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BLOG ARCHIVE: JUNE 16-30, 2008.

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

OBAMA PLANS TRIP ABROAD; LATEST POLLS; GOP LEADER BLEAK ON SENATE RACES; R.I. FILING CLOSES.

P2008. Barack Obama announced he will travel to Iraq, Israel, Jordan, and Europe this summer to meet with various heads of state. Meanwhile, here are the latest independent polls from swing states:
ARIZONA (Rasmussen): McCain - 49%, Obama - 40%.
NEW JERSEY (Fairleigh Dickinson Univ): Obama - 49%, McCain - 33%.
OHIO (SurveyUSA): Obama - 48%, McCain - 46.
TEXAS (Rasmussen): McCain - 48%, Obama - 39%.
VIRGINIA (SurveyUSA): Obama - 49%, McCain - 47%.

US SENATE. "We are not going to be back in the majority in the Senate next year. The numbers make that impossible ... I'm optimistic we can stay roughly where we are," said US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Sunday to CNN. McConnell is one of the GOP incumbents the Dems are targeting for defeat this year.

GEORGIA. US Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) holds comfortable leads over all of his Democatic challengers, according to a new Rasmussen poll. Depending on the challenger, Chambliss leads by margins ranging from 13-27 points. In all matchups, Chambliss hovers a few points above the 50% mark. The closest contest: Chambliss - 52%, former State Representative Jim Martin - 39%.

RHODE ISLAND. Filing closed in Rhode Island last week, leaving all three federal incumbents safe. US Senator Jack Reed (D) faces two gadfly primary opponents in September, then is expected to roll to a landslide victory in November over casino worker Bob Tingle (R). Congressmen Patrick Kennedy (D) and Jim Langevin (D) both drew minor general election challengers.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.30.08 | Permalink |

WEEKEND OPEN THREAD.

FREE SPEECH ZONE. Have at it.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.28.08 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

LOTS OF NEW PREZ SWING STATE & US SENATE POLLS.

P2008. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton hold their first unity event on Friday in -- fittingly -- Unity, New Hampshire. Also, conservative columnist Robert Novak reports that former Secretary of State Colin Powell is poised to break with GOP and endorse Obama for President some time this summer. Meanwhile, here are the latest independent polls from swing states:
COLORADO (Quinnipiac University): Obama - 49%, McCain - 44%.
MICHIGAN (Quinnipiac University): Obama - 48%, McCain - 42%.
MINNESOTA (Quinnipiac University): Obama - 54%, McCain - 37%.
MISSISSIPPI (Rasmussen): McCain - 50%, Obama - 44%.
TENNESSEE (Rasmussen): McCain - 51%, Obama - 36%.
TEXAS (Texas Lyceum): McCain - 43%, Obama - 38%.
WISCONSIN (Quinnipiac University): Obama - 52%, McCain - 39%.

US SENATE. Some new polls ...
COLORADO (Quinnipiac University): Congressman Mark Udall (D) - 48%, former Congressman Bob Schaffer (R) - 38%.
MINNESOTA (Quinnipiac University): US Senator Norm Coleman (R) - 51%, humorist Al Franken (D) - 41%.
MISSISSIPPI - REGULAR ELECTION (Rasmussen): US Senator Thad Cochran (R) - 59%, State Rep. Erik Fleming (D) - 32%.
MISSISSIPPI - SPECIAL ELECTION (Rasmussen): US Senator Roger Wicker (R) - 48%, former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) - 47%.
NEW JERSEY (Fairleigh Dickinson University): US Senator Frank Lautenberg (D) - 48%, former Congressman Dick Zimmer (R) - 28%.
TEXAS (Texas Lyceum): US Senator John Cornyn (R) - 38%, State Representative Rick Noriega (D) - 36%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.27.08 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

SWING STATE POLLS; JOHANNS WIDENS LEAD; CHAFFETZ OUSTS REP CANNON ... AND AN EDITORIAL AGAINST HOYER'S FISA COMPROMISE.

P2008. No surprise, but the AFL-CIO is finally set to endorsed Barack Obama on Thursday. Meanwhile, here are the latest independent polls from swing states:
ARIZONA (Arizona State Univ.): McCain - 38%, Obama - 28%.
CALIFORNIA (Rasmussen): Obama - 58%, McCain - 30%.
MISSOURI (SurveyUSA): McCain - 50%, Obama - 43%.
NEW MEXICO (SurveyUSA): Obama - 49%, McCain - 46%.

NEBRASKA. According to a new Rasmussem survey, former Governor Mike Johanns (R) now leads rancher Scott Kleeb (D) by a wide margin of 60% to 33% in the open US Senate race. Johanns has widened his lead by 12-points since last month's poll.

UTAH. Jason Chaffetz (R) -- former Chief of Staff to Governor Jon Huntsman (R) -- scored a landslide primary victory Tuesday over Congressman Chris Cannon (R). Until election day, polls showed the two men locked in a close race. Chaffetz successfully attacked Cannon as a supporter of asylum for illegal immigrants. Most impressively, Chaffetz spent under $100,000 on his race and had no paid campaign staffers. The final vote: Chaffetz - 60%, Cannon - 40%. Chaffetz is a safe bet to win this CD-3 seat in November. Cannon is the third US House member this year to lose a primay for renomination. In other Utah news, a new Rasmussen reports poll shows Governor Huntsman leading businessman Bob Springmeyer (D) by a 66% to 19% vote.

EDITORIAL. Senator Obama, please demonstrate your support for protecting our civil liberties by supporting Senators Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold planned filibuster against the so-called FISA "compromise" (or sell-out, depending upon your perspective). Do not grant immunity to the telecoms who helped the Bush Administration unlawfully spy on millions of law-abiding Americans by allowing federal agents to secretly listen to phone calls without obtaining any warrants. And -- one other aside -- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) was the key player who helped broker this sell-out deal with the Republicans, thus proving he is not fit to ever be Speaker. Anyone who is willing to so readily cast aside our constitutional protections simply to broker a politics-as-usual deal doesn't have the values we need in the Speaker's chair.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.26.08 | Permalink |

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

OBAMA OPENS WIDE NATIONAL LEAD; PELOSI'S VEEP PICK; INDIANA GUV POLL.

P2008. The new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg national poll shows Barack Obama leading John McCain by a lopsided vote of 48% to 33%, with 7% split between Bob Barr (Libertarian) and Ralph Nader (Independent). In a two-way race, the poll shows Obama leading McCain by a 12-point margin. These numbers seemingly confirm the Newsweek poll of a few days ago, which was initially seen as a possible outlier.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Tuesday that Barack Obama's VP consideration list should include at least one US House member. Speaking to Newsweek, Pelosi said Congressman "Chet Edwards (D-TX) is a person many of us think would be a good person to have in the [VP] mix." Edwards told The Hill he was "humbled" by Pelosi's suggestion, but hadn't yet spoken to anyone in the Obama campaign about the idea. He added that anyone would "consider it an honor to serve our country as Vice President."

Here are the latest independent polls from swing states:
INDIANA (SurveyUSA): McCain - 48%, Obama - 47%.
MICHIGAN (PPP-D): Obama - 48%, McCain - 39%.

INDIANA. A new SurveyUSA poll shows Governor Mitch Daniels (R) leading former Congresswoman Jill Long Thompson (D) by a vote of 50% to 45%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.25.08 | Permalink |

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

McCAIN DENOUNCES OWN STRATEGISTS REMARKS; REP CANNON FACES UTAH PRIMARY; GOV OTTER THREATENS IDAHO CONGRESSMAN; NEW HILL-SODREL REMATCH POLL.

P2008. John McCain quickly distanced himself on Monday from remarks by his senior strategist Charlie Black. In an interview with Fortune magazine, Black said a new terrorist attack on the United States "certainly would be a big advantage" for McCain's campaign. Black also said the December assassination in Pakistan on Benazir Bhutto "helped us." Replied McCain: "If he said that -- and I don't know the context -- I strenuously disagree." Within hours, Black issued an apology: "I deeply regret the comments. They were inappropriate." In other news, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will hold their first joint unity appearance in -- of all places -- Unity, New Hampshire, a town in which they evenly split the vote in the primary. Also, here are the latest independent polls from swing states:
NEW MEXICO (Rasmussen): Obama - 47%, McCain - 39%.
OREGON (SurveyUSA): Obama - 48%, McCain - 45%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Rasmussen): Obama - 46%, McCain - 42%.

UTAH. Tuesday is primary day in Utah, but the only primary of note is the GOP race in CD-3. Congressman Chris Cannon (R) -- a perennial primary target -- yet again faces another stiff contest. Cannon is being challenged by former gubernatorial chief of staff and marketing executive Jason Chaffetz, who was also a BYU college football player. A Deseret News poll this week shows Cannon narrowly leading by a vote of 44% to 40%. Chaffetz attacks Cannon as insufficiently liberal, while Cannon responds that he is a reliable conservative vote in Congress. The winner of the GOP primary is a safe bet to win in November.

IDAHO. Governor Butch Otter (R) is hinting he may work behind the scenes to defeat bombastic freshman Congressman Bill Sali (R) in November. Otter is upset that Sali backed a candidate against Otter's preferred choice for State Republican Chair. Otter's candidate lost, setting off a new round of open warfare between the two men who have never been close. When the Idaho Statesman asked Otter -- who formerly held the CD-1 seat -- if he was planning to get even with Sali, Otter responded by email: "Wait and see." Sali is facing an aggressive challenge from wealthy businessman Walt Minnick (D).

INDIANA. A new SurveyUSA poll shows Congressman Baron Hill (D) looking well positioned to win re-election in CD-9. The numbers: Hill - 51%, former Congressman Mike Sodrel (R) - 40%, college professor Eric Schansberg (Libertarian) - 4%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.24.08 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

SWING STATE POLLS; LIBERTARIAN PARTY RIFTS; NRCC LOSES CANDIDATES IN INDIANA & NY.

P2008. During May, both Barack Obama and John McCain each raised $22 million apiece. Also, we have a batch of new independent polls released over the past few days from some swing states:
CALIFORNIA (SurveyUSA): Obama - 53%, McCain - 41%.
FLORIDA (Rasmussen): McCain - 47%, Obama - 39%.
FLORIDA (Quinnipiac Univ.): Obama - 47%, McCain - 43%.
GEORGIA (Insider Advantage): McCain - 44%, Obama - 43%, Bob Barr (Libertarian) - 6%.
NEVADA (Rasmussen): McCain - 45%, Obama - 42%.
NEW HAMPSHIRE (Rasmussen): Obama - 50%, McCain - 39%.
OHIO (Quinnipiac Univ.): Obama - 48%, McCain - 42%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Quinnipiac Univ.): Obama - 52%, McCain - 40%.
WASHINGTON (SurveyUSA): Obama - 55%, McCain - 40%.

LIBERTARIAN PARTY. The schism caused the ongoing moderate-versus-hardcore libertarian wings continues, and now is manifesting itself related to the LP's Presidential nomination of former GOP Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia. In New Hampshire, the NHLP is placing college professor George Phillies onto the ballot as the Libertarian candidate for President. Phillies, a leader of the LP "reform" movement of moderates, lost to Barr for the LP nomination. Meanwhile, the Boston Tea Party -- which was created two years ago following a bitter rift at the 2006 LP national convention when the party's platform and statement of principles was modified -- has nominated a rival ticket. The BTP nominated Charles Jay for President and Tom Knapp for VP. Jay, a pro boxing publicist, was the Personal Choice Party nominee for President in 2004. Knapp is a frequent LP nominee for office in Missouri. The BTP ticket hopes to qualify for the ballot in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Tennessee and Utah.

INDIANA. State Representative Jon Elrod (R) has ended his challenge to freshman Congressman Andre Carson (D), who won the special election earlier this year. Elrod called his run for the CD-7 seat a "longshot race" -- according to the Indiana Star -- as said he intends to instead jump back into the race for his State House seat. The party may now select a replacement for Elrod in the Congressional race, but Carson now must move into the safe category. "I take no pleasure in walking away from a fight, but two elections have passed, and the voters have chosen a victor," said Elrod, referring to the special election and Carson's subsequent primary win last month.

NEW YORK. More sad and politically frustrating news for the NRCC. Wealthy retired Wall Street executive Frank Powers, 67 -- the Republican Party's officially endorsed candidate for the seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Vito Fossella (R) -- died in his sleep on Sunday. Powers had been unanimously endorsed by the Staten Island Republican Party just a month ago after he promised to largely self-finance his own campaign. With Powers gone, the NRCC appears much less likely to field a first-tier for the seat. New York City Councilman Mike McMahon is the likely Democratic nominee for the open CD-13 swing seat.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.23.08 | Permalink |

THURSDAY/FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

COMPUTER UPDATE TIME.

Ron is busy switching over everything from this old laptop to his new laptop ... which takes lots of time ... so the next update will be on Monday. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.19.08 | Permalink |

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

McCAIN WANTS MORE OFF-SHORE DRILLING; SWING STATE POLLS; LOTS OF US SENATE POLLS; AND THE PROHIBITION NOMINEE EXPLAINS HOMOSEXUALITY CAUSES, WOMEN'S RIGHTS.

P2008. John McCain is taking a very risky stance calling for expanded off-shore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and off the California coast -- as even Republicans in both those states almost universally oppose drilling. In Florida, for example, Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist, and the GOP Congressional members all strongly oppose any offshore drilling along Florida's Gulf coast. Supporting off-shore drilling in Florida is seen as an political topic so toxic that Sunshine State candidates are afraid to even discuss the possibility. GOP activists in Florida are already worried McCain's new position could cause problem in Florida, which McCain needs to carry if he is to have any chance at scoring an electoral victory. Also, Several new independent polls today from some swing states:
KENTUCKY (SurveyUSA): McCain - 53%, Obama - 41%.
MINNESOTA (SurveyUSA): Obama - 47%, McCain - 46%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Civitas/TelOpinion-R): McCain - 45%, Obama - 41%.
OHIO (Public Policy Polling): Obama - 50%, McCain - 39%.
VIRGINIA (Rasmussen): Obama - 45%, McCain - 44%.

US SENATE. Here are a several new US Senate polls:
ALASKA (Rasmussen): US Senator Ted Stevens (R) - 46%, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) - 44%.
IOWA (Rasmussen): US Senator Tom Harkin (D) - 53%, businessman Chris Reed (R) - 37%.
KANSAS (Rasmussen): US Senator Pat Roberts (R) - 48%, former Congressman Jim Slattery (D) - 39%.
KENTUCKY (SurveyUSA): US Senator Mitch McConnell (R) - 50%, businessman Bruce Lunsford (D) - 46%.
MICHIGAN (Rasmussen): US Senator Carl Levin (D) - 55%, State Rep. Jack Hoogendyk (R) - 35%.
MINNESOTA (Rasmussen): US Senator Norm Coleman (R) - 48%, humorist Al Franken (D) - 45%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Rasmussen): US Senator Elizabeth Dole - 53%, State Senator Kay Hagan (D) - 39%.
OKLAHOMA (Rasmussen): US Senator Jim Inhofe - 53%, State Senator Andrew Rice (D) - 31%.
OREGON (Rasmussen): US Senator Gordon Smith (R) - 47%, State House Speaker Jeff Merkley (D) - 38%.
VIRGINIA (Rasmussen): Former Governor Mark Warner (D) - 60%, former Governor Jim Gilmore (R) - 33%.

PROHIBITION PARTY. Just when you think the Prohibition Party is only good for comic relief ... they go and prove you right. Prohibition Presidential nominee and pastor Gene Amondson was a guest this week on The Weekly Filibuster political radio program in Maine and he offered rather, umm, unusual views on several topics. Here are his comments on what causes homosexuality and the sexual molestation of children: "I had a professor in college that said that the rising of homosexuality really came when our diets were changed, when they took out vitamin E, which was found in whole grains and real butter. You can change the diets of rats and remove vitamin E from them and rats can become homosexual. So, our diets need -- if you got kids, feed them whole grains, feed 'em real butter, none of this margarin -- [and] when I used to go home as a kid in college, I'd say to my folks, 'Pass the...pass the homo-margarin.' Well my dad didn't think that was funny -- but our diets need to be right and if we ... keep having drunk moms and dads...drunk dads molesting their children, that's where this homosexuality comes around a lot." Want to know what ruined morality, families and women? "Now see the Devil woke up and said 'How can I ruin America,' he says 'this is what I'll do, I'll go to the Catholic churches and the Protestant churches and I'll get all these women that used to do things like fight alcohol and I'll get them into Bible studies and they'll learn scripture, and scripture and they'll forget about fighting alcohol that hurts our children,'" explained Amondson. Yup ... everything went to hell in America when we started using margarine and women started reading the Bible for themselves instead on trusting their husbands to tell them what they needed to know.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.18.08 | Permalink |

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

GORE ENDORSES OBAMA; McCAIN, OBAMA CLOSE IN NEVADA; MARYLAND CD-4 SPECIAL ON TUESDAY.

P2008. Monday was a rather light day on the Presidential front. Former Vice President Al Gore endorsed Barack Obama at a prime time rally in Michigan. Gore vowed to campaign actively for Obama in the general election. A new Mason-Dixon/Las Vegas Review Journal poll shows John McCain leading Obama by a 44% to 42% vote in Nevada.

MARYLAND. Voters on Tuesday will select a replacement for former Congressman Al Wynn (D) in a very low-key special election. Progressive attorney Donna Edwards (D), who trounced Wynn in the February primary in CD-4, will win in a landslide over Ron Paul campaign activist Peter James (R). Wynn resigned his seat after his renomination defeat to immediately accept a lucrative lobbying job.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.17.08 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

VEEPSTAKES; BLACK CONSERVATIVES CONSIDER OBAMA; INDICTED LA. CONGRESSMAN DRAWS PRIMARY FOES; MONTANA SILLY SEASON; OK STATE AUDITOR CONVICTED.

VEEPSTAKES. On the GOP side, John McCain' joked Friday he's been using Google to research his possible runningmates. Also, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on CBS's Meet the Press that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is "far and away the best candidate" for VP. On the Dem side, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner has taken himself out of consideration. Speaking to the Virginia Democrat Convention this weekend, Warner told the delegates he was "110% committed" to staying in the open race to replace retiring US Senator John Warner (R). "Let me be clear about this: I have been working very hard these last few months to ask the people of Virginia to give me the honor of being their United States Senator. I will not seek, and I will not accept, any other opportunity," said Warner, according to the Washington Post. Of course, with Warner out of the mix, two more Virginians seem to remain under consideration: Governor Tim Kaine and US Senator Jim Webb.

P2008 - GOP. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) said he this weekend he will not endorse John McCain for President, reported the Los Angeles Times. Paul says he still strongly disagrees with McCain's stance on the Iraq War.

P2008 - DEM. According to the AP, several prominent black conservatives say they may vote for Barack Obama in November. Conservative talk show host Armstrong Williams -- who says he has never voted for any Democrat -- said "for the first time in my life, history thrusts me to really seriously think about it. I can honestly say I have no idea who I'm going to pull that lever for in November. " Former Congressman J.C. Watts (R-OK), once a member of the House GOP leadership, said he is also considering voting for Obama. Watts said the Republican Party regularly "neglects" the black community while the Democrats regularly "reaches out" to black voters. Watts explained he may cast his vote for Obama because he expects Obama will seriously address issues such as poverty and urban policy while "Republicans often seem indifferent to those things."

FILINGS CLOSE. Primary candidate filing closed on Friday in Kansas and New Hampshire. Click on the state names to view the respective race filings.

LOUISIANA. Congressman Bill Jefferson (D) -- who remains under indictment on federal corruption charges -- has drawn two new primary rivals in recent days. State Representative Cedric Richmond and Jefferson Parish Councilman Byron Lee both announced their candidacies for the CD-2 over the past week. The Louisiana Democratic Party broke with Jefferson over the corruption issue during the 2006 race, backing his unsuccessful Dem primary opponent.

MONTANA. Perennial candidate Bob Kelleher, who earlier this month won the GOP primary for US Senate in an upset, has announced he supports abolishing the Presidency and Congress in favor of a Prime Minister and parliament. That prompted former State House Majority Leader Mike Lange (R) -- who lost the primary to Kelleher -- to jump back into the race as a write-in candidate for the general election. US Senator Max Baucus (D) is a safe bet to score an easy win over the two challengers.

OKLAHOMA. State Auditor Jeff McMahan (D) and his wife were convicted on three federal felony corruption and bribery charges on Saturday, related to McMahan's past campaigns. Jurors found that the McMahans knowingly accepted illegal campaign contributions, jewelry and trips from businessman Steve Phipps. In return, McMahan -- with his wife's help -- allegedly provided favors for Phipps' business. The couple was acquitted on five other felony charges. Both of the McMahans are likely to receive prison sentences -- with Jeff receiving a longer sentence -- under federal sentencing guidelines for political corruption cases. "In light of the guilty verdict, I believe he should resign his office immediately so the state of Oklahoma can move forward under the leadership of a new State Auditor," said Governor Brad Henry (D). State House Speaker Chris Benge (R) said he will quickly initiate impeachment proceedings if McMahan doesn't resign in the coming days.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 06.16.08 | Permalink |

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