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The Line: Senate Landscape Shifts Toward Democrats

The Senate landscape continues to shift toward Democrats thanks to the surprising competitiveness of the Tennessee and Virginia races.

In Tennesee, Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D) continues to take the fight to former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R), whose camp appears to be in turmoil following the dismissal of his campaign manager and his media consultant. Republicans privately acknowledge that Corker has done little right of late but believe there is still time to turn it around.

Republicans are also suffering from self-inflicted wounds in Virginia, where Sen. George Allen (R) has watched his double-digit lead over former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) wither away amid a stream of allegations that Allen is a racist -- charges that the senator and longtime friends and supporters, including some minorities, say are false.

These positive developments for Democrats put Senate Republicans in a more precarious position than they were in just a month ago, when there was no obvious "sixth seat" in play. That said, the continued struggles of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) mean that Democrats should not be too quick to gloat as a Senate majority still remains a difficult goal.

To the Line!

10. Washington: It appears that former Safeco Insurance executive Mike McGavick's (R) free fall following his mishandling of a past drunk driving arrest has ended. But the damage is done. Two recent poll shows Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) leading McGavick by 9 and 10 points. McGavick is back to talking about his experiences with Safeco and equating that company's turnaround with what is needed in Congress. We've said all along that that message is compelling, but we wonder whether McGavick can still sell himself as an anti-politician. (Previous ranking: 9)

Candidate Profiles/Links/Fundraising: Cantwell, McGavick | Washington Political Profile

9. Maryland: Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R) continues to impress with an unorthodox campaign featuring off-beat ads designed to cut through the clutter of political commercials drowning the airwaves. But a new ad paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee highlights the central problem for Steele in the race: George W. Bush. The ad shows an image of Steele and Bush with arms on each other's shoulders as a narrator notes that Steele is a "longtime supporter" of the President, making specific note of Steele's support for the war in Iraq. Polling shows the Democratic candidate, Rep. Ben Cardin, with a lead in the mid single digits, which seems about right to us. Steele's chances hinge on an improvement in the national political climate -- a change that seems increasingly unlikely. (Previous ranking: 8)

Candidate Profiles/Links/Fundraising: Cardin, Steele | Maryland Political Profile

8. Virginia: Wow. We're not sure what else to say about the collapse of incumbent Sen. George Allen's numbers in the face of a daily drumbeat of negative stories about alleged racially insensitive comments and actions. A new Mason-Dixon poll showed Allen and opponent James Webb tied at 43 percent -- a stunning reversal for the Republican incumbent who at the start of the year was priming the pump for a presidential bid in 2008. The national profile of the race has also spurred Webb's fundraising; he collected $3.5 million in the past three months, a sum that should be enough to allow him to stay competitive on television over the last 32 days of the race. The biggest remaining x-factor? Whether the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee or the National Republican Senatorial Committee weighs in with television ads before Nov. 7. (Previous ranking: 10)

Candidate Profiles/Links/Fundraising: Allen, Webb | Virginia Political Profile

7. Tennessee: Way back in January we wrote on The Fix that Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D) was underrated as a candidate for the Senate. No longer. Ford continues to run a much stronger than expected campaign for the seat being vacated by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R). Couple that with Corker's fumbling campaign and you have the makings of a barnburner. A recent Mason-Dixon poll put Ford ahead 43 percent to 42 percent -- a statistical dead heat. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is bringing out the big guns with an ad that asks: "What kind of man parties with Playboy playmates in lingerie, then films commercials from a church pew?" Let's see whether it does any damage. (Previous ranking: 7)

Candidate Profiles/Links/Fundraising: Corker, Ford Jr. | Tennessee Political Profile

6. New Jersey: After several weeks of being pilloried by Republicans over alleged ethical transgressions, incumbent Robert Menendez is fighting back with an ad that says state Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. (R) "conspired with a corrupt politician to smear Bob Menendez." The ad goes on to attack Kean as an ally of President Bush. Although poll after poll shows this race close (both men are mired in the low to mid 40s), we can't shake the sense that Menendez will ultimately pull it out. The Democrat retains a massive financial edge -- a hugely significant factor in a state as pricey as New Jersey for running advertising. The only way Kean can win is if the National Republican Senatorial Committee decides to spend the millions necessary to flood New Jersey airwaves with attacks on Menendez. (Previous ranking: 5)

Candidate Profiles/Links/Fundraising: Kean Jr., Menendez | New Jersey Political Profile

5. Missouri: This race may wind up being the closest (in terms of raw votes) in the country. A new independent poll showed Sen. Jim Talent (R) and state Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) tied at 43 percent -- essentially where the race has been for the past year. The real intrigue is the race within the race -- call it St. Louis vs. Springfield. Talent, who represented St. Louis in Congress before being elected to the Senate in 2002, must continue to outpace generic Republican numbers in the area to win. McCaskill, on the other hand, must improve on her dismal showing in the 2004 gubernatorial race in the more rural Outstate -- much of which is covered by the Springfield media market. (Previous ranking: 6)

Candidate Profiles/Links/Fundraising: McCaskill, Talent | Missouri Political Profile

4. Rhode Island: Republicans breathed a major sigh of relief following Sen. Lincoln Chafee's (R) primary win last month, but polling suggests that the incumbent remains extremely imperiled this fall. A new Mason-Dixon survey put former state Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse (D) ahead of Chafee by a single point -- echoing a Brown University poll last month. Whitehouse is working to make the argument that despite Chafee's professed independence from his party, he remains a vote for Republican leaders in the Senate. Chafee's last name remains political gold in the state, but the more partisan the national atmosphere grows, the more difficult it will be for Chafee to win. (Previous ranking: 4)

Candidate Profiles/Links/Fundraising: Chafee, Whitehouse | Rhode Island Political Profile

3. Ohio: It's all national security all the time in the race between incumbent Sen. Mike DeWine (R) and Rep. Sherrod Brown (D). DeWine is on television hitting Brown for voting against intelligence funding in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001; Brown hits back that DeWine manipulated footage of the terrorist attacks for political gain and is distorting his record on security matters. DeWine's focus on national security may be a late attempt to win back conservatives, a group that has grown alienated from the incumbent over the past few years. Even if he gets every Republican to support him, DeWine may still come up short. A recent Mason-Dixon poll showed Brown ahead of DeWine by two points but with a much larger 52 percent to 33 percent edge among independent voters. (Previous ranking: 3)

Candidate Profiles/Links/Fundraising: Brown, DeWine | Ohio Political Profile

2. Montana: This race has been quiet in recent weeks as Sen. Conrad Burns (R) seeks to restart a campaign that was sidetracked by his penchant for inappropriate remarks. State Sen. Jon Tester (D) appears content to try to simply run out the clock, taking few risks under the belief that this race is his to lose. Because of the cheap cost of advertsing in the state, commercials are flooding the airwaves -- making it difficult for any one message to gain much traction, a fact that works in Tester's favor. A Mason-Dixon poll showed Tester up 47 percent to 40 percent, a sign this race is on life-support for the incumbent. (Previous ranking: 2)

Candidate Profiles/Links/Fundraising: Burns, Tester | Montana Political Profile

1. Pennsylvania: Incumbent Sen. Rick Santorum's (R) new ad -- entitled "Bicker" -- is a good one. "If you want a Senator who goes along just to get along, Bob Casey's probably your guy, " Santorum says. "But if you're looking for someone to fight for Pennsylvania, you can count on me." Even Democrats admit the ad is effective but wonder privately why Santorum didn't start running it a month or more ago when the race was more winnable for him. A new Mason-Dixon survey shows the depth of Santorum's problems. He trails Casey 49 percent to 40 percent and just 31 percent view him favorably, compared to 43 percent who see him in an unfavorable light. If those numbers are right, Santorum can't win. (Previous ranking: 1)

Candidate Profiles/Links/Fundraising: Casey, Santorum | Pennsylvania Political Profile

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 6, 2006; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Senate , The Line  
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Comments

There is no reason why the GOP can't retain control in the House. Only a handful of seats are actually vulnerable. Projections of 30 to 40 seats changing are absurdly outlandish. The GOP should take a pounding at the polls but maintain a slim majority. Why? Because all Congressional seats politics is local.

Posted by: lionrampant | October 12, 2006 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Kevine Zeese is also on the ballot for the Maryland Senate seat. In a close race, his poll numbers will determine who the next Senator from the Old Line State will be.

Posted by: Nicholas Sarwark | October 11, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I think Alaskan Mike McGavick is toast. He has slim to no chance, even with lying, in WA.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | October 10, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

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To those who come here and pontificate (above) knowing precisely that Allen or Dewine will win b/c the RNC is spending $30 million on their races, I suggest that you join me making virtual calls in Va. and be on the ground in Cleveland and start listening to actual voters(Republican voters included) disgust with the Republican culture of corruption, before you make your self serving predictions here as though you have a special insight on results 4 weeks out.

Posted by: Ira | October 10, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

If Lieberman wins, he will caucus with whomever he believes will provide him with the most power. By running as an independent, he has already opened the door for the possibility of walking away from the Democrats (he'll just say that the Dems didn't want him (which is ture), so why would he caucus with them).

Joe Leiberman will do what is best for Joe Leiberman (evidenced by his decision to run as an Independent).

Posted by: Peixegato | October 10, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

momofmwm: Foley's disgusting deeds were known by the leadership of the House Republicans for YEARS and they did absolutely nothing about it. They turned the other way. They supported him in his run for re-election 2 years ago and were supporting him this time around as well. They all talk about how they were sure "someone else had taken care of it". This seems to sum up the Republicans...nobody takes responsibility for anything. The Democrats were puposely kept in the dark and none of the Democrats knew anything about what was going on. So even though there are Democrats on the ethics committee, they couldn't do anything if they didn't know something was going on. And even if they did, they can't force hearings on anything because they are not members of the majority party.

Corruption and deceit is worse now than it has been in a long time and guess who is in charge? Yes, the Republicans. I agree that absolute power corrupts absolutely and feel that the only way to get the Congress back to being honest with the people is a complete overhaul of the way things are done.

For example, if a candidate had to win a majority (and not simply a plurality), then 3rd and 4th party candidates would be more likely to run serious campaigns because they know that "the other side" won't win by default as long as they don't get over 50% of the vote. This will also force candidate to discuss a wider range of topics and issues and will force them to really listen to the people. At this point, 3rd party candidates are not even allowed to participate in debates. Not only are they not allowed to participate, but often times they are banned from being in the building where the debate is being held. How is that democracy?

I don't know enough about parlimentary procedures in the Congress to talk about what reforms could be made, but the idea that you can't call a hearing or require sworn testimony unless you are with the majority party seems to pave the way for corruption to flourish.

While I sincerely hope that Dems take control of BOTH houses of Congress, I know that in the long run, things won't really change unless the system is changed.

PG

Posted by: Peixegato | October 10, 2006 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Numbers are turning in NJ for Menendez. I have still ranked it as the most likely Dem loss and will probably remain so. I have been skeptical of retaining this seat because of the discontent in NJ with Menendez and Gov. Corzine who named Menendez to replace him. It looks like NJ residents may have more to be pissed off about now. Still cautious but getting more optimistic.

The stock thing will not help Allen gain traction.

Senate control will be decided between VA and MO I believe.

Posted by: RMill | October 10, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Reason...Kean's name is NOT political gold in NJ.

Posted by: Philly Jilly | October 10, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

NJ looked like it could go either way in the polls just before the '04 Presidential race, but Kerry wound up winning NJ fairly easily. The same is probably happening again and Menendez will win.

Posted by: Philly Jilly | October 10, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

No way will the democrats get the 6 seats needed. Besides that, they need 7 for an actual majority. In Conn., Lieberman will win as an independent, not as a dem.

Republican's have announced they are going to spend $30 million in Tenn., Missouri and Ohio. All 3 of these races will be victories in the end for the Republicans. George Allen also hangs on and wins his race in Va. It looks as if though Maria Cantwell hangs on and wins in Washington as well. Stebenow now has a heftier lead in Michigan.

I think 3 great opportunities for dems are: Casey over Santorum in Pa., Whitehouse over Chafee in RI and Tester over Burns in Montana. I'm not even sure all of that will happen. Chafee and Whitehouse are tied and Burns isn't over yet. He still has alot of money and is in a very red state for a liberal like Tester to be able to win. Santorum is indeed in trouble, however. He may be a fast closer, but in this case it looks like he's getting closed out.

The only 2 real chances Republicans have to pick up is: Kean over Menendez in NJ and Steele over Cardin in Maryland. Kean has a real shot and is basically tied in the polls. His other major advantage: his last name is worth political gold in NJ. His big negative is the "R" beside of his name on the ballot. For Steele, he has to hope that he can force Cardin to include Zeese in the debates and to get his messege heard. If that happens, Zeese possibly takes some of Cardin's vote and Steele has a chance.

By the way, Chris, what happened to Minn.? That one isn't over by a long shot. Kennedy polls around 43% and has a cash advantage, don't write that one off yet!

Posted by: reason | October 10, 2006 10:36 AM | Report abuse

JEB: "Cast off the shackles of Republican lies and deceit. You can do it."

When I accepted Jesus Christ as my saviour there were bonds and shackles of sin that were indeed thrown off. My hatred of whites began to be taken away as I began to know Jesus' love for me more. I became less and less bitter.

Those who rail against Rigthwingers don't know or understand us. Most of you have never walked in our shoes, but we collectively have walked in yours. Christ has delivered us from something. Alcoholism in some cases, homosexuality in others, porn addiction, murders, crack head, and Black militants, etc.

I was fornicating (better known today as pre-marital sex) with my girl friend when I accepted an invitation to go to Church. I realized that having sex with this girl was just as bad as anything the White man was/had ever done to Blacks. My Father had been chased out of the South because he would not be a subservient Negro after fighting this country in WWII. I heard the stories he told about White atrocities, yet one of his best friends was a White man. I couldn't understand his answers to me, until I too learned to love Jesus Christ.

So when you talk about shackles, JEP, I can hear the bonds of bitterness ringing from your words.

Nothing in my past posts said anything positive about JWB! But yes I do believe he has served his country well doing these troubling times. Bill Clinton was not as bad as some make out either, but I would never vote for someone who advocates abortion.

Tony Perkins is exactly right, although I would not have chosen to say it the way he did. As a BCE, I believe our battle is against good and evil, deceptive attitudes and truth. Even Christians unwittingly at times support evil or wrong. And yes those who advocate diversity in the form of normalizing homosexuality also supports sexual deviance in all its forms. Yet, the truly Christian attitude is to love the sinner but hate the sin.


Posted by: Black Christian Evangelist | October 10, 2006 7:40 AM | Report abuse

The older I get, the more I wonder at the election process and why any person would want to hold public office. It has to be very lucrative or they wouldn't go through all that. What really amazes me is that voters just keep electing the same old tired people over and over again. I mean, some of these people have been there for 30 or 40 years. I can't understand how people accept poll results as fact. There are 300,000,000 million of us and only around 500 to 1000 thousand people are questioned in any poll. Polls can be manipulated by the way questions are written to obtain whatever results they want.

Campaigning seems to be more about which opponent can dig up the worst about the other. The more they throw out accusations of wrongdoing against each other, the less credibility they have to me. If they can do this in public, how much more would they be capable of doing in behind closed doors negotiations. For all their promises of what they will do if elected, they can't do anything unless the whole Congressional body agrees, and that depends on who has the most power and influence. I am against one party being the majority in all branches of government. It does nothing but create partisanship, anomosity, and an
atmosphere in which nothing can be accomplished, as evident by the present situation in Washungton.

I am disgusted by Rep. Foley, but he isn't the Republican Party; he just happens to be a Republican. He alone is responsible for his actions He is an adult, isn't he?
I wish the Republicans would stop apoligizing. His behavior isn't a Republican issue. It is a betrayal of moral and ethical responsibility. Where was the Ethics Committee in all this? Doesn't it consist of memnbers of both parties? Aren't they supposed to deal with these kind of issues?I wish the Democrats would stop trying to make it seem that Republicans have "bad" gays and Democrats have "good" gays. I find the Democrats outrage a bit disingenuous. Neither party has the edge in morality. Where is the outrage over an organization such as NAMBLA, where grown men have sex with boys? Why are sexually explicit e-mails any worse? The hypocrisy is just outrageous. I can't believe that not a single Democrat or Republican knew about this or that the Republican leadership didn't know. Where I worked, there were between 500 and 600 employees and everybody knew all about who was homosexual, who was having an affair;etc. These things get around and for anyone in Congress to say they didn't know until last week is laughable.

Posted by: momofmwm | October 9, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

More 'shifting' on the way:

"By JOHN YANG
Oct. 8, 2006 -- The latest headline to grip Capitol Hill comes from the Los Angeles Times: A former House page tells the paper anonymously that former Rep. Mark Foley's online flirtation led to sex in the lawmaker's Washington townhouse when the young man was 21."

So much for the "but Foley didn't actually have sex with any of those pages" argument.

When will Bush give ABC News a commendation for protecting America's youth?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 9, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

NOTHING to do with US politics? Try EVERYTHING. Its true JEP, as bad as Foleygate is for Hastert, Bush having done NOTHING abt NKorea is an even worse dereliction of duty by the President.

Posted by: F&B | October 9, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Wow, JEP, the North Korean test has nothing to do with U.S. politics and everything to do with the Japanese trying to warm up their relations with the Chinese and South Koreans again. It might be a gamble intended to have all parties take strong (and hopefully contrary) positions.

Posted by: roo | October 9, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

From Al Kamen's piece about a Canadian Book in today's WaPo...

"Speaking of leaking, everyone is raising questions -- irrelevant, but interesting nonetheless -- about the most curious timing of those revelations about then-Florida GOP Rep. Mark Foley s correspondence with a 16-year-old male House page."

You dont find NKorea's timing on their nuclear phallus test curious?
When did Rove know about these tests?
Why are they coming in perfect timing to scare ignorant, faithless Americans to vote for Republicans and then go back into their cobwebbed cold-war bomb shelters?

Doesnt ANYONE else wonder how Rove was so certain, back a few months ago, that there would be more than enough enough terrorism fear to go around come this election cycle?

Enough to protect any Republican incumbent?

Will the Foley fallout outweigh the nuclear fallout?

We, the American public, are being played as emotional pawns, using our lowest survival instincts to place stumbling blocks in front of our highest ideals.

Posted by: JEP | October 9, 2006 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"He stated that the religious right is the reason this nation is so screwed-up."

F&B is not so far off as BCE would have us ssume.

The political confusion and hypocrisy of the religious right is surely one of the most evident symptoms of the hypocrisy factor that has corrupted the current administration in particular and the whole Republican Party as a whole.

It infects all layers of our society.

It is the most evident symptom of the American public's prevailing ailment.

Posted by: JEP | October 9, 2006 9:49 AM | Report abuse

BCE, you are a Right Wing shill. You only do harm to your religion (which I have already said is not the problem). YOU are the problem. Ralph Reed former head of the Christian Coalition. Ever heard of him? He helped Jack Abramoff RAPE native american tribes of millions of dollars, calling them troglodytes behind their backs. Real Christ-like, dont ya think?

Ok, then another guy you must LOVE, being an evangelical christian. Tony Perkins. He suggested after the disclosure of Foleygate that the REAL problem in America is Tolerance and Diversity. Do YOU think diversity is the problem Black Evangelical Christian? Do you think people like me who support tolerance and diversity advocate for sexual predation?

You surely know that the megaChurches, the hyperChristian evangelicals have a huge devoted following and are social conservative extremists. You, and people like Ralph Reed and Tony Perkins and Pat Robertson and James Dobson and the rest of the extremist neochristians have used their followers, yes USED their followers for their own political expedience. They should lose ALL funding and ALL tax breaks b/c their groups are equally political organizations as "religious" ones.

>>>Replace the word religious with any other group (Black, Jew, gays, women, etc.) and you will begin to see your own bias.

That has to be the single most idiotic thing Ive ever read on this blog. You are truly ignorant and a typical, a PROTOTYPICAL Republican shill. If you really are a Black man, I feel sorry for you for being trapped in Republican NeoChristian garbage. Break free from the binds, BCE. Cast off the shackles of Republican lies and deceit. You can do it.

Posted by: F&B | October 9, 2006 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Why is it the Republicans all look like cowboys out in the front lobby, but when you get behind closed doors, you have closeted gay men making all the strategic decisions?

Who's really "in charge"of the Republican Party. Does every one of our "moral conservatives" actually have a gay genius in their closet, to play the chess game for them?

HYPOCRITES!

Posted by: JEP | October 9, 2006 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Black Evangelist
"Why should I get a tax exemption for giving money to my church or to the United Way."

Because it is supposedly charity, and intended for helping less-fortunate folks.

Why should people be taxed for charity?

But giving the same philanthropic tax breaks to organized "political" religions which the multi-denominational Evangelical movement has become, is not helping anyone but the neocon warmongers, much to the great joy of the HYPOCRITES in charge of the Republican Party.

Please, trolldom, note that I did not say "Republican Party" I said "the HYPOCRITES IN CHARGE of the Republican Party, particularly the Hypocrite in Chief and his second in command, Boss Cheney.

Evangelists need to stop evangelizing for Bush and start evangelizing for Jesus.

Any of them who doesn't know the difference doesn't yet know Jesus.

Think "war and torture for profit" vs. "peace and love forever."

Just the thought of Peace as a worldwide event makes these war profiteers nervous.

Imagine if what Jesus actually preaches became the way of the world!

If we all lived in Peace, who would the neocons sell thier war-for-profit weapons to?

Posted by: JEP | October 9, 2006 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Is Kim working for Karl?
What NKorean strategic dislexic planned this event, it could only serve to help Rove and his minions scare Americans into voting stupid again?
Whether he's aware of it or not, Kim Jong Il is a patsy who got played like a trump card.

Whoever advised him to proceed with his nuclear phallus test at this moment in the US political season is probably working for someone else, not NKorea.

Posted by: JEP | October 9, 2006 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: NoVa | October 9, 2006 2:27 AM | Report abuse

For once could the Post not underplay a great story simply because it's an AP story. This one belongs on page 1, and there's no way to match it this late at night.
Please, be fair.

Posted by: GeorgeAllenVa | October 9, 2006 2:10 AM | Report abuse

Black Evangelist - My comments are based on the First Amendment to The Constitution. The courts have been upholding the separation of church and state based on the First Amendment's language since the first challenges to it.

If agreeing with the courts' interpretations of the First Amendment means I'm biased, then I plead guilty.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 9, 2006 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Another possible bump for the Allen campaign. The WTOP Radio (Washington, DC) website has a copyrighted Associated Press report at: http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=600&sid=937169

The story has three points: 1) that Sen. Allen failed to disclose stock options he received when he was a board member of a high tech company

2) that he asked the Army to help another company in which he had stock options, and

3) that he failed to promptly notify the SEC of insider stock transactions he made.

Allen and Webb debate in Richmond tommorrow night at 8. C-SPAN is supposed to televise it.

Also, a good story in today's Washington Post Metro section on Sen. Allen's cowboy image: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/07/AR2006100700908_pf.html

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 9, 2006 12:50 AM | Report abuse

BCE, it sounds like you need to crack open some history books and READ what is in the Constitution, why it's there, who put it there, and the debates that shaped it. Bias is PART of it, and every single person we have sent to Washington takes their own bias with them--it's called "personal experience", and explains why farmers are good at agricultural policy, why people like John Lewis are experts in civil rights law, why bankers make good banking committee chairs, and why doctors make good public health officers. Some in the Republican party think that it is their mission to impose Christian religious dogma on the entire country to make it a "Christian nation" that it never has been--mistake this NOT--the U.S. is not and never has been a CHRISTIAN nation, it is a nation that is predominantly Christian that has the grace to let Christianity and most other religions be practiced without interference from the government. Do NOT ever mistake the difference between letting the RELIGIOUS *take part* in the running of the country versus letting *any* RELIGION *RUN* the country...people of faith can and should let their beliefs guide their own conduct and thought, but they should NEVER misuse government to impose their religious beliefs on those who do not share the same tenets beyond the Golden Rules. Failing to understand that is taking for granted why denominations like "liberal" New England's Puritans and Pilgrims came here, and it also takes for granted the gift to religion that is contained in the Constitution. Thinking otherwise is trampling that enduring document, and those who cannot abide by it don't deserve to be citizens of this great nation.

Posted by: DemBear | October 9, 2006 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Nor'easter: Most in the religious right would argue that the courts have consistently overstepped its bounds and that seperation of church and state does not have anything to do with the Constitution. You cannot find the phrase in the Constitution but in a letter by Jefferson. Hence my desire for judges who will be strict constructionists. However, we probably are in agreement that I don't want the Pope or the head of the Baptist convention dictating public policy.

But I think I understand your point. I am one of the few right-wingers who would argue that tax exemption should be taken away from all organizations, religious or not. Why should I get a tax exemption for giving money to my church or to the United Way.

One final point. Why would our best and brightest run for elective office when they know that the issues are not debated but rather your sexual preferences, your business dealings, or completely erroneous mud will be slung around?

Yet, there are honorable people on both sides of the aisle and more than enough bums.

Posted by: Black Christian Evangelist | October 8, 2006 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Hehe. Apparently there must be at least a thousand bucks before anything starts stopping at mr. Hastert.

Posted by: roo | October 8, 2006 10:43 PM | Report abuse

F&B did not argue that there were screw-ups of the current administration. He stated that the religious right is the reason this nation is so screwed-up. I could list just as many mistakes as anyone. At the same time if another typical Democrat was in office they might have a different list of screw-ups.

I don't think this nation is so screwed-up. During the Civil War, Jim Crow, etc. things were screwed up. Things in many ways are much better. However, it would depend on how one measures a society.

Those who speak of the religious right don't have a clue as to the complexity and diversity of that group. Just as those who rant against liberals. I once wrote that Ronald Reagan was a racist just to learn that I was the Black racist. My whole world was viewed through the distortion of my bitterness. I sense the same blindness in those who blanketly categorize the religious right. Were the abolitionists who sacrificed so much for my freedoms members of the religious right? How about the Klan and mobs who lynched Blacks and others?

It is not the business of the religious to run the affairs of state? Replace the word religious with any other group (Black, Jew, gays, women, etc.) and you will begin to see your own bias.

Posted by: Black Christian Evangelist | October 8, 2006 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: NoVA | October 8, 2006 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Black Evangelist - Read the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

If I'm biased, I'm biased towards the courts' consistent opinions interpreting the Constitution over the past 215 years.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 8, 2006 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Black Evangelist:

1) The screw-ups were made worse beginning Saturday, 01/20/01.

2) The groundwork was set over many decades. The practical outcome of that work began on January 4, 1995, and was made complete on the date in 1).

3) 1791; with the passage of the Bill of Rights. Actually there is an older base for this philosophy, Much older; see, Matthew 22:21, Mark 12:17, etc. "...he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things that are God's."

It isn't "the" foundation of this country, it is "one" of the foundations of this country. Another foundation was governing by the people, with an inherent distrust of their government (the reason for the Checks and Balances among three separate and equal, co-branches.

And, Washington was simply one of many moral/immoral, religious/ agnostic/ atheistic people who founded this country, all with probably memorable quotes, if you research enough.

Religious values are fine. Most of them co-incide with our political values; but, not all do for all of us, all of the time.

It's not the business of the religious to run the affairs of state. That's the business of the people whom we elect. The religious are free to push their positions and beliefs in the public forum just as anybody else is free to do (at least within the boundaries of the Tax Code that grant them tax-exempt status). That's not what has been happening.

The President and the Republican Congressional leadership have been beholden to the Religious Right. Remember how John Kennedy had to explain to the Baptist ministers in Houston in 1960 that he would not be beholden to the Pope? Why should it be any different for our current leaders and religions of any denomination?

Good luck with your efforts to work on poverty and all of the problems inherent with that. That's an area where government and the churches can work parallel to each other. Once Uncle Sam gets involved there is not only a Constitutional issue, there's always the practical matter of whoever provides the money gets to call the shots. You may want to think about it from that angle also.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 8, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse


Breaking news about the Foley scandal! Update II

For uncensored news please bookmark:

www.waynemadsenreport.com
www.wsws.org
www.takingaim.info
otherside123.blogspot.com

October 7/8, 2006 -- The rumors about another top GOP member of the House being involved in sexual encounters with young "men for hire" are confirmed to WMR by well-placed sources in Washington's gay community. The member in question is House Speaker Dennis Hastert, whose "alternate" life style is the primary reason for him and his staff covering up the scandal involving ex-Florida GOP Rep. Mark Foley and his lewd messages sent to underage male congressional pages. Hastert's penchant to receive anal sex is well-known to our sources in DC's gay community. Additionally, Hastert's reported extremely small penis is the subject of many jokes among Washington's gay circles.

Speaker Hastert: The "butt" of many jokes among Washington's gay community.

WMR reported on old charges that swirled around Hastert when he was a high school wrestling coach at Yorkville High School in Yorkville, Illinois. Hastert decided to enter politics in 1980 after rumors surfaced about inappropriate contact with male high school students.

In July, Hastert was hospitalized at Bethesda Naval Hospital for cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection. In the Feb. 7, 2003 issue of AIDS Treatment News, doctors reported that they saw "a large increase in aggressive, antibiotic-resistant 'staph' (Staphylococcus aureus) skin infections in gay men in some areas -- and a separate epidemic in certain prisons. Symptoms include boils or blisters; treatment can be difficult, and sometimes requires hospitalization. One HIV doctor in Los Angeles who used to see about one case a year is now seeing two a week. In the past this infection occurred mainly in hospitals." The reports of serious skin infections among gay men was also reported in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 27, 2003.

WMR has also learned that Republicans will soon mount an effort to discredit a senior House Democratic member with a sex scandal of a rather different nature. The member is aware of the plans and is circling the political wagons if the GOP launches their expected attack.

Posted by: che | October 8, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

F&B: says we screwed this country up. When did that screw-up take place? When was this nation not screwed up in his opinion? And just when did the religious right gain control in this country? When did seperation of church and state become the foundation of America? Was it before or after Washington said our nation could not be governed but by a moral people?

Those like me understand that unless we enter the debate, the moral issues will destroy this nation. In my community, you cannot talk about issues of poverty until you address out of wedlock birth and abortion along with other socio-economic issues.

This is one right wing crusader glad if the "Pharisees" are exposed by the "Sadducees".

Posted by: Black Evangelist Christian | October 8, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

While I find it hard to believe Hastert is the closet gay, I did hear Tucker Carlson this morning on The Chris Matthews show, during Chris' "Tell me something I don't know," that there is another Republican Member that will be directly implicated in sexual advances with house pages, and he believes that person's name will be publicized soon. Very interesting.

Posted by: Political Junkie | October 8, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

What Black Evangelist Christian and Kilio are ignoring is the foundation of Western Democracy. Separation of Church and State. Religious activists, or politicos who support them, have NO BUSINESS being in our government. And, I would argue, the Christian Right is the reason why this country is so screwed up. Nothing against Christianity, but ya'll have messed our country up pretty bad.

Posted by: F&B | October 8, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Good story by Dan Balz today on what's going on behind "the election" headlines as to what the "get out the vote" process has become: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/07/AR2006100700388_pf.html

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 8, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Black Evangelist Christian makes an important point. Being against gay marriage doesn't mean being anti-gay. I doubt that publishing "the list" will hurt any Republican candidates.

The Republicans have done so well tieing together a host of interests. I agree with the poster above, Howard Dean will prove to be the savior of the Democratic party.

Posted by: Kilio | October 8, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse

'President Bush reserved the right to ignore key changes in Congress's overhaul of the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- including a requirement to appoint someone with experience handling disasters as the agency's head -- in setting aside dozens of provisions contained in a major homeland security spending bill this week.

Besides objecting to Congress's list of qualifications for FEMA's director, the White House also claimed the right to edit or withhold reports to Congress by a watchdog agency within the Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for protecting Americans' personal privacy.'

Posted by: DRINdl | October 8, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

When nuclear war breaks out in December between the United States, Russia and North Korea, American taxpayers should be furious.

The war is just another U.S. military exercise.

But this one is particularly childish, a massive waste of money and an insult to the country.

With North Korea and Iran teetering on the edge, amidst a war in Iraq that seems to have no end and no solution, with Afghanistan slipping away and with an ongoing global "war" against terrorism, the American military is preparing for its largest combined drill of the year in December and all it can come up with is -- all it can get excited about -- is nuclear war.

It would be bad enough if some U.S. nuclear command were running such an exercise as part of an American threat to Pyongyang at a time when nuclear testing is threatened.

But instead what we have is the routine annual "homeland defense" exercise of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), which sponsors "Vigilant Shield 07."

One might think that NORTHCOM would be focused like a laser on preparing for another Sept. 11 or another Katrina, working through the details of just dealing with the obvious. Alas, some bomb going off somewhere, some natural disaster, doesn't justify missile defenses or other big ticket items like submarines, nor satellites and "early warning," nor the new tricks of cyber-warfare.

Want to know why the armed forces are hurting for soldiers and Marines? The few on the front lines defend the freedom of the extravagant in the Pentagon, the consulting world and defense industry to make billions.

Posted by: EJ | October 8, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"Party before country... you should be ashamed."

But they aren't.

Shamelessness and lawlessness are quite comfortable together in the confused minds of these cult Republicans.

"Damn the Constitution, full speed ahead."

Posted by: JEP | October 8, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"The 109th Congress took our already large projected budget deficits and passed legislation that will make them larger. The legislation increased projected deficits from 2005 (the year the Congress convened) through 2011 (when the current five-year budget window ends) by a total of $452 billion. Moreover, the budget deterioration over the past six fiscal years -- 2000 to 2006 -- is the largest deterioration for any six-year period in the past half-century."

Posted by: DN | October 8, 2006 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Those who are shocked to see so many gays involved in the Republican Party just don't understand the appeal of the Republican Party. Christian activists like me understand the Republican Party is a big tent. All are welcome to get involved and the candidates must win on the merits of their arguments and principles. I am pro-life, yet, I respect the pro-abortion Republicans in the party.

It is not hypocrisy that explains the gays in the Republican party, but the concept of the big tent in play. I am opposed to gay marriage. Yet the one time I new someone was being fired partly because she was a lesbian, I helped lead the successful charge to hire that individual back.

Posted by: Black Evangelist Christian | October 8, 2006 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The sex predator congressman is gay. His ex chief of staff is gay. The House Clerk at the time is gay. What is it with republicans and gay? In public they are fiercely anti gay, but in private they wallow in it?

Talk about hypocricy of the worst kind. Not only do they deceive the general public. They deceive even the people who are their most ardent supporters, the evangelical Christians. If nothing else democrats should run ads in every republican district to make this point.

Posted by: Not so gay now is it | October 7, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Scared, No, If I have the good fortune to live another 20 yrs,I am sure Congress will change hands several times over, that's why its great to live in this country. If you guys win, Then it will be our turn to throw all of the stones without any responsibility for governing. DRINDL: I'm glad you are protective of your 16 year old daughter but do you restrict her to just Walt Disney movies. Hate to break the news to you but she is probably a lot more worldly than you know and I'm sure she is tough enough not to fall apart if some old jerk comes on to her. ErinF: I find your comments somewhat offensive, and suspect you are a teenager with your McCarthistic views. Good Americans can disagree and still be good americans, please mature a few more years before getting yourself into adult conversations.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 7, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes -- I'm not "overplaying" any hand. Believe it or not, I really am APPALLED by what Foley did. That's fine if you disagree, but I do think that a 52 year old man making sexual advances to a 16 year old boy - especially given the power dynamics involved - is absolutely heinous. I'm not sure how the fact that some 16 year olds watch "R Rated movies" makes that any less horrific. Nor am I sure how the fact that other members of Congress are crooks (and I want to kick them out and prosecute them as well, FYI)makes THIS any more palatable.

Republicans are going to go down, but it's not because of any Democratic conspiracy with the media. It's because the GOP has become completely corrupt in less than 15 years, just like Democrats did in almost 50. I disagree with Nancy Pelosi on lots of issues, but she's absolutely right on this front: "Time to drain the swamp."

Posted by: Colin | October 7, 2006 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Bhoomers the radical right-wing troll is getting scared.

The Reps will lose, and lose big this November. The GOP-controlled Congress is a cesspool, rife with corruption, pedophilia, bigotry, racism, and war-profiteering. All of it encouraged by the intellectually-deficient, ignorant, irresponsible, fratboy punk, in the White House.

I cannot wait for a thorough clean-up of the political scene.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"Hastert maintains that he knew nothing of Foley's actions until last week, when the story first broke and Foley resigned."

So what is it?
Are they forgetful Bozos who let their staff run willy-nilly through the rule-book, or are they conivers in cahoots?

Not much wriggle room around it.

Take your pick, either they are lousy managers with bad memories or they are, once again, as usual, lying about something.


Posted by: JEP | October 7, 2006 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"The bipartisan report said there is no evidence that Rove knew of or approved of Ralston's actions, and sources said yesterday that the White House was surprised by the report's revelations."

Did ALL the bipartisans making this report actually BELIEVE this?

Again, from my lst post above:

So what is it?
Are they forgetful Bozos who let their staff run willy-nilly through the rule-book, or are they conivers in cahoots?

Not much wriggle room around it.

Take your pick, either they are lousy managers with bad memories or they are, once again, as usual, lying about something.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2006 9:51 AM | Report abuse

From today's WaPo story about Ralston's resignation.

"the counsel's office reached no conclusion about whether Ralston violated gift limits because her resignation made the point moot."

So, "resignation" is now comparable to "statute of limitations?"

If laws were broken, there's no "get out of jail free" card, at least according to "The Rule of Law." If the White House won't police itself, how can we expect them to take care of the rest of the known planet. Rove, like Hastert, is noted both by others and intheir own self image, as having a very comprehensive understanding of and awareness, if not control, of the people and events around them.

So to suggest that either of these icons of Republican memory management was "unaware" of something as potentially damaging as WH bribery or Congressional sex predators goes against their own claims. That something so important simply slipped in under their purportedly extensive radar screens seems quite unlikely, if their own personal claims to elephantine memory are true.

SO what is it? Are they forgetful Bozo's who let their staff run willy-nilly through the rule-book, or are they conivers in cahoots?

Not much wriggle room around it. Take your pick, either they are lousy managers with bad memories or they are, once again, lying about something.

Posted by: JEP | October 7, 2006 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey Political Junkie...

You in Colorado by any chance?

Posted by: DKinUT | October 7, 2006 6:38 AM | Report abuse

"Hastert Hastert Hastert"

Posted by: roo | October 7, 2006 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Who gives a rat's a?? if the D's did hold this info, it was the R's that did the diddling and then took money from Foley to keep quiet. That's the overriding theme to all this corruption.....ill gotten money.

Give me back my party, and send the rightwingers packing.

Posted by: An Ashamed R | October 7, 2006 2:12 AM | Report abuse

'Top GOP leaders -- Hastert, Boehner, etc. the twin Repubs on Friday's Hardball, etc. -- have accused the Democrats of knowing about Foley's correspondences with teen pages, and waiting to release them until it was politically advantageous.'

September 30 - date of Foley's outing - is not an 'October Surprise.'

Even a slightly bright Democrat would have waited until at least Monday, Oct.23, if not Oct 30 to release this damning info to the press -- IF -- they really wanted to take political advantage...

A month from today people could be saying, "Foley? Who's dat?

Posted by: ohiorepublican | October 7, 2006 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to quote and paraphrase Imus' responses to Rep. Hayworth Friday morning as Hayworth went through the "beg the question" talking points -

"SO WHAT?

"Kids weren't protected by the people who were supposed to protect them. THAT'S THE ISSUE!"

Imus countered with "SO WHAT!" numerous times. Debating the red herrings is like engaging Zouk.

So what, if Democrats were involved. Whoever did it prevented the re-election of a child predator by doing it when they did. Whoever did it deserves credit.

So what, if the timing has political ramifications. It simply exposed a political CYA operation, and maybe saved additional pages from inappropriate advances.

etc..

Imus could not have boiled the response to the attempts to change the focus any better. "SO WHAT? This is heinous and is what needs to be dealt with."

THAT'S WHAT we should be dealing with.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 7, 2006 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Drindl: I second roo's request.

I eventually find a good source for your "fact" material, either by you mentioning it a day or two later, or by some other means.

But, some of the posts have the appearance of "the sky is falling," until the source is provided.

Why not just provide it up front; you have it already anyway.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 7, 2006 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm just asking you folks in the media, show me some proof that democrats have any culpability in the current scandal... just show me some proof.

I'm not talking about stuff that happened 30 years ago, or 10 years ago, I'm talking about now. Where are the facts that show that Democrats were implicated in this current scandal?

If you can't prove it, don't print it.

Posted by: dana | October 6, 2006 11:59 PM | Report abuse

And I might add--accusing the Democrats of --what? Where s the proof? Where is any proof on anything? Does the 'news media' ask for facts anymore?

CNN has clearly folded to R pressure. Will WaPo follow?

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 11:50 PM | Report abuse

With one party controlling the three branches of the Federal Government, and with what we've seen in the past couples of weeks from two of those three branches, I'm surprised that nobody has quoted the following yet. So, I may as well.

Lord Acton - "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Never more true than now.

I hope that the next time any President says that they need more unchecked powers, that everybody will think harder about it.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 6, 2006 11:49 PM | Report abuse

roo--I can't help it--sorry...no one but you has asked..

'Faced with fending off the backlash from the Mark Foley scandal, House Republicans took the offensive Friday, asking Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats to testify about whether they engaged in partisan trickery by releasing Foley's messages weeks before the midterm elections.

'Top GOP leaders -- including House Speaker Dennis Hastert, of Illinois, and Majority Leader John Boehner, of Ohio -- have accused the Democrats of knowing about Foley's correspondences with teen pages, and waiting to release them until it was politically advantageous.'

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/10/06/foley.fallout/index.html

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 11:43 PM | Report abuse

drindl,

Please, *always* cite your sources if you must give us these periodic news updates. It is in extremely bad form not to.

I would not mind toning down the volume of the 'news feed' a bit either.

Posted by: roo | October 6, 2006 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be so quick to write off Carter--I suspect the debates will make a difference.

Besides, I believe the race is far closer than the Mason-Dixon poll is showing. I think that outfit is oversampling Republicans.

Posted by: Susan Nunes | October 6, 2006 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I 'M JUST ASKING YOU CHRIS, DEFEND YOUR 'PROFESSION'' -- which profession is it?

'Faced with fending off the backlash from the Mark Foley scandal, House Republicans took the offensive Friday, asking Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats to testify about whether they engaged in partisan trickery by releasing Foley's messages weeks before the midterm elections.

'Top GOP leaders -- including House Speaker Dennis Hastert, of Illinois, and Majority Leader John Boehner, of Ohio -- have accused the Democrats of knowing about Foley's correspondences with teen pages, and waiting to release them until it was politically advantageous.'

But they are offering no proof of this, are they? Just more baseless smears. When will we have a press that actually pays attention and asks questions? HELLO, CHRIS CILLIZA?

'Partisan trickery' -- oh for chrissakes. Please. Could the press just take off the kneepads that it uses for rightwing interviews and start to THINK for a change?

Jeezus. How low can we go with this mind-boggling stupidity?

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 10:12 PM | Report abuse

'Faced with fending off the backlash from the Mark Foley scandal, House Republicans took the offensive Friday, asking Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats to testify about whether they engaged in partisan trickery by releasing Foley's messages weeks before the midterm elections.

'Top GOP leaders -- including House Speaker Dennis Hastert, of Illinois, and Majority Leader John Boehner, of Ohio -- have accused the Democrats of knowing about Foley's correspondences with teen pages, and waiting to release them until it was politically advantageous.'

But they are offering no proof of this, are they? Just more baseless smears. When will we have a press that actually pays attention and asks questions? HELLO, CHRIS CILLIZA?

'Partisan trickery' -- oh for chrissakes. Please. Could the press just take off the kneepads that it uses for rightwig interviews and start to THINK for a change?

Jeezus. How low can we go with this mind-boggling stupidity?

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 10:05 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes, you put party before country. Partisanism isn't patriotism... in fact it's quite the opposite. America would be better off without people like bhoomes and king of zouk. It's hard to even think of them as Americans. Party before country... you should be ashamed.

Posted by: ErrinF | October 6, 2006 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Democrats will win the House and the Senate in November. Why? The Republicans had every electable branch of government under their control, and they did a horrible job. GOP diehards don't want their politicians held accountable, but everybody else in the country does. The middle decides elections; The middle gave the GOP a chance, the GOP screwed it up, and now the Dems get their chance. Simple as that. Anybody who can't see that has their partisan blinders on.

Posted by: ErrinF | October 6, 2006 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we do, ashamed R, bless you. When it's about predators on our children -- I don't care WHO the predators are ---gender is irrelevant-- we get mad. There's just too much of this stuff going on. Why? Why does any lunatic have the ability to get an assault weapon? Why does anyone in power have the hubris to think they can hit on high school kids and get away with it?

I ask again, what hs happened to us? Why now? We have been under totally republican rule for 5 years, so where are the values? I'm just asking.

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 9:36 PM | Report abuse


This is not a scientific poll, but ask 10 folks you know who routinely vote R, and ask them about Nov. I asked by sister and brother-in-law, my wife, the best man in my wedding and his wife, and five others. Only 1 in 10 have said they will vote R in Nov. I suspect 4 or 5 will simply stay home and the balance have definitely moved to the d column. Here is a fact that the women said...."that page could have been my child."> What appears to me is men are disgusted. Women are mad and we know what happens when women get mad....they get even.

Posted by: An Ashamed R | October 6, 2006 9:22 PM | Report abuse

What is to watch in PA. Santorum's time has come. Another hypocritcal zealot with an agenda to make America look like the Nazi's.

Posted by: An Ashamed R | October 6, 2006 9:15 PM | Report abuse

50 years from now when historians look backwards, who will they see as the leader of a new democratic party? Who raised their voice first, and who has had the long-term vision to force the party to look beyond election year politics.

Two words.

Howard Dean.

Posted by: Matte | October 6, 2006 9:14 PM | Report abuse

One thing not mentioned much is that it isn't a case, necessarily, of voters switching sides. Instead, the Foley incident may result in uninspired Republicans simply staying home on election day, and motivated Democrats showing up in greater numbers than they would have otherwise.

Posted by: Andrew | October 6, 2006 9:04 PM | Report abuse

If what you want is a bellwether, I'd be watching the race for US Senate in PA.

Posted by: OutOfSync | October 6, 2006 8:46 PM | Report abuse


Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, a Republican write-in candidate in the race to replace Tom DeLay in Texas, decided not to pursue plans to invite Hastert to raise money for her campaign after the Foley scandal broke.

"We just made a decision not to have" a fundraiser with Hastert, said Sekula-Gibbs' campaign manager, Lisa Dimond.

"What is going on in Washington? ... Deborah Pryce's friend Mark Foley is caught using his position to take advantage of 16-year-old pages. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert looked the other way," says an ad for Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, challenging seven-term Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio, the No. 4 Republican in the House in a particularly competitive race.

And in culturally conservative southern Indiana, former Democratic Rep. Baron Hill took to the airwaves Friday with an ad attacking freshman Republican Mike Sodrel for taking thousands of dollars in donations from House GOP leaders, "who knew about but did nothing to stop sexual predator congressman Foley."

At the same time, Hastert canceled plans to raise money for Sodrel on Tuesday.

Earlier, Rep. Ron Lewis, R-Ky., a Baptist preacher and social conservative, canceled plans for a fundraiser with Hastert, who also dropped an appearance with Ohio GOP candidate Joy Padgett, who is in an uphill race to replace the disgraced Rep. Bob Ney.

The nonstop news cycles for over a week have been filled with details of Foley's lurid messages to former pages and accusations by former top Foley staff aide Kirk Fordham that top GOP aides, including some in Hastert's office, knew about Foley's problems and the issue of the pages years ago...'

Posted by: hmm... | October 6, 2006 8:38 PM | Report abuse

More Democrats went on the attack Friday with campaign ads linking Republican candidates to the Mark Foley House page scandal while GOP candidates moved to distance themselves from embattled Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Republican New Jersey Senate candidate Tom Kean Jr. Friday became the first major GOP candidate to call for Hastert to resign, while additional campaign appearances by Hastert for House GOP candidates got canceled. Hastert has come under heavy attack within his party's rank and file for damage inflicted on the party just weeks before the Nov. 7 elections.

"Hastert should resign as speaker," Kean said. "He is the head of the institution and this happened on his watch."

Posted by: watch... | October 6, 2006 8:28 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes,

I do not think you understand my analysis completely. I am not arguing that corruption is a lesser offense than attempted seduction. I am saying it resonates more with more people for two reasons - 1. a great number of people believe ALL politicians are corrupt and therefore do not get very agitated about corruption scandals. 2. Sex sells. Attempted seduction (and I really cannot see it any other way) of underage pages by a 52 year old in a powerful position hits a nerve with parents. I am not saying that it will change a lot of votes but I do think enough religious conservatives could be turned off enough not to vote and that could be very important in a close election. I also think you do not appreciate the differences between conservative evangelicals and social conservatives. As to whether or not this scandal has legs, it depends on what the House leadership does to appease Tony Perkins and other leaders of the religious right between now and November 7th.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 6, 2006 8:05 PM | Report abuse

This has been a really weird and creepy and awful week.. all of these school shootings, these innocent children murdered, these heterosexual gun nuts who wanted to sexually torture little girls, this predaiator in Washington who wanted to seduce boys... I have to wonder, from a purely non-partisan point of view---what the hell has happened to my country?!!!!

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 7:47 PM | Report abuse

"Do you not understand what the K Street Project was all about?"

I read recently that there is an investigation already underway into the K-Street purges that occurred during Bush's earliest days in office. And it may even land in civil court, too.

There could quite legally be a class action lawsuit filed against Rove, Delay and their Republican Party operatives who managed the K-Street conspiracy, joined by all those Democrats who were methodically removed from their firms to make way for Republicans.

Since there was clearly colusion at the highest levels, it goes without question that this constitutes a conspiracy of monumental and well-documented proportions.

Just one more rung on the legal ladder to neocon hell.

Posted by: JEP | October 6, 2006 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Ashamed R;

I could use the moniker "raised an "R", I grew up in the Grand Old Republican Party before Nixon crushed their false image ofintegrity and Reagan ruined their already questionable credibility.

Both contributed to the decline of the party, with Nixon, its obvious, but Reagan has maniac fans to this day who do not realize what happened to their presioud GOP under "The Great Imposter's" misguided leadership.

But under Reagan's watch was when the oil industry took over and created the neocon branch and the southern Democrats took over the party's House administrations. Reagan wasknown for his wanton wooing of southern bigots. It is no secret.

In a few short years, the Party of Fiscal Conservatives (which is why I left in the first place, bunch of greedy, selfish wannabe billionaires who didn't care to provide education and health for their fellow citizens) was commandeered by the book-cookers and the bigots, the hypocrites and sex predators.

And while there is still a core of good old fashioned morally and fiscally conservative Republicans at the heart of the GOP, the brain has been hijacked by some very bad players, who strategically keep secrets from that moral heart, in order to control their votes.

Posted by: JEP | October 6, 2006 6:54 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes,
'Selling your vote is an attack on our very democracy. And if we had enough crooks like these two, it could destroy it.'

But, my dear, we do! That's the whole point. Do you not understand what the K Street Project was all about? It was an entirely republicn effort --which succeeded -- to ensure that all lobbyists were R's and that all lobbying money would be directed to R's. And it was. And hence, we have Abramaoff and there are many, many R's who are guilty of selling their votes to the highest bidder and several who are under investigation for it.

You have said nice things about me in the past, like that even if I was partisan I cared about people and animals. Well, I do-- and being a mother, I especially care about children. Do you have any kids? I have a nearly 16-year-old daughter and I can tell you, if I ever caught a grown man soliciting her for drinking and sex, and saying some of the things this guy said, I would rip his heart out.

So please don't tell me this is a little thing. Where is your heart?

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 6:54 PM | Report abuse

You are right JEP, the Rep. Party of today WAS the racially bigoted party of the South called Dems. I did not like the Stron Thurmonds, George Wallaces, Trent Lotts or Jesse Helms of the world, and still dont.

My main point is while the GOP has been overtaken by the intolerant right wing, they have pushed the moderate, liberal, libertarians to the center which is trending Democratic.

On a larger scale, I think there is a backlash to Rove's tactics that is taking hold in key states that is detriminal to the GOP. Personally, I hope the GOP is purged of these zealots. Until that is done, the GOP will keep losing my vote.

Posted by: An Ashamed R | October 6, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The Republophiles really launched a "morals" ad against Ford?

Are they nuts? Very bad timing.

"What kind of man parties with Playboy playmates in lingerie, then films commercials from a church pew?"

Sounds like any smart old politician to me, what scares the R's is that this is a smart YOUNG politician. With a "D".

After Foley's Follies, this just seems downright wholesome.

I bet some of those bunnies were Christians, so who is their judge?

HYPOCRITES!

Posted by: JEP | October 6, 2006 6:18 PM | Report abuse

NorEaster & Jim D: I do agree with some of your comments but I personaly find the Duke Cunnningham and William Jefferson scandal to be far more serious. Selling your vote is an attack on out very democracy. And if we had enough crooks like these two, it could destroy it. Granted some social conservative have a problem with gays but find it hard to get worked up over some stupid emails. Now if we are talking about gay rape of minors, Yes then we have A VERY big scandal. I guess we will find out who is right on Nov 8. I expect everybody to be on this blog Nov 8 to take their lumps, myself included.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 6, 2006 6:14 PM | Report abuse

JEP: The power of the Olbermann commentary is so well backed up by the words of GW himself. The repubs have been accuseing the dems of calling GW a "liar". This piece puts that claim to rest once and for all. Keith even has one of the top supporters of GW, Gen. Tommy Franks, in his piece, that I hope everyone will take the time to watch and see just how powerful this really is. Your comments are rite-on.

Posted by: lylepink | October 6, 2006 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"the emergence of Southern Right Wing religious conservatives and neocons is driving former moderate GOPers to the Indy or Dem side in the Midwest, New England, and the Rocky Mountain area."

I wonder if all those "old class" Republicans realize the neocon-wing of the Republican party you describe was originally a bigoted, cancerous racial intolerance tumor growing on the Democrats for almost a century.
But as the Democratic Party's tent grew bigger, that ideological tumor was rejected by the Democratic party in general, so the tumor re-attached itself (with lots of easy, old Southern money)to the weak minority party closest by, the Southern Republicans, and now you really have a hypocritical mess.

Just a thought to ponder;
I wonder how many Delay-connected "R" minor Congressional players in this upcoming election would really rather lose? And what about Foley's enabler hush money contributions?

If they win this time again, that keeps them right in the thick of this corruption scandal, and the stink will wear off on them, too, especially if there's enough time and oversight to actually look deeply into Delay's contributions and campaign subterfuge.

"There is none righteous, no not one."

Only hypocrites claim otherwise.

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

Pennsylvania went to Kerry 2 years ago. No way on Earth that Santorum can get out of this one.

Posted by: Jelly | October 6, 2006 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"If the GOP House leadership gets tagged as gay friendly (as several influential religious right leaders like Tony Perkins are saying right now) that will depress turnout among these folks."

It's not the gay issue fueling this, nearly as much as the hypocrisy factor.

Saw a crew of gay republicans on TV touting the GOP's tolerance and inclusiveness towards gays in general.

I would bet that "inclusiveness" comes as quite a surprise to their Evangelical voting base. All they have ever heard is that Republicans disapprove of homosexuals.
It is one of the issues they get out the "R" vote for. They actually bragged that it was their explanatiuon for the 2004 election theft, remember, "People voting family values"?

One thing I have learned in quizzing some gay friends and relatives, is that most lesbians and gays, political or not, really resent the revolving-closet-door gays who joined the Republican Party under false pretenses, then act culturally superior.

Arrogance knows no sexual preference.

It seems to be a common trait among closet gay republicans, they are a very small minority, and quite often are considered self-important, hypocritical snobs by other gays.

Posted by: JEP | October 6, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Here is an observation that I have detected over the last 20 years. IMO, as the emergence of Southern Right Wing religious conservatives and neocons is driving former moderate GOPers to the Indy or Dem side in the Midwest, New England, and the Rocky Mountain area. Here are some examples.

In Montana, this states has always had a libertarian anti-government attitude that suited moderare GOP. Now Swietzer, a DEM, is governor and Burns is about to go down. Similar trends can be found in ORegon where moderates like Bob Packwood use to win, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. A hunch, if Ensign is portrayed as a reliable 'moral right wingest", Carter could pull an upset. I think that was mentioned by someone earlier.

A similar trend is emerging in the Midwest states, even in traditional rep. states like Indiana where Evan Byah brand of centrist Democrats seems to compare favorably to those in the GOP who believe their party has been highjacked by the religious right.
It was not that long ago that Ohio used to be reliably Republican in the mode of moderate GOP. The winning margin has been shrinking in many levels of government...the reason I suspect, is the GOP has been dominated by religios conservatives, primarily from the rockbed of GOPdom around Cincinnati and rural areas of SE Ohio. Take the GOP corruption, a stalled economy, and Foley's diddling around pages, and you have a recipe for a massive shift away from the GOP. IMO, this reversal will stay until a moderate GOP candidated emerges on the Ohio scene.

The last bastion of Moderate Republicans are in the Northeast. New York use to have at least one moderate to liberal GOP senator. No more. When Snowe, Collins, and Chafee, if he wins, retire, I see problems for GOP retaining these seats. FOr more proof of folks rebelling agaisnt the right wing religious zealots, look no further than what happened to Lieberman. The man has repeatedly shift his views towards those more aligned with the religious right, or at a minimum the social conservatives.

For proof, look what happened in California. It was not that long ago the GOP in CA was trending R, when Pete Wilson became GOV. What happened, he started a war on culture with hispanics and independents. Now look, CA generally votes DEM as do former Moderate leaning GOP states of NY, NH, VT, and Maine.

IMO, there is huge backlash from the GOP's southern strategy. Folks in the regions of the Rocky Mountains, midwest and New England are decidedly saying no to right wing zealots. They may be Republican. at heart, but increasingly look for Dems for the answers.

Ironically, take states like Ky and WV have move decidedly more Republican as the social and religios conservatives have resonated in rural areas. This has been the last bastion of states the GOP's right wing message has resonated.

That said, here are my predictions:

Santorum, DeWine definitely are toast.
Chafee loses by small margin
Ford takes TN, who is being led by strong Centrists Dem, at the head of the ticket. (remember, the two right wingers lost the GOP primarry).
Montana goes to Tester over the corrupted Burns

This leaves one state for Dems to pick up, but first, a take on the seats currently held by a Dem.

MD is a Democratic state, the poll numbers for Steele are showing what many thought would happen. Blacks in MD will never vote for a Rep. in the mold of Bush. Steele has been carrying the water for Erhlich who is unpopular. OMalley at the top of the ticket helps Cardin. I use to live in MD until last year, Montgomery County will not support a GOP, neither will Prince Georges or City of Baltimore.

New Jersey, Menendez wins as long as no further scandals comes his way. IF there is, he loses to a moderate like Kean, JR. I rate this one a toss-up.

CT: Does it matter, Liberman will go as an Indy vs Republican. I dont think ths race is relative to the overall large picture.

WA: Cantwell seems to have gottn momentum.. Washington GOP seems to have found yet another flawed Rep candidate. I really dont understand the dynamics in this state.

Basically, at this writing I dont see any Dem candidates in trouble as long as Mendendez stays clean in NJ.


Now for the real battle for the Senate:
I think there are four races to watch:

Virginia, Allen-Webb will duel to the end. However, I think Webb may have peaked. Next poll after the Foley scandal is factored in will be the a true indicator IMO. Too bad, Allen is a bozo.

Missouri: Probably the most deadlocked race in the country. A true toss-up.

Nevada: Something is happening in Nevada. Will it continue? Ensign is beatable but probably not with a Carter.

Arizona: This is my darkhorse. Chris is right about this race being competitive. Like VA, see what happends in the next poll. If movement is made towards Pederson, this one goes to the
toss-up category.

SUMMARY: Five races to watch on election night. Virginia, Missouri, Nevada, Arizona, and Rhode Island. If Va and RI both go Dem, GOP will be routed in the senate. If they stay, then Dems pick-up 4 seats only.

Prediction: Senate will be a tie at 50/50.

Posted by: An Ashamed R | October 6, 2006 5:49 PM | Report abuse

lylepink;

Olberman should get some sort of "First annual United Blogger's International Award for defending Democracy and the Constitution."

If Bush can give the American Freedom medal to that rogue's gallery of goebel/goerings (Franks, Wolfowitz, and Tenet), Olberman and Caferty, Moyers and some of the more courageous newsmen and women of today, who are willing to defy and expose these fakes, should have some sort of honor.

Posted by: JEP | October 6, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Susan Ralston;

Thge tip of a melting iceberg. Does she know about the NH election fraud phone calls to and from Rove?

There's one of the people who might be required to tell a story that Rove's minions will scurry away from like light shining on cockroaches.

She should be arrested for conspiracy to commit voter fraud, mirandized, quizzed and released, pending a grand jury investigation.

And put into protective custody. Her wellbeing mustbe assured, she knows as much as most anyone about the skullduggery and subterfuge, and her testimony should be obtained, and she should be protected, as one of the star witnesses in the impoeachment of George W. Bush nad his boss, Dick Cheney.

Any one of us could bet a million bucks, that if Ms. Ralston were compelled to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, we would have enough evidence to put most all of the neocon traitors up on charges.

The bees all flocked to old Turdblossom, when he had the honey to hand out. Ralston saw most, if not all of it.

Unfortunately for these traitors, the truth will not set them free, quite the contrary.

Which is why they will now do anything to keep the truth from coming out.

Posted by: JEP | October 6, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes,

I do not think the relative heinousness of the Foley scandal versus other scandals in the past is relevant. There have, indeed, been far, far worse. The question is the impact it will have. It gets a lot of coverage because sex sells. That is the way our culture operates (sad to say). Also, the 24/7 Cable TV-Internet coverage machine is fairly recent so comparing this to scandals before about 1998 is a real apples to oranges thing. How can you say the evangelicals are that invested in the political process when so many of them voted for the first time in 2004? Look at what many of the religious right leaders are saying about this. If there is no passion from the pulpit for the GOP, a lot of these lightly invested voters will stay home. Living in the Bible Belt, I know a lot of these people. Absolutely nothing motivates them like their fear of the "homosexual agenda". If the GOP House leadership gets tagged as gay friendly (as several influential religious right leaders like Tony Perkins are saying right now) that will depress turnout among these folks. Given the fragility of the electoral coalitions - it would not take that much of a reduction in evangelical turnout to swing some key elections. I will also make one other point, as a parent of young adults (who were teenagers not so long ago), this resonates with parents in a way adult sex scandals and financial corruption do not. The idea of a 52 year old in a powerful position trying to seduce 16, 17, or even 18 year olds (regardless of the gender involved) is scary. That hits home in a way lots of other things do not.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 6, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes - For the social Conservatives who vote only on a limited range of issues, this may be about Foley.

For the large portion of the electorate this escalated from Foley right up to the House Leadership, once it became known that they may have been aware of the problem. The Leadership taking shots at each other guaranteed that the focus would be on them.

Foley will come back into the picture when the investigation runs its course; but unless everybody else is exonerated, he'll just be a smaller part of the picture.

This isn't "just another scandal." Wright, Gingrich and Livingston were ethical matters. There is a possibility right now that the House Leadership may have committed Criminal Acts.

To keep focusing on Foley is just whistling past the graveyard.

A single word summary describing what happened - STUPID !

Don't blame the MSM. They wouldn't have a story if simple common sense had been used.

That said, any Democrat who is relishing in this, should be thinking twice, because the House investigation could end-up wide open. Remember that the Special Investigator's original charter was to investigate Whitewater. Where Ken Starr ended-up had nothing to do with Whitewater. There are 200 Representatives on the Democratic side, all it takes is one bad one.

Also, remember how Ollie North and his group escaped jail? It was due to Immunity from Prosecution granted by the Congress as it investigated Iran-Contra. Just watch how quickly Immunity becomes a bargaining chip in this case.

My guess is that the general electorate is going to end-up more disgusted with the entire political class by the time this is through. All because people were trying to protect a House seat that was a cinch for them to win to begin with.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 6, 2006 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"Congress has no authority to tell the president how to run the executive."

Actually, that is one of their most important jobs. Call it oversight or call it checks and balances, all the President's authority id derived from the people and their laws, which are formulated and enacted by Congfress and, supposedly, enforced by the executive branch.

The President is tasked with "protecting and defending the constitution". Seems he's been attacking and offending it since he got into office.

And now some of our misguided trolls think Bush has royal power, which is what we wrote the constitution to free ourselves from.
Have any of them ever actually read the Constitution? Do they understand what the term "separation of powers" is all about, and why it exists?
Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Adams, allof them, saw a future threat in presidents and VP's like Bush and Cheney, and wrote the rule of law to make sure those greedy power and money mongers could no re-install their own King to rule us for profit.

But, then, one would have to obey those laws for them to be realized in the spirit our founders imagined.

Bush's gang is lawless.

Posted by: JEP | October 6, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING:

Rove aide resigns in fallout over Abramoff report
Fri Oct 6, 2006 5:04pm ET139

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An aide to top White House political adviser Karl Rove resigned in the fallout over a congressional report showing many White House contacts with ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

Last week's report by the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform Committee said Rove aide Susan Ralston had passed inside White House information to Abramoff while she was also accepting his tickets to as many as nine sports and entertainment events.

Abramoff and several associates have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud in an influence-peddling scandal and are cooperating with a federal corruption probe that has reached into the U.S. Congress.

...

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=newsOne&storyID=2006-10-06T210406Z_01_N06204646_RTRUKOC_0_US-ABRAMOFF-BUSH.xml&WTmodLoc=Home-C1-TopStories-newsOne-2

Posted by: F&B | October 6, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments made on the "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" show last night was something I have never seen in my many years of paying attention to politics. How this scathing attack on GW will play and even cost him his job is not out of the question, and the good part for the dems is that it is a win-win. No matter how the repubs react, no comment or a reply, this is dynamite.

Posted by: lylepink | October 6, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Colin if you compare sending tawdry emails to taking bribes for your vote, yeah in the scheme of scandals this is not a big deal. I blame Foley for the scandal and blame the MSM for giving it far more coverage than it deserves, especially considering the fact we could be on the brink of War in North Korea. Come on, 16 and 17 years old watch R and X rated movies. So I don't think they will shivel up and be emotionally scarred for life. I do believe you and the Lliberal media friends are overplaying your hand. Check back with me on Nov 8, to see if I was right.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 6, 2006 4:55 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - I dropped a critical word, "Application." I meant to say Absentee Ballot Application.

It does make a difference. Sorry!

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 6, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Allen v. Webb will be all about how much the Northern VA political landscape has really changed. NoVA came out for Kaine. This election will answer whether it was a fluke or a real demographic shift.

Posted by: Lynn | October 6, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Ira | October 6, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Polls aside...my long history of loving and watching politics and my gut reaction is that contrary to how close polls are between the parties in many races, I think this election will be a democratic landslide that will have even "safe" republicans barely hanging on. I have been saying for over a month now that the democrats will end up with 51 in the senate and a majority in the house...we'll see if my gut is right.

Posted by: Scott | October 6, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes -- I appreciate your sense of humor, but just want to confirm that you ARE kidding when you say that:

(1) The Foley debacle isn't that big of a deal, and

(2) That the "mainstream" and "liberal" media is somehow to blame for the GOP's problems.

As to the first point, would your reaction really be the same if this was a Democratic congressman? I can honestly say mine would be. With respect to the media, I've asked this a million times but never get a response. How can you seriously argue that media outlets that are OWNED and RUN BY conservatives are somehow liberal in their coverage? Biased in favor of "scandal" generally? - sure. Biased in favor of the sensational? - absolutely. But biased in favor of Democrats? Take another look at the coverage of Clinton's scandals and the 2000 and 2004 elections my friend and then tell me Dems get "favorable" coverage.

Honestly, for a party that purports to stand for "responsibility," the GOP blames everyone else at a record pace. (It's the media's fault, the liberals fault, ...anyone but our fault)

Posted by: Colin | October 6, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Yockel your starting to impress me with your cool eyed analaysis. I expect us Republicans will probably have a bad night but not to the degree some of the people on this blog believe. Comparing Harold Ford to Bill Clinton may be meant as a compliment but in TN its probably fighting words.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 6, 2006 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Harold Ford, Jr. is the coolest guy to come out of Tennessee since Jack Daniels. He is that smooth, like his political role model Bill Clinton. I wonder if Ford can play the sax too.

Posted by: TN Thread Theorist | October 6, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

In 2002, our exit polls in Maryland were far off. People voted for Ehrlich but did not dare to admit it to our interviewers. There is a chance that the Maryland races for Senate and Governor are closer than the polls report but it is not a big one.

Posted by: Yockel | October 6, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

JimD: As usual you make some very good points but I have heard them before and believe they are outdated. I believe the social/religious conservatives are now invested enough in the political process they will not desert. As far the Foley scandal,its not really that big of a scandal as far as scandals go. Come on the only thing we know right now is he sent some lewd and disgusting IMs to pages. Contrast that with other congressional scandals that were far more egreious and criminal, that never came close to recieving the type of non stop wall to wall coverage by the mainstream media. Conservatives know a political HIT JOB when they see it. Just my intution, but my guess they want to stick to the mainsream media and the best way to do that is to show up and vote. But at LEAST DAN RATHER won't be there to cry. Katie Couric will cry in his place. If we hold onto both houses, which is still doable, the dems and liberal MSM will be beside themselves.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 6, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Chris is right to keep the Steele-Cardin race on the list. It's likely that the pollsters are wrong (again) about a Maryland race, especially since no one really has any idea how much of the black vote Steele will pull away from the Democrats. Dems are right to point to Steele's support from national republicans as a disadvantage, but they're badly misunderestimating the opening they've given Steele and his ability to sieze it. If black turnout is high, it probably means that Steele's portion of the black vote will be much higher than any of the Dems are anticipating. There's just not anything about Cardin that will motivate any group of voters; Steele, on the other hand, will bring out the Republican voters and also get a bunch of crossover voters, especially among seniors -- Cardin might end up paying dearly for his opposition to drug importation from Canada, however small the actual cost savings would be if restrictions were relaxed.

Posted by: RC | October 6, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"Interesting phenomenon in Northern Virginia. - Active Democrats are receiving a mailing of absentee ballots sent by the Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA 11) campaign. A Direct Mail contractor screw-up, or a need to get out as many voters as possible?"

Huh? Don't they have to actively request an absentee ballot? Seems like if you can just mail them out to anyone you want, the system becomes easy to abuse. What's to stop a person from just filling out a bunch for his friends & neighbors & mailing them in? Or did Chicago move to Northern VA?

Posted by: bsimon | October 6, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Interesting phenomenon in Northern Virginia. - Active Democrats are receiving a mailing of absentee ballots sent by the Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA 11) campaign. A Direct Mail contractor screw-up, or a need to get out as many voters as possible?

If it's a contractor screw-up, it's an expensive one, because there are four or five pieces inserted in the basic envelope.

A couple of weeks ago, Northen Virginia minority Republicans had a rally for George Allen, Tom Davis and Frank Wolf to display their support in spite of the Allen maccaca comment. It's noticeable that at the end of Davis' basic TV ad the Congressman is standing in the middle of a dozen or so Middle Age to Senior white folks. Not a minority to be seen. Maybe the ad was shot before the "Unity Rally."

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 6, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse


'The hang-tough strategy is being urged by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, conservative talk-show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, and increasingly, according to several Republicans, by party Chairman Ken Mehlman and White House political advisers. "Get indignant," as one former House Republican and top party strategist put it. "We don't have to take any lectures from Democrats."

Aside from the lunacy of taking ethical advice about sexual misconduct and perv**sion from Gingrich and Limbaugh, they have reverted to the time-honored Republican tradition of just making crap up. (Again, no, I'm not kidding. Via the WSJ):

Advocates of this approach call for avoiding responsibility for not taking action against Mr. Foley, while reminding the public about past Democratic scandals, notably President Clinton's, involving former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. They suggest -- so far without evidence -- that Democrats held on to information about the Foley emails and instant messages until close to Election Day. "As much as we'd love to take credit for chasing a child predaator out of Congress, their charges are ridiculous," said Bill Burton, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.'

The usual vileness coming from the usual suspects.

Posted by: firedoglake | October 6, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

An addition to my last post, I wanted to take both Wash. and Md. off the list since they appear to be safe for the dems that have them now. Chris, next week you are going to have to search pretty far to find a top ten once you remove, as I suggest, Wash. and Md. from the list. Good hunting.

Posted by: lylepink | October 6, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

JD said:
"Well, as a Republican in a red state (va), count me among those staying home. Between Foley, the coverup, and the lack of any dedication to conservative ideals (NCLB, prescription drugs....and Frist sneakily banning my online poker!!), they can kiss off my vote (and dollars)"

You know, I wondered what the political impact of that would be. There are, literally, millions of people who play poker online in the U.S. (me being one of them). Banning it HAD to have some kind of interesting impact. Have any polls been doing on this issue?

Posted by: J. Crozier | October 6, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, judge, where is the special prosecutor?

Oh and what will we tell the children? LOL. Remember that? I guess we'll tell them to come to our apartment and get drunk. What breathtaking hypocrisy...

Oh, and Neil Bush shows us How it's Done -- how the bush family makes money...

'And Business Week Online reports: "Across the country, some teachers complain that President George W. Bush's makeover of public education promotes 'teaching to the test.' The president's younger brother Neil takes a different tack: He's selling to the test. The No Child Left Behind Act compels schools to prove students' mastery of certain facts by means of standardized exams. Pressure to perform has energized the $1.9 billion-a-year instructional software industry.

"Now, after five years of development and backing by investors like Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and onetime junk-bond king Michael R. Milken, Neil Bush aims to roll his high-tech teacher's helpers into classrooms nationwide."

First you get your daddy or your brother or uncle or whoever happens to be in office at the time to pass a mandate, and then you borrow from your saudi and wall street buddies -- and then you make a gazillion --without actually lifting a finger. brilliant, huh? Works for them every time.

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

From Scherer's column in Salon. This certainly sums up my expectations.

"Over the last two years, three Republican congressmen and two Democrats have been enveloped by ethical scandals. The press has produced evidence that many more violated House gift rules by accepting high-priced meals from lobbyists or improperly reporting travel gifts. The Justice Department has imprisoned one member, California Republican Duke Cunningham, and forced a guilty plea from another, Ohio Republican Bob Ney. Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson still awaits his day of reckoning, after federal agents discovered bricks of cash in his freezer. The fate of Texas Republican Tom DeLay, once the most powerful congressman in America, also rests in the hands of federal prosecutors.

Through all of this muck and scandal, the Ethics Committee has accomplished nothing. For much of the past year, the committee did not even meet. Then, this spring, the ranking Democrat on the committee, Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, resigned after he was accused of enriching himself by steering federal money to his business partners. It has been an understatement to call the Ethics Committee ineffective. It is a laughingstock, a farce, a collection of circus clowns with soda water spritzers who are called on whenever the big top threatens to catch fire."

"A collection of circus clowns," I love that phrase. So ineffective that they can't even bring themselves to act on Jefferson who so obviously deserves to be bounced out. Is there anyone anywhere outside of Congress and the White House who thinks that the Ethics Committee is actually going to carry out a thorough investigation?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 6, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps it is time to knock Washington and Maryland off the "watch" list since the consensus is that they strongly favor democrats at this point. That means the only "watch" options left to add are Arizona & Nevada...

Posted by: Scott | October 6, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse


'Thousands of Iraqi police officers have been wounded or killed in the last two years, the U.S. commander in charge of police training in Iraq said today. Since September 2004, about 4,000 officers have been killed and 8,000 injured, said Maj. Gen. Joseph Paterson. They have "paid a great price," he said.'

Man. those are staggering numbers.

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Using the David Corn numbers provided by Drindl: With 285 Republicans in Congress and three types of jobs mentioned, the universe is 855 potential job slots.

If 13 of those are staffed by gay employees, it works out to 1.5%.

Of course those do happen to be key positions, and who knows how many others are staffed by unidentified gays. I guess you just can't be too careful.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 6, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

dkm, Interesting analysis. You left out one big factor though.... Diebold.

Remember, regardless of the polls, advertising, hot-button issues.... it isn't who votes (or why) that counts, it's who counts the votes.

With their stinky overflowing baggage, if the GOP retains control of both Houses, look to vote fraud... BIG TIME!

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | October 6, 2006 1:21 PM | Report abuse

'No Democrat, sir, has ever said anything approaching the suggestion that the best means of self-defense is to "wait until we're attacked again."

No critic, no commentator, no reluctant Republican in the Senate has ever said anything that any responsible person could even have exaggerated into the slander you spoke in Nevada on Monday night, nor the slander you spoke in California on Tuesday, nor the slander you spoke in Arizona on Wednesday ... nor whatever is next.

You have dishonored your party, sir; you have dishonored your supporters; you have dishonored yourself.

But tonight the stark question we must face is -- why?

Why has the ferocity of your venom against the Democrats now exceeded the ferocity of your venom against the terrorists?

Why have you chosen to go down in history as the president who made things up?

In less than one month you have gone from a flawed call to unity to this clarion call to hatred of Americans, by Americans.

If this is not simply the most shameless example of the rhetoric of political hackery, then it would have to be the cry of a leader crumbling under the weight of his own lies.

We have, of course, survived all manner of political hackery, of every shape, size and party. We will have to suffer it, for as long as the Republic stands.

But the premise of a president who comes across as a compulsive liar is nothing less than terrifying.

A president who since 9/11 will not listen, is not listening -- and thanks to Bob Woodward's most recent account -- evidently has never listened.

A president who since 9/11 so hates or fears other Americans that he accuses them of advocating deliberate inaction in the face of the enemy.

A president who since 9/11 has savaged the very freedoms he claims to be protecting from attack -- attack by terrorists, or by Democrats, or by both -- it is now impossible to find a consistent thread of logic as to who Mr. Bush believes the enemy is.'

AMEN

Posted by: keith | October 6, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

You need to remove the Cardin-Steele race from your radar screen. This one is over! Steele has no chance. And just because you like Steele doesn't make it interesting.

Posted by: Le | October 6, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

'The president of the United States -- unbowed, undeterred and unconnected to reality -- has continued his extraordinary trek through our country rooting out the enemies of freedom: the Democrats.

Yesterday at a fundraiser for an Arizona congressman, Mr. Bush claimed, quote, "177 of the opposition party said, 'You know, we don't think we ought to be listening to the conversations of terrorists.'"

The hell they did.

One hundred seventy-seven Democrats opposed the president's seizure of another part of the Constitution.

Not even the White House press office could actually name a single Democrat who had ever said the government shouldn't be listening to the conversations of terrorists.

President Bush hears what he wants.

Tuesday, at another fundraiser in California, he had said, "Democrats take a law enforcement approach to terrorism. That means America will wait until we're attacked again before we respond."

Mr. Bush fabricated that, too.

And evidently he has begun to fancy himself as a mind reader.

"If you listen closely to some of the leaders of the Democratic Party," the president said at another fundraiser Monday in Nevada, "it sounds like they think the best way to protect the American people is -- wait until we're attacked again."

The president doesn't just hear what he wants.

He hears things that only he can hear.

It defies belief that this president and his administration could continue to find new unexplored political gutters into which they could wallow.

Yet they do.

It is startling enough that such things could be said out loud by any president of this nation.

Rhetorically, it is about an inch short of Mr. Bush accusing Democratic leaders, Democrats, the majority of Americans who disagree with his policies of treason.

But it is the context that truly makes the head spin.

Just 25 days ago, on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, this same man spoke to this nation and insisted, "We must put aside our differences and work together to meet the test that history has given us."

Posted by: keith | October 6, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I have to wonder why the Lamont campaign isn't getting more active about Lieberman's threats to cross the aisle if he loses his seniority. This is quintessential Lieberman- Joe will do what's best for Joe, not what's best for the people of CT and certainly not what he's promised to do. The biggest X-factor in CT remains the extreme antipathy that he's engendered amongst a great deal of his constituents. Lots of Nutmeggers are sick of the guy, and they're motivated to give him the boot (i.e., strong turnout). Considering CT's demographics, an ad that raises the spectre of Lieberman throwing control of the Senate back to the GOP might be extremely effective.

As to the line, I agree that it's practically a foregone conclusion that PA, MT, OH, and RI will turn Dem and that MD and WA will stay Dem. I'm with Chris in believing that NJ will keep Menendez in the end- the polls are close, but I have to doubt that NJ will end up send a Rep to the Senate- this year in particular. There've just been too many races where the Reps insisted that it was a horse race (and polls bore them out, to some extent) and they ended up being trounced on Election Day. Ford's quotable quote just gave him an extra boost at just the right time, adding momentum to his upturn at just the right time. MO is the real battlefield right now- I doubt anyone will have a clear sense of where it will land up until the returns come in.

I still maintain that Nevada is the real dark horse race to watch, though. The demographics are so fluid that enough Dem GOTV in Clark County could give Carter a surge, and Ensign is a pathetic excuse for a Senator.

Posted by: rhine | October 6, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

David Corn, wondering if there'll be a witch hunt...
There's a list going around. Those disseminating it call it 'The List.' It's a roster of top-level Republican congressional aides who are gay.

"On CBS News on Tuesday, correspondent Gloria Borger reported that there's anger among House Republicans at what an unidentified House GOPer called a 'network of gay staffers and gay members who protect each other and did the Speaker a disservice.' The implication is that these gay Republicans somehow helped page-pursuing Mark Foley before his ugly (and possibly illegal) conduct was exposed. The List -- drawn up by gay politicos -- is a partial accounting of who on Capitol Hill might be in that network.

"I have a copy. I'm not going to publish it. For one, I don't know for a fact that the men on the list are gay. And generally I don't fancy outing people -- though I have not objected when others have outed gay Republicans, who, after all, work for a party that tries to limit the rights of gays and lesbians and that welcomes the support of those who demonize same-sexers.

"What's interesting about The List -- which includes nine chiefs of staffs, two press secretaries, and two directors of communications -- is that (if it's acucurate) it shows that some of the religious right's favorite representatives and senators have gay staffers helping them advance their political careers and agendas.'

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Please, Chris, when you cite a poll that is within the margin of error, don't say X leads Y 43 to 42, or it is tied 46 to 46, as this just isn't correct even if you add the statistically it is a tie. This undercuts your credibility, as we wonder about the validity of your other conclusions that may have come from mis-reading polls. If a poll is within the sampling error (aka margin of error), you just don't know who is ahead or if it is a tie. All you can really say is that it is too close to call, assuming the sample accurately represents the voting population of the district who will turn out this election.

That brings me to a second point. Relying on polls this year may be risky (or riskier than usual). Given what I'm seeing, there is a very likely shift taking place from the last several elections that may make it even tougher to just look at a poll's sampling error and draw any really firm conclusion about what they are telling you. All sampling error tells you, statistically, is that if you repeat the survey using the same methodology, you will get results that fall in that margin of error 19 of 20 times. If your sampling method, survey method, or the survey itself introduce bias, that just means you are able to repeat a biased survey multiple times, not that your survey is an apt fit to your larger population.

What I'm seeing is a demoralized social conservative grass roots that while they won't vote Dem. are more likely than the last several elections to stay home, not contribute, and/or not volunteer for the retail politics side of a campaign. Democratic activist, on the other hand, seem to be as mobilized as the past couple elections, and perhaps even more for a mid-term election as they smell blood in the water. You have to then look at how any poll makes decisions about who is a likely voter. If it is based on past voting record, there may be a bias, if (and please note the if) what I just said plays out and Republicans can't find a way to re-mobilize their conservative Christian base to the extent it has been in recent elections. If there is a head wind (the metaphor that seems to be the most widely used to describe what Republican candidates are facing), this may turn out to be the most significant contributor to it.

The wild card, other than last minute blunders by individual campaigns, is will the massive amounts of national & 527 moneies that are going to be poured into negative advertising supress independent & Democratic voters effectively enough to negate all, or part, of what I'm suggesting is going on on the Republican side?

This is entirely possible, given the lower than usual regard for Congress in general right now (which although this is worse for Republicans in general, is capable of playing a roll in supressing independent and democratic turn out with a pox on both your houses attitude), and the lack of much in the way of clear positive alternatives beyond the main message of Dems which seems to be we'll resist the Bush White House better that might positively motivate folks that lean toward a Democrat slightly as a lesser of two evils choice. There has been very little out of Dems on some of the economic issues that they could have traction on, like increasing poverty rates and stagnating lower & middle class incomes after four-five years of economic recovery (something that hasn't happened in past recoveries of recent decades), continued health care concerns, housing and mortgage issues, and continued impression that little is being done on corporate governance. The Democratic leadership has generally run away from these issues in recent times, so I'm not expecting much of a change in the last few weeks to develop some stronger positive message about making peoples lives better economically. Of course, Republicans haven't been able to capitalize on a "strong" economy when you look at a few measures that don't tell us much about the economic conditions of most of the population, and the tax issue isn't as credible as in the past either with the inability of Republicans to control spending and deficits (the tax & spend Democrats chanrge loosing its usual teeth given recent performance).

So that leaves me back to whether the mud-slinging (to put what is coming in the next few weeks politely) can dampen likely Dem voters enough. The one offsetting factor I see here is that as the number of competitive races increases, that money is going to get spread around more thinly by both sides this election.

I hesitate to offer any real predictions given the sheer number of uncertainties. Given the vote suppressing effects of the last few weeks advertising, the huge shift of seats some are predicting (30, 40, 50 in the House) seems very premature to me. I still think the Senate is going to be a stretch for Dems, but I do suspect the Vice President is going to get a little busier in the next two years.

Sorry for the length of the post.

Cheers!

Posted by: dkm | October 6, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

George, Don't hold your breath waiting for silly Zza to ask any questions. As far as he's concerned they're only "allegations" from Warner that the war is not going wonderfully. Maybe a jaunt over to Dover to watch the coffins come in, or a trip to the amputee or burn wards would help him understand. But nah, that's too much trouble, afterall they're only "allegations".

Posted by: Cliff | October 6, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

hi chris, I have a question about the santorum residency in PA: if his kids can't be cyber-schooled in pennsylvania because the family lives in virginia (and not in the two-room penn hills home), then where is the santorum residence for senatorial purposes?

there seems to be a conflict between the definition of residency for schooling and the one for senate - ?

thanks for any clarity you can offer.

Posted by: peacebug | October 6, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Now that John Warner is turning into a "cut-and-run" Republican, where is George Allen on the Iraq war? Is he going to change his mind like he has on everything else, or is he going to cling to Bush?
Someone in the Fourth Estate should ask him.

Posted by: George | October 6, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I live in a very conservative, well-to-do area of Baltimore County, just a few miles north of the city. Some of the newer homes in my neighborhood routinely sell over over $1 million. Two years ago you couldn't find a single yard sign for a Democratic candidate.

Well, that's changed-- a LOT. While the signs for Steele and Ehrlich definitely outnumber those for Cardin and O'Malley, the ratio is probably closer to 3 Republican signs and bumper stickers to 2 Democratic signs and stickers. I was a poll judge on Sept. 12, and a pretty good number of people told me, "I should be registered as a Democrat by now..."

Steele and Ehrlich will both lose. Steele in particular shouldn't even be on your list, Chris. Granted, I hear a distinctly one-sided conversation (almost all of my friends are registered Democrats), but I haven't heard a single person saying positive things about Steele's ads. Nobody thinks that Cardin's ads, saying that Steele agrees with Bush on embryonic stem cell research, a woman's right to choose, etc., are "trash talk." They're not: they're simply pointing out a valid difference in the way Steele would vote if elected. I really don't understand how Steele thinks that saying he's a candidate for change makes it a fact. He usually ends with, "Want more of the same? Vote for Cardin. If you want an independent voice in Washington, I'm your man" (I may have misquoted this somewhat, but that's the gist of his message). I presume by "the same," he means Paul Sarbanes, who is extemely popular. Personally, I see a vote for Steele as being a vote for "more of the same"-- supporting Bush's misguided policies, and a vote for Cardin as being a vote for someone to stand up to the current powers-that-be.

Posted by: Dee | October 6, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Re Allen's "alleged racially insensitive comments and actions" Oh you poor silly Zza. It must be tough living life with no eyes or ears. Helen Keller would have been proud of what you've achieved, working for a big paper and all.

Clearly you have been unable to look at the Macaca video, or listen to Allen conflate "discovering" he was Jewish (passes maternally you know, or maybe you don't) with his lunch - a ham sandwich, or watch as he confessed he had brought many of his troubles on himself the other evening.

You can say a number of things about Allen, but repeatedly brushing it all off as "alleged" is brain dead. If you are going to make a living covering this stuff, you need to pay attention.

Posted by: Cliff | October 6, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes: Steele is a dead candidate walking. All Cardin had to do was run an ad showing Steele and Bush arm in arm, smiling. He's done that. Game over.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | October 6, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Twenty-one years earlier, in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

"Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. "We punished people with 15 year

Posted by: we used to call torture, torture | October 6, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes is in fantasy land if he or she thinks Steele has a realistic chance to defeat Cardin in Maryland, where Democrats and progressive independents far outnumber Republicans and conservatives. It would take an extraordinary event, such as the complete collapse of the Cardin campaign, for Steele to get over 50 percent. You Republicans should fight on your own turf if you want to retain your majority. Focus your time and effort on more conservative states where you have at least an even chance -- states like Missouri, Virginia, and Tennessee. You guys are not gonna pick up any Senate seats currently held by Democrats -- not Maryland, not New Jersey, not Washington, not Michigan. The only thing that can save the Republicans, and I fully expect them to do it again, is to engage in widespread intimidation of minority voters and massive electoral fraud involving stealing votes through electronic voting machines. Believe me, they will put a lot of money into "challenging" the credentials of black voters at inner city polling places. It's disgusting, but they do it every time, and it works for them in close races.

Posted by: Partisan Democrat | October 6, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

IF CLINTON DESERVED A SPECIAL COUNSEL, WHY DOESN'T THIS?

"Republicans are calculating that the smartest way to survive the Mark Foley sex scandal is to rally around House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and hope that no new evidence surfaces before Election Day that shows GOP leaders could have done more to prevent the congressman from preying on young male pages, according to several GOP lawmakers and strategists.

"For now, they said, it would be politically disastrous for Republicans to oust Hastert because it would be viewed as akin to a public admission of guilt in the scandal, as well as a pre-election victory that would buoy Democrats and help their turnout efforts....

"Still, many Republicans accused Hastert of badly bungling the political fallout of the Foley scandal and waiting until yesterday to take responsibility and decisive action to investigate the matter.
"'I don't think anyone has handled this particularly well,' said a top House Republican, who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly. Hastert and other leaders 'are having to focus on staying clear of this scandal individually, and not thinking about reelecting people.'

"Others complained that Hastert's blame-the-media-and-Democrats strategy looks odd when conservatives are leading the charge for his resignation." (WaPo)

Posted by: Dana | October 6, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Republican beliefs that the Christian Conservatives (CC) will pour out to save the day may be a little misplaced. Over the last 4 election cycles the CC have supported the Republicans and have waited for their issues to be addressed. So far the Republicans on the Hill wait until they are just about ready to head home to campaign to they bring up the CC's issues and they aren't passed. However, during this same period, they hold open votes, twist arms, bribed members to pass tax cuts for the wealthy, tax cuts for oil companies, and laws to let the president pretty much operate like a dictator. These people may be very trusting, but they aren't stupid. This may well be the year the CCs ask "What have you done for me lately?"

Posted by: Repub | October 6, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes,

I think you need to differentiate between social conservatives and religious conservatives. Nothing motivates the religious conservatives these days like the threat of the "homosexual agenda". They get positively apoplectic on this subject. Many of the evangelicals are not particularly political and were drawn to the GOP by the so-called "values issues" hyped by so many of the religious right leaders. These are not people comfortable with a "lesser of two evils" strategy and they are capable of withdrawing from political participation - this is not a group with a long history of poliical participation. The 2004 election saw a record turnout of these voters so it isn't hard to see how a below normal turnout would seriously depress Republican chances. The whole Rovian election strategy is to maximize base turnout and grab just enough middle of the roaders (generally through demonizing the other candidate) to win the election. Turning off a relatively small portion of the base seriously undermines this strategy.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 6, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Two sets of new national polling:

Zogby/Reuters
9/25-10/2

Gallup/USA Today
9/27-10/1

10. NV
Zogby/WSJ
September II Battleground
Carter (D) 42%
Ensign (R)* 49%

9/21 Mason Dixon Carter 35% - Ensign 58%

9. WA
Zogby/WSJ
Sept I Battleground
Cantwell (D)* 50.2%
McGavick (R) 42%

9/25 Survey USA Cantwell 54%- McGavick 42%
9/22 Rasmussen Cantwell 48%- McGavick 42%
9/28 Mason Dixon Cantwell 50%- McGavick 40%
9/24 Strategic Vision (R) Cantwell 49%- McGavick 40%

8. VA
Gallup/USA Today
Webb (D)45%
Allen (R)* 48%

Zogby/WSJ
Sept II Battleground
Webb (D)44%
Allen (R)* 49%

9/27 Mason Dixon Webb 43%- Allen 43%
10/1 Rasmussen Webb 43%- Allen 49%
9/28 Survey USA Webb 44%- Allen 50%

7. MO
Gallup/USA Today
McCaskill (D) 48%
Talent (R)* 45%

Zogby/Reuters
McCaskill (D) 39%
Talent (R)* 43%

Zogby/WSJ
Sept II Battleground
McCaskill (D) 45%
Talent (R)* 47%

10/2 Rasmussen McCaskill 47%- Talent 46%
9/14 Survey USA McCaskill 48%-Talent 47%

6. TN
Gallup/USA Today
Ford (D) 50%
Corker (R) 45%

Zogby/Reuters
Ford (D) 40%
Corker (R) 40%

Zogby/WSJ
Sept II Battleground
Ford (D) 42%
Corker (R) 48%

10/1 Rasmussen Ford 48%- Corker 43%
9/12 Survey USA Ford 48%- Corker 45%
9/30 Middle Tenn St. Ford 42% - Corker 43%

5. NJ
Gallup/USA Today
Menendez (D)* 46%
Kean Jr. (R) 43%

Zogby/Reuters
Menendez (D)* 45.5%
Kean Jr. (R) 35%

9/22 Rasmussen Menendez 41%- Kean Jr. 42%
9/18 Quinnipiac Menendez 45%- Kean Jr. 48%
9/28 Mason Dixon Menendez 44%- Kean Jr. 41%
9/26 Rutgers Menendez 45%- Kean Jr. 44%
9/28 Marist Menendez 37%- Kean Jr. 42%
9/21 Monmouth College Menendez 38% - Kean Jr. 44%
10/2 Fairleigh Dickinson College
Menendez 46%- Kean Jr. 39%
10/1 Strategic Vision (R) Menendez 41%- Kean Jr. 46%

4. OH
Gallup/USA Today
Brown (D) 46%
DeWine (R)* 40%

Zogby/Reuters
Brown (D) 41%
DeWine (R)* 41%

Zogby/WSJ
Sept II Battleground
Brown (D) 45%
DeWine (R)* 41%

9/28 Mason Dixon Brown 45%- DeWine 43%
9/17 Quinnipiac Brown 45%- DeWine 44%
10/2 Rasmussen Brown 49%- DeWine 41%
9/21 Survey USA Brown 52%- DeWine 42%
9/22 Columbus Dispatch Brown 47%- DeWine 42%
9/17 Univ of Cincinnati Ohio Poll
Brown 51%- DeWine 47%

3. MT
Gallup/USA Today
Tester (D) 48%
Burns (R)* 45%

Zogby/Reuters
Tester (D) 46%
Burns (R)* 42%

9/28 Mason Dixon Tester 47%- Burns 40%
9/22 Rasmussen Tester 50%- Burns 43%

2. RI
Gallup/USA Today
Whitehouse (D) 50%
Chafee (R)* 39%

Zogby/Reuters
Whitehouse (D) 45%
Chafee (R)* 41%

9/13 Rasmussen Whitehouse 51%- Chafee 43%
9/28 Mason Dixon Whitehouse 42%- Chafee 41%
9/18 Brown Univ Whitehouse 40%- Chafee 39%

1. PA
Gallup/USA Today
Casey Jr. (D) 56%
Santorum (R)* 38%

Zogby/Reuters
Casey Jr. (D) 48%
Santorum (R)* 36%

Zogby/WSJ
Sept II Battleground
Casey Jr. (D) 46%
Santorum (R)* 40%

9/20 Rasmussen Casey Jr. 49%- Santorum 39%
9/24 Quinnipiac Casey Jr. 54%- Santorum 40%
9/28 Mason Dixon Casey Jr. 49%-
Santorum 40%
9/18 Keystone Poll Casey Jr. 45% -
Santorum 38%
9/20 Phila. Enquirer Casey Jr. 49%- Santorum 39%
9/24 Strategic Vision (R) Casey Jr. 50%- Santorum 41%


Others:
Maryland
Gallup/USA Today
Cardin (D) 54%
Steele (R) 39%

Zogby/Reuters
Cardin (D) 45%
Steele (R) 37%

Zogby/WSJ
Sept II Battleground
Cardin (D) 52%
Steele (R) 39%

9/28 Mason Dixon Cardin 47%- Steele 41%
9/13 Rasmussen Cardin 50%- Steele 43%
9/19 Survey USA Cardin 47%- Steele 48%
9/18 Potomac Cardin 51%- Steele 40%
10/4 Public Opinion Str. (R) Cardin 47%- Steele 43%

Posted by: RMill | October 6, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous Poster, I beg to differ-- Gallup just released a poll today-- yes, TODAY-- that shows Allen at 48% and Webb at 43%-- within the margin of error. Essentially, a tie. Check it out:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/polls/tables/live/2006-10-05-virginia-races.htm

Posted by: The Caped Composer | October 6, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes - We stand corrected.

Steele has an uphill fight. He has some great TV ads; but Cardin's are fairly good also. Both break away from the standard, strolling across open meadows with family members. Steele's are better, but both sides are interesting visually.

Cardin isn't flashy, but that doesn't mean he isn't a good campaigner. If Marylanders were swayed by glamor and glitz, Barbara Mikulski would still be back in Highlandtown.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 6, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter, I agree with you that timing matters. Since the erroneous tie by Mason-Dixon, however, there have been three polls that show substantial leads by Allen.

Check it out: http://www.pollster.com/polls/?state=VA&race=senate_race

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

That Gallup poll has Cardin up by 15! It's full of good news for Democrats.

Posted by: coyote | October 6, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter, you wonder why Governor Napolitano has not gotten much in the way of national attention? (I assume you mean appearing on a national ticket?) Well, the sad fact is, America will never elect a single woman with short hair. Frankly, I personally could care less about what a candidate does behind closed doors (provided it doesn't involve minors, relatives, dead people, or those who do not give consent,) but I know that most Americans do not share that libertarian viewpoint. All it takes is a perception of homosexuality to undermine a candidate at the national level. You think the Republicans would let up for a second in terms of hammering Napolitano and spreading whisper campaigns about her? It's sad but true-- Gov. Napolitano is an incredibly capable official, and, in a perfect world, she'd be a great national candidate. But this is not a perfect world, so the scenario is never going to happen.

Posted by: The Caped Composer | October 6, 2006 11:48 AM | Report abuse

This is so sick...

'ABC contributor Michelle Dubert reports: While campaigning for Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) in the Philadelphia suburbs today, former President George H.W. Bush warned of a "ghastly" future for his son and other Americans if "wild Democrats" take over Congress.
"I would hate to think what Arlen's life would be like, what Rick's life would be like, and what my son's life would be like if we lose control of the Congress," said former President George Bush in a reference to Pennsylvania's two Republican Senators. "If we have some of these wild Democrats in charge of these committees, it will be a ghastly thing for our country."

"They'd be pushing through all kinds of crazy legislation," he added, "And they would be issuing the subpoenas, dragging people in just to be getting headlines."

The former President made his remarks at a Santorum fundraiser at a private residence in Gladwyne, PA that was also attended by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA).'

' warned of a "ghastly" future for his son' -- this says it all right here... he's afraid if all the crap that his son has son is made public and has to be accounted for. junior will have a 'ghastly' furture -- exactly what he deserves. but really, after pursuing clinton with a lynch mob for 8 years -- how dare they even talk aboout draggig people into court 'just to make headlines'

PUHLEEZE...GET REAL.

Posted by: DRINDL | October 6, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

There was a classic radio/TV segement on Imus In The Morning today.

A very good discussion with Sen. Santorum on the Combating Autism Act, a bill to aid in the fight against autism in kids [which has the majority support of both parties, but won't be "let out of committee" by Rep. Joe Barton], was followed by a discussion in which Rep. J. D. Hayworth tried to re-direct the debate taking place about the House leadership, using the standard red herring talking points.

Rep. Hayworth who has a background in radio/TV is good at using the medium. But Imus just wouldn't let him get away with the diversion, and kept countering that the base issue is the ethical failure of the House leadership to protect kids placed in their charge.

Maybe it will show up on something like YouTube. It was priceless.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 6, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Condi goes to Iraq:
'Update: Note that in this State Dept. photo, Rice had to wear a bullet-proof vest from the moment she disembarked her plane.)
[S]igns of progress were not much in evidence in the first hours of her visit.
It began inauspiciously when the military transport plane that brought her to Baghdad was forced to circle the city for about 40 minutes because of what a State Department spokesman later said was either mortar fire or rockets at the airport.

On Thursday evening, during her meeting with President Jalal Talabani, the lights went out, forcing Rice to continue the discussion in the dark. It was a reminder of the city's erratic -- and sometimes nonexistent -- electrical service.

She arrived in the midst of an especially bloody few days for American troops. At least 21 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq since Saturday, most in Baghdad. Two car bombings in the city Thursday left at least four Iraqi civilians dead

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

hastert calls boehner a liar...
'Conservative activist Paul Weyrich, president of the Free Congress Foundation, told ABC News that in a private phone conversation Hastert "assured me that Congressman Boehner had never, ever talked to him about this."

"He didn't call him a 'liar,' " Weyrich said, "but he said, 'Paul, I assure you that phone call or visit from the majority leader never took place."

As to the claim by Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., that he also had told Hastert earlier this year about the e-mails, Weyrich said Hastert said in private, as he has in public, that he doesn't remember that, but he did not challenge Reynolds' veracity.

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Steele has no chance. Last Republican Senator from Maryland was a pretty good guy, back when the party had "Rockefeller Republicans." But he retired almost 20 years ago. And Republicans are swimming upstream this year.

Posted by: coyote | October 6, 2006 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I meant Maryland with a Steele upset because even though he's in a blue state he is a far better candidate than Cardin. Same goes for TN. Ford is by far a much better candidate and I believe he will win this red state because he is a skillfull pol. I mean I like this guy, and I am pretty damm conservative. Also don't overlook Michigan, we could pull an upset there as well. JimD: I think you way overestimate the Foley scandal. Social conservatives don't have a death wish. AND the thought of Speaker Pelosi will get them to the polls in sufficient numbers. NorEaster: A LOST is A Lost. If we lose the house,it would be silly trying to spin it as anything else. BUT if we keep the House under the current adverse climate, I think Carville is right, you guys are probably going the way of the Federlists and Whigs.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 6, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I agree that the chances of Washington or Maryland going Republican are similar to that of Arizona going Democratic.

Posted by: Sean | October 6, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"Congress has no authority to tell the president how to run the executive. Any such law will be deemed unconstitutional."

This is spectacularly clueless. This is why we're stuck with the government we have. So many voters actually believe things like this. It's called "Congressional Oversight," although it's certainly been absent for the last 6 years.

Posted by: vienna local | October 6, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse

PM, thanks for the poll numbers. "AZ-GOV Behavior Res. Oct 6 Napolitano (D) 58%, Munsil (R) 24%"

When does Federal former prosecutor Napolitano, who has dealt with major Immigration issues as Governor in addition to the normal business of running a state, get some credibility as a "player" in the Democratic Party? Seems to me she has some pretty good credentials to appeal across the political spectrum, yet you never hear her name mentioned in a "national" context.

JimD - You're right, it would be Missouri.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 6, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Its amazing how Chris picks and chooses which poll he uses to back up his predetermined analysis. For example, there is a Zogby - non robocall - poll out yesterday in MT showing the race statistically tied 46-42 yet he chooses and older poll because it backs up his lazy analysis. Bias is in the eye of the beholder, but laziness is inexcusable.

Posted by: T.W. | October 6, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I might alter the positions here and there, but I think the top races are there except for one race, Arizona. Although I don't think it is in democratic hands at this point, I think there is a better shot at turnover there then with Washington. The gap is too big in Washington...a blue state in a blue year with a blue incumbent. Arizona on the other hand shows a steady blue climb and a steady red decline and you can't count out the coattails of a very popular democratic governor in Arizona.

Posted by: Scott | October 6, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

A Comment on my favorites: #9. This one can be removed, Cardin win. #8. and #7. these are two of my predictions to win Webb and Ford. #5. McCaskill will be the winner, but I would keep Mo. on the list. The others seem to be pretty well in line. The Big Question still remains as to what the voters reaction to the misinformation the repubs are putting out, from the WH and all the way down their falsehoods are being exposed. This tactic of blaming the media, the other guy or it's OK they did the same thing, the other party made it up, simply will not work. These ignonramous attempts are failing and it is more than likely this is something that will finally stick to the teflon party.

Posted by: lylepink | October 6, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (Oct. 6) - If the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in November elections, the party's House leader Nancy Pelosi says in a matter of days she would "drain the swamp" after more than a decade of Republican rule.

Posted by: go nancy | October 6, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

TRENTON, N.J. (Oct. 5) - Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez has opened a slight lead over Republican Tom Kean Jr., helped by Democrats rallying around their candidate, according to a poll released Thursday.

The Fairleigh Dickinson-PublicMind poll gives Menendez a 42 percent to 37 percent edge over Kean among likely voters. The lead grows to 7 percentage points if voters who are leaning toward a particular candidate are included.

The telephone poll of 514 probable voters taken Sept. 27 through Oct. 2 has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

With about a month to go until the election, 81 percent of Democratic voters say they support Menendez, while only 10 percent of Democrats say they will support Kean. Kean's support among Democrats has tumbled from 19 percent last month, while Menendez had 68 percent support before Labor Day, according to the pol

Posted by: dana | October 6, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse

and I think bhoomes meant Missouri not Montana

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 6, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Nor'easter - I was up late last night and haven't had enough coffee yet.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 6, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

My bad. Charges not filed, but police investigated and Sherwood paid her off:

'Charges were never filed, but Ore sued Sherwood, claiming he had choked her. Sherwood apologized for the affair but denied abusing Ore. The suit was settled for an undisclosed sum.'

And Chris Carney has picked up a knife! Go Chris!

'The ad began running Tuesday in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market and comes days after Chris Carney, his Democratic opponent, launched a hard-hitting commercial focusing on the affair.

Carney's ad features a voter saying, "This incident with Don Sherwood just cuts right at the core values of our district." The phrases "repeatedly choking" and "attempting to strangle plaintiff," taken from the lawsuit, appear on the screen.'

Posted by: drndl | October 6, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Here's another classic one -- the 'family values' party is reduced to accepting hush money for covering up peophilia -- this one admitting on TV to having an affair but denying that he tried to strangle the young woman [which he was charged with].

'SCRANTON, Pa. (Oct. 5) - Rep. Don Sherwood, a Republican fighting for re-election in northeastern Pennsylvania, says in a TV ad that he is "truly sorry" for cheating on his wife but denies ever abusing the woman he had the affair with.'

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

One more thing, FOrd's comeback really impresses me. The Democrats need to be aggressive. One of their downfalls in recent years has been the "Daddy Party" Republican image versus the "Mommy Party" Democratic image. Look at David Ignatius's column in today's WaPo. Accountability is a great theme for Democratic candidates. The serious mishandling of the occupation of Iraq, the awarding of medals to people responsible for these screw-ups, Katrina, the appointment of unqualified political cronies to sensitive postions (Brownie, the whole Iraqi Occupation Authority),the Abramoff scanda, Tom Delay, Mark Foley, It is a great theme to tie all these issues together.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 6, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

yockel and bhoomes - Reasonable point on the polls. However, how long do you stay with the results of older polls after a newer one has been published? Especially if some significant event has occurred which could affect a race.

I'm seeing truly significant differences in a number of polls in various races, to the point where throwing a dart at a number range might give me just as good a result.

And of course, there's only one poll result which counts anyway.

JimD - not meant to quibble, but MT is Montana.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 6, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I tend to agree with Political Junkie. Outside of CT, however, I agree with Drindl: it's a knife fight, pick up a god**** knife. Nothing's going to come out of either the FBI or the Ethics Committee before November 7. Don't take your marching orders from Liebermann, the Neville Chamberlain of the Democratic party.

I'd like to see some Foleygate commercials on my TV really soon. Ominous music. Bush and Foley shaking hands and grinning. Hastert's fat face fading in along with whatever R candidate is running in that market. Heck, you might not even need a voice-over but if they took money from Foley then smear them with it; it doesn't matter whether they returned it or not. The targeted impression: they are pedophile-enablers. Stop being such a bunch of sissies. Do you for one split second think that the R's would behave as nicely as you are? Don't make me vomit!

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 6, 2006 10:48 AM | Report abuse

'Congress has no authority to tell the president how to run the executive. Any such law will be deemed unconstitutional.'

Fraid you don't understand. The Congress has the consitutional duty to creat laws and provide oversight of the executive. The president can't simply decide to ignore laws. Or if he can, why the fuss about Monica?

The president would only be above the law if he were king or dictator, you know?

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes - Yesterday, "coyote" offered, "Didja see the Fox News item from "a Republican source" about how Hastert is gonna lose the GOP 50 seats?"

The apparent source is Rove. Remember, one of Rove's very successful tactics has been to lower expectations.

So, if the GOP lost only 20 seats (and the House), Rove could actually have the President declare that another victory. - "Y'all thought that we were gonna lose 50 seats, and we didn't. It just goes to show that Americans have faith in the Republicans to lead them through these troubled times."

We've seen that logic accepted before.

Somebody's pushing the 50 number and it ain't Rahm Emmanuel or Nancy Pelosi if Fox News is the outlet.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 6, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Dan W - the Senate does currently have an Independent, Jim Jeffords of VT. His term is up and he is not running for re-election. Rep Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the favorite to win that seat but Sanders has always voted to organize the House with the Democrats.

bhoomes - Did you mean Montana when you said "Ma". MA is Massachussetts, MO is Montana. I think you seriuosly underestimate the anger among the organized religious right. The Foley scandal crystallizes a general resentment many of them feel - that the Republicans cater to them and depend upon them in elections but do not really address their issues in anything but symbolic terms. Now all of you on the right and the left can fulminate about stem cells, Supreme Court nominees, etc. but it is a fact that many religious right leaders have expressed a great deal of frustration with the Republicans for not doing more to advance the social issues agenda. The Foley issue is stirring up a great deal of anger among these people - do not underestimate its potential to depress evangelical turnout in many key races.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 6, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

As a Democrat, I am upset with Lieberman, but I think we need to ease our criticism. He's going to win re-election. Latest poll I saw gives him a double-digit lead. I would rather have him caucus with the Dems than with the Republicans. We need the numbers. Remember, its all about getting a majority. Even with the current political climate, its going to be awfully close. I would hate to win six seats and Lieberman, who has been blasted by Democrats, decides to caucus with the Republicans allowing them to keep their majority. Please keep your eye on the big picture Dems. Remember, we are supposed to be more of an open tent party than the Republicans. Harsh criticism of Lieberman does not help.

Posted by: Political Junkie | October 6, 2006 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Last year polls showed Corzine and Forrester were nearly tied in the race for New Jersey governor. Corzine won by double digits. Republicans thought they had a chance to carry New Jersey in the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004. Gore carried the state by 16 points and Kerry carried it by 10. Kean's father is beloved in New Jersey, and his name might put him over the top in another year, but in the current environment, I think Menendez will win easily. If New Jersey is the Republican Party's best hope of preventing Democrats from taking back the Senate, they are desperate. Better to spend their money on Missouri and Tennessee and Virginia.

The sleeper race, not mentioned on The Fix's Line today, is Arizona. Democrat Jim Pederson's chances of beating incumbent Republican Jon Kyl are better than Steele's chances of defeating Cardin in Maryland. Black voters in Maryland are smart enough to know that Steele is a Republican trojan horse. Cardin will win by double digits.

Posted by: Partisan Democrat | October 6, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

As a Democrat, I am upset with Lieberman, but I think we need to ease our criticism. He's going to win re-election. Latest poll I saw gives him a double-digit lead. I would rather have him caucus with the Dems than with the Republicans. We need the numbers. Remember, its all about getting a majority. Even with the current political climate, its going to be awfully close. I would hate to win six seats and Lieberman, who has been blasted by Democrats, decides to caucus with the Republicans allowing them to keep their majority. Please keep your eye on the big picture Dems. Remember, we are supposed to be more of an open tent party than the Republicans. Harsh criticism of Lieberman does not help.

Posted by: Political Junkie | October 6, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

As a Democrat, I am upset with Lieberman, but I think we need to ease our criticism. He's going to win re-election. Latest poll I saw gives him a double-digit lead. I would rather have him caucus with the Dems than with the Republicans. We need the numbers. Remember, its all about getting a majority. Even with the current political climate, its going to be awfully close. I would hate to win six seats and Lieberman, who has been blasted by Democrats, decides to caucus with the Republicans allowing them to keep their majority. Please keep your eye on the big picture Dems. Remember, we are supposed to be more of an open tent party than the Republicans. Harsh criticism of Lieberman does not help.

Posted by: Political Junkie | October 6, 2006 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Hush money! Child Predator! Beautiful, not even Stennis or Gore come close to topping Tennessee's number one politician.

I wonder if Foley will try and pull a Gingrich with some warped teenage kid, wouldn't THAT be an interesting twist in the Same Sex Marriage debate?

Posted by: Ford is KING | October 6, 2006 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Andy R: Interesting thought. I think it would be good for the country to have a Dem house and a Rep Senate. I hate this 1 party rule crap.

Drindl: I have to side with the Pres on this one and I think the supreme court will side with him. Congress has no authority to tell the president how to run the executive. Any such law will be deemed unconstitutional.

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the Senate currently have an independent? So if Lieberman gets elected the Senate could become 49/49/2.

Posted by: Dan W | October 6, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Mouse: A small republican majority in the Senate would make it difficult if not impossible to get some of our more conservative judges confirmed. I do believe we will pick up NJ, but Kean would be in the mold of Chaffee and Snow and would be no great friend to the Bush WH. I think we have a real shot at Wa. and Ma. So I do feel good about the Senate. JD: I'm glad you are staying home because we know you are full of S**t about being republican. I can stand about just anything on these postings but misrepresentation and dishonesty about who you really are. Anytime somebody says they are a democrat/republican but! You can count on them being totally full of sh*t about who they really are.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 6, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

'The ethics panel approved nearly four dozen subpoenas for documents and testimony from House members, officers and aides. Its leaders said they plan to complete the inquiry in a matter of weeks, but not necessarily before the Nov. 7 congressional elections.'

Does that mean 4 dozen people were subpoenaed?

Oh and 'not neccessarily before the elections...' teehee. wotta surprise.

Posted by: dana | October 6, 2006 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Do you even believe Lieberman? Is he for real? Here he criticizes Dems for 'politicizing' the pedophilia--you know, after he stood in the well of the Senatre for his republican buddies and trashed bill clinton. What a freaking snake he is:

'Joe Lieberman takes yet another swing at Democrats who want to "politicize" the gross mismangement by his Republican friends that led to the online sexual solicitation of minors who were under their protection. As he told the Courant:

"The Foley case bothers people," he added. "If anyone thinks they can make this into another partisan flap, it's not. It's very real and human. The House Republican leaders and, frankly, the Democratic leadership, should not make it partisan."

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Judge, wasn't it you who mentioned a witch hunt?

-- Conservative activists are beginning to discuss the Mark Foley scandal as indicative of a GOP that has become too tolerant of gays in their midst. Regardless of the party's efforts against gay marriage, the argument goes, the fact that Republican officials accept gay congressmen, such as Foley, and staffers will mean the party will have problems.

"As a society we've made diversity and tolerance the guidepost of public life," Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council told ABC News. "Maybe we shouldn't be surprised that we have Congressmen chasing after sixteen year old boys."

Knowing cons as I do, I knew this would happen. Republicans have sex with children, then accept bribes to cover it up -- blame Bill Clinton. Blame Democrats. Blame the 60's. Blame civil rights. Blame society. Let's see who else can we blame? Anybody but the actual perpetrators.

And while we're at it, let's bring back intolerance the rule of straight white rich men. Not that it ever really left.

Posted by: dridl | October 6, 2006 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Slew of new (mostly Gallup) polls, looking good for the Dems:


Race Pollster Released Candidates
AZ-GOV Behavior Res. Oct 6 Napolitano (D) 58%, Munsil (R) 24%
TN_GOV Gallup Oct 6 Bredesen (D) 66%, Bryson (R) 26%
RI-GOV Gallup Oct 6 Carcieri (R) 47%, Fogarty (D) 46%
MD-GOV Gallup Oct 6 O'Malley (D) 53%, Ehrlich (R) 41%
VA-SEN Gallup Oct 6 Allen (R) 48%, Webb (D) 45%
TN-SEN Gallup Oct 6 Ford (D) 50%, Corker (R) 45%
RI-SEN Gallup Oct 6 Whitehouse (D) 50%, Chafee (R) 39%
NJ-SEN Gallup Oct 6 Menendez (D) 46%, Kean (R) 43%
MO-SEN Gallup Oct 6 McCaskill (D) 48%, Talent (R) 45%
MD-SEN Gallup Oct 6 Cardin (D) 54%, Steele (R) 39%
MI-GOV EPIC-MRA Oct 5 Granholm (D) 46%, DeVos (R) 40%
MI-SEN EPIC-MRA Oct 5 Stabenow (D) 48%, Bouchard (R) 35%
NY-SEN Quinnipiac Oct 5 Clinton (D) 66%, Spencer (R) 31%
WI-GOV Research 2000 Oct 5 Doyle (D) 48%, Green (R) 42%
FL-13 Hamilt. Beattie (D) Oct 5 Jennings (D) 50%, Buchanan (R) 38%
Congress Time Oct 5 Democrats 54%, Republicans 39%

Posted by: PM | October 6, 2006 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Gaithersburg-

Congress banned online gambling. The reason it will affect your ability to play on overseas servers is because the GOP made it illegal for the financial (banks, credit card companies) to process payments to online gambling sites.

Posted by: Tetris | October 6, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Gaithersburg-

Congress banned online gambling. The reason it will affect your ability to play on overseas servers is because the GOP made it illegal for the financial (banks, credit card companies) companies to process payments to online gambling sites.

Posted by: Tetris | October 6, 2006 9:38 AM | Report abuse


Privacy advocate Marc Rotenberg said Bush is trying to subvert lawmakers' ability to accurately monitor activities of the executive branch of government.

The department's privacy office has put the brakes on some initiatives, such as using insecure radio-frequency identification technology, or RFID, in travel documents. It also developed privacy policies after an uproar over the disclosure that airlines turned over their passengers' personal information to the government.

The last privacy report was submitted in February 2005.

Bush's signing statement Wednesday challenges several other provisions in the Homeland Security spending bill.

Bush, for example, said he'd disregard a requirement that the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency must have at least five years experience and "demonstrated ability in and knowledge of emergency management and homeland security."

He's essentially he'll hire another brownie if he wants. I am just astounded by his naked power lust.

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Gaithersburg, they are regulating oversees servers by prohibiting credit card companies to pay gambling bills. There are ways to circumvent that. However, the banks of the foreign online casinos will demand compliance with US laws. Otherwise, there will be no credit or any other services.

The oversees banks cannot accept the risk of violating US law. Only a couple of weeks ago, the US attorney arrested a British gambling manager who travelled through a Texas airport. The risk of prosecution is just too big.

Posted by: Yockel | October 6, 2006 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Ford is doing exactly what all Dems should be doing. Attack.. attack. attack. Do whaat they do. You're in a knife fight, pick up a knife for chrissake.

This country is in a very scary place right now. Will the Dems do the right thing and fight like their lives depended on it? Because they do.

Look at this -- we now honestly have a dictator.

'WASHINGTON - President Bush, again defying Congress, says he has the power to edit the Homeland Security Department's reports about whether it obeys privacy rules while handling background checks, ID cards and watchlists.

In the law Bush signed Wednesday, Congress stated no one but the privacy officer could alter, delay or prohibit the mandatory annual report on Homeland Security department activities that affect privacy, including complaints.

But Bush, in a signing statement attached to the agency's 2007 spending bill, said he will interpret that section "in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch."

Congress, for once trying to exercise their duty to check and balance and oversee the executive, gets slapped down and told by bush that he doesn't have to obey the law-- any law. It's astounding. Is this what even republicans in Congress want? A lawless dictator?

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2006 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Bhoomes
Assume you are correct (although I have some doubts about the Republicans keeping Rhode Island), and the Republicans lose Pennsylvania and Montana, while no other seats change parties in the Senate.
That would leave a 53-47 split, but with a Republican majority that includes Sens. Chaffee, Snowe, Collins, and Specter.
How would that affect the kind of legislation and court appointments that could get through the Senate?

Posted by: Mouse | October 6, 2006 9:28 AM | Report abuse

wouldn't it be a great irony if the Dems thought they had 51 seats including Lieberman in Ct, and he switched parties, because of the snub he's gotten, and the Senate is 50-50 and then Cheney breaks the tie. Wild!!!!!

Posted by: machiavelli | October 6, 2006 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Gaithersburg, you are so right.

Prediction: That line will make Ford, Jr. the most quoted pol of 2006.

Posted by: ohiorepublican | October 6, 2006 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Andy is marijuana legal in Mass. You must be smoking something if you see the dems picking up 40 to 50 seats. I don't discount then winning as much as 20 but 50. Currently there is no empirical evidence the Foley scandal will hurt any Senate races. Contary, I believe conservatives are angry and fired up with what they see as a politcal hit job by the liberal media and will show up in huge numbers to get even.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 6, 2006 9:04 AM | Report abuse

To JD, this is not a a partisan question or whack at you or anyone..

What? Banning on-line poker? I've been gone overseas for 10 days and must have missed this what happened??

How can the US enforce a ban when many servers of on-line gambline sites are located overseas?

Posted by: Gaithersburg, MD | October 6, 2006 9:02 AM | Report abuse

A view from the campaign trail in Ohio.

Dewine is toast! Put butter on him; call it breakfast and put that R $ to better use in VA or TN.

Last Friday night, while campaigning at a high school football game for my good friend the Judge... in an affluent, very conservative and very red community, one that's always been good to my friend - it was ugly.

"Is she a Republican? We won't vote for a Republican!"

And, that's basically how the whole night went.

Here in Ohio at least - the radioactive White House, Congress and State House is toxic all the way to the bottom of the ticket.

Posted by: ohiorepublican | October 6, 2006 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Well, as a Republican in a red state (va), count me among those staying home. Between Foley, the coverup, and the lack of any dedication to conservative ideals (NCLB, prescription drugs....and Frist sneakily banning my online poker!!), they can kiss off my vote (and dollars)

Posted by: JD | October 6, 2006 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks that DeWine will win is not living in Ohio they are still living in neocon fantasy land.Just because you want something to be true so badly does not make it true.

Posted by: Larry | October 6, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks that DeWine will win is not living in Ohio they are still living in neocon fantasy land.Just because you want something to be true so badly does not make it true.

Posted by: Larry | October 6, 2006 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Re: Harold Ford, Jr. and the Republican attacks on him about partying with playboy bunnies, etc.

Ford has the best political zinger line since Bensen slapped down Quayle.

Ford: "I'm not going to take a lecture on morality from a party that took hush money from a child predator."

LOL - That's just *beautiful*

Posted by: Gaithersburg, MD | October 6, 2006 8:48 AM | Report abuse

You know it will be interesting to see if the RNC concedes the house and dumps all its money into keeping the Senate? I mean with the Foley scandal the democrats might take as many as 40-50 seats. Why should the RNC bother when they now have a real threat of the Dems taking the senate. Then again they probably have enough money to go around.

Posted by: Andy R | October 6, 2006 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I know the polls are tied for Menendez but I just don't see him losing in a blue state like New Jersey. This one is gonna get dirty and Menendez has the bigger pile of mud (otherwise called cash on hand) to throw. Taken with the Foley scandal I think he wins by a few %points.
The thing about Allen is that Webb isn't really totally engaged on the TV yet. When he starts running commercials I think you will see the polls truly even up (Yockel is right most polls show Allen up by a few points).
Ford is going to win Tennessee. I don't know how he did it but it has been impressive to watch from afar.
Missouri, This one will be the one I watch on election night.
Chafee will lose. People in Rhode Island HATE George Bush. Not to mention the fact that hard line Republicans don't like Chafee and won't come out to vote for him.
I see a 6 seat pick-up with Allen possibly being the 7th.

Posted by: Andy R | October 6, 2006 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Geez, I find myself in total agreement with Yockel. The fix simply disregarded polls showing Allen pulling away and cite one that has them at even. Maybe the Fix is under pressure from the WP to help out Webb as much as they can, but they seriously risk losing their credibility.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 6, 2006 8:25 AM | Report abuse

The effects of Foley's Follies haven't been felt yet. Even though the Senate hasn't been involved in the action, the cut in Republican numbers -- and especially the numbers of the Religious Right -- going to the polls is going to be a major factor. And Ford's remarkable attack should resonate elsewhere. (Democrats may finally get enough 'intestinal fortitude' to speak out against the level of hypocrisy throughout the Republican party.)

I won't be surprised, now that it got major play on, at least, Yahoo browsers, that the question of signing statements and the Senate's retreat from its previous institutional pride as a 'co-equal' branch of government is used well against some incumbents.

I think the Democrats will take the Senate, and that at least one 'can't lose' incumbent will wind up losing. (And I see about 20-30 'can't lose' house members going down.) The only real danger in the Senate is Melendez.

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) | October 6, 2006 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I think Chris has a political crush on Michael Steele.

Posted by: adam | October 6, 2006 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I cannot believe that you would invoke the one poll that shows a tie between Allen and Webb when there are two others that document a five and six percent gap.

As I explained on your blog TWICE, even if pollsters do their best one out of twenty polls will draw a non-representative sample. That's an unavoidable property of probability theory. Every once in a while a random sample will be off.

If one quality poll deviates from all the others then that poll is wrong.

If you don't believe me then study the central limit theorem. Your readers deserve well informed reporting. That includes properly interpreting polls.

The bottom line is that Webb and Allen are not tied at the moment. A couple of days ago, Allen was still five or six points ahead. That might not be sexy but it is the only rational reading of the available data.

Posted by: Yockel | October 6, 2006 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Allen may hold on in the end, but in RI and OH the current political climate will work against Dewine and Chafee. I see the Dems picking up 5 seats for a 50/50 Senate.

Posted by: novadude | October 6, 2006 7:44 AM | Report abuse

At this point Missouri has become the bellweather. As the show me state goes so goes the country.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | October 6, 2006 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I feel a heck of a lot better about the Senate than I do the House. I feel quite confident Allen, Dewine and Chaffee winning thereby denying dems any chance of taking this chamber. But I am extremely impressed with Harold Ford, a good looking moderate who doesn't scare anybody. If he wins and I suspect he will, he would be a great VP for the Dems in 08. Much better than Obama because he won a red state and is much more moderate in his views.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 6, 2006 7:31 AM | Report abuse

At this point Missouri is the bellweather. As the show me state goes, so goes the country.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | October 6, 2006 7:30 AM | Report abuse

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