable centrist candidate, Kaine pulled ahead in the final stages of the race for a victory. The Allen/Webb match-up may be a repeat of that formula.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | August 18, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I have to disagree with other posters' comments on WA...make no mistake, it's the Dems most vulnerable race in the Senate. Cantwell barely won in 2000--it was the closest race that year--and people are still fired up about Dino Rossi's narrow loss to Gregoire in 2004--the closest race in 2004!

Ignore WA at your own peril. Dems have got to get over Cantwell's war position and need to get behind her.

WA will be much closer than either NJ, MD or MN, which I suspect the Dems will easily carry.

Posted by: Greg-G | August 18, 2006 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it is just a gliche, but for the first time in over five years I did not receive a Washinton Post daily email update.

The last couple days was also the first time I posted any serious comments to the Washington Post blog, specifically about the Allen issues.

Wonder if the two factors are connected.

Please, put my name back on your list for emails.


John Patterson

Posted by: John Patterson | August 18, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Polls since last weeks posting

Rasmussen August 10
Lieberman (I)* 46% Lamont (D) 41% Schliesinger (R)6%

Ramussen August 10
Stabenow 49% Bouchard (R)44%

Survey USA August 15
McCaskill (D)47% Talent (R)*46%

Rasmussen August 8
Tester (D) 47% Burns (R)* 47%

Strategic Vision August 17
Menendez (D)* 42% Kean (R)40%

Strategic Vision August 17
Casey (D)47% Santorum (R)*41%

RI (correction)
Rasmussen August 3
Whitehouse (D) 44% Chaffee (R)*38%

Rasmussen August 10
Ford (D)42% Corker (R)48%


Posted by: RMill | August 18, 2006 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that Cantwell is in as much trouble as it seems either, although not because Washington is a "blue" state ("blue states vs. red states" doesn't mean much anyway except in Presidential races). If, as expected, Republicans do poorly on Election Night, then WA Republicans will know before the polls close. When one party is losing out East, they tend not to do well on the West Coast. If Republicans lose elsewhere in the country, they're not going to pick up a Senate seat in Washington.

Posted by: JoeyJoeJoe | August 18, 2006 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I can't see how you leave MD and MN in right now. At his point, which is my understanding of what the Friday Line is gauging, there is not way these are in danger of flipping party.

Nevada is closer. Michigan has definately tightened. These races are mid-single digits leads close to within the margin or error. MD and MN are double digits from more than one polling source.

My line was posted last week.
Friday Line Preview:
US Senate

1. Pennsylvania
Inkling of a heartbeat for Santorum?
His July Approval from Survey USA jumped from 36% to 43% and some of the polls have tightened slightly.

July 27
Casey (D) 50% Santorum (R)* 39% (down from 52%-37% in June)

Strategic Vision
July 20
Casey (D) 50% Santorum (R)* 40%

July Battleground Poll
Casey (D) 49.2% Santorum (R)* 40.2%

June polling averaged 15-16 pts margin down to 9-11 pts in July.

2. Ohio
DeWine in real trouble?

Still mired in mid-40's approval (45% in July Survey USA poll), most polls were split until recently. Sherrod Brown has made some significant gains in polling.

Survey USA
August 5-7
Brown (D) 49% DeWine (R)* 41%
Slightly down from June poll showing Brown's lead at 48%-37%.

July 27
Brown (D) 44% DeWine (R)* 42%
Reverses June polling showing DeWine up 46%-39%.

July Battleground poll
Brown (D) 45.2% DeWine (R)* 36.6%
Down slightly from June 46.7%-34%

Columbus Dispatch
July 11-20
Brown (D) 45% DeWine (R)* 37%
Local Ohio polling reverses May Univ of Cincinnati poll showing DeWine up 52%-42%.

Earlier splits averaged Brown up by 2 pts in late May and June. July averages Brown up 6-7 pts.

3. Montana
Burns takes over as US Senator with worst approval from Santorum, now at 37% according to Survey USA July approval poll.

July 6
Tester (D) 50% Burns (R)* 43%
Reverses late May Rasmussen poll showing Burns 43% Tester 42%.

4. Rhode Island
Chafee faces stiff opposition in his Rep Primary against Laffey who is undoubtedly encouraged by the neighboring CT primary upset by Lamont. Chafee approval hovers below 50% (48% in Survey USA July approval poll)which is the low mark of the year. He is no longer considered a shoo-in to even win his own primary.

Chafee hled double digit leads in April and May over Laffey. They have disappeared in June to single digits (Club for Growth and Rhode Island College polls had it at 1 pt dead heat).

August 3
Whitehouse (D) 46% Chafee (R)* 41%
Same as July; June had Chafee up 44%-42%.

Whitehouse (D) 55% Laffey (R) 31%
July had it 57% - 29%.

5. Missouri
Talent remains below the 50% approval threshold (49% in Survey USA July approval) and has lost some ground against McCaskill.

July 20
McCaskill (D) 45% Talent (R)* 42%
This is down from a deadheat 42%-42% tie in the June Rasmussen poll.

July Battleground Poll
McCaskill (D) 45.2% Talent (R)*49%
Slight improvment from June Battleground where Talent led 49.3%-44.2%.

6. New Jersey
Menendez remains the most vulnerable Democratic incumbant but has seen improvement over the last month. His approval improved to 45% (nearly the highest this year) up from 41% in the June Survey USA approval poll. He has also taken leads in nearly every poll.

July 8-12
Menendez (D)* 38% Kean Jr. (R) 40%
This is the only poll Menendez is down and slipped from June's lead of 43%-36% over Kean Jr.

July Battleground
Menendez (D)* 44.8% Kean Jr. (R) 39%
Improved from June Battleground poll of 41%-40.2%

Strategic Vision
July 12
Menendez (D)* 43% Kean Jr. (R)
Improved from June poll at 38%-36% lead over Kean Jr.

Monmouth University
July 17
Menendez (D)* 38% Kean Jr. (R) 37%

Fairleigh Dickinson University
July 20
Menendez (D)* 43% Kean Jr. (R) 40%

7. Washington
Cantwell remains just below the 50% threshold at 49% in July's Survey USA approval poll where she has hovered near, at or just above all year long.

Her real edge is in campaign dollars ($6.4M to $1.1M).

July Battleground
Cantwell (D)* 49.4% McGavick (R) 41.7%
This is improved over the June Battleground numbers where she had a 48.1% - 43% edge.

Strategic Vision
July 26
Cantwell (D)* 48% McGavick (R) 44%
Virtually unchanged from June poll of 47%-43% lead.

Elway Research
July 22
Cantwell (D)* 47% McGavick (R) 33%
Wide disparity from other polls on McGavicks numbers.

8. Tennessee
With a decision finally made on the Republican candidate, the wait is on for head to head matchup polling for this OPEN seat held by retiring Republican Bill Frist.

July 16
Ford (D) 37% Corker (R) 49%

Mason Dixon
July 23
Ford (D) 37% Corker (R) 49%

July Battleground
Ford (D) 43.6% Corker (R) 42.5%
Reverses the June Results of a 42.4%-41.4% Corker advantage.

University of Tennesee
July 20
Ford (D) 35% Corker (R) 42%

Average Ford down 7-8 pts.

9. Nevada
Surprise of the month. Ensign has hovered slightly above 50% for most of the year, now at 52% in Survey USA July approval poll. Carter has made some significant headway to edge into the list.

July 31
Carter (D) 39% Ensign (R)* 46%

July Battleground
Carter (D) 35% Ensign (R)* 49.5%
Virtually unchanged from June 50.5%-36% results.

10. tie Connecticut/Michigan

Connecticut becomes a factor in that Lieberman running as an Independent could change the end game depending on who he caucuses with should he win in November.

Stabenow reached 50% approval for the first time this year in the July Survey USA approval poll. She maintained double digit leads against an unsettled Rep. field of candidates. Now that a challenger has been chosen (Bouchard) things tightened up slightly.

Survey USA
August 8
Stabenow (D)* 48% Bouchard (R) 41% Schwartz (L) 6%
Includes Libratarian candidate

July Battleground
Stabenow (D)* 48% Bouchard (R) 41.8%
Slipped some from lead of 49.4%-41.3% in June Battleground poll.

Strategic Vision
July 27
Stabenow (D)* 52% Bouchard (R) 36%
Slight improvement over June's 50%-37% lead.

Awaits fresh polling now that field is set.

Posted by: RMill | August 18, 2006 9:34 AM | Report abuse

CC I have no problem with the top five and I think that they will all go Democrat in November.
Also I think you are giving the Washington race way too much credit. Washington is a Blue State and in an environment where Democrats are obviously in favor, then an incumbent democratic senator wins. Also Cardin is going to win in Maryland and then woop Steele up and down.
Minnesota, are you serious? Klobucher has almost a 20 point lead. That's gotta be more then Allen has in VA, and that was before his racist comments.

Posted by: Andy R | August 18, 2006 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Agreed that Ricky is still struggling, but, as I've said all along, if anyone can LOSE this race, it's Bob Casey Jr.

I pretty much agree with the rankings--I still don't think NJ will be close, and also think that WA is the most vulnerable seat for the Dems (not MD or MN)

I also agree that the MI race is one to keep an eye on. Zathras is right--Stabenow is hardly a brilliant campaigner, and it looks like some of Granholm/economic woes are starting to hit Stabenow as well.

Posted by: Greg-G | August 18, 2006 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I see the republicans losing Montana, but picking up Washington and New Jersey, with the incumbent party holding on to the other seats. The dems best chance his in the house, but that is quickly slipping away as people realize they have no answers to problems just a lot of hate.

Posted by: bhoomes | August 18, 2006 9:17 AM | Report abuse

When you made your ratings, were you aware of the Rasmussen poll showing Ford only down by six points?

Posted by: science | August 18, 2006 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Have there been any polls released recently in the Chafee/Laffey primary????? I'd like to know what the polls are saying. If Chafee loses the primary, it will be a Democratic lock pickup in November.

Posted by: Political junkie | August 18, 2006 7:56 AM | Report abuse

An incumbent as savvy as Stabenow? This is a joke right? Unfortunately, Stabenow is in big trouble here in Michigan. Bouchard appears to be a pretty charismatic candidate, and Stabenow has always been wooden on the campaign trail. There hasn't been any polling yet, but I'm afraid that Bouchard and DeVos both look pretty strong. The Michigan economy is awful, and this issue will likely trump others here.

Posted by: Zathras | August 18, 2006 7:31 AM | Report abuse

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