November 09, 2006
1) The voters have spoken. Republicans in Congress lost something in the last couple of years - leadership. They've shown very little of it and they became more concerned with trying to protect their own butts than accomplishing the kinds of things that would give voters a reason to keep them around. So...
2) A lot of people - independents in particular - decided they were sick of hearing Democrats say that they could do a better job and gave them the opportunity to prove it. They weren't motivated by a sudden enthusiasm for a Liberal (or Progressive or whatever euphemism you want to use) agenda. They elected moderate Democrats to replace moderate Republicans - plain and simple. If the desires of the electorate were truly aligned with the Angry Left, then Ned Lamont, Lincoln Chafee and several others would be serving in the 110th Congress.
3) This is essentially a test for the Democrats. With control of the House and the Senate, they have no excuses. The time for rhetoric is over. Many of those seats could go right back to the Republicans in two years if they're not careful. They didn't put Democrats in power so they would appease the moonbats by extracting payback or making the President's last two year in office a living hell. Of course, if the Dems really believe otherwise, I encourage them to follow that strategy. The American voter is fed up with partisan bickering. And they don't care who "started it". They don't care about Karl Rove, Al Gore's litigation-fest in 2000 or the bile between the parties that led to the Clinton impeachment. They're beyond that stuff. And, frankly, they have little patience for it.
4) The Republicans have some soul-searching to do. They need to agree on what they are willing to fight for and how to be unified again. But the Democrats have their own challenge. The war between the moderates and the Left that has been held back by a tentative truce in an effort to win will come to the surface as they fight over how they intend to keep the power that they've won.
Conclusion: The responsibility for the next two years rests on the Democrats' shoulders, especially considering that the President is wrapping up the final two years of his second term. Now that the Virginia Senate race is called this can be truly called the "Democrat Congress". They can either get credit or blame. It's their choice.
One side note: Since George Allen showed he was unable to run a decent Senate re-election campaign, it's safe to say that very few Republicans will be taking any Presidential campaign he may attempt seriously. A while back I picked him as my early favorite for the nomination in 2008. At the time, it made sense. Now it makes none. So I'll be paying closer attention to that race starting immediately.
I received this comment on an earlier thread from "Joe Liarman":
"No, there is a vulnerable Chris Shays in 2008
Ned will be back.
Ned standing up to Joe and Bush opened the floodgates for a national Dem victory.
To that, we thank him"
So Ned Lamont was the catalyst for this control change? By that logic, had Ned Lamont not entered politics and had Joe Lieberman been re-elected as a Democrat, the results of Tuesday wouldn't have happened and the Dems would still be in the minority. Sorry, Joe but you're not taking into consideration normal political cycles. Though that you would rationalize Lamont's loss as some sort of moral victory makes sense. It's what you guys are used to doing after an election.
The reference to Chris Shays is amusing, however. I'm wondering when it's finally going to sink in with these people that they're not the "party of change" anymore. Their whole campaign was "we have to get the Republicans out of power". OK, so that's done. Now what? They can't run on that two years from now.
In 2008, their task will be to defend the status quo. In order to do that, they'll have to actually accomplish something, promote it and use it as a rationale for not allowing the Republicans back in.
I know the concept is a little foreign to these folks but the campaign's over. Now they have to actually do something. Otherwise it's the GOP that'll be campaigning on change in 2008. Hello?
November 08, 2006
However, I'm happy to say my number one priority - the re-election of Joe Lieberman and the subsequent rejection of the Kos-backed empty suit known as "the Freshmaker" by 50% of Connecticut's voters - has been accomplished. Congrats Joe.
Sorry, Ned. Hey there's always Dodd in 2010.
The Moose rubs it in on Lamont, but makes an important point:
A powerful message has been sent to the '08 wannabees who sent Negative Ned their money and support - you can pander to the nutroots to win primaries, but you must reach out to the vital center to win a general election (even in a deep blue state). More persuasion and less comment threads, please.
Interesting development, Rumsfeld is set to resign.
I suspect that if Bush appointed Lieberman as his replacement (in the spirit of bipartisanship, of course) then Gov. Rell would appoint Nancy Johnson to fill his term - giving her a job and keeping the Senate in GOP hands.
That would make me laugh out loud.
November 07, 2006
At no point in this election season did I ever - EVER - consider not voting. It's almost like I've been in line to vote for the last year. And I finally did so at around 8:15 this morning. Turnout at my polling place was a lot higher than I expected.
But brace yourself for Republican-turnout dampening doom and gloom. Yes, the networks say they're not "officially" releasing exit polls but as soon as they become available to the MSM, they'll leak faster than a Depends adult diaper on "Nickel Beer Thursday" at a college bar.
No matter what you hear, don't believe them. You remember how F'd up the exit polls were two years ago don't you? And exit polls aren't quickie "who did you vote for" polls, they're extended interviews with lots of demographic and issues questions. I don't have time for that. I'm not a college student with nothing better to do or a union member who has the day off. I have to cast my vote and get my butt to work. If the exit pollers asked me to talk to them this morning I would have had to respectfully decline because I was already running late. Also, it's important to note that in most races there is a higher than normal rate of absentee balloting and early voting among Republicans, which means they will be fewer than normal at the actual polling places today.
I'm not making predictions because I have nothing on which to base them other than what my gut tells me. Any pollster that picks the results accurately by the end of the day will be the luckiest sumbitch in the political world. Because he doesn't know either. I've always believed that, when all is said and done, the GOP holds both chambers of Congress. I still believe that.
Here's what I do know. These races are a lot closer than the "Blue wave" hype would have had you expect. Races that are dead even or where Republicans are trailing a few points give the GOP a distinct advantage because of their excellent GOTV operation. I think we're in for a few surprises today. It looks like the NY Times is even hedging its bets.
The only prediction I will make is that there will likely be at least a handful of House races that are so close that the lawyers will be out in full force Wednesday morning. It's quite possible (maybe probable) that we won't have solid results by the end of the evening, or even tomorrow.
Regardless of what happens I won't be posting for at least another twenty-four hours. So let the shit fall where it may.
November 06, 2006
Well, you have all the information you need about this election. And you're powerless to affect the outcome on grand scale. But you do have control of one thing: your vote.
If you choose not to cast your ballot or if you decide to vote for someone you wouldn't otherwise vote for simply to "send a message" to people you're unhappy with you may look back on this time with the realization of what a mistake that was.
You might look back from a recession because Democrats raised taxes and threw the brakes on this strong economy.
You might look back from a ridiculous Constitution-gutting Supreme Court ruling based on a 5-4 decision because Stevens or Ginsburg retired and the President couldn't get a decent nomination out of the Judiciary Committee.
Or you might look back from a devastating terrorist attack because Democrats took away important tools from our military and intelligence services that would have stopped it.
Will you look back from any of these scenarios and realize that you did nothing to stop this? Maybe Republicans will lose control of one or even both Houses of Congress anyway. But do you want to look back with the regret that you helped that happen?
I don't. And I won't.
This election will be fought in every State and every district and it will come down to turnout. And that turnout starts with you and me.
What do you say, Bluto?
Hat Tip to The Colossus for the clip.
November 05, 2006
What a load.
h/t: JPod at The Corner
Generics are all moving toward the GOP. Gallup's will be released tonight.
Gallup's generic closes from 13 points to 7 - same trend.
Dean Barnett is absolutely "bursting" in anticipation of Tuesday (to use his word). He's looking at the polls and here's his take:
What is even more of a mystery is why they all erred in the same direction, dramatically favoring the Democrat. IÂ’ve offered theories in the past why this is so, and IÂ’ll briefly summarize them for those with better things to do this fine Saturday than thumb through my archives: Liberals are bigmouths who canÂ’t wait to share their opinions with strangers. Conservatives have lives.Hey, if the end result is exactly mid-way between this prediction and the doom-and-gloom scenario that the MSM is pushing, I'll be "bursting" come Wednesday morning.
To take a more serious look at the matter, what the polls measure right now are people passionate or bored enough to spend a half hour talking to a stranger or, worse still, punching buttons on their telephone when prompted to by a recording. Democrats are more likely to tolerate this exercise, just as they were more likely to tolerate the inquisition of an eager grad student as they left the polls on Election Day Â’04.
The pollsters have also yet to devise a way of predicting whoÂ’s actually going to show up on Election Day. One poll I read talked to some 1200 registered voters and deemed 1000 of them Â“likely voters.Â” Since even a presidential year generates only 60% turnout max, the pollsterÂ’s conclusion that over 80% of the people he spoke with are Â“likely votersÂ” is the professional equivalent of him throwing his hands in the air and saying, Â“How the hell should I know whoÂ’s actually going to vote?Â”
Of course, the pollsters canÂ’t say that because if they confess weaknesses in their methods, theyÂ’re less likely to have customers queued up to purchase their services. So instead they must perform a charade in which they profess omniscience.
SO WHAT ARE THE POLLSTERS MISSING? Well, first theyÂ’re missing the fact that a disproportionate amount of Republicans are likely to tell them to take a hike. Next, theyÂ’re overestimating the enthusiasm on the left. For all the cacophonous din that emanates from the left, itÂ’s critical to note that even their greatest hero, Ned Lamont, underperformed the polls on primary day. By several points.
Lastly, and most importantly, theyÂ’re missing a historic Republican Get Out The Vote (GOTV) effort. Republicans are going to turn out like itÂ’s a presidential year. Independents and Democrats will turn out like itÂ’s an important midterm. The Republican turnout will be worth between a few and several points in every race where thereÂ’s an effective Republican machine. And that includes every battleground state.
Lest you think IÂ’m whistling Dixie, weÂ’re already seeing the results of the Republican efforts. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that early voting and absentee ballot results suggest Republicans are indeed voting in greater numbers than in 2004. (Sorry, no link, but you can trust me, right?)
None of the foregoing means the polls are worthless. It just means that to get an accurate gauge on things, you have to add a significant layer of Republican support to the reported numbers.
So whatÂ’s it all mean? In the tied races, the Republican will win. In the close races, the Republican will win. It adds up to Republicans running the table in the Senate. ThatÂ’s right Â– running the table. Montana, Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee, New Jersey, Rhode Island (whoopee), and Maryland will all send or re-send Republicans to the Senate. But wait, thereÂ’s more! Michigan will send Sheriff Michael Bouchard to the Senate. And in Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum is in striking distance.
In the House, the same holds true. Republican Joe Negron will take FoleyÂ’s seat. New MexicoÂ’s Heather Wilson will return to Congress. So, too, will ConnecticutÂ’s Chris Shays. WeÂ’ll lose a handful of seats for the individual failures of certain Congressmen (hello, Curt Weldon), but we will retain control of the House.
Okay, IÂ’m officially out on the limb. But IÂ’m comfortable here. The paradigm has shifted. People like Stu Rothenberg are like old generals re-fighting the last war; theyÂ’re re-analyzing the last election without realizing that certain key facts on the ground have changed.
And you know those "generic ballot" polls? Jim Geraghty points this out:
Yes, on November 6, 1994, among registered voters, ABC News/Washington Post had the Democrats ahead on the generic ballot, 47 percent to 42. So we know just how valuable an indicator it is.The year the GOP swept both houses of Congress, the WaPo had the Dems leading by five points? What a bunch of crap. Remember, the generic ballot poll always favors Dems.
Even MSNBC is conceding the Senate to the GOP. If their willing to admit that, are they laying the ground work for a major backtrack from this "Democrat wave" prediction? Hmmmm.
November 04, 2006
OK, I've been Robo-called to death over the last couple of weeks, from both sides and from just about every special interest group out there. The wife is officially unaffiliated (though her votes mirror mine) so her name probably attracts the Dem-supporting groups. I got a message the other day on my answering machine from old Jack "Okinawa" Murtha.
Anyways, yesterday I went out to the mailbox and what did I see?
From "The Committee To Elect Chris Murphy" (D): a flyer with photos featuring Bush, Cheney, Mark Foley and Tom DeLay "change the people we send [to Washington]". Theme: vote for change
From "Republicans Who Care Individual Fund": "Thanks Congresswoman Johnson!" highlighting her vote for expanded stem cell research. Theme: "A brighter future for CT families". OK, personally, I'm against Federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research but this is CT, after all. So I have to give her a pass on this one.
From "Americans For Job Security": Basically, if elected, Chris Murphy will vote to tax the living shit out of you. Vote for Nancy Johnson. Features photo of Murphy standing beside San Fran Nan. Incidentally, I got two copies of this flyer though they were probably stuck together in the mailing process.
From "Friends Of Joe Lieberman" (I): Basically positive Pro-Joe flyer - "Always Standing Up For What's Right". With a big smack-you-the-face graphic pointing out that Lieberman is on the bottom line of the ballot. I swear to God I've gotten so many of these notices that if there's a single voter in the state of CT who doesn't know where to find Joe when they go into that voting booth they must be brain dead (or from Palm Beach County, FL)
There you have it. And I haven't even checked my mailbox this afternoon yet. I'll be so glad when this is over. I'm getting more mailers than catalogs these days.
(Actually this one was for yesterday but I just found it stuck in a catalog)
From "Connecticut Republican State Central Committee": "Do yo uwant the world to be a safer place?" - Basically, Dems are against everything that keeps us safe from terrorist attacks. Which is a fact. Theme: Vote Republican, your life depend on it.
From "Connecticut Republican State Central Committee": "For a stronger Connecticut" - showcases the slate of Republicans on the ballot: Gov. Rell, Nancy Johnson...and oh by the way there's this guy named Schlesinger who's...ahem...running for U.S. Senate (snicker).
From "Jodi Rell 06" (R): "I'd be honored to have your support". Very generic. Rell honestly doesn't even need to send mailers (although this is the first one I've gotten). She's so ahead in the polls her election is a foregone conclusion. But she's obviously not taking any chances.
Oh, and I also got three more Robo-calls today. One was from John McCain for Nancy Johnson (my second in the last three days).
November 03, 2006
Now Steele, who has come from behind in the polls, is tied with Cardin and picking up steam.
African-American voters in Maryland seem to be getting fed up with Democrats taking them for granted and are giving Steele a closer look. As enthusiasm for his candidacy builds, this Blue-as-can-be State may just have a Republican Senator after next week.
Check out Michelle Malkin's interview with Michael Steele here. Stay tuned.
November 02, 2006
Back when Bubba was squaring off against Bush 41 and the little martian, they released an allegation that Bush 41 knew more than he testified to over Iran-Contra. While Clinton may have won anyway, polls were tightening heading into the final weekend. If I recall correctly, the info was released the Thursday before the election.
Back in 2000, George W. Bush had a growing lead heading into the final week. The Thursday before the election, out pops the 25-year old DWI story. Incidentally, the guy up in Maine who was behind that little maneuver was recently arrested for dressing up like Osama Bin Laden and holding what turned out to be a toy gun on a streetcorner.
Why Thursday? Because that's the ideal time to dominate the media with a breaking story that will carry all the way through the weekend news cycle. It's just an MO that I've come to expect over the years. I'm sure the Foley situation was originally supposed to drop around now, but the Dems were worried so they let 'er rip earlier than they had planned.
In any event, if there's something else that they're hiding up their sleeve than the time to expect it would be between noon today and late afternoon Friday.
There very well may be nothing, but my advice would be to keep hitting "refresh" on Drudge until the weekend.
November 01, 2006
Democratic strategists and consultants, some of them sympathetic to the campaign, are already talking about it in the past tense.Yeah, that's quite the analysis from the "loss leader" himself. Shrum has the distinction of managing eight losing Democrat Presidential candidates. It would seem that it's all over but the finger pointing.
Â“I think it was possible for Lamont to pull it off,Â” said Bob Shrum, a veteran political analyst. Â“There were moments right after the primary where it was basically a tied race.Â”
The apparent end of the much-ballyhooed Lamont phenomenon is causing a great deal of soul-searching and recrimination in all corners of the Democratic Party. The bloggers that once championed Mr. Lamont as an awkward but earnest savior now alternately blame WashingtonÂ’s strategists for hijacking their candidate and Democratic leaders for abandoning him. Beltway consultants fault the Lamont campaign for failing to move the candidate beyond his left-wing celebrity and define him for a greater electorate.There's plenty of blame to go around. But if those that make up the nutroots are honest with themselves they'll consider the possibility that Bush-hatred is not enough to win support outside of their fringe movement and win in a general election. Though the chances of that are slim. The biggest target of blame seems to be aimed at Howard Wolfson, the consultant to Hillary that Her Shrillness lent to Lamont's campaign.
Still, bloggers held Mr. Wolfson responsible for the campaignÂ’s derailment. This month, the left-wing Huffington Post compiled its readersÂ’ grievances about the fizzling campaign into a premature concession speech for Mr. Lamont.Bill Clinton is a liar? You're just catching on to that one, huh?
Â“I turned my campaign over to hired guns who think that running to the middle is a winning strategyÂ—even though itÂ’s proven to be a loser time and time and time again,Â” the post read.
In a recent post for his popular left-wing political blog MyDD, Matt Stoller called Democratic leaders Â“moral lepersÂ” for abandoning Mr. Lamont.
Â“What I have seen in this race is a complete abrogation of responsibility on the part of everybody except the netroots and Ned Lamont,Â” Mr. Stoller said in a telephone interview. Â“Trusting these people is a huge tactical error. Never trust anything that these insider Democrats tell you,Â” he said, adding, for good measure, Â“Bill Clinton is a liar.Â”
But the significant line out of that quote goes to the heart of their problem: "running to the middle" as a strategy is "proven to be a loser time and time and time again".
Actually what's proving to be a loser time and time and time again is Left-wing radicalism. That giant sucking sound you hear is the air blowing out of the balloons at Lamont For Senate headquarters.
Â“IÂ’ve become a little anxious about the quiet that seems to have set in,Â” added Catherine DeNunzio, an elegant 83-year-old woman wearing a blue sweater and matching eye shadow. She also complained about the enthusiasm leaking from Mr. LamontÂ’s campaign and wasnÂ’t optimistic about his prospects. Â“But we might have shaken things up anyway.Â”Shaken up? Hardly. If an Independent Joe Lieberman is returned to the Senate by a significant margin in a state as Blue as CT, what does that say about the significance of the nutroots?
Oh, and did I mention the Quinnipiac poll released today that has Lieberman up 12?
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