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BLOG ARCHIVE: OCTOBER 16-31, 2008.

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

RON'S ELECTION PREVIEW (AND PREDICTIONS): PART 3 - NEBRASKA-RHODE ISLAND.

NEBRASKA.
US SENATE:
Former Governor Mike Johanns (R) will defeat rancher Scott Kleeb (D) for the seat being vacated by retiring US Senator Chuck Hagel (R). In recent years, Hagel has been the renegade “Joe Lieberman of the GOP Senate Caucus” so this Republican hold by Johanns could almost be counted as a GOP pickup. Well, almost.
CD-2: The DCCC poured money into businessman Jim Esch’s (D) challenge to Congressman Lee Terry (R). That move forced the cash-strapped NRCC to also spend some of its precious financial resources to defend a GOP incumbent in deep red Nebraska. Terry will win -- but this contest helped bleed the NRCC of cash it needed elsewhere.

NEVADA.
CD-2:
Freshman Congressman Dean Heller (R) is facing a surprisingly spirited rematch against State University System Regent Jill Derby (D). Heller will win, but the margin will be closer than most expect.
CD-3: Congressman Jon Porter (R) is in big trouble, so much so that a leaked NRCC memo this month called him "likely gone." Former State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus (D) is giving Porter the fight of his life. Porter recently fought back with tough attack spots slamming Titus. It erased his deficit in the polls, but look for Titus to score a narrow win.

NEW HAMPSHIRE.
GOVERNOR:
Incumbent John Lynch (D) will cruise to a landslide win over State Senator Joe Kenney (R).
US SENATE: Since the start of this election cycle, freshman US Senator John Sununu (R) has been a top DSCC national target. Sununu's voting record in support of President Bush and the Iraq War ran up his negative ratings, helping former Governor Jeanne Shaheen (D). Shaheen will win this rematch by several points.
CD-1: Liberal activist Carol Shea-Porter (D) ousted Congressman Jeb Bradley (R) in one of the biggest upsets of 2006. Bradley is running again to regain his former seat, making a strong push in this swing district. Shea-Porter is certainly vulnerable, and this race will be close, but she'll win a second term. Expect a third rematch in 2010.

NEW JERSEY.
US SENATE:
US Senator Frank Lautenberg (D) is 84-years-old and has lackluster approval ratings. However, this is a blue state and the GOP nominee is former Congressman Dick Zimmer (R) -- who last won an election 14 years ago. Lautenberg will in an unimpressive re-election victory.
CD-3: Congressman Jim Saxton (R) is retiring in this swing district. State Senator John Adler (D) was presumed to be the solid favorite to win, so much so that the first-tier GOP hopefuls passed on the open race. However, recent polling shows Medford Township Councilman Chris Myers (R) virtually tied with the frontrunner. Adler will win, but Myers made an unexpectedly good run.
CD-5: Democrats touted blind rabbi and psychologist Dennis Shulman (D) as a viable challenger to conservative Congressman Scott Garrett (R). Don't believe the hype. Garrett will win by a comfortable margin.
CD-7: Congressman Mike Ferguson (R) unexpectedly decided to retire earlier this year. Dems think they can score a pickup here in the contest between State Senator Leonard Lance (R) and State Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D). A month ago I would have picked Stender to win -- but I now believe Lance will win a close victory and keep this seat in GOP hands.

NEW MEXICO.
US SENATE:
Incumbent Senator Pete Domenici (R) is retiring, and his favored successor lost the GOP primary. This race isn't close. Congressman Tom Udall (D) will romp to a big win over Congressman Steve Pearce (R). The race is so lopsided that the NRSC cancelled all advertising on behalf of Pearce over a month ago. In an interesting development, the open US Senate race caused all three of the state's congressional seats to come open this year.
CD-1: Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R) lost the GOP primary for US Senate. Wilson, a GOP centrist, scraped by to win several razor-thin wins in recent years. The NRCC recruited Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White (R) to run, but then they abandoned him financially two weeks ago when the national party's money ran short. Look for Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich (D) -- winner of Politics1's "hottest man in US politics" reader poll in 2006 -- to win this seat.
CD-2: Pearce's open seat. The GOP should have held this seat in normal circumstances, but this is a strong Democratic year in New Mexico. Wealthy restaurant chain owner and rancher Ed Tinsley (R) won a crowded primary and is largely self-financing his run. Former Lea County Commissioner Harry Teague (D) is his opponent, and was initially seen as a longshot. Tinsley's internal poll numbers must have been bad -- in a district Bush won with 58% in 2004 -- as Tinsley suddenly cancelled all of his remaining TV spots as of earlier this week. Teague will win.
CD-3: Udall's open seat. Not a competitive race. State Public Regulation Commission Chair Ben Lujan Jr. (D) -- son of State House Speaker Ben Lujan (D) -- win easly win.

NEW YORK.
CD-13:
Congressman Vito Fossella (R) retired this year, after being arrested on a drunk driving case -- and then admitting having a long-term extramarital affair and a baby out of wedlock with his mistress. After all the first-tier GOP candidates passed, the Republicans recruited a wealthy businessman to run. But he died before the close of filing. So former State Assemblyman Bob Straniere (R) jumped in. Then the local Republican leaders cooked up a plan for Straniere to withdraw and be replaced by Fossella -- but Straniere refused to play along. Thus, the Republicans are stuck with a candidate they don't want. New York City Councilman Mike McMahaon (D) will score a big win and a Dem pickup.
CD-19 and CD-20: A year ago, Republicans hoped to knock off the two freshmen Dems who captured these seats in 2006. Neither incumbent is at any real risk of losing.
CD-21: State Energy Research and Development Authority President Paul Tonko (D) will hold the seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Mike McNulty (D).
CD-25: When it became clear that Congressman Jim Walsh (R) would face a very tough fight in this Dem-leaning district, he decided to retire. Former congressional aide and '06 nominee Dan Maffei (D) will score a comfortable Dem pickup over former Onondaga County Legislature Chair Dale Sweetland (R).
CD-26: Former NRCC Chair and Congressman Tom Reynolds (R) -- who narrowly won re-election two years ago -- is retiring. The DCCC's recruited candidate -- an Iraq War veteran -- unexpectedly lost the Dem primary. Businessman Chris Lee (R) is facing off against retired attorney Alice Kryzan (D). While it is a swing seat in a Democratic year, look for Lee to win by a decent margin.
CD-29: Congressman Randy Kuhl (R) is locked in a very tough rematch against retired Naval officer Eric Massa (D). Massa will oust Kuhl and score yet a third Dem pickup in the Empire State.

NORTH CAROLINA.
GOVERNOR: Incumbent Mike Easley (D) is term-limited. This was the only viable GOP gubernatorial pickup opportunity in the nation. Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue (D) is locked in a very close contest against Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R). Polls show the lead see-sawing back and forth. Either could win, but look for Perdue to hold the big office by the narrowest of margins due to a large black turnout (and a Libertarian nominee drawing a few points).
US SENATE: The fact that US Senator Elizabeth Dole (R) has been unexpectedly trailing for re-election for months shows how unusual the political circumstances are this year in the Tarheel State. State Senator Kay Hagan (D) was a reluctant challenger, but now she's poised to defeat Dole. The incumbent may have gone too far in a late attack spot against Hagan -- seemingly accusing her of being a pawn of radical athiests -- as it seems to have backfired as too heavy-handed. Hagan will win.
CD-8: Congressman Robin Hayes (R) won an unexpectedly close race two years ago over teacher and former textile plant manager Larry Kissell (D). In 2006, the DCCC didn't help Kissell as he defeated their recruited candidate. This year they are not repeating the mistake and have heavily funded the challenger. Kissell will defeat the multimillionaire incumbent.
CD-11: Asheville City Councilman Carl Mumpower (R) has run one of the most erratic challenger races this year in what should normally be a competitive district. Instead of providing a serious challenge to freshman Congressman Heath Shuler (D), Mumpower has ensured the incumbent will win big.

NORTH DAKOTA.
Governor John Hoeven (R) and Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D) will both score landslide re-election victories.

OHIO.
CD-1:
Congressman Steve Chabot (R) is locked in a surprisingly close race against State House Minority Whip Steve Dreihaus (D) for this GOP-leaning swing seat. Political conditions in the state have made Chabot very vulnerable. Polling shows the race nearly tied. Dems hope for a pickup, but I think Chabot narrowly holds on.
CD-2: Dems nationwide would love to see "Mean Jean" -- Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R) -- defeated. Physician Victoria Wulsin (D) is making a second run at Schmidt, but the incumbent will survive again in the heavily GOP district (but no Republican should have to struggle this much, this often, to hold a safe GOP district).
CD-7: Congressman Dave Hobson, a GOP centist, is retiring. State Senator Steve Austria (R), Hobson's hand-picked heir, is favored to win this open seat over attorney Sharen Neuhardt (D). She's waged a solid, uphill campaign -- but Austria will hold the seat for the GOP.
CD-11: Warrensville Heights Mayor Marcia Fudge (D) is a safe bet to score a landslide win for the seat left vacant by the August death of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D).
CD-14: Dems had high hopes for former State Appeals Court Judge Bill O'Neill (D) in his challenge to Congressman Steve LaTourette (R). Sure, O'Neill is a credible candidate -- but the incumbent will win again.
CD-15: Two years ago Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy (D) nearly ousted Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R). Saying she simply didn't have the stomach to go through such a tough fight again, Pryce is retiring. Look for Kilroy to narrowly defeat State Senator Steve Stivers (R) and score a Dem pickup.
CD-16: After a tougher-than-expected contest in 2006, Congressman Ralph Regula (R) is retiring. State Senator John Boccieri (D) has led State Senator Kirk Schuring (R) from the outset. Don't look for that to change on election day. Score this as another Dem pickup.

OKLAHOMA.
US SENATE: Progressive State Senator Andrew Rice (D) is an attractive challenger -- politically (and physically) -- to hardcore conservative US Senator Jim Inhofe (R). But Inhofe will certainly win another term in the Senate.

OREGON.
US SENATE:
GOP centrist US Senator Gordon Smith looked well-positioned to win re-election several months ago. However, Oregon is a solidly pro-Obama state -- so much so that Smith has run TV spots trying to directly tie himself to Obama's message of change. It won't work. He's simply in the wrong party, at the wrong time. State House Speaker Jeff Merkley (D) will defeat Smith and score yet another Dem pickup in the Senate.
CD-5: Congresswoman Darlene Hooley (D) is retiring. State Senator Kurt Schrader (D) will easily win what once was viewed as a potentially close race. Wealthy transportation executive Mike Erickson -- a vocal pro-life advocate -- won the GOP primary in an upset. However, his chances (and credibility) evaporated -- and he lost the support of his own party's base -- when it was revealed in news reports that Erickson was a hypocrite who paid for a girlfriend to have an abortion several years ago.

PENNSYLVANIA.
CD-3:
The national Democratic wave will produce results here. Congressman Phil English (R) will lose re-election to pro-life Lake Erie Arboretum Director Kathy Dahlkemper (D). English has trailed the challenger for over a month in every independent poll.
CD-4: Freshman Congressman Jason Altmire (D) will easily defeat former Congresswoman Melissa Hart (R) in their rematch.
CD-10: Two years ago, Chris Carney (D) defeated scandal-linked incumbent Congressman Don Sherwood (R) in this reliably GOP seat. Wealthy businessman Chris Hackett (R) is now challenging Congresman Carney -- but Carney will survive by a comfortable margin.
CD-11: Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D) has lagged behind Hazelton Mayor Lou Barletta (R) since Labor Day. Barletta has built his reputation as a staunch opponent of illegal immigration. This will likely be a bright spot for the GOP, as Barletta looks poised to oust the aging Kanjorski. A rare GOP pickup.
CD-12: Republicans also have high hopes of defeating senior Congressman Jack Murtha (D) after he called his constituents "racists" and "rednecks" in October public comments explaining why Obama had trouble in Western Pennsylvania. Retired Army officer William Russell (R) is well-funded, but Murtha will win re-election.

RHODE ISLAND.
US Senator Jack Reed (D) and Congressmen Patrick Kennedy (D) and Jim Langevin (D) will al score landslide wins.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301. Today's thanks go out to:
US Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) - Candidate for re-election
Congressman John Olver (D-Massachusetts) - Candidate for re-election in CD-1.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.31.08 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

RON'S ELECTION PREVIEW (AND PREDICTIONS): PART 2 - IDAHO-MONTANA.

IDAHO.
US SENATE:
Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch (R) will hold retiring Senator Larry Craig’s seat for the GOP. Risch should defeat former Congressman Larry LaRocco by a comfortable margin.
CD-1: Freshman Congressman Bill Sali (R) has a belligerent personality and frequently engages in open sniping against GOP Governor Butch Otter and other state Republican leaders. Multimillionaire businessman Walt Minnick (D) has been coming on strong, out-spending the incumbent, and independent polls show this race to be a toss-up. Look for Minnick to score a major upset win in this deep red state.

ILLINOIS.
US SENATE:
Incumbent Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D) will cruise to a landslide re-election victory.
CD-6: Congressman Peter Roskam (R) will win a second term over highly decorated Iraq War veteran Jill Morgenthaler (D). The margin may be closer than most expect.
CD-10: Congressman Mark Kirk (R) faces a rematch against former congressional aide Dan Seals (D). Kirk is a GOP centrist, one of a shrinking number in the House. Their ranks will shrink by one more after Seals defeats Kirk. Seals will benefit from a large Obama win in this Democratic-leaning seat.
CD-11: Dems will score a pickup for the open seat of retiring Congressman Jerry Weller (R). State Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D) will easily defeat wealthy businessman Marty Ozinga (R).
CD-14: Congressman Bill Foster (D) versus businessman Jim Oberweis (R), round 2. As in the special election a few months ago, Foster will win again.
CD-18: State Representative Aaron Schock (R), age 27, will hold this open seat for the GOP. Congressman Ray LaHood (R) is retiring.

INDIANA.
GOVERNOR:
Incumbent Mitch Daniels (R) was viewed as fairly weak just a year ago, but he got lucky. The Democrats failed to draw a strong field of challengers, and the primary winner was former Congresswoman Jill Long Thompson. She last won elective office 16 years ago. Polls in recent months showed her repeatedly narrowing the gap, then faltering again. Daniels will win a second term.
CD-3: This race will be another big upset of election night. The NRCC just this week diverted financial resources here to help bolster GOP Congressman Mark Souder, and recent independent polls show the race to be a virtual tie. Look for attorney Mike Montagano (D) to narrowly defeat the Republican incumbent. Montagano, at age 26, will likely be the youngest member of the incoming House freshman class if he wins.
CD-9: Round four of the Congressman Baron Hill (D)-versus-former Congressman Mike Sodrel (R) rematch. Hill won the first match in 2002, then Sodrel won in 2004, before Hill recaptured the seat in 2006. In this fourth rematch, Hill will score a finally decisive victory with a wider margin than any of the previous contests.

IOWA.
US SENATE:
Populist incumbent Tom Harkin (D) will handily defeat businessman Chris Reed (R).
CONGRESS: Several of the races here are fairly competitive, but I don’t see any Iowa incumbents losing their House seats.

KANSAS.
US SENATE:
GOP incumbent Pat Roberts will win a comfortable re-election victory over former Congressman Jim Slattery (D).
CD-2: This is generally a reliable Republican district, which is why freshman Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (D) is locked in such a tough re-election fight against State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins (R). Both candidates are political centrists. This race will be close, but look for Boyda to emerge with a razor-thin victory. And she’ll be a top NRCC target again in 2010.

KENTUCKY.
US SENATE:
Democrats would love to oust Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell as payback for the GOP having ousted Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle in 2004. McConnell held a comfortable lead for months, only to see it vanish in the closing days of the race. Multimillionaire health care executive Bruce Lunsford (D) freely spent from his own pocket to keeping pace with McConnell’s money. McConnell’s re-elect number has been hovering several points below the 50% mark, so look for Lunsford to score an upset win.
CD-2: Congressman Ron Lewis (R) is retiring, but this seat will remain in GOP hands. State Senator Brett Guthrie (R) will defeat State Senator David Boswell (D), but it will be a competitive finish.
CD-3: Freshman Congressman John Yarmuth (D) will easily win his rematch against former Congresswoman Ann Northup (R).

LOUISIANA.
Louisiana is holding party primary runoffs on November 4 in CD-2 and CD-4. The general election day in Louisiana for those House races is December 6, 2008. All other general elections are on November 4.
US SENATE: The White House may have recruited State Treasurer John Kennedy (R) to switch parties last year and run against US Senator Mary Landrieu (D) -- but 2008 is not the year to be a party-switching Karl Rove candidate. Landrieu will win re-election.
CD-2: Congressman Bill Jefferson (D) faces re-election for a second time while still under indictment on federal bribery and corruption charges. Jefferson got lucky in the October primary, as his run-off is against former TV news reporter Helena Moreno -- the only white candidate to run in his black-majority district. Look for Jefferson to win renomination. The winner of the runoff, either Jefferson or Moreno, will easily keep this seat in Democratic hands.
CD-4: Congressman Jim McCrery (R) is retiring. Caddo District Attorney Paul Carmouche will easily win the Dem runoff. The GOP runoff is highly competitive, but look for former Webster Parish Coroner John Fleming to defeat trucking executive Chris Gorman. The general election will be competitive, but the GOP winner will be favored.
CD-6: Congressman Don Cazayoux (D) won the special election a few months ago, and must now face voters again in the December general election. State Senator Bill Cassidy (R) got off to a weak start, but seems to be getting his act together. State Representative Michael Jackson (D) -- who lost to Cazayoux in the special election primary -- is running as an Independent. Jackson is also black, in a district which is roughly one-third black. Jackson's candidacy complicates Cazayoux's re-election chances. Our pick: Cazayoux, who has now enthusiastically embraced Obama's candidacy, will win an unimpressive victory.

MAINE.
US SENATE:
US Senator Susan Collins (R) is a centrist who has remained popular with Maine voters -- despite any qualms they have with President Bush and the more conservative leadership of the Republican Party. Congressman Tom Allen (D) is a strong challenger, also popular with the state's voters. His views may even be more closely aligned with most Mainers than Collins' stances. However, don't expect an upset here. Collins' numbers have never shown the softness that Lincoln Chafee's showed two years ago in Rhode Island. Collins will win.
CD-1: Former State Senate Majority Leader Chellie Pingree (D) will win Allen's open House seat. Former State Senator Charlie Summers (R) has run a good race, but the national political environment isn't conducive to a GOP pickup here.

MARYLAND.
CD-1:
Conservative State Senator Andy Harris defeated centrist incumbent Congressman Wayne Gilchrest in the nasty GOP primary. Gilchrest, in turn, subsequently endorsed Queen Anne County District Attorney Frank Kratovil (D) in the general election. The district has a significant GOP performance advantage, but Gilchrest's backing for Kratovil and the unusual dynamics of 2008 are causing an unusual result. Polling shows the race nearly tied. A Libertarian candidate is likely to draw a small number of votes from Harris, and this may make a difference. Look for Kratovil to score a very close win -- although he may only hold this GOP seat for one term.

MASSACHUSETTS.
US Senator John Kerry (D) will win a landslide reelection over businessman Jeff Beatty (R). None of the Bay State's ten Democratic Congressmen face any serious opposition.

MICHIGAN.
US SENATE:
Incumbent Carl Levin (D) will crush State Representative Jack Hoogendyk (R).
CD-7: Freshman Congressman Tim Walberg (R) is a goner. Two years ago, Walberg -- an evangelical minister and social conservative -- defeated centrist Congressman Joe Schwarz in a bitter GOP primary. Schwarz didn't seek a rematch, but he is openly backing State Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer (D) against Walberg. The NRCC has already abandoned this race, and Schauer will oust Walberg.
CD-9: Earlier in the year, Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R) was viewed as a strong favorite over State Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters (D). Since then, John McCain's campaign withdrew from Michigan and the NRCC just last week cancelled all advertising in support of Knollenberg based upon surprisingly weak poll numbers. Peters will score a Dem pickup.

MINNESOTA.
US SENATE:
US Senator Norm Coleman (R) has appeared vulnerable for this entire election cycle. He faces challenges from liberal activist & humorist Al Franken (D) and Jesse Ventura ally & former US Senator Dean Barkley (Independence Party). The lead in polls has shifted back and forth between Coleman and Franken, and Barkley has consistently registered in the mid-teens. Coleman has spent the year trying to distance himself from President Bush and moderate his stances. Franken has made a few notable gaffes and stumbles, but still aggressively plugs along. With Obama's strong numbers in Minnesota, look for Franken to ride to a narrow victory on Obama's coattails.
CD-3: Centrist GOP Congressman Jim Ramstad is retiring. Iraq War veteran Ashwin Madia (D) and State Senator Erik Paulsen (R) are both strong candidates, and polling has shown the race tied for weeks. The poor political conditions in Minnesota this year for the entire Republican ticket will help elect Madia.
CD-6: Religious Right Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R) managed to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory in October when she went on a national news show and called for an investigation of fellow members of Congress for "anti-American" views. Within days, former State Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg (D) had raised an additional $800,000 for his fight against Backmann and the DCCC poured big bucks into TV advertising here. The NRCC also walked away from Bachmann last week. Tinklenberg will win, due to Bachmann's horribly offensive gaffe.

MISSISSIPPI.
US SENATE - FULL TERM:
US Senator Thad Cochran (R) will cruise to a landslide re-election win.
US SENATE - SPECIAL ELECTION: Interim US Senator Roger Wicker (R) is facing a highly competitive challenger from former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D). Polls show the race close and Dems think Musgrove can win if there is a big enough black voters turnout. Black turnout will be high, but not high enough from Musgrove to defeat Wicker.
CD-1: A few months ago, Congressman Travis Childers (D) scored an upset win earlier this year in the special election over Southaven Mayor Greg Davis (R) for Wicker's former House seat. Although this is a GOP district, Childers will defeat Davis again -- and by a wider margin than he did in the special election.
CD-3: Attorney Gregg Harper (R) will comfortably win this open seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Chip Pickering (R).

MISSOURI.
GOVERNOR:
Incumbent Governor Matt Blunt (R) quit his race for re-election when polls showed him badly lagging behind Attorney General Jay Nixon (D). Congressman Kenny Hulshof is the GOP nominee, but Nixon will defeat him by a wide margin.
CD-6: Congressman Sam Graves (R) is facing an aggressive challenge from former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes (D). The DCCC saw a major pickup opportunity here, but it isn't going to happen. Graves will defeat Barnes.
CD-9: This is Congressman Hulshof's open seat, and the GOP initially started with a major advantage. Former State Tourism Director Blaine Luetkemeyer (R), however, finds himself locked in a virtual tie with State Representative Judy Baker (D). Both won crowded, competitive primaries. Look for Baker to score an upset win here for the Democrats.

MONTANA.
GOVERNOR:
Folksy populist Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) will easily win a second term over State Senator Roy Brown (R).
US SENATE: Incumbent Max Baucus (D) will win a landslide victory over the gadfly GOP candidate.
CONGRESS: GOP incumbent Denny Rehberg (D) will score a comfortable victory.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.30.08 | Permalink |

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

RON'S ELECTION PREVIEW (AND PREDICTIONS): PART 1 - ALABAMA-HAWAII.

PREFACE. This is going to be a national Democratic landslide on a par with 1974 or 1932 (or what 1980 was to the Republicans). Dems will score massive gains in the House, Senate and Governorships --- but may also lose a House incumbent or two along the way. If I don't mention a House race, it is because I believe the incumbent will score a comfortable victory. You may not agree with my analysis, so post your picks in the daily thread.

ALABAMA.
US SENATE:
US Senator Jeff Sessions (R) will cruise to a comfortable win.
CD-2:
Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright (D) will score a Dem pickup in this open seat over State Representative Jay Love (R). Bright will benefit from a very heavy black turnout, plus GOP disunity. Republican runoff loser State Senator Hari Anne Smith, a favorite of Religious Right activists, crossed the aisle to endorse Bright a few days ago.
CD-5:
State Senator Parker Griffith (D) will hold this open seat for the Democrats. The third time will not prove the charm for conservative businessman Wayne Parker (R). Griffith is a Blue Dog Democrat and a good fit for this district.

ALASKA.
US SENATE:
The felony corruption conviction this week of US Senator Ted Stevens (R) doomed his re-election campaign. Stevens had been narrowing the gap in recent weeks, insisting upon his innocence, but the jury verdict erased that message. In just a day since the verdict, the NRSC dumped Stevens and John McCain called upon Stevens to resign. Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) is certain to win this seat, which has been held by Stevens since 1968.
CD-1:
Congressman Don Young (R) -- the target of a federal corruption investigation -- has lagged in all polls for months. Young barely won his primary, but his renomination victory over an ally of Governor Sarah Palin handed this seat to the Democrats. Former State House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D) will defeat the 18-term incumbent.

ARIZONA.
CD-1:
The Democrats will score an easy pickup victory in this open seat to replace retiring (and indicted) GOP Congressman Rick Renzi. State Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (D) will defeat mining industry lobbyist Sydney Hay (R).
CD-3: Attorney Bob Lord (D) has given Congressman John Shadegg (R) a spirited and well-financed challenge, but it won't be enough. Shadegg will win.
CD-5: Republicans hoped Maricopa County Treasurer David Schweickert (R) would be able to topple freshman Congressman Harry Mitchell (D) in this GOP-leaning swing district, but it isn't going to happen. In normal circumstances, maybe. But not in a Democratic tsunami year like 2008.
CD-8: Months ago the NRCC had high hopes that State Senate President Tim Bee (R) had an outside chance of ousting freshman Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D). Retired centrist Congressman Jim Kolbe (R) -- still popular in this swing district -- this summer withdrew his endorsement of the challenger over some of Bee's anti-gay stances. Giffords should score a comfortable victory.

ARKANSAS.
Neither US Senator Mark Pryor (D) nor any of the four congressional incumbents face any major-party opposition. All are safe against their Green Party, Independent and write-in challengers.

CALIFORNIA.
CD-3:
A leaked NRCC memo indicated Congressman Dan Lungren (R) is having problems against repeat challenger physician Bill Dunston (D). Lungren will win.
CD-4: Democrats will score a pickup in the open seat being vacated by retiring Congressman John Doolittle (R), the target of a federal criminal probe related to the Abramoff lobbying corruption scandal. Retired USAF officer Charlie Brown (D) nearly toppled Doolittle two years ago in this normally reliable GOP district. Conservative State Senator Tom McClintock -- well-known from his several runs for statewide office -- moved halfway across the state to run for this open seat. Brown will defeat McClintock by a few points.
CD-11: The NRCC once had high hopes of retaking this normally GOP seat from freshman Congressman Jerry McNerney (D). They recruited former State Equalization Board Member Dean Andal (R). Maybe the GOP will have a shot in 2010, but McNerney will win a second term.
CD-26: Not sure why the Dems think they have an outside chance at defeating Congressman Dave Dreier (R). Yes, in a tsunami year anything is possible ... but I don't see it happening.
CD-46: Huntington Beach Mayor Debbie Cook (D) is a quality challenger, but Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R) appears likely to win an 11th term.
CD-50: The NRCC is unexpectedly having to bolster Congressman Brian Bilbray (R) in his race against attorney Nick Leibham (D). Bilbray will win.

COLORADO.
US SENATE:
The NRSC pulled their funding from this race two weeks ago, giving the Dems another Senate pickup in the seat being vacated by retiring US Senator Wayne Allard (R). Congressman Mark Udall (D) has been holding a decent polling lead for months, and nothing seems likely to change it in the final days. Udall will defeat former Congressman Bob Schaffer (R) by a convincing margin.
CD-2:
Congressman Mark Udall's CD-2 seat is solidly Democratic, so the winner of the Democratic primary -- wealthy former State Board of Education Chair Jared Polis (D) -- is certain to score a landslide win. Polis will join Barney Frank (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) as one of the few out gay members of Congress.
CD-4: Hardcore conservative Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R) has been a Democratic target for several years -- but this time they will succeed in ousting her. The NRCC recently cancelled all ads on behalf of Musgrave, writing off the seat. Former congressional aide Betsey Markey (D) will defeat Musgrave.
CD-6: Secretary of State Mike Coffman (R) is a safe bet to win the seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Tom Tancredo (R). Tancredo, FYI, announced to a group of Colorado Republicans this week that he will be a candidate for Governor in 2010.

CONNECTICUT.
CD-2:
Congressman Joe Courtney (D) will win a second term by defeating retired Naval officer Sean Sullivan (R).
CD-4: Congresswoman Chris Shays (R) is a rarity -- one of the few remaining "Rockefeller Republican" types still holding office in the GOP. He's pro-choice, critical of the Iraq war, a frequent DCCC target ... and next week Shays will lose his seat to Greenwich Democratic Chair Jim Himes (D).
CD-5: Freshman Congressman Chris Murphy (D) will win re-election over State Senator David Cappiello (R), cementing his hold on the seat.

DELAWARE.
GOVERNOR:
State Treasurer Jack Markell (D) will score a landslide victory over retired judge Bill Lee (R). Incumbent Ruth Ann Minner (D) is term-limited..
US SENATE: Incumbent Joe Biden (D) will score two electoral victories on November 4. A landslide re-election to the US Senate is one of the two.
CD-1: Congressman Mike Castle (R) will also score a landslide win.

FLORIDA.
CD-8:
Congressman Ric Keller (R) is locked in a surprisingly close race against wealthy attorney Alan Grayson (D). Grayson spent freely from his deep pockets in the primary and won an upset victory. Call this one of my major longshot picks: Grayson will narrowly defeat Keller.
CD-10:
Dunedin Mayor Bob Hackworth (D) is giving veteran Congressman Bill Young (R) a feisty challenge, but Young appears likely to hold on for what may be his final term before retirement. Shifting demographics have made this a real swing seat -- and a longshot Hackworth win is possible (not probable) -- but Young should win.
CD-13: Freshman Congressman Vern Buchanan (R) is clearly ethically challenged -- but he'll still win a second term. Banker Christine Jennings (D) nearly won in 2006, but she is hampered by the Independent run of former Democratic nominee Jan Schneider.
CD-15: State Senator Bill Posey (R) will easily win the open seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Dave Weldon (R).
CD-16: One of the very few bright spots in the nation for the GOP. Wealthy attorney Tom Rooney (R) will easily defeat freshman Congressman Tim Mahoney (D). This race went from "toss-up" to "safe Republican" within the past two weeks after Mahoney was ensnared in a sex scandal and admitted "multiple" extra-marital affairs. GOP pickup.
CD-18: Congressman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) is locked in the tightest re-election race of her career. Despite the challenge, she will win re-election over businesswoman Annette Taddeo (D).
CD-21: Dems will score a major upset here. Former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez (D) will narrowly defeat Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R) in this very nasty race, indicating a moderating shift in Cuban-American politics.
CD-24: The NRCC has written-off Congressman Tom Feeney (R), and polls have showed him trailing former State Representative Suzanne Kosmas (D) for quite a while. Feeney is embroiled in the Abramoff lobbying scandal, and even ran TV spots apologizing for his ethics problems. Kosmas will win -- but this GOP seat will become a top NRCC target in 2010.
CD-25: November 4 will not be a good day for the Diaz-Balart brothers, as Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R) will also go down to defeat. Former Miami-Dade County Democratic Chair Joe Garcia (D) will win this tough contest.

GEORGIA.
US SENATE:
Dems have been waiting six years to get revenge on US Senator Saxby Chambliss (R), who ousted triple-amputee Vietnam War veteran and US Senator Max Cleland (D) in 2002 after questioning Cleland's patriotism. Chambliss looked strong in the polls until the race suddenly narrowed in the past month. Former State Representative Jim Martin (D) now finds himself running neck-and-neck with Chambliss. A large enough black voter turnout may well propel Martin to victory. The prediction: Martin will place first on November 4. The unknown: whether Martin will win 50% + 1 vote to avoid a run-off, or will he be forced into a December runoff against Chambliss (because the Libertarian may take 3-4%).
CD-8:
Congressman Jim Marshall (D) will handily defeat retired USAF Major General Rick Goddard (R), even though the NRCC originally thought they could win this seat.

HAWAII.
No competitive races here. Both congressional incumbents will win easy re-election victories.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.29.08 | Permalink |

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

SENATOR STEVENS CONVICTED, MUST FACE VOTERS NEXT WEEK; POLLS SHOW ARIZONA BECOMING COMPETITIVE.

ALASKA. US Senator Ted Stevens (R) was convicted Monday on seven federal felony corruption counts related to making false reports about roughly $250,000 in gifts he received from a government energy contractor. Stevens had demanded an almost immediate trial after being indicted this summer, hoping to win an acquittal before election day. Instead, the 84-year-old Stevens now must face the voters next week as a convicted felon. While some hoped he would quit and allow some other Republican to be named as a replacement nominee, Stevens quickly announced he will remain a candidate for re-election next week: "I am innocent. This verdict is the result of the unconscionable manner in which the Justice Department lawyers conducted this trial. I ask that Alaskans and my Senate colleagues stand with me as I pursue my rights. I remain a candidate for the United States Senate." The NRSC immediately and formally cut him loose. In a written statement, NRSC Chair John Ensign (R-NV) said: "Ted Stevens served his constituents for over 40 years and I am disappointed to see his career end in disgrace. Sen. Stevens had his day in court and the jury found he violated the public’s trust -- as a result he is properly being held accountable." However, US Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Congressman Don Young (R-AK) said they continue to support the incumbent. Stevens' race against Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) was already viewed as a toss-up before the verdict. The latest development prompts us to reclassify it as DEM Favored. Stevens has served 40 consecutive years in the US Senate -- making him the longest-serving Senate Republican in history. He is also the senior Republican on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. Sentencing is scheduled for February 2009. Stevens vows to appeal his conviction, but any appeal will be heard well after the election is over.

P2008 - DAILY POLLING UPDATE. Here is our daily update of the latest independent polls of competitive battleground states in the Presidential race:
ARIZONA (Rasmussen): McCain - 51%, Obama - 46%.
ARIZONA (Zimmerman-D): McCain - 44%, Obama - 42%.
COLORADO (FOX News/Rasmussen): Obama - 50%, McCain - 46%.
FLORIDA (FOX News/Rasmussen): Obama - 51%, McCain - 47%.
FLORIDA (Suffolk Univ.): Obama - 49%, McCain - 44%.
FLORIDA (Reuters/Zogby): Obama - 47%, McCain - 47%.
INDIANA (Reuters/Zogby): McCain - 50%, Obama - 44%.
IOWA (Marist College): Obama - 52%, McCain - 42%.
MISSOURI (FOX News/Rasmussen): Obama - 48%, McCain - 47%.
MISSOURI (SurveyUSA): Obama - 48%, McCain - 48%, Others - 3%.
MISSOURI (Reuters/Zogby): Obama - 48%, McCain - 46%.
NEVADA (Reuters/Zogby): Obama - 48%, McCain - 44%.
NEW HAMPSIRE (Marist College): Obama - 50%, McCain - 45%.
NORTH CAROLINA (FOX News/Rasmussen): McCain - 49%, Obama - 48%.
NORTH CAROLINA (PPP-D): Obama - 49%, McCain - 48%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Reuters/Zogby): Obama - 50%, McCain - 46%.
OHIO (FOX News/Rasmussen): Obama - 49%, McCain - 45%.
OHIO (Reuters/Zogby): Obama - 50%, McCain - 45%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Temple Univ.): Obama - 50%, McCain - 41%.
VIRGINIA (FOX News/Rasmussen): Obama - 51%, McCain - 47%.
VIRGINIA (SurveyUSA): Obama - 52%, McCain - 43%.
VIRGINIA (Reuters/Zogby): Obama - 52%, McCain - 45%.
VIRGINIA (Washington Post): Obama - 52%, McCain - 44%.
VIRGINIA (Virginia Commonwealth Univ.): Obama - 51%, McCain - 40%.
WEST VIRGINIA (Reuters/Zogby): McCain - 50%, Obama - 40%.

US SENATE. The latest independent polls for the US Senate match-ups:
COLORADO (Rocky Mountain News): Congressman Mark Udall (D) - 51%, former Congressman Bob Schaffer (R) - 38%.
ILLINOIS (Research 2000): US Senator Dick Durbin (D) - 59%, physician Steve Sauerberg (R) - 34%.
MISSISSIPPI (USA Polling Group): US Senator Roger Wicker (R) - 45%, former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) - 32%.
NORTH CAROLINA (PPP-D): State Senator Kay Hagan (D) - 48%, US Senator Elizabeth Dole (R) - 45%, postal worker Chris Cole (Libt) - 4%.
OREGON (SurveyUSA): State House Speaker Jeff Merkley (D) - 49%, US Senator Gordon Smith (R) - 42%, salesman Dave Brownlow (Const) - 5%.
VIRGINIA (SurveyUSA): Former Governor Mark Warner (D) - 63%, former Governor Jim Gilmore (R) - 32%, businesswoman Gail Parker (Ind Green) - 1%, Libertarian National Chairman Bill Redpath (Libt) - 1%.
VIRGINIA (Washington Post): Former Governor Mark Warner (D) - 61%, former Governor Jim Gilmore (R) - 31%.
VIRGINIA (Virginia Commonwealth Univ.): Former Governor Mark Warner (D) - 59%, former Governor Jim Gilmore (R) - 25%.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301.

GOVERNOR. The new independent polls for the gubernatorial contests:
MISSOURI (SurveyUSA): Attorney General Jay Nixon (D) - 55%, Congressman Kenny Hulshof (R) - 38%, Others - 5%.
MISSOURI (Research 2000): Attorney General Jay Nixon (D) - 55%, Congressman Kenny Hulshof (R) - 41%
, Others - 2%.
WASHINGTON (Univ. of Washington): Governor Christine Gregoire (D) - 51%, former State Senator Dino Rossi (R) - 45%.

CONGRESS. Here are the latest independent polls for US House races.
CALIFORNIA CD-4 (Research 2000): Retired USAF officer Charlie Brown (D) - 48%, State Senator Tom McClintock (R) - 42%.
FLORIDA CD-21 (Research 2000): Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R) - 45%, former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez (D) - 44%.
MINNESOTA CD-6 (Univ. of Minnesota): Former State Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg (D) - 45%, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R) - 43%, dental technician Bob Anderson (IP) - 5%.
SOUTH CAROLINA CD-1 (SurveyUSA): Congressman Henry Brown (R) - 50%, philanthropist Linda Ketner (D) - 45%.
TEXAS CD-22 (Zogby): Former Congressional aide Pete Olson (R) - 53%, Congressman Nick Lampson (D) - 36%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.28.08 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

PALIN LOOKING AT '12; PLUS THE USUAL TRUCKLOAD OF NEW POLLS.

P2008. Yeah the candidates were out campaigning this weekend, but there really wasn't any true "news" on the race to support. Perhaps the only thing worth any note was the behind the scenes carping to the media by the John McCain campaign loyalists complaining that Sarah Palin has "gone rogue" and is campaigning on her own message. They are annoyed she is not sticking to the script, not following the advice from her assigned McCain handlers, and is instead using her VP appearances to position herself for a 2012 run for President.

US SENATE. The latest independent polls for the US Senate match-ups:
IOWA (Rasmussen): US Senator Tom Harkin (D) - 57%, businessman Chris Reed (R) - 41%.
MASSACHUSETTS (Suffolk Univ.): US Senator John Kerry (D) - 56%, businessman Jeff Beatty (D) - 19%.
MINNESOTA (St. Cloud State Univ.): US Senator Norm Coleman (R) - 36%, humorist Al Franken (D) - 27%, former US Senator Dean Barkley (IP) - 16%.
NEW HAMPSHIRE (Boston Globe): Former Governor Jeanne Shaheen (D) - 49%, US Senator John Sununu (R) - 36%.
NEW JERSEY (Marist College): US Senator Frank Lautenberg (D) - 48%, former Congressman Dick Zimmer (R) - 41%.
SOUTH DAKOTA (Research 2000): US Senator Tim Johnson (D) - 57%, State Representative Joel Dykstra (R) - 35%.
TENNESSEE (Research 2000): US Senator Lamar Alexander (R) - 59%, former State Democratic Chair Bob Tuke (D) - 37%.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301.

GOVERNOR. The new independent polls for the gubernatorial contests:
NEW HAMPSHIRE (Boston Globe): Governor John Lynch (D) - 67%, State Senator Joe Kenney (R) - 17%
.
NORTH CAROLINA (Rasmussen): Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R) - 51%, Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue (D) - 47%.

CONGRESS. Here are the latest independent polls for US House races.
ARIZONA CD-3 (Research 2000): Congressman John Shadegg (R) - 50%, attorney Bob Lord (D) - 40%.
FLORIDA CD-13 (Research 2000): Congressman Vern Buchanan (R) - 45%, banker Christine Jennings (D) - 34%, Others - 8%.
FLORIDA CD-25 (Research 2000): Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R) - 46%, former Miami-Dade Democratic Chair Joe Garcia (D) - 43%.
INDIANA CD-9 (SurveyUSA): Congressman Baron Hill (D) - 54%, former Congressman Mike Sodrel (R) - 39%, economist Eric Schansberg (Libt) - 5%.
MARYLAND CD-1 (Research 2000): State Senator Andy Harris (R) - 44%, Queen Anne County State's Attorney Frank Kratovil (D) - 40%.
NEVADA CD-3 (Research 2000): Former State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus (D) - 47%, Congressman Jon Porter (R) - 45%.
NEW HAMPSHIRE CD-1 (Boston Globe): Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D) - 44%, former Congressman Jeb Bradley (R) - 39%.
NEW HAMPSHIRE CD-2 (Boston Globe): Congressman Paul Hodes (D) - 51%, radio talk show host Jennifer Horn (R) - 25%.
WASHINGTON CD-8 (Research 2000): Businesswoman Darcy Burner (D) - 46%, Congressman Dave Reichert (R) - 46%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.27.08 | Permalink |

WEEKEND NEWS UPDATE.

JUST SOME NEW SENATE, GOV AND CONGRESSIONAL POLLS.

P2008. Treat this as a Presidential open thread for the weekend. Let's see: former Bush White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld (R) both endorsed Barack Obama. Otherwise, except for the normal pile of polls -- and the sideshow freak story about the idiot McCain volunteer in Pittsburgh who now admits to police she lied about being robbed and assaulted by an Obama supporter who scratched a backwards "B" on her face -- not much else of substance to report. Friday was also another bad day on both Wall Street and foreign markets as fears of a deepening global recession grew.

US SENATE. The latest independent polls for the US Senate match-ups:
GEORGIA (Insider Advantage): US Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) - 44%, former State Representative Jim Martin (D) - 42%, attorney Allen Buckley (Libt) - 2%.
GEORGIA (Strategc Vision-R): US Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) - 46%, former State Representative Jim Martin (D) - 44%, attorney Allen Buckley (Libt) - 5%.

MAINE (Critical Insights): US Senator Susan Collins (R) - 54%, Congressman Tom Allen (D) - 42%.
MICHIGAN (EPIC/MRA): US Senator Carl Levin (D) - 58%, State Representative Jack Hoogendyk (R) - 30%.
MINNESOTA (Univ. of Wisconsin): Humorist Al Franken (D) - 40%, US Senator Norm Coleman (R) - 34%, former US Senator Dean Barkley (IP) - 15%.
OREGON (Riley Report): State House Speaker Jeff Merkley (D) - 36%, US Senator Gordon Smith (R) - 35%, salesman Dave Brownlow (Const) - 4%.
VIRGINIA (Mason-Dixon): Former Governor Mark Warner (D) - 58%, former Governor Jim Gilmore (R) - 33%.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301. Today's thanks go out to:
Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman (R-Indiana) - Candidate for re-election.

GOVERNOR. The new independent polls for the gubernatorial contests:
NORTH CAROLINA (Civitas-R): Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R) - 51%, Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue (D) - 47%, college professor Mike Munger (Libt) - 2%.

CONGRESS. Here are the latest independent polls for US House races.
KENTUCKY CD-3 (SurveyUSA): Congressman John Yarmuth (D) - 57%, former Congresswoman Anne Northup (R) - 41%.
MINNESOTA CD-6 (SurveyUSA): Former State Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg (D) - 47%, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R) - 44%, dental technician Bob Anderson (IP) - 6%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.25.08 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

NRCC ABANDONS MUSGRAVE, FEENEY, KNOLLENBERG; "ME AND MY BIG MOUTH," PART 2; AND THE USUAL TRUCKLOAD OF DAILY POLLS.

CONGRESS. The Washington Post reports the NRCC has canceled all advertising on behalf of three more House Republican incumbents it apparently has decided cannot win re-election. The three latest to be cut loose: Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) and Congressmen Tom Feeney (R-FL) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI). Just a day earlier the NRCC yanked all spending in support of Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-MN). While the NRCC cuts loose weak incumbents, it is launching new ads in 12 districts, reported the newspaper. The 12 beneficiaries of the shifting resources are Congressmen Mark Souder (R-IN), Lee Terry (R-NE), Jon Porter (R-NV), Randy Kuhl (R-NY), Jean Schmidt (R-OH), and Dave Reichert (R-WA); plus the GOP open seats in KY-2, MN-3, NJ-3 and NY-26; and the GOP challenger candidates against Congressmen Don Cazayoux (D-LA) and Paul Kanjorski (D-PA). The move to abandon Bachmann and Musgrave has angered some social conservatives. "It appears that the NRCC is abandoning social conservative candidates and the issues for which they stand, particularly if they are championed by some of the most promising female legislators in the Congress. This is no time to cut and run from a fight ... I will urge supporters of the FRC Action to stop giving to the NRCC until it starts supporting and fighting for conservative candidates in close races,” wrote Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a letter to NRCC Chair Tom Cole (R-OK). "Mr. Perkins’ letter is puzzling, considering that the NRCC ... has spent money on candidates who are pro-life conservatives by a margin of 2-to-1," responded an NRCC spokesman to Congressional Quarterly.

PENNSYLVANIA. Add Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) to the short list of safe incumbents who managed to get themselves onto the endangered list because of stupid public comments. Over the past two weeks, the Western Pennsylvania incumbent referred to his fellow residents as "racists" and "rednecks." Suddenly, Murtha finds himself locked in a close race against retired Army officer William Russell (R). Russell's campaign got off to a rocky start, as he failed to properly qualify for the GOP nomination in the primary -- unopposed -- and had to run as a primary write-in just to obtain his ballot spot for the general election. Since then, the challenger has raised an impressive $2.5 million -- versus $2.1 million for Murtha. As for cash-on-hand, Murtha has nearly $600,000 and Russell has around $350,000. A new Pittsburgh Tribune-Review poll shows Murtha narrowly leading Russell this week by vote of 46% to 41%.

P2008 - DAILY POLLING UPDATE. Here is our daily update of the latest independent state polls on the Presidential race:
CALIFORNIA (PPIC): Obama - 56%, McCain - 33%.
FLORIDA (St. Petersburg Times): Obama - 49%, McCain - 42%, Others - 1%.
FLORIDA (Quinnipiac Univ.): Obama - 49%, McCain - 44%, Others - 1%.
GEORGIA (Rasmussen): McCain - 51%, Obama - 46%.
ILLINOIS (Univ. of Wisconsin): Obama - 61%, McCain - 32%, Others - 2%.
INDIANA (Univ. of Wisconsin): Obama - 51%, McCain - 42%, Others - 1%.
IOWA (Univ. of Wisconsin): Obama - 52%, McCain - 39%, Others - 2%.
KANSAS (SurveyUSA): McCain - 53%, Obama - 41%, Others - 4%.
LOUISIANA (Rasmussen): McCain - 57%, Obama - 41%.
MICHIGAN (Univ. of Wisconsin): Obama - 58%, McCain - 36%, Others - 1%.
MINNESOTA (Univ. of Wisconsin): Obama - 57%, McCain - 38%, Others - 1%.
MINNESOTA (Rasmussen): Obama - 56%, McCain - 41%.
MINNESOTA (National Journal/FD): Obama - 50%, McCain - 40%.
MONTANA (Montana State Univ.): Obama - 44%, McCain - 40%, Paul - 4%, Barr - 1%, Nader - 1%.
OHIO (Univ. of Wisconsin): Obama - 53%, McCain - 41%, Others - 2%.
OHIO (Quinnipiac Univ.): Obama - 52%, McCain - 38%, Others - 1%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Muhlenberg College): Obama - 52%, McCain - 42%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Univ. of Wisconsin): Obama - 52%, McCain - 42%, Others - 1%.
PENNSYLVANIA (SurveyUSA): Obama - 53%, McCain - 41%, Others - 4%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Quinnipiac Univ.): Obama - 53%, McCain - 40%, Others - 2%.
PENNSYLVANIA (National Journal/FD): Obama - 51%, McCain - 41%.
TEXAS (Rasmussen): McCain - 54%, Obama - 44%.
WASHINGTON (Rasmussen): Obama - 54%, McCain - 43%.
WEST VIRGINIA (West Virginia Wesleyan College): McCain - 49%, Obama - 44%.
WISCONSIN (National Journal/FD): Obama - 53%, McCain - 40%.
WISCONSIN (Univ. of Wisconsin): Obama - 53%, McCain - 41%.

US SENATE. The latest independent polls for the US Senate match-ups:
GEORGIA (Rasmussen): US Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) - 47%, former State Representative Jim Martin (D) - 45%, attorney Allen Buckley (Libt) - 1%.
KANSAS (SurveyUSA): US Senator Pat Roberts (R) - 57%, former Congressman Jim Slattery (D) - 35%
, Others - 4%.
KENTUCKY (Research 2000): US Senator Mitch McConnell (R) - 47%, health care executive Bruce Lunsford (D) - 43%.
LOUISIANA (Rasmussen): US Senator Mary Landrieu (D) - 53%, State Treasurer John Kennedy (R) - 43%.
MINNESOTA (Rasmussen): Humorist Al Franken (D) - 41%, US Senator Norm Coleman (R) - 37%, former US Senator Dean Barkley (IP) - 17%.
NEW JERSEY (Monmouth College): US Senator Frank Lautenberg (D) - 52%, former Congressman Dick Zimmer (R) - 36%.
TEXAS (Rasmussen): US Senator John Cornyn (R) - 55%, State Representative Rick Noriega (D) - 40%.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301. Today's thanks go out to fellow collector Richard Rector, who wanted me to make a plug for The Political Collector - the leading print magazine of the hobby.

GOVERNOR. The new independent polls for the gubernatorial contests:
WASHINGTON (Rasmussen): Governor Christine Gregoire (D) - 50%, former State Senator Dino Rossi (R) - 49%.

CONGRESS. Here are the latest independent polls for US House races.
ILLINOIS CD-11 (SurveyUSA): State Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D) - 50%, businessman Marty Ozinga (R) - 37%, Iraq War veteran Jason Wallace (Green) - 9%.
KANSAS CD-4 (SurveyUSA): Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R) - 62%, State Senator Donald Betts (D) - 29%, construction worker Steve Rosile (Libt) - 3%, nurse Susan Ducey (Reform) - 2%
.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.24.08 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

GOP HOUSE "DEATH WISH"; NRCC ABANDONS BACHMANN; STEVENS JURY STILL OUT; McCAIN CAMP ANGRY WITH FLORIDA PARTY SPENDING; PLUS THE LATEST POLLS.

CONGRESS. An internal strategy memo prepared by the House Republican Leadership projects a potential loss of 34 House seats this year. US News & World Report obtained a copy of the confidential document, which GOP insiders sardonically were calling a "death list." The memo rated 66 congressional races, grouping them into five categories ranging from "likely gone" to "hopeful takeover." The "likely gone" list: Congressmen Don Young (R-AK), Tom Feeney (R-FL), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Jon Porter (R-NV), Robin Hayes (R-NC) and GOP open seats in AZ-1, IL-11, NY-13, NY-25 and VA-11. Nine GOP seats were rated as "leans Democrat." In the middle were 22 GOP seats rated as "true toss-up." Fifteen seats were in the "leans GOP" category, but qualified by a note that "if there's a wave, some could be in trouble." The "hopeful takeover" list: Congressmen Tim Mahoney (D-FL), Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) and Nick Lampson (D-TX). A 34-seat shift would give the Dems a 270-165 advantage in the next Congress. In related news -- which developed after this Republican memo was drafted -- the NRCC on Wednesday cancelled all TV ad buys it had placed in support of Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), according to the AP. The Religious Right incumbent was favored to win re-election over former State Transportation Commission Elwyn Tinklenberg (D) before she appeared Friday on MSNBC's Hardball show. During her appearance, Bachmann said that Barack Obama held "anti-American" views and said that many of her congressional colleagues needed to be "investigated" for "anti-America" views. The backlash was immediate, as Tinklenberg raised over $800,000 online since last Friday. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was among those who also openly criticized her harsh rhetoric. On Tuesday, DCCC announced it was suddenly pouring $1 million into the district in TV ads in support of Tinklenberg. Finally, seemingly acknowledging that Bachmann had fatally wounded herself, the NRCC pragmatically yanked her funding to focus on more winnable contests elsewhere. Speaking Wednesday in the district, the AP reported that Bachmann said "she wished she could take back the statement."

P2008 - DAILY POLLING UPDATE. Here is our daily update of the latest independent state polls on the Presidential race:
ALASKA (Ivan Moore Research): McCain - 53%, Obama - 42%.
FLORIDA (Mason-Dixon): McCain - 46%, Obama - 45%, Other - 2%.
KENTUCKY (Rasmussen): McCain - 52%, Obama - 44%.
MAINE (SurveyUSA): Obama - 54%, McCain - 39%, Others - 3%.
MAINE (Pan Atlantic SMS): Obama - 51%, McCain - 39%.
NEVADA (CNN/Time): Obama - 51%, McCain - 46%, Others - 1%.
NORTH CAROLINA (WSOC-TV): Obama - 48%, McCain - 46%.
NORTH CAROLINA (CNN/Time): Obama - 51%, McCain - 47%, Others - 1%.
OHIO (CNN/Time): Obama - 50%, McCain - 46%, Others - 2%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Muhlenberg College): Obama - 52%, McCain - 41%.
TENNESSEE (Rasmussen): McCain - 54%, Obama - 42%.
VIRGINIA (Mason-Dixon): Obama - 47%, McCain - 45%.
VIRGINIA (CNN/Time): Obama - 54%, McCain - 44%.
WASHINGTON (Elway): Obama - 55%, McCain - 36%.
WEST VIRGINIA (CNN/Time): McCain - 53%, Obama - 44%, Others - 1%.
WISCONSIN (Research 2000): Obama - 52%, McCain - 41%.
WISCONSIN (St. Norbert College): Obama - 51%, McCain - 38%, Others - 4%.

FLORIDA. Politics1 is hearing quite a bit of insider gossip from the Florida McCain folks about Republican Party of Florida Chair Jim Greer and his outrageous spending habits. These sources complained Greer and his RPOF team have used party funds for a private jet for Greer's travels, run up a tab of nearly $500,000 in unitemized American Express charges, paid a mail consultant an exorbitant fee of roughly $1.75 per piece for the RPOF absentee ballot mailing to 2+ million voters, and just printed a full-color and multi-page RPOF newsletter featuring 11 photos of Greer (mailed to all RNC members nationwide, as Greer is running for RNC Chair next year). Under Greer, RPOF spending has been so unrestrained that McCain insiders say the party has already spent all but $400,000 of the money the RPOF had collected for its federal campaign account to benefit McCain's efforts in the Sunshine State. The frustration reached such a level of fighting that Greer was denied a seat on McCain's campaign plane when McCain hopscotched around Florida a few days ago.

ALASKA. No verdict yet on Wednesday in the federal corruption trial of US Senator Ted Stevens (R). Jury deliberations will continue on Thursday. Stevens had demanded a speedy trial so as to have a verdict before he faces voters for re-election on November 4.

US SENATE. The latest independent polls for the US Senate match-ups:
ALASKA (Ivan Moore Research): Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) - 46%, US Senator Ted Stevens (R) - 45%.
KENTUCKY (Rasmussen): US Senator Mitch McConnell (R) - 50%, health care executive Bruce Lunsford (D) - 43%.

MAINE (SurveyUSA): US Senator Susan Collins (R) - 54%, Congressman Tom Allen (D) - 43%.
MAINE (Pan Atlantic SMS): US Senator Susan Collins (R) - 57%, Congressman Tom Allen (D) - 36%.
NORTH CAROLINA (WSOC-TV): State Senator Kay Hagan (D) - 44%, US Senator Elizabeth Dole (R) - 43%, postal worker Chris Cole (Libt) - 4%.

GOVERNOR. The new independent polls for the gubernatorial contests:
NEW HAMPSHIRE (Concord Monitor): Governor John Lynch (D) - 60%, State Senator Joe Kenney (R) - 34%
.
NORTH CAROLINA (Civitas-R): Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue (D) - 43%, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R) - 43%, college professor Mike Munger (Libt) - 2%.
NORTH CAROLINA (WSOC-TV): Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue (D) - 44%, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R) - 44%, college professor Mike Munger (Libt) - 5%.
WASHINGTON (Elway): Governor Christine Gregoire (D) - 51%, former State Senator Dino Rossi (R) - 39%.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301.

CONGRESS. Here are the latest independent polls for US House races.
ALASKA (Ivan Moore Research): Former State House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D) - 51%, Congressman Don Young (R) - 43%.
MAINE CD-1 (Pan Atlantic SMS): Former State Senate Majority Leader Chellie Pingree (D) - 43%, former State Senator Charlie Summers (R) - 32%.
NEW HAMPSHIRE CD-1 (Concord Monitor): Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D) - 48%, former Congressman Jeb Bradley (R) - 43%.
NEW HAMPSHIRE CD-2 (Concord Monitor): Congressman Paul Hodes (D) - 49%, radio talk show host Jennifer Horn (R) - 35%.
WASHINGTON CD-8 (SurveyUSA): Businesswoman Darcy Burner (D) - 50%, Congressman Dave Reichert (R) - 46%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.23.08 | Permalink |

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

McCAIN GOES FOR BROKE IN PENNSYLVANIA, CUTS NH, WI EFFORTS; NEW POLLS; TED STEVENS CASE GOES TO JURY.

P2008. John McCain is seemingly ending his effort to seriously contest New Hampshire and Wisconsin, according to ABC News. Instead of placing any new ad buys, McCain is reorganizing his previous TV buy to merely stretch the same number of spots over the much wider time between now and election day. The move now turns Pennsylvania in a "do-or-die" state for McCain. The fight is certainly uphill as McCain has been trailing Barack Obama in the Keystone State by a significant margin in recent weeks -- and no Republican White House hopeful has won the state in 20 years. Governor Ed Rendell (D) has sent two memos to the Obama campaign over the past five days requesting that Obama and the Clintons visit the state again during the next two weeks.

P2008 - DAILY POLLING UPDATE. Just a thought but -- if the predictions of a 75-80% Presidential vote turnout in many states is accurate -- the traditional concept of classifying some voters as "likely" voters is irrelevant. If this massive predicted turnout comes true, just about ALL voters could be called likely voters. This means the polls sampling all registered voters may be better indicators of the result than the traditional use of "likely" or "very likely" voters. That said ... here is our daily update of the latest independent state polls on the Presidential race:
COLORADO (Insider Advantage): Obama - 51%, McCain - 46%, Others - 1%..
FLORIDA (PPP-D): Obama - 48%, McCain - 47%.
ILLINOIS (Chicago Tribune): Obama - 56%, McCain - 32%, Others - 3%.
INDIANA (PPP-D): Obama - 48%, McCain - 46%.
KENTUCKY (SurveyUSA): McCain - 54%, Obama - 41%, Others - 2%.
NEVADA (Insider Advantage): Obama - 47%, McCain - 47%.
NEW JERSEY (Monmouth Univ.): Obama - 55%, McCain - 38%.
NEW JERSEY (Quinnipiac Univ.): Obama - 59%, McCain - 36%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Insider Advantage): Obama - 49%, McCain - 48%.
NORTH CAROLINA (SurveyUSA): Obama - 47%, McCain - 47%, Others - 3%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Civitas-R): Obama - 48%, McCain - 45%, Barr - 1%.
OKLAHOMA (SurveyUSA): McCain - 59%, Obama - 35%, Others - 3%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Muhlenberg College): Obama - 52%, McCain - 42%.
SOUTH CAROLINA (Rasmussen): McCain - 54%, Obama - 43%.
WEST VIRGINIA (Rasmussen): McCain - 52%, Obama - 43%.
WYOMING (SurveyUSA): McCain - 58%, Obama - 37%, Others - 3%.

ALASKA. Both sides presented closing arguments on Tuesday in the federal corruption trial in Washington, DC, of US Senator Ted Stevens (R). The jury will begin deliberations on Wednesday.

US SENATE. The latest independent polls for the US Senate match-ups:
KENTUCKY (SurveyUSA): US Senator Mitch McConnell (R) - 48%, health care executive Bruce Lunsford (D) - 48%.

MINNESOTA (Minneapolis Star Tribune): Humorist Al Franken (D) - 39%, US Senator Norm Coleman (R) - 36%, former US Senator Dean Barkley (IP) - 18%.
MINNESOTA (SurveyUSA): US Senator Norm Coleman (R) - 41%, humorist Al Franken (D) - 39%, former US Senator Dean Barkley (IP) - 18%.
NEW HAMPSHIRE (Research 2000): Former Governor Jeanne Shaheen (D) - 50%, US Senator John Sununu (R) - 43%.
NORTH CAROLINA (SurveyUSA): State Senator Kay Hagan (D) - 46%, US Senator Elizabeth Dole (R) - 45%, postal worker Chris Cole (Libt) - 5%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Civitas-R): State Senator Kay Hagan (D) - 44%, US Senator Elizabeth Dole (R) - 41%, postal worker Chris Cole (Libt) - 4%.
NORTH CAROLINA (PPP-D): State Senator Kay Hagan (D) - 49%, US Senator Elizabeth Dole (R) - 42%, postal worker Chris Cole (Libt) - 4%.
OKLAHOMA (SurveyUSA): US Senator Jim Inhofe (D) - 51%, State Senator Andrew Rice (D) - 39%, real estate developer Stephen Wallace (I) - 7%.
TENNESSEE (Rasmussen): US Senator Lamar Alexander (R) - 62%, former State Democratic Chair Bob Tuke (D) - 34%.
VIRGINIA (SurveyUSA): Former Governor Mark Warner (D) - 60%, former Governor Jim Gilmore (R) - 36%, businesswoman Gail Parker (Ind Green) - 1%, Libertarian National Chairman Bill Redpath (Libt) - 1%.
VIRGINIA (Rasmussen): Former Governor Mark Warner (D) - 61%, former Governor Jim Gilmore (R) - 36%.

GOVERNOR. The new independent polls for the gubernatorial contests:
INDIANA (PPP-D): Governor Mitch Daniels (R) - 57%, former Congresswoman Jill Long Thompson (D) - 36%
.
NORTH CAROLINA (SurveyUSA): Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R) - 46%, Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue (D) - 43%, college professor Mike Munger (Libt) - 7%.
NORTH CAROLINA (PPP-D): Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue (D) - 48%, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R) - 44%, college professor Mike Munger (Libt) - 4%.
WEST VIRGINIA (Rasmussen): Governor Joe Manchin (D) - 71%, former State Senator Russ Weeks (R) - 21%
.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301.
College professor George Phillies (Libertarian-Massachusetts) - Candidate for President on the New Hampshire ballot.

CONGRESS. Here are the latest independent polls for US House races.
CONNECTICUT CD-4 (Univ. of Connecticut): Congressman Chris Shays (R) - 44%, Greenwich Democratic Chair Jim Himes (D) - 44%, Others - 2%.
IDAHO CD-1 (SurveyUSA): Businessman Walt Minnick (D) - 51%, Congressman Bill Sali (R) - 45%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.22.08 | Permalink |

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

FREE SPEECH ZONE. Sorry, but only an open thread today. I spent Monday evening paying a condolence call on a close friend, so I didn't have time to write anything. I'll update the postings tomorrow.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301.
State Representative Solomon Ortiz Jr. (D-Texas) - Candidate for re-election in District 33.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.21.08 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

OBAMA RAISES $150+ MILLION IN SEPT, WINS POWELL ENDORSEMENT; PALIN SAYS OBAMA PALLING AROUND WITH "SOCIALISM."

P2008. Barack Obama raised at least a record-shattering $150 million in September. John McCain is participating in the public financing process, which limits him to a total of $84 million for the last two months of the election cycle. On Sunday, he also won the endorsement for former Bush Administration Secretary of State Colin Powell. McCain and Obama had both personally sought Powell's endorsement. The retired 4-star Army General said Obama had a "calm, patient, intellectual, steady approach" and has the ability to be a "transformational" leader for the nation. The McCain campaign is also ratcheting-up the ideological message, accusing Obama of advocating a national policy shift toward socialism. Here is what Sarah Palin said during a Sunday speech: "Barack Obama calls it spreading the wealth. Joe Biden calls higher taxes patriotic. But 'Joe the Plumber' and 'Ed the Dairy Man' believe that they think that it sounds more like socialism. Friends, now is no time to experiment with socialism." On Friday, Palin told a North Carolina crowd she preferred campaigning in the "pro-America" states. The tougher rhetoric appears intended to motivate the GOP base, but possibly at the risk of alienating swing centrist independents.

P2008 - DAILY POLLING UPDATE. Here is our daily update of the latest independent state polls on the Presidential race:
ALASKA (Research 2000): McCain - 57%, Obama - 38%.
COLORADO (Rasmussen): Obama - 52%, McCain - 45%.
FLORIDA (Research 2000): Obama - 49%, McCain - 45%.
FLORIDA (SurveyUSA): McCain - 49%, Obama - 47%.
MAINE (Research 2000): Obama - 55%, McCain - 38%.
MINNESOTA (Minneapolis Star-Tribune): Obama - 52%, McCain - 41%.
MISSISSIPPI (Research 2000): McCain - 50%, Obama - 40%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Research 2000): Obama - 46%, McCain - 44%.
OHIO (Mason-Dixon): McCain - 46%, Obama - 45%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Muhlenberg College): Obama - 52%, McCain - 40%.
WEST VIRGINIA (Mason-Dixon): McCain - 47%, Obama - 41%.
WEST VIRGINIA (PPP-D): McCain - 50%, Obama - 42%.
WISCONSIN (Mason-Dixon): Obama - 51%, McCain - 39%.

US SENATE. The latest independent polls for the US Senate match-ups:
ALASKA (Research 2000): Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) - 48%, US Senator Ted Stevens (R) - 46%.
COLORADO (Rasmussen): Congressman Mark Udall (D) - 51%, former Congressman Bob Schaffer (R) - 44%.
KENTUCKY (Research 2000): US Senator Mitch McConnell (R) - 46%, health care executive Bruce Lunsford (D) - 42%.

MAINE (Research 2000): US Senator Susan Collins (R) - 53%, Congressman Tom Allen (D) - 40%.
MINNESOTA (Research 2000): Humorist Al Franken (D) - 41%, US Senator Norm Coleman (R) - 39%, former US Senator Dean Barkley (IP) - 18%.
MISSISSIPPI (Research 2000): US Senator Roger Wicker (R) - 47%, former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) - 46%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Research 2000): State Senator Kay Hagan (D) - 49%, US Senator Elizabeth Dole (R) - 45%.
OREGON (Research 2000): State House Speaker Jeff Merkley (D) - 47%, US Senator Gordon Smith (R) - 41%.
TEXAS (Research 2000): US Senator John Cornyn (R) - 50%, State Rep. Rick Noriega (D) - 44%, real estate investor Yvonne Adams Schick (Libt) - 2%.
WYOMING (Research 2000): US Senator Mike Enzi (R) - 61%, college professor Chris Rothfuss (D) - 34%.
WYOMING - SPECIAL (Research 2000): US Senator John Barrasso (R) - 57%, attorney Nick Carter (D) - 36%.

GOVERNOR. The new independent polls for the gubernatorial contests:
MISSOURI (Rasmussen): Attorney General Jay Nixon (D) - 57%, Congressman Kenny Hulshof (R) - 38%
MONTANA (Research 2000): Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) - 57%, State Senator Roy Brown (R) - 40%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Research 2000): Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue (D) - 48%, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R) - 43%.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301.
State Senator and hospital executive Tim Mathern (D-North Dakota) - Candidate for Governor

CONGRESS. Here are the latest independent polls for US House races.
ALASKA (Research 2000): Former State House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz (D) - 50%, Congressman Don Young (R) - 44%.
CALIFORNIA CD-11 (SurveyUSA): Congressman Jerry McNerney (D) - 52%, former State Assemblyman Dean Andal (R) - 41%.
KENTUCKY CD-2 (SurveyUSA): State Senator Brett Guthrie (R) - 51%, State Senator David Boswell (D) - 42%.
KENTUCKY CD-3 (SurveyUSA): Congressman John Yarmuth (D) - 57%, former Congresswoman Anne Northup (R) - 41%.
WYOMING (Research 2000): Former Teton County School Board Chair Gary Trauner (D) - 44%, former State Treasurer Cynthia Lummis (R) - 43%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.20.08 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

THE "BRADLEY EFFECT" POLITICAL URBAN LEGEND; PLUS THE USUAL SLEW OF DAILY POLLS.

BRADLEY EFFECT. Despite the frequent pundit references to the so-called "Bradley Effect" -- the phenomena where 2-6% of white voters will purportedly lie to a pollster and claim to be voting for a black candidate when in reality they are voting for the white opponent -- the "Bradley Effect" is simply a political urban legend. So says GOP political consultant Robert Wolfe, who was Southern California Political Director of the 1982 George Deukmejian (R) for Governor campaign against Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley (D). Wolfe told Politics1 that anyone who "claims there was a 'Bradley Effect' in 1982 has no idea what they are talking about. Tom Bradley actually beat us on election day, and by a significant margin, so there was no 'lying' to the exit pollsters. Deukmejian only won because of the absentee ballots. That was the first year California allowed the use of absentee ballots and that was our secret strategy. We piled up absentee ballots from Armenian Democrats, because Deukmejian was Armenian. They were not likely voters, so they were under-polled. But there were roughly 100,000 Armenian voters living just in the area around Los Angeles County -- plus lots elsewhere in the state. It was that absentee effort that gave us the victory -- and earned me a position in the Deukmejian Administration. If it was just the election day votes, we would have lost. The only place you would have seen any lying was among those voters who claimed they were 'uncommitted' but were really voting for Deukmejian. But there was really no lying with voters telling pollsters they were voting for Bradley. There just was no 'Bradley Effect' and people should stop claiming there was such a thing. Trust me, I was there."

P2008 - DAILY POLLING UPDATE. Here is our daily update of the latest independent state polls on the Presidential race:
CONNECTICUT (Rasmussen): Obama - 56%, McCain - 39%.
GEORGIA (Research 2000): McCain - 49%, Obama - 43%.
MASSACHUSETTS (SurveyUSA): Obama - 59%, McCain - 35%.
NEW YORK (Rasmussen): Obama - 57%, McCain - 37%.
NEW MEXICO (SurveyUSA): Obama - 52%, McCain - 45%, Others - 2%.
OHIO (Rasmussen): Obama - 49%, McCain - 49%.
OREGON (Rasmussen): Obama - 54%, McCain - 41%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Muhlenberg College): Obama - 53%, McCain - 37%.
VIRGINIA (Christopher Newport Univ.): Obama - 49%, McCain - 43%.

US SENATE. The latest independent polls for the US Senate match-ups:
GEORGIA (Research 2000): US Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) - 47%, former State Rep. Jim Martin (D) - 45%, attorney Allen Buckley (Libt) - 5%
MASSACHUSETTS (SurveyUSA): US Senator John Kerry (D) - 59%, businessman Jeff Beatty (R) - 29%.
OREGON (Rasmussen): State House Speaker Jeff Merkley (D) - 47%, US Senator Gordon Smith (R) - 47%.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301.
Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R-North Carolina) - Candidate for Governor

CONGRESS. Here are the latest independent polls for US House races.
CONNECTICUT CD-4 (SurveyUSA): Greenwich Democratic Chair Jim Himes (D) - 48%, Congressman Chris Shays (R) - 45%, teacher Richard Duffee (Green) - 2%, Michael Carrano (Libt) - 2%.
MISSOURI CD-6 (SurveyUSA): Congressman Sam Graves (R) - 51%, former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes (D) - 40%, attorney Dave Browning (Libt) - 4%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.17.08 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

FINAL PREZ DEBATE RECAP; GOP PULLS FUNDING IN LOUISIANA SENATE RACE; NEW POLLS.

P2008. John McCain and Barack Obama met on Wednesday night for the final of three Presidential debates. Thanks to the outstanding efforts of debate moderator Bob Schieffer, the final debate was actually the first and only encounter which was truly a debate between the two men. By far, the best debate of the race. The evening featured frequent and sharp exchanges between the two candidates -- with both men registering solid performances. While both looked strong, the evening did not appear to provide John McCain with the "game changing" results he needed. Meanwhile, just hours earlier, Wall Street lost another 733 points -- and Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke announced he expected it would be quite a while before the US sees the start of a true economic recover. "Stabilization of the financial markets is a critical first step, but even if they stabilize as we hope they will, broader economic recovery will not happen right away," explained Bernanke. The shaky economic news continues to bolster Obama's rising poll numbers.

LOUISIANA. Republicans have abandoned their hopes of defeating their lone national Democratic US Senate target this year. According to the Washington Post, the NRSC has cancelled all of its remaining TV ad buys scheduled to run over the next three weeks against US Senator Mary Landrieu (D). The NRSC made the move in order to divert scarce funds to support to re-election bids of unexpectedly endangered US Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).

P2008 - DAILY POLLING UPDATE. Here is our daily update of the latest independent state polls on the Presidential race:
COLORADO (CNN/Time): Obama - 51%, McCain - 47%.
DELAWARE (Rasmussen): Obama - 56%, McCain - 41%.
FLORIDA (CNN/Time): Obama - 51%, McCain - 46%.
FLORIDA (Insider Advantage): Obama - 48%, McCain - 44%, Other - 1%.
GEORGIA (CNN/Time): McCain - 53%, Obama - 45%.
ILLINOIS (Rasmussen): Obama - 56%, McCain - 39%.
KANSAS (Rasmussen): McCain - 54%, Obama - 41%.
MISSOURI (CNN/Time): McCain - 49%, Obama - 48%.
MASSACHUSETTS (Rasmussen): Obama - 62%, McCain - 34%.
MISSOURI (CNN/Time): McCain - 49%, Obama - 48%.
NEVADA (Insider Advantage): Obama - 49%, McCain - 46%.
NEW MEXICO (Rasmussen): Obama - 55%, McCain - 42%.
NEW MEXICO (SurveyUSA): Obama - 52%, McCain - 45%, Others - 2%.
NORTH CAROLINA (Insider Advantage): Obama - 48%, McCain - 46%, Others - 1%.
PENNSYLVANIA (Muhlenberg College): Obama - 52%, McCain - 38%.
VIRGINIA (CNN/Time): Obama - 53%, McCain - 43%.
WASHINGTON (SurveyUSA): Obama - 56%, McCain - 40%, Others - 3%.
WEST VIRGINIA (Insider Advantage): McCain - 49%, Obama - 47%, Others - 1%.

US SENATE. The latest independent polls for the US Senate match-ups:
ILLINOIS (Rasmussen): US Senator Dick Durbin (D) - 62%, physician Steve Sauerberg (R) - 31%.
KANSAS (Rasmussen): US Senator Pat Roberts (R) - 55%, former Congressman Jim Slattery (D) - 36%.
MASSACHUSETTS (Rasmussen): US Senator John Kerry (D) - 63%, businessman Jeff Beatty (R) - 31%.
NEW MEXICO (Rasmussen): Congressman Tom Udall (D) - 57%, Congressman Steve Pearce (R) - 37%.
NEW MEXICO (SurveyUSA): Congressman Tom Udall (D) - 58%, Congressman Steve Pearce (R) - 40%.

GOVERNOR. The new independent polls for the gubernatorial contests:
DELAWARE (Rasmussen): State Treasurer Jack Markell (D) - 62%, retired Superior Court Judge Bill Lee (R) - 34%.
WASHINGTON (SurveyUSA): Governor Christine Gregoire (D) - 48%, former State Senator Dino Rossi (R) - 47%.

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE. Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our home page blog in a daily "thank you" note. (FYI: Presidential coattails items always appreciated). My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301.

CONGRESS. Here are the latest independent polls for US House races.
PENNSYLVANIA CD-11 (Franklin & Marshall Univ.): Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta (R) - 40%, Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D) - 35%.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 10.16.08 | Permalink |

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