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GOP to Hang On By Skin of Its Teeth This Fall?

Had you asked me two weeks ago what party would control Congress after next month’s elections, I would have said the GOP, pointing to polling data showing a shift toward my party as well as signs of a significant uptick in GOP fundraising. And then came Mark Foley’s disgrace.

While Democrats do not have a “smoking gun” showing that any member of the House leadership knew of the sexually explicit nature of then-Rep. Mark Foley’s Internet communications with pages (until the date he resigned), this scandal has tarred the GOP (at least temporarily). While there is, as of yet, no evidence that any ranking Republican did anything wrong, the appearance of impropriety could well damage the party’s prospects.

It has yet to be seen how much this “scandal” will damage the GOP. Given how much the Democrats and MSM bring it up, they seem certain that it is the ticket to voting Republicans out. Yet, if they Democrats see this as their “ace in the hole” much as the GOP saw then-President Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky as the ticket to victory back in 1998, they’ll be in for a big surprise come November 7, just as Republicans were in for a big surprise eight years ago.

If, however, the Democrats manage to come up with a positive message for the last stretch of the campaign, they may well succeed in convincing voters that they will better be able to lead than the GOP. But, while it seems that recent events have painted a rather unflattering picture of the GOP, the Democrats haven’t done much to improve their own image.

Two weeks ago, if I were a betting man, I’d have bet on the GOP to hold both Houses. Last week, I would have bet on the Democrats picking up at least one house. This week, I just wouldn’t bet because I don’t know.

Whether or not the GOP holds Congress will depend on a number of things, including how good a campaign they run in the next three weeks, how successful they are at Get Out the Vote (GOTV) and finally whether or not last-minute voters break their way. We know that the GOP has a better (GOTV) operation than the Democrats. But that alone will not be alone to hold their majorities.

We may soon see if any trends develop toward the GOP — or away from it — as the election approaches. I am still inclined to think that this election will resemble one held fourteen years ago. Mo, not the American election which brought Bill Clinton to power, but the British election which kept John Major’s Tories in power. There, while Neil Kinnock’s Labour Party had been leading in the polls, as I noted four months ago, “voters deciding at the last minute opted for the incumbent party, not confident that the Kinnock, from Labour’s left wing, could pull the UK out of its then-lingering recession.”

Without a recession — and with an ever strengthening economy — the GOP is in much better shape than was Britain’s victorious Tory Party in 1992. And given the Democrats’ failure to put forward a message beyond saying “We’re not George W. Bush,” I’d say my party could still hang out this fall, but, just like John Major’s Tories, by the skin of our teeth.

-Dan: GayPatriotWest@aol.com

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66 Comments

  1. For those of us who actively supported the GOP back in 1994, because we thought they’d slash the budget, de-federalize education, abolish cabinet departments, and in general dramatically reduce the size and intrusiveness of government… what can we expect to happen in the next two years if the Republicans retain control of Congress? Can anyone say with a straight face that we can expect those things to happen? Because, for my support of Republicans a decade or so, I’ve been rewarded with one extra cabinet department, a dramatic increase in the federal budget, “No Child Left Behind,” and a ban in internet gambling.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 12, 2006 @ 7:16 pm - October 12, 2006

  2. A good friend of mine, who is very active in politics and sees a lot of tracking polls, has offered to bet me money that Republicans will surprisse everyone by retaining control of the House — but they will lose the Senate (with seats in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee and, maybe, Virginia, falling to the Democrats).

    Next, I want to apologize, Dan, for going off-subject, but without open threads at this blog there is no other way to correct an error made in an earlier comment.

    Shortly after the Mark Foley scandal broke, and some commenters wrote about Democrat Gerry Studds back in the early 80s, I posted a comment mentioning former Republican Congressman Bob Baumann of Maryland and said he resigned in disgrace after being caught having sexual contact with a male page. A friend more familiar with events in those days has corrected me. Baumann was caught soliciting sex from young men in Washington but they were not congressional pages. I regret the error.

    Comment by Ashley Hunter — October 12, 2006 @ 7:21 pm - October 12, 2006

  3. For the sake of gridlock, let’s hope the Dems take at least one if not both houses. Considering they’ve turned losing into an artform, I’m not going to count on that happening even with the polling in their favor on the House.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — October 12, 2006 @ 7:48 pm - October 12, 2006

  4. [Comment deleted.  This commenter has been repeatedly deleted for conduct violating our commenting policy.]

    Comment by Michael — October 12, 2006 @ 8:03 pm - October 12, 2006

  5. I don’t share your optimism, Hollywood Dan. If I had to guess, I’d say the Republicans lose 22 House seats and five senate seats. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s my guess.

    Comment by V the K — October 12, 2006 @ 8:13 pm - October 12, 2006

  6. (Seats in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee and, maybe, Virginia, falling to the Democrats).

    The Connecticut seat is already Democrat. Inform yourself.

    Comment by V the K — October 12, 2006 @ 8:14 pm - October 12, 2006

  7. Ashley, I still think it’s possible the GOP could lose the Senate if the Dems sweet the vulnerable GOP seats (RI, PA, OH, MO, MT & TN), but VA seems to be safely GOP as Allen has built his lead back, despite a bad month.

    Yet, the GOP candidates have shown momentum in OH, MO and TN and have more money in MT and PA.

    And then, throw in NJ which seems to be a tossup while the GOP has outside chances in MI, WA and MN.

    To win the Senate, the Democrats have to sweep all the seats in play, possible? yes, likely? that all depends on the last three weeks of the campaign.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — October 12, 2006 @ 9:03 pm - October 12, 2006

  8. I have never been convinced this was the Democrats’ year. I just thought the likes of Karl Rove and Tucker “contempt for Evangelicals” Carlson were backing up their diminished expectations song and dance to the spring so as to declare victory when both majorities are substantially reduced.

    Comment by Sydney Talon — October 12, 2006 @ 9:16 pm - October 12, 2006

  9. My prediction….Democrats will take the House and the senate will be tied and Democrats will almost certainly pick up 5-7 governerships as well as several state houses…Think the GOP has nobody to blame but themselves.

    Comment by James — October 12, 2006 @ 9:19 pm - October 12, 2006

  10. [Comment deleted.  This commenter has been repeatedly deleted for conduct violating our commenting policy.]

    Comment by Michael — October 12, 2006 @ 9:19 pm - October 12, 2006

  11. “Bush won due to Nader”

    May he live to a painfully old age, die of painful natural causes, and be buried facedown, then dug up and eaten by wild boars that are struck and killed by a Chevrolet Corvair.

    Comment by Sydney Talon — October 12, 2006 @ 9:34 pm - October 12, 2006

  12. If the Dems win more than a typical 6 year, off year margin it will be because of the Democrats stealth. Example here in Pennsylvania. Casey is waging a hide and seek campaign of hoping most will vote for him because of his father’s name. There are two more debates and Casey loses to Santorum each time. And the gap is closing but it still looks like a Republican loss. The latest Morning Call poll shows Casey +5. Way down from +18. I’d bet the Republicans keep their Senate seats in TN, MO and VA. That means no Dem majority. I’m bettin on a lot of Americans who may be aggitated with either the war or scandals, while in the privacey of the voting booth, choosing seriousness over peak. If I’m wrong and we lose one or both Houses, I’mnot sure what Nancy and Harry get past the President. Gun bans? A holiday commorating partial birth abortions? Lots and lots of tax increases. A specific day to burn flags. Cut and run. All that kind of cool stuff. As a conservative I love gridlock btw.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — October 12, 2006 @ 9:56 pm - October 12, 2006

  13. And hey don’t forget about the Republicans “October Surprise”. Rumor is it’s a 3 way of HRC, Mikulski, and Stabanow with plenty of pictures. And the 16 year old pages come out immediately and say they had nothing to do with it. (Keep it under wraps for another week or so.)

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — October 12, 2006 @ 10:00 pm - October 12, 2006

  14. I am sure that upcoming events during the next few weeks will shift momentum back and forth a bit, yet I am not convinced that the Dems will take over either house of Congress. Elections are local, and most people like their legislators according to even the most Liberal polls. While the spotlight is on some of the Republicans in trouble, there are Dems in trouble too. The economy is good, the nasties like Iran and North Korea are acting up, and the Dems still keep shooting themselves in the foot.

    When you get down to it, most Americans, even the libs, if you ask them who the bad guys would rather have in power, they know its Democrats. When you ask, in your heart of hearts, who would be the better party to have in power to protect the country, its the Republicans.

    Nothing is 20/20 like hindsight. I pick the GOP to hang on.

    Comment by Rick — October 12, 2006 @ 10:01 pm - October 12, 2006

  15. The Dems latest culture of corruption(tm) here; http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/g/be30dc6c-d864-45bd-9fbf-e2766517398c

    Comment by anon — October 12, 2006 @ 11:07 pm - October 12, 2006

  16. #5: I never thought I’d say this but I agree with V the K as far as the projection goes. Yikes! Obviously, I hope he’s right about the House. Here in Arizona, in addition to the old Kolbe seat pickup, it looks like homohater Rick Renzi is in trouble as the latest poll has him trailing his Dem opponent: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/10/12/15234/081

    Goodness, if a red state like Arizona can contribute a couple of pickups for the Dems, surely the other 49 can do their part too.

    Comment by Ian — October 12, 2006 @ 11:30 pm - October 12, 2006

  17. Here’s my take on the upcoming election:

    1. Bush’s approval ratings per Rasmussen (rolling polls) is about 44%. Even though he is holding steady, a slight uptick to 48-49% would be enough for Congress to remain GOP.

    2. The Foley scandal is not doing anything negative for current GOP candidates per recent Fox News polling. However, 50% of those surveyed felt that the DNC leaked the Foley information solely for political gain. This doesn’t help the RATS.

    3. It is not so much the actual polling numbers themselves, but (as I’ve always pointed out) it is the RATE of momentum that determines if a candidate will win. Look at PA – Santorum is only behind by 5-6%, down from 12-16% earlier this summer. His rate is not only accelerating but threatening to overtake his opponent’s cushion. Same thing with Allen in VA, Lieberman in CT and Corker in TN.

    With all of these variables, here’s my prediction, so take it for what it is worth. GOP retains the House but only by 4-5 seats, and there is a chance of a virtual tie in the Senate: 49-49-2.

    Your two independents are Lieberman and Sanders in VT. Sanders is a committed socialist (and boy, would I like to commit him somewhere), so he’ll caucus with the RATS. If Lieberman caucuses with him as well, the RATS get the Senate. However, the chance exists that the two of them MAY (and I’m saying MAY) caucus with each other.

    If that happens, with Cheney as president of the Senate per the Constitution, Senate remains GOP.

    It also depends if Lieberman is willing to caucus with the same party that stabbed him in the back. If he is, he is either the most forgiving man I have ever met, or a total idiot.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — October 13, 2006 @ 12:20 am - October 13, 2006

  18. If you look at the polls, there is an intensity gap. President Bush’s approval rating is a key indicator. In nearly every poll, the number of people who strongly disapprove as opposed to strongly approve is 2-1. The strongly disapprove is usually in the high 40’s, the strongly approve in the low 20’s. That is a big intensity gap.

    If the Democrats take control of Congress, that will be the number everyone points to. Angry Democrats and disaffected Independents, eager to send a message to the President in their final try, might be the deciding factor.

    Comment by Chase — October 13, 2006 @ 12:24 am - October 13, 2006

  19. And just a note on the Santorum-Casey race…

    The race is unlikely to be as close as that Muhlenberg College poll would indicate, as Santorum has consistently performed better in Muhlenberg College polls through out the year. Even when other polls were showing Casey’s margin in double digits, Muhlenberg has had Casey’s margin in the 6-8 point range.

    If you look at other polls:
    Rasmussen’s poll released on October 6th gave Casey a 13 point lead.
    Zogby’s poll released October 2nd gave Casey a 12 point lead.
    Mason-Dixon’s poll released September 26th gave Casey a 9 point lead.
    Quinnipac’s poll released September 24th gave Casey a 14 point lead.

    Of 33 polls released on the Santorum-Casey race in 2006, no poll has placed the race closer than 5 points. That would seem to be the ceiling for Santorum.

    You have to remember, the demographics of Pennsylvania have been shifting in the Democrats favor for quite some time. The last time a Republican presidential candidate won Pennsylvania was in 1988.

    Comment by Chase — October 13, 2006 @ 12:49 am - October 13, 2006

  20. Yes, Peter, Sanders may caucaus with Lieberman and the Oakland Raiders may win this years Super Bowl. Of course, there’s a better chance you’ll see a pig with wings flying amongst a flock of seagulls on Miami Beach.

    Comment by Chase — October 13, 2006 @ 1:01 am - October 13, 2006

  21. The libs still don’t accept responsibility for their past failures, they blew their wad early with Foley, and now they’re pretending they give a damn about national security again. They want us to believe that they’ve always supported missile defense and never opposed it.

    Sorry. We’re not buying it. They haven’t been honest about a single solitary issue in the last 6 years. Why in the hell would anybody reward theri arrogance?

    Comment by TGC — October 13, 2006 @ 1:29 am - October 13, 2006

  22. 21: Perhaps if Bush had given a damn about Naional Security prior to 9/11/2001, then perhaps we wouldn’t be in this mess of trying to stabilize a country that is clearly on its way to civil war. Just today, the head of the British army (a military general, not some “whiny politician”) is calling for the removal of British troops from Iraq. He believes the presence is causing the instability in the country.

    Then again, without the attacks of 9/11 and the hideous of deaths of over 3000 people on that day, then Bush wouldn’t have much of a presidency, now would he? And as for rewardng arrogance: we already saw people do that on election day in 2004.

    Comment by Kevin — October 13, 2006 @ 4:46 am - October 13, 2006

  23. Chase is right. Santorum has always done better in the Morning Call poll than in most other polls. Santorum had some momentum this summer, but that has been sapped away, in part because of a poor choice to run a cheesy ad which painted various Casey supporters as corrupt and had actors sitting around in a jail cell smoking. The problem with the ad was the implication they were current supporters of Casey, when 1) several or all of them had donated to past campaigns, not to his Senate campaign, 2) at least one of them had donated to *Santorum*’s 2006 reelection campaign, 3) one of the men died several years ago. Wizbang blog said the ad was more like something they had expected out of Casey, not Santorum. Beyond just an ad, the problem is there’s just no real reason for PA voters to keep Santorum in office.

    I do think the Republicans will regather momentum (although it won’t be thanks to Harry Reid and a land deal – if voters yawned through Duke Cunningham’s travails they will go into a coma over Reid’s), but their real problem is they have nothing to run on besides taxes (which have lost salience as an issue because of the local taxes going up and because of the GOP spending so extravagantly) and terror (which is a more complex issue than “cut and run”). They thought immigration would be their wedge, and there’s always gay-baiting, but both of those cut both ways. This year the cuts are very deep.

    My guess is Republicans keep the Senate, and they either lose or keep the House by 3 seats.

    Comment by Carl — October 13, 2006 @ 4:57 am - October 13, 2006

  24. Perhaps if Bush had given a damn about Naional Security prior to 9/11/2001, then perhaps we wouldn’t be in this mess of trying to stabilize a country that is clearly on its way to civil war.

    Perhaps if BJ had given a damn about National Security instead of running around the Oval Orifice with panties on his head, then perhaps we wouldn’t have lost almost 3,000 citizens. Ah but Branch Davidians and Elian Gonzales were a far bigger threat.

    And as for rewardng arrogance: we already saw people do that on election day in 2004.

    Yep. John F.You Kerry was rewarded for his arrogance.

    Comment by TGC — October 13, 2006 @ 5:18 am - October 13, 2006

  25. Not only that, but perhaps if the liberals hadn’t obstructed Bush’s nominees out of spite, he would have had staff to deal with what was going on.

    Perhaps if we didn’t have liberal rules preventing the FBI and the CIA from communicating with each other…

    Perhaps if the CIA hadn’t have been hamstrung without human intelligence or lack of funds…

    Shall I go on?

    The libs have stood in the way of and opposed measures for our national security out of pure spite. They were denied their birthright of power by the people and one can only conclude that the libs would invite the destruction of the country to get it back.

    Do not pretend that libs give a sweet feathery Jesus about America, her citizens, her military etc. Don’t you DARE. We have seen your actions and have read/heard you words. No matter how much you lie, we know EXACTLY who and what you are.
    The stupid ones are not the people who voted for Bush. The stupid ones are folks like you who can’t see through the wolf’s clothing.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 13, 2006 @ 6:09 am - October 13, 2006

  26. My take on the election: It won’t make the slightest difference to my life which establishment party controls which house of Congress. I predict that enemies of liberty will capture 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 100 seats in the Senate. We need new choices entirely.

    (I used to believe that Ron Paul was okay, but lately he sounds like Rick Santorum when talking about gay people and Tom Tancredo when talking about immigrants, so I lump him with all the rest now.)

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 13, 2006 @ 7:43 am - October 13, 2006

  27. #17, I think you’re a bit optimistic there, Pete. I don’t think Santorum will win. Bob Casey may be an empty suit, but he’s an empty suit with name recognition and massive left-wing media and outstate support. Tom Kean has a fair chance of an upset in New Jersey. Corker has a fair shot at holding the seat in TN. Talent was behind at this point in 2002, so I think he has a fair shot at holding his seat. I wish Bouchard could take Stupidcow’s seat but between the lack of support from the RNSC and the usual massive Detroit voter fraud, it won’t happen. Montana’s a toss-up, mainly because of Conrad Burn’s inept campaigning (although at least he didn’t gay-bash his opponent like Montana’s other, Democrat senator). Allen’s probably safe.

    In Rhode Island, I think Chaffee is toast, and there you have the idiocy of Liz Dole’s management of the RNSC. The RNSC spent millions to prop up Chaffee in the primary … an airheaded liberal RINO … instead of investing in close races with moderate or conservative candidates like Jim Talent, Mark Kennedy, Conrad Burns, Bob Corker and Tom Kean. If the Republicans lose the senate, you can blame Liz Dole.

    Comment by V the K — October 13, 2006 @ 8:43 am - October 13, 2006

  28. Michael pushes the urban myth: “Clinton won due to Perot, Bush won due to Nader”.

    Sorry, but 3rd party candidates just don’t have that impact –the losers may want to explain it that way, but it’s pure spin. Perot voters were mostly disaffected voters who would NOT have showed up at the polling booth if Perot wasn’t running… Perot did not steal a significant base of votes from Bush-Quayle.

    Nader’s Raiders would have not have voted for Clinton, even if the CommanderInSleaze had promised to sleep with an endangered white-breasted horny egret from Arkansas.. oh wait, he did that once already… I mean another endangered specie in favor by the ecoTerrorists. Do you think AlGore lost a sizable base of votes to Nader? While they were/are both ecoKooks and nutcases, Nader was too far to the right for even the RantingAlGore base to steal voters away… nearly 65% of the 3m voters who voted for Nader were under the age of 21. Even wearing a $600 Italian sweater, AlGore couldn’t have secured those voters because they were the only “thinking” 21 yr olds voting in that election… thinking and AlGore don’t every, ever go together.

    The only 3rd Party candidate that made a difference in presidential elections was in ’92 when JimmyGiveMeDatPorkWeaver grabbed 21-22 electoral votes.

    Lots of folks would like us to think that Nader gave it to Bush (particularly the sore Democrat losers on this thread) and others who contend Bush41 lost because of BigEarsPerot… but it’s all spin and trying to divert blame for running a 3rd rate presidential campaign.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 13, 2006 @ 9:11 am - October 13, 2006

  29. The Dems have been outed, so to speak! Cliff Kincaid, of Accuracy in Media has discovered the true diabolical nature of the Cocktober surprise. This was no accident, but a conspiracy in the making covering several years:

    “If you are getting the idea that gay Republicans may be closeted Democrats, then you are beginning to understand how the Mark Foley scandal could have been a Democratic Party dirty trick.”

    Comment by BarneyG2000 — October 13, 2006 @ 9:13 am - October 13, 2006

  30. #28: The case can be made that Nader swung New Hampshire to Bush, and so cost Gore the election. I am not sure it’s true, but it’s not illegitimate to speculate.

    Comment by V the K — October 13, 2006 @ 9:29 am - October 13, 2006

  31. For me, the silver lining of the next Congress is that the Democrats are going to put all their energy into impeachment, which is both going to piss off the American people, who don’t hate Bush, much as the Democrats delude themselves to the contrary, and it will also limit the damage they can do to the economy.

    If the Democrats have enough time left over from impeachment to put forth their other policies… massive tax increases, surrender in Iraq, amnesty for illegal aliens, reparations… none of these is going to sit well with voters. Losing 2006 might just salvage 2008.

    Comment by V the K — October 13, 2006 @ 9:42 am - October 13, 2006

  32. Never illegitimate to speculate… but I’ve literally watched panels of notable & potable polisci scholars review the NH results and spilt the NaderRaider effect wildly to both Gore AND Bush advantage depending on the speaker’s political preferences.

    The problem with most analysis of that race is that it’s exitpolling based and the choice offered to the self-identifying Nader voters is “removing Nader from the ticket, who would you have likely voted for?” Not the more correct question: If Nader wasn’t on the ticket, would you have voted?

    Remember, the TrailerParkState is well known for defying conventional voter trend analysis… as IdaWolverineBriggs has pointed out: many key “urban” TrailerParkState precincts had lower turnout for Kerry than Gore and Kerry still carried the state. Maybe NH voters didn’t like RantingAl’s $500 haircuts? Everyone knows Kerry mitigated that “BlueBloodRichGuyEdge” by widely publishing those photos of him eating the PhillieSteak sandwichs and hunting ganders with his buddies.

    Always good to speculate… except in cases of live hand grenades and the intentions of terrorists.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 13, 2006 @ 9:50 am - October 13, 2006

  33. VdaK, baby and the bathwater is never a good political strategy even if it makes one “feel” better seeing justice served.

    You can’t imagine the damage that can be done in one session… screw the ’08 potentialities for now.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 13, 2006 @ 9:54 am - October 13, 2006

  34. Matt, I’m not saying I want the Democrats to win. (If they were sane and not a threat to the country, I might think differently.) I am saying, let’s be realistic about the prospects of a Democratic Congress, and let’s think about how we can limit the damage. I think the key thing for the Republicans to do is clean house and refocus on small government principles.

    You know what they say, if life gives you AIDS, make LemonAIDS.

    Comment by V the K — October 13, 2006 @ 10:22 am - October 13, 2006

  35. Anyway, it’s a gorgeous Autumn Day, and as soon as I get this report finished, I’m outta here. And, I got a football game later. I’m not going to let Looming Electoral Disaster(TM) get me down.

    Comment by V the K — October 13, 2006 @ 10:25 am - October 13, 2006

  36. “Clean house and refocus on small govt principles”.

    Sounds like a winner for all. Much better than the MichiganJohns running their whores through Congress (JohnDingell as Chair of Commerce & Energy and John Conyers as Chair of Judiciary & Conspiracies).

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 13, 2006 @ 10:27 am - October 13, 2006

  37. Right, VdaK… remember Go Blue.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 13, 2006 @ 10:29 am - October 13, 2006

  38. -Tom Kean has a fair chance of an upset in New Jersey. –

    He should be doing better by now. His problem is the same problem people say Casey has, he is nothing but his father’s name. Since he is a Republican in a liberal state, he can’t get away with this the way Casey has in Pennsylvania. His entire campaign has been based on Menendez being corrupt, not giving a reason to vote for Kean beyond this issue. This is running the risk of making people go, “Yeah, we get it. He’s corrupt. What else is new in politics.” I think that is why the polls are swinging back towards Menendez.

    I don’t think the Democrats would try impeachment. They saw how that worked out for the GOP, and their leaders aren’t going to take the risk. Pelosi is very liberal socially but she and Steny Hoyer are old school pols, very cautious.

    For the GOP’s sake I hope they don’t have an eke out victory like the Tories had in the UK, because those last few years in government ended up alienating so many voters that they are the minority party a decade later. The same happened to the Liberals in Canada last year.

    -instead of investing in close races with moderate or conservative candidates like Jim Talent, Mark Kennedy, Conrad Burns, Bob Corker and Tom Kean.-

    Kennedy’s opponent is a dim bulb. He was supposed to be a star candidate. If he can’t even get close to her in the polls after some of her gaffes, then no amount of money would have helped. Corker was supposed to have an easy time winning; most of his loss of momentum has been due to campaign flubs.

    I think the problem this cycle was poor recruitment.

    Comment by Carl — October 13, 2006 @ 10:49 am - October 13, 2006

  39. #37, I think the school’s colors in this case are red and black, but I get your meaning.

    Comment by V the K — October 13, 2006 @ 11:05 am - October 13, 2006

  40. Talent was behind at this point in 2002, so I think he has a fair shot at holding his seat.

    This is not 2002.

    According to Survey USA, there has been considerable movement in the Missouri Senate race, possibly due to the Foley scandal and a national debate between the candidates on “Meet The Press”. McCaskill is believed to have won that debate. Conversely, in polling on who won the debate (McCaskill was a +10 over Talent, at 47% to 37%), McCaskill’s favorablity ratings were also helped greatly. When asked “Did the debate give you a more favorable opinion of (Candidate’s Name)? A less favorable opinion? Or did it not change your opinion either way?”, this was the way the numbers broke down:

    Talent:
    28% More Favorable
    44% More Unfavorable
    28% Did Not Change Opinon

    McCaskill:
    44% More Favorable
    32% More Unfavorable
    24% Did Not Change Opinon

    They also had another debate broadcast live in the St. Louis area on Wednesday. McCaskill is perceived to have won that debate, with the polling numbers breaking 54% to 32% in favor of McCaskill. Of course, those numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt, as it was just broadcasted in St. Louis and St. Louis is a Democratic area. Though perhaps not that much of one.

    As such, whereas McCaskll led by 1 in the September SurveryUSA poll, the October poll released yesterday has McCaskill up 9.

    McCaskill 51%
    Talent 42%

    Important Statistic: Among voters 65 and older, always the most likely to vote in a mid-term, McCaskill leads by 28%, 61-33. Among baby boomers, those born between 1942 and 1953, McCaskill leads by 9%, 51-44.

    All polling data used comes from SurveyUSA.

    Comment by Chase — October 13, 2006 @ 2:02 pm - October 13, 2006

  41. Chase, SurveyUSA? LOL. What’s next, a Wiki citation? Put down the Washington Monthly and spend some time on credible polling sites.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 13, 2006 @ 2:40 pm - October 13, 2006

  42. Chase is pretty much a shill. I usually scroll over his comments.

    Comment by V the K — October 13, 2006 @ 2:58 pm - October 13, 2006

  43. I have lived most of my life in Saint Louis.

    Rasmussen shows that McCaskill was slightly ahead all year, but in September Talent and McCaskill evened out. It will be close.

    Rasmussen
    Sept 1 46% 46%

    Missouri is all redneck except for Saint Louis and redneck land is where Talent has his appeal. It will be interesting to see if McCaskill can pull it off by getting some votes out there.

    Use as you wish. 😉

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 13, 2006 @ 3:34 pm - October 13, 2006

  44. ..For the sake of EVERY Law abiding, tax paying Gay citizen in America….I HOPE the DEMS pulverize the GOP come NOV. !! Only then, will America have a chance to SURVIVE….and STOP blaming gays for everything wrong. …and the OVER-USE of the words “Family Values”..while demonizing gays and excluding gays from those very words!

    Comment by sad american — October 13, 2006 @ 3:46 pm - October 13, 2006

  45. Matt,

    SurveyUSA has a record of accuracy. In their final poll in 68 cumulative House, Senate and state Presidential races during the 2004 election cycle, they got it wrong just twice – the Washington Governor’s race and the Iowa Presidential poll.

    Thus, SurveyUSA had a 97% accuracy rating during the 2004 election cycle.

    But, if you want to believe they aren’t credible because you don’t like their most recent polling result, you are welcome to do so.

    Comment by Chase — October 13, 2006 @ 4:25 pm - October 13, 2006

  46. Chase, sorry pal. It has nothing to do with “liking” their last poll. If you look at SurveyUSA’s election predictions on a stats basis, they were wrong in 173 major political contests in 2004 by 6 points or more. That’s 6 points, Chase. In polling, we don’t even let those kind of pollsters predict cookie sales at my kids’ grammar school.

    Get real. Local media outlets like SurveyUSA ’cause they’re CHEAP. Inexperienced student labor, uncontrolled polling, poor survey instruments (you know, the scripts that the telephone activists read to the victim)…

    Like I said, Chase… LOL. That you find them credible says far more about you.

    Go get uncomfortable in your Southern city by waving an American flag, will ya? LOL

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 13, 2006 @ 6:02 pm - October 13, 2006

  47. Good advice VdaK, thanks. I miss the old days of worthy discussants like GrampaGryph and the sockpuppet raj/Ian.

    Well, on second thought, scratch that last notion.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 13, 2006 @ 6:04 pm - October 13, 2006

  48. Losing 2006 might just salvage 2008.

    Assuming we live that long.

    Comment by TGC — October 14, 2006 @ 2:02 am - October 14, 2006

  49. I haven’t heard any organizations on either side of the aisle say Survey USA is not reliable. They have some wacky polls, as any firm does, but they seem to be much more respected than something like Zogby.

    Comment by Carl — October 14, 2006 @ 3:52 am - October 14, 2006

  50. you know why i hate GP and GPW or whatever he calls his badass self these days, it is simple: i hate the fact while i hate the message of their party their party good, bad, or indifferent has message and the undecided numbnuts drunk the koolaid. if the party on the left had a message the undecided in the middle could sip on the pinot noir. so really the numbnuts who decide the election have no choice but to drink the koolaid

    Comment by ralph — October 14, 2006 @ 4:52 pm - October 14, 2006

  51. I would like to ask an authentic question. It is asked with some puzzlement, but it’s asked honestly and with an open mind.

    For those of you who prefer Santorum to Casey, what are the specific reasons for that preference?

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 14, 2006 @ 9:35 pm - October 14, 2006

  52. (1) People who have witnessed Casey’s public appearances agree Casey has no brain.

    (2) In helping the GWOT, Santorum has been one of the good guys and (politically) stuck his neck out to challenge our useless and politicized Intelligence establishment, support the troops, etc.

    (3) It’s a Senate seat… and if Democrats win the Senate, we can kiss an effective GWOT good-bye for at least a couple years.

    Having said all that: I know of Santorum’s anti-gay remarks earlier in his career and I condemn those remarks. It’s only because I care about the GWOT that I could prefer him to Casey even slightly.

    Comment by Calarato — October 15, 2006 @ 6:49 pm - October 15, 2006

  53. Sheesh man, when is it gonna stop .http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/15763570.htm

    Comment by cleve — October 15, 2006 @ 7:15 pm - October 15, 2006

  54. 53: I don’t know what “GWOT” means, and that siginficantly hinders my ability to judge your answer. 🙂 If it means the Global War on Terror, I am sure I disagree with you on the approach that’s been taken, but I also don’t quite know how they significantly disagree on the topic.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 15, 2006 @ 10:13 pm - October 15, 2006

  55. Also, does anyone have an answer to my post at the start of this thread? Or doesn’t it matter, because the Global War on Terror excuses all the other broken promises and eclipses any other considerations? (I am someone who is far more troubled by the increase in State power than the threat of Islamic terrorists, though I certainly don’t discount that threat.)

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 15, 2006 @ 10:15 pm - October 15, 2006

  56. You may have misunderstood the nature of my answer. I was trying to oblige you by answering a question you had claimed to be asking sincerely. I did not ask you (in my turn) for additional opinions nor engage you in debate. I know something of your opinions and why they’re wrong, but I don’t have time to go into it; perhaps someone else wants to accept your bait. Bye now.

    Comment by Calarato — October 15, 2006 @ 10:56 pm - October 15, 2006

  57. #57: I didn’t pledge not to have follow-up questions or comments. 🙂 I certainly understand that you don’t wish to invest any more time in the conversation, and I appreciate the answer you gave.

    Accept my bait? I am not here to cause drama or mischief, and I hope that I have never been less than polite. There really does seem to be a pervasive knee-jerk hostility here towards people who aren’t on board with the GOP… yours is very mild, which once again I appreciate.

    I ask these questions because I suspect that I share many of the principles of those here who describe themselves as conservative, but strongly disagree that the GOP embodies them well enough to earn my support (anymore). Obviously no one has an obligation to answer these questions, but I think it could be a fruitful discussion.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 16, 2006 @ 7:51 am - October 16, 2006

  58. I am someone who is far more troubled by the increase in State power than the threat of Islamic terrorists

    And I bet you also can’t name for me a single one of my Constitutional Rights or civil liberties that has been infringed by the “increase in state power” under the Bush Admin.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2006 @ 9:58 am - October 16, 2006

  59. Well, there’s the First Amendment (the Fred Phelps law and “free-speech zones”), the Second Amendment (ordering the National Guard to seize guns in New Orleans after Katrina), the Fourth Amendment (warrantless wiretapping), and the Fifth and Sixth Amendments (no habeas corpus or fair trials for those designated as enemy combatants).

    Once again, I am not saying that Bush is the sole source of the problem — far from it. On the Second Amendment, obviously, the liberals are far worse. I am just saying that government size and power has continued to increase under Bush and the GOP, and I think a few lines have been crossed in the wake of 9/11.

    When I complain about the rise of state power, I’m also talking about things like the increased federalization of education (which is the opposite of what the GOP promised circa 1994 when I supported them), increases in spending even aside from military expenditures, and smaller but blatant violations of individual freedom like the recent internet gambling ban.

    I don’t think anyone can tell me with a straight face these days that Bush and the GOP are friends of individual freedom and smaller government. If they were, I’d probably still be working within the Republican Party rather than dreaming of a new system entirely.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 16, 2006 @ 12:22 pm - October 16, 2006

  60. Umm, except for the Katrina stuff, everything in your first paragraph only apply to terrorists and their supporters. Most people, but sadly few libertarians, understand that in wartime, you have to fight the enemy and monitor their activities. Since I haven’t been plotting any terrorism, or calling Al Qaeda, my rights have not been infringed at all.

    There’s legitimate concern, and then there’s tinfoil-hat paranoia.

    Comment by V the K — October 16, 2006 @ 1:04 pm - October 16, 2006

  61. Umm, except for the Katrina stuff, everything in your first paragraph only apply to terrorists and their supporters. Most people, but sadly few libertarians, understand that in wartime, you have to fight the enemy and monitor their activities. Since I haven’t been plotting any terrorism, or calling Al Qaeda, my rights have not been infringed at all.

    I don’t trust the government to use these powers only for good purposes. We’re not supposed to just trust them — there has to be accountability, which is why warrants have to be issued, for instance. Giving government the power to monitor communications about terrorism is one thing; it’s quite another thing to trust government to stick within those bounds without having to account for its choices. That’s exactly what the Fourth Amendment is about.

    Anyhow, when is the GOP going to get around to abolishing cabinet departments and de-federalizing education? 🙂 It’s very much a part of my critique that they’ve continued the same kind of growth in the power and scope of government that most Republicans were promising to put a stop to ten or twelve years ago.

    There’s legitimate concern, and then there’s tinfoil-hat paranoia.

    Let’s keep the discourse civil and assume basic good will on each side when discussing these things, at least whenever possible.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 16, 2006 @ 2:25 pm - October 16, 2006

  62. Oh! There’s one thing that I forgot to add.

    Yesterday my family and I were discussing the internet gambling ban over lunch (yes, we’re like that! :)). The wording of the law gives the government the authority to order internet entities to remove hyperlinks to sites that violate this law. What this means, for one thing, is that the government could order Google not to provide search results for internet gambling sites or financial institutions that deal with them.

    This is kind of funny/scary, considering that representatives from Google had to appear before Congress earlier this year to defend itself for doing exactly the same thing for the communist government of China.

    I kind of suspect that the government would never enforce this part of the law. In a weird way, I hope they do, because it would cause a big media stir and legislators might think twice about doing this sort of thing in the future.

    I know that an internet gambling ban can’t be seen as a major issue given what else is going on in the world, but could there be any plainer an example of the government’s (and both establishment parties’) basic disgregard for individual freedom… for letting us live our lives and spend our money in whatever peaceful manner we choose?

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 16, 2006 @ 2:50 pm - October 16, 2006

  63. Thank you kdogg, for making the truth clear. I supported Republicans all the way up to 2000. I was particularly active from 1988 to 1998, and worked actively on campains related to the 1994 election. I was so proud that Republicans had taken those houses, and really expected things to change for the better. The Contract with America was a sure-fire bet for that.

    Only… it wasn’t. By 1998 I saw little reason to believe the lies anymore.

    Since supporting commies and liberals isn’t an option either, I chose the libertarians. Even now, realizing that they have no chance of winning, I’ll still vote for what I believe from now on, rather than making concessions to liars and thieves.

    I suppose this kind of response will garner accusations of being a liberal from those who seem to think that I must support Republicans and Conservatives in general, regardless of how often they fail. I mean, so far that kind of response seems to be the order of the day from a few of the regular posters. I’ll apologize in advance for not being able to “seig heil” very well. I’d take lessons in that, if they weren’t so danged expensive, especially in the long-term.

    Comment by CoolBreezeTX — October 16, 2006 @ 11:05 pm - October 16, 2006

  64. CoolBreezeTX, I commend you for voting libertarian. I hate that “wasted-vote” talk as if you as a citizen don’t have a right to vote for whomever you like and you should, as a good sheep, vote for the major party, whichever it may be. We really saw this after 2000 when Democrats actively criticized those who voted for the Greens (Nader).

    On another related, but different topic, I don’t vote Republican, but I have to hold my nose when I vote Democrat more often than I care to admit. Democrats are just as much schmucks as Republicans, just for different reasons.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 17, 2006 @ 3:22 am - October 17, 2006

  65. Well, if kdogg and Coolbreeze are comfortable helping unreconstructed socialists whose ideal form of government is judicial oligarchy take power because the GOP is not ideologically pure enough for them, I guess that’s a legitimate position.

    When I was in college, I would have considered myself libertarian, but I grew out of it. And it wasn’t because libertarians could never get power, it was because libertarians uphold some ideas that I thought were just too destructive, such as unlimited immigration, unlimited abortion, unlimited drug availability. (As a foster parent, I’ve seen the damage drugs do to families, and especially children, and therefore I could never support unconditional drug legalization).

    I mean, libertarianism is a nice philosophy. One of the worlds in my sci-fi novels is, essentially, governed by libertarian principles and is very pleasant. But, on planet Earth, in the 21st century, in the real world, and with the current state of man, contemporary libertarianism seems to often to dodge reality and practicality in pursuit of pure ideology that takes no account of human or social consequences.

    The conservative wing of the Republican Party … which does not include President Bush … does uphold limits to governments and limited spending. But they are too often outflanked by northeastern liberals and southern opportunist RINO’s. Ultimately, though, I prefer Conservatism too libertarianism.

    Comment by V the K — October 17, 2006 @ 9:51 am - October 17, 2006

  66. Well, if kdogg and Coolbreeze are comfortable helping unreconstructed socialists whose ideal form of government is judicial oligarchy take power because the GOP is not ideologically pure enough for them, I guess that’s a legitimate position.

    Well, it’s not that the GOP isn’t “ideologically pure enough.” It’s that is has nothing to offer me. Back in 1994, I thought it did have something to offer and that the GOP would move things in the right direction, but I was quite young and maybe a little naive at the time. Since then, government has only gotten bigger, more authoritarian, and indeed more socialist in a number of ways.

    As for the claim that I help the Democrats win by not voting for the GOP, that can be refuted with straightforward logic. I have many Democrat friends, and they say exactly the opposite, that I help the GOP by not voting for Democrats.

    Now, both claims cannot be right — I can’t be helping both parties win by not voting for either of them. Furthermore, the symmetry of the situation is such that either both claims must be right, or both of them wrong. Therefore, both claims are wrong. By voting for a non-establishment candidate, I don’t help either one; in my tiny way, I oppose both of them, and that’s exactly what I want to do with my vote.

    The conservative wing of the Republican Party … which does not include President Bush … does uphold limits to governments and limited spending. But they are too often outflanked by northeastern liberals and southern opportunist RINO’s.

    If the Republicans deliver on some of their promises from 1994 — abolishing cabinet departments, de-federalizing education, slashing the budget — then I’ll vote for them again. But they’ve got to deliver at least some of the goods before I’ll even consider it. I’ve been fooled before.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 17, 2006 @ 11:33 am - October 17, 2006

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