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The Senate Line: RNC Pulls Out of Ohio

The blockbuster Senate news of the week came Monday morning with word that the Republican National Committee was scaling back its television buys in the Ohio Senate race.

2006 Election -- Interactive Map
Interactive Campaign Map: More Election Data and Analysis.

Republicans quickly moved to lessen the impact of the news. The RNC released a document Monday pointing out that it has already put 60 staffers on the ground in Ohio and sent more than 3 million absentee ballot mailings into the state. And a new filing with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday shows that the RNC has bought another week's worth of television in the state.

How does this news affect the Line? Not all that much. We've had Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine (R) ranked in the top three for much of the past six months. While the RNC's ad pullout makes it more likely he will lose, he still has a better chance at winning than either Rick Santorum (R) (Pennsylvania) or Conrad Burns (R) (Montana).

With three weeks left before the midterms, Democrats look well-positioned to pick up at least three seats. Whether or not they can regain the majority rests on winning three out of the four contests in Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia and Rhode Island -- and re-electing Sen. Bob Menendez (D) in New Jersey.

To the Line!

10. Michigan / Washington: In truth, there are really only nine races that at the moment seem highly competitive between the parties. Republicans believe that Sens. Maria Cantwell (Wash.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) are weak and will fold if seriously challenged. But neither former Safeco Insurance head Mike McGavick (Wash.) nor Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (Mich.) has caught fire, and the incumbents should benefit from the pro-Democrat national environment. Either one of these races could pop in the final weeks so we keep both on the Line. (Previous rankings: Michigan N/A, Washington 10)

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

9. Maryland: In a neutral political environment, the major charisma gap between Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R) and Rep. Ben Cardin (D) could be a decisive factor. In a year so heavily tilted toward Democrats on the national level and in a state that leans so strongly to Democrats, Steele's superior candidate skills matter less. As expected, Democrats have begun hanging the anchor of President Bush around Steele's neck in campaign ads, a move that complicates Steele's attempt to distance himself from the national party. The tag line in Cardin's commercials says it all: "Michael Steele: right for Bush, wrong for Maryland." (Previous ranking: 9)

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

8. Virginia: Need evidence of the growing power of Northern Virginia in Old Dominion politics? In the new Post poll former Navy Secretary Jim Webb led 56 percent to 42 percent in NOVA while running even with or behind Sen. George Allen (R) in every other region of the state. Still, Allen held just a 49 percent to 47 percent edge statewide. But there was some positive news for Allen in the survey. His relentless television campaign on impolitic comments made by Webb about women in the military appear to be working as Allen holds a lead among females -- erasing the traditional gender gap enjoyed by Democrats. The closeness of this race has more to do with the fact that Virginia is quickly growing into a swing state than it does with Webb's quality as a candidate. Still, the changing population and Allen's gaffes have put Webb into position where he can win -- an idea unthinkable when he first entered the race. (Previous ranking: 8)

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

7. Tennessee: After stumbling badly in the two months following his primary victory, former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R) appears to have (finally) gotten on the right track. He is running a series of ads that call into question Rep. Harold Ford, Jr.'s (D) values, a smart strategic move in a state where voters are inclined to believe the worst about Democrats. That said, Ford's campaign -- the best run by a Senate candidate this cycle -- is sure to lure some GOPers to his side. Can he convince enough Republicans to get 50 plus one? (Previous ranking: 7)

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

6. New Jersey: There are two ways to analyze this race. On one hand, Sen. Bob Menendez (D) enters the final three weeks with a massive financial advantage over state Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. (R) in a state where television advertising runs into the millions for a single week. On the other hand, Kean has effectively cast Menendez as just another corrupt New Jersey politician -- three in four voters in a recent Quinnipiac poll said they had heard about ethical issues surrounding Menendez, while five in ten said those ethical questions made them less likely to vote for him. (Previous Ranking: 6)

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

5. Missouri: Republicans continue to insist that Sen. Jim Talent (R) is moving in the right direction, while Democrats release poll after poll that show state Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) ahead of the incumbent -- albeit narrowly. The latest survey, sponsored by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, had McCaskill ahead of Talent 48 percent to 43 percent. This race will come down to a few thousand votes either way. In order for McCaskill to win she needs the anti-Republican national environment to impact heavily, offsetting the GOP lean of the state. (Previous ranking: 5)

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

4. Rhode Island: Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R) is on television right now with an ad that notes he broke with President Bush on the war in Iraq, tax cuts, clean air standards and stem cell research. "Lincoln Chafee stood up to President Bush on Iraq, and he'll stand up to Sheldon Whitehouse's false attacks," says the spot's narrator. Will that message work? Democrats believe that in an environment as polarized as this one, Chafee's image as an anti-Bush Republican simply won't sell. Why vote for a Republican who often sides with Democrats when you could just vote for a Democrat (Sheldon Whitehouse)? Still, after Chafee's stunning primary victory we're not ready to count him (or his famous last name) out. (Previous ranking: 4)

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

3. Ohio: The RNC's pullout is bad news for incumbent Mike DeWine and a sign that GOP observers are seeing the same sort of trend line in the race we've been hearing about anecdotally. Rep. Sherrod Brown (D), like Jon Tester in Montana, is more liberal than the average voter in Ohio, but given the problems with the GOP brand in the state it likely won't matter. One other interesting development in the race: Brown's "people versus the powerful" rhetoric (with apologies to Al Gore) appears to be striking a chord. Candidates weighing a run in 2008 should take note. (Previous ranking: 3)

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

2. Montana: In the past month, incumbent Conrad Burns (R) has put aside his penchant for outrageous comments, but the damage has been done. The way Burns could win this race is by turning it into a referendum on state Sen. Jon Tester (D) and his allegedly liberal positions. The problem for Burns is two-fold. First, with his flat top haircut and farming background, Tester is not easily cast as a Washington liberal. Second, Burns' verbal flubs coupled with questions surrounding his relationship with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff ensure this race will be a referendum on the incumbent. In many voters' minds, Burns has embarrassed the state and a change needs to be made. (Previous ranking: 2)

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

1. Pennsylvania: Give state Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr. (D) and his campaign team credit. For months political observers have been waiting for a surge from Sen. Rick Santorum (R) that, to date, has simply not materialized. The national environment -- toxic for Republicans -- has something to do with Santorum's struggles, but Casey has run a very sound (if safe) campaign. Barring some sort of drastic mistake, Casey will win this race. (Previous ranking: 1)

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

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 17, 2006; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Senate , The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A Republican Hits Back on Iraq
Next: Another Brick in the (Scandal) Wall


A newer poll has been released by the Political Science De4partment of Montana State University-Billings. Historically an accurate poll and usually the last one released in Montana before general elections, the MSU-B poll shows Tester at 46 percent, Burns at 35 percent, an eleven-point gap that shows Burn's extremely negative campaign is backfiring.

Forget the Rassmussen, it's all over the map and as many others have pointed out, has questionable methodology.

Burns is toast in Montana. The Senate Democratic leadership has even released a statement saying Tester will get a seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee "as soon as possible" (whatever that means) That would be a powerful committee placement which Burns currently enjoys (leading to his role as top money recipient from Jack Abramoff). Besides the extremely negative campaign, Burns is also bragging about bringing home the pork as a member of that powerful committee.

But the GOP will hold the state's lone US House seat. Republican Incumbant Denny Rehberg is getting such weak opposition from Democrat Monica Lindeen that he has hardly even hit the airwaves with adds. Lack of money and a disorganized campaign puts Lindeen with only 30 percent support in the MSU-B poll, compared to 53 for Rehberg. Showing the ineffective campaign that has been run, she still has a significant number of poll respondents who don't recognize her name.

Rehberg has no negative baggage this election. In contrast to Burns, he is a personable man that is generally liked, though his voting record is probably more conservative than the majority in Montana would prefer. He would have been tough to beat anyway, but Rehberg wins this one by default.

The same poll, by the way, gives Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer a 75 percent approval rating. Schweitzer has gone to bat for Tester, appearing in a series of television ads with Tester and making good natured fun of his trademark flattop haircut. The nagative adds are trying to cast Tester as an east-coast style liberal. That's a pretty hard sale to make on a full-tim farmer (Tester is also president of the Montana Senate, butMontana has only a part-time legislature that meats only in odd-numbered years) with a flattop and views on some social issues that would not sit well with eastern liberals.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | October 20, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The Repubs know the polls don't matter because they have purged the voter rolls to the extent that they know they will win.

The question then becomes what can be done about the systematic disenfranchisement of the American citizens? If someone is registered, why should they have to reply to a letter confirming they are registered in order to remain registered?

King george will retain power at all costs. If the purge of the voter rolls doesn't pan out, then I wouldn't put it past him to declare Marshall Law and indefinitely postpone the election.

Come Election night and the day after, it will be interesting to see if the "news media" will go after the real story or come up with some phoney story about how polls no longer work.


Posted by: PeixeGato | October 19, 2006 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I love politics as much as anyone, but some of these people who are posting cannot have a job! How can you be reading all these posts and thinking up retorts which you then post at 1:10 pm, 1:13 pm, 1:16 pm, etc? I am enjoying taking a break from grading papers and reading all the chat, however.

Posted by: RR | October 18, 2006 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the RNC stopped spending in Ohio because the "fix" is in: GOP crooks Rove and Blackwell finally completed their purge of the voter rolls (see "Blackwell purged Ohio Voter Rolls Oct 1st" (

Posted by: R. Decker | October 18, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

New polls in OHIO indicate a tidal wave of support for Democrats...that's why the RNCC pulled out...contrary to Zoukster and Bloomers claim otherwise.

Stickland's lead now at 20 points
Brown's lead now at 14 points
Deborah Pryce losing by 11 points
Zack Space lead over Padget up to 9 points
MEAN JEAN Schmidt losing by 3 points is the latest news to befell the GOP in OHIO.

The Ohio battle is over....stick a fork in it.

Posted by: Stick a Fork In It | October 18, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping to be the first to say this, but "Stick a Fork..." beat me to it. I think KYl's defeat will be one of the really big surprises in this election (as will Hastert's loss to Laesch). Given that, if Menendez pulls through, Holy Joe's flipping to the Republicans won't matter so much. (C'mon, do you think he'd get so much Republican support without a payback. After all, if the seat stays Democratic, it would be to the Republicans advantage to paint Lamont as a 'second Kennedy' -- not true, but when has that ever stopped them.)
I think Menendez could really score points with an ad that reminds people that while everybody in NJ loves Thomas Kean SR -- even an ex-Jerseyite Yellow Dog Democrat like me -- it is Thomas Kean JR that is running, and comparing the positions of father and son.

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) | October 18, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Not entirely a suprise, but Wash Post endorse Webb. And before Zoukster and Bloomer get their panties in a ruffle, the Post does NOT always endorse Dems.

Read the editorial......Allen has has an undistinguished six years in the Senate.

It amazes me how the media will start putting a candidate on a pedestal like Allen only to find his accomplishments is hardly that of Presidential material.

Anybody, and I mean anybody, that follows Allen knows he is an intellictual lightweight. Just a good ole neocon bigoted rightwinger IMO. Allen may win reelecttion for one more term in the Senate, but this will be the end of his political career. You can stick a fork in it.

Posted by: Stick a Fork In It | October 18, 2006 2:03 AM | Report abuse

kudos to stick a fork in it for mentioning the AZ race. i've long suspected this to be a sleeper surprise: popular dem gov. at the top of ticket with assured re-election, the candidate (kyl) being further to the right than his constituents, sub-50 approval rating, strong challenger, etc. the latest poll (surveyUSA) has pederson closing to within 5 points, a huge surge. it should take the place of MI and WA as both of these are blue states in a deep blue year, with incumbents who've committed no firable offense, running against opponents who are far behind in all polls and have hardly ever even come within striking distance of their dem opponents.

as regards the nj race, well, a conservative blogger put it best: "New Jersey is such a tease. Like the school girl who flirts with you only to say "let's be friends" when you ask to go steady, Jersey dangles early positive poll results in front of yearning Republican eyes, only to end up with the same boys every time. 2006 is shaping up to be no different." (from

as for TN and VA, as much as i'd truly love to believe these are winnable my heart says otherwise. had the dems been able to get warner to run in va (which i'm sure he now wishes he had) and bredesen to run for the tn seat instead of re-election for gov, these would have been absolute cakewalks for the dems. as they stand now though, i think it'll take another scandal, maybe not quite foley-size, but perhaps half-a-foley, to land these in the blue column. these states are simply too red and the challengers are just not up to the, well, uh...challenge.

Posted by: david | October 18, 2006 12:53 AM | Report abuse

A bakers dozen of Dem pickups...

Chocola from Indiana down by double digits. He's done...stick a fork in it.

Posted by: Stick A Fork In it. | October 18, 2006 12:31 AM | Report abuse

It's a bit of bad luck for Republicans that Indiana and Kentucky are the first two states to come in, just like it was good for them in 2000.

Posted by: JoeyJoeJoe | October 17, 2006 11:59 PM | Report abuse

woah there Zathras, there are 3 house races in Indiana up for grabs. The 2nd Chocola, the 8th Hostettler and the 9th Sodrel. In Kentucky, there is a possibly competetive race in the 1st district, though that race may be eluding Barlow's ability to win it. The 2nd Lewis 3rd Northup and 4th Davis, are all races to watch in Kentucky. The early returns of those states will be VERY interesting to watch and could set the tone for the rest of the night.

Posted by: Rob Millette | October 17, 2006 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Wetterling in Minnesota has substantial lead over her GOP rival. Wetterling hit a home run with the ad on Foley. Her child was abducted, which played perfectly with the Grand Ole Pedofile label. Since this ad has ran, she has increased her lead by 4 percentage points to an 8 pt lead. This seat was held by Mark Kennedy, the GOP candidate for Minn. Senate. Another GOP seat moves to the DEM column, as Wetterling has an insurmountable lead....stick a fork in it.

By my count, the following are done deals in terms of Dem Pickups.
1. Bob 'I'm Innocent" Ney OHIO
2. Curt "I did it for my daughter" Weldon PENN
3. Mark, 'I love Boys ONLY" Foley FL.
4. Jim kolbe " I love camping with Boys" ARIZONA
5. Don "I love beating my mistriess" Sherwood. PA
6. Mark " I'm not Teddy" Kennedy. MINN
7. Tom "There's not a House I couldn't buy" Delay.
8. Indiana Hosteller " I'm leaving on the Hoss I came in on" INDIANA
9. Charlie " I know sleaze, and Heath your know sleaze" Taylor. NORTH CAROLINA
10. Clay " I know Mark Foley, and I REALLLY like Mark Foley" Shaw. FLORIDA
11. Mike " I Rather lose on prinical, RNCC principal" Sodel; INDIANA
12. Tom " I took one for Hastert" Reynolds, NEW YORK

Posted by: Stick a Fork In It.. | October 17, 2006 10:35 PM | Report abuse

New senate polls
WY-Thomas(i) 67-26 MD
OH-Brown 53-41 Quin.
OH-Brown 52-45 U. of Cinn.
PA-Casey 55-42 Ras.

New Governor Polls
OH-Strickland 52-38 U. of Cinn.
PA-Rendell(i) 57-40 Ras.
IL-Blagojevich(i) 39-30 Glen.

New House Polls
IL10-Kirk(i) 57-32 Mc&A-R
WYAL-Cubin(i) 44-37 MD
MN6-Wetterling 48-40 MST

Posted by: Ezetimibe | October 17, 2006 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Zathras, thanks.

Stick a Fork in It, I agree--I think it's very possible that not a single Democratic incumbent will lose, as happened for the Republicans in 1994.

Webb has peaked in VA?? When Sunday the Post released a poll showing him trailing Allen 49-47, and the next day Rasmussen released another poll finding 47-44? MT, OH, PA, and RI are indeed done (as are WA, MN, and MD). That frees up party and committee money to spend in MO, TN, and VA. And the DSCC has had more money than the NRSC all year. I think Ford will win TN before Webb wins VA, but a sweep of all the close races is hardly out of the question.

Survey USA released a poll recently that found McCaskill leading Talent 51-43. I think it's too early to tell whether that's accurate or an anomaly, but it may be the first poll all year to find that race outside the margin of error.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | October 17, 2006 9:23 PM | Report abuse

DEMS will not lose one Senate seat, not even Menendez.....

GOP have lost Montana, Ohio, Rhode Island, and PA....races are over, stick a fork in them.

Battle for Senate will turn on three races only plus a wild card Arizona IMO. Races to watch:

VA where Webb appears to have peaked, or Allen has stopped falling one. Probably stays GOP, but Allen will not be President any time soon.

Missouri, I think goes DEM, one more set of polls that show MCKaskill over 50% and we can stick a fork in this one.

The theatatrical race to watch is TN. IMO, Ford pulls out a squeaker and DEMS take control on Senate. Corker will play the race card in the last week of the campaign....count on as Rove is directing this campaign. The reason the last minute race card will be played is Rove is holding off so it does not become a national issue which will hurt neighboring VA (Allen) and as well as Steele. Mark it down, Race card will be played in TN the last week by the GOP...stick a fork in it, as that is what the GOP is noted for....race baiting.

UPSET SPECIAL: Arizona where Pederson is gaining. DEMS eak out the upset.

Final Senate make up: 51 Dems, 1 INDY (Lieberman) and 48 GOP. Lieberman joins the Dem Caucus.

Posted by: Stick A Fork In IT. | October 17, 2006 8:29 PM | Report abuse


Here is a link to the closing times:

Posted by: Zathras | October 17, 2006 8:20 PM | Report abuse

"There was a huge increase in evangelical voters in 2004."

Not really true less than 10% jump from 2000 to 2004.,0,6368881.story?track=mostviewed-homepage

"That is a direct result of turn out the vote efforts which used to be a Democratic strength centerd on unions and African American churches."

Not true. This almost was entirely aimed at core Republicans in 2004.

Posted by: Ezetimibe | October 17, 2006 7:40 PM | Report abuse

RMill, THANK YOU!! That's exactly the list I was looking to assemble!!

I am still waiting to hear why bhoomes refuses to put his money where his mouth is, Re: saying DeWine will win.

Polls are as reliable as their methodology. Most are pretty good these days. But there are exceptions, like the exit polls from the 2004 presidential race, which had a bad sample bias.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | October 17, 2006 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Zathras, where'd you get that list of poll closing times? Does it account for new time zone boundaries in Indiana? I've been wanting to compile such a list to send non-political junkies to point out which races to watch for.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | October 17, 2006 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I read two things here that astonished me ... 1. that the washington post is slanted towards republicans and 2. that Chris received these leanings from that cauldron of republican idealism ... the ivy league???

Wow, the kool aid tastes good around here huh?

Posted by: TG | October 17, 2006 7:04 PM | Report abuse


I do not believe in the Dem line on everything. I am a centrist who doesn't particularly like either party. At the moment, I am angrier at the Republicans. I used to like the Republican position on fiscal restraint - until they went to a cut taxes and spend policy. Remember I was ranting the other day about the impending fiscal train wreck with Social Security and Medicare. I do not necessarily agree with your opinon on how to handle these but I think both parties are avoiding seriously dealing with it.

As a matter of fact, we were arguing the other day about the relationship between tax cuts, interest rates, the deficit and the economy from the 80's to the present the other day. I categorically denied that Reagonomics worked in the 80s as it was advertised - that the resulting economic growth would cover the deficit. It wasn't until GHW Bush and Clinton passed some revenue enhancements in 91 and 93 that the receipts began to overtake the deficit. Ideologues of the right like Senator Phil Gramm predicted grass growing in the streets of our cities when the Clinton package passed. Well what happened, a record economic boom. The current administration has run record deficits that, although lower last year, are still enormous. Tax cuts are an economic stimulant, no doubt, but at some point you have to stop the red ink or face catastrophic consequences. Remember that runaway spending in the 60's for Vietnam and the Great Society was financed by a deficit and it gave rise to the stagflation of the 70s. Military Especially when we have the crisis of the baby boom generation just around the corner.

As a centrist who holds a variety of positions, I am sick of ideologues of either stripe who insist that if I hold a liberal/conservative view on one issue, I must therefore hew to the whole ideology on everything.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 17, 2006 6:18 PM | Report abuse

"I am talking about two absolute facts:
2. There have been several races recently where Republican results were higher than the polls. Micro-targeting and bringing the targets out can produce a greater turn out among sub groups than the polls would project. One of the trickiest items in polling is to project likely voters. Past trends among the various demographic groups is one of the prime predictors. If you can manage to get out your group in greater numbers than past voting history would project, you can increase your totals over what the polls project.

I have studied statistics at the graduate level. I understand polling techniques."

JimD in FL,
You're one of my favorite posters on this blog but I must disagree with you on this. Micro-targeting, unless it is specifically aimed at undermining the accuracy of pre-election poll weighting (e.g. GOTV w/ Republican AA voters) will not "throw off" the accuracy of those polls. Nearly all of the variance between the estimate and the population mean will be due to sample size. Second, in many of the races where Republicans outperformed preelection polls, they also outperformed unweighted exit poll results (Max Cleland). You figure that one out.

Posted by: Ezetimibe | October 17, 2006 6:14 PM | Report abuse

It will be intriguing to see if David Kuo's book will have any impact on the elections in three weeks. Will Christian voters stay home on a fast like he said they should? Faithful Democrats will be blogging about the book and the elections coming up.

Posted by: Faithful Democrats | October 17, 2006 5:57 PM | Report abuse

RMill::i have been doing a bit of research on Chuck Hagel as well and i must admit i am becoming a fan..My only concern is he is VERY conservative on social issues which might play well in Nebraska, but not so well in Chicago..

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | October 17, 2006 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Jim D - but I am surprised that your mathematical training doesn't turn you off the multitude of inconsistencies inherent in the Dem positions. do you believe that the status quo is appropriate for government schools? for social security, for medicare. take a look at the burgeoning numbers before you respond. then consider the record tax receipts brought on by tax cuts and the low deficit. If you were awake in those classes, I think you will have a hard time countenencing the Lib position. Please explain.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 5:16 PM | Report abuse


Well, you have found something we agree on. I am fundamentally skeptical of conspiracy theories whether propounded by the left or the right. I know with 100% confidence that it is impossible to conduct a conspiracy involving hundreds, if not thousands, of people over a period of years without someone "spilling the beans". Especially today, the whistle blower would be an instant celebrity. I think they tell children these days "You could grow up to be a celebrity" instead of "you could grow up to be president". mean we seem to have a raft of people who are famous for no other reason than they are famous.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 17, 2006 5:09 PM | Report abuse

KOZ & Drindl -- Although I may or may not agree with the particular examples of "bias" you both cite (I don't want to get into specifics today), I certainly agree that the news media does make mistakes no infrequently. I simply disagree that (1) those mistakes are driven by any kind of agenda, or (2) that they ultimately tend to favor one political party over the other when looked at in the aggregate.

Human nature makes all of us notice more immediately what we percieve as coverage that is unfair to our particular point of view. Since we all have busy lives, perhaps we are less quick to see (or sometimes acknowledge) where something similar happens to the other side. At the end of the day, I would argue it largely all comes out in the wash.

Good discussion on this topic - It feels good to have a pretty civil discussion on an interesting topic.

Posted by: Colin | October 17, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

JIm D - so I guess you don't believe that Bush and his cronies sabotaged the WTC on 9/11 in a mad power grab?

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 4:59 PM | Report abuse


I think my explanations are a lot more rational than some conspiracy of Republicans to sabotage actual voting results. Where are they hiding the stolen votes - Area 51? There is absolutely no way a conspiracy such as you describe could stay secret. There would be hundreds of people, at the least, involved to make it work. I think it is farcical to believe that such a conspiracy could be kept secret for two decades. Someone - more likely dozens of someones - would decide to write a tell-all book and get some fame, notoriety and money. Seriously, remember the old adage "the only way two people can keep a secret is if one of them is dead".

Experienced political workers will tell you that asking someone to vote, calling them on election day, offerring them a ride - greatly increases the likelihood that they will vote. My sister was a professional in this field for years in the '70s and '80s and that was the most important aspect of the "ground game". The more specifically you can target your supporters and push them to the polls, the better your chances will be.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 17, 2006 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Why accept a simple, straight-forward explanation when a widly creative and fanciful conspiracy which can be made to reflect poorly on Rs will do?

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Much of IN-8 and small parts of IN-9 are now in the Central Time Zone. We may not hear from them until an hour later than expected.

Posted by: Brittain33 | October 17, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"It's unreal none of this has been prosecuted yet."

Well, just who IS "The Prosecutor in Chief?"

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse


"Especially if they manage to reach people with indifferent voting habits."

Do you think that is where all those mysteriously appearing Republican votes were/are hiding?

In huge blocks of indifferent voters?

I don't believe people who are still uncommitted at this stage of the game are so easy to get up off their duffs and get to the polls, especially when they are still indifferent after all we've been through over the past few years.

Like I said, where is this slovenly, lazy, non-committed crowd of indifferent voters? Hiding in the lower regions of neocon hell?
Are they the nascar dads, or the soccer moms, and are they all Evangelicals?

If they really exist, where are they right now, in terms of politics, and this time around, will they be forced to choose between the openly-gay-membered Dems and the the closeted-gay-pedophiliac Repubs??

Maybe the Republicans will choose not to microtarget that bunch this time around, huh?

Might just backfire on them, in the wake of the Foley scandal and "Tempting Faith."

You may accept these simple, easy explanations, but I don't.


I just don't believe it.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 4:17 PM | Report abuse

>>>So, it's time to 'fess up Chris, what is your official role supposed to be?

Exactly. Is this a blog? Opinion piece? Journalistic reporting? None of the above? I have no problem with GOP opinion columns, just put it in the OPINIONS section of the website. My beef all along...


Google: "abramoff mehlman" or check:,0,1634103.story?coll=la-home-headlines

The GOP and the WH c/o Abramoff + Mehlman w/DeLay were up to their eyes in sweatshop labor in the N. Marianas Islands. It's unreal none of this has been prosecuted yet.

Posted by: F&B | October 17, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I should add the most ineresting party:

'As the scandal involving former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley's illicit e-mails to underage pages has unfolded, DeWine's support declined among white evangelical Christians, from an advantage of 63 percent to 27 percent in Quinnipiac's September poll to 57 percent to 37 percent in the poll out Tuesday.

The survey included 272 self-described white evangelical Christians, with a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points.'

63% support to 27%. Huge. If that's anywhere near accurate or indicative it will have an impact.

Posted by: drindl | October 17, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Chris, allow me to relay to you a local election and the effects of the Republican vs. Democrat labels. Jim Torry was a a wonderful mayor of Eugene, Oregon. He had run as an independent and was repeatedly elected. Now, he is running for the state Senate against a fairly unpopular incumbent. Her "negative" ad's essentially feature clips of Torry claiming to be a Republican and quote of his supporting George Bush. This has essentially sank his campaign. Right now, Governor Kungingoski, in a tight race race against Ron Saxton, has tied mR. Saxton to Bush and that is making all of the difference. Kunginoski will win, a narrow win, but a win nonetheless. Unlike any election in recent memory, this is a truly national election and the very name "Bush" is so detested, causes such a viceral reaction amongst voters, that the candidate painted with standing by this loathed president will loose. I don't think you or the Whitehouse nor the GOP has quite got it yet, but George Bush is pure poison for any Republican and will remain so for years to come. In the future, any successful Republican candidate will of necessity disavow "neo-conservativism" or "Bush" and all that they stand for in order to be even considered electable.

Posted by: MikeB | October 17, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Colin, you are far more patient than I. I just don't why you bother. You can't change the mind of a cultist. I admit that I am highly partisan, but there are republicans I admire. Or at least, there were until fairly recently. But an R cultist will never admit that Dems have done anything they agree with since WWII.

I have to add, though, as far as media neutrality/not, that there are approximately 5 times as many rightwing and way rightwing pundits as there are dems. At least. I mean who can you think of? Krugman, Olberman, Dionne, ummm... hmm and on the right there's a freaking zombie army. And look at radio... puhleeze. Also the ratio on so-called mainstream TV is at least 2:1 right over left in terms of guests. So I think to be fair, you have to admit the zeitgeist leans right.

'Democratic U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown has widened his lead in what has been a tight race for the seat of Republican U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, a pair of polls out Tuesday show.

Brown was favored by 53 percent of likely voters surveyed in The Quinnipiac University Poll conducted Oct. 10-15, compared to 41 percent who favored DeWine. The same poll found them about even in the race in September.'

Posted by: drindl | October 17, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Colin, I guess my main complaint about the media is more of a complaint with the consumers of the media. too many believe anything they see as true simply because "it was on tv/in the paper". then the retractions which inevitably surface are already ingrained. Remember the massacre at Jenin. try to unring that bell. how about the deaths and rapes in the Superdome after Katrina. where was the credit that should have gone to the USCG for saving around 10,000 people in a few days. how about the direct comparison of cutting off heads with putting underwear on heads - one rewarded, one punished yet treated identically by the press and even certain fat, stupid Senators.

but if it is about challenging those in power why the hands off display with Byrd, Reid and the rest? and the sustained attack on Allen/not Webb. Here there is clearly an underlying agenda. certainly you can observe the differences between the content and placement in the WaPo and the WaTimes. Between Couric and O'Reilly? If it were actually just the news, they would be close to identical.

But in the end, complaining about the stupidity of the American consumer is just too late-night tv for my taste. It is so much easier to complain about the wickedness of Dem pols and the material is so readily available. I will concede your point for now.

do you think that Osama's message to voters whcih will be played right after the Saddam verdict on Nov 5th will have any effect on the election outcome?

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse


It does not "change the final results of an election in 72 hours". Polls reflect what the pollsters consider as likely voters. They construct their sample size to accurately reflect demographics in the electorate and project "likely voters'. The micro-targeting plays into get out the vote efforts by indentifying your supporters among some sub-set of a demographic group that generally opposes you. The poll will try to reflect the relative proportion of that demographic group in their sample and will probably result in the overall leaning of that group being expressed in the poll results. Let's take a working class neighborhood by zip code that is overwhelmingly Democratic. However, let's say Rove finds that snow blower owners among that group are actually likely Republican supporters. (drindl has seen this actually happening where she lives) They can buy mailing lists from the snow mobile manufacturers, poll these folks, identify their supporters and make a concerted effort to get them out to vote. The pollsters would know that overall only 30%, for example, of that neighborhood support Republicans. However, if the "normal" turnout is around 50% and the Republicans manage to turn out 60% of their supporters among that group - they will outperform their polls. Especially if they manage to reach people with indifferent voting habits. There was a huge increase in evangelical voters in 2004. That is a direct result of turn out the vote efforts which used to be a Democratic strength centerd on unions and African American churches.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 17, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse


Me, too.

I also "got into" Robert Lifton's "thought reform" work, which, by the way, is what Madison Avenue studied to come up with these microtargeting tactics in the first place.

I am also aware that while they have similar factors, business and politics aren't identical.

Biggest difference?

In business, lousy managers who cripple their companies with bad debt and make sweetheart deals for their cronies are usually booted-out when the board sees the red ink receipts piling up.

That micromarketing works in business, there is no doubt.

That it can change the final results of an election in 72 hours, I seriously doubt.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

KOZ -- There is not way to determine, in any kind of scientific way, whether the media is or is not "biased" in favor of a particular political party. As you very well know, statistically there are simply too many variables that influence news coverage to label personal political identification as a causal agent. Moreover, you and I COULD (and please, lets not) start throwing up examples all over the place that "prove" that the media is hostile towards are respective parties. The reality is that examples of factually incorrect or misleading news coverage exist on both sides.

What, ultimately, does any of that prove though? That the media makes mistakes? I'll stipulate to that right now. That they favor stories involving subject matter that sells? Since you're a huge advocate of free markets, I can't imagine you'd be against that. That their is a tendency to look more critically at the party in power rather than the party out of power (see Clinton with monicagate, Bush II during his second term)? Again, I agree 100%

At the end of the day, I imagine you will continue to believe that the media has it in for Republicans because the media coverage involving things that can be viewed multiple ways won't ALWAYS conform to what you view as the truth. Many on the left will also make this same argument. Perversely, I look at that kind of criticism as a sure sign that the media IS doing a pretty decent job. If both sides are that frustrated, then that must mean that maybe...just maybe...the ACTUAL truth is leaking out from time to time. :)

Posted by: Colin | October 17, 2006 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Anyone watching the news lately?

Have to repost this one from early September, not as "I told you so" but more as "I'm still telling you so."

A Political Perfect Storm

There is a perfect storm of political imperfection brewing this very day in Iraq.

Bush's arrogant, neocon-contrived supposition that a psuedo-nation such as Iraq, held together only by the extreme brutality of Saddam and his Sunni death squads, could be knit in one historic military moment into a democratic example to the whole Middle East, is being tested to the brink.

Hidden not too secretly away in a single Washington Post story is the evidence of the makings of a perfect storm of political upheaval that threatens to become a full-scale "Iraqi" civil war.

But unlike the two-sided Civil War we remember in our own American history, this storm has three "fronts", each with its own well-armed military, its own foreign support mechanism, and its own foreign loyalties.

In the Sunday, September 3 Washington Post story "A Demand For Saddam Hussein's Release," all three of these converging fronts are clearly identified, and acknowledged as being in the process, at this very moment, of solidifying their independent powers into separate and inevitably warring factions.

1. "A coalition of 300 Iraqi tribal leaders, ...most of them Sunni Arabs, ...on Saturday demanded the release of Saddam Hussein so he could reclaim the presidency and also called for armed resistance against U.S.-led force..."

2. "Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki traveled to the southern city of Najaf on Saturday to discuss the deteriorating security situation with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani..."

3. "Arabs across the country expressed anger at a decree by Massoud Barzani, president of the regional government in Kurdish-populated northern Iraq, forbidding the Iraqi flag to be raised in government buildings across the north."

Like Cerebrus, the three-headed dog guarding the gates of Hades, Iraq's three-faceted political nightmare looms ominously on our political event horizon.

Rove just may not be able to stave off this triple-sided civil war, long enough to keep this wayward Republican Congress in control of thier ill-gotten House.

Try as they might, while Rove and his extensive web of secret political operatives may be able to manage the carefully measured MSM trickle of truth that is fed to the American public, when this three-headed "perfect storm" of Middle Eastern civil war begins to converge, our upcoming political cycle may well prove much more difficult for them to control.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are trying to blame the the Iraqi "people," the media, the American public for this confluence of deadly destinies.

The English have already opened up the pandora's box of real truth. They know how violent Iraq has become, and how our troops only encourage that violence.

If the full fury of this storm hits before election day, and our soldiers are caught in the crossfire, Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld will have no one but themselves left to blame.


Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse


Businesses use those micro-marketing techniques all the time. I know that from first hand experience.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 17, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse


I tried to post a reply to you a while back and for some reason it did not take.

Anyway, I believe that a certain number of people feel constrained to tell pollsters that they will vote for the African American candidate because they think they would appear racist otherwise. It is also possible that people weakly leaning towards the African-American candidate might find themselves unable to vote for an African American when they get to the polls.

Now if you are discussing a deliberate effort to sabotage actual votes, I do not believe that for a minute. This has happened too many times in too many places for something like 20 years. There is no way you could keep a conspiracy like this secret with that many people involved over that many years. As for voter suppression, there have been efforts to dampen turnout in Democratic strongholds. That may be unethical but most methods I have read about are not illegal.

One more comment on micro-targeting, with sample sizes of a few hundred to a few thousands, the pollsters do not stratify those polled to the extent that modern micro marketing techniques can. I read that Rove has identified that Hispanics who drink gin are a heavily Republican group. Things like that are gold to a get out the vote effort. Turnout wins elections and the GOP has developed an incredibly sophisticated GOTV operation. It has, in fact, resulted in Republican candidates outperforming their polls in several instances.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 17, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse


read my last post.

Also, I think "microtargeting" is just the latest front to cover their voter-fraud tracks.

You can call me paranoid, but that is what I believe.

My gut and my brain both agree on this one.

It is very easy to convince people you are smart when you can cheat to win and never have to answer for it.

Some people even think "cheating" effectively is "smart" as long as they win.

I think they are just plain lying about microtargeting, to give people either an explanation for the unlikely, or an excuse to ignore the obvious, depending on their perspective.

You believe what they have told you about their micro-marketing acumen, and you attribute their election success to that acumen.

I believe they are using microtargeting as a smokescreen for election fraud.

Whichever one of us is right, we may never know.

But then again, we may know very soon.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, $700,000 is a pittance in a Senate race for a large state like Ohio, where each side has spent tens of millions of dollars. That amount is clearly just a face-saving gesture.

Posted by: Zathras | October 17, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Is Chuck Hagel the new John McCain?

Both are Vietnam veterans. Both are US Senators from western states. Both have been critical of George W. Bush at one time or another. Both are running for President in 2008.

Born in 1946 (ten years younger than McCain). An Army Sergeant (Captain McCain was a naval aviator) in Vietnam. Decorated and wounded (McCain too was wounded and also captured after being shot down in 1967, held for six years and brutally beaten and tortured). Became a successful businessman and then, in 1996 (also ten years after McCain was elected to the Senate), took on long odds in a US Senate race against the sitting then-Governor, now US Senate colleague Ben Nelson and won. In leadership as deputy whip, sits on the Select Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees.

He has often found common ground with Arizona's senior senator on a number of issues, most recently on the fight against re-defining the Geneva convention with regard to detainees of the War on Terror. In more recent times, however, Hagel has increasingly become more independent and outspoken, as McCain was at the beginning of this millennium.

Senator Hagel has, on more than one occasion, recently been critical of the Bush administration and its policies with regard to Iraq, the Patriot Act and other issues, whereas McCain has generally been more supportive of the President:

In Hagel's own words:

On August 18, 2005, Hagel compared the Iraq War to Vietnam, and openly mocked Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last throes." [CNN- 8/18/05]

In November 2005, Hagel made a much-publicized statement saying "To question your government is not unpatriotic -- to not question your government is unpatriotic." This was in reference to the increasing amount of debate surrounding the Iraq War, and his assertion that the United States should withdraw its troops.

In December 2005, in reference to Bush, the GOP, and the Patriot Act, Hagel made a much-publicized statement: "I took an oath of office to the Constitution, I didn't take an oath of office to my party or my president," [Washington Post 12/21/05]

In January 2006, Hagel took issue with Karl Rove over controversial statements the White House advisor made concerning the mindset of Republicans and Democrats. Hagel said, "Well, I didn't like what Mr. Rove said, because it frames terrorism and the issue of terrorism and everything that goes with it, whether it's the renewal of the Patriot Act or the NSA wiretapping, in a political context." He also said that "dark clouds" are hanging over the Republican party," and "If you look at the environment and the atmospherics politically in this town, read any poll. The sixth year of a governing party usually ... is not good ... the country is tired, a lot of complications in these international issues, we're at war."

Hagel further criticized the Bush administration, saying, "National security is more important than the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. And to use it to try and get someone elected will ultimately end up in defeat and disaster for that political party."

In July 2006, Hagel again took issue with the Bush administration, this time on its handling of the Israel-Lebanon issue saying "The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now. President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop." [7/31/06]

McCain, on the other hand, has been out front for the Bush administration on many of these issues (although he forged the compromise bill on detainee interrogation), becoming the standard bearer for Iraq in anticipation of his forthcoming presidential run.

Has McCain compromised and mainstreamed himself to be more attractive to Republican voters? Some say yes.

Whereas McCain is often used as a shield to blunt criticism of and for Republican candidates and Bush himself, especially on Iraq and other military matters, Hagel has become the foil.

Whatever the case, it is clear that Chuck Hagel has been much more outspoken and critical of his own party leadership and in that way, has positioned himself for 2008 as the maverick candidate, much the same way McCain did in 2000 and 2004.

Posted by: RMill | October 17, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

JEP- I'm a little surprised to see you disparaging the premise that micro-targeting can produce results that the polls don't predict. People have been studying - for decades - how to maximise your dollar, with respect to marketing to customers who will buy. The GOP, showing some business saavy, have adapted techniques perfected in business to politics. Frankly, its smart. The reason it works is because so many people choose not to vote, that all the GOP have to do are identify enough voters to swing the balance. Given that nationally roughly 50% of eligible voters cast ballots and that it only takes a plurality to win office, you only have to get a few people to vote your way in order to win. Maybe 25% of eligible voters, sometimes less.

Posted by: bsimon | October 17, 2006 2:49 PM | Report abuse


I am not prone to believe in conspiracy theories. I believe that some voters think they would appear racist if they told the pollster they do not support the African American candidate. Also, I do not believe a broad based effort to sabotage actual voting results across a number of states could be kept a secret. Far too many people would have to be involved. This has been going on for something like 20 years. I know that the Republicans have tried to depress turnout in Democratic strongholds with varying degrees of success. However, that is far different from subverting actual voting resluts. They would not be able to do this in so many places, so many times without someone talking.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 17, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

RNC Spends Big In Ohio Senate Race
The Republican National Committee reported over $700,000 in media buys, polling, and research to oppose Sherrod Brown, Democratic Senate candidate in Ohio.

there would seem to be a difference of facts here. One would have to conclude that Cilizza is a shill for the Dems and trying to suppress voter turnout. Naturally.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Colin- that is a sincere yet inaccurate retort to my (really belongs to MRC) points. the owners of newspapers usually do not participate in hiring decisions. this is the editors job. Editors typically hire people who write like they do.
do you honestly think that having over 90% of the working media voting for Ds doesn't enter into their ability to interpret a story? How about how long the story remains news? It is not just the story but the actual words used. what does pro-choice mean? It means pro-abortion. what does anti-war mean? who is pro-war?
I am surprised you don't use an argument like" journalists are trained to be skeptical and investigative. Naturally they are above average intelligence and after examing all the facts of most situations they independently decide to side with Libs on most issues."

but why won't Dems call themselves Liberals? why won't they admit their big government agenda? Why do they shun their press advantage and hide the facts? do you think your victory will be tainted? Why doesn't the long standing practice of race-baiting taint a victory? can you please point out any long-standing value held by Dems. Bush is bad doesn't count.

I don't believe this is a conspiracy, which is an organized effort to hide something, but rather a natural educational and cultural phenom which happens to exist in certain professions. Actors have it, professors have it, writers have it. Economists don't, they are quite the opposite. Military officers mostly don't. why is this? do your political inclinations form at a young age and draw you into certain professions as a result of your proclivities? Your parents political persuasion is the best predictor for you. I don't think it makes much sense to deny your individual talents and urges.
I would be interested in some non-hysterical responses to this. Drindl, JEP, FB need not respond.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"..but I am worried about the African American candidate polling phenomenom (particulary strong in the South)"

If you were a paranoid person, like me, who thinks there are people desperate enough "out there" to manipulate our electoral process for profit and power, where do you suppose they might first reveal themselves?

You immediately assume, because the southern black vote traditionally never matches the polling, it is the fault of the voters, or it is the fault of the polls, not even a thought that it may be the very proof of systemic Republican electoral sabatoge I speak of.

Just for kicks, ponder this question.

If there was a any example to call "the canary in the coal mine" of election fraud, don't you agree it could quite possibly be the southern black vote?

Is there any other demographic more important to subdue, for the Republican Party?

If so, please name it.

Has it crossed your mind that the "phenomenon" you describe is clear evidence of long-term ballot-box manipulaton, not faulty polls or lazy voters??

At least entertain the thought for a moment.

You might just recognize the obvious implications in your own words.

And anyone who doesn't believe there R people so desperate to hold onto power that they would abandon their own democratic principles is naive, at best.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Jim D - please don't get JEP started on math. Last time we managed to revoke all laws of economics and physics to find a way to subscribe to his fancy notions. In his world, people like paying taxes and want to pay more. the lazy should be rewarded and the industrious should be punished. the government rate for retirement income at 1% is far superior to private methods at 8%. Falling test scores indicate that government schools need to be kept the same. Being attacked at home indicates you are too mean, if only you were nicer, no one would mess with you. Math and logic just are not strong suits for most Dems. the only Liberal economist they could come up with died and had his heyday in the 60s. the general state of the intellectual capabilites of the Dems is in severe decline. but that would seem obvious after examining the wacky views on this blog.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"Could he be "reverse psyching" the electorate to make Bell seem stronger than the other two?"

...does seem rather uncharacteristic.

Here's an interesting theory;

Maybe Perry is getting smart, and wants out of this mess before he goes down the tubes with "The Hammer."

There is a lot of pernicious history still to be uncovered in the gerrymeanderings of Texas legislative districts, and in the way the "Law" went after the Democrats who refused to show up for a quorum.

It is possible that lots of "Texas secrets" won't be so secret very soon.

So, maybe, (just maybe) Perry's got wind of it and now has his strategists positioning for Bell to take the Gov.'s mansion, which would not surprise anyone in either party, but may actually be avoidable and Perry COULD win.

If he really wanted to.

He may just want out, ASAP!

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Nor'easter: Chris isn't acting as a reporter here. He gives analysis. A reporters job is to provide raw data and deliver it for the people to interpret themselves.

He isn't a facilitator as he isn't leading the discussion. He is merely putting forth an opinion and letting us react to it.

Somedays we pounce on it and rip it apart. Other days we totally ignore it and just talk to each other.

We can safely call him a Commentator. From "A broadcaster or writer who reports and analyzes events in the news"

Posted by: Dan W | October 17, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse


Very well said.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 17, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse


Make no mistake, I dearly want the Dems to take over both Houses because I am totally disgusted with the Republicans. I sincerely hope Ford wins, but I am worried about the African American candidate polling phenomenom (particulary strong in the South) and the GOP GOTV as well. I think Ford will be a real star in the Dem party if he wins.

Posted by: JimD | October 17, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I think when NJ voters go to the polls and see the choices for Senate, Tom Kean. Jr. will do better than anticipated.

I wonder if Republicans aer flooding NJ with absentee ballot applications? NJ changed their law on voting absentee two years ago to make it easier.

Let's not forget that Gov. John Corzine spent $50 million more than his Republican opponent in 2000 and won by a mere three points.

Also,in July Gov Corzine shut down the goverment and raised the sales tax by $1 Billion (1%).

Unknown and underfunded Christie T. Whitman nearly defeated Senator Bill Bradley in 1990, the year Democratic Gov. Jim Florio raised taxes by a few bilion.

Posted by: Northeast_Opinion | October 17, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse


1. YOu cite self-reporting data that says that a majority of journalists vote Democratic. You cite ZERO evidence that who an individual votes for precludes them from acting as an objective professional journalist. Put more simply, you have completely failed to establish ANY causal connection between the statistics you cite.

2. Using the logic from your "voting preference" argument, I would note that overwhelmingly the OWNERS of the media outlets you cite are Republicans. Since they ultimately HIRE the journalists you cite as biased, I COULD argue that per say those journalists must be slanted towards Republicans. Notice I am not advancing this argument.

3. Further, if we accepted that WHO someone votes for controls their ability to be objective, the only way to ensure "balanced" coverage would be to continually make sure that every newspaper put to print, news broadcast, etc had EXACTLY as many Red voters as Blue voters. Is that really what you're arguing for? Similarly, should the FCC force their to be an equal balance of media outlets owned by Republicans and Democrats? Come on - that's just silly.

4. There are all kinds of purported media watchdogs that cherry pick news stories to find "bias" on both the Right and the Left. The Right has been playing this game longer, having made attacking the media generally one of the primary plans of their agenda, but the Left is quickly catching up. Ultimately, the exercise is completely uselss. The Media is biased towards the SENSATIONAL and what is EASY TO REPORT, not towards any particular ideology. How else can you POSSIBLY reconcile the beating Clinton took during his entire presidency with the purported liberal bias?

In conclusion, sometimes we all disapprove of particular new stories or the coverage our "side" is getting. Guess what? That's just the breaks folks. Doesn't mean there is any grand "conspiracy" out there.

Posted by: Colin | October 17, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

No comment on the Santorum-Casey debates? I guess things didn't go well enough for Santorum to get some momentum.

Posted by: PJ | October 17, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Someone help me out here.

Is it it fair to say the Abramoff scandal has reached all the way to the top?

All the way to the White House?

Of the 8 people who have been indicted or actually charged in the Abramoff scandal, how many of those were on the White House staff?

Or will it take a direct Bush-Cheney/Abramoff connection to fairly make that claim?

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

- Former HPSCI staffer Brant "Nine Fingers" Bassett had a "close personal friendship" with Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the former CIA #3 man who quit the agency after the feds raided his house in a corruption investigation related to Cunningham. "During his time at HPSCI, Bassett and Foggo worked together to achieve certain objectives relating to the management of the CIA," the summary reported:

Bassett introduced Foggo to key HPSCI members and staff, and Bassett and Foggo sought to motivate various HPSCI members to take desired actions by, among other things, providing them with gifts of "government trinkets" such as a carpet emblazoned with the words "Global War on Terror." . . further inquiry is appropriate.
- The Justice Department probe into Foggo includes awards of several large CIA contracts to a company "managed by an individual" who was neither Wade nor Brent Wilkes, Cunningham's other alleged briber. "Foggo introduced Bassett to this invididual in the spring of 2003. . . [the three men] also apparently had dinner together at the Capital Grille in June 2003," the report stated. "[W]e believe that additional inquiry is warranted to determine whether either Bassett or anyone else at HPSCI facilitated or was involved in any of the contract awards in question."

- "[W]e are aware of dealings that Cunningham had with certain foreign nationals, which we expect will be given careful scrutiny by appropriate law enforcement and national security agencies" for possible breaches of national security.'

--republicans and national security. what a joke. they'd sell their souls for a nickel bag in an instant.

Posted by: drindl | October 17, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse


I am talking about two absolute facts:

1. Pre-election polls almost always overstate African American candidates' support compared to actual election results.

2. There have been several races recently where Republican results were higher than the polls. Micro-targeting and bringing the targets out can produce a greater turn out among sub groups than the polls would project. One of the trickiest items in polling is to project likely voters. Past trends among the various demographic groups is one of the prime predictors. If you can manage to get out your group in greater numbers than past voting history would project, you can increase your totals over what the polls project.

I have studied statistics at the graduate level. I understand polling techniques.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 17, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

JEP: Can I get a group "DUH!"

That's about the democratic response I would expect.

Posted by: FH | October 17, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Let's consider the Senate member who actually WAS a memeber of the KKK. do you know who I am talking about? He is currently running for re-election and you probably haven't heard about this much. why? He is a Dem. Let's examine all the potential financial scandals out there of currently running congressmen. haven't heard about them - they are all Dems.
Yet Allen has some stock options valued at minus $7 and you get stories complete with criminal allegations. Pushing through rezoning to line your pockets and the pockets of your biggest contributors, your kids and your lobbyists warrant no coverage.

i guess you will believe aht you want to believe but for many of you, you would be better off back on an X-files episode instead of on planet Earth.

but why do you so vigorously deny this advantage. I don't deny that Rs have a huge advantage in intellectual capital and think tanks and policy. I am flummoxed that this has not turned out to be such a vote getter.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 2:08 PM | Report abuse

For Perry to be in real jeopardy, one of the two independant candidates (I'm thinking Friedman) needs to pull out and swing support to either of the other two candidates.

As long as they are all jockeying for 2nd,3rd,4th and 5th place, Perry is safe, albeit unpopular.

Posted by: RMill | October 17, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"note there is no recent evidence of this racist agenda."

That's a load of macaca...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"Apparently if you dare say anything positive about a Republican candidate you are part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy."

Can I get a group "DUH!"

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Re: TX Governor's race

I wish someone would do more reporting on this one. It strikes me as strange that Perry has gone negative on Chris Bell, without any mention of Strayhorn or Friedman. Strayhorn is riding Perry, and any polls I've seen show Perry weak but ahead with the other 3 flipping back and forth in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Does it mean Perry thinks Bell is the biggest threat? Could he be "reverse psyching" the electorate to make Bell seem stronger than the other two?

Posted by: Staley | October 17, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse

With respect to voter targeting, a good article by Dan Balz in the Post on Sunday 10/08:

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 17, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

does anyone out there think that some possible racist statements you may have made over 20 years ago is a deciding factor in a Senate bid? note there is no recent evidence of this racist agenda. Yet the Post wrote articles day after day about this. Is that an independent press with no visible agenda?

now that we have settled that the majority of the media is biased towards anti-conservatisim, how will you utilize all the advantages you have as Libs? will you actually fix any problems or will you continue to carp and complain with no agenda of your own. continue to support the status quo on failing government programs?

the Seinfeld party - the party about nothing. the Rs may be somewhat dissappointing, but the Dems are outright dangerous.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter: If you're a reporter, you've committed the Cardinal Sin and become part of the story here. That's not supposed to happen.

He is a part of the story because of the hyper-sensitivity of the majority dem. audience on this blog. Apparently if you dare say anything positive about a Republican candidate you are part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. As a political analyst, it's his job to voice his opinion...good or bad...on the races and the effectiveness of the individual campaigns being run. I'm not sure how this makes him a partisan. If you constantly look for conspiracies, you will generally find them.

Posted by: FH | October 17, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse


How about we just give Chris a new title for these new times.


reporter, facilitater and commentator, all in one.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I am hearing that the RNC buy is not new money but dollars they already had used to hold time in reserve.

They chose to block out time using those funds which were technically already "scheduled" so it does not represent new investment but also lessens the effect of the "pull-out" by the RSCC.

Posted by: RMill | October 17, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

this is just too easy:
Re:allen stock options. The Washington Post, if I am reading their search page correctly, ran six different stories in a two-day period on various aspects of Option-Gate. You would have thought he was about one guilty plea from sharing a cell with Bernie Ebbers.

Turned out it was a technical violation. Options allow you to buy a stock at a set price. If you have options to buy stock in at $10 per share and Mullings is selling for $15 per share, those options are worth five bucks each.

In the Allen case the company's stock is, in effect, selling for $3 per share. Executing an option and paying $10 for a stock anyone else can buy for $3 is not a fast path to personal wealth creation.

At about the same time, it seems that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) did a land deal flip with a friend which earned him about $1.1 million. He neglected to list portions of the transaction on his financial disclosure forms back in 2001. The Post apparently felt that a single story about the financial dealings of the man who might be the Majority Leader of the US Senate was more than sufficient.
On Saturday, our friends at the Washington Post did their level best to provide balanced political coverage on its front page.

The Republican story was about Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) pleading guilty to charges of influence-peddling:

Ney Pleads Guilty to Corruption Charges
Lawmaker's Conviction Is 8th in Abramoff Probe

Legit news, to be sure, so you can't complain.

But, here was the headline of the front page story about Democrats:

Democratic Faces That Could Launch Thousands of Votes

With a Parade of Attractive Candidates, the Party May Benefit From the Politics of Beauty

What? The best the crack political staff at the Washington Post could come up with is a story about how Democratic candidates are prettier than Republicans?


Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse


Concerning this line in your previous post, "These sub groups might not be well represented in the polls..."

The pollsters and their political scientists would just laugh at this, they spend millions making sure there is no such demographic. Anyone so detached from our modern society that they could completely escape the pollsters would probably not be voting in the first place.

To suggest there are enough of "those types" available for the Republicans to somehow call up from the depths of neocon hell, to turn back the popular tidal wave the pollsters are reading in their tea leaves, just sounds like pandering (to me).

Unless you expect a couple million illegal aliens with no phone number, no home address and no driver's license or social security card to go and vote for the Republicans(sounds quite possible, actually) all of whom are inaccessible to our intrepid and relentless pollsters?

No offense, I appreciate your moderate temperance of our oft-fiery rhetoric on this blog, but sometimes, you actually spout the very deceptions that they use to get away with "it."

Yes, Virginia, you CAN trust non-partisan polls.


As long as there are no mitigating influences (like ballot-box cheating or organized deception), there is no logical reason these polls or the election-day exit polls should not be accurate.

Simply sad but true.

And as for the earlier post you mentioned, I think this was the gist of it.

let me reiterate;

I'm for letting them ALL off the legal hook, as long as they tell us the WHOLE truth so it can never happen again.

But without the threat of prison sentences and large fines, they aren't likely to "tell on each other."

Thus my suggestion that a Cheney/Bush (in that order) impeachment hearing would bring all of this under one final umbrella of oversight, and we wouldn't get caught up spending thousands of hours and millins of dollars in low-level hearings and committee meetings, it would start at the top in the first place, instead of inching up there through lower-level criminal investigations.

Is that the post you meant?

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

New Ohio Poll from Univ of Cincy
Brown (D)52%
DeWine (R)* 45%

Posted by: RMill | October 17, 2006 1:35 PM | Report abuse

'The Media Research Center continuously reports on instances of the liberal bias in the mainstream media'

...and Media Matters continuously reports on instances of the rightwing bias in the mainstream media

Posted by: drindl | October 17, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

In the Cleveland, O. media market, over this past weekend, I didn't see a single DeWine TV ad, but lots and lots of Brown ads. On Monday night I saw a single DeWine ad, it was a new ad, but wasn't anywhere as effective as required. In fact I can't remember it at all.

N.E. Ohio, the Cleveland media market, is Brown's home base. He can pull huge numbers of votes from this area, the largest population in the state.

While DeWine's core constituency is SW Ohio, the Cincinnati media market, if he cannot significantly cut into Brown's N.E.O. base, if he can't compete head to head with Brown's TV ads here, then DeWine doesn't have a frigging chance.

From what I've seen recently -- the NY Times article about GOPer's 'cut and run' with TV cash is right on target.

Posted by: OhioRepublican | October 17, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

So I'll read the WaPo and NYT including Cillizza and Nagourney and then I'll refer to Mickey Kaus to see which parts of the story are not true.....maybe I should skip one of these steps?

Posted by: Gerald | October 17, 2006 1:29 PM | Report abuse

JEP, Colin, and all of the others who actually think and post on this blog - Thanks.

We do get mostly good stuff here from both sides of the spectrum and the critical independent thinking posters.

I have a question on the slant/bias matter. What is Chris C's role with respect to The Fix?

Is he a reporter?

Is he a commentator?

Is he a facilitator?

We all look at him from one of these perspectives, but we don't know what marching orders he has from (supposedly independent of the Washington Post).

As far as I know, there are no standard Internet rules for the person who "runs" a blog.

So, it's time to 'fess up Chris, what is your official role supposed to be?

If you're a reporter, you've committed the Cardinal Sin and become part of the story here. That's not supposed to happen.

Clear up the confusion and we can move on.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 17, 2006 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Need more evidence:
The news that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) failed to disclose a land deal that earned him $700,000 -- three years after he sold the land to a friend's company -- isn't "sexy" enough for front page news, according to one political analyst

Since the story broke, the Washington Post has mentioned it three times: once in story about the scandal on Oct. 12 and in an unrelated article and an editorial on Oct. 13. The New York Times has mentioned the scandal once in an article on Oct. 12.

During the same time period, the papers have mentioned Foley 37 and 28 times, respectively.

On Oct. 16 - nearly three weeks after the Foley scandal broke - it was still front page news on the Post.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Bhoomes and colin, I will help you out since Dems are such slow easy targets these days. Start with this. there are professionals out there who actually operate based on fact and not feelings.

How the Media Vote. Surveys of journalists' self-reported voting habits show them backing the Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 1964, including landslide losers George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. In 2004, a poll conducted by the University of Connecticut found journalists backed John Kerry over George W. Bush by a greater than two-to-one margin. See Section.
Journalists' Political Views. Compared to their audiences, journalists are far more likely to say they are Democrats or liberals, and they espouse liberal positions on a wide variety of issues. A 2004 poll by the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press found five times more journalists described themselves as "liberal" as said they were "conservative." See Section.

How the Public Views the Media. In increasing numbers, the viewing audiences recognize the media's liberal tilt. Gallup polls have consistently found that three times as many see the media as "too liberal" as see a media that is "too conservative." A 2005 survey conducted for the American Journalism Review found nearly two-thirds of the public disagreed with the statement, "The news media try to report the news without bias," and 42 percent of adults disagreed strongly. See Section.

Admissions of Liberal Bias. A number of journalists have admitted that the majority of their brethren approach the news from a liberal angle. During the 2004 presidential campaign, for example, Newsweek's Evan Thomas predicted that sympathetic media coverage would boost Kerry's vote by "maybe 15 points," which he later revised to five points. In 2005, ex-CBS News President Van Gordon Sauter confessed he stopped watching his old network: "The unremitting liberal orientation finally became too much for me." See Section

Denials of Liberal Bias. Many journalists continue to deny the liberal bias that taints their profession. During the height of CBS's forged memo scandal during the 2004 campaign, Dan Rather insisted that the problem wasn't his bias, it was his anybody who criticized him. "People who are so passionately partisan politically or ideologically committed basically say, 'Because he won't report it our way, we're going to hang something bad around his neck and choke him with it, check him out of existence if we can, if not make him feel great pain,'" Rather told USA Today in September 2004. "They know that I'm fiercely independent and that's what drives them up a wall." See Section.

Evidence of Bias in News Coverage. The Media Research Center continuously reports on instances of the liberal bias in the mainstream media. Daily CyberAlerts offer a regular roundup of the latest instances of biased reporting, while our NewsBusters blog allows Web users to post their own reactions. Media Reality Check fax reports showcase important stories that the news media have distorted or ignored, and several times each year the MRC publishes Special Reports offering in-depth documentation of the media's bias on specific issues.

you may debate these points if you care to but your rebuttal should also contain facts of some sort.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 1:23 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse


I also think the microtargeting, if it works very well, can produce results that do not track the polls. Say group A is 25% of the population and tends to vote 70-30 for the Dems and tends to turn out 55% of the time. If the Republicans can identify the 30% who support them and get a 70% turnout of that sub-group, the results that would add 1.12% to the Republican total. The polls generally do not stratify the electorate that finely.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 17, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"And - personally - I think Chris does a pretty darn good job of keeping his eye on the ball and reporting what's going on."


While I once joked that someone called such a young fellow a "top pundit, it is safe to call him one of the best in the business, which is why we are always hanging out here.

And he will only get better if we continue to point out our own perspectives, so he can see where his words might seem "slanted."

This is criticism, not condemnation.

Big difference.

No one needs to protect Cilliza from me, I'm a fan.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse

JEP - "And, I know why Kouk won't climb onboard any more, the other day when he tried to claimn he was a "38 year old Dem who was staying at home," he got caught because his lie had some of his patent errors in it, so everyone knew right away who he was."

You have really gone around the bend. the voices in your head must be overwhelming. I have no idea what you are talking about. Many people seem to like to use my moniker. but I don't need to disguise myself to make a fool out of Dems. they are quite capable of doing that on their own.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 17, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Drindl -- I don't EVER have a problem with pointing out factually inaccurate or slanted reporting. And that includes instances where CC is guilty of such abuses, as I think ALL media outlets occasionally are. So I don't have much of a problem with your ciriticism of Halperin. Really, my only point here is that the MOTIVE behind less than perfect news coverage is seldom ideologically motivated and I would hate to see the political left parrot the Right's ridiculous attacks on the media.

And - personally - I think Chris does a pretty darn good job of keeping his eye on the ball and reporting what's going on.

bhoomes -- I ask you this all th time and you never respond. Other than brainwashing, do you have any basis for actually calling the media biased? Honestly, I think you're a smart individual. Put those critical thinking skills to use and at least justify that frequent criticism rather than just rationalizing any news you don't like with a conclusory accusation.

Posted by: Colin | October 17, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Rmill! I really appreciate your posts. I am printing out the "races to watch" for election night reference... and thanks to Zathras for the poll times. I will be away on vacation 11/7 (voting early--Texas Dem) and the info y'all provided will be a great help. I am a lurker who reads The Fix as much for the comments as the blog itself. (Thanks, Chris, for this forum!)

Posted by: swingebreech | October 17, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

To me it is all about the TN race. While the Dems will p/u seats in PA, MT, OH, most likely RI, and probably only gets them to 50 (assuming Sanders-VT and Lieberman-CT will caucus with Dems). The most winnable seat left is TN. As much as Dems would like to think VA is in play, it just isn't. The one thing people forget is VA really is two states: NOVA and the rest of the state. Folks outside of NOVA view Webb as an outsider candidate and will vote for Allen based on that fact alone. The "Macaca" scandel is not an issue anywhere outside NOVA and will not hurt Allen elsewhere. Unless the Dems invest significant get-out-the-vote staff and advertising in NOVA, Allen wins comfortably (53-47).

Tennessee, on the other hand, is a real chance for the Dems to get that 51st seat. Just one man's opinion, but that's where I'd spend every dollar I can.

Posted by: Steve | October 17, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

JimD -- microtargeting voters is essentially the same tactic used in direct marketing. No one disputes that the Republicans have a vast, vast database of personal information from people in all walks of life -- medical info, purchase info, financials, education, hobbies, interests, legal info. Kinda funny you know, with all their small government talk and all. In any case, you are absolutely right. In certain states right now, for instance, there's a huge push to communicate with snowmoble owners, for instance.

There's all the usual constitutencies you would expect, but micro-targeting allows you access to a lot of cheap media like interest websites that get your message out for almost nothing. It's this level of Big Brother- intensive database that gives the R's their GOTV advantage.

Posted by: drindl | October 17, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

In the R.I. race, Whitehouse has stumbled a bit during his radio debates about his tenure as A.G. and his failure to prosecute several of the current "jail-crop" of Dem insiders. Hence the blatherer in chief starring in a fundraiser and pep rally last pm to energize the locals. Whitehouse is still tightly in contention, but Chaffee is acting like the wounded debutante, and changing the focus from the delivery "count" for control of the Senate, to the non-believability of the challenger, and outrage at being tagged with the Bushy brush. This will go down to the wire, and could turn on who has the most effective media spin during the weekend of Nov.4th. Remember, the Providence Journal, the major print media in Southeastern New England is owned by the Texas-based Belo corporation, one of whose owners is..............the wife of Lincoln Chaffee......(any thoughts????????)

Posted by: L.Sterling | October 17, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse


I think there are two factors to worry about that could make the race closer in Tennessee than it appears. First, polls have consistently overstated support for African American candidates, especially in the South. Second, from what I have read of the databases that Rove uses to target voters, they may be getting to people who might not be reflected in polls. It is very similar to micro-marketing. They find a demographic that generally leans democratic - let's say college educated single professional women and find that such women who own boats (I am making up the specifics - but that is the premise) are more likely to vote Republican. They then target them to get out the vote. These sub groups might not be well represented in the polls especially if the Peublicans manage to bring out a disproportionate number of them.

One other thing, I do not know if you saw my response to your response to my post the other day on Democrats using the investigative power of Congress (it was kind of late when I did it). Anyway, let me just say after seeing your response, we are not very far apart (if at all) in our opinions on that subject.

Posted by: JimD in FL | October 17, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

RE: Cantwell in WA. She was in trouble early, in large part because she was an inept campaigner. She managed to hold her seat in the House for, if memory serves, one term. She had begun to develop a history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. That said, her opponent (forget his name) has shot himself in the foot a lot. I think turnout driven by major D mobilization in Western WA will put Maria over the top, esp if turnout for Rs is depressed in Eastern WA.

Posted by: Tom in Albany | October 17, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Having grown up in Maryland, I am looking forward to the state returning to solid blue. As for Michael Steele's alleged charisma, I have to laugh. Maybe it is something he only shows to friendly reporters. Every time he makes the national news, it is because he has made a major gaffe. In fact, I was under the assumption that he was on the same "no more talking until after the election" leash that George Felix Allen is on in Virginia.

Posted by: Greg in LA | October 17, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I amazed how a lot of people on this blog think this election is already sewn up for the dems. I guess they find a lot solace in meaningless polls or the bias of the MSM for their candidates, NOW MAYBE YOU WILL WIN, but it is not a sure thing you dolts, theirs just as good of chance we will hit our Big MO four days before election tipping a lot of close seats in our direction. I have asked the RNC to set a aside a pot of money to buy crying towels for all of you losers.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 17, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I would change the rankings to:
8. NJ - Democrats usually win by more than pre-election polls would suggest in NJ.
7. TN - Black candidates usually do worse than the pre-election polls suggest in the south. (I guess some are still too racist to pull the lever?)
6. VA - An incumbant with a two point lead in a poll that is not an outlier is pretty vulnerable. Generally, incumbants drop a point or two between the last polls and the election in close races.

I think the top five are all changing parties so I won't split hairs.

Posted by: ezetimibe | October 17, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"the Party of Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi?"
Halperin's hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Sheer drudjury.

What about "The Party of Delay, Ney and Cunningham?"

Or "The Party of Foley and Hastert?"

Pelosi and Dean may be very colorful and quite courageous in defending their beliefs, but they certainly aren't disgraced congressmen, convicted felons of sex-predator enablers.

But since when was that an issue to the R's?

It certainly isn't a problem for Drudge.

He's now the official page-scandal chairman of the "Blame the Boys" club...

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Colin, I know you will take me to task for 12:26 post. And you would be correct that Cilizza is not Halperin. The point I would make is while reporters are sometimes simply sloppy or see things through their own prism, of course. But I would also say that because there is a culture that permeats the beltway, a small, closed, elite circle that has a distinct point of view, a conventional wisdom.

These are people that go to the same parties and events, and there's a lot of mingling between lobbyists, press and politicians. A kind of bedfellowness develops. And it this point in time, the weathervane is at center-right, and that's the perspective that most journalists look at the world from. The frames are rightwing -- the Republicans are strong and resolute and responsible, the Democrats are silly and weak and divided. At this point in time it's time, after all the scandal, it's pretty clear to anyone who's sane that the frames have no bearing on reality. Yet this is still the lens from which stories are reported--democrats bad, republicans good [broadly, I mean].

Posted by: drndl | October 17, 2006 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"we'll be overrun by immigrants, the south will secede"

What, again?

Also, I've heard recently that there's a move to add a new word to the blogger's dictionary, "drudjury" meaning the act of kissing neocon butt online by shamelessly trashing progressive ideas and candidates.

Also known as a form of provocative base propaganda that is so unintelligent, only the intellectually-challenged can read more than a few words without experiencing gastric revulsion.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I would change the rankings to:
8. NJ - Democrats usually win by more than pre-election polls would suggest in NJ.
7. TN - Black candidates usually do worse than the pre-election polls suggest in the south. (I guess some are still too racist to pull the lever?)
6. VA - An incumbant with a two point lead in a poll that is not an outlier is pretty vulnerable. Generally, incumbants drop a point or two between the last polls and the election in close races.

I think the top five are all changing parties so I won't split hairs.

Posted by: ezetimibe | October 17, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

If you wonder about Chris' 'leanings' he seems to have some respect for Mark Halperin, ABC News, who also does the smirking, snarky fratboy site The Note, one of the most notoriously rightwing a**kissing endeavors out there, just a notch above the down in the gutter Drudge. Here's Halperin with a little does of Rove from ABC News:

"So before Democrats go predicting three weeks out that a takeover of Congress is inevitable, they would be wise to remember another warning from Berra.

It is still possible that the party of Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi will experience "deja vu all over again."

Notice how he so subtley characterizes the Democratic Party as the party of Pelosi and Dean-- not Kennedy, not Reid.. Why? Because these are the two that have been chosen to be the straw men, the grotesque cartoon characters which the enormous echo chamber of rightwing media will demonize, over and over and over again, until their drooling audience understands who the 'bad guys' are.

You've heard the trolls here -- you know it works. So Mark is trying to pump up the boogiemen to make the faithful forget they were going to stay home on election day.This will be the plan from now on -- imagine how terrible it would be if the democrats got control, omigod, omigod, the sky would fall.

I've heard it all --we'll be overrun by immigrants, the south will secede, al queda will take over and make our children speak arabic, gays will force your children to be gay--oh, the things these people fear in their tiny brains. Sad.

Posted by: drindl | October 17, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Pat Robertson said last night, quite mistakenly, that "we have a President, not a King."

Not quite accurate.

We have a Constituion, not a King.

The President is obligated to uphold that Constition. No more,no less.

Would that it were...

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

We all make typing errors all the time. We are bloggers, not professional journalists who have our posts proofed by editors. My usual is teh for the. Thank you all for interpreting my typos and trying to understand what I mean rather than telling me to learn how to type or spell.

Posted by: Dan W | October 17, 2006 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Surely you meant "Lets hope they pull out of Rhode Island, too."

at first, I thought you meant "Lets pull the hoe out of RI" and it caught me a little off-guard.

Then I recognized what you actually intended.

It has a humorous edge to it, don't you think?

Don't feel bad, quite recently I called "Boehner" a Boner.

Purely by accident.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Truth Hunter: Technically the Constitution makes no claim that "All men are created equal" That phrase is in the Declaration of Independence. A document that Ironically has no legal weight whatsoever in the US.

Posted by: Dan W | October 17, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Let's hoe the pull out of Rhode Island too! President Clinton came to town last night: Whitehouse definately has the momentum.

Posted by: Pat | October 17, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Interesting lead editorial in the NY Times regarding Ohio, in that Blackwell as Secretary of State is in the position to disqualify his opponent (Strickland) on a residency technicality.

Given Blackwell's past behavior I wouldn't put him past doing it, but wouldn't the blowback be Katrina-intense? Not to mention the last minute court challenges?

Posted by: Bill | October 17, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"journalists aren't perfect and sometimes write things in a less than perfectly artful manner, and (2) we all READ things through a prism of our own preferences and beliefs.."

Could not agree with you more.

However, some prisms project a much broader spectrum than others.

It will, most certainly, "all come out in the wash."

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

That "new ad buy" is just smoke and mirrors to cover their tracks: don't be fooled by superficial ad campaigns meant to be used as a lame excuse for what would have been a very intensive project, had the R's any hope of winning in Ohio by any other means than cheating.

Just curious, are there any other "Blackwells" out there running for office now, who may face prison-time after the election is over?

No wonder the R's are leaving Ohio to the fates, those Blackwellian coattails aren't exactly the ones they all hoped to be riding on at this stage of the game.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

JEP: "Corker's campaign is finally on track after a bad start.."

To be slant-free, it should read, "Corker's campaign staff believes it is finally on track after a bad start"

...seems subtle to most people, but it means everything, in terms of journalistic neutrality and integrity.

You're just wrong. Chris is not quoting from the Corker campaign...he is a political analyst who is giving us his opinion as such. Do you honestly think that the Corker campaign is going to say they got off to a bad start??? This is another instance of partisan hacks such as yourself and F&B griping about nothing.

Not only that, he goes on to say that the Ford campaign is one of the best run this year.

Posted by: FH | October 17, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

JEP: You are so on the money. I've learned more this morning than in the few months I have had a computer and been doing this and learning to use the computer all at the same time, kind of proud of myself.

Posted by: lylepink | October 17, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

JEP -- it's not "bias" to have an opinion regarding whether a campaign has gotten back on track. It's a subjective opinion. Are you really suggesting that good political journalism shouldn't include the author's subjective evaluation of how different races are going? From my vantage point, that just seems silly.

Honestly, if ANYONE who holds strong political beliefs scours the newspapers they can probably find something that they think is "biased." But in most instances, I think that's simply b/c (1)journalists aren't perfect and sometimes write things in a less than perfectly artful manner, and (2) we all READ things through a prism of our own preferences and beliefs. The media is far from perfect, but I really think it's time for everyone to stop blaming them for the state we find ourselves in.

Posted by: Colin | October 17, 2006 11:43 AM | Report abuse

A same-sex marriage ban (including civil unions) amendment is on the VA ballot, a sure GOP get-out-the-vote gimmick. May give Macaca Allen the edge.

Guess the "compassionate conservatives" won't be happy until our Constitution reads that "all people are created equal, but some people are just more equal than others."

Posted by: Truth Hunter | October 17, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Maybe another poster mentioned this earlier, but the RNC pulling money for ads now doesn't mean that it cannot, or will not, flood the market the week before the election itself, right?

Posted by: hellhound | October 17, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"Joseph R. Lieberman"

Had to repost that, kind of tickled my funny-boehn.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse


I disagree about your assessment of Webb, though, he's made a remarkable run for his money, and if he gets beat, he willcget beat by the worst of the worst, not by the rank and file.

Allen's own staff couldn't beat Webb, especially considering their candidate's compulsive addiction to toe-jam, so they brought in some very desperate players. Some of those same desperate characters are in Joseph "R." Lieberman's corner, now, too.

And, I know why Kouk won't climb onboard any more, the other day when he tried to claimn he was a "38 year old Dem who was staying at home," he got caught because his lie had some of his patent errors in it, so everyone knew right away who he was.

He probably thinks the WaPo staff revealed his deception by recognizing his server ID, but it was just us bloggers, I was the one who posted that it was really Zouk, recognizing the bad writing habits of one of our own wayward blog family, that exposed his lying subterfuge.

The WaPo staff had nothing to do with it.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Races to Watch For and When:

Thanks to Zathras for the Poll Closing Times

6 p.m.: Indiana and Kentucky
IN 2, IN 8, IN 9
KY 3, KY 4

7 p.m. Georgia, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia
SC Gov
SC 5
VT Senate
VT House at large
VA Senate
VA 2, VA 10
7:30 p.m.: North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia
NC 8, NC 11
OH Gov
OH Senate
OH 1, OH 2, OH 6, OH 13, OH 15, OH 18
WV 1
8 p.m. Alabama, Florida, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and the District of Columbia
FL Gov, FL 13, FL 16, FL 22
CT Senate, CT 2, CT 4, CT 5
IL Gov, IL 6, IL 8, IL 14, IL 19
KS Gov
ME Gov
MD Gov, MD Senate
MA Gov
MI Gov, MI Senate, MI 7
MO Senate
NJ Senate, NJ 7
PA Senate, PA 6, PA 7, PA 8, PA 10, PA 12
TN Senate
TX Gov, TX 17, TX 22

8:30 p.m.: Arkansas
AR Gov

9 p.m.: New York, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming
NY 3, NY 20, NY 24, NY 26
RI Senate
LA 2, LA 3
MN Gov, MN Senate, MN 1, MN 2,MN 6
WI Gov, WI 8
AZ Senate, AZ 1, AZ 5, AZ 8
CO Gov, CO 3, CO 4, CO 5, CO 7
NM 1
WY at large

10 p.m.: Iowa, North Dakota, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada

IA Gov, IA 1, IA 2, IA 3
ID 1
MT Senate
NV Gov, NV Senate

11 p.m.: California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii

CA Gov, CA 50
OR Gov
WA Senate, WA 2, WA 8
HI Senate

Alaska should be included at this time I believe:
AK Gov

Posted by: RMill | October 17, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans have a funny way of pulling out of Ohio with a new ad buy

Posted by: rpr | October 17, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Here's an example of the "slant" some of us recognize.

"Corker's campaign is finally on track after a bad start.."

To be slant-free, it should read, "Corker's campaign staff believes it is finally on track after a bad start"

...seems subtle to most people, but it means everything, in terms of journalistic neutrality and integrity.

Chris openly touting that the Corker campaign "is finally on track" sounds slanted from a nuetral viewpoint, especially if Democratic candidates are treated with neutral framing, when Republicans aren't.

Go back and read some of the old, pre-macaca Allen posts, it was obvious then, and still shows up a lot, especially in coverage of the newly formed, ideologically confused Connecticut "Liebertarian" party.

Read today's WaPo report abu the Lieberman/Lamont debate, you will see it quite clearly.

Now that's not our intrepid Mr. C's writing, but it is a good example of the framing I speak of, and should make our trolls claims to a "liberal MSM bias" charges seem that much more unrealistic, at least to any intelligent adult.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse


I agree that there is a little establishment bias here. I see it with the repeated exclusion of the Texas governor's race, where the incumbent has now dropped to an even 30 percent of the vote in the latest poll. While multiple challengers are only about 8 percent away, an establishment view is to ignore what's going on here.

Posted by: Zathras | October 17, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

US Senate

1. PA
Rasmussen 10/15
Rasmussen 10/6
Morning Call 10/8
Zogby/Reuters 10/2

2. OH
In addition to those I posted yesterday
Rasmussen 10/12
Quinnipiac 10/15

There was a quick retraction by the RNC and they did buy more time in Ohio but the RSCC has not and shifted their resources eleswhere.

3. MT
Rasmussen 10/11
Mason Dixon 9/28
Reuters/Zogby 10/2

4. RI
Rasmussen 10/4
Mason Dixon 9/28
Reuters/Zogby 10/2
USA Today/Gallup 10/1
Rhode Island College 10/4

Of these top 4 seats, all Republican incumbants trail, and regardless of the polling organization, cannot break 45%. With less than three weeks, that is the death knell and why RSCC no longer wastes its resources.

5. NJ
Rasmussen 10/10
Quinnipiac 10/10
Fairleigh Dickinson 10/2
Reuters/Zogby 10/2
USA Today/Gallup 10/1
Mason Dixon 9/28

Probably the most heavily polled Senate race in the US this cycle. While much of the summer went back and forth, polling trends have now stabilized with incumbant Menendez holding regular albiet small leads in all recent polls. However, as with the top 4 races, his numbers have not reached the magic 50% but nearly all hold at or above 45%.

6. TN (Open-R)
Rasmussen 10/10
Survey USA 10/9
Reuters/Zogby 10/2
USA Today/Gallup 10/1
Rasmussen 10/1
Middle Tenn State 9/30
Mason Dixon 9/28

7. MO
Rasmussen 10/12
Survey USA 10/11
Rasmussen 10/2
Reuters/Zogby 10/2
USA Today/Gallup 10/1
Mason Dixon 9/28

This one is literally all over the map. The back and forth miniscule lead changes for each candidate means this will go down to the wire. I imagine everyone will be up late waiting to see the outcome to determine who gains control of the US Senate.

8. VA
Rasmussen 10/12
Washington Post 10/12
Rasmussen 10/1
USA Today/Gallup 10/1
Survey USA 9/28
Mason Dixon 9/27

This race is the mirror to NJ. Allen maintains small leads in all polls but considering the leads Allen had in the summer, this collapse is cause for concern. Oh, and that giant sucking sound in August were Allen's presidential aspirations.

9. MD (Open-D)
Rasmussen 10/12
Reuters/Zogby 10/2
USA Today/Gallup 10/1
Mason Dixon 9/28

Survey USA 10/10
UConn 10/9
Rasmussen 10/2
Reuters/Zogby 10/2

I include this only because it is likely that the seat, while staying in control of the same person, will certainly change its official designation from D to I.

Races Still watching:

All incumbants enjoying pretty stable and sizeable leads with three weeks to go.

Posted by: RMill | October 17, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse


Your observatins are right-on. In comparison, they might help explain to some of our readers why Chris seems slanted to some of us. Nor'easter helps define this difference, also.

Amd for everyone protecting CC from us armchair critics, when we say Chris is slanted, it is not necessarily that we think it intentional.

It is just that his personal framing is so Upper East Coast Ivy League Establishment, his perspective is, inherently, ingrained.

He should take a Racoon River Ramble in Iowa some day, he'll get a much different mind-set. And a lot fresher air to breathe.

As for anyone who thinks a blog is an exercise in political futility, read the exchange between Mouse and our bloggers.

They told me and everyone else lots of things I didn't know about the polls and their scheduling and accessability on election day.

Thank you for all this important information, is there a live website that provides this kind of info?

We are all better off in a free society because of these interactive dialogs. The information we share here is extremely conducive to the democratic process.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Another Senate line, another fawning paragraph about how wonderful Michael Steele is. If only this were a more Republican year, Chris, and you could continue to speak of his greatness in flowery prose for the next six years.

Oh cursed world! Would that things were different this year and Michael Steele would ride his sturdy colt into the Senate chamber and take it upon his glorious shoulders to produce a Senate worthy of us! Surely no moderate Democrat can do such a thing!

Posted by: adam | October 17, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I really hope the Republicans (RNC, NRSC, etc.) throw millions of dollars into the expensive New York and Philadelphia media markets in a desperate attempt to win the New Jersey Senate seat. They are just pissing their money away. In every statewide election in NJ since 1997, the Republicans have claimed to be competitive and have accused Democratic opponents of corruption, but the Democrats have won by large margins each time. The only thing Kean has going for him is his famous last name and the fact that his father is still beloved, but it's extremely unlikely that he can get to "50-plus-one."

The Republican firewall is burning and crumbling.

Posted by: Flash | October 17, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

FYI - For something (the legal definition of marriage) which could affect the Virginia race see: . It's a top of the Front Page story in today's Post.

As mentioned before, as a Constitutional Amendment, it's the first thing on the ballot in Virginia after the candidates.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 17, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

IndMN and others--Thank you

Posted by: Mouse | October 17, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Wow! I think the partisan blinders are really having an effect the closer we get to Nov. 7th.

Chris said, that Corker's campaign is finally on track after a bad start, that Tennessee is a "values" state (surprise?), and that Ford has run the best Senatorial campaign this cycle.

What did I miss on Chris being biased (either way) in his three sentence analysis?

bhoomes: FYI - Last night Joe Scarborough (nobody can question his Conservative/Libertarian credentials) said that the New York Times is his favorite paper.

Kvalor - I find that has good links for election information also.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | October 17, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

My personal handicapping of senate races on THE LINE:

10 & 10: It's all over, incumbents win

9: Maryland will elect the Dem

8: Fun to watch, but if Allen has not managed to do himself in by now, he likely survives. Had the Dems nominated an actual Democrat with campaign experience, Allen would have been toast by now.

7: Close, and the election would be over by now if the Democrat were not a N-E-G-R-O. He's clearly the much better candidate, but it is an uphill climb for a thirty-something African American in a former Confederate state that has been increasingly R for the last decade. No prediction as it could still go either way. However, the perception of momentum is on Ford's side (and besides, he is light-colored enough that many Sons of the South can manage to overlook his parentage.)

6: The Republicans are always blowing smoke about NJ. They claimed that Bush was competitive there in 04. Dem by 10 points. This one should be ranked #11.

5: The incumbent is saddled with his anti-stem cell position, which is unfortunate since he needs some kind of therapy to counteract Bush Degenerative Disease. Talent(ed) in name only, momentum seems to be with the Dem.

4: Chafee pays the price for party identification. Too bad that when an R loses it can be a Trent Lott or Orrin Hatch.

3, 2, 1. Barring finding Mark Foley resident in the hide away love nest of one of the Democratic candidates, these races are long since over. As an aside, it shows the Populist nature of Montana that Burns is treated so shabbily everywhere he goes in the state.

Posted by: Henly, TX | October 17, 2006 10:31 AM | Report abuse

A good election ressource which i found recently.

Interesting details over the races.

Posted by: Kavalor | October 17, 2006 10:22 AM | Report abuse

An interesting twist in the Ohio Senate Race. Newspaper endorsements are coming out, and Dewine is leading 3-1. (Dewine: Columbus Dispatch, the Akron Beacon Journal and the Dayton Daily News. Brown: The (Lorain) Morning Journal) The fact that the Morning Journal endorsed Brown is unsurprising because of the fact that it is his hometown paper. However, the Beacon Editorial Board it a left leaning group, and has surprised many in its endorsement of Dewine. Could this make a difference?

Posted by: Ohio Exile | October 17, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

As a Democrat living in Chicago, I'm as hopeful for the party's wider chances in 3 weeks (the local pols in Chicago --(overreaching city council) and Springfield (Blago disappointing) don't impress me much, though).

I was a longtime Missourian, and I know never to count the GOP come election time. It might as well be 500 miles from Columbia or St. Louis to SW Missouri. That said, McCaskill has run a solid campaign. Anecdotally, back in metro St. Louis, I've noticed a lot more pro-Dem bumper stickers and lawn signs-- people aren't as afraid of their redneck neighbors. If a Democrat is ever to break the Ashcroft-Bond-Talent stranglehold on a U.S. Senate seat, this is the year.

I think Tennessee will be an election night cliffhanger as well. Ford and the DNC are going to have to wait to sleep until Nov. 8.

Posted by: KJS | October 17, 2006 10:10 AM | Report abuse


Poll closing times as follows (note that many states that cross time zones have multiple poll closing times):

(Eastern Time)

6:00 / 7:00 - KY and IN
7:00 - GA, SC, VT, VA
7:00 / 8:00 - FL, NH
7:30 - OH, WV
7:30 / 8:30 - NC
8:00 - most of the eastern time zone except notably NY and RI which are 9:00

So we will know pretty early what will be happening in the House based on early results from IN and KY. The first two close Senate races to come in should be Virginia and Ohio. All this assumes vote tallying goes well.

I assume someone will be doing exit polls, so they could project VA and OH right after the polls close if the races aren't close.

Posted by: IndMN | October 17, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I don't always agree with Chris's analysis either, but I think it's unfair to argue that it's biased. This is a real pet peave of mine, whether it's folks on the right or left complaining about the media. Sometimes reasonable people have different views on a race - that's not bias, that's a difference of opinion. Also, IMO, any bias the media does have is (fox news excepted) towards the sensational and the easy to report, rather than liberal or conservative.

Not trying to pick a fight - just my two cents.

Posted by: Colin | October 17, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Boo-hoomes:"It just goes to show you, Chris and the MSM continue to be lapdogs and echo chambers for the NY Times without ever asking skeptical questions or doing their own fact checking. If they had, they would have found out that all the local TV stations in Ohio to still have the ad buys in place. Of course Chris, is the guy who doubted Lieberman could win after Lamont beating him in the primaries. The guy doesn't even know his own state for crying out loud, so why would anybody even pay atttention to him."

It just goes to show you, Bohoomes and the KOZ continue to be lapdogs and echo chambers for Rush Limbaugh without ever asking skeptical questions or doing their own fact checking. If they had, they would have found out that all the local polls have DeWine losing. Of course Bohoomes is the guy who doubted Strickland could win. The guy doesn't even know his own state for crying out loud, so why would anybody even pay atttention to him.

Posted by: Zathras | October 17, 2006 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I would be really careful about calling TN a lost cause. Those of us from Virginia remember all too well the Doug Wilder rule: The votes counted always fall short of the poll numbers for AA candidates in the south. I think HF should keep on running right up until the end.

Posted by: Pdoggie | October 17, 2006 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Caveat: I got these from the 2004 election. I am assuming they are the same this time around.

Posted by: Zathras | October 17, 2006 10:03 AM | Report abuse

You're right Mouse. Here is a list of poll closing times (all times Eastern).

6 p.m.: Indiana and Kentucky

7 p.m. Georgia, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia

7:30 p.m.: North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia

8 p.m. Alabama, Florida, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and the District of Columbia

8:30 p.m.: Arkansas

9 p.m.: New York, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming

10 p.m.: Iowa, North Dakota, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada

11 p.m.: California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii

There isn't much happening in the first two states, except for Count Chocola's House race. Virginia and Ohio are the first big races to close, but the states are large enough that it could take a while to get results.

Posted by: Zathras | October 17, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

It just goes to show you, Chris and the MSM continue to be lapdogs and echo chambers for the NY Times without ever asking skeptical questions or doing their own fact checking. If they had, they would have found out that all the local TV stations in Ohio to still have the ad buys in place. Of course Chris, is the guy who doubted Lieberman could win after Lamont beating him in the primaries. The guy doesn't even know his own state for crying out loud, so why would anybody even pay atttention to him.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 17, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

CNN's website also provides a lot of minute to minute election results.

Posted by: JoeyJoeJoe | October 17, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Chris colors his picks by the historical knowledge that the GOP traditionally gets their base out, compared to Dems. At least, that's been the trend the last 5 elections. When trying to pick winners, the polls need to be adjusted with that fact in mind. This time around, however, you could make a case that the tsunami of GOP bad press might temper that.

Not that it matters to me, this formerly reliable GOP vote is sitting this one out. When Frist decided to do his sneaky move to ban my on-line poker and act like a Dem nanny-stater, then he can go screw. That was my one litmus issue.

Hillary in 08.

Posted by: JD | October 17, 2006 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I vaguely recall that states like Kentucky and Indiana (and some of the southern states) reported first 2 years ago.
Do their polls close earlier than those in the northeast?

Posted by: Mouse | October 17, 2006 9:38 AM | Report abuse

A good list this week and you made the right call about #10. It really might as well be a 'top 9' list at this point.

My only dissent is that you've got 6 & 7 backwards. Week after week, Harold Ford has polled ahead of Corker in all but one poll since the GOP primary. Ford is now the clear favorite based on all actual statistical evidence while in NJ Menendez has been running 3-6 points ahead of Kean for the last 4 weeks or so.

I am now of the wacky opinion that the GOP is making a bad call with their firewall. If I was running their show I would throw everything at Virginia and New Jersey. NJ, while still behind, has more signs of life than TN or Missouri. It's effectively an open seat and there are enough undecideds that some monster ad buys and a great big pile of cash for GOTV staffing on election day could really capture that seat. Tennessee and Missouri are both comparatively lost causes. They did the smart thing walking away from Ohio, though.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | October 17, 2006 9:32 AM | Report abuse


Should be plenty of good sites to check out on election night. I would try the following(they are currently providing a daily polling of races across the country):

Posted by: Political Junkie | October 17, 2006 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Mouse: "Also, which states with competitive races are likely to be reporting their returns earliest?"

Of course, states in Eastern time zone are more likely to have results the quickest. This means the New Jersey, Virginia, Connecticut, and Rhode Island Senate races. Virginia will likely take longer, since it is larger and has more rural areas than the others. CT and RI will likely be the fastest races announced. Other races of interest in the east: several House races in upstate New York with incumbent Republicans which could give an indication about the mood of the electorate.

Posted by: Zathras | October 17, 2006 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I will not have television access election night.
What is the best way to follow the election results on-line without using subscription sites? I tried to follow it on in 2004 and they seemed to lag behind some of the others.
Also, which states with competitive races are likely to be reporting their returns earliest?

Posted by: Mouse | October 17, 2006 9:07 AM | Report abuse

F&B: I am fairly new to this, couple months, and can see leanings in the lines that are posted almost on a daily basis for discussion. Though Chris provides a good place for the folks like me to discuss the issues of the day, I do not take his comments very much to heart and like to hear what the folks think, not the journalists, for they are only doing a job and do not affect my way of thinking. Watch Va. it is getting better all the time and btw I picked Webb by 5 back in September also.

Posted by: lylepink | October 17, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

you are so correct, this day's view is considerably more perspective-challenged than it has been for a while, but Chris' self-preservation instincts won't let him touch some these issues, so, unfortunately,"The Fix" is "In."

Considering that all their old pals are now facing hard time, it is a wonder ANY of our Republican Senators and Representatives even want to run for office this time around.

With their own pack leaders already in jail, or heading that way, many of these lower-ranking Republican wolves have contribution histories attached to those scoundrels that are part and parcel of the culture of corruption that plagues Washington.

The indebtedness of so many of our lower-ranking Republican lawmakers to these bad players and thier dirty money, has a slug-trail of campaign finance disclosure leading right to these supposedly "clean" candidates.

If you can judge a candidate by the contributiuons he takes Iowa's 4th district congressman, Tom Latham, who has a very deceptive choirboy image among his rank and file supporters, is about as well (or badly) connected as any of them.

Few in Congress can rival not-so-boy-scout Latham for sleazy campaign contributors.

Perhaps the most disgusting is the accused sexual predator, Rep. Mark Foley of Florida.

For whatever reason, he contributed to Latham's 2002 campaign.

Why a Florida congressman would feel compelled to contribute to an Iowa candidate is anybody's guess.

But we know now that the Republican leadership in the House apparently has been covering up Foley's misdeeds with the pages for years, padding campaign accounts of rank and file members to keep the secrets in the closet just long enough to keep control of Congress.

During this time, Latham has received campaign contributions from the top three House leaders implicated in the cover-up: Speaker Dennis Hastert,($21,000) Majority Leader John Boehner,($22,000) and National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Tom Reynolds ($15,000).

Other contributors to Latham's campaigns since 1998 include a personal donation of $1000 from admitted felon Jack Abramoff, Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, ($3000) and ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham of California $5000).

Among Latham's biggest contributors and former close allies in the house is former Majority Leader Tom DeLay, ($26,085) who had to leave Congress in disgrace and is awaiting trial.

During his "hammer" days, Delay confidently depended on Iowa's Republicans, including gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle, to enable the K-Street purges and the complete take-over of Congress by republican "operatives."

In total, these disgraced, convicted and imprisoned Republican contributors and their PACs gave more than $94,000 to Latham, according to

The contributions help explain why Latham has voted for the Republican leadership, with the Republican majority 94% of the time, and against the interests of Iowans and thier values.

Clearly, our most trusted, supposedly down-home boy-scout Republican congressional representatives have been on the dole from these crooks all these years.

Who is left in the Republican Party who has not been tainted by pernicious, neocon-fueled corruption?

There's simply not one name with an "R" that survives the question. Many will not survive re-election because of it.

So, if you really want to clean up this mess, in November just remember...

You don't have to be a Democrat to vote for one.

Posted by: JEP | October 17, 2006 8:49 AM | Report abuse

btw, this is off-topic, but a really interesting theory proposed by John Mercurio at the Hotline:

"Much was made of Hastert's unusual decision to side with House Dems in 5/06 and criticize the FBI raid of Rep. Bill Jefferson's (D-LA) Rayburn House offices. Why was Hastert siding with Min. Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and against the GOP-led Bush admin. But has anyone drawn a connection between Hastert's defense of Jefferson and the Mark Foley scandal? In other words, was Hastert defending Jefferson against the FBI in 5/06 because he feared that a legal precedent would be set, allowing the FBI to raid offices like, say, Foley's and perhaps, Weldon's?"

Hastert knew what was coming. DELAY knew what was coming. I woudnt want to be HAstert's replacement either... House GOP... as corrupt as it gets.

Posted by: F&B | October 17, 2006 8:20 AM | Report abuse


Just read the analysis I posted in my 2nd post (which is actually from National Journal and not Hotline), and then compare that to Chris' analysis.

You can't write a fair and balanced analysis if you hedge your analysis for one side versus the other. Now, it is not overt support for Corker per se, it IS a subtle lean and may be more stylistic writing than overt bias.... but the fact is, whether it is intentionally leaning towards the Republican for Chris' own political leanings or just that he is an incredibly bad journalist, we dont know. But nevertheless, the pretty obvious pro-GOP tilt in Chris' postings is the sole reason I started posting here oh those ages ago. Hence my original SN: FairAndBalanced? (note the question mark :) )......

Posted by: F&B | October 17, 2006 8:15 AM | Report abuse

F&B: I don't understand the first of your posts. Please explain the fair and balanced and coverage of TN race. tnks. lylepink

Posted by: lylepink | October 17, 2006 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Happily no insane trolls appear to be here this morning. Man, they are melting down before our very eyes. I predict that if the Dems take back even the House alone, we will see an epidemic of violence and insanity in the streets, like during the medieval episodes of ergot poisoning and St. Vitus's dance.

These people are drunk with power --having been deprived of it for so long, and they can't stand to lose-- so it's going to be really ugly to watch. Imagine what will happen to bush if he has to deal with Nancy Pelosi. He hates her and he makes it really obvious. He really does think no one dares challenge him. Imagine how he will react to actual congressional oversight. Makes a chill run down my spine...the guy's a crackpot. There's potential for real weirdness.

Posted by: drindl | October 17, 2006 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Chris, How can you credibly post "RNC Pulls Out of Ohio" without doing any fact checking?

Posted by: jhorstma | October 17, 2006 7:54 AM | Report abuse

The most interesting Senate races in the list belong to Missouri and Tennessee. Missouri because it's a bellweather for much of the nation. New Jersey because it will illustrate whether "party" is more important than a candidate's profile this election. Menedez does have ethical problems. But Kean is a Republican in a blue state with a national trend hostile to the GOP.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | October 17, 2006 7:40 AM | Report abuse

As a follow-up, here is a REAL analysis on TN from Hotline (Chris are you taking notes?):

"There's no denying that Ford outshone Corker in their televised debate, sounding like a truly moderate Southern Democrat. (It helped that the moderators challenged Ford's record as particularly conservative, which he probably appreciated.) Regardless, Corker's lack of polish was still shocking, given his tenure in state politics and the ease of his primary win."

Posted by: F&B | October 17, 2006 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Ya know. It shouldnt come as a shock for posters that appear hear regularly, but I disagree with most of the analysis on this post. Chris, you CANT be a fair and balanced journalist and just ignore reality or present analysis through one party's eyes. For example, I think your analysis of TN race is just terrible.

Posted by: F&B | October 17, 2006 7:19 AM | Report abuse

I will also note my previous predictions of around 8 or 10 September that McCaskill and Ford will be winners. I think the dems are going to take both houses and have for some time now.

Posted by: lylepink | October 17, 2006 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Chris: You should take 9 and 10 off this line. As I stated last week or so you would have a tough time making a top line. Maryland for sure will go for Cardin and I never could figure out why you had Cantwell of Washington, when she never was in any trouble. Debbie in Michigan was another one I thought should not be considered since she was never in any trouble. I'll stay tuned for comments and see how things go this am.

Posted by: lylepink | October 17, 2006 6:25 AM | Report abuse

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