November 13, 2008

Senator Sarah Update

If Ted Stevens triumphs in the Alaska Senate recount, it appears that Senator Sarah Palin will become a reality:

The defeated Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has given the clearest hint yet that she would like to mount a campaign for 2012 from the comfort of the US Senate.

John McCain’s running mate has refused to rule anything out for the future since the Republicans’ bruising defeat in last week’s presidential election, even as her supporters call for her to be put top of the ticket next time around.

In a CNN interview last night, Ms Palin said that she was still happy to serve as Alaska Governor but admitted that the situation could change “dramatically”.

She was referring to the dead-heat Alaska election, still to be decided, between the 84-year-old Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican Senator, and the Democrat Mark Begich, the mayor of Anchorage.

Ironically, Ms Palin’s best hope is that Mr Stevens, her Republican colleague, wins the contest because it appears all but certain that he would then be expelled from the Senate. The week before the election, Mr Stevens was convicted on seven felony counts for failing to report more than $250,000 in gifts and he stands to become the first convicted felon every re-elected to the Senate.

If Mr Stevens was ousted, Ms Palin would then, as Governor, have to call a special election, which she would enter as hot favourite.

Ms Palin told CNN yesterday that she wants to serve her constituents the best she can: “At this point it is as Governor. Now if something shifted dramatically and if it were, if it were acknowledged up there that I could be put to better use for my state in the US Senate, I would certainly consider that but that would take a special election and everything else.

I am not so sure that becoming a US Senator will serve to further Gov. Palin achieve her White House ambitions. US Senators have a notoriously poor track-record in US Presidential races.

Being re-elected overwhelmingly in two-years, thereby accumulating four-more years of executive experience, may be a better path to the White House than serving in the Senate and creating a paper trail on some of the most controversial issues in America.

by @ 12:36 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races, Sarah Palin

November 11, 2008

Chuck Yob Steps Up in Defense of Senate Republicans

Former Michigan RNC member Chuck Yob shows leadership by stepping up for Norm and Saxby:

Dear RNC Member,

It is pretty clear that there isn’t much to be happy about related to the 2008 elections. Republicans lost and lost convincingly.

There are states that over performed, and in the future we should look to those states for advice as to how to move forward as a national party. Roger Villere in Louisiana, Tina Benkiser in Texas, and other states that were successful should be a model for others to consider. But before we begin introspection, and determining who will lead and manage the party to rebuild in 2010, everyone should do whatever they can to help those contests that are yet to be decided.

Off year elections are often a signal to our future prospects both in terms of momentum and indication of the intentions of the electorate. We have an opportunity right now to build a little momentum for our party, and prevent the Democrats from inching closer to a 60 seat super majority in the United States Senate.

Therefore I recently talked with Minnesota GOP Chairman Ron Carey, and Georgia National Committeeman Alec Poitevint about how we could be helpful in the yet-to-be-determined US Senate contests in their respective states.

As I assumed would be the case, they need financial resources. Therefore this morning our Political Action Committee donated $5,000 to each campaign for the respective recount and runoff in addition to the near max contributions we previously gave each candidate in the General Election.

I hope National Committee Members from other states will also consider making a contribution to these candidates, and that people who attend the RGA, GOPAC, and Myrtle Beach events this week will prioritize raising money for these important contests. There is nothing more important right now.

If we win these two Senate seats we will indeed have something positive to reinvigorate our party after this very difficult election.

Can we count on you to send a contribution either personally or from a federal account to help with these crucial contests?

If so, please mail a contribution to the addresses below:

Coleman for Senate

Attn: Ron Carey
2638 146th Ave NE
Ham Lake, MN 55304

Chambliss for Senate

Attn: Alec Poitevint
PO BOX 506
Bainbridge, GA 39818

Thank you very much for your support of the Republican Party and I look forward to talking with you soon.

Sincerely,

Chuck Yob

A sincere thanks from all Minnesota Republicans to Mr. Yob for his support.

by @ 6:35 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races

Mitt Steps Up in Minnesota Senate Recount

Gov. Romney is doing his part to support Sen. Coleman:

Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC today announced it has joined the battle to ensure Senator Norm Coleman’s re-election in the Minnesota Senate race by donating $5,000 to his recount fund.

Senator Coleman emerged the victor in last week’s race against Democrat Al Franken. With only a few hundred votes separating the two candidates, state law dictates an automatic recount.

“Senator Coleman is a proven, experienced leader. America and the people of Minnesota need his leadership in the U.S. Senate fighting for a stronger national defense, keeping government accountable and promoting fiscal responsibility,” said Romney, the honorary chairman of the Free and Strong America PAC.

The donation to the recount fund is in addition to the $2,300 the Free and Strong America PAC contributed to Senator Coleman’s election campaign.

A sincere thanks from the tundra to Gov. Romney for taking the initiative and showing leadership on this issue. We need all the help we can get to save our Senator.

by @ 11:27 am. Filed under 2008 Senate Races, Mitt Romney

November 10, 2008

Only 206 Ballots Stand Between Al Franken and the US Senate

Disgusting, isn’t it?

Not a single revision in the count has benefitted Sen. Coleman. They are counting ballots that have been riding around in people’s cars for days. This is quickly approaching Third-World “banana republic” status folks.

If you are in Minnesota, please volunteer for the recount effort here. If you are outside of Minnesota, please donate to the recount defense fund here.

Only 206 ballots stand between Al Franken and the U.S. Senate, and if that can’t get a Republican to crack their wallet, I am not sure anything will.

by @ 8:38 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races

November 9, 2008

Judge Allows Missing Absentee Ballots to Be Counted in Minnesota Senate Race

After riding around in the car of a Minneapolis Election Director for days, 32 absentee ballots will now be counted:

A Ramsey County judge on Saturday denied a bid by lawyers representing U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman’s campaign to delay the opening of 32 absentee ballots from Minneapolis.

The request touched off a fresh war of words in a Senate race where 221 votes separate Republican Coleman and DFLer Al Franken in unofficial tallies.

The 32 Minneapolis ballots were part of the normal delivery of absentee ballots late in the polling day, according to Election Director Cindy Reichert.

She said they were retained when they couldn’t be delivered because some polling places had shut down for the day. She said the ballots were kept sealed until other election duties were completed and were being counted Saturday afternoon, with results to be delivered to the state on Monday.

However, the Coleman campaign contended that the integrity of the ballots “is in serious doubt.” Its argument for a temporary restraining order was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds by Kathleen Gearin, chief district court judge in Ramsey County.

You an help Norm Coleman in two ways:

You can donate to Sen. Coleman’s campaign here; or if you are in Minnesota, you can volunteer to assist the campaign in the recount process here.

by @ 12:14 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races

November 8, 2008

High Anxiety on the Tundra

Typical Dem tactics are now being employed in the Minnesota Senate race recount. Mainly, keep counting until you “find” enough votes:

A tiny town in the Democratic stronghold of Minnesota’s Iron Range emerged Friday as the latest battleground over the state’s disputed U.S. Senate race.

Democrat Al Franken gained 100 votes there between election night and when results were officially tallied on Thursday.

Adding to the intrigue — and suspicion in Sen. Norm Coleman’s camp: The time stamp on the official tape printed out by a ballot machine in the precinct in question carried a date of Nov. 2, two days before the election.

Election officials in Mountain Iron, Minn., and St. Louis County said Friday they are confident the final vote totals were correct. They chalked up the time-stamp discrepancy to a voting machine whose clock may have been improperly set or been running low on batteries.

In the midst of the unresolved election — the tightest U.S. Senate race in Minnesota history, with a recount in the offing — the Mountain Iron confusion is the latest wrinkle. The difference between Coleman and Franken, which stood at 725 votes in Coleman’s favor Wednesday morning, has changed several times since then as county officials have checked results, and was 221 by Friday evening.

An election night worksheet from St. Louis County showed Franken with 406 votes from Precinct 1 in Mountain Iron. The revised totals Thursday night showed him with 506. Similarly, the vote total for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama increased from 469 to 569 when the final tallies were completed. Both Democrats won the precinct by a ratio of more than 2-to-1.

“Obviously, this is highly suspicious. They found 100 votes, and it’s statistically impossible that all 100 votes went to the two Democrats, even in St. Louis County,” said Cullen Sheehan, Coleman’s campaign manager.

The tapes sent to Duluth, copies of which were examined by the Star Tribune, reflect the increased vote totals for Franken and Obama, but they also bear a time stamp of 7:55 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, two days before the election. Copies of election night tapes from the city’s second precinct also show a discrepancy in the time stamp, indicating the votes were tallied at 12:14 p.m. on Oct. 31, four days before the election.

Jill Anderson, Mountain Iron’s deputy registrar, said election officials tested the machines before the election, successfully running sample ballots through for accuracy.

Reports of voter suppression efforts on the part of Franken partisans on election day now gain significance:

“Omar Jamal, with the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, claims anywhere from six to ten people acting as interpreters inside the polling place inside the Brian Coyle Center, swayed elderly voters, and those who don’t speak English.

Jamal said they all urged voters to mark their ballots for Franken, even if they wanted to cast a vote for Coleman.

In some cases, the interpreters not only pressured people to vote for Franken, but also filled out ballots for voters, according to Jamal.

He told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that he believes this may have happened over 500 times.

‘They were telling people if you vote for Obama and you don’t vote for Al Franken, your vote would not be counted. If you vote for Obama, you have to vote for Al Franken,’ Jamal explained.”

Allow me to say this about Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie…

Unlike other Righty Bloggers here in Minnesota, I actually have a very high opinion of our SoS. Having met and conversed with Ritchie on several occasions, I have always found him to be a refreshing break from your typical elected official as he has struck me as open, honest, and non-partisan; a person who exuded common-sense, fairness, and practicality. If there was one Democratic Secretary of State that I would trust to give a Republican candidate facing a recount a fair shake, it would be Mark Ritchie.

However, we are no longer taking about a hypothetical situation in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race. We are in the process of a recount that has already seen several hundred new votes suspiciously “found”; all of which have been to the benefit of Al Franken.

The bottom line is this: I believe that without strong direction of the recount by someone who cherishes the fairness and integrity of the Democratic process above all else, this election will be stolen from Sen. Norm Coleman by Al Franken.

However, I continue to hold out hope that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie will prove to be that kind of man.

by @ 4:22 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races

November 7, 2008

Obama Dispatches Entire Ohio Team to Georgia…

…and Saxby Chambliss is in their sights. The Palmetto Scoop has the details here.

You can donate to Saxby Chambliss here.

by @ 6:58 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races

November 5, 2008

Senate and House Update

Congressional Republicans significantly underperformed in comparison to the McCain/Palin ticket.  In fact, some of them owe their re-election to the Presidential ticket.

A few Surprises:

Senate:

OR- With 75% reporting, Smith (R) leads Merkley (D) by 15,143 votes.

AK-  With 99% reporting, Stevens (R) leads Begich (D) by 3,353 votes.

MN- With 100% reporting, Coleman (R) leads Franken (D) by 571 votes.  Expect a recount.

For those of you who are satisfied that the Democrats did not reach the magic 60 seats in the Senate, be careful not to gloat.  Just about all of the Democratic seats up for grabs in the 2010 Senate elections are VERY safe.  The Republicans will have at least 9 seats that will be seriously contested by the Democrats.  Vitter, Bond, Voinovich, Burr, Specter, Isakson, Bunning, Martinez, and maybe an open seat in Arizona (McCain).

2010 Senate Election Information.

———-

House:

The Democrats currently hold a 80 seat majority in the House of Representatives (252-152), but this could grow to as much as a 85 seat majority when the final districts are reported and the run-off elections take place.

- The Republican party does not have a single Congressman in the northeastern United States, and were defeated in most of the open seat contests across the country.

- The Republicans gained back Tom Delay’s old suburban Houston seat, defeating Rep. Nick Lampson.

- The Republicans displayed great strength in south Florida, defending all their seats and gaining back Mark Foley’s old seat.

by @ 12:13 pm. Filed under 2008 House Races, 2008 Senate Races, 2010

November 4, 2008

Downticket Predictions

Electoral College predictions by 1pm Tuesday.  For now, the other races.

Governor (D+1)

There are eleven Governor’s races this year:  WA, MT, UT, ND, MO, IN, WV, NC, DE, VT,and NH.  Only five are of interest.

MO: This race became interesting when incumbent Matt Blunt decided not to run for re-election.  That set up a primary runoff between Sarah Steelman (who if elected could have run with Sarah Palin in 2012/2016 on my “all impure thoughts” ticket) and Kenny Hulshof.  Republicans picked Hulshof.  Apparently choosing a member of the most unpopular legislative bodies since Cromwell’s Long Parliament wasn’t a winning strategy, as he is being walloped in the polls by a Democratic candidate who generally loses his statewide races.   Nixon 56, Hulshof 44.

IN:  Gov. Mitch Daniels looked vulnerable for most of his term, but has turned it around and leads former Congressman Jill Long Thompson by a wide margin.  Daniels 59, Thompson 41.

VT:  Gov. Jim Douglas (R) will win his 3-way race.  The problem is, if he doesn’t get to 50%, it goes to the (heavily Democratic) legislature.  Most observers think that since Double will likely win by 20+ points the legislature will keep him.   I’m not so certain.

NC: In a normal year, Pat McCrory (R) would beat Bev Perdue running away.  He’s out campaigned her, out debated her, and out worked her (“I can out-learn you. I can out-read you. I can out-think you. And I can out-philosophize you. “).  Plus, Democrats have held the Governor’s mansion for almost 20 years, a run which is unusual in any state.  But as everyone knows, this is not a normal year.  The polls are tight, but most polls show movement toward Perdue, though both are under 50%.  Look for Perdue to squeek this out, 51.5-48.5.

WA: Similar story as NC.  Rossi is a great candidate, and the polls have been close, but with Gov. Gregoire hovering around 50%.  In a normal year, he’d win, but I think she’ll win surprisingly easily this year, 53-47%.

House (D+22)

This is hard to predict.  In 2006 we had a plethora of good district-by-district polling.  This year, we’re left with pretty intermittant SUSA polling, campaign polls, and Kos/R2K polls (which even Jerome Armstrong has labeled as not salvageable, at least in the national iteration).  And weird things are going on.  For one thing, as I’ve noted before Democrats are not performing in the generic balloting as they would if you expected them to pick up another 30 seats.  Stu Rothenberg is my favorite House handicapper, but SUSA has races like NY-26, and KY-2 as double-digit Republican leads, even as he classifies them as tossups.

On the other hand, the NRCC sure is spending and cutting as if it expects a debacle, and Virgil Goode is running negative ads against his opponent, a sure sign he expects a close race.

So here’s what I think.  Republicans pick up FL-16, TX-22, NH-01, PA-11, LA-06, and AL-05.  Democrats get AK-AL, AZ-01, FL-24, NY-13, NY-25, OH-16, VA-11, NC-08, NM-01, NM-02, MI-09, IL-11, CO-04, PA-03, OH-15 (too bad), NY-29, NE-02, CT-04, FL-21, MD-01, MI-07, and WA-08.  I’ll also say that there are an additional 6 seats they will pickup where sleepy incumbents did not erect a sufficient defence, for a net pickup of 22.  But it’s mostly guesswork here at this point.

Senate (D+7)

The big storyline is whether Democrats can get to 60.  It’s a false storyline, because Arlen Specter, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe will join with Democrats on many issues, and more than a few Democrats will join with Republicans on issues (I’m looking at you, Ben Nelson).  But it makes for good theatre.  Onwards!

We’ll set aside the eleven seats for each party generally regarded as safe.

AK: Most polls show a surprisingly close race for a Senator just convicted of eight felonies.  Interestingly, Lisa Murkowski led in all of one poll in 2004 before pulling it out.  Won’t happen here.  Begich 56, Stevens 44.

CO: Mark Udall is way to the left of this state, but it doesn’t matter in a year like this.  Schaffer’s never been above 44 percent in a poll.  Udall 57, Schaffer 43.

GA:  Saxby, you shouldn’t have voted for the bailout bill when you were up for re-election in this populist state.  Chambliss 49, Martin 48, and it heads to a runoff which Chambliss wins.

KY:  McConnell’s numbers have improved, and Obama isn’t going to help Lunsford any.  McConnell 54, Lunsford 46.

LA:  Polls have shown a tightening, and Jindal has cut an ad for Kennedy, indicating he doesn’t think it is hopeless.  Still, it probably isn’t enough, and a huge black turnout will crush Kennedy’s hopes.  Landrieu 52, Kennedy 48, but don’t rule out an upset here.

ME:  One of the Democrats’ best hopes early on never really panned out.  Collins 56 Allen 44.

MN:  One of the toughest races to call.  Only the Strib poll has Franken ahead, and it historically tilts Democratic.  Independent Dean Barkley is a wildcard here, since they tend to underperform nationally, but overperform in MN.  Still, I gotta say Coleman 52, Franken 48 (2PV).

MS:  Wicker seems to be pulling away in this special election.  On the one hand, high African American turnout could help Musgrove, on the other hand, the fact that candidates don’t run with party labels could diminish the impact of this somewhat.  Wicker 54, Musgrove 46.

NH:  An interesting race.  Sununu is waaaaay down, which is never a good sign.  But Shaheen is dancing around 50%, and the case can be made that she is the incumbent for all intents and purposes in this race.  But not a strong one.  Shaheen 55, Sununu 45.  Too bad.  Sununu is a good Senator.

NM:  See CO.  Udall is too far to the left for the state, but he’ll still win walking away.  Udall 57, Pearce 43.

NC:  This is one where the DSCC’s cash edge really hurt.  Mason Dixon has Dole up 1, but the difference is the number of undecideds; Dole’s 46% doesn’t inspire confidence.  Hagan 52/48.

OR:  The interesting thing is that the voting is basically done in this mail-in state.  Merkley hasn’t ever cracked 50% in non-partisan polling, but only Rasmussen has Smith above 43%.  I hope Rasmussen knows something the rest of us don’t, because Smith is a good Senator as well.  Merkley 54%, Smith 46%

VA:  Will Mark Warner top 60%?  My guess is he will.  Warner’s career will be interesting to watch, as he ran and governed as moderate Republican, quite frankly.  Will he get on board with the Obama plan?  Wil he be able to win 60% next in this purple state with a voting record on the left of the Senate?  Time will tell.  Warner 63%, Gilmore 37%.  Time for Virginia Republicans to start rebuilding.

by @ 1:58 am. Filed under 2008 House Races, 2008 Senate Races

November 3, 2008

Poll Watch: SurveyUSA Minnesota General Election

SurveyUSA Minnesota General Election

  • Barack Obama 49% (50%)
  • John McCain 46% (44%)
  • Other 3% (4%)
  • Undecided 2% (3%)

Senate Race

  • Norm Coleman 44%
  • Al Franken 39%
  • Dean Barkley 16%

Survey of 669 likely voters was conducted October 30 – November 1. The margin of error is +/- 3.9 percentage points. Party ID breakdown: 39% (D); 32% (R); 25% (I). Results from the poll conducted October 16-18 are in parentheses.

by @ 12:26 am. Filed under 2008 Senate Races

November 1, 2008

Lousiana Senate Seat Pickup?

One of the bright spots come next Tuesday may just be the pickup of Louisiana’s Senate seat by John Kennedy, a race that hasn’t really been considered to be on the radar until the leak of an internal poll showing the race essentially tied at 45%-44% with 11% undecided.

The most compelling evidence, however, is the decision by Gov. Jindal to formally endorse Kennedy, as well as cut in a television spot:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqRbEgnGvq8[/youtube]

Despite Jindal’s popularity in Louisiana, it seems unlikely that he would risk political capital at this stage of his tenure with such a public endorsement unless there is more than just one internal poll indicating that the race is turning in Kennedy’s favor.

Jindal’s endorsement is not without potential personal benefit, of course. A last second endorsement and TV ad that is perceived as putting John Kennedy over the top can only serve to add to Jindal’s already considerable pull in Louisiana politics.

November 4th may not have a lot of good news for the GOP Congressional slate. But don’t be surprised if a John Kennedy victory is one of the highlights.

You can contribute to John Kennedy here.

by @ 11:01 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races

Final House And Senate Projections

The congressional landscape looks bleak for Republicans this year, as Democrats are poised to pad their majorities in both houses of Congress in just three short days. What will things look like when the dust settles? Here are my projections:

U.S. Senate

According to the polling averages over at Real Clear Politics, the Republican-held open seats in Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia are all poised to go to the Democrats by double-digits. Mark Warner and Messrs. Udall and Udall will almost certainly be heading to the United States Senate in January.

Meanwhile, in New Hampshire and Alaska, Democrats Shaheen and Begich are both on the cusp of double-digit territory over their respective opponents, Sen. Sununu and Sen. Stevens. A good rule of thumb in a Senate race to determine whether or not an incumbent will hold onto his or her seat is to examine whether or not the incumbent is able to cross the 50% threshold in the pre-election polling, the logic being that the undecideds almost always break for the challenger. Based on my recollection, this held true in 2002, 2004, and 2006, and will probably hold true this year as well. As such, a ten-point deficit for Sununu and Stevens is a death knell for both. Add two more seats to the Democratic column.

In Oregon, Democrat Merkley only leads Gordon Smith by 5 points in the RCP average, but Smith is an incumbent stuck at 43%. Another pickup for the Democrats.

In North Carolina, Liddy Dole has proven that she is no Bob Dole with her lackluster single term in the Senate, leading to a tough reelection fight that culminated in a disgusting ad attempting to invalidate her opponent’s fitness for office based on her religious beliefs. Unlike her husband, Dole has proved herself a horrid politician who went nowhere fast in the 2000 GOP presidential race and who is only currently in the Senate due the Republican tide of 2002. Dole is an incumbent hovering in the mid-40s and her opponent is pushing 50%. Stick a fork in this one.

In the great state of Minnesota, Sen. Norm Coleman is an example of a perfectly reasonable, clean, competent, halfway decent Republican officeholder who may lose his seat to a joke of a candidate due to the toxins that the Republican brand currently exudes. But recent polling suggests that even Minnesotans may not be so crazy as to reject a center-right Republican over an unqualified leftist entertainer. According to RCP, three of the last five polls show Coleman ahead. Both Rasmussen and Research 2000 show movement in Coleman’s direction, so much so that Coleman now leads Franken in the RCP average. The presence of a major third party candidate means that the normal 50% rule for an incumbent doesn’t apply, meaning that this race could go either way. Still, due to last minute movement towards Norm, I am going to call this race for Coleman by a hair. Republican retention.

The three GOP seats that remain endangered are all located in the South. In Mississippi, Sen. Wicker appeared to be in trouble for awhile, often trailing Democrat Musgrove and frequently polling below 50%. But the senator has just hit 50 in the RCP average and now leads his opponent by double-digits. GOP hold.

In Kentucky and Georgia, both Mitch McConnell and Saxby Chambliss are hovering in the danger zone between 45 and 50%. But both have managed to maintain modest leads over their respective Democratic opponents as well. Both are probably close enough to 50 that they’ll both beat the Democrats to the finish line, though Georgia is certainly one of those cases where all the polls could be wrong due to increased African-American turnout that would make the likely voter models obsolete. Still, based on Chambliss’ consistent lead over his opponent, I’m calling both Kentucky and Georgia for the Republicans.

Finally, in Louisiana, Republicans have been making hay over Gov. Jindal’s endorsement of GOP candidate John Kennedy. While this could be a sleeper race, the hype feels more like conservative wishful thinking and a desire for Jindal to do something big and propel himself into the national spotlight. Democrat hold.

As such, I am predicting a 2009 Senate comprised of 58 Democrats and 42 Republicans, provided that Joe Lieberman continues to caucus with the Democrats.

U.S. House

Admittedly, I haven’t followed the race for the House with the same tenacity that I’ve followed Senate races and the presidential race. I will be awaiting the projections of my R4’08 colleague Sean Oxendine on this issue. Until then, I will have to rely on Scott Elliott’s work, which was strikingly accurate over the last couple of election cycles. Scott predicts a House with 258 Democrats and 177 Republicans, which seems to be in line with the conventional wisdom right now. Note that the bulk of the seats Republicans are losing are located in the North and the West, regions in which the GOP needs to regain relevance in order to become a national party once more.

Thoughts? Comments? Have your own projections? Fire away.

by @ 10:09 am. Filed under 2008 House Races, 2008 Senate Races

October 28, 2008

Republican National Committee Announces Pennsylvania Swing Of Victory Bus Tour 2008

The Republican National Committee has announced the formation of the Pennsylvania Swing Of Victory Bus Tour 2008, headlined by former Senator Fred Thompson. From the newswire:

The Republican National Committee (RNC) today announced the Pennsylvania swing of the “Victory 2008″ bus tour. RNC Deputy Chairman Frank Donatelli, former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN), actor Robert Davi, Attorney General Tom Corbett, U.S. Representative Joe Pitts, U.S. Representative Jim Gerlach, candidate for Pennsylvania Auditor General Chet Beiler, Chairman of the Republican Committee of Lancaster County (RCLC) Dave Dumeyer, and Chester County Republican Party Chairman Skip Brion will host grassroots events in Lancaster, York, and Berks County, and King of Prussia.

The trip also includes a “Guns & Religion” rally with Sen. Thompson keynoting the event.
Lancaster, PA
WHO: Frank Donatelli, RNC Deputy Chairman
Fred Thompson, Former U.S. Senator
Robert Davi, Actor
Tom Corbett, Attorney General
Joe Pitts, U.S. Representative
Chet Beiler, Candidate For PA Auditor General
Dave Dumeyer, Chairman Of RCLC
WHAT: Lancaster County GOP Luncheon
WHEN: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 12:30 p.m. EDT
WHERE: Lancaster Host & Resort
2300 Lincoln Highway East (Route 30)
Lancaster, PA
York, PA
WHO: Frank Donatelli, RNC Deputy Chairman
Fred Thompson, Former U.S. Senator
Robert Davi, Actor
WHAT: “Guns & Religion” Rally
WHEN: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 2:30 p.m. EDT
WHERE: York County Victory HQ
2210 E. Market Street
York, PA
Berks County, PA
WHO: Frank Donatelli, RNC Deputy Chairman
Fred Thompson, Former U.S. Senator
Robert Davi, Actor
WHAT: Berks County Victory HQ Drop By
WHEN: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 4:15 p.m. EDT
WHERE: Berks County Victory HQ
5001 Perkiomen Avenue(Business Route 422)
Exeter, PA
King of Prussia, PA
WHO: Frank Donatelli, RNC Deputy Chairman
Fred Thompson, Former U.S. Senator
Robert Davi, Actor
WHAT: Chester County GOP Reception
WHEN: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. EDT
WHERE: 260 Mall Boulevard
King of Prussia, PA
King of Prussia, PA
WHO: Frank Donatelli, RNC Deputy Chairman
Fred Thompson, Former U.S. Senator
Robert Davi, Actor
Jim Gerlach, U.S. Representative
Joe Pitts, U.S. Representative
Skip Brion, Chester County Chairman
WHAT: Chester County GOP Fall Dinner
WHEN: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. EDT
WHERE: 260 Mall Boulevard
King of Prussia, PA
Paid for by the Republican National Committee.

Any idea on the recent surge of connections the between the RNC and Fred Thompson? He sure has been front and center as their point man recently. Hmmm… interesting…

October 27, 2008

BREAKING: Ted Stevens Guilty

More here.

by @ 3:19 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races

October 25, 2008

BREAKING: Star Trib Endorses Norm Coleman

I am sorry to have to step on Dave’s excellent post below, but this is truly earth-shattering news. I never thought I would live to see the day that the ‘Hammer & Sickle” endorsed the Republican candidate in a U.S. Senate Race.

That even the Star Tribune cannot bring themselves to endorse Al Franken says all that needs to be said regarding the fitness of Al Franken to serve in the Unites States Senate.

Minnesota Democrats Exposed has the story.

by @ 12:00 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races, Endorsements

October 23, 2008

Poll Watch: Rasmussen Minnesota General Election

Rasmussen Minnesota General Election

  • Barack Obama 56% (52%)
  • John McCain 41% (45%)

Favorable / Unfavorable [Net]

  • Barack Obama 60% (60%) / 39% (40%) [+21%]
  • John McCain 51% (53%) / 48% (47%) [+3%]

Minnesota Senate Race

  • Al Franken 41% (43%)
  • Norm Coleman 37% (37%)
  • Dean Barkley 17% (17%)
  • Undecided 5%

Favorable / Unfavorable [Net]

  • Al Franken 51% / 47% [+4%]
  • Norm Coleman 46% / 50% [-4%]

Rudy to the Rescue?

Former GOP Gov. Carlson endorses Obama, spurred by Bachmann remarks

Survey of 500 likely voters was conducted October 22. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted October 7 are in parentheses.

by @ 8:54 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races

October 3, 2008

Question of the Week – Go Local

There are 33 Senate elections in 2008. The current standing is; 49 Republicans, 49 Democrats, and two independents (lean left).

What will the composition of the Senate look like in January, 2009?

Which of the incumbents are at risk?

If Obama wins the Presidency, what will happen to Joe Lieberman?

Will there be any surprises in the 2008 Senate elections, and what are the races to watch?

Give us your predictions on the balance of power and on the individual contests.

If you live in a state with a Senatorial election, please let us know.

by @ 12:39 pm. Filed under 2008 General Election, 2008 House Races, 2008 Senate Races

August 23, 2008

Rush to Reaganism for Grand New Party Comeback

Gamecock sees no inherent contradiction between Rush/Reagan conservatism and most of the themes and policy proposals presented in David Frum’s Comeback nor Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam’s Grand New Party, despite the hype of some columnists and the author’s themselves.

Both books, but especially Frum’s, claim to be departures from Reaganism, which they see as fashioned solely for the problems of 1970’s and ‘80’s. I disagree, and think that their bold characterizations of their proposals are mostly self aggrandizing contrarianism.

That said, except for Frum’s internal contradictions within the book concerning President Bush and the above, I found most of their economic proposals to be welcome additions to the debate fiscal conservatives should have been having over the past decade.

The most important and pleasing discoveries in either book were that Douthat rejects the premise of the liberal gospel in Thomas Franks’ What’s the Matter with Kansas? and agrees with one of my long time arguments that the GOP must be the champion of middle and lower income families.

Douthat understands that it is not in America’s interest, no matter their economic station in life, to vote for Democrats who advocate proven failed economic policies. Franks’ book operates from the liberal premise that, obviously, Democrats are for the poor and middle class but that these voters have been tricked into voting for Republicans over irrelevant social issues.

Douthat rejects the premise and also points out the economic effects of a failure to adhere to conservative values.

I reject Frum’s argument that the GOP needs to move to the left on abortion, fetal stem cell research and marriage. Rush babies, the Reagan generation and even the new globalist liberals are majority pro-life, recent polls show. Science is on the side of opposition to government funded ESCR, and 38 states have voted to outlaw same sex marriages.

Both books make some arguments that Reaganism is obsolete due to the death of the USSR and that tax rate cuts can only go so far. I could not disagree more.

Reaganism is about timeless principles of Liberty, limited government, and practical application of values to human nature that the Founders based our society upon.

Yes, the USSR is gone, but Russia isn’t. China is making a challenge and radical Islam seeks our destruction. Evil exists, always will and the USA will always be its target unless we are vanquished. Peace thru strength sound familiar?

The major issue of our day, energy, cries out for Reagan-like de-regulation.

With respect to health-care, McCain’s proposals are market based. I remember Reagan and Rush being for market based free enterprise.

Yes, we need to make a comeback, but we aren’t that far back compared to the 1980’s. We are a young movement compared to the Democrats. And, yes, we need some of the new in the Grand Old Party, but not too much. Conservatism is our game.

Taxes? The democrats want to raise taxes, so it’s not so much that we seek tax cuts as a panacea for all that ails America, but surely Reagan would oppose tax hikes, and so must we.

The GOP must try and educate the younger voters that don’t remember the disastrous liberal economic policies of the 1970’s and the Reagan supply-side policies that gave us 25 years of the greatest boom in history. We must use the energy issue to highlight our virtue.

I highly recommend both books to conservatives to aid in fashioning policies on health care, social security, regulation of industry and our lives (even up to banning Edison’s light bulb) and that as we fashion new policies we be guided by the principles of Reagan and Rush Limbaugh.

There are no contradictions.

______________________________________________________________________

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” – The Chief Justice
Legal Editor for The Minority and HinzSight Reports
One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

by @ 12:22 pm. Filed under 2008 General Election, 2008 House Races, 2008 Senate Races

August 16, 2008

Watt, Dems’ war against the poor: Raises gas/food prices, razes homeowner walls

Dole, Burr and GOP should be Nehemiah for lower income families

By Mike DeVine, Legal Editor for The Minority Report and The HinzSight Report

In 445 B.C. the Persian King Artaxerxes sent Nehemiah, an Israelite who was a trusted official, to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Mel Watt (D-NC) joined most of his fellow Democrats (and not too few Republicans) last month is passing a law arbitrarily bailing out over 300,000 sub-prime loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while, inexplicably ending a successful conservative program allowing charitable organizations to provide down payment assistance to lower income first time homebuyers for regular FHA loans.

FHA loans are not sub prime loans to credit risky borrowers like a high percentage of the bailed out loans. Moreover, 501c3 organizations like Nehemiah provide an extra level of scrutiny for loans they provide DPA assistance for and coach and assist the first time home borrowers from loan application thru sale and throughout the life of the loan.

The “moral hazard” of the risky loans does not apply to FHA loans, so it remains a puzzle why Congress ended the DPA programs. This is especially so given the credit crunch and housing depression amidst record overall and minority homeownership. If the housing slump is too end, homes must be sold to first time homebuyers, who are, disproportionately minority single women with children. The biggest customers of Nehemiah and other such charitable orgs providing DPA is just that demographic and there default rate is in line with overall FHA loans.

Gamecock has recently cited the war the Democratic Party has been waging against lower income families in their preference for high gas prices and fetishes for snail darters and the Gore Church of Manmade Global Warming hoax while their constituents, post gas station visits, choose between the store brand peas and Lesuer. Especially those of Mel Watt that live a life dependant on reasonably priced gas off I-85.

Mel voted to bring the walls down on potential homebuyers in his district, the State of North Carolina and all across the United States before they were ever built.

Tar Heel State senators Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr didn’t even bother to vote on the bank bailout bill that President Bush reluctantly signed. The President could have used some assistance from our senators of a state so dependant on housing for its standard of living.

Gamecock has also long argued that conservative GOP policies are, and have been since the 1980s, better for all Americans, and especially lower income families and that Republicans need to make this point clear.

Well, Madam Dole and Mister Burr, here is your chance. We hope that Senator Dole will be more responsive to this public request than she has been to one of the more prominent realtors in Charlotte who has been unable to get an audience with the senator on the merits of DPA.

A recent story on the Charlotte Observer rated Dole one of the most “ineffective” senators in Washington. Personally, this rooster usually prefers ineffective porkbarrelists and, in any event cares not for vague rankings for headlines. After all, the 50th best state in the United States is still not in poor Mexico! And the worst vanilla ice cream is still ice cream! But I digress…

Senator Dole has shown that she can get her mind right. She was, not long ago, an acolyte of Gore’s church until she heard painful cries caused by $4/gallon gas.

Hear this cry madam: North Carolina is heavily dependant on housing growth for its well being. The DPA program was not part of the problem of the housing bubble.

Please vote to restore the DPA program and rebuild the walls.

We need Nehemiahs, not another Jericho. The GOP needs to be seen, rightly, as the party of the middle class. So be it, and don’t be quiet about it, unless you want us writing minority reports forever. This country and state is center-right and our policies are right. Let’s take back the majority for the majority.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns

“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” – The Chief Justice

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew

by @ 4:35 pm. Filed under 2008 General Election, 2008 House Races, 2008 Senate Races

August 12, 2008

They Don’t “Get it”

…And I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but we should all be very concerned about this alarming lack of understanding and the impact on our nation’s businesses.

AP released this article today: Most companies in US avoid federal income taxes

Apparently the use of S-corps has resulted in a large portion of the tax base to be transferred to personal taxes and away from corporate taxes. Do these people really think that business owners will choose to pay the higher of 2 taxes? The article goes on to discuss that senators Levin and Dorgan are unhappy that companies are using “transfers” to conduct internal sales within the companies and subsidiaries. This is a normal practice – do they want the parent and child companies to be in competition with each other? Absurd.

Dorgan and Levin have complained about companies abusing transfer prices – amounts charged on transactions between companies in a group, such as a parent and subsidiary. In some cases, multinational companies can manipulate transfer prices to shift income from higher to lower tax jurisdictions, cutting their tax liabilities. The GAO did not suggest which companies might be doing this.

That was not the real scary part – read on:

“It’s time for the big corporations to pay their fair share,” Dorgan said.

 
That last line sent chills down my spine. This is from the same man to who said that the highest wage earners are not paying enough, and then failed to say that there was an “enough” when talking about these incomes. He suggested that 75% might not be enough tax. This warped sense of fairness, policy-wise, is going to kill our potential for economic recovery.

This is just one more reason to quit bickering over the dang VP slot, and get busy supporting the Republican candidate. If Obama wins, then these idiots will have free reign.

by @ 12:23 pm. Filed under 2008 Misc., 2008 Senate Races, Barack Obama, Misc.

August 11, 2008

Poll Watch: Rasmussen Iowa Senate General Election

It appears that Harkin is cruising to a fifth-term:

Rasmussen Iowa Senate General Election

  • Tom Harkin 58% (52%)
  • Christopher Reed 34% (36%)

With Leaners:

  • Tom Harkin 60%
  • Christopher Reed 36%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on August 7, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 3:47 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races, Poll Watch

Poll Watch: Rasmussen Oregon Senate General Election

Sen. Smith is back on top:

Rasmussen Oregon Senate General Election

  • Gordon Smith 47% (43%)
  • Jeff Merkley 39% (41%)

With Leaners:

  • Gordon Smith 50%
  • Jeff Merkley 44%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on August 7, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 3:38 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races, Poll Watch

July 29, 2008

Well Isn’t That Ducky

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Bridge To Nowhere) has been indicted. A lot.

In a way this is good news for Republicans, as he will likely have to set aside his re-election effort, if not outright resign. The question is, who replaces him? The filing deadline was June 2, 2008, and this guy is the current alternative.

UPDATE: Note that Stevens runs a PAC that has given to virtually all the vulnerable Senators up for re-election this cycle. What a headache.

Remember this next time someone comments on what a hopelessly partisan outfit DOJ has become under Bush.

UPDATE 2: Does it sound to you like this guy is resigning? Because it sure doesn’t to me.

by @ 12:23 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races, Republican Party

July 23, 2008

Poll Alert: University of New Hampshire 2008 Senate Poll

University of New Hampshire 2008 Senate Poll, conducted July 11th-20th, 2008

  • Jeanne Shaheen 46%
  • John Sununu 42%
  • Undecided 10%

Five hundred (519) randomly selected New Hampshire adults were interviewed by telephone between July 11 and July 20, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/-4.3 percent.

by @ 10:19 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races, Poll Watch

July 9, 2008

Senate Republican Energy Working Group Ad, “Find More, Use Less”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELV4nyYVbEA[/youtube]

You can learn more here.

by @ 9:35 am. Filed under 2008 Misc., 2008 Senate Races, Campaign Advertisements

July 8, 2008

We Interrupt This Discussion Of Whether Romney Is A Viable Veep

To bring you the following news. Congress now has a 9% approval rating.

Okay, back to it.

(Note, I’m not sure whether there’s a debate going on about Romney, but its usually a safe bet).

by @ 3:45 pm. Filed under 2008 House Races, 2008 Misc., 2008 Senate Races, Mitt Romney, Veep Watch

June 24, 2008

Weekly Standard Profiles New Hampshire Senator John Sununu

Senator John Sununu of New Hampshire is the incumbent senator considered most likely to lose in this fall election. He has trailed former Governor Jeanne Shaheen consistently in the polls this year. I’ll leave it to others to debate whether he can make a comeback and survive his challenge or whether he will be the Rick Santorum or Mike DeWine of 2008.

In case he is not around the U.S. Senate next year, here is an article to remember him by:

Where is there a philosopher in Washington?

Actually, I was pretty sure I knew where, and never mind that like any intelligent person he didn’t major in philosophy. Senator John Sununu (Republican of New Hampshire) earned a BS and an MA in mechanical engineering from MIT, an MBA from Harvard, and a living as a design engineer and manufacturing consultant. His reputation is .??.??. well, as one of his fellow senators said to me, “Don’t let anything happen to this boy in the New Hampshire election, otherwise we’ll have to argue about who’s the smartest person in the Senate.” I was willing to bet that Senator Sununu knows that if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, the government will tax the timber industry and subsidize the purchase of Miracle Ears.

I went to see Senator Sununu at his office in the Russell Building and said that I assumed he had a political philosophy. “I like to think so,” he replied. “But it’s not something I have written down on an index card.”

As a gut reaction conservative myself, I take the senator’s point. In fact, however, Senator Sununu could write his political philosophy on a small piece of paper: “I have a deep-seated belief that America is unique, strong, great because of a commitment to personal freedom–in our economic system and our politics. We are a free people who consented to be governed. Not vice-versa.” (Italics added for the sake of the multitudes in our government’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches who need to fill out that index card and keep it with them at all times. And if the multitudes are confused by “Not vice-versa” they may substitute, We aren’t a government that consents to people being free.)

“It’s important for politicians to understand,” Senator Sununu said, “that the Founders’ writings reflect that point of view. From Jefferson to Hamilton, freedom was the special ingredient in human prospects, moral prospects, political prospects. The argument was over what government mechanism would ensure common good and guarantee freedom. There was no argument about whether we were free people. In most parts of the world there never has been an appreciation for that perspective. Governments have evolved to provide greater freedom, to reduce the power of monarchies, to reduce absolute power.”

When, indeed, governments have evolved at all. Darwin, if he’d studied Russia instead of Galapagos finches, would have come up with the theory of “survival of the filthiest.” Senator Sununu wants a government mechanism without the innumerable moving parts that collect goo and sludge: “Just because something is a good idea doesn’t mean it should be a law–let alone a federal law. That’s where I begin,” he said, “with a firm belief that people in the United States are best served by limited and effective government.”

Read the whole thing.

by @ 2:48 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races

June 21, 2008

2008 Polling Roundup

Lots of polling has been released concerning other important races. Reid Wilson over at RCP’s Politics Nation Blog has the rundowns including:

  • Mitch McConnell thrashing Bruce Lundsford 50% to 39% in the KY Senate contest.
  • Liberal Rep. Nancy Boyda (D) defeating both Republican challengers in her Kansas district that President Bush won by 20 points.
  • Libby Dole now up comfortably on challenger Kay Hagen in the NC Senate race.
  • Republican Pat McCrory within striking distance on Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue in the NC Governor’s race, but with (perhaps) ominous signs for the Republican come election day.

By sure to click the links to read Wilson’s crosstabs analysis.

by @ 12:54 pm. Filed under 2008 House Races, 2008 Senate Races, Poll Watch

June 20, 2008

Poll Alert: Rasmussen New Hampshire Senate Poll

Shaheen expands her lead:

Rasmussen New Hampshire Senate Poll, conducted June 18th, 2008

  • Jeanne Shaheen 53%
  • John Sununu 39%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports June 18, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:57 am. Filed under 2008 Senate Races, Poll Watch

June 19, 2008

Poll Alert: Rasmussen Colorado General Election

The race tightens in Colorado:

Rasmussen Colorado General Election Poll, conducted June 17th, 2008

  • Barack Obama 43%
  • John McCain 41%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports June 17, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Rasmussen shows McCain improving his standing in Colorado even as Democrat Mark Udall continues to build his lead over Republican Bob Schaffer.

by @ 4:03 pm. Filed under 2008 Senate Races, Poll Watch

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