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GOP’s Failure to Hold True to Conservative Principles Cost Party Its Majorities

As I consider the election returns, I’m beginning to wonder if certain things which we Republicans saw to be beneficial to our prospects turning out to be detrimental. Many thought that John Kerry’s gaffe would remind voters of the contempt some on the Left feel for the military. In the end, I don’t think it really helped our candidates.

Indeed, it may even have hurt Republicans who tired to make an issue of it as it may have caused wavering voters to wonder why a candidate in 2006 would focus on a silly statement by the defeated presidential candidate from the previous election. And may have caused such voters to wonder about that Republican’s failure to run on his own record.

Perhaps, it was that Republicans thought they could win this election merely by running against the Democrats’ extremism. The only problem was that the Democrats nominated some pretty centrist & conservative candidates in a number of races.

Perusing the conservative blogs today, I find a pretty clear consensus that the GOP lost not because, in the words of Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, “voters have abandoned their belief in limited government,” but because “the Republican Party has abandoned them.

When people saw Republicans running against Democrats, it reminded them that they weren’t running on any issues of their own. No wonder some polls showed a number of self-identified conservatives pulled the lever for Democratic candidates in some House and Senate races. One poll showed that more people thought the Democrats could better reduce the deficit and “keep government spending under control” (Via Best of the Web.)

I had thought the Democrats’ absence of an agenda might have prevented them from gaining a majority. But, it turns out that it was the GOP’s failure to hold true to its own principles that was of greater consequence to voters.

It is thus of some comfort that the candidates for GOP leadership in the 110th Congress have made clear their support of those conservative principles which helped our party win significant victories in the 1980s and 1990s.

UPDATE: A reader e-mailed this excellent piece on the Republicans defeat from Eject! Eject! Eject!. Here he gets at the essence of the GOP loss:

We have to accept the fact that the conservatives we sent to Congress in 1994 became the bloated, earmarking, tone-deaf toads of 2006. They thought they could do whatever they wanted, regardless of what their constituents think, and now they have been reminded of just who is working for whom. Remedying that sense of isolation and disconnect and unchecked power is why we have elections in the first place, and as to the consequences of it, we have no one to blame but ourselves. That imperial attitude is not unique to Republicans or Democrats. That is human nature, and correcting the excesses of human nature only becomes more costly and painful the longer it is allowed to go on. Democracy is error-correcting. Ask John Kerry.

He says something to his critics which I share with ours: “To those who have written me in anger over the years, I say sincere congratulations to you on a big win, and I genuinely hope it will remove some of the bitterness in your hearts and restore some belief in a system that was never broken.” Now that I’ve whet your appetite, read the whole thing!

Gay Marriage Ban Headed to Defeat in Arizona

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 11:55 am - November 8, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,Gay Marriage

It appears that the ban on same-sex marriage may fall short in one of the states where it was on the ballot yesterday. The latest returns show the ban in Arizona is trailing, with 48.6 voting in favor and “51.4 percent . . . voting against” Proposition 107, the “Protect Marriage Initiative.”

Referenda defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman passed across the country, including Wisconsin, a state where, I thought, it could be defeated. The proposal in Arizona was particularly pernicious, not only so defining marriage, but also barring “state and local governments from giving legal status to unmarried couples.” So extreme was this provision that it even would have barred universities and school districts from recognizing domestic partnerships. It’s my sense that it was that aspect of the initiative which sunk the proposal in the Grand Canyon State.

Simply put, the authors of the referendum overreached. As a result, Arizona beccame the first state to reject a ban on gay marriage in a popular referendum.

I don’t think this apparent victory means that opinion has shifted in favor of gay marriage. Instead, it suggests that there is a growing consensus in favor of civil unions, some kind of recognition of same-sex couples.

No wonder Jodi Rell, the Republican governor of Connecticut, who signed such a provision into law last year, handily won reelection last night.

(H/t: Instapundit.)

Wednesday Morning Quarterbacking

I’m writing this Tuesday night. I’m headed to bed soon, but not out of disgust or anything. I have an early morning tomorrow and will post it then after the excitement has died off and so I don’t interrupt Dan’s live blogging any more than I already have.

As of now, it’s about 10pm Mountain Time and the Dems have just taken over (as we’d expected they would) the House. We still have 4 seats to defend in the Senate. Senate Update: Whoey…glad I didn’t stay up…

There are two ways the next two years could go:

1) The Democrats will do what we warned they’d do: Raise taxes, expand the size/scope of the Federal Government, redistribute wealth, yadda yadda (all the things that convinced America to take the keys from them in 1994). This will kill their chances of making any sort of showing in ’08. And oh, so easy to run nationally against Nancy Pelosi. Or, more likely:

2) Knowing the disaster it would be to follow 1) above, the Democrats will govern the same way they have campaigned over this election: Stealth. This would be easy for them as they’ll not really be “in charge” and won’t have to really take responsibility for anything. Sure, they’ll do some obstructing, and possibly a few things to hurt. But most likely they’ll be more of a pain-in-the-ass than a real impediment to accomplishment.

(more…)

Thoughts (before turning in) on the Democrats’ Victory

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:46 am - November 8, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections

As I prepare to head to bed, I do so with a certain sadness.* I had thought the GOP would hold onto the Senate, but it looks like the Democrats ran the table on the close races. I think in the end, you had a standard 6th year election, yet had Republicans held onto their principles, they could have minimized the damage and limited their losses.

One thing which had not entered into my somewhat optimistic forecast on Monday was something that one of the panelists on Fox pointed out — that in the past year, four Republican Congressmen resigned, two of them (Foley and Ney) within the past six weeks. (Interestingly, Ney’s seat was the only House seat Republicans lost in Ohio, so the “Taft curse” only extended to statewide races.) People felt that congressional Republicans had become too smug in their power.

I think perhaps the Foley scandal slowed any Republican momentum. Had he been the only Republican Congressman to resign, it might not have registered on people’s minds, but his resignation followed that of Duke Cunningham and the former Majority Leader, Tom DeLay.

And the Democrats did a great job of recruiting candidates, many of whom ran on conservative platforms. So, it’s not all bleak for our ideas. While the House leadership will be left-of-counter, the House Democratic caucus will be more conservative than its current makeup, something which may put a check on the excesses we might otherwise expect.

It’s a good night for the Democrats. They did a great job in tapping voter discontent with a complacent GOP majority which has lost its moorings. Now that they have won an impressive victory, they have before them the more difficult task of governing. And they may well succeed.

The silver lining in this all is that at least it proves wrong some Democrats’ claims that President Bush is a fascist. For a fascist leader would have prevented the opposition from winning such a victory.

And another silver lining is remembering that the tension in 1995-99 between a Republican Congress and a Democratic president produced a consensus domestic policy with a number of notable reforms. Perhaps now with a Democratic Congress and a Republican president, we may see similar progress.

One can only hope.

* I guess I have some sense how Democrats felt two years ago.

Log Cabin attributes GOP loss to Social Conservatives; I disagree

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:19 am - November 8, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,Log Cabin Republicans

Just go an e-mail press release from Log Cabin where Executive Vice President Patrick Sammon blames the GOP loss on social conservatives:

Republicans lost this election because independent voters abandoned the GOP. . . . Social conservatives drove the GOP’s agenda the last several years. Their divisive agenda alienated the mainstream Republicans and independents who determined this election’s outcome. Social conservatives should take responsibility for this loss.

I disagree.

I do agree though with the better part of this statement:

Democrats didn’t win because of anything they stood for. They won because of Republican mistakes. GOP leaders lost sight of what brought our Party to power in 1994. Limited government, lower spending, high ethical standards and accountability, and other unifying GOP principles attracted a broad coalition of support including fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, mainstream Republicans, libertarians, and independents. Now we’ve lost the U.S. House because Party leaders turned their backs on the GOP’s core principles and catered only to social conservatives.

It wasn’t so much catering to social conservatives as it was catering to K Street. The GOP got too accustomed to being the party in power and sought to stay in power by ladling out the pork.

Twelve years ago, the Republicans ended forty years of minority status in the U.S. House by campaigning on a series of conservative principles, drawn largely from the vision of Ronald Reagan. But, by 2006, they weren’t running on much beyond holding onto power.

No, Log Cabin has it only half-right. The GOP didn’t merely cater to social conservatives. By 2006, congressional Republicans, by and large, no longer stood for much of anything besides clinging to power. And they lost that tonight.

Just a random election night thought…

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 11:31 pm - November 7, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,War On Terror

Won’t it be interesting that as near-history records this night, the biggest victory for Republicans will have been the election of a Democrat?

Hey, take it where you can get it. Oh, and remember this when they tell you tomorrow how this is a “referendum” on the Iraq war.

…more thoughts (if you can call them that) tomorrow…

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot)

LIVE BLOGGING — ELECTION NIGHT 11 PM

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 11:03 pm - November 7, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,General

[Please note that since Bruce has gone to bed, I’ll be doing our live-blogging solo from now on. —Dan]

While it’s become increasingly clear now that the Democrats will take the House, it’s becoming just as clear that this is not a victory for liberalism, given the number of conservative Democrats who are picking off GOP seats. This election could well mark the return of the yellow-dog Democrat.

According to Brit Hume, the Washington Post has pulled its projection of Ben Cardin’s victory in Maryland.

Fox is projecting what most had been assuming that the Democrats will take control of the House. The Democrats have won not as did the GOP twelve years ago by running on a platform ideas, but hoping that voter unhappiness with the status quo would lead to people voting out the GOP.

Looks like New Hampshire was an unexpected surprise for the Democrats as they won both House seats there, something I had not expected.

A reader just e-mailed me to note that the LA Times called the California governor’s race for the incumbent, my man Arnold Schwarzenegger. Some bright news on an otherwise bleak night.

Just got an e-mail from Log Cabin and learned that the Governor has invited Jeff Bissiri (Log Cabin’s California director) to be up on stage with him when he declares victory tonight.

11:45 PM EST; 8:45 PM PST Small piece of good news for GOP. Republican Deborah Pryce manages to elude the “Taft curse” for her Columbus, Ohio district.

11:47 PM EST; 8:47 PM PST Mahoney wins Foley’s old district in Florida. Well, that looks like a pickup for Negron in 2008.

11:50 PM EST; 8:50 PST I’m beginning to understand how some Democrats must have felt 2 years ago. I really thought the GOP would be doing better than we are tonight. Let’s hope the Democrats are more gracious in victory this year than were some of their number in defeat 2 years ago.

BREAKING NEWS: Gay Marriage Bans Passing Across USA

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 10:29 pm - November 7, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections

(7:34 PM) – According to FOX News: It appears that the gay marriage amendment passed 58% to 42% in Virginia. It is unclear if this projection is a combo of the exit polling data and actual vote totals. But it does make me think this helps George Allen.

UPDATE from GPW: On Fox, they’re reporting that one-third of those who voted for this pernicious proposal picked Webb for Senate.

(8:30 PM) – FOX News is now projecting another defeat for gay marriage in Tennessee by a margin of 85-15 (not actual results yet though).

(10:28 PM)AP reports Wisconsin voters have defeated gay marriage in an amendment today.

Wisconsin voters favored an amendment that would add two sentences to the state constitution to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

The amendment prevents the state from recognizing similar relationships among unmarried individuals, such as civil unions.

Gay rights groups such as Human Rights Campaign considered Wisconsin their best chance to defeat a gay marriage ban, and conservative Christian groups such as Focus on the Family tried to rally voters to pass the measure.

And also in South Carolina, voters have endorsed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the state.

GPW @ 10:35 EST; 7:35 PSTI thought we had a chance of defeating the referendum in Wisconsin. Its loss there is terribly disappointing. I wonder how much the New Jersey decision influenced voters in the Badger State.

GP (10:37 PM):  GayPatriot reader Gene has this interesting observation…..

This Democrat “wave”…interesting again how they don’t include blacks and gays. ALL the gay marriage initiatives lost. African Americans at the tops of tickets lost in TN PA and MD. Gays and blacks continue to get scraps from the Dems.

Hmmm.

LIVE BLOGGING ELECTION NIGHT – 10PM

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 10:02 pm - November 7, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections

GP: We are now into the 10pm hour and Dan and I are still going strong. But I’m going to turn in shortly as I have to travel for work tomorrow. I’ll be here for a bit longer.

GP (10:05 PM): Okay, outstanding Republican Congresswoman Nancy Johnson (CT-5) has lost. While I don’t think there is the “massive” Democrat wave going on…. I would say that the loss of Nancy Johnson means the Democrats will gain control of the US House of Representatives. The question now is how many seats will the GOP lose?

GP (10:10 PM): Update from the Maryland US Senate race from The Corner: Steele spokesman Doug Heye tells NRO: “The Steele campaign is not conceding. Every vote must be counted.”

GPW (10:10 PM EST; 7:10 PST) Well, the Democrats will clearly take the House. Looks like I was wrong about last-minute voters shifting to the GOP. The silver lining is that it looks like some of the House Democratic freshman are conservatives, so it’s a sign that this is not a victory for liberalism. It’s too bad that Republicans didn’t hold true to their principles. Also, something else I didn’t account for. Someone on Fox made the point that 4 Republicans had resigned from Congress in the past year alone. I didn’t account for how much that count hurt my party and it seems to account for their falling short this year. No wonder that Curt Weldon lost in Pennsylvania given the investigation into his supposedly corrupt activities.

GP (10:45 PM): I’m headed to bed. My final thoughts. The House will go Dems. I think my home state of Pennsylvania looks like a GOP Congressional slaughter and that is too bad because most of the losses appear to be GOP moderates. I think Allen, Talent, Corker and Burns will win in the Senate and hold the GOP majority.

But hell, what do I know? 🙂

GPW @ 10:53 PM EST; 7:53 PST: The Governor’s races don’t look good for the GOP. So far though only one incumbent Republican has been defeated, Governor Ehrlich in the very blue state of Maryland. Except for the California and Ohio races, I have paid much attention to these races.

LIVE BLOGGING ELECTION NIGHT – 9PM POST

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 9:12 pm - November 7, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections

We are flopping into the 9pm Eastern hour here on Election Night 2006. Dan and I are live-blogging from Charlotte and Los Angeles. Feel free to comment at will!

GP (9:02 PM): Here’s a nice summary at CNN of the Indiana Congressional races… .all bellwether districts, all too close to call for now.

GP (9:07 PM): Since we are one of the “Foley-gate” blog resources (*sigh*)… I figured we should keep an eye on the FL-16 race. With about 50% of the precincts in, Republican candidate Joe “Punch Foley For Joe” Negron is holding to a slim lead of about 1,000 votes. The Democrat candidate Tim Mahoney was ahead earlier.

UPDATE FROM GPW @ 9:15 PM EST; 6:15 PST). Well, my favorite Democrat has just been reelected, though running as an Independent, Joe Lieberman wins in Connecticut.

GP (9:19 PM): With Ned Lamont losing to Lieberman, has Kos won anything yet?

GP (9:24 PM): I’m officially calling bull*** on the FOX News projection for Maryland US Senate. There is only 1% of the vote in for Maryland.

Michael Barone now announces the FOX is junking the exit polls!

GP (9:26 PM): House update Northrup and Chocola are toast. But these are still squeakers. Where is the “Democrat wave”?

GPW: The Northrup is a loss for the GOP, but, while an incumbent, her district was a slightly Democratic one. Hurts GOP chances of retaining House, but I agree with Bruce that this is not yet a sign of a Democratic wave.

GP (9:30 PM): Ann Althouse and the Mike from RedState are both live blogging at a cool blogger gathering in DC being hosted by CNN.   FOX should have done that.  Check it out!

GP (9:35 PM): Rhode Island US Senate seat flips from Lincoln Chafee (RINO) to Sheldon Whitehouse (D).  HRC has this reaction on their blog.

The news just broke that Sheldon Whitehouse defeated HRC endorsee Lincoln Chafee in the Rhode Island Senate race.

Chafee is one of only three U.S. senators who openly supports marriage equality. He’s been a stalwart ally. Fortunately, Whitehouse has a pro-GLBT record.

GP (9:38 PM): Back to FL-16 (ex-Foley seat)….Democrat Mahoney has now pulled ahead of Joe Negron by 2,000 votes.

GP (9:45 PM):  I guess I’m going to have to check my skepticism of the Maryland Senate projection for Ben Cardin.  FOX just called the MD Governor race for Democrat Mike O’Malley over incumbent Bob Erlich.  Hmmmm.

GP (9:53 PM): Jim Geraghty at National Review shares my puzzlement at the early call of the US Senate race in Maryland.

LIVE BLOGGING Election Returns — 8 PM

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:09 pm - November 7, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,General

Just got a robocall from Arnold reminding me to vote if I haven’t already. The rumors of his GOTV effort are not exaggerated.

And Republican Governor Jodi Rell, who signed Connecticut’s landmark civil unions plan, has just been declared the victor in the Nutmeg State.

Juan Williams (on Fox) says that if Democrats win, this is a big night for conservative Democrats.

Fred Barnes says not much of an ideological element to this election. And Bill Kristol sees that exit polls show a largely conservative electorate. Too bad GOP didn’t hold true to its conservative principles. (GPW 5:12 PST, 8:12 EST)

GP (8:14 EST): In a huge shocker…. Sen. Ted Kennedy won re-election in Massachusetts!

GP (8:22 EST): One of the few North Carolina races of any import is in the Western part of the state — incumbent Republican Rep. Charlie Taylor and former football QB Heath Shuler. Right now, Taylor is ahead slightly but only 7 of 282 precincts are in.

GP (8:23 EST): The Corner sez ABC is calling Penna. US Senate for Casey, Jr.

UPDATE from GPW @ 8:35 PM EST, 5:35 EST. Fox declares what most expected that Casey would unseat Santorum in Pennsylvania and Menendez wins in New Jersey.

GP (8:41 EST): Oh this is precious. I just got an email from the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (one of my least favorite group).

Election perspective from leading national gay rights advocate

Matt Foreman, executive director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, leading national gay advocacy leader and spokesperson, available for comment and election analysis on November 7 & 8

My first question would be: Matt, are you happy that Vermont has elected our first Socialist to the United States Senate?

UPDATE FROM GPW “Taft’s curse” continues to haunt the GOP as Sherrod Brown ousts Mike DeWine in the Buckeye State.

LIVE-BLOGGING Election Returns – 7PM Eastern

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:42 pm - November 7, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,General

Watch this space as Bruce & I will be live-blogging the election returns.

Two expected calls. Republican Richard Lugar projected the winner in the Indiana Senate race and Socialist Bernie Sanders projected to win in Vermont. (GPW reporting at 4 PM PST, 7 PM EST)

Looking at returns from Indiana and Kentucky, but except for the Northrup(R)/Yarmuth(D) race in Louisville, not many precincts are reporting. In that race, Yarmuth initially led, but now Northrup is slightly ahead. (GPW, 4:12 PM EST, 7:12 PST)

Carl Cameron on Fox says Allen’s people are claiming higher turnout that in 2004. Call me skeptical. (GPW, 4:17 PM EST, 7: 17 PST)

Northrup has now fallen behind. (GPW 4:25 PM EST; 7:25 PST)

GP (7:29PM): Hey Dan… I’m on! PatriotPartner sez the exit polling data the networks are using are projecting Lamont over Lieberman. I think this means the exit polls are messed up again!

GP (7:45PM): I’m keeping my eyes on the two Georgia House races that are two of the few potential GOP pickups. GA-8 and GA-12. No real returns yet.

K-LO @ the Corner is reporting that Strickland beat Blackwell on Ohio. Seems to be the curse of outgoing Governor Bob Taft. Back when I was in Cincinnati for my high school reunion, my classmates who remained in the Buckeye State (& my family) reported that Taft (a graduate of my high school) was not corrupt, just inept. And Blackwell had won the GOP nomination by running against Taft and the Ohio GOP establishment. Blackwell may not be the only Ohio Republican to fall to the “Taft’s curse.” (GPW, 7:47 EST, 4:47 PST)

GP (7:50PM): I find this impossible to believe…..TKS picked up on this too….Fox News just said on the basis of exit polls that the gubernatorial contests in Vermont, Georgia, and South Carolina are too close to call. No way!!!

Oh… I can safely project my own Congresswoman Sue Myrick will win re-election in the NC-9th.

Negron leading in Mark Foley’s old district in Florida. But, we don’t know where the numbers are from. (GPW, 4:55 PST, 7:55 EST)

FIRST Democratic gain–Ellsworth ousts Hosteller in Indian (GPW; 4:59 PST, 7:59 EST) But, Fred Barnes note that Ellsworth is pretty much a conservative, pro-life, pro-gun, anti-tax increase.

First Peek at ‘06 — GOP Turnout Higher Than ‘04?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:28 pm - November 7, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections

I’ve seen some reports (and anecdotal emails) throughout the day that GOP turnout is higher than 2004 levels at key precincts in key states.  Remember, the GOP vote turnout in 2004 was at a record level.

More evidence comes from people smarter than me that know how to work with math.  Hugh Hewitt reports that his GOP insider, George Smiley, is comparing 2004 and 2006 GOP turnout statistics.

(Posted at 5:47PM Eastern) Nationally tracking turnout in precincts 60 to 80 target precincts and measuring it back against the 2002 and 2004 turnout numbers.

As of this moment we have a 5% advantage compared to Dem and GOP [from 2004]. That is up from a 1/2 percentage voter turnout advantage from an hour ago.
GOP base precincts are turning out higher than Dem base precincts:
  • MD 3% higher
  • MO 2% higher
  • VA 7% higher

And, I’m hearing that the exit polling data now coming out is trash (as usual).  So once again, we have to wait for the ACTUAL VOTES to be counted!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Voting in the Golden State

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:58 pm - November 7, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,California politics,LA Stories

While people are dealing with flooding in the Pacific Northwest and cold weather in the Northeast, I had to put on sunscreen to vote. Now, given that I live in LA, you would expect that I would drive to the polls as they are more than two blocks from my house. But, parking near there is lousy, so I put on my sunscreen, sunglasses and my Reaganesque straw cowboy hat (needing to protect my fair skin from the California sun) and walked to my polling place. It’s in the 90s here.

It’s such a chore voting in California, given the number of offices up for election — as well as thirteen “State Measures.” I even voted for a Member of the West Basin Municipal Water District.

I actually had to “void” my first ballot because I accidently voted “Yes” on Proposition 87, a measure which would place a tax on state oil producers. The election officials were very cool about my error. They merely wrote “VOID” with what appeared to be a SHARPIE pen (or maybe a small magic marker) on my original ballot and gave me a new ballot. This time I was more careful with my ballot and double checked to make sure all the inked circles corresponded with those on the Sample Ballot I had filled out at home.

The election people reported heavy turnout at my precinct in eastern West Hollywood. Not sure what to make of that. My neighborhood is very Democratic, but has a number of Russian immigrants who do sometimes vote Republican. That may not necessarily be bad for Arnold. I talked to two friends this morning, one a Democrat and the otheer a Democrat-leaning Independent. Both had voted to give our good governor a second term.

Myself, I voted a third time for Arnold Schwarzenegger, the first time being in the recall in 2003, the second in the Republican primary earlier this year. It felt good to vote for the one-time action hero who has really succeeded in turning the Golden State around.

In the end, I voted straight Republican. I have been impressed with most of the candidates for the statewide offices, but have little stomach for our party’s nominee for the United States Senate. I had briefly considered voting for Democrat Dianne Feinstein because, while she has a very liberal voting record, she is a decent person and has worked with her Republican colleagues on a number of initiatives. I quite literally pinched my nose when I voted for Dick Mountjoy, electing him over the Libertarian alternative, seeing it more as a vote against Harry Reid than anything else.

The Party Of Tolerance, Part 346

Husband of Democrat Congressional Candidate Lois Murphy (PA-6) goes all postal….. (h/t – RedState)

Now what happened to those nice, passive flower children of the ’60s?   They sure have gotten mean as they get the gray hairs…..

PoliticsPA sources say CBS-3 has film footage of Benjamin Eisner, husband of PA-6 candidate Lois Murphy, assaulting a Jim Gerlach volunteer outside of their home polling location in Lower Merion this morning. CBS-3 has not decided whether to air the footage. Eisner was upset a Gerlach for Congress sign was in a camera shot with his wife prior to voting, and grabbed the volunteer.

Maybe the hubby was just upset because his wife’s fraud was exposed yesterday?

A Villanova University law professor accused Democratic congressional candidate Lois Murphy of committing fraud on her professional resume by taking sole credit for the published works of other authors. Professor Patrick Brennan made the charges during a phone conference organized by the Jim Gerlach campaign, Lois Murphy’s opponent in Pennsylvania?s 6th Congressional District.

On her resume, available on-line at her law firm of Heckscher, Teillon, Terrill & Sager, Murphy takes credit for a law journal article she didn’t author, followed by three other publications that she either coauthored or provided consultation. Nowhere does she give credit to the other authors.

She should consider a Presidential bid for the Democrats!  (*cough* Joe Biden *cough*)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Election Day 2006 — VOTE!

No matter what you do today, make time to exercise your most important right as an American — GO VOTE. 

This is perhaps the most important election in our post-9/11 world because of the contrast between one party wanting to take the fight to the enemy versus a party who wants to wait to respond to another terrorist attack on our soil before fighting.

If you need any more reinforcement, check out this Election message from Rudy Giuliani.

In the era of President Truman and President Eisenhower, people used to say that “Partisan politics should end at the waters’ edge.” But lately some influential political voices seem to have forgotten this American tradition. The war on terror is not about “red” versus “blue” states – it is about right versus wrong; it is about good overcoming evil.

That’s why these mid-term elections are so important. That’s why we can’t turn back. That is why Republicans need to solidify our ranks while reaching out with confidence. Because the issues that unite us as Republicans are the same issues that unite the vast majority of Americans: a commitment to winning the war on terror; a core belief in fiscal conservatism; and a faith in individual freedom. Advancing these principles, while staying on offense, can help keep the GOP a strong majority party in the United States.

I’ve been doing a morning round-up of blog reading and emailing with some fellow bloggers as well and there seems to be a trend: Higher-than-expected turnout for a “mid-term” being reported by individual voters at their precincts.  That is consistent with the higher than expected “early voting” which was seen here in Charlotte, NC and in Seminole Co., FL.

We will be blogging throughout the night (probably beginning at 7pm Eastern).  I have been made available to a variety of resources and hope to bring you some information you won’t see other places this evening.

Finally, I’ve been monitoring all of the polling data for the past several months.  Just from a lay-person perspective, I think there is a major problem in polling Americans these days.  My gut tells me a lot of individual races will not come out the way the polls have been telling us. 

My instincts were reinforced this morning when I saw that Scott Elliott at Election Projection is questioning his own modeling under the theory of “junk in/junk out.”

So now it is up to y’all.  I’ll be posting throughout the day only if there is important news.

Otherwise, come back after 7pm Eastern for full blogging coverage!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Without Agenda, Dems May Not Capitalize on Dynamics of 2006

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:32 pm - November 6, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,National Politics

If the Democrats fail to capture a majority in either House of Congress tomorrow, they can attribute their failure primarily to two factors, the Republicans’ superior Get Out the Vote (GOTV) operation and their own party’s failure to articulate a compelling agenda, their own inability to make clear what they plan to do once in power. Because so far, they have yet to tell the American people what they stand for — besides opposing President Bush.

Over a year ago, I suggested that the 2006 elections could resemble those of 1998 where the GOP expected to make gains against the Democrats merely largely because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal — as well as the Six-Year Itch. My party ran against Democratic corruption, but failed to offer an alternative agenda of its own — and ended up losing seats in the House (while breaking even in the Senate). That year, without anything to vote for, many Republicans stayed home.

This year, in the waning days of the campaign, there is some sign of an absence of enthusiasm for the Democrats. A recent rally for the Democratic gubernatorial and Senatorial candidates in Michigan featuring former President Bill Clinton “drew at most 500 people, the fewest at any Clinton campaign event in any state this year.

The clear sign of hope for the GOP this year is that, perhaps because of the Democrats’ absence of agenda, there appears to be, as Bruce noted earlier today, a last-minute surge to the GOP. (And since Bruce posted his piece, another poll confirmed this surge, this one by “the Democracy Corps. . ., a Democratic outfit, finds the Dems with only a four-point edge on the generic preference ballot, 49%-45%, with the Republicans closing fast.“)

This surge seems to reflect a pattern reminiscent of the election of 1992 — in Great Britain — where, as I noted in June, “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.

Noting a similar trend, blogger Robert Musil thinks “there is a very good chance that undecided voters will break disproportionately towards the GOP in this race – especially in Congressional races.” While he acknowledges that the Iraq war helps the Democrats, he observes that the information on that issue “is all out, and has been force-fed for weeks to virtually every voter. Anyone who is going to make a decision to vote one way or the other on the basis of that issue has almost certainly done so already.

The rest of the “major issues,” he claims “favor the GOP: nearly historic low unemployment, historic stock market highs, stabilized low interest rates, historic high home ownership rates, declining gas prices.” (Now that I’ve whet your appetite, read the whole thing as well as his cautionary followup post. H/t Mickey Kaus.)

(more…)

GOP Has The “Big Mo”

Four separate polls over the weekend are showing a dramatic shift toward the Republicans on the eve of the mid-term elections.  RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman summarizes this momentum nicely.

TO:       REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP AND INTERESTED PARTIES

FROM:  KEN MEHLMAN

DATE:   NOVEMBER 6, 2006

RE:       ANOTHER POLL CONFIRMS GOP MOMENTUM

The momentum continues with a fourth poll in recent days showing Republicans gaining ground on Democrats in the closing days of the election.  James Carville and Stan Greenberg’s Democracy Corps poll (November 2-5) confirms the findings of three other polls released in the last two days that show Republicans gaining ground in their competitive district survey. 

GENERIC BALLOT.  Republicans have cut the margin from down 11 (41-52) last week to down only four (45-49) this morning. 

PARTY IMAGE.  Democracy Corps shows that Republicans have a better image rating than Democrats for the first time since early September.  From their last poll, Republicans’ favorable/unfavorable ratio had improved a net-5 points while Democrats dropped a net-4 points. 

HANDLING OF ISSUES.  A big reason for Republican gains is that trust on key issues has increased over the past few weeks.  Built on recent good economic news, Republicans handling on the economy has improved a net-9 points from a week ago.  Republicans have also seen significant gains on handling of taxes (+7), Iraq (+7) and national security (+4). 

GOP CAMPAIGNS MAKING IMPACT.  Another significant reason for Republican gains can be found in the GOP’s 72-hour get out the vote program which is now in full swing.  This poll showed that Republicans have made a greater impact than Democrats with TV ads (+6), mailings (+6), and phone calls (+6).   

OTHER INDICATORS IMPROVE. 

·         Direction of the nation, otherwise known as “right track / wrong track”, improved a net-6 points from their previous poll. 

·         The President’s job approval has increased a net-5 points and Congressional Job Approval increased a net-12 points from their October 25-29 survey.

Reporting from the Charlotte area, I can tell you that the news “on the ground” has been very good for the GOP this week.  A Mecklenburg County GOP volunteer told the PatriotMom last week that early voting has been above 2004 levels and “it is all Republican voters.”

The Charlotte Observer noted this trend in a weekend story as well.

More Republicans than Democrats have voted early in Mecklenburg County, a potentially crucial indicator for Tuesday’s election.

Election Day is still three days away, but more than 18,000 people have already voted.

In the past two major elections in Mecklenburg, the party that dominated early voting controlled the board of county commissioners and chalked up victories in other major races.

Through Wednesday, registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats, 43.2 percent to 39.1 percent, according to an Observer analysis of in-person early voting.  The strong Republican turnout bucks national predictions of Democratic success, and could leave power over property taxes, parks and school construction in Republican hands.

The numbers also mark a huge reversal from 2004, when an early-voting surge helped Democrats sweep all three at-large county commissioner seats and deliver Mecklenburg to presidential candidate John Kerry.

Is the Democrat “wave” going the other direction now that the voters are actually deciding?

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring….no one does for sure.  But I will be very glad to see that if the actual voting results do not mesh with the Big Media’s Mid-Term Storyline…. that the MSM, Zogby and all of the other talking heads will have egg on their face and James Carville will put another trash can on his head.

**UPDATE** — DSCC head US Sen. Chuck Schumer has now written off the Dems capturing the Senate (hat tip: PatriotPartner)

[Related Story:  Charging Rhino has some personal picks from NJ.]

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Support Peter Hankwitz, Openly Gay Republican in California’s 27th Congressional District

In a surprisingly even-handed article for the LA Times, the local daily to which I no longer subscribe, reporter Amanda Covarrubias profiles Peter Hankwitz, an openly gay Republican running for Congress in California’s San Fernando Valley. (H/t: OpinionJournal’s Political Diary (available by subscription).) Alas that I cannot vote for this good man — and that he has little chance of winning in his gerrymandered district.

Hankwitz, like me wants to return the “the GOP to a Barry Goldwater conservatism that emphasizes fiscal over social policy,” contending, “the federal government has no business being involved in social issues.”

A television producer, Hankwitz has observed something that I have also noted:

It’s so much easier to be openly gay in the Republican Party than to be a Republican in Hollywood.

While he has only received a few pieces of hate mail, it seems the missives he receives are similar in tone to those that Bruce and I have received (and similar in tone to some of our comments):

The only ones who bring it [his sexuality] up are gay Democrats who have a problem with the fact that I’m a Republican,” he said, adding that those writers have accused him of being the equivalent of a black KKK member or a Jewish Nazi.

Seems I’ve heard such slurs before — on more than one occasion.

Anyway, this will be one of the few times when I recommend you read an LA Times article and encourage you to vote for Peter Hankwitz if you live in California’s Twenty-Seventh Congressional District.

Liddy Finds Her Fire

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:41 pm - November 6, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,National Politics
YouTube Preview Image

Maybe Bruce’s Senior Senator reads our blog. On Friday, I faulted Elizabeth Dole for not showing adequate “fire in the belly” in her face-off against Charles Schumer on Fox News Sunday. Well, yesterday, on Meet the Press, she seems to have found the energy she lacked in that encounter.

As she tried to explain her point that “The Democrats appear to be content with losing” (In Iraq), Rahm Emmanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, demanded she “take back” her comment. But, Mrs. Dole stood her ground and tried to explain herself as both Emmanuel and Tim Russert, the show’s moderator, kept interrupting her.

Good job, Senator.

GP Update:  I loaded the YouTube video above, but wanted to acknowledge Dan’s original hat tips to Ann Althouse and Instapundit for this item.