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The Line: Nev., Minn. Crack the Governors' Rankings

The biggest development since our last ranking of the governors races is the Florida primary where -- as expected -- state Attorney General Charlie Crist (R) and Rep. Jim Davis (D) won their respective parties' nominations.

While those results were expected, the number of overall votes cast should worry Democrats. On the Republican side, the four candidates received a total of 979,582 votes; the four Democratic candidates collected 822,462 votes -- a 177,121 vote differential. Crist took 627,239 votes to Davis's 403,697, a margin of 223,542 votes.

That's a lot of ground to make up, and Democratic strategists not affiliated with Davis's campaign are skeptical Davis can do it. Until we see some evidence that Davis can make a real run at Crist, this race drops out of the top 15. Joining it on the sidelines is the California governor's race, where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) continues to broaden his lead over state Treasurer Phil Angelides (D).

The new races on the Line are in Nevada -- an open seat -- and Minnesota, where Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) appears to be increasingly vulnerable.

Remember, the number one race on the list is the most likely to switch parties this fall.

To the Line!

15. Minnesota: We hear that Pawlenty's numbers have cratered of late. Democrats will pick their nominee on Tuesday, with state Attorney General Mike Hatch the strong frontrunner. A recent USA Today/Gallup poll showed Hatch ahead of Pawlenty by one point among those most likely to vote. Pawlenty's slippage, coupled with Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar's (D) comfortable lead in the Senate race, makes us think something is happening at the grassroots level in Minnesota. (Previous ranking: N/A)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Hatch, Pawlenty | Minnesota Political Profile

14. Illinois: If Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) felt comfortable about his re-election this fall, he wouldn't have spent more than $5 million to define state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka (R) before she had a chance to do it for herself. Topinka is now up on television. Let's see if the commercials move any polling numbers. This is an opportunity for Republicans, but the cost of going full-bore on behalf of Topinka may ultimately be too high. (Previous ranking: 15)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Blagojevich, Baar Topinka | Illinois Political Profile

13. Nevada: Democrats are growing more optimistic about state Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus's chances against Rep. Jim Gibbons (R) this fall. Titus has hired a new campaign manager and is focused on raising cash -- two positive developments in the eyes of national Democrats. Internal polling also shows the race tighter than Democrats had expected. Titus must still find a way to rebut the charge that she is nothing more than Las Vegas liberal. (Previous ranking: N/A)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Gibbons, Titus | Nevada Political Profile

12. Alaska: This race tumbles four spots on the strength of a Republican poll that showed former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin (R) ahead of former Gov. Tony Knowles 46 percent to 29 percent. While strategists in both parties say that gap is probably a bit wide, the survey shows that Palin, not Knowles, is the frontrunner in the race. Knowles is now on television -- exploiting his financial edge over Palin -- but the Republican's outsider message appears to be resonating. (Previous ranking: 8)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Knowles, Palin | Alaska Political Profile

11. Wisconsin: As we wrote last week, the ruling by a state ethics board that forces Rep. Mark Green (R) to return more than $400,000 in campaign contributions marks a sea change in this race. For months Republicans had pummeled Gov. Jim Doyle (D) over his alleged pay-to-play approach to government contracts, but this ruling muddies the ethics waters considerably and takes the edge off of Republicans' attacks. Doyle is still vulnerable, but he seems to have righted the ship. (Previous ranking: 9)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Doyle, Green | Wisconsin Political Profile

10. Maine: Kudos to the Republican Governors Association for their decision to go on the air on behalf of state Sen. Chandler Woodcock (R). The ads may well force Gov. John Baldacci (D) onto the airwaves earlier than he had planned. And, because Baldacci is the lone candidate not accepting public financing for the general election campaign, if he spends more than $400,000, the state provides dollar for dollar matching funds for Woodcock, as well as the Green and Independent party candidates. The more money the third party candidates have to spend, the better Woodcock's chances, according to GOP strategists. (Previous ranking: 12)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Baldacci, Woodcock | Maine Political Profile

9. Rhode Island: Republicans are in free fall in the Northeast, and nowhere is it being felt more strongly than in Rhode Island. Gov. Don Carcieri (R) hasn't done much of anything wrong, but that "R" after his name is a scarlet letter at the moment. Carcieri just went up on television with an ad that casts him as a reformer fighting against entrenched political interests. That may be a tough case to sell as a incumbent. (Previous ranking: 11)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Carcieri, Fogarty | Rhode Island Political Profile

8. Michigan: Polling in this race has yo-yoed over the past few months with businessman Dick DeVos (R) taking an early lead over Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D), only to see the incumbent reclaim the lead after she began running television ads. It has now settled into a nip and tuck contest (a recent independent poll showed Granholm up 46 percent to 44 percent), and that's where we expect it to stay until Nov. 7. The state of the economy in Michigan (dismal) gives DeVos a real opportunity. (Previous ranking: 10)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: DeVos, Granholm | Michigan Political Profile

7. Maryland: Republicans took it as a good sign when Batlimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) began an ad campaign earlier this week attacking Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) for repeatedly siding with "corporate interests." Following their thinking, if O'Malley had a comfortable edge, he would not be going negative. Maybe, but the fact that Republicans are thrilled that the incumbent might have pulled into a tie with his challenger shows how difficult this governership will be to hold. (Previous ranking: 7)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Ehrlich, O'Malley | Maryland Political Profile

6. Iowa: Each time we write the Line, this race drops a slot or two. Secretary of State Chet Culver (D) continues to outperform the -- admittedly low -- expectations that many Democrats had for his campaign. He's even coined the term "Nussle Hustle" for Rep. Jim Nussle's (R) alleged tendency to say one thing in Iowa and another in Washington. Private polling shows the race dead even. Nussle is the best candidate Republicans could put forward in Iowa, but the anti-Washington sentiment of the electorate complicates his winning formula. (Previous ranking: 5)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Culver, Nussle | Iowa Political Profile

5. Arkansas: After months of dissatisfaction with former Rep. Asa Hutchinson's (R) campaign, national Republicans believe things just might be turning around. Hutchinson is now on television with a bio ad, which should move his numbers somewhat. State Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) remains in the lead, however, and Hutchinson may be moving too little, too late. (Previous ranking: 3)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Beebe, Hutchinson | Arkansas Political Profile

4. Colorado: This race is slipping further and further away from Republicans. Former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter (D) continues to collect massive amounts of cash (over $600,000 in August alone) and is successfully labeling Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) as just another Washington insider. Beauprez is a solid candidate, but he is struggling mightily against the pro-Democratic mood of the Colorado electorate. This state is a very difficult hold for Republicans. (Previous ranking: 6)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Beauprez, Ritter | Colorado Political Profile

3. Massachusetts: We'll know a lot more about this race after Tuesday's Democratic primary between state Attorney General Tom Reilly, 2002 lieutenant governor candidate Chris Gabrieli, and former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Deval Patrick. Republicans acknowledge that if Gabrieli wins, the race is probably over. If Patrick or Reilly prevail, then Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey has a chance. But, with the erosion of Republican support in the Northeast generally, it's hard to believe that voters in the most Democratic state in the country would elect another GOPer as their chief executive. (Previous ranking: 4)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Democrats, Republicans | Massachusetts Political Profile

2. Ohio: Despite promises from Republican operatives that Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) would give Rep. Ted Strickland (D) a run for his money this fall, we still see no evidence that GOPers have any reason for optimism. A USA Today/Gallup survey showed Strickland with a 52 percent to 36 percent lead among those most likely to vote. The state is ready for a change after eight years of Gov. Bob Taft (R). This race represents a terrific pickup chance for Democrats. (Previous ranking: 2)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Blackwell, Strickland | Ohio Political Profile

1. New York: Sigh. As a lover of competitive races, we have to admit some disappointment about just how easily state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) is going to be elected governor. The only fun left in the race is to try and pinpoint Spitzer's percentages in his Sept. 12 primary against Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi and in the general election against the Republicans' sacrificial lamb, John Faso. We'll go with 68 percent in the primary, 63 percent in the general. (Previous ranking: 1)

Candidate Profiles and Campaign Links: Faso, Spitzer | New York Political Profile

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 8, 2006; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Governors , The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Michigan Mighty Important in 2008
Next: The House Line: Potential Surprise Wins for the GOP


I think he, and many people, believed somehow Murkowski would pull out a win on primary day, and were that the case he would have won it in a landslide. A Murkowski-Knowles race is one thing, a Palin-Knowles race is another one completely. That said, I really don't know who would fare better against Palin in this environment. Both Croft and Berkowitz (who would have stayed in the gubernatorial race without Knowles getting in) I think are too far to the left to win, but might bring in a higher electoral total than Knowles by rallying the Democratic base in a way that Knowles won't, and then maybe eeking out a win if Halcro peels enough away from Palin (though now I think Halcro pulls more away from Knowes than Palin). Fran's on the academic circuit now and I think preferring life there, and beyond that the bench for AK Dems unfortunately isn't too deep. The party should focus right now on that bench and in winning the state legislature which may be in reach this year, then working across the aisle with Palin to get things accomplished and making the party look more appealing while driving out the old Republican guard that both Palin and the Dems are running against right now.

Posted by: Michael | September 11, 2006 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Michael, that's true. I'd forgotten about that little faux pas. That was kind of an awkward thing to say, wasn't it?
Still, I don't think anything can stop Palin. Alaskans seem to be in love with her -- hell, even I like her personally. Criticizing her would be just a bad strategy for Knowles. So what can he do?
I think, as you do, that he's going to have trouble holding his fragile base together in the first place, considering that his base includes a lot of ornery people who are easily alienated and pissed off. The Republicans, meanwhile, do not seem to be fracturing, even though many may have doubts about Palin.
Looking back -- do you think it was wise for Knowles to get into the race after all? I'm starting to wonder.

Posted by: alaskan | September 11, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I'll knock Sean Parnell, even Palin's campaign manager practically did last week (saying something to the effect of he wasn't her choice, but she respects the choice of the voters).

Posted by: Michael | September 11, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I, too, am preparing for Governor Palin. I'm not too happy about it, because I'm personally a Knowles supporter, but Sarah has all the energy and is absolutely the outsider candidate. Tony's appeal seems to be, as has been said elsewhere, that "he's boring but he's safe." I've been astounded to see Tony getting a lot of support from many conservative Republican business types who, I guess, consider Sarah too much of a loose cannon.
But Sarah is getting lots of support from people who have never been involved in politics before.
In a different year, Tony might be able to walk away with an easy victory. But voters are in a very anti-establishment mood. And Tony is establishment, even if he's seen as a (gasp) liberal.
Right now, Tony's supporters are counting on voters getting turned off by Sarah's conservative views on social issues. But I don't think that will happen. Social issues have never been that relevant to Alaska politics. It's all about natural resources, environment-versus-development, corporate control-versus-corporate cooperation, that kind of thing. It's not about abortion, same-sex marriage, etc. The closest thing we get to a debate on social issues is that perennial fight over whether pot should be legal.
As for running mates, Knowles has the advantage, I think. I'd take Ethan Berkowitz over Sean Parnell. Not to knock Sean -- he's a very smart, ethical guy and an asset to the ticket. But Ethan is just better, I think. That's partly because he's been right in the thick of fighting the corrupt Veco Boyz.
One vulnerable spot for Palin is that she is a big supporter of that stupid, money-wasting, environment-wrecking road to nowhere out of Juneau, as well as at least one of the bridges. Knowles opposes the Juneau road and has been pretty clear about actually opposing all transporation earmarks.

Posted by: alaskan | September 11, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

After a few weeks of campaigning and the fallout from the VECO scandal, I'm about ready to call Alaska for Sarah Palin. Knowles shot himself in the foot by refusing to decline any VECO money and defending the company's right to give while Palin and Halcro have distanced themselves from it, at a time when campaign reform is the #1 issue for many AK Democrats. Many already distrusted Knowles and though he was too close to oil, and now the Repubicans have rallied around their candidate while Democrats are abandoning Knowles right and left. He still has a huge cash advantage and might be able to turn things around, but right now I don't see it happening.

Posted by: Michael | September 11, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Considering the emphasis of the Bush "agenda" which the media tries to call a Republican Agenda, and some of those conservatives are trying to escape. They are laying claim to the standard Democratic Platforms as if very able to do so, not surprisingly they claim it without substance of any real actions, obviously, and the credibility likely is vested in the fact that the Democrats are chasing the money now as if it is the proven way to win, get the max money upfront as soon as possible....what was Cheney doing yesterday in Boston and Cambridge? FUNDRAISING....while the former President of Iran was speaking at Harvard's JFK School of Government (likely speech will be shown on video on their website)--politicians should have had much more Peace oriented attention focusing on subsantive changes needed and the opportunity in front of them at that very event--"diplomacy" attention, --from where I sit, figuratively, most people are adamant about a genuine change with Bush out, and proper policy in office and putting the government back on track is not "hype" at all, it is utterly serious.

The issues that are demanding good leadership and honest government and require honesty from politics and politicians were at the forefront. Cheney at a fundraiser? I didn't like that at all.

I would have preferred DIPLOMACY...and if he is not able, likely true, that reality, he should have stayed home in D.C. and not come to Cambridge seeking money instead of -- talking to LIBERALS if he wanted the peace view...they have no right to claim the turf that they indeed do not seek nor want...

Seek and ye shall find...politics needs the truth of political purpose injected full force and full blooded, not on any a human sanity level, not violence and abuses of policy.

Money should not be the keynote of this past weekend, diplomacy would be much more important to properly oriented PEOPLE...and political buffs...

A copycat book written by an admitted 'arch conservative" Peter Beinart who thinks the Republicans can claim Democrat territory. To me, he is trying to take the majority of votes with lies...a copycat title, offered by the publisher of Nader's "The Good Fight" - Harper Collins, has published another book on the heels of Nader's with the same title, "the Good Fight."

Amazing the Conservative attempt to claim Liberals as if Theirs...unreal, no editorial complaints by the media...they like their establishment status...and want to sing the same mantra of copycat the powermongering lies and expect success...

The blatant copycat title, unembarassed, unoriginal, also, unreal...even though the claim is tendered, the current officials in office, both parties, are still funding the Iraq War and promoting Bush policy, without any "real" change in view.

Yes, this is my opinion, as Ben Franklin found it wise to admit, no matter how factual one might believe the statements, opinion, personal, tendered...

It Beinarts (and others' in the Republican party are guilty also) attempts to claim territory not real, pure fiction but with real intentions of territorial possession of political grabbing, in everyone's one can call Bush or Cheney environmentalists, and, I would say, No Hawk is an environmentalist, and certainly not peace oriented....Franklin is the RIGHT KIND of "conservative" as in actual conserving of resources, "waste not want not"

SOME LIGHT ON THE POLITICAL VIEW CHANGE OFFERED AND NEEDED-- and for the recent Nader budget comment and platform change offering...

bringing expenses back into the right priorities would bring us back to safety in all sorts of areas....Humanitarian Aid to Iraq and Bring the Troops Home...NOT building weapons...THIS WAS HIS GOOD GOVERNMENT NOT FOR PROFIT BUT FOR PEOPLE AND OUR CONSTITUTION ENACTED SANELY-- primary beginning.

Healthcare-universal coverage by creating SINGLE PAYOR by the Government for funding the medical coverage, and the delivery being the non-profits...again, Nader emphasis on proper use of government NOT FOR PROFIT, FOR PEOPLE.

When people cannot undertand the message, sometimes it is because it wasn't even delivered.

How can you declare independence? Vote for the BEST candidate and expect YOUR VOTE to be the BEST and that "great minds think alike" and those who understand those trailblazers showing a better path, will follow!

The GOOD that happened is that Khatami, former President of Iran, spoke at the JFK School Sunday afternoon. He is for peace for Iran and sane view of religion and a different view of Hezbollah...he denounced terrorism. (I did not attend, I am summarizing Metro and Globe articles.)

Of course, another good is that 911 is behind us. "End the killing" is of course, appropriate.

Making the U.S. end hypocrisy and NO NUKES for the U.S. is my "for people and the environment and diplomacy and international safety" expectation from good government for people, NOT corporations.

This is the message I knew was Nader's and I believe the media still owes the proper view.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ellis | September 11, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

MASSACHUSETTS PARTY REGISTRATION STATISTICS PROMISED EARLIER ON THIS ARTICLE COMMENTARY--notably in response to the misleading statement that "MA is a Democratic state and they are tired of the Republicans, and so, likely a Democrat will get the Governorship"---I promised to check the current stats....just check the website, saw the October 2004 posted registration tally, a very slight change from the Primary deadline, which was February 11, and those stats quoted above, almost identical to what was the final tally in MA, there is only ONE registration majority stat, 48.8% UNENROLLED....JUST TO MAKE A POINT...that ONE registration majority is NOT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY...hello to two party forced track commentators, railroading elections without proper view of PREFERENTIAL voting as AFFIRMING the BEST choice, not a "party fight" but a CANDIDATE fight...YES, MA is a LIBERAL state, and the tally shows that...48.8 Unenrolled, 37.25% Democrat, 12.99% Republican, .58% Libertarian, and .23 Green-Rainbow.

Someone asked me, a few months back on this blog, The Fix, "are you saying the 49% belonged to Nader?"--OF COURSE NOT, ALTHOUGH IT candidate owns any vote on election day, based on party registration....the final winner is supposed to represent the "majority" no matter what party, and the BEST is that individual...whatever party they may be, proper publicity of the credentials is supposed to net the result, as well as the getting out to meet the people -- to me, most viable in a local election, such as statewide gubernatorial.

As a non-practicing degreed journalist who has not really been in politics until volunteering in 2004 for the Nader ballot access....I realize that the personal meeting has tremendous impact, but it also seems the issues the seem pressing to the public and the media's presentation seems to be the final result. Media influence and a public matching up of the supposed answer to the need for responsive leadership, depends heavily on media presentation. Giving the leading candidates objective limelight at some point in the campaign trail, to me, is sorely needed.

I was very upset at the media for not presenting Nader's challenge to the status quo of the two party system as a corrupt system that is Corporate dominated, and influenced to a horrific level that required the "Independent" challenge offered by Nader in 2004. The media refused proper entry.

corporate corruption? (Someone reading this check the current status of the funding by congress longitudinally for Public TV and Radio, which, obviously is not supposed to hold allegiance to anyone except the public, although, yes they do indeed, accept funding from corporations, and yes, I was very upset at NPR when they tried to do a post-campaign review of Ohio -- the person questioned on the air, was picked by the reporter, on site of all a CAR if that was the proper view of a campaign forecast or review...NADER SAID NO SIR, it is PUBLIC POLICY at STAKE, not CORPORATE PROFITS and ECONOMY...the "its the economy stupid" needs REVISION when looking at is PUBLIC POLICY for GOVERNMENT that is SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT PEOPLE NOT CORPORATIONS, is what Nader tendered...PRESIDENTIAL a favorite phrase of Presidential reviewers...Notably a Book, "What's the Matter with Ralph"--acknowledge his own list of about nine HUGE credentials of Nader and summarized, "you couldn't find more outstanding presidential timber" (or close enough quote) but, then the author pursues the reality of best timber with his attempt to answer why he didn't choose or fit the two party if Ralph was mental for not getting it...the message, of course, is Ralph was emphatically offering proper candidacy and emphatically saying it does not exist currently in the two parties, they are corrupt monopolies of our political system, and the results are obvious, and the challenge is offered.

Ann Landers would be likely to say, Wake UP to the new smell of Coffee" and get with the change due...and embrace PEOPLE represented in politics as VIABLE and demand those candidates, and tracks and allegiances shown, principles higher and over than the money....and the strength to be VERY willing to CHALLENGE STATUS QUO..."handily"...very Nader, but should be VERY AMERICAN!

Posted by: Elizabeth Ellis | September 11, 2006 11:09 AM | Report abuse

A suicide bomber killed the governor of Afghanistan's southeastern Paktia province on Sunday afternoon as he was leaving his office, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

Gov. Abdul Hakim Taniwal's bodyguard and his secretary were also killed when the suicide bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body while standing next to the governor's car.

The blast also wounded three police officers near Taniwal's office in Gardez, the provincial capital, the spokesman said.

The attack follows a dramatic rise in Taliban-led militants violence in Afghanistan this year, including suicide bombings.

On Friday, a bomber in a car rammed into a U.S. military convoy near the U.S. Embassy, killing 16 people in one of the deadliest suicide attacks since the fall of the hardline Islamic regime in late 2001

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The 'virtual absence' is the media's shameful silence and refusal to cover what Democrats actually say and do. But hard-core 'conservatives'' will never believe that, they're too brainwashed, as much so as any nazi or communis.

This clip below, by the way, tells you everything you need to about the so-called WOT--of the 14 supposed 'highest value' prisoners-- none of them were from Iraq, or Iran, or Lebanon, or even Afghanistan. None from any country we've attacked.They are from all over the world--many of them from countries which are allegedly our allies. There are more terrorists in Pakistan, for instance, including bin Ladin, than probably anyplace in the world. And how are we handling that? Giving them lots of american money to buy nuclear weapons.

'Shackled and hooded, 14 men in secret CIA custody were gathered one by one from locations across the world last weekend and flown to a rallying point to await one more flight. For some of the prisoners, it was their third or fourth journey to yet another unknown destination since President Bush approved a covert plan for them to disappear into CIA facilities hidden throughout Eastern Europe and Asia.

On Sunday night, the men -- three Pakistanis, two Yemenis, two Saudis, two Malaysians, a Palestinian, a Libyan, a Somali, an Indonesian and a Tanzanian -- were sedated and placed together onto a flight to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.'

Posted by: drindl | September 10, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Vedapushpa's comment is by far the strongest evidence that we do NOT have a liberal media. From the outside-in all he/she can see is the GOP's prattling.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 10, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Bush G W and his R Party would perhaps go back to the WH again - given a virtual absence of a cogent and concerted Democratic Opposition.


Posted by: Vedapushpa | September 10, 2006 2:49 AM | Report abuse

Dude, you need to keep an eye on the NC House District 8 race between Kissell and Hayes. This one is going to be super close.

Posted by: Frank | September 9, 2006 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Some one please tell me about the Illinois Governor's race. He is the most caring one for workera,seniors, and poor that we have ever had for a long time. I love him He has tried to give everyone a good health prohram. The Republicans have tried to do everything mean and tried to block him from doing good things.
Sincerely Betty

Posted by: Betty Burgess | September 9, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Any day now I expect Bush to be out there giving one of his fearmongering speeches, and his memory is going to twitch like it does, his brain is going to twist like it does and his lips are going to curl up the way they do, and he is going to blurt out something to the effect,
"...we must always be on guard, these evildoers want to kill Amer'cns, ...(pause for stupidity to settle in)..Condi brought me a memo one day, long time back, that says 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike Within the US,'

Now, if you read the memo close, this is pretty good proof we got terrorists workin' right here in our own back yard..., So you gotta vote for Republicans, make sure this kinda stuff doesn't happen."

Posted by: JEP | September 9, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Does George W. Bush have asterisk envy?

"A few speeches will not outweigh the dreadful toll of death and destruction in Iraq--MORE AMERICANS NOW KILLED THAN DIED ON 9-11, to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead--and the prospect of open civil war in the occupied country."

Seems as if we passed that terrible threshold with little recognition or fanfare.

When will it be enough?

Now that polls prove the public is turning against Bush's war, does it represent an awakening, and end of mourning?

Isn't it time to shake off our sorrow, turn our gaze inward to look for the subterfuge and intrigue that allowed us to be so vulnerable?

We can never forget that tragic day.

But we must never relent in our resolve to ascertain our own errors, and make certain the history books of the future can actually tell the truth about our hubris and arrogance, and not just another convenient lie that makes heroes out of villians, and vice versa.

Time makes stale the truth. So we must quickly move to uncover that truth.

The Jersey Girls know what I mean.

If not for their courageous defiance of the despicable brick-wall response from our Bush administration, much of what the 9-11 Commission has glossed over would not have even been glossed over.

The truth is not a friend to our current administration, they run from it like cockroaches scurrying into the shadows when the light shines.

If only there was a way that we might fully plumb these depths of darkened history. Oh, for the light of Justice, pure and simple, just The Truth, that we might know!

Even to the point that we let the rogues off the hook, as long as they tell us the WHOLE story, so we can make sure it never happens again!

No fiction or fantasy writer could imagine what the truth would tell us. The pervasive political profanity of the past decade will surely be judged by our progeny as a dark time for American democracy.

In the history classes of the future, this neocon Bushgang government will be remembered primarily for failing to prevent 9-11, abandoning the hunt for Bin Laden and spawning the war in Iraq, after one of the most corrupt and undemocratic elections on record, which produced the worst Congress and the worst President in American history.

There is list in the nutshell, lets hope it doesn't grow even longer. Unless, of course, there's an impeachment involved, and win or lose, that would surely give old W the asterisk of historical notoriety he has always coveted, (just not the positive version he deluded over.)

Clinton's got an impeachment asterisk, why can't W. have one? Otherwise, he will always suffer asterisk envy.

Unfortunately, nothing but scandal qualifies him for historical annotation.

Posted by: JEP | September 9, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

" with 36% of the vote, which I gather the Republicans see as their high water mark.
That strikes me as a heckuva way to win an election,...."

Wouldn't mandatory voting put a whole new face on this kind of minority rule?

If the Aussies can do it, surely we can manage a way to espress the real opinion of the body politic, by weighing the entire body and not just its ambitious parts.

Posted by: JEP | September 9, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

On the Maine gubernatorial campaign
I got a visit yesterday afternoon from an acquaintance with close ties to the Woodcock (R) campaign.
According to my visitor, the Woodcock forces are hoping that Merrill (I) and LaMarche (Green) will take enough votes from Baldacci (D) that Woodcock can win with 36% of the vote, which I gather the Republicans see as their high water mark.
That strikes me as a heckuva way to win an election, but Maine has elected independent governors in 3 of the last 8 elections, so maybe the Republicans are on to something.

Posted by: Mouse | September 9, 2006 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I too think that Florida should still be on this list for both reasons listed above. There are several thousand snowbirds who migrate to Florida that do live in the US and they do vote in the general but not in the primary. Those snowbirds tend to vote Democrat. Also, the rain problems that plagued the main Democratic counties down south for the primary (something that people expected Davis to win) wont be a problem come the general election, they wil lvote rain or shine.

While I believe Illinios has the potential to be competetive, it is not there yet and should be replaced by Florida. Minnesota at 14, Florida at 15.

Posted by: Rob Millette | September 9, 2006 12:43 AM | Report abuse

btw. The site would not print my last line. Screen came up "holding" the posting.

So much for the First Amendment.

It was written in formal, correct language with a comparison found in Websters since it was written.


Posted by: everyman | September 8, 2006 11:48 PM | Report abuse

We talk about maniputation of reality to help the RNC cause.

ABC's 9/11 presentation timed with Juniors Nation-wide use of the Bully Pulpit to tell us what to be afraid of and how he and his guys will protect us if we re-elect them.

Posted by: everyman | September 8, 2006 11:34 PM | Report abuse

We talk about maniputation of reality to help the RNC cause.

ABC's 9/11 presentation timed with Juniors Nation-wide use of the Bully Pulpit to tell us what to be afraid of and how he and his guys will protect us if we re-elect them.

Posted by: everyman | September 8, 2006 11:33 PM | Report abuse

What about some of those quiet races that could surprise? Oklahoma and Wyoming have Democratic governors in strongly republican states. What about Arizona and the immigation debate? I once heard Oregon was one of the Democrat's most vulnerable seats this fall and I haven't heard anything. Whats the deal?

Posted by: P Chase | September 8, 2006 9:49 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing that Arnold is doing as well in the polls as he is, given that in the past few years he has been publicly quoted insulting blacks, latinos, teachers, cops, fire fighters, nurses, women, immigrants, anti-immigrationists, gays and in a traditionally Democratic state, Democrats.

I suppose if you made your name taking steroids and bashing things on film, it is easier to get away with being insulting.

Honestly though, I have yet to hear a single conversation about the race for governor here. Almost no one is paying attention. Which is probably good for Arnold. Most people have no idea who else is running.

Posted by: Cali49 | September 8, 2006 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Don't be fooled by the apparent closeness of the RI Governor's race. The Lt. Gov. (Fogarty) has been campaigning for the better part of the past year; Gov. Carcieri's campaign is really just getting started. The general consensus is that despite the big "R" after his name, the Governor has done a good job.

Posted by: Quahog John | September 8, 2006 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jackson Landers,
If you hadn't noticed, Chris is following a set formula from now until election day: Lines on Monday and Friday alternating between the House, the Senate, and Governor's races. You had your Senate line on Monday, and VA didn't make it. It's clearly at least sixth on the list and probably seventh.

Posted by: scott | September 8, 2006 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Voice of America--apologize again, it's just that...

'A report by a Senate committee says there is no evidence former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had any relationship with the al-Qaida terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or his associates before the U.S. and allied forces invaded Iraq in 2003.

The report is part of an ongoing investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has been looking into intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq, it was widely thought at the time to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.

According to the 400 page document, an assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2005 stated that before U.S. and allied forces invaded, the Saddam Hussein regime did not, in the words of the report, have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates.

President Bush and other administration officials have acknowledged that no evidence has emerged to show a direct link between Saddam and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2006 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I mean, can you say 'Taliban'?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2006 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The funny thing, too, Zathras, is that it's only the 'sexual liberty of women' that's a problem -- but apparently not the 'sexual liberty' of men.

Gee, do I see a medieval fundamentalist agenda here?

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

What D'Souza (a political hack if there ever was one) is trying to do here is to make respectable what Falwell said 5 years ago; that all of what happened was the fault of the left. And many on the extreme Right agreed with him, such as Ann "Let's bring back the Crusades" Coulter. That is his intended audience, since they seem to buy every nutjob book that comes along.

Posted by: Zathras | September 8, 2006 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I didn't include the concluson -- that terrorists are attacking us because women can choose their sexual partners and use birth control.

Brilliant! Bring back the chastity belt and all our problems will be solved!

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I apologize in advance if this is so off-topic it offends anyoe, but I just find this stuff so amazing, I want to share it. And of course, it DOES influence the political climate -- it's how we got where we are:

'In THE ENEMY AT HOME, bestselling author Dinesh D'Souza makes the startling claim that the 9/11 attacks and other terrorist acts around the world can be directly traced to the ideas and attitudes perpetrated by America's cultural left.

D'Souza shows that liberals--people like Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, Bill Moyers, and Michael Moore--are responsible for fostering a culture that angers and repulses not just Muslim countries but also traditional and religious societies around the world. Their outspoken opposition to American foreign policy--including the way the Bush administration is conducting the war on terror--contributes to the growing hostility, encouraging people both at home and abroad to blame America for the problems of the world. He argues that it is not our exercise of freedom that enrages our enemies, but our abuse of that freedom--from the sexual liberty of women to the support of gay marriage, birth control, and no-fault divorce, to the aggressive exportation of our vulgar, licentious popular culture.

The cultural wars at home and the global war on terror are usually viewed as separate problems. In this groundbreaking book, D'Souza shows that they are one and the same. It is only by curtailing the left's attacks on religion, family, and traditional values that we can persuade moderate Muslims and others around the world to cooperate with us and begin to shun the extremists in their own countries.'

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2006 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't put it in the top 15 yet, but Texas is growing more interesting. With two Independent candidates making a lot of noise and the incumbent Repub governor regarded as an empty suit in an anti-incumbent year, "kinky" things could happen. Some of the handicappers are saying that the race could be won with a plurality of the vote as low as 35%, which is within a couple of points of the Democratic base line vote.

Posted by: Henly, Texas | September 8, 2006 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"black blood" and "Latino blood." --Ahnold said that?! Oh my, his Aryan roots are showing...

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Concerning the lower than expected Democratic vote in Florida....Southern Florida experienced torrential rainfall on a result, turnout in Broward County (with 997,000 registered voters) was only 11.7 percent........Miami-Dade has 1,074,424 registered voters...Tuesday's turnout was only 15.3 percent.

Other parts of the state didn't have the rainfall we did....

Posted by: Vondrakovia | September 8, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Chris, should there be a poll of Davis vs. Crist before you pull this one off the list? Davis led in a couple of polls over the summer.

Posted by: tdub | September 8, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the discussion about latent Republican racism.

I thought that is how the GOP was resurrected in the 1990s with their "Southern Strategy"-creating a strange alliance of fiscal conservatives and religious conservatives, with old Dixicrats, Wallace Democrats and guys with a closet full of bedsheets and a horse in the barn.

Posted by: zippy | September 8, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Repulican Woman. Kick all the currupt polititians out! Expecially since the vast majority are republicans.

Posted by: Democratic Woman | September 8, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of racism (and also to bring this discussion on-topic), the California Governator is also letting his slip show. He was forced to apologize today for saying during a closed-door meeting that Cubans and Puerto Ricans are naturally feisty and temperamental because of their combination of "black blood" and "Latino blood."

Posted by: Zathras | September 8, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

As a New Yorker, I'm almost wondering if it's possible for Spitzer to get too popular. If enough people think his election is a nip tuck affair, could his overall totaly be much less than anticipated? I mean he'll still win both contests hands down, but the margain could be lower than expected.

Posted by: P Chase | September 8, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

oh republican woman, I see you're just the type that would luv Horowitz.

'If the Democrats re-elect that black Congressman from Louisana, they will be seen as hypocrites'

Excuse me, dear, but your slip -- I mean your racism -- is showing. Is that how you refer to the 'help'? He does have a name you know. I believe it's Jefferson. And yes, we Dems believe that he should be kicked out too--he and the lone other corrupt Dem, along with the approximately 300 crooked republican member of Congress.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I pass this on for your amusement from NewsMax, which I get 'alerts' from--factinating reading if you like to study paranoia and conspiuracy theorists. I find it helps me understand the sadly uninfomred bloggers we get here -- some pathetic souls actually swallow this crap.

What I think is most interesting is the Orwellian gift for projection that the riight posseses. If you really want to know what they are doing, watch what they ACCUSE Democrats of doing....

'A cadre of leftist billionaires -- chief among them, megalomaniac George Soros -- contributed more than $300 million to liberal candidates and groups in 2004. Thus, as far as Pariser and his masters are concerned, what was once a great party of ideas and leadership sold itself to them in 2004.

A small but enormously powerful group of radical forces are undermining America's unity! And unless we get the word out far and wide, they'll fulfill their plan and come power in 2008.

Why? Because right now, as it did 40 years ago, the radical left in America has in motion a plan to cost the United States a victory in war and topple a President in the process.

Who's behind this threat to our security and to America's two party system?

The answers go to the heart of journalist Richard Poe's and my book, The Shadow Party. In it we detail the movers, financiers and radicals who stay just out of sight as they pull the strings that control Hillary, Dean, John Kerry, Al Gore and the rest.

I've taken the liberty of reserving a special copy of The Shadow Party for you today at better than 30% off its cover price... it's vital that you read it.

So, by using one of the blue links I've placed throughout this letter, you can make a contribution of $18 right now to the Center, and I will rush a copy of The Shadow Party to you today. If you're able to contribute $50 today, I'll sign your book.

Make an extra contribution of $100 to David Horowitz Freedom Center now, and I'll include a personal note of thanks. But regardless of the amount, please know that you'll be doing two very important things:

Opening the door to information about this threat to our political system. As we argue and support with fact, by reading The Shadow Party you'll discover...
Plans to rewrite large parts of our Constitution.
Hillary's simply posturing as a "moderate" until she's elected President and that leftist groups within The Shadow Party are "attacking" her as part of a plan to make her look credible in the eyes of the American people.
The Shadow Party operates through a vast assortment of private think tanks, unions, stealth PACs, foundations, 527s and other front groups to accomplish its long-term goals!
Further help the Center expose not just those involved in the takeover of Democratic Party, but expose, as well, the growing web of radical leftists in America whose shared agenda is to undermine our unity and pass along victory to our enemies across the globe.

Please understand that what's at stake is the viability of our two-party system. Through subversion, The Shadow Party has co-opted a one of the nation's two political parties. In turn, instead of a loyal opposition, the Democratic Party is more like a caged, dangerous animal ready to unleash and burn down all who oppose it.

The defeat of Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman was nothing less than another nail in the coffin of a thoughtful, respected Party. Today, ordinary Democrats have been disenfranchised.

Lieberman voted with the Democrats better than 90% of the time. But that wasn't enough for the radicals who control the Democratic Party today. It's all or nothing. In this particular case, Lieberman wanted to fight Islamic fascism head-on.

But Lieberman's worldview conflicts with The Shadow Party's leaders, most notably Soros. Soros, who is rabidly anti-American, has stated time and again, "American supremacy is the greatest threat to the world today." He hates George W. Bush and claims that terrorism is a result of Bush and America's policies.

Of course, that's absurd. But, as I said, Soros, like his Shadow Party cronies, is a megalomaniac and power is all they're truly after!

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2006 4:09 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats re-elect that black Congressman from Louisana, they will be seen as hypocrites. This guy was caught RED HANDed with $100,000 in his freezer. come on, if the Democrats are so angry about corruption, then they better kick him out too. (In addition to taking money in a car, and it was caught on film by the FBI)
There is also a corrupt Democrat in Congress from the state of W Virginia. So kick them out.

Posted by: Republican Woman | September 8, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh, thank you Nor'easter, that warmed the cockles of my heart. Webb's got a smart campaign staff.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, but too good to pass up:

Television Ad Shows Reagan Praising Webb In 1985 Speech
By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 8, 2006; B08

RICHMOND, Aug. 7 -- Democratic Senate candidate James Webb will launch his first television ad Monday, a 30-second tribute by former President Ronald Reagan, for whom Webb once served as Navy secretary.

The commercial shows Reagan, a Republican, giving a speech to graduates at the Naval Academy in 1985 and praising Webb's character. It is Webb's first attempt to introduce himself broadly to Virginians as he tries to unseat incumbent Republican George Allen. The ad is running in Roanoke and Norfolk markets and on cable stations in some Northern Virginia suburbs...

..."It's an unusual ad for a Democrat, but in this state it'll sell," said state Sen. Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax), the chamber's minority leader.

Staff writer Tim Craig contributed to this report.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

Posted by: Nor'Easter | September 8, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The Minnesota's governor's primary might be a surprise for you.

While Pawlenty is slipping, I believe, as do many other Democrats here, that Becky Lourey is far more likely to be successful in the general election vs. Pawlenty, and that if Hatch wins the DFL primary, our best shot for a change in direction will be the Independence Party candidate. The reasoniing is that like Pawlenty, Hatch is a social conservative (i.e. pro-life, anti-free speech) and the crooked way in which Hatch won the DFL endorsement at copnvention has left a bad taste in the mouth of many lifelong DFLers (Minnesota Democrats)

Posted by: ImpeccableLiberalCredentials | September 8, 2006 3:20 PM | Report abuse


You make a great point about the GLBT traditionally going for Dem's, but all it takes is say 35% voting for the GOP and that certainly could swing a close race. As far as the perception of Crist being gay hurting him...if you followed the GOP Primary...well, let's just say Gallagher tried it the best he could. All of his recent ads focused on Civil Unions and the water cooler talk was passed around the state among the far right that Crist was a "homersexual." He still creamed the guy who was favored a year ago.

As far as to Robert's comments about the snow birds...two comments. 1) Most "snowbirds" are not Florida residents...many are Canadian. Unless there has been a change in the law, I don't believe they vote in Florida races. 2) As far as the Chiles victory in '94 (the closest Gov race in FL history), not sure you can attribute that to "snowbirds" as much as those 100,000+ calls that went out on election day telling senior citizens that "Jeb Bush was going to take away their Social Security checks." As you may be aware, the Chiles campaign got into a lot of trouble with the state over that (Led by a Sen. Charlie Crist, I believe) and Lawton made an apology for that. (Just for the record, I have nothing but admiration for Chiles--may he rest in peace--not for one minute do I believe he was responsible for the calls.)

Posted by: FL Guy | September 8, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The "Nussle Hustle" Is not only fun, but it points out the close ties Nussle has with Washington Republicans and Bush most specificly. Here in Iowa, Bush is a four letter word that is being hung around Nussles neck. Watch this race continue to fall down your line Chris.

Posted by: Dwayne | September 8, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

FLGUY- I didn't mean Davis would try to trash Crist as gay. Sorry if that's what came off. I meant that I expect Davis to play up his family image as a means of making headway with suburban voters who would otherwise vote for Crist. Davis is also a better campaigner than people give him credit for.

NativeFloridian- The reason Crist won so big against Gallagher had to do more with Gallagher's complete incompetence. From ethics scandals to his past personal life, Gallagher looked like a complete hypocrit for attempting to attack Crist on social positions.

While Florida is a red state, the Dems have a pretty strong chance at picking up the Atty Gen.'s office Crist is vacating with Skip Campbell against Bill McCollum. Also the ballot measure to take congressional district drawing out of the hands of the legislature could also heavily impact Republican control in this state. Since Democrats have a slight edge in registered voters (yes I know about the Blue dogs in North Fla. who often vote Republican. I live in Tallahassee.) that would most likely change the makeup of the state house and senate as well as the U.S. Congressional seats.

I think the next month will tell us whether this race will be tight or a blowout.

Posted by: H.L. | September 8, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Rothenberg's ratings seem to be pretty close, although he doesn't rank them in order, just categories:

Posted by: Cris Collingsworth | September 8, 2006 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"Thing to keep in mind is that the mood is anti-incumbent and the incumbent democrats are not tremendously popular.

This looks like its going to be a "52 card pick-up" election. Or as we used to say "count the survivors after the dust clears".


At this point in 1994, people said the same thing. Incumbent Republicans were not very popular either. Very late, all the antipathy turned toward Democrats. That could easily be the pattern this time. Also, aside from Govs, I don't see many Democratic incumbents in trouble.

Posted by: JoeyJoeJoe | September 8, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Zathras, I haven't heard anything definte about a Granholm and DeVos debate, but I am also eagerly awaiting that news. I would love to see DeVos try to explain his Alticor job cuts, why he never mentions his party affilaition in any of his ads or on his website, and why he is distancing himself from President Bush given the amount of mney he contributed to his campaigns.

Governor Granholm has another ad out following up on the MDP China issue and the "truth squad" section of her website clearly has Dick on record for shipping MI jobs to China;

Posted by: Brad | September 8, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Loudon Voter

True. But Governors don't vote in either the House or Senate. Bigger Fishes as it were.

Thing to keep in mind is that the mood is anti-incumbent and the incumbent democrats are not tremendously popular.

This looks like its going to be a "52 card pick-up" election. Or as we used to say "count the survivors after the dust clears".

Posted by: everyman | September 8, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Terje - Sorry, I missed your explanation of the "List." No more needed to be said.

FYI - Chris actually has writing talent in addition to blogging and being a talking head. See:

Posted by: Nor'Easter | September 8, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I live in WV and am not getting anything about the Ohio race for Senate. The TV area covered in my region usually has a bit of Ohio. It should be there, but it is not. Strange this mid-term.

Posted by: lylepink | September 8, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I am currently a MASSACHUSETTS voter, registered Independent, which is my longitudinal voting registered "party" track, and the GIST of this message...while, oh yes, I ONLY RECENTLY due to heightened political awareness on my part, realized the VALUE of PARTY PRIMARIES and the importance of "both" registering PARTY IF the party indeed represents what you mostly want for government platforms and reality "in place" not hype, reality.

"Massachusetts is a Democratic State" - in terms of party registration, NO, not when I last checked, -- will offer post update next week, after checking current stats from the state Election Commission where they keep the statistics up to date, and the approval of their current records during Presidential Party official electoral results is approved by the legislature (reviewed, one would hope before the protocol fact required and is fact, likely, but "review?" that is a definite need to do for all states before 2008, the process and its proper "democratic" (talking body politic, not party politic) results, needs fine tuning at a minimum.

Democratic state in terms of party registration, no, it was 35% and 13% Republican and the REALITY that we do not have PEOPLE only at a two party system forced media hype reality is real. 49% were "Unaffiliated" -- which is what I am, which is Independent, not a party, "independent" which is what Nader registers as, and ran as, this past election for President.

REALITY for MA re the Governor race, on, is NOT that a Democrat is likely to win since MA has had enough of the Republican agenda, which INDEED is TRUE, I would suggest Healey is competitive to the others, and the media owes honest appraisal and voter comment.

At present, I do not know who I am going to vote for. If the MYTH of Democrats were true, then I would vote Democrat, but NO, it is not true, and I believe indeed, that Nader's accusation for the Demcrats as a Party claiming OPPOSITION to Bush, is correct, they are unprincipled NOT the claim they pretend, from their mouth of title (championship of people at the majority representation in numbers and fact, which is NOT true, and no, it does not belong to Republicans' either, and YES, the public wants all the parties to do their best and produce their best, and WE the people will vote our opinion of who, at that time, passing through the hoops, we think is BEST, at or on Election Day!

49% Unaffiliated was the registred FACT/REALITY of MA. A "liberal" state? YES. That is true according to current political jargon, and so, yes, the RACE and CHALLENGE TO STATUS QUO is there, and media, give Healey her proper view, as well as Gabrieli and Patrick Deval---those three are my frontrunners in view. Not decided.

My personal definition of a party is that it produces a candidate. May the best individual candidate (it is not party) WIN!

Posted by: Elizabeth Ellis | September 8, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Chris, good job yesterday on MSNBC!!! I enjoyed your insight.

Posted by: sims | September 8, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Jack - Chris' lists are lists of the offices most likely to change parties.

They may or may not be competitive races. Which is why New York and Ohio are #'s 1 & 2, even though the races are not necessrily competitive right now.

If the information above on Iowa is correct, it is getting less likely to change; and therefore, should be dropping down

JEP - What you described in the 11:04 AM post is really just classic Grass Roots politics. The blogs simply add one more element to that. Somebody asked where VivaBush is. Probably out drumming-up votes grass roots style; or,smuggling in more contraband from Canada.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | September 8, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Basically 8 months ago Reilly was sizing up the corner office in Boston cause he was going to win in a walk. He has since, nominated a woman as his Lt Gov who owed the feds something like 40 grand in back taxes. He then had to get rid of her. That opened the window for Deval Patrick and Chris Gabrieli to gain some ground. Then intead of talking to the voters Reilly went out and courted the old power broker types. At the same time Patrick was courting the grass roots folks. Reilly relized he was in trouble and started attacking Romney and Healey (the Repubs), while Gabreili and Patrick were talking about what they would do. This lead to alot of folks sort of tuning him out.
It all culminated in a democratic debate last night where Reilly didn't answer any questions and repeatdly attacked Gabreili and Patrick. He came across as angry, whiny, and mean. Where as Gabrieli and Patrick both looked poised and intelligent. There is a really good run down of it on Hope that helps.

Posted by: Andy R | September 8, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Regarding DeVos here in Michigan, the Amway ad (about DeVos moving jobs to China) that hit the airwaves here was very effective. I agree with Brad that he really can't answer it. DeVos has spent 4 times as much as Granholm so far and only has a tie to show for it. Now that the spending will be more equal, it will be hard for him to keep up. Has anyone heard about a debate between the two? I haven't, but am anxiously waiting for the news.

Regarding Texas, my native state, I have many independent and Republican friends still down there. The independents are fanatically for Friedman, while the Republicans are lukewarm at best for Perry. The turnout for the independents could be a huge issue in this election, and if so Perry, the stereotypical empty suit, will be gone.

Of course, it would help if Bell and Keeton/Strayhorn/Rylander dropped out, since they have no chance. Bell can't pick up any more as a Democrat, and K/S/R is now in single digits. If either of these dropped out, this race would have to zoom to the top of the list.

Posted by: Zathras | September 8, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Mouse: this showed up in last week's comments: "MikeB - 'I am flat out mind boggled that an Ohio government official spent hours and hours every day on this board, tossing off insults and half witted coments, all the while on the public payroll. I thought that was the sort of things Republican's accused iberals of doing and demanded they be fired! But the rules only apply to 'others'."

Not sure if it referred to VBOH or not as he wasn't as inclined to issue "insults and half witted coments" as others are.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 8, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Back to Michigan -- more proof DeVos is going to get his ass handed to him.

This local report, breaking now from WZZM -- DeVos is trying to blackmail local stations to remove the Mich Dems' new ad by having their laywers send letters. And it's failing miserably.

WZZM quotes a law professor: "Really the letter is not so much a legal letter, this is a political letter."

So DeVos is off-mesage, wrong, and determined to go off-message further. Whatever, dude.

Posted by: TGG | September 8, 2006 12:10 PM | Report abuse

This looks like the year several "accidental" Repub governors of very blue states might get kicked to the curb.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | September 8, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I wish you would include a "forward" button for me to send this article to my Family out-of-state, and 'cc' it to my wife's inbox.
Very informative article. I am a graduate from UMinn, MPLS.

Posted by: Chromogene | September 8, 2006 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"Third: Florida is a red state. Republicans won huge in the governor's race in 2002 against a moderate Democrat from Tampa, and the President won by about 5 points here in 2004. The GOP controls all statewide offices as well as commanding huge margins in the legislature.

That being said, anything can happen in Florida.

Posted by: NativeFloridian | September 8, 2006 10:53 AM


Thank you for using the term "red state" and not just referring to Presidential results. Florida is a much more Republican state than, for example Alabama or Montana or Oklahoma, even if it's more open to Dem Presidential candidates than those other states.

Posted by: JoeyJoeJoe | September 8, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse


I believe the reason NY Gov is # 1 is that Chris rates the "competitive" races on the basis of those most likely to change party control, not those most likely to be close - by that standard, it is hard to argue about NY, which is definitely switching from Pataki to Spitzer

I agree, in addition to these 15, there are probably another 8- 10 Gov races around the country that, in the end, will be competitive (and could produce some upsets). In addition to the high profile races in CA (esp after this morning's leak of private comments by Arnold bordering on racist), FLA, look at places like Alabama, GA, Oregon (why isn't that on the list?), SC, VT all have potential to turn competitive. And while the national political landscape is against the GOP, if that changes, you could see tightening races in places like AZ, OK, PA (although I don't think that will actually happen). And for sheer human interest/ political bizarreness, you gotta love Texas (incredibly unpopular incumbent who can barely poll 40%, but who is heavily favoured to win because he has the good fortune to have 3 serious opponents).

I can't remember an election cycle with this many seriously contested gubernatorial races... kinda fun for political junkies.

Posted by: terje | September 8, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey zippy-

Did you hear that Judy T was doing a campaign stop in a really tough city neighborhood. She had her accordian in the back seat of her car.

After the event, when she got back to the car, she found her car window broken.....

Lo and behold, there were now two accordians in the back seat!

Posted by: poor richard | September 8, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

For those of us who did not see the Massachusetts gubernatorial debate, would someone elaborate on what went on beyond "Reilly imploded"?
Also, has anyone heard anything from VivaBush recently? I miss his postings.

Posted by: Mouse | September 8, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Focusing on Illinois.

Blago against Judy the Accordian Player is one to watch.

Notwithstanding the Blago administration's complete lack of sensitivity and arrogance to the mess 30 years of Republican cronyism left Illinois, the Chicago democrats took their eye off the ball. Mayor Daley Became too personally involved in the personal feud between Blago and Daley's power broker friend Dick Mel.

This destroyed any semblence of solidarity among the Illinois Democrat. Old Man daley would never have let that least not in public.

The Illinois Republicans have degenerated into 'the gang that can't shoot straight' under our recently convicted and sentenced former Governor Ryan. Great clip of Judy and Ryan doing the polka together if you get a chance to see it. I'm sure Blago will play it alot in his ads.

But, despite their ineptness, the National Repubs are pouring resources into Illinois that the "six dwarves" who were running against Judy would never have dreamed of.

Look for Rove and Karen Hughes to help out here and several more visits by Dick and Junior. They've got a vested interest in beating Tammy Duckworth and Melissa Bean so they will be in the neighborhood anyway.

It's going to be very expensive and very close.

Posted by: zippy | September 8, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

You're quite the guy, JEP, and I agree... it's truly bizarre what Matthews and other media pundits say about bloggers. That we're all some kind of radical kids. It's just plain silly.

Most of the bloggers I know are incredibly motivated, and very active in both local and national campaigns. For this election alone, I am working on the campaigns of 3 different people running for state office, one national, and one local. I have volunteered to drive people to the polls all day November 8, and I will be doing lots of door-to-door and phonebanking.

I'm not tooting my own horn, I'm just saying that this picture is closer to the truth for most of us than what pundits are constantly saying. We believe in democracy-- and this country, and in fact, a lot of us believe we are fighting to save it.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Would guess that the lower turnout in the Florida Democratic primary might have to do with the 200-300,000 snowbirds that do not return until October. These six month residents primarily do not vote absentee in the primary and they do not get polled. Watch this one closely. Might resemble the '94 race when Jeb Bush was expected to win, but lost to Lawton Chiles.

Posted by: Robert S | September 8, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

if this list is a ranking of competitive races then why is ny #1 ?? the 'list' then ought to be listed as either 'competitive list' or 'high-profile list' or something more definitive .... also, i agree that cillizza is out to lunch on speculation on several of the races not being 'close' enough to warrant more focus

Posted by: jack | September 8, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

JEP - a nice piece of work just there. I have a new-found respect for you.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 8, 2006 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Chris Cilliza;
I have to get this off my chest, after watching your interviews on MSNBC (don't believe it when the tell you you've got a great face for radio...)

I'm a pretty typical "blogger." I read a dozen blogs daily, but only post to a couple, and I move around a lot, "inhabiting" different sites for a while if the ongoing exchanges are interesting or enlightening. I have my own blog, at more than one place, but tend to post the same thing on each of them.

Chris Matthews has a skewed perception of us bloggers. He thinks we're all still wearing our pajamas when we blog, (only true on weekends) and that some of us aren't sure if we will vote or not.


Matthews needs a geek for a girlfriend, his mis-perception is quite revealing.

I would guess there is hardly a more politically involved voting block than the bloggers, which is why politics has become such a pet of the blogosphere, so many of its members are also political junkies in the first place.

These bloggers are usually deeply involved in both local and, through the blogs and internet affiliations, the national and world scene.

I would guess that if you polled a list of people who readily identify themselves as "bloggers" you would have a very high voter-participation percentage.

If someone takes the time and effort to blog around the "political internet", both reading and occasionally posting, they are probably also active in the real political process.

The question isn't whether bloggers vote, WE DO!

The real question in this historic election cycle is whether we can all climb out from behind our computer screens and hit the street, and work to help others find their freedom to to vote.

Our work is not just in this virtual realm.

If we want to take our influence full-circle, we all need to hit the street with the same messages we post here. Put up a table in the free-speech area at the city park, or set up a booth in the Farmer's Market. And in the process, get many, many others to join us all in the democratic process.

That is the task ahead, if we expect to make the changes out in the real world that most of us so readily agree on, here in the virtual world.

Posted by: JEP | September 8, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, thanks for responding. I don't mind if you bring something up and link it to a race just try and add a political lean to it and I'll read it.

Interesting take on the Michigan race from the locals. I think Brad is right that the Amway stuff is going to kill Devos in the end. I have been hearing this stuff for like 6 months about how he has some splanin to do. Michigan is getting more and more interesting for 06 and 08. I still think both Granholm and Stanebow survive.

FL guy, interesting take on the influence of GLBT community in florida. However, I don't think your gonna see alot of those 1 million jumping on the Crist campaign. Log Cabin GOPers aside the vast majority of the gay community consistently votes democrat. I think anything Crist could gain from being percieved as homosexual he would lose in lost hard-line GOP votes. Although it shouldn't matter if he is or isn't that is the reality of the voting public.

Also Ramussen has a new poll out that has Ford one point behid Corker in Tennessee.

Posted by: Andy R | September 8, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

With all the talk about Nevada and having to play outside of Las Vegas in the Titus/Gibbons race... I don't see it. There is no reason for a statewide candidate in Nevada not to focus almost exclusively on Las Vegas, the math is simple, be "competitive" in Washoe (Reno) or gather around 35% of the vote there, convince the handleful of Dems in the middle of the state to vote, and focus on carrying Clark County 60/40 and you win.

Gibbons is a blowhard from the northern part of the state. Its been a very long time since anyone from anywhere but Las Vegas won a top of the ticket statewide race... Laxalt maybe? The last four Senators the state has elected- Hecht, Bryan, Reid, Ensign are all from Vegas, as were the last 3 governors Guinn, Miller, Bryan.

Posted by: leuchtman | September 8, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Note to Jackson Landers: Does silence about the Virginia Senatorial race in a column about Governor's races really surprise/offend you? As a Fix devotee for many months, my observation has been that a Cillizza column about Governor's races is pretty likely to be void of discussion of Senate races. I think that is deliberate on Chris' part, to avoid confusing slow-minded readers like me. To be honest, I DO appreciate it.

Posted by: LonestarJR | September 8, 2006 10:54 AM | Report abuse

First: Don't underestimate Crist's campaign ability, especially compared to Davis. Crist is a brilliant campaigner-- one of the reasons he creamed Gallagher in the primary by more than 30 points.

Second: Expect Crist's populist message to resonate in this state fed up by high insurance and utility rates. As AG, Crist fought a rate-hike by the state power company FPL. FPL spent $250,000 trying to defeat Crist in the primary and has pledged to spend one million more to defeat him in the general. Watch for Crist to use this on the trail.

Third: Florida is a red state. Republicans won huge in the governor's race in 2002 against a moderate Democrat from Tampa, and the President won by about 5 points here in 2004. The GOP controls all statewide offices as well as commanding huge margins in the legislature.

That being said, anything can happen in Florida.

Posted by: NativeFloridian | September 8, 2006 10:53 AM | Report abuse

reason- The MN Gov race is getting closer, Chris is right to add it to the list - at the last spot. What remains to be seen is how much support 3rd party candidate Hutchinson can attract - and from whom. Will disenchanted Republicans toy with the idea of voting for the 3rd party? The other Republicans in the race aren't inspiring a lot of loyalty, while the Dems and Independents are clamoring for change. I'm not predicting a Pawlenty loss, but can't predict a win for him either.

Posted by: bsimon | September 8, 2006 10:49 AM | Report abuse

What took you so long for Minnesota? Pawlenty has been on the ropes for more than a year, ever since he botched the state budget and stopped paying people for six weeks. The one wild card is the immigration issue -- in a state with many Hispanic workers in its pork-processing plants and the biggest group of Hmong refugees from the Indochina/Vietnam War, and their kids in the country. Pawlenty has been trying to deputize local police to deport all undocumented immigrants (read: Latinos, legal or not). That energizes his conservative base. It also energizes immigrants' rights supporters. There was a huge crowd around the State Capitol earlier this year in the first of the marches, and they made their opinions very clear. And most were NOT Latinos and almost all plan to vote.

Posted by: mark gruenbverg | September 8, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Of all the polls Cillizza cites, he chooses not to mention two other recent polls showing Granholm way out in front -- and one of them was a GOP poll.

I work in Michigan politics, and despite the yo-yoing of the GOV race, if DeVos could have bought himself the governor's mansion, he would have already. In the end Granholm will take this in a walk.

Posted by: TGG | September 8, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I have been following the MI race closely and it has defintely been a nip and tuck race although Granholm seems to be building on her slight lead.

This week Dick DeVos tried to stop a MI Democratic Party ad that focused on his days as the head of Alticor (Amway)where he cut over 1,000 MI jobs all while investing $200 million into the company's operations in China. Here is the ad for anyone interested,

Plus, DeVos is having a hard time responding when he's provided gems like this;

"About 80 percent of Alticor's business comes from overseas. 'We're basically an Asian company,' he said, noting that a majority of their business is in countries such as Japan and China."
The Grand Rapids Press, October 18, 2002

DeVos is trying the same Republican strategy of distancing himself from Bush especially when Bush is in MI this week to campaign for the Republican Senate candidate. A majority of Michiganders blame Bush for the state's economic problems and highlighting DeVos' connections to the Administration and the Alticor issue should lead toa Granholm victory.

Posted by: Brad | September 8, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

this is an important story, but the link had periods at the end and didn't work quite right, try this one.

Greg palast is like the GAO of the documentary makers, he should be defended as a watchdog, not prosecuted...

Posted by: JEP | September 8, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

So, if I'm understanding HL's post, Davis' strategy in Florida is to imply that Crist is gay? And, this helps him win the roughly 1 million GLBT votes in Florida how? It's absolutely insulting that the Dems, the supposed champion of equal rights for GLBT's, would try to make an issue out of this. For God's sake, just because someone is single, it doesn't mean that they are gay. And, if they are, so what? Isn't that the message that the National Party has been trying to sell for years? If Davis wants to try to play that game, Crist's support for Civil Unions will put a major dent in those roughly 1 million votes. Davis, on the other hand, doesn't have a shot at trying to win far right votes from Crist, his only hope is that they will stay home--not a very promising strategy.

They will pick Lt. Gov's in the next few days and we'll have a better idea in this one. If Crist chooses State Rep. Jennifer Carroll (R-Jacksonville) as has been speculated, that throws a serious crimp into Davis' plans. She's the only black female GOP member of the legislature and her military background would help Crist in 3 camps (Female, minority, military retirees). But, regardless, I think the race is Crist's to lose. Davis has no charisma. Jeb's approval ratings have consitently run in the high 50's for years...there's just not the anger that Davis is trying to manufacture.

Posted by: FL Guy | September 8, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse


Blogs that stay on topic lose readership.

If you want more traffic on this blog, let the bloggers blog, otherwise you aren't doing Chris any favors.

A great deal of dialogue on these open sites, on or off-thread, gets into the public discussion, regardless of where it starts. SOmetimes it is the only way information gets disseminated.

If this blog is intended as a limited academic exercise on the thread, you might expect to lose a lot of people who both read and post here, who not only participate in your academic exercise, but also exercise their right to free speech.

I think Drindl's given us all enough pertinent threadworthy information on this blog,that maybe you should tolerate her meanderings.

Although I think there is less meandering than than you might imagine, if you see the whole chessboard and not just your next move... the common thread on all these threads seems to be pretty well represented in most of Drindl's writing.


Posted by: JEP | September 8, 2006 10:11 AM | Report abuse

AndyR... I am sorry if it offends. But do not pivotal events have an impact on politics?

Okay, how about Joe Lieberman getting really unhinged? His new website links to other sites that are rabidly racist and scary. He's really sunk low, really fast. Here's a sample:

'Not all the Victims are Jewish but what the the story be like if a White Christian ran over Homosexuals?'

Look at some of the sites and tell me that Joe hasn't completely lost his mind... maybe they're all white supremacists and racists and they'll like this sort of thing in CT, but I kind of doubt it. I think he's toast.

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I think you usually do a good job of rating these races. However, Minnesota in the top 15? No way! I think Pawlentry is not only a sure thing for reelection, but also a great possible Presidential or VP candidate. Look at his record! Maybe Illinois should switch places with Wisconsin. I just am not convinced that Green is a good candidate for governor there in Wisconsin. B/c he's the nominee, a congressman now carrying baggage of being a congressman and taking illegal campaign contributions I think Doyle will win. It's amazing in Ill. that Topinka is still very much in the race and Blagojevich is still under 50%. Topinka hasn't been running ads and Blagojevich has been all over the airwaves. Topinka is moderate, which may not court conservative to the polls. However, she can excite moderate Republicans and independents, moderate dems. may also vote for her. Topinka's running mate, Joe Birket will ensure the social conservatives make the polls on election day. They will vote Topinka by association, I think she has a very good shot to win this election. I think Blagojevich is done for. Mark Greene's campaign in Wisconsin is also done for.

Posted by: reason | September 8, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"This morning we found out Strickland is a lousy trapshooter, so much for his love of guns and the great outdoors."

I sincerely hope that this really is the wingbuts's best plan of closing the gap with Strickland - to say that he is not a good trap shooter! LOL

Posted by: Ohio guy | September 8, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I am starting to treat your posts like I do che and KOZ, which is ignore them. I know you feel strongly about this stuff, but at least try and stay on topic.

Posted by: Andy R | September 8, 2006 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The other thing about Florida that makes it more competitive than the primary results indicate is that many of the voters in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area are registered Republicans (the 10th CD has a higher % of them than the 1st CD, I recall) who often vote Dem for higher office in competitive races. They are a big source of potential votes for Davis.

Posted by: JoeyJoeJoe | September 8, 2006 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Dave you might be right about the Florida race. With the serious drain that Harris will have on the ticket statewide, Davis might just pull it out. Look out for a visit by Bill Clinton to lift the mood for Davis.

Posted by: Andy R | September 8, 2006 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the rumor's true. Greg Palast is facing a criminal complaint from the Department of Homeland Security stemming from his filming the Hurricane Katrina investigation for Link TV and Democracy Now. The film's producer, Matt Pascarella, is also facing the legal wrath of Big Brother.
It appears the complaint is about filming a sensitive national security site owned by Exxon petroleum. It seems that photographing major Bush donors is now a federal offense.

Reached at an undisclosed location, Palast says, "Let's not get over-excited. They haven't measured us for our orange suits yet."

During questioning by Homeland Security, Palast asked, "Hey, aren't you supposed to be looking for Osama? Or for guys with exploding shoes? ... We're journalists." At Palast's request, Homeland Security confirmed that Louisiana is, indeed, still part of the USA but did not respond when asked if the First Amendment applies there.

Exxon-Mobil now apparently has DHS protection.

Taking a quick glance at history and the state of our own Republic, this is, in my view, another textbook example of authoritarianism in collusion with corporatism bound in a determined pact to destroy liberty in the name of advancing it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2006 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"Massachusetts: We'll know a lot more about this race after Tuesday's Democratic primary..."

Tuesday's, yes, but not this Tuesday. The primary isn't until the 19th.

Posted by: Lazard | September 8, 2006 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Here's something for you bhoomes and any other sadly confused and misinformed americans:. Our 'ally' pakistan, to whom your president has given millions of our taxpayer dollars so they could build a really robust nuclear program, has now signed a treat with bin Ladin and the Taliban. I guess your president must have looked into Musharef;s eyes and seen his soul and just knew he could be trusted:

'Asia Times: "With a truce between the Pakistani Taliban and Islamabad now in place, the Pakistani government is in effect reverting to its pre-September 11, 2001, position in which it closed its eyes to militant groups allied with al-Qaeda and clearly sided with the Taliban in Afghanistan. While the truce has generated much attention, a more significant development is an underhand deal between pro-al-Qaeda elements and Pakistan in which key al-Qaeda figures will either not be arrested or those already in custody will be set free."

Posted by: drindl | September 8, 2006 9:35 AM | Report abuse

For those suffering from media illiteracy and oversimplication of issues:

Scholastic Veers from "Path to 9/11"

Educational media giant Scholastic, Inc. announced it's dropping its original classroom companion guides to a controversial new docudrama about the events preceding the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks -- and replacing them with materials stressing critical thinking and media literacy.

"After a thorough review of the original guide that we offered online to about 25,000 high school teachers, we determined that the materials did not meet our high standards for dealing with controversial issues," said Dick Robinson, Chairman, President and CEO of Scholastic, in a press release.

The original materials had been criticized for oversimplifications and failures to address flaws in post-9/11 policies, including the invasion of Iraq.

The new materials, Scholastic said, will stress three issues:

1. Media Literacy - what is a docudrama; how does it differ from a documentary; what are the differences between factual reporting and a dramatization?
2. Background to 9/11 - what are some of the causes of unrest in the Middle East and other parts of the world that give rise to attacks on the U.S. and other countries?

3. Geography and Culture -- there is a long history of conflict in the Middle East. How well do students understand each of the countries involved and what influences their behavior?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2006 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding? The Florida race is going to be a lot closer than you think. New poll numbers from Rasmussen:
Florida Governor:
Crist (R) 45%, Davis (D) 41%

That's within the margin of error. Davis is gaining major ground on Crist.

Posted by: dave | September 8, 2006 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Pointing out Ehrlich is beholden to corporate interests is not going "negative".

Ehrlich is toast, but Cillizza is too far inside the D.C. beltway to get it.

Posted by: MD4BUSH | September 8, 2006 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I second the Reilly implosion in MA. The debate was just the end of a long journey of mistakes Reilly has made. Now I am curious who will get the windfall from Reilly voters running for a new candidate. My guess is Gabreili will take the majority of them and that should push him over the top.

Posted by: Andy R | September 8, 2006 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Actually, it was current Iowa Governor Tom Vilsac who first coined "The Nussle Hustle" phraze, at the Iowa Democratic Convention, and along with a fat check from Vilsac's Heartland PAC, handed it off to Chet Culver's crew, who adopted it graciously and have used it quite effectively since.

Culver has consisetently silenced both Republican and Democratic naysayers with his popular success, surprising most of the experts, including Iowa's own irrascible punditry.

There's even some talk that there's a new dance craze coming out, called "The Nussle Hustle" done to the tune of "Hokey Pokey, goes something likem this,
"You put your right foot "in" and your left foot "out",
makin' sure the voters don't know what your all about..
You do the Nussle Hustle and you spin yourself around...
That's what its all about."

Nussle's deceptive campaign two-facing and his well-documented history as one of Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay's willing bullies, aren't going to help him with Iowans, who tend to want honesty and integrity in their politicians.

Posted by: JEP | September 8, 2006 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The Bush administration's proposal to bring leading terrorism suspects before military tribunals met stiff resistance Thursday from key Republicans and top military lawyers who said some provisions would not withstand legal scrutiny or do enough to repair the nation's tarnished reputation internationally.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2006 9:21 AM | Report abuse

And yet another entire week goes by in which Chris puts his fingers in his ears, turns away from the tied VA Senate race and shouts "I can't hear you! I can't hear you!" As if it will just go away if he ignores it for long enough. I was a big fan of The Fix for a long time but this has just become totally ridiculous.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | September 8, 2006 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The Worst Congress Ever:

'Even before the horse bill, House leaders had been a bit sensitive about their legislative pace. The People's Representatives have been in session for all of 80 days this year, and with 15 days remaining on the legislative calendar, the House is on pace to shatter all records for inactivity. The "Do-Nothing" House of 1948 was positively frenetic by comparison, passing 1,191 measures in 110 days in session.

The current House has passed barely 400 measures, including this week's lineup of legislative priorities: H. Res. 912, "Supporting the goals and ideals of National Life Insurance Awareness Month" and H. Res. 605, "Recognizing the life of Preston Robert Tisch and his outstanding contributions to New York City, the New York Giants Football Club, the National Football League, and the United States."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 8, 2006 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Re the Massachusetts race: Cross Reilly off the list of potential Democratic nominees--he imploded in last night's debate by reminding voters of his own political gaffes and coming across as an unlikeable and whiny pit bull (and I never thought a pit bull could be whiny before). Either Patrick or Gabrielli will win the primary.

Posted by: Holliston, MA | September 8, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Chris,we still have two more months, trust us, we will make it a tight race. This morning we found out Strickland is a lousy trapshooter, so much for his love of guns and the great outdoors. Strickland has been absorbed by the urban liberlism in Washington and is no longer the Scioto country boy he used to be. Looks like Cantwell is done for, with her scandals and ethics problems. We just hold our fire until people are paying attention.

Posted by: bhoomes | September 8, 2006 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I would not count out Davis in Florida. The reason the Democrats had a lower turnout than Republicans, is that the Governor's race was the only primary where the nominee was not already settled. Republicans were voting for a U.S. Senate candidate, Governor, and Chief Financial Officer.

The effect Katherine Harris has on the race in Florida should not be underestimated. Democratic voters are still very angry about the 2000 Presidential race and will turnout in droves to stick it to her.

Expect rumors of Crist's sexuality to start coming out in this race. The Gallagher camp really attempted to get that message out and I expect it to still be in play in the general election. Davis has a wife and two kids, while Crist is divorced, with no children, and has never owned a home. Expect the Davis camp to hammer that one in over the days before the election. Crist's moderate and liberal stances on a lot of social issues will not help him turn out social conservatives, a block he must have to win this race.

Davis will attempt to tie Crist around the neck of George Bush (whose disapproval in the state is currently at 62%) and Katherine Harris. Jeb's approval ratings have been going down, so expect Crist to use less of the name Bush in his general election campaign than he did in the primary.

Nevada is also interesting. I think a lot of the reason this race is moving up is Titus won surprisingly big in her primary and outgoing Gov. Kenny Guinn openly dislikes GOP nominee Jim Gibbons. Will be interesting to see if Titus can broaden her base outside of Vegas.

Posted by: H.L. | September 8, 2006 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Chris,we still have two more months, trust us, we will make it a tight race. This morning we found out Blackwell has athlete's foot, so much for his love of guns and the great outdoors. Blackwell has been absorbed by the urban liberlism in Columbus and is no longer the country boy he used to be. Looks like McGavick is done for, with his scandals and ethics problems.

Posted by: Original thought hurts my brain | September 8, 2006 8:44 AM | Report abuse

It appears that Democrats have an emerging firewall in the northeast and mideast.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | September 8, 2006 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Why even mention New York?

I agree with most of the list.

As a Californian, I have to admit that things are looking pretty dire for Angelides right now. If only Westly had won...

I like the addition of Nevada. While Titus may be fairly liberal, Gibbons has a terrible case of foot-in-mouth disease and his congressional record is certainly nothing to write home about. Meanwhile, the powerful Nevada establishment may get behind Titus now that their golden boy Gibson is out of the running.

I would suggest, though, that Maine be dropped down the list and, perhaps, be replaced by Oregon. Baldacci seems to be in a little better condition than Kulongoski.

Posted by: seank | September 8, 2006 6:40 AM | Report abuse

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