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BLOG ARCHIVE: NOVEMBER 1-15, 2006

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

GIULIANI IS IN, REICHERT WINS, SIMMONS LOSES ... AND "STALKING HORSE VILSACK"?
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) is filing paperwork this week to form a 2008 Presidential exploratory committee. Despite his popular 9/11 "take charge" persona, he'll have trouble selling his pro-choice and pro-gay rights views in GOP primaries ... Congressman Dave Reichert (R) was declared the winner in the Washington CD-8 race. Challenger Darcy Burner (D) conceded the close race on Tuesday ... A state court judge delayed the start of the Florida CD-13 recount in which as many as 18,000 touchscreen "undervotes" went missing, giving both candidates time to each designate computer experts who will be given access to the machines during the recount process. Auto dealer Vern Buchanan (R) leads banker Christine Jennings (D) by less than 400 votes after the initial count. Governor Jeb Bush (R), Secretary of State Sue Cobb (R), Democratic leaders and others have all expressed concern over the huge number of possible lost votes ... Connecticut completed the CD-2 recount Tuesday evening, confirming that former State Representative Joe Courtney (D) defeated Congressman Rob Simmons (R) by a 91 vote margin. State GOP Chair George Gallo conceded the race on behalf of the incumbent, and said Simmons "served with distinction ... and he can hold his head up very high" ... Both Rolling Stone and the New York Times seem to be implying Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack's campaign for the 2008 Democratic nomination for President may actually be a tactical blocking maneuver coordinated with and intended to help Hillary Clinton's likely White House bid. His candidacy diminishes Iowa as a key contest state, allowing Clinton to skip the state's famed "retail politics" in favor of big budget media campaigns in larger media market states. Clinton is expected to publicly indicate her 2008 intentions sometime in December or January. (Hat tip to PoliticalWire.com for this item.) ... Former US Senator and 2004 VP nominee John Edwards (D-NC) is expected to announce his 2008 Presidential exploratory effort before the end of this month ... Despite incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi's endorsement of Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) for House Majority Leader, it appears current House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has the upper hand in the contest. Hoyer was previously backed by a majority of the incoming freshman Dems and a large block of incumbent House rising stars. On Tuesday, Hoyer was endorsed by soon-to-be powerful committee chairs John Dingell, Henry Waxman, Barney Frank, Tom Lantos, Jim Oberstar, Bennie Thompson and John Spratt. The Hoyer-Murtha race is becoming increasingly nasty, as both sides are lobbing political potshots at each other.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.15.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE: THE DAILY OPEN THREAD.
Just my two cents, but you gotta think the White House's decision to select Cuban-born immigrant Mel Martinez to be the next Republican National Chairman was intended to send two messages: (1) "we still want Hispanic votes" and (2) a very overt and symbolic slap at the anti-immigrant Republican crowd lead by Tom Tancredo and friends.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.15.06 | Permalink |

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

SENATOR MARTINEZ NEW RNC CHAIR, CT-2 NARROWS, McCAIN READIES.
President Bush on Monday tapped freshman US Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) -- a former Democrat -- to become the next Republican National Chairman. While serving as RNC Chair, Martinez will also remain in the Senate. Martinez played a lead role last year in the federal effort to keep Terri Schiavo on life support, but later said it was a position he regretted in hindsight ... In the ongoing Rob Simmons (R) - Joe Courtney (D) congressional recount in Connecticut's CD-2, the ongoing review cut Courtney's margin by 105 votes. Of those, 100 was purportedly attributable to a clerk's transposition error that mistakenly gave Courtney 100 extra votes on election night. Courtney now leads by just 61 votes, with most of the recount completed ... US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) confirmed to FOX News he plans to file paperwork, possibly as soon as this week, with the Federal Elections Commission to form a 2008 Presidential exploratory committee. McCain, at least at this early date, appears from polls to be the initial GOP frontrunner.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.14.06 | Permalink |

EDITORIAL: BRING OUR SOLDIERS HOME. NOW.
I received several emails ciritical of my sparse Veteran's Day comment of "Support Our Troops: Bring Them Home." Let me explain my reasoning in slightly greater detail. We already won the Iraq war: Saddam Hussein was ousted from power and now awaits execution in a jail cell, and Iraqis cast ballots in a subsequent free election (free, at least, by Middle East standards). Yes, I said it: we WON the war. Thus -- and here is where I turn pessimistic -- whether we pull out tomorrow or in six months or in two years or in ten years, the result will be the same. Iraq will immediately sink further into civil war and instability. There is nothing we can do to permanently ward it off -- we can only delay it slightly -- and continuing to pretend otherwise is to simply allow more and more American soldiers die for no good reason. Let Iraqis determine the future of Iraq. Maybe it needs to be partitioned into three nations (one Sunni, one Shiite and one Kurdish) -- as that was the solution that worked for the bifurcated Turkish/Greek nations of Cyprus, and also for India/Pakistan. There are lots of other "maybes" but we will fail if we attempt to impose them from the outside. Iraqis must decide their future, their fate. Yes, the future Iraqi government is likely to be more anti-American than Saddam, but there is nothing we can do about that. To any invaded nation in the post-invasion days, there is a very thin line between welcomed liberators and hated occupiers. Like I said, the only difference is how many American kids will be condemned to die to an ill-conceived and incoherent post-war mission. Our time in Iraq where we could do any good has long since ended. The only sensible decision for us to make -- if we truly support our brave American men and women in unform -- is whether we want to see six more months of dead American soldiers coming home in coffins, or two more years of it, or ten more years of it. Because -- to cut through the rhetoric -- that's all we're really arguing about. To continue there is simply masochistic and vainglorious insanity. As of today, there have been 2,853 US soldiers killed in Iraq (and over 20,000 wounded). How more more need to die before it's time to end this war? Let's bring out soldiers home. All of them. Now.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.14.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE: THE DAILY OPEN THREAD.
You know what to do here.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.14.06 | Permalink |

MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

FEINGOLD WON'T RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2008.
US Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) -- a P2008 favorite of progressive netroots activists (and your truly) -- announced Saturday he will not be a candidate for President in 2008. Feingold had traveled to 17 states over the past two years on behalf of local Dem candidates, and launched his own leadership PAC, all in preparation of a possible White House run. With the Democrats returning to majority status in the Senate, Feingold explained he now wants to stay active in the Senate rather than run for President. Here are excerpts of Feingold's written message:

I relish the thought that in this new Congress we can start, not only to undo much of the damage that one-party rule has done to America, we can actually advance progressive solutions to such major issues as guaranteed healthcare, dependence on oil, and our unbalanced trade policies. The Senate of the 110th Congress could also well be a place of greater bi-partisan opportunities for change; something I am very proud to have been effective at in both Republican and Democratic Senates ... we need to stand up for a strong, principled Democratic party that is willing to replace timidity with taking the risks of promoting a platform of bold solutions to our nation's problems. Unfailingly, people responded well to my positions: opposition to the Iraq war; calling for a timeline to redeploy our troops from Iraq so we can focus on those who attacked us on September 11th, 2001; my opposition to the flawed provisions of the USA Patriot Act that threaten the freedoms of law-abiding Americans; my call for accountability for the Administration's arrogant disregard for the law especially with regard to illegal wiretapping; fighting for fiscal responsibility including tough common sense budget rules that will help end the reckless policies that have heaped a mountain of debt on our children and grandchildren; as well as my strong belief in guaranteed health care for all Americans and substantial investment in alternative energy sources and technologies. Yet, while I've certainly enjoyed the repeated comments or buttons saying, "Run Russ Run", or "Russ in '08", I often felt that if a piece of Wisconsin swiss cheese had taken the same positions I've taken, it would have elicited the same standing ovations. This is because the hunger for progressive change we feel is obviously not about me but about the desire for a genuinely different Democratic Party that is ready to begin to reverse the 25 years of growing extremism we have endured. I'm sure a campaign for President would have been a great adventure and helpful in advancing a progressive agenda. At this time, however, I believe I can best advance that progressive agenda as a Senator with significant seniority in the new Senate serving on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Judiciary and Budget Committees.

In a subsequent interview with the AP, Feingold was asked if he was throwing his support behind another candidate. "The first choice would be somebody who voted against this unfortunate Iraq war. That may not be available. Second choice is somebody who at least said it was a bad idea ... I would be happy if [Senator Barack] Obama or [former Vice President Al] Gore ran," said Feingold, who said he was not yet offering an endorsement.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.13.06 | Permalink |

US HOUSE: SIMMONS SEEMINGLY LOSES; SCHMIDT, WILSON, CUBIN LIKELY WINNERS.
With the recount at least partially completed, it appears that former State Representative Joe Courtney (D) defeated Congressman Rob Simmons (R) by a margin of 166 votes in Connecticut's CD-2. With 20 individual town recounts completed, Simmons has only gained a total of one vote from the original tally. Forty-one more towns plan to conduct recounts on Monday or Tuesday, but the lack of changed tallies during the ongoing recount indicates Courtney won. Simmons was first elected to Congress in 2000, when he likewise ousted an incumbent in an upset. In Ohio, CD-15 Congresswoman Deb Pryce (R) leads challenger Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy (D) by as many as 3,500 votes (depending on which count you believe), but roughly 18,000 uncounted absentee and provisional ballots remain in Franklin County. By Ohio law, county election boards may begin counting such ballots on November 18. In Ohio's CD-2, Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R) leads physician Victoria Wulsin (D). Schmidt leads by 2,300 votes, and this district only has 4,700 uncounted absentee and provisional ballots. Wulsin would need to win a highly disproportionate share of those ballots to prevail -- a rather unlikely outcome -- making Schmidt appear the likely winner. In New Mexico's CD-1, Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R) leads Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D) by 1,481 votes -- with 3,700 provisional ballots still to be counted. In Washington's CD-8, Congressman Dave Reichert (R) leads Darcy Burner (D) by 3,500 votes, although the slow first count of the thousands of mail-in ballots is continuing. In Wyoming, Gary Trauner (D) said he will not ask for an optional recount against Congresswoman Barbara Cubin (R) if the final tally shows him falling just outside the range for an automatic recount, as appears likely. If all these results hold, the Dem gain in the US House will now be +30 -- with a few more contests still undecided.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.13.06 | Permalink |

US HOUSE: DEM LEADERSHIP RACES.
Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) endorsed Congressman Jack Murtha (D-PA) for House Majority Leader. Murtha's rival -- current House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) -- touts his support from a majority of the incoming freshman Democratic class.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.13.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE: THE DAILY OPEN THREAD.
Well, with Russ Feingold already out of the 2008 race, I'm in search of a new candidate to support. For right now, this guy is probably my next favorite choice.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.13.06 | Permalink |

WANNA TRADE?
I'm interested in building up my collection of Canadian campaign buttons. If you've got Canadian political buttons to trade, I'm interesting in swapping with you for some great US pins. Please drop me a note!

WEEKEND OPEN THREAD.

Free Speech Zone.
Happy Veteran's Day ... Support Our Troops: Bring Them Home.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.11.06 | Permalink |

FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

VILSACK, MEHLMAN, STEELE, CHAFEE, JACKSON ... AND UNDECIDED CONTESTS.
Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (D) announced his candidacy for President on Thursday. Vilsack -- the current Chair of the Democratic Leadership Council and former Chair of the Democratic Governors Association -- already launched his new campaign website. With an Iowan in the race, the significance of the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses are severely diminished. Look instead for the Dem candidates to make New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina the key early battleground states ... Ken Mehlman is quitting his post as Republican National Chairman, in the aftermath of his party's disastrous showing in this week's elections. The news also came just a day after Mehlman was outed as gay on CNN's Larry King Live. Maryland Lieutenant Governor and former State GOP Chair Michael Steele -- who lost a run for an open US Senate seat this year -- is already being mentioned as a frontrunner to replace Mehlman ... Democrats are already +29 in the House and the following seats still remain undecided: CT-2, FL-13, GA-12, NC-8, NM-1, OH-2, OH-15, WA-8 and WY-AL. In FL-13, the GOP candidate appears to have won by around 370 votes, yet the touch-screen voting machines inexplicably indicate roughly 18,000 voters cast ballots in the races both immediately above and below but not in the US House race (or, alternatively, thousands of ballots were somehow "lost"). The problem is Florida's approved touchscreen machines do not produce any physical paper trail for recounts. In CT-2, the GOP incumbent appears to be trailing his Dem challenger by less than 200 votes. In some of these other races, thousands of absentee and/or provisional ballots remain to be counted ... Two days after being ousted from the US Senate, Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) told the AP the country is probably better off that he lost his seat because it gave the Democrats control of the body. "I think the President now is going to have to talk to the Democrats. I think that's going to be good for America," said Chafee. He also told the AP he was considering switching parties or becoming an Independent, as he said that it was "fair" to say as a centrist he feels he "does not belong" in the GOP ... Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) announced a change of plans on Thursday. Although he previously launched an exploratory committee to run against Chicago Mayor Rich Daley (D) next spring, Jackson said he will not run for Mayor. Jackson explained he wants to stay in the House now that the Dems are the majority party.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.10.06 | Permalink |

Free Speech Zone: The Daily Open Thread.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.10.06 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

US SENATE: AND VIRGINIA MAKES IT SIX.
The AP officially declared former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) the winner over US Senator George Allen (R) in Virginia. Allen reportedly plans to formally concede the race in public remarks, possibly as soon as sometime on Thursday. With this victory, the Democrats will have won majority control this week of both the US House and US Senate -- and could see their House majority increase further as a handful of races remain undecided.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.09.06 | Permalink |

Free Speech Zone: The Daily Open Thread.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.09.06 | Permalink |

2:32 PM
It may be a few days before we know if Congressman Dave Reichert (R) survives in Washington's CD-8. Reichert holds a lead of around 3,000 votes -- but with roughly 100,000 votes still to be counted. The state's mail-in ballot rules --regarding the enevelope postmark dates -- ensure the counting will continue for days.

Election Results Thread #5
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.07.06 | Permalink |

2:10 PM
Jon Tester (D) declared the winner in the race against US Senator Conrad Burns (R) in Montana. Dems appear to have captured control of the US Senate, scoring a pickup of six seats, if Jim Webb's lead over US Senator George Allen (R) in Virginia continues to hold.

1:30 PM
House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-IL), in the wake of his party losing majority status in the House, announced he will not be a candidate House Minority Leader in the next Congress. Look for a new possible rematch contest between current House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), Congressman Mike Pence (D-IN) and possibly others. On the Dem side, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is assured of being the next House Speaker. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Congressman Jack Murtha (D-PA) both announced candidacies for the House Majority Leader spot in the next Congress.

1:20 PM
Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld has resigned. President Bush announced former CIA Director, retired Navy Admiral and current Texas A&M University President Robert Gates will be the new Defense Secretary.

TUESDAY: ELECTION DAY 2006

Election Results Thread #4
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.07.06 | Permalink |

4:10 AM
The North Carolina CD-8 race will head for a recount. With 100% counted, Congressman Robin Hayes (R) appears to have won by just 468 votes out of over 120,000 ballots cast. Congressman Jim Gerlach (R) held on to win his Pennsylvania CD-6 seat. Ditto for Congressman Steve Chabot (R) in Ohio's CD-1.

4:06 AM
Jerry McNerney (D) defeats Congressman Richard Pombo (R) in California CD-11.

3:46 AM
Jon Tester (D) appears to have defeated US Senator Conrad Burns (R) in Montana by a 50-48 vote. The state has already started the recount process, with a final tally expected sometime Wednesday morning. If this win is confirmed -- and the Webb lead holds in Virginia -- this will give the Democrats majority status with a gain of six US Senate seats.

Election Night Thread #3
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.07.06 | Permalink |

3:39 AM
Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R) leads by 1,300 votes in New Mexico CD-1, with 99% counted. Jerry McNerney (D) leads Congressman Richard Pombo (R) in California CD-11 by 53-47 vote, with 80% counted.

3:28 AM
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) wins re-election by 47-46 vote.

3:02 AM
Dave Loebsack (D) ousts Congressman Jim Leach (R) by a 51-49 upset in Iowa's CD-2. Bruce Braley (D) scored a pickup in the open Iowa CD-1 race.

3:01 AM
With all votes counted, Patrick Murphy (D) defeats Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R) in Pennsylvania's CD-8 by a slim 1,500 vote margin.

2:53 AM
Congressman Richard Pombo (R) trails his Dem challenger by a 52-48 vote in California's CD-11, with 73% counted.

2:50 AM
Congressman Butch Otter (R) wins open Idaho Governor race. Sarah Palin (R) wins open Alaska Governor contest.

2:43 AM
Congressman John Barrow (D) wins re-election in Georgia's CD-12. Congressman Jim Marshall (D) holds 700 vote lead in Georgia's CD-8, with 95% of the vote counted.

2:38 AM
Congressman Chris Shays (R) wins re-election in Connecticut's CD-4.

2:33 AM
In Virginia, Jim Webb (D) moved out to a 11,500 vote lead over US Senator George Allen (R) -- and the vote counting continues. If the margin widens a little more, Allen will no longer be entitled to an automatic, state-paid recount.

2:25 AM
Congressman Rob Simmons (R) trails Joe Courtney (D) in Connecticut's CD-2 by a little over 200 votes, with 97% counted. In CD-4 -- with 93% counted -- Congressman Chris Shays (R) is leading his Dem opponent by a 51-48 vote.

2:14 AM
With most of the votes counted, Congressmen Jim Gerlach (R) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R) are both trailing their respective Democratic challengers in Pennsylvania.

2:08 AM
Claire McCaskill (D) defeats US Senator Jim Talent (R) in Missouri.

1:49 AM
Congresswomen Jean Schmidt (R) and Deb Pryce (R) both win close re-election races in Ohio.

1:45 AM
With about half the vote counted, Sarah Palin (R) is holding a comfortable lead in the open race for Alaska Governor.

1:40 AM
Nick Lampson (D) scores a Dem pickup in former Congressman Tom DeLay's open Texas CD-22 seat.

1:35 AM
Tim Walz (D) defeats Congressman Gil Gutknecht (R) in Minnesota's CD-1.

1:14 AM
Steve Kagen (D) scores a Dem pickup in the open Wisconsin CD-8 seat. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle (D) wins re-election. In Virginia, Jim Webb (D) claimed victory in the US Senate race.

1:10 AM
Steve Cohen (D) wins the open Tennessee CD-9 seat, and David Davis (R) wins the open CD-1 seat in the state.

Election Night Thread #2
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.07.06 | Permalink |

12:46 AM
John Hall (D) ousts Congresswoman Sue Kelly (R) in New York's CD-19.

12:41 AM
Virginia is finishing in the "too close to call" category tonight, as Jim Webb (D) appears headed to a very narrow victory over US Senator George Allen (R) -- but one so close that it will likely result in an automatic recount. If that happens, based on the speed of past recounts in the state, we may not know which party has majority control of the US Senate for a few weeks.

12:35 AM
Harry Mitchell (D) defeats Congressman J.D. Hayworth (R) in Arizona's CD-5.

12:34 AM
Bob Corker (R) wins the open US Senate seat in Tennessee.

12:25 AM
Nancy Boyda (D) defeats Congressman Jim Ryun (R) in Kansas CD-2 upset.

12:12 AM
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) wins re-election.

12:00 AM
Polls closed in most of Alaska.

11:58 PM
Jason Altmire (D) ousts Congresswoman Melissa Hart (R) in a major upset in Pennsylvania's CD-4.

11:53 PM
Virginia remains too close to call, as Jim Webb (D) moves out to a 3,000 vote lead over US Senator George Allen (R) with 99% of the vote counted.

11:51 PM
US Senator Jon Kyl (D) wins re-election in Arizona.

11:41 PM
Secretary of State Chet Culver (D) is elected Iowa Governor. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman (R) is re-elected.

11:34 PM
Congressmen Jim Walsh (R), Tom Reynolds (R) and Randy Kuhl (R) win close re-election races in New York.

11:31 PM
Maine Governor John Baldacci (D) wins re-election.

11:26 PM
Major upset: Carol Shea-Porter (D) defeats Congressman Jeb Bradley (D) in New Hampshire's CD-1.

11:08 PM
Ron Klein (D) upsets Congressman Clay Shaw (R) in Florida CD-22. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) defeats Congressman John Sweeney (R) in New York CD-20. Chris Murphy (D) defeats Congresswoman Nancy Johnson (R) in Connecticut CD-5. Gabrielle Giffords scores a Dem pickup for the open Arizona CD-8 seat. US Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Dan Akaka (D-HI) win re-election.

11:00 PM
Polls just closed in California, Hawaii, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington.

10:53 PM
Tim Mahoney scores a Dem pickup in the Florida CD-16 seat previously held by disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley (R). Chris Carney (D) defeats Congressman Don Sherwood (R) in Pennsylvania CD-10.

10:49 PM
Heath Shuler (D) ousts Congressman Charles Taylor (R) in North Carolina CD-11. In Pennsylvania -- with roughly half the votes counted in each of these districts -- GOP congressional incumbents are now trailing in CD-4, CD-6, CD-8 and CD-10 (plus the Dem pickup already scored in the CD-7 seat).

10:42 PM
Congresswoman Thelma Drake (R) survives tough challenge in Virginia CD-2. Joe Sestak (D) defeats Congressman Curt Weldon (R) in Pennsylvania CD-7. Zach Space scores a Dem pickup in the open Ohio CD-18 seat. Mike Arcuri scores a Dem gain for the open New York CD-24 seat.

10:23 PM
Congressman Geoff Davis (R) survives tough re-election race in Kentucky CD-4. Ditto for Congressman Ron Lewis (R) in Kentucky CD-2. With 81% counted, Congressman Jeb Bradley (R) is narrowly trailing for re-election in New Hampshire CD-1 by about 1,000 votes.

Election Night Thread #1
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.07.06 | Permalink |

10:14 PM
Baron Hill (D) ousts Congressman Mike Sodrel (R) in Indiana CD-9. Paul Hodes (D) defeats Congressman Charlie Bass (D) in New Hampshire's CD-2. Kudos to US Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) for giving such a gracious concession speech, in his classy remarks about US Senator-elect Bob Casey Jr. (D).

10:00 PM
Polls just closed in Idaho (half), Iowa, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota (half), Oregon (half) and Utah.

9:50 PM
Attorney General Charlie Crist (R) wins the open Florida Governor race. Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue (R) wins re-election.

9:30 PM
Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) defeats Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich (R). Sheldon Whitehouse (D) defeats US Senator Lincoln Chafee (R) in Rhode Island.

9:27 PM
Joe Donnelly (D) ousts Congressman Chris Chocola (R) in Indiana CD-2. Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) wins re-election.

9:25 PM
John Yarmuth (D) defeats Congresswoman Anne Northup (R) in Kentucky CD-3 by 51-48 vote.

9:16 PM
Congressman Ben Cardin (D) wins the open Maryland US Senate seat. With 96% counted, John Yarmuth (D) is leading Congresswoman Anne Northup (R) by a 51% to 48% vote in Kentucky CD-3. With 35% counted, Mike Weaver (D) trails Congressman Ron Lewis (R) by 2-points in Kentucky CD-2. With 48% reporting, Congressman Geoff Davis (R) leads Ken Lucas (D) by a 49-46 vote in Kentuck CD-4. With 59% counted, Joe Donnelly (D) leads Congressman Chris Chocola (R) by a 53-47 vote in Indiana CD-2. With 59% counted, Baron Hill (D) leads Congressman Mike Sodrel (R) by a 49-47 vote in Indiana CD-9. With 37% counted, Congresswoman Julia Carson (D) leads Eric Dickerson (R) by just 2-points. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer scores a Dem pickup in the open race for New York Governor.

9:11 PM
US Senator Joe Lieberman (Independent) -- who vowed again today he will caucus with the Senate Democrats -- is re-elected in Connecticut.

9:01 PM
Amy Klobuchar (D) wins the open US Senate seat in Minnesota. US Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Craig Thomas (R-WY) win re-election.

9:00 PM
The polls just closed in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

8:41 PM
Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) defeats US Senator Mike DeWine (R) in Ohio.

8:34 PM
US Senator Bob Menendez (D) wins in New Jersey.

8:31 PM
Polls just closed in Arkansas. Bob Casey (D) defeats US Senator Rick Santorum (R) in Pennsylvania. In Michigan, Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) and US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) both win re-election.

8:29 PM
Peter Welch (D) wins the open US House seat in Vermont.

8:23 PM
With 83% counted, John Yarmuth (D) is leading Congresswoman Anne Northup (R) by a 50% to 49% vote in Kentucky CD-3. With 12% counted, Mike Weaver (D) leads Congressman Ron Lewis (R) in Kentucky CD-2 by a 51-49 vote. With 5% reporting, Congressman Geoff Davis (R) leads Ken Lucas (D) by a 57-38 vote in Kentuck CD-4. With 27% counted, Joe Donnelly (D) leads Congressman Chris Chocola (R) by a 59-41 vote in Indiana CD-2. Brad Ellsworth (D) defeated Congressman John Hostettler (R) in Indiana CD-8. With 42% counted, Baron Hill (D) leads Congressman Mike Sodrel (R) by a 50-46 vote.

8:05 PM
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell (R) wins. Deval Patrick (D) scores a Dem pickup in race for Massachusetts Governor. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D) wins re-election over retired pro football player Lynn Swann (R). New Hampshire Governor John Lynch (D) wins big. Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen (D) wins a second term.

8:01 PM
The polls just closed in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan (except far west), Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota (eastern part), Tennessee and Texas (eastern part). US Senator Tom Carper (D) re-elected in Delaware. US Senator Bill Nelson (D) wins re-election in Florida over Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R). US Senator Ted Kennedy (D) re-elected in Massachusetts. US Senator Olympia Snowe (R) wins again in Maine. US Senator Trent Lott (R) re-elected in Mississippi. With 25% counted, Virginia US Senate race is virtual tie.

8:00 PM
The polls just closed in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan (except far west), Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota (eastern part), Tennessee and Texas (eastern part).

7:30 PM
Polls closed in North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia. Congressman Ted Strickland (D) elected Ohio Governor. US Senator Robert C. Byrd (D) re-elected in West Virginia.

7:01 PM
Congressman Bernie Sanders (Independent) declared the winner of the US Senate race in Vermont. US Senator Richard Lugar (R) re-elected in Indiana.

7:00 PM
The polls just closed in Florida (except a few western panhandle areas), Georgia, Indiana (except a few counties, per court order), Kentucky, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Virginia.

6:45 PM
Widespread voter problems in the Cleveland area have the Democrats in court at this late hour, seeking an emergency court order to keep the polls open beyond the scheduled closing time at 7:30 pm EST. Note: Judge orders 16 precincts be kept open until 9 pm.

6:30 PM
Although polls closed in eastern Indiana at 6 pm and in the rest of the state at 7 pm, a court ordered some polling places in parts of the state to remain open until 8:40 pm because of widespread technical problems with voting machines that kept polling places closed for hours into the morning scheduled voting hours ... Also, Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC) were initially turned away at their polling places this morning because they were not carrying proper photo identification -- even though the poll workers readily recognized the two men. They were required to return later with proper ID ... Exit polls are showing that national concerns are trumping local concerns with most voters this year, and with political corruption topping the list of concerns today with voters.


CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR 2006 ELECTION FORECAST.

BY THE NUMBERS: US SENATE RACES.
CONNECTICUT: US Senator Joe Lieberman (Independent) - 49%, businessman Ned Lamont (D) - 38%, former State Representative Alan Schlesinger (R) - 9%. (WABC-TV/SurveyUSA).
CONNECTICUT: Lieberman (Independent) - 50%, Lamont (D) - 38%, Schlesinger (R) - 8%. (Quinnipiac University)
FLORIDA: US Senator Bill Nelson (D) - 59%, Congresswoman Kathryn Harris (R) - 36%. (WFLA-TV/SurveyUSA).
MARYLAND: Congressman Ben Cardin (D) - 49%, Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R) - 46%, progressive activist Kevin Zeese (Green) - 3%. (WMAR-TV/SurveyUSA).
MICHIGAN: US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) - 52%, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) - 42%, UAW local president David Sole (Green) - 2%, attorney Leonard Schwartz (Libertarian) - 2%, retired automotive engineer Dennis FitzSimons (US Taxpayers) - 1%. (WDIV-TV/SurveyUSA).
MICHIGAN: Stabenow (D) - 50%, Bouchard (R) - 44%. (Strategic Vision-R).
MISSOURI: State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) - 50%, US Senator Jim Talent (R) - 44%, Frank Gilmour (Libertarian) - 4%. (KSDK-TV/SurveyUSA).
MISSOURI: Talent (R) - 49%, McCaskill (D) - 48%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW JERSEY: US Senator Bob Menendez (D) - 49%, State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) - 42%. (Strategic Vision-R).
NEW JERSEY: Menendez (D) - 48%, Kean (R) - 43%. (Quinnipiac University).
OHIO: Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) - 54%, US Senator Mike DeWine (R) - 42%. (WCPO-TV/SurveyUSA).
PENNSYLVANIA: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 52%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 40%. (Strategic Vision-R).
TENNESSEE: Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R) - 51%, Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D) - 46%. (WBIR-TV/SurveyUSA).
VIRGINIA: Former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) - 52%, US Senator George Allen (R) - 44%, USAF veteran Gail Parker (Indep. Green) - 2%. (WUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
WASHINGTON: US Senator Maria Cantwell (D) - 53%, insurance executive Mike McGavick (R) - 42%. (Strategic Vision-R).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.07.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: GOVERNOR RACES.
ARKANSAS: Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) - 51%, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson (R) - 42%, former State Representative Jim Lendall (Green) - 2%, musician Rod Bryan (Independent) - 2%. (KTHV-TV/SurveyUSA).
CALIFORNIA: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) - 53%, State Treasurer Phil Angelides (D) - 38%. (KABC-TV/SurveyUSA).
FLORIDA: Attorney General Charlie Crist (R) - 49%, Congressman Jim Davis (D) - 47%, Other - 3%. (WFLA-TV/SurveyUSA).
FLORIDA: Crist (R) - 50%, Davis (D) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
FLORIDA: Crist (R) - 51%, Davis (D) - 44%, businessman Max Linn (Reform) -2%. (Strategic Vision-R).
GEORGIA: Governor Sonny Perdue (R) - 51%, Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor (D) - 38%, computer consultant Garrett Hayes (Libertarian) - 6%. (Strategic Vision-R).
KANSAS: Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) - 57%, State Senator Jim Bennett (R) - 40%, aerospace worker Carl Kramer (Libertarian) - 1%, physician assistant Richard Ranzau (Reform) - 1%. (KCTV-TV/SurveyUSA).
MAINE: Governor John Baldacci (D) - 36%, State Senator Chandler Woodcock (R) - 30%, State Representative Barbara Merrill (Independent) - 21%, radio talk show host Pat LaMarche (Green) - 11%, retiree Phillip NaPier (Independent) - 1%. (WCSH-TV/SurveyUSA).
MARYLAND: Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) - 50%, Governor Bob Ehrlich (R) - 47%, peace activist Ed Boyd (Green) - 1%. (WMAR-TV/SurveyUSA).
MICHIGAN: Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 51%, businessman Dick DeVos (R) - 45%, hospital worker Greg Creswell (Libertarian) - 2%, engineer Doug Campbell (Green) - 1%, engineer Bhagwan Dashairya (US Taxpayers) - 1%. (WDIV-TV/SurveyUSA).
MICHIGAN: Granholm (D) - 52%, DeVos (R) - 42%. (Strategic Vision-R).
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Governor John Lynch (D) - 74%, State Representative Jim Coburn (R) - 18%, Others - 1%. (WMUR-TV/University of New Hampshire).
OHIO: Congressman Ted Strickland (D) - 55%, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) - 38%, retired college professor Bill Peirce (Libertarian) - 2%, newspaper editor Bob Fitrakis (Green) - 1%. (WCPO-TV/SurveyUSA).
PENNSYLVANIA: Governor Ed Rendell (D) - 58%, former football player Lynn Swann (R) - 35%. (Strategic Vision-R).
SOUTH CAROLINA: Governor Mark Sanford (R) - 57%, State Senator Tommy Moore (D) - 40%. (WCSC-TV/SurveyUSA).
TENNESSEE: Governor Phil Bredesen (D) - 62%, State Senator Jim Bryson (R) - 34%. (WBIR-TV/SurveyUSA).
WISCONSIN: Governor Jim Doyle (D) - 48%, Congressman Mark Green (R) - 45%. (Strategic Vision-R).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.07.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: US HOUSE RACES.
ARIZONA - CD-8: Former State Senator Gabrielle Giffords (D) - 50%, former State Representative Randy Graf (R) - 35%, Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan (Libertarian) - 2%, metal shop owner Jay Quick (Independent) - 2%. (Sierra Vista Herald/Wick).
FLORIDA - CD-22: State Senator Ron Klein (D) - 49%, Congressman Clay Shaw (R) - 40%. (Miami Herald/Zogby).
IOWA - CD-1: Attorney Bruce Braley (D) - 56%, restaurant chain owner Mike Whalen (R) - 35%. (Des Moines Register/Selzer).
KENTUCKY - CD-3: Former newspaper publisher John Yarmuth (D) - 50%, Congressman Anne Northup (R) - 45%, State Party Chair Ed Parker (Constitution) - 2%, State Party Chair Donna Mancini (Libertarian) - 1%. (WYTV-TV/SurveyUSA).
KENTUCKY - CD-4: Congressman Geoff Davis (R) - 49%, former Congressman Ken Lucas (D) - 43%, financial consultant Brian Houillion (Libertarian) - 5%. (WHAS-TV/SurveyUSA).
MINNESOTA - CD-5: State Representative Keith Ellison (D) - 49%, management consultant Alan Fine (R) - 24%, former Congressional aide Tammy Lee (Independence) - 22%, artist Jay Pond (Green) - 2%. (KSTP-TV/SurveyUSA).
NEW HAMPSHIRE - CD-1: Congressman Jeb Bradley (R) - 49%, Democratic activist Carol Shea-Porter (D) - 40%. (WMUR-TV/University of New Hampshire).
NEW HAMPSHIRE - CD-1: Bradley (R) - 48%, Shea-Porter (D) - 40%. (Concord Monitor/Research 2000).
NEW HAMPSHIRE - CD-2: Attorney Paul Hodes (D) - 48%, Congressman Charlie Bass (R) - 39%, Others - 3%. (WMUR-TV/University of New Hampshire).
NEW HAMPSHIRE - CD-2: Bass - 47%, Hodes (D) - 46%. (Concord Monitor/Research 2000).
NEW MEXICO - CD-1: Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D) - 50%, Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R) - 48%. (KOB-TV/SurveyUSA).
NEW MEXICO - CD-1: Madrid (D) - 49%, Wilson (R) - 45%. (Albuquerque Journal).
NEW YORK - CD-20: Attorney Kirsten Gillibrand (D) - 46%, Congressman John Sweeney (R) - 43%. (Siena College).
NEW YORK - CD-26: Congressman Tom Reynolds (R) - 47%, manufacturer Jack Davis (D) - 46%. (Buffalo News/Zogby).
WASHINGTON - CD-8: Congressman Dave Reichert (R) - 49%, former Microsoft executive Darcy Burner (D) - 49%. (KING-TV/SurveyUSA).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.07.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
We'll be here updating this homepage with key results throughout Tuesday night as the votes are counted.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.07.06 | Permalink |

WANNA TRADE?
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to trade, I'm interesting in swapping with you for some great US pins. Please drop me a note!

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MONDAY: POLITICS1 ELECTION FORECAST - PART 5.

PENNSYLVANIA:
GOVERNOR: Governor Ed Rendell (D) will win a second term by a wide margin, in what he promises is the final campaign of his lengthy political career. Retired pro football player Lynn Swann (R) proved to be a disappointing and lightweight candidate. GOP leaders helped clear the primary field for Swann, but his best day in the polls was when he launched his campaign last year. It went all downhill from there. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senator Rick Santorum (R) has been at the top of everyone's "most endangered incumbent" list for nearly two years. The outcome of this contact -- matching Santorum against State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) -- was never in doubt. Yes, once in a while Santorum narrowed his deficit to the single digits, but he's generally trailed Casey by 10+ points throughout the campaign. Santorum's backers and the Republican Party financed a n extensive petition effort to get the Green Party's nominee on the ballot, in the hope of siphoning away Dem votes, but the signature drive and subsequent GOP-financed legal challenge fell short. Even after a multi-million dollar NRSC ad blitz bashing Casey, Santorum failed to narrow the gap. Casey will score the most anticipated Dem pickup of this electoral season. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US HOUSE: CD-4: Congresswoman Melissa Hart (R) is locked in a surprisingly tough race for a fourth term, having never before faced a competitive challenge. Former Congressional aide and hospital lobbyist Jason Altmire (D) is running an aggressive campaign, and recent indy polls show him within reach of Hart. Altmire appears to have the momentum in these final days, and he'll come very close, but look for Hart to survive. CD-6: Congressman Jim Gerlach (R) -- a top Dem target -- represents a swing district won by Kerry in 2004. This year he is facing a rematch with attorney Lois Murphy (D), who lost by 2-points last time. The national demographics this year are different -- and more favorable -- for Murphy. Look for her to reverse the outcome of the '04 race. CD-7: This is an easy call: Congressman Curt Weldon (R) is a sure-thing goner. Weldon was already locked in a very tough battle against retired Navy Admiral Joe Sestak (D) -- and that was before the FBI conducted multiple raids on several locations tied to Weldon's family and associates last month related to corruption allegations. Sestak will win handily. CD-8: Freshman Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R) seems an unlikely fit for this district, as he's a conservative Republican representing a very moderate constituency (Kerry defeated Bush here by 3-points in 2004). This seat was represented for years by a GOP centrist, so voters here are certainly very willing to send a Republican for Congress. Iraq War veteran and attorney Patrick Murphy (D) is a top-notch candidate for this seat. However, Fitzpatrick has run a good campaign. Recent polls have given the incumbent a slight edge, and this seat could easily go either way. Fitzpatrick will scrape out a very narrow win. CD-10: Scandal -- not any national wave -- is the cause of the political demise of Congressman Don Sherwood (R). After winning election as a "family values" conservative, the married Sherwood was revealed as a phony when his mistress called police to report Sherwood tried to strangle her after an argument. When she failed to cooperate with the police, the police were unable to pursue criminal charges against Sherwood. On Friday the AP reported why: Sherwood had secretly entered last year into a written settlement agreement with the mistress in which he will pay he $500,000 in installment payments in exchange for her silence. He's paid over half so far, so she won't be talking anytime before Election Day. After Election Day nobody will care, as Sherwood will no longer be in Congress. Naval Reserve officer and college professor Chris Carney (D) is going to destroy Sherwood by a wide margin. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 3 SEATS.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

RHODE ISLAND:
GOVERNOR: If the Dems can hold the governorship in a solid red state like Kansas, then it is only fair that the Republicans can hold the governorship in a solid blue state like Rhode Island. Governor Don Carcieri (R) is possibly "too conservative" for many voters. However, in a state where political corruption unfortunately seems de rigueur, Carcieri is seemingly untouched by scandal. For many voters, that may be reason enough to re-elect him. For the record, Lieutenant Governor Charlie Fogarty (D) is a career public servant who also appears to be an honest, decent guy. Carcieri, however, will win by several points. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US SENATE: If Carcieri is a Republican too conservative for many Rhode Island voters, US Senator Lincoln Chafee is a GOP centrist with views much more aligned with state voters. That's why it is so ironic that Carcieri will survive while Chafee will be defeated by former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse (D). Chafee is not a good fit for the GOP: he supports gay marriage and abortion rights, is vocal in his criticisms of President Bush's domestic surveillance program, and told reporters he did not vote for President Bush in 2004. In fact, Chafee barely survived his primary this year from a social conservative challenger. Had Chafee simply switched parties in 2002 -- a topic he acknowledged discussing back then with some Dem Senators -- he would be headed to an easy re-election victory this year. Whitehouse convincingly argues that so long as Chafee votes to make the Republicans the majority party, it results in conservative chairmanships and policies sharply at odds with Rhode Island values. Whitehouse will win by at least several points. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US HOUSE: No competitive House races. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

SOUTH CAROLINA:
GOVERNOR: Governor Mark Sanford (R) is an incumbent with a long list of enemies within his own party and the state legislature. They dislike his uncompromising obstinacy and loose cannon behavior. Although some prominent Republicans are openly backing State Senator Tommy Moore (D), Sanford will still easily win a second term. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: CD-5: Republicans had high hopes last year of ousting Congressman John Spratt (D), or at least giving him a close race. However, State Representative Ralph Norman (R) has proven to be a weak challenger. Spratt will win in a landslide. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

SOUTH DAKOTA:
GOVERNOR: Governor Mike Rounds (R) will defeat former State Representative Jack Billion (D) in a landslide. The only question: Will Rounds then use this big win as a springboard into the 2008 contest against US Senator Tim Johnson (D)? RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth (D) is not facing any serious opposition. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

TENNESSEE:
GOVERNOR: Governor Phil Bredesen (D) is a good fit for Tennessee. He'll win a second term by a huge margin over State Senator Jim Bryson (R). RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R) is retiring, in anticipation of making a 2008 White House run. Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R) and Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D) are competing for the open seat. Corker, a GOP moderate, won the primary because two conservatives split the conservative base. Ford, like Corker, is also a centrist -- and certainly the most conservative African-American currently serving in Congress. Ford was gaining on Corker for much of October, but momentum now seems to have shifted back to the Republican. Corker will win by at least a few points. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: CD-1: Congressman Bill Jenkins (R) is retiring. Republicans have held this seat since the end of the Civil War. Don't expect that tradition to change now. State Representative David Davis (R) will win this open seat. CD-9: This race for Congressman Ford's open seat -- a safe Dem seat -- is particularly tough to predict. State Senator Steve Cohen (D) -- who is white -- won the very crowded primary over a large field of African-American hopefuls. Black voters make up a large amount of the district. Congressman Ford's brother -- pharmaceutical sales representative Jake Ford (Independent) -- moved back to Tennessee earlier within the past year just to seek this seat. The incumbent has made no endorsement and Jake Ford vows to caucus with the Dems if he wins. Despite the Ford name and the racial undertones, look for Cohen to win. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

TEXAS:
GOVERNOR: This is probably the most colorful gubernatorial contest in the nation, featuring four viable candidates. Governor Rick Perry (R) is being seriously challenged by former Congressman Chris Bell (D), State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn (Independent) and outspoken musician/author Kinky Friedman (Independent). All three challengers are scoring in the double-digits in indy polls. Perry, meanwhile, is mired around the 40% mark -- meaning he could have been in trouble in a head-to-head contest. Since none of the challengers were willing to exit in favor of a single "anti-Perry" unity candidate, Perry will win a plurality victory. Bell will finish second (something that was once in doubt). RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) will win re-election in a landslide over her earnest -- yet hapless -- opponent. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: CD-17: Congressman Chet Edwards (D) will have to fight hard for victory every two years in his gerrymandered, conservative district. Edwards is a conservative "Blue Dog Democrat" backed by groups like the US Chamber of Commerce, NFIB and the Farm Bureau that rarely back Democrats. Iraq War veteran Van Taylor (R) is a credible candidate, but Edwards will win again (possibly by a margin in excess of 10-points). CD-22: Resigned House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) will see a Democrat win his open seat due to his own bungled attempt to withdraw from the race. When a judge vetoed DeLay's attempt to let the GOP replace him on the November ballot, he withdrew his name entirely. In turn, Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (R) is running as a write-in candidate and is backed by the NRCC. Two other Republicans are also running as write-in candidates. Former Congressman Nick Lampson (D) -- a victim of DeLay's 2004 redistricting plan in a nearby district -- will win this seat. CD-23: Democrats would like to oust Congressman Henry Bonilla (R), but I don't see it happening. Bonilla will win another term, either on Tuesday or in the December run-off (if needed). RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 1 SEAT.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

UTAH:
US SENATE: US Senator Orrin Hatch (R) will win big over internet executive Pete Ashdown (D). RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: All three Congressional incumbents will win re-election by wide margins. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

VERMONT:
GOVERNOR: Former State Democratic Chair Scudder Parker has been steadily gaining on Governor Jim Douglas (R) over the past month. However, the moderate incumbent is well-respected and will win another term by at least several points. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senator Jim Jeffords (Independent) is retiring. Congressman Bernie Sanders (Independent) -- a self-proclaimed "socialist" -- will score a wide win over wealthy software executive Rich Tarrant (R). Sanders --like Jeffords -- has vowed to caucus with the Dems. RESULT: INDY/DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: The race for Congressman Sanders' open seat was very close for months, but State Senate President Pro Tem Peter Welch (D) moved out to a significant lead over the past month. Retired State Adjutant General and USAF Major General Martha Rainville -- a pro-choice moderate closely aligned with Governor Douglas -- was probably the strongest candidate her party could have nominated this year. Unfortunately for Rainville, this is a hyper-partisan year and she will not be able to overcome the hurdle of her party label in this generally liberal state. Welch will win. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

VIRGINIA:
US SENATE: US Senator George Allen (R) should have had this one in the bag, as it was his race to lose. He was holding a massive lead in the polls over his likely Senate rivals and the Inside-the-Beltway crowd had already anointed Allen as the leading conservative rival to McCain for the 2008 Presidential nomination. And then Allen started being Allen. The stupid Macaca has ineptly spun by his own campaign from a minor problem into a major crisis. More bad press followed, including Allen's angry and flip-flopping reaction to the reports (which he since acknowledged) that his mother's family is Jewish. Former Reagan Administration Navy Secretary and bestselling author Jim Webb (D) -- who switched parties to make the race -- has proven to be an aggressive challenger. Even at Allen's worst moments, Webb moved into a virtual tie with Allen but did not pass him. In many ways, these numbers were like those from last year's Kaine-Kilgore gubernatorial race in which the Republican held an ever-dwindling advantage until near the very end. Webb seems to be peaking at the right time, and the national wave should also benefit him. Webb will win by the narrowest of margins. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US HOUSE: CD-2: Congresswoman Thelma Drake (R) finds herself locked into a surprisingly close race race against Virginia Beach Commissioner of the Revenue Phil Kellam (D). Independent polls show the lead switching back and forth, although Kellam may have peaked a bit too early. This is a swing district that went for Bush in 2004 by 16-points, but then went Dem in the '05 Gov race by 3-points. Look for Drake to win a second term. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

WASHINGTON:
US SENATE: US Senator Maria Cantwell (D) rebounded from weak summer poll numbers against insurance executive Mike McGavick (R). These days, she again looks positioned to score a convincing win for a second term. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: CD-5: Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (R) is locked in a much tougher than expected race against scientist and rancher Peter Goldmark (D). Goldmark's surprising strength forced McMorris to run a heavy volley of attack spots and import big name Republicans to campaign for her. McMorris will win, but Goldmark is well-positioned to be taken more seriously by the DCCC if he makes a second run in 2008. CD-8: Freshman Congressman Dave Reichert (R) is a top DCCC target in this swing district. Former Microsoft executive Darcy Burner (D) has raised a large amount of money and hammered Reichert in TV spots for promising to be independent-minded when in reality Reichert is essentially a solid pro-Bush and pro-Iraq War vote in the House. While that kind of record may help in many area of the nation, it would not be a plus in this district. Burner will score a Dem pickup here. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 1 SEAT.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

WEST VIRGINIA:
US SENATE: US Senator Robert C. Byrd (D) first was elected to Congress in 1952. Now, more than five decades later, he will easily win yet another term in DC. Wealthy businessman and former State GOP Chair John Raese -- who espouses elimination of both the federal minimum wage and air pollution controls -- will lose his third statewide campaign. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: CD-1: Congressman Alan Mollohan (D) could have been in trouble, had he faced a tougher foe this year. Mollohan is under investigation for possible corruption involving a sweetheart land deal with a federal contractor. State Delegate Chris Wakim (R) turned out to also be a flawed candidate, who admitted his campaign materials falsified claims about his military service (falsely claimed to be a Gulf War veteran) and an Ivy League graduate degree. Mollohan will win. CD-2: Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R) is a perennial Dem tareg in this swing district. This time her opponent is former State Democratic Chairman and former State Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Callaghan (D). He's a credible candidate, but Capito will win yet again. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

WISCONSIN:
GOVERNOR: Governor Jim Doyle (D) is facing an aggressive challenge from four-term Congressman Mark Green (R). Doyle's poll numbers have been fairly lackluster, but still he always managed to hold an advantage over Green. Doyle likely won't win big -- but he'll still win. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senator Herb Kohl (D) will win in a landslide over his gadfly GOP opponent. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: CD-5: Dems like to claim college professor Bryan Kennedy (D) is giving House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Sensenbrenner (R) a real run for his money. Kennedy may be a decent candidate, but Sensenbrenner should win again. CD-8: In the race for Congressman Green's open seat, State Assembly Speaker John Gard (R) is facing a tough race against wealthy physician Steve Kagen (D). Kagen was an upset winner in the primary, and looks strong for the general. Although Bush won this district by 11-points in 2004, the free-spending Kagen seems to have the momentum in these final days. Kagen will win this race. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 1 SEAT.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

WYOMING:
GOVERNOR: Governor Dave Freudenthal (D) will romp to a second term in a landslide win. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senator Craig Thomas (R) will also win in a landslide -- the only real question is whether Freudenthal's landslide will be higher than Thomas' landslide. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: Congresswoman Barbara Cubin (R) is in trouble. First, voters seem to view Cubin as generally ineffective in DC. Second, an unknown GOP primary foe with no money captured 40% against Cubin this summer. Next, add in the recent gaffe when Cubin -- post-TV debate and still being recorded -- told her paraplegic Libertarian opponent that she'd slap him in the face if he wasn't in a wheelchair (because he had dared to ask in the debate about money she received from certain tainted lobbyists). These missteps seem to be helping Teton County School Board Chair Gary Trauner (D). Polls show Trauner now has momentum and has turned the race into a near tie. Under normal circumstances, Cubin would win. However, this is an unusual year and Cubin is running a fairly poor campaign. Trauner should score a rare Dem win for this House seat -- the first since the late Teno Roncalio (D) held this seat 30 years. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 1 SEAT.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

SOME FINALTHOUGHTS ON THE COMING DEM TSUNAMI ...
Here is what these forecasts from the fifty states total:

GOVERNORSHIPS: Democrats +8.
US SENATE: Democrats +6.
US HOUSE: Democrats +32.

This paragraph is a key qualifier to my 2006 predictions. I'm obviously one of those pundits who sees an anti-Republican tsunami sweeping the nation this year. That is why, above and beyond any of the specific races I projected herein, I think we'll see maybe 5 more GOP House incumbents fall to largely overlooked challengers (bringing the Democratic score in House races to around +37). Attribute it to President Bush, the unending Iraq quagmire, the Abramoff-Foley-DeLay-Taft scandals, or whatever -- but there are lots of reasons why angry voters are fed-up and going to vote for change on November 7.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Final hours are ticking down.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.06.06 | Permalink |

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, etc., 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 homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: Iraq War veteran, former state legislative aide and former Politics1 War Correspondent James Crabtree, Republican for Travis County Clerk (Texas); Former US Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Deval Patrick, Democrat for Massachusetts Governor; State Party Chair and businessman Dave Chandler, Green for Congress on Colorado's CD-7; Senior Project Manager and Navy veteran Bill Hansman, Democrat for Pennsylvania State Representative District 196; and the Green Party of the US.

WEEKEND OPEN THREAD.

FREE SPEECH ZONE:
I'll publish the final installment (Pennsylvania - Wyoming) of my election forecast on Monday. For those keeping score, here is my projected tally thus far covering the races in Alabama through Oregon:
GOVERNORSHIPS: Democrats +8.
US SENATE: Democrats +3.
US HOUSE: Democrats +25.
The key US Senate races to determine majority control are in the final batch. Stay tuned.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.04.06 | Permalink |

FRIDAY: POLITICS1 ELECTION FORECAST - PART 4.

NEW HAMPSHIRE:
GOVERNOR: Governor John Lynch (D) will win a second term in a landslide, likely finishing above the 70% mark. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: CD-2: A recent indy poll showed attorney Paul Hodes (D) leading Congressman Charlie Bass (R), but it seemed to be an outlier since other polls place Bass ahead in this rematch of the 2004 race. Hodes will do well -- better than he did two years ago -- but Bass should still hold the seat. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.03.06 | Permalink |

NEW JERSEY:
US SENATE: Congressman Bob Menendez (D) was appointed to the US Senate vacancy a year ago, and has struggled ever since to hold his seat against hard-charging State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R). Kean has blasted Menendez for months for various purported ethics problems. In return, Menendez blasted Kean -- a GOP centrist -- for his ties to the unpopular Republican leadership in DC. The lead has swung back and forth between the two men for months. While Menendez may be a weak candidate, the overall Democratic propensities of the Garden State should help Menendez win a full-term in the Senate by a narrow margin. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE:
An upset is always possible in any of these more competitive contests, but none are currently on the "sleeper" radar. In the open CD-13 race, State Assembly Speaker Albio Sires (D) is a safe bet to win. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.03.06 | Permalink |

NEW MEXICO:
GOVERNOR: Governor Bill Richardson (D) -- a likely 2008 White House candidate -- will cruise to a landslide win over former State GOP Chair John Dendahl. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senator Jeff Bingaman (D) will likewise score a landslide win for a fifth term. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE:
CD-1: Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R) has regularly survived tough Democratic challenges in this swing district. This year, however, her luck will run out. Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D) has either been tied with or slightly leading Wilson in most independent polls since Labor Day. Both women are strong candidates running aggressive campaigns. The national wave, and the strength of the Dems at the top of the NM ticket, will conspire to give Madrid the victory. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 1 SEAT.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.03.06 | Permalink |

NEW YORK:
GOVERNOR: Governor George Pataki (R) did not seek reelection to a fourth term in order to prepare for a possible White House run. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) has been a lock to win this race -- and win it big -- from the start. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US SENATE: US Senator Hillary Clinton (R) will score an easy win for a second term against former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer (R). RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE:
Several seats in play here, due in part to both the national Democratic wave and coattails from the incredible strength of the Spitzer-Clinton ticket within the state. CD-3: Congressman Peter King (R) is facing an aggressive challenge from Nassau County Legislator Dave Mejias (D) in this swing district. Recent polls show King holding a single-digit edge -- and this could be another of the sleeper races -- but King appears likely to survive. CD-11: New York City Councilwoman Yvette Clarke (D) is a safe bet to win this open seat, as the September primary was the only real fight here. CD-19: Congresswoman Sue Kelly (R) is facing a very strong challenge from former Ulster County Legislator and 1970s rock band member John Hall (D). Hall has proven to be a much tougher foe than Kelly seems to have anticipated, and polls show this race is very close. This one is a coin toss, but I'll call it for Hall in an upset. CD-20: The nasty and personal contest between Congressman John Sweeney (R) and attorney Kirsten Gillibrand (D) has been on the national radar for months. Several news reports hinted that Governor Pataki and his GOP allies are quietly helping the Dem, as Sweeney is one of Pataki's leading critics within the NY Republican Party. Gillibrand is an attractive candidate, but the district's demographics heavily favor Sweeney -- so much so that it should allow Sweeney to survive the challenge. CD-24: Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R) -- a prototypical RINO representing a swing district -- is retiring. State Senator Ray Meier (R) and Oneida County District Attorney Mike Arcuri (D) are facing-off for the open seat. Meier is much more conservative than Boehlert, so he'll be a harder sell for the GOP in this center-left district. Dems have had their eye on this seat for years, waiting for Boehlert's retirement to place it into play. Look for Arcuri to score a Dem pickup. CD-26: Congressman Tom Reynolds (R) -- the current NRCC Chair -- is facing a very tough rematch against wealthy retired industrialist and former Republican Jack Davis (D). Reynolds' apparent knowledge of and cover-up of the Mark Foley congressional page sex scandal -- possibly for nearly a year before the scandal publicly broke -- put the incumbent on the defensive. In fact, it appears Reynolds last year convinced Foley to seek re-election in 2006 when Foley was thinking of retiring, and then got Foley to donate $100,000 to the NRCC. This race could go either way, despite the district's natural Republican lean, and polls have shown the lead swinging back and forth between the two men. Chalk up Reynolds as another victim of the wave, as Davis will score a narrow win (probably making Davis the oldest incoming freshman in the next Congress). CD-29: Democrats initially had high hopes for the candidacy of retired Navy officer Eric Massa (D) against first-term Congressman Randy Kuhl (R). Massa served as an aide to General Wes Clark when Clark was the NATO Supreme Allied Commander in the 1990s. Massa's campaign, however, made several stumbles and generally under-performed. That should enable Kuhl to survive in this very bad year for New York Republicans. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 3 SEATS.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.03.06 | Permalink |

NORTH CAROLINA:
US HOUSE: CD-8: Teacher and former textile plant manager Larry Kissell (D) is waging a much-stronger-than-expected challenge to Congressman Robin Hayes (R). However, Hayes will survive. CD-11: The DCCC has targeted Congressman Charles Taylor (R) repeatedly during his eight-terms in the House, yet he always survived. However, the longer Taylor has served, the more the ethics problems mount. On top of that, Taylor cast some locally unpopular free trade votes and the Dems recruited a top-notch challenger in former pro football player and real estate executive Heath Shuler (D). Shuler will defeat Taylor, likely by at least several points. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 1 SEAT.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.03.06 | Permalink |

NORTH DAKOTA:
US SENATE: US Senator Kent Conrad (D) has the highest approval ratings of any Democratic Senator in the nation. He will win in a landslide over Anderson Town Councilman Dwight Grotberg (R). RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE:
Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D) will have no problem fending off an energetic challenge from farmer Matt Mechtel (R). RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.03.06 | Permalink |

OHIO:
GOVERNOR: Term-limited Governor Bob Taft (R) pled guilty last year in a plea bargain to misdemeanor corruption charges, yet remained in office despite numerous calls for his resignation. In response, Ohio voters have given Taft possibly the highest negative rating ever recorded for a sitting Governor (at one point earlier this year, an independent poll showed only a dismal 9% of residents approved of Taft's overall performance). Fair or not, the "Taft taint" has poisoned nearly everyone and anyone in the Ohio Republican Party who is locked in a competitive race this year. Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) and Congressman Ted Strickland (D) are seeking the open seat. Blackwell is a social conservative who defeated a Taft ally in the GOP primary. Strickland is a moderate, pro-gun Democrat. Blackwell has trailed Strickland by double-digits for months, prompting Blackwell to act more desperate and, in turn, lose even more support. Strickland will win in a landslide -- and carry near all of the statewide Democratic slate to victory on his coattails. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US SENATE: US Senator Mike DeWine (R) looked in good shape for reelection just a year or so ago, but his numbers have declined with the demise of Taft and the Ohio Republicans. Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) has run a strong campaign against DeWine, bashing him for his pro-Bush and pro-Iraq War record. The NRSC poured money into the state a few weeks ago in a wave of anti-Brown advertising attacking him as "a liberal." When it barely dented Brown's lead, the NRSC canceled the remaining TV buys and financially pulled the plug on DeWine. Brown will win by several points. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US HOUSE:
Thanks to Governor Taft (the gift that keeps giving to the Democrats), the Dems will score several congressional pickups that were inconceivable just a year ago. CD-1: Congressman Steve Chabot (R) is being challenged by Cincinnati City Councilman John Cranley (D). The two men first met in the 2000 race, which Chabot won. Chabot will lose the rematch for the same reason as DeWine: because he's an Ohio Republican in a swing district. CD-2: Dems would love to oust Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R), who earned their enmity with her nasty House floor remarks last year accusing decorated Korean War veteran and Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) of "cut and run" cowardice. This district is overwhelmingly Republican, yet Schmidt is locked in a close fight with physician Victoria Wulsin (D). In part, this is because many Republicans here have also not warmed to Schmidt. A month ago, I'd have called this race for Schmidt. However, several independent polls show Wulsin has momentum and a slight lead. Look for Wulsin to score a major upset, even though she may well be a one-termer because of the district's demographics. CD-3: Two-term Congressman Mike Turner (R) is being challenged by former Assistant US Attorney Dick Chema (D). Place this one on the list of possible sleepers, but Turner should win. CD-4: State Senator Jim Jordan (R) is expected to defeat former Lima Law Director Rick Siferd (D) by a comfortable margin, in the race for this open GOP seat. CD-6: State Senator Charlie Wilson (D) will cruise to a big win over State House Speaker Pro Tem Chuck Blasdel (D) for Congressman Strickland's open seat. CD-12: Former one-term Congressman Bob Shamansky (D) is surprisingly giving Congressman Pat Tiberi (R) a real run for his money. Shamansky hasn't held elective office in over 20 years, but the Iraq War is resonating with voters as a solid issue for him. Tiberi will win, but it won't be an impressive win. CD-13: Former State Representative Betty Sutton (D) is headed to a surprisingly easy victory over Lorain Mayor Craig Fultin (R) for Congressman Brown's open seat. At one point, this open seat was high on the NRCC radar. CD-15: Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R) has been a rising star in the House Republican Leadership. Now that status -- and her past support for partially privatizing Social Security -- are coming back to hurt her. Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy (D) is a running a very aggressive, in-your-face campaign that appears likely to topple Pryce. The incumbent has fought back with a real intensity, trying to bolster her credentials as a political independent, but Kilroy will win this race. CD-18: Congressman Bob Ney (R), who recently pled guilty to federal felony corruption charges, quit his race for re-election here. Ney and other Republican leaders quickly recruited State Senator Joy Padgett (R) -- a close Taft ally -- as the replacement GOP nominee. Dover Law Director and hotel developer Zach Space (D) has run a creative, energetic campaign. He may be too liberal to win this GOP district in your average year, but this isn't an average year. Even the NRCC has canceled any further expenditures on behalf of Padgett, because she is too far behind in both public and internal polls. Space will win by at least several points. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 4 SEATS (and maybe more).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.03.06 | Permalink |

OKLAHOMA:
GOVERNOR: Governor Brad Henry (D) is coasting to a surprisingly easy win over Congressman Ernest Istook (R) -- possibly by as large as a 2-to-1 margin. Why did Istook give up his safe House seat in favor of this impossible race? RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: CD-5: Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin (R) will defeat surgeon David Hunter (D) by a huge margin for Congressman Istook's open seat in this safe GOP district. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.03.06 | Permalink |

OREGON:
GOVERNOR: Governor Ted Kulongoski (D) holds lukewarm approval ratings, yet he'll still win a second term thanks to a relatively weak GOP nominee. Former Portland School Board Member Ron Saxton (R) -- who was a pro-choice GOP centrist in his 2002 primary run for Governor -- is now repackaged as a pro-life conservative. Just as the unions are fairly tepid in their support for the centrist Kulongoski, social conservatives are equally wary of Saxton. Adding to Saxton's woes is the candidacy of Mary Starrett (Constitution), a popular retired TV news anchor and pro-life activist. It won't be a convincing win for Kulongoski, but a win is still a win. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: A few credible challengers are running, but all of the Congressional incumbents look likely to win new terms. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.03.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
T-G-I-F (
especially the Friday before Election Day).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.03.06 | Permalink |

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, etc., 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 homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: Radio talk show host and businesswoman Pat LaMarche, Green for Maine Governor.

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THURSDAY: POLITICS1 ELECTION FORECAST - PART 3.

MAINE:
GOVERNOR: Governor John Baldacci (D) may hold a fairly low approval rating, but he will still win a re-election by a comfortable plurality. State Senator Chandler Woodcock (R) -- who is too conservative to be truly competitive in this center-left state -- will limp in at a distant second place. Interestingly, both State Representative Barbara Merrill (Independent) and radio talk show host Pat LaMarche (Green) appear headed to respectable double-digit finishes. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senator Olympia Snowe (R) will score a landslide re-election -- possibly by the largest margin this year of any US Senate race in the nation. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE:
CD-8: Both incumbents are very safe. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.02.06 | Permalink |

MARYLAND:
GOVERNOR: Governor Bob Ehrlich (R) was elected in an upset four years ago in this heavily Democratic state, in large part because of the inept campaign run by his then-opponent. This time, however, Ehrlich will not be so fortunate. Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) is a strong contender and has run a decent campaign. Some indy polls in recent months showed Ehrlich closing the gap (and then losing ground again), but not one has shown him leading O'Malley. Look for O'Malley to win by at least several points. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US SENATE: US Senator Paul Sarbanes (D) is retiring. Ten-term Congressman Ben Cardin (D), Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R) and peace activist Kevin Zeese (Green) are running to replace him. Steele has shown surprising strength for a Maryland Republican, with polls frequently showing him in a virtual tie with Cardin. Despite a fairly conservative record, Steele has worked to distance himself from President Bush's agenda. Despite this, Steele will find it very hard to overcome the Democratic wave on Election Day. Cardin will win, probably by a margin of at least 4-points. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: CD-3: Attorney John Sarbanes (D) -- the son of the retiring US Senator -- will easily win Cardin's open House seat. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.02.06 | Permalink |

MASSACHUSETTS:
GOVERNOR: After just one term, Governor Mitt Romney (R) did not seek re-election in order to concentrate on laying the groundwork for a 2008 Presidential run. Former US Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick won the competitive Democratic primary with surprising ease, and has held an solid advantage ever since. Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey (R) has lagged far behind, seemingly having trouble crossing the rather low 30% threshold in polls. Wealthy Republican businessman Christy Mihos was pressured out of the GOP contest, so he is running instead as an Independent -- and further hurting Healey by siphoning away some GOP votes. Patrick will win by a very big margin, making him the state's first ever African-American Governor and the first Democrat to win a gubernatorial race here since 1986. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US SENATE: US Senator Ted Kennedy (D) will score yet another landslide re-election victory. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: No competitive congressional races -- and 5 of the state's 10 incumbents were already reelected without any opposition at all. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.02.06 | Permalink |

MICHIGAN:
GOVERNOR: When billionaire Amway executive Dick DeVos (R) launched his campaign last year against Governor Jennifer Granholm (D), polls showed the incumbent was highly vulnerable. A weak state economy seemed to further hurt Granholm. However, the national anti-Republican wave and an aggressive campaign by the incumbent propelled her back into a comfortable lead in recent weeks. Despite high early GOP hopes here, Granholm will win a second term -- likely by at least 10-points. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) is facing a surprisingly energetic challenge from Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R). However, Bouchard is under-funded and running in a bad year for Republican challengers. Stabenow will win by at least 10-15%. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: Democrats fielded decent challengers in several districts -- and any one of these candidates has the potential of being in the right place at the right time to capitalize on the national wave with an upset win -- but right now the incumbents all appear likely to survive. CD-7: Former State Representative and Religious Right activist Tim Walberg ousted moderate freshman Congressman Joe Schwarz in the GOP primary. The district is fairly solidly Republican, and paralegal and farmer Sharon Reiner (D) is not viewed as a particularly strong nominee. With little resources, Reiner will come closer than anyone expects, but Walberg will still win the seat. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.02.06 | Permalink |

MINNESOTA:
GOVERNOR: Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) looked strong and his proclaimed independent streak seemed to help him distance himself from the national GOP in this Dem-leaning state. Further, the Democrats nominated Attorney General Mike Hatch, an unexciting candidate who has run twice before for Governor. Respected former State Finance Commissioner Peter Hutchinson (Independence) -- who was also an advisor to Governor Jesse Ventura (Independence) -- is also running. The national Democratic wave will claim Pawlenty as another one of the many GOP victims, but the final margin will be rather close. This will also end any talk of Pawlenty as a possible candidate for President or VP in 2008. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US SENATE: US Senator Mark Dayton (D), somewhat of a political gadfly, is not seeking a second term. Republicans quickly proclaimed Congressman Mark Kennedy (R) as the frontrunner for the open seat and touted him as the "strongest" shot in the nation for the GOP to score a pickup in the Senate. Well, that was all a long time ago. The Democrats quickly unified behind Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar (D) and she roared into a solid lead. Kennedy is simply too conservative and too pro-Bush to win this seat in the current political climate. In fact, Kennedy is trailing Klobuchar by a rather wide margin. Klobuchar will easily keep this seat in Democratic hands. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: Lots of unexpectedly close House races here, any of which could go either way. CD-1: Congressman Gil Gutknecht (R) is facing a surprisingly aggressive challenge from military veteran and teacher Tim Walz (D). This could be one of the sleeper races if the national wave is of tsunami proportions. I'm going out on a limb here, but I predict Walz will narrowly win defeat Gutknecht in a major upset. CD-2: Retired FBI Agent Coleen Rowley (D) was highly touted by the DCCC against Congressman John Kline (R) -- but then Rowley proceeded to run a bumbling campaign for months. With some summer staffing changes, Rowley seems to finally have her act together. This race will be much closer than anyone thinks, but Kline will survive. CD-5: This open seat is solidly Democratic, so State Representative Keith Ellison (D) is a lock to win -- and to become the first Muslim to serve in Congress. CD-6: State Senator Michelle Bachmann (R) and child safety advocate Patty Wetterling (D) are locked in a very competitive race for the seat being vacated by Congressman Kennedy. Bachmann is one of the most socially conservative members of the state legislature, but this does not seem to be hurting her (as Kennedy was also very conservative). Wetterling is a quality candidate with a compelling personal story, and has a real shot here. Polls show the lead shifting back and forth. Look for Bachmann to score a narrow win. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 1 SEAT.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.02.06 | Permalink |

MISSISSIPPI:
US SENATE: US Senator Trent Lott (R) will win a landslide re-election victory over State Representative and former LaRouche activist Erik Fleming (D). This will pave the way -- with Rick Santorum gone from the Senate -- for Lott to seek the Republican Whip position in the next Congress. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: The GOP challenger in CD-2 is a credible candidate, but all of the Mississippi incumbents are safe. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.02.06 | Permalink |

MISSOURI:
US SENATE: The seat held by US Senator Jim Talent (R) has a rather volatile recent electoral history. In 2000, incumbent John Ashcroft (R) lost to deceased Governor Mel Carnahan (D). As promised, the Governor appointed Carnahan's widow to serve the two-year term. In 2002, Talent ousted Carnahan. Further, this is a state highy-prone historically to being influenced by national trends. This year, look for the Democrats to reclaim the seat with a victory by State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D). McCaskill -- just two years after narrowly losing the 2004 gubernatorial race -- is running a smart campaign. She has also exploited Talent's weaknesses, particularly on issues like his waffling opposition to stem cell research. McCaskill will give the Dems one of the key seats they need for control of the Senate. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US HOUSE: None of the Congressional races here appear to be very competitive. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.02.06 | Permalink |

MONTANA:
US SENATE: US Senator Conrad Burns (R) has spent the 2006 campaign dogged by news reports of serious corruption allegations involving his close ties to disgraced lobbyist and felon Jack Abramoff. Adding to Burns' problems is his propensity to repeatedly shoot himself in the foot with a series of embarrassing verbal gaffes. Combined with the national wave and recent Democratic gains in Montana (the Dems captured the Governorship and control of the state legislature in 2004), this spells defeat for Burns. State Senate President Jon Tester (D) is an unapologetic prairie populist. Burns may correctly label Tester "a liberal" but it won't matter because Tester will still win by several points. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US HOUSE: State Representative Monica Lindeen (D) is a decent candidate, but she won't come anywhere close to defeating Congressman Denny Rehberg (R). As an aside: Rehberg probably made a misstep a few months ago when he decided to not challenge Burns in the US Senate primary, as he may well have won the primary and been able to hold the seat for the GOP against Tester. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.02.06 | Permalink |

NEBRASKA:
GOVERNOR: Governor Dave Heineman (R) has one of the top approval ratings of any US Governor. In the May primary, Heineman scored a political miracle by handily defeating legendary Nebraska football coach and Congressman Tom Osborne. Heineman will win the general election with at least 70% of the vote. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senator Ben Nelson is probably the most conservative Democrat currently in the Senate. He is also a good match for this seat, as Nebraska has a modern history of sending like-minded Democrats to the Senate. Although wealthy former Ameritrade executive Pete Ricketts (R) has been spending lavishly from his own pocket, he won't come anywhere close to defeating Nelson. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: Democrats are fielding a strong slate of candidates for all three of Nebraska's US House seats. Former Lieutenant Governor Maxine Moul (D) in CD-1 and former Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Director Jim Esch (D) in CD-2 will both come close in their runs against GOP incumbents. Both Dems have run strong enough races to require the national Republicans to recently divert some dwindling funds to defending these normally safe seats. CD-3: The race to watch in Nebraska is the contest for Congressman Osborne's open seat. State Senator Adrian Smith (R) holds very fiscally conservative views -- including his opposition to federal farm subsidy programs and his free-trade views. Whether you agree or disagree with Smith's stances (and they are one of the reasons the conservative Club for Growth is strongly backing him), the views are hurting him significantly here. Rancher Scott Kleeb (D) is a telegenic candidate who is is effectively exploiting Smith's weaknesses with the district's huge agricultural base. Kleeb will score a shocking upset for the Dems in this solidly GOP district. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 1 SEAT.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.02.06 | Permalink |

NEVADA:
GOVERNOR: Governor Kenny Guinn (R) is term-limited. Guinn's longtime nemesis within the Nevada GOP -- Congressman Jim Gibbons -- is the Republican nominee to succeed him. That explains why Guinn frequently bad-mouths Gibbons to the media and has declined to endorse Gibbons in the gubernatorial race against State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus (D). Titus is not a very strong candidate. She certainly is more liberal than the breed of past Democrats who have won major statewide races in Nevada. Fortunately for Titus, Gibbons is a highly flawed candidate has has to deal with with last-minute scandals in the closing days. First is the ongoing "he said"/"she said" soap opera over the late night incident just days ago in a casino hotel parking lot with a waitress. The woman called 911 and claimed Gibbons tried to sexually assault her. Gibbons said they both had been drinking, but he only helped grab her to stop he from falling when she tripped in the parking lot. A casino parking lot videotape has gone missing. The second problem are statewide TV news reports that the anti-illegal immigration Gibbons knowingly had an illegal alien working for several years in his household -- and then tried to cover it up when he feared the story would leak. These problems suggest Titus will score a narrow win -- not because of anything she is doing, so much as it is the public damage Gibbons is inflicting on himself in these final days. RESULT: DEM GAIN.
US SENATE: US Senator John Ensign (R) has faced a surprisingly energetic challenge from businessman and Presidential scion Jack Carter (D). Carter is an earnest hopeful, but Ensign has run a very safe campaign. Ensign will win by at least 10-points. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: While CD-1 Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D) is safe, the other two districts are worth watching. CD-2. Secretary of State Dean Heller (R) and State University System Regent Jill Derby (D) are facing-off for Congressman Gibbons' open seat. Heller, a GOP moderate, narrowly won a very contentious primary over more conservative opponents. The contest was so bitter that the second place finisher unsuccessfully sued in state court to set-aside the CD-2 primary results and hold a re-vote. Derby is a good candidate -- and recent polls show the two leads essentially tied -- but Heller will win this race by at least 5-points. CD-3: This is another sleeper race to watch. Congressman Jon Porter (R) is being challenged by Tessa Hafen (D), a former top aide to US Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Hafen will come close, closer than anyone expects, but she won't defeat Porter. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.02.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Six days to go ...

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.02.06 | Permalink |

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, etc., 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 homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. OUR THANKS TODAY GO TO: Former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter, Democrat for Colorado Governor.

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WEDNESDAY: POLITICS1 ELECTION FORECAST - PART 2.

FLORIDA:
GOVERNOR: Polls all year have given the Republicans an advantage in holding the seat being vacated by term-limited Governor Jeb Bush (R). Attorney General Charlie Crist (R) -- a capable and affable politician who has already won statewide office twice -- has run a very well-financed and safe campaign. He emerged from his primary largely unscathed (although public questions of his sexual orientation and hypocrisy continue to swirl). By contrast, Congressman Jim Davis (D) won a primary that inflicted some bruises on the nominee. It forced Davis to waste some time repairing the damage. Crist also outraised Davis by more than a 2-to-1 margin (disclaimer: I'm a Davis contributor and supporter). While Davis has been narrowing the gap in recent days -- cutting Crist's advantage to the single digits and winning the two televised debates -- Crist still will likely win. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US SENATE: US Senator Bill Nelson (D) will easily defeat Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R) by at least a 2-to-1 margin. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE:
CD-8: Congressman Ric Keller (R) was once viewed as vulnerable, but he should have no trouble defeating businessman Charlie Stuart (D). CD-9: "The King is dead. Long live the King." Retiring 12-term Congressman Mike Bilirakis (R) will have no trouble handing his seat over to his son. State Representative Gus Bilirakis (R) will defeat former Hillsborough County Commissioner Phyllis Busansky (D) -- a credible candidate -- by a comfortable margin. CD-11: Hillsborough County Commissioner Kathy Castor (D) is a lock to win Congressman Davis' open CD-11 seat by a landslide margin. CD-13: Based upon reported spending, this is the most expensive US House race in the nation. Auto dealer Vern Buchanan (R) spent millions from his own deep pockets to win the primary for Congresswoman Harris' open seat. In so doing, Buchanan left lots of hurt feelings that remain unhealed. Those rifts -- and some gaffes and missteps by Buchanan -- have helped wealthy bank president Christine Jennings (D), who is also spending from her own pockets. Jennings will score an upset and win this seat -- and set Jennings up as a top NRCC target for 2008. CD-16: The Democrats can bank this GOP seat as a "gimme," thanks to disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley (R). Foley resigned from the House and quit the race last month, but too late for the Republicans to put replacement nominee Joe Negron on the ballot. Voters must vote for Foley to vote for Negron -- so place venture capitalist Tim Mahoney (D) in the win column. CD-22: Congressman Clay Shaw (R) is facing the toughest fight of his political life, in what is the second most expensive House race in the nation. State Senator Ron Klein (D) has assailed Shaw for being too close to President Bush. Keep in mind this was a district -- even though redrawn in 2002 to help Shaw -- won in 2004 by John Kerry. Shaw has countered with attacks on Klein for being "a lobbyist." Shaw also likes to claim he will be the next Ways & Means Committee Chair, although there is almost no chance of this coming true (as anyone inside the Beltway could tell you the W+M Chair will be either Republican Jim McCrery or Democrat Charlie Rangel, depending upon which party controls the House next year). This is the first time -- after years of failed DCCC hype that "Shaw can be beaten" -- that I believe Shaw will actually lose. The national political climate will claim Shaw as a victim, as Klein will win by a close margin. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 3 SEATS.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.01.06 | Permalink |

GEORGIA:
GOVERNOR: Governor Sonny Perdue (R) appears to be heading towards a landslide re-election win over Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor (D). RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: CD-4: DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson (D) already won this seat when he ousted controversial Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D) in the primary. The general election is just the coronation for Johnson. CD-8: Former Congressman Mac Collins (R) lost the GOP primary for US Senate in 2004, and is now attempting to return to DC by challenging Congressman Jim Marshall (D) in this redrawn district. He's run a credible campaign, but Marshall will survive. CD-12: Former Congressman Max Burns (R) is challenging freshman Congressman John Barrows (D), the man who ousted him in 2004. This rematch race won't end any differently than did the last one. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.01.06 | Permalink |

HAWAII:
GOVERNOR: Governor Linda Lingle (R) will win in a landslide over former State Senator Randy Iwase (R). This sets up Lingle's likely run for US Senator in 2010. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US SENATE: Once US Senator Dan Akaka (D) survived the primary challenge from Congressman Ed Case (D), he was on cruise control to victory in November. Akaka will have no problem defeating State Representative Cynthia Thielen (R) by a wide margin. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: CD-2: Former Lieutenant Governor Mazie Hirono (D) will have no problem winning Congressman Case's open seat. She will defeat State Senator Bob Hogue (R) by a comfortable amount in this safe Dem district. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.01.06 | Permalink |

IDAHO:
GOVERNOR: Congressman Butch Otter (R) is locked in a surprisingly tight contest with newspaper publisher Jerry Brady (D). Brady -- who was the Dem nominee four years ago -- ran a respectable race in 2002. This year, with the national political climate, Brady's chances are even better. Polls in these closing days show the race virtually tied. However, the colorful Otter will score a surprisingly narrow win in this reddest of red states. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: CD-1: Democrats rejoiced when controversial State Representative Bill Sali won the crowded GOP primary for Otter's open seat. Sali -- an arch-conservative -- is a bombastic "loose cannon" despised by nearly all his GOP colleagues in the state legislature. In fact, the Speaker and other Republicans have worked to undermine Sali's campaign. Businessman Larry Grant (D) is the beneficiary of this GOP in-fighting. Grant may become a "one-termer" in this heavily Republican district, but he'll still win this seat in 2006. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 1 SEAT.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.01.06 | Permalink |

ILLINOIS:
GOVERNOR: Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) may be mired in the taint of scandal, but that isn't stopping him from rolling to a second term over hapless State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka (R). While Blagojevich has yet to be formally charged with anything -- or even officially named as a target of the swirling investigations (although he was clearly the unnamed "political official" in a recent pay-to-play corruption indictment of a crony) -- the Republicans are also tied to a legacy of corruption in the Illinois Governor's Mansion. Attorney Rich Whitney (Green) will finish in the double-digits merely as a protest voted cast for the only seemingly untainted candidate in the race. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: In national tidal wave election years in the past, Illinois frequently produced at least one of the totally unexpected House upsets. That said, these races are already holding attention of pundits. CD-6: In the race for the open seat of retiring Congressman Henry Hyde (R), State Senator Peter Roskam (R) is locked in a tough race with disabled Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D). In normal circumstances, Roskam should win handily due to district demographics. Instead, he'll win by a relatively close margin. CD-8: When Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D) was first elected in 2004 by upsetting an entrenched GOP incumbent, Republicans vowed Bean would be a one-termer. Instead, she looks positioned to easily defeat wealthy investment banker David McSweeney (R). CD-17: Congressman Lane Evans (D) is retiring for health reasons. Phil Hare (D) -- Evans' Chief of Staff -- will likely defeat former TV news anchor Andrea Lane Zinga (R) by several points. RESULTS: NO CHANGES..
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.01.06 | Permalink |

INDIANA:
US SENATE: No Democrat even bothered to file against US Senator Dick Lugar (R), guaranteeing him a sixth term in the Senate against his Libertarian Party challenger. RESULT: GOP HOLD.
US HOUSE: For a red state, Indiana is looking surprisingly purple this year -- in large part because of a combination of the national political climate and high disapproval ratings for Governor Mitch Daniels (R). CD-2: Congressman Chris Chocola (R), a two-term incumbent, is facing a rematch this year against attorney Joe Donnelly (D). For whatever reason, voters here have never developed very warm feelings towards Chocola. Polls have shown Chocola trailing for months, by varying margins. Donnelly will win the rematch in this swing district. CD-7: Congresswoman Julia Carson (D) is a perennial GOP target. She runs weak campaigns, yet somehow Carson survives each time. One October indy poll showed Carson trailing wealthy auto dealer Eric Dickerson (R), but it appears to be an outlier. Carson will win another close one. CD-8: Democrats incorrectly predict the imminent electoral demise of Congressman John Hostettler (R) every two years. A chronically poor fundraiser, Hosteller struggled to victory in all of his past reelection contests -- including the ones against weaker challengers. Hostettler's luck will run out this year in his run for a seventh term, as Vanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth (D) will defeat him. CD-9: 2006 marks the third time in a row that Congressman Mike Sodrel (R) and former Congressman Baron Hill (D) will face-off. Hill won the 2002 race, while Sodrel won the 2004 rematch. Sodrel has trailed in all of the indy polls since Labor Day. It's time for the seesaw here to flip again, as Hill will win round #3 (setting up Hill-Sodrel rematch #4 in 2008). RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 3 SEATS.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.01.06 | Permalink |

IOWA:
GOVERNOR: Governor Tom Vilsack (D), the current DLC Chair and a possible 2008 White House hopeful, is voluntarily term-limited. The gubernatorial race appeared to be one of the best opportunities in the nation for the GOP to score a pickup in an otherwise gloomy electoral year. Congressman Jim Nussle (R) is a strong candidate with a unified party behind him -- and Nussle was able to regularly win crossover votes in past years in his CD-1 swing district. However, Secretary of State Chet Culver (D) -- who is sometimes viewed as a bit of a lightweight -- also is running a fairly strong campaign. In any other year -- with the field being fairly level -- Nussle would scrape out a win. This year, however, Culver will win. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: Three races to watch. CD-1: Excluding Nussle's wins here, this district is otherwise fairly solidly Democratic in its propensities. Both parties nominated strong candidates: former Iowa Trial Lawyers Association President Bruce Braley (D) and restaurant chain owner Mike Whalen (R). Both men are wealthy and have been able to help with self-financing. With Braley, the Dems will finally reclaim this former Dem bastion. CD-2: Nobody is paying much attention to this district, but it could be one of the sleeper races to watch. Congressman Jim Leach (R) -- one of the most moderate Republicans in the House -- is facing an energetic challenge from college professor Dave Loebsack (D), a grassroots progressive activist. While Leach holds a major fundraising advantage, Loebsack will keep this race surprisingly close. Leach should win, but it won't be by much. CD-3: Republicans would really like to defeat Congressman Leonard Boswell (D), as he's a frequent NRCC target. The GOP initially had high hopes for State Senate President Jeff Lamberti (R), but he has lagged far behind Boswell for months in the polls. While the Republicans are still is warmly backing Lamberti -- at least, in words of praise -- the NRCC cut-off his financial support a month ago to instead concentrate on defending embattled GOP incumbents. Boswell will survive again, and by a fairly comfortable margin. RESULTS: DEMS GAIN 1 SEAT.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.01.06 | Permalink |

KANSAS:
GOVERNOR: Governor Kathleen Sebelius -- a centrist DLC-style Dem -- is an anomaly: a highly popular Democrat in one of the reddest states in the nation. And, like in 2002, Sebelius again selected a former Republican as her Lieutenant Governor runningmate in order to take advantage of the chronic rift here in the GOP between Religious Right conservatives and more socially-moderate, fiscal conservatives. State Senator Jim Bennett (R) is not a bad candidate, but he still will lose by at least 10-points. The Dems also have the potential to unexpectedly pickup 1-2 statewide offices, largely on the strength of Sebelius' coattails and the ongoing GOP in-fighting. RESULT: DEM HOLD.
US HOUSE: The Democrats have fielded some credible House candidates here -- particularly pharmaceutical researcher Nancy Boyda (R) in her rematch against CD-2 Congressman Jim Ryun (R) -- but don't expect any miracle upsets here. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.01.06 | Permalink |

KENTUCKY:
US HOUSE: CD-3. Congresswoman Anne Northup (R) is another perennial DCCC target, yet she survives (and sometimes by rather significant margins) in this swing district. Her opponent this year is liberal newspaper publisher John Yarmuth (D). Independent polls since Labor Day have essentially shown the race as a virtual tie, with Yarmuth possibly holding a very slim advantage. Despite this, look for Northup's luck to hold up with her bucking the national wave and winning yet another term. CD-4: In 2002, Congressman Ken Lucas (D) held off a stiff challenge from military veteran Geoff Davis (R). In 2004, Lucas honored his voluntary term-limits pledge and retired -- giving Davis the opportunity to win the seat. Now, in 2006, it is retired Congressman Lucas challenging freshman Congressman Geoff Davis (R). Polls have shown the lead swinging back and forth between the two men. This race is close: so close that either man stands a nearly equal chance of winning. But, since I have to make the call, I'll say Davis survives by the narrowest of margins. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.01.06 | Permalink |

LOUISIANA:
US HOUSE: Under Louisiana state law, an open congressional primary involving candidates from all parties will be held on November 7. If no one candidate wins a majority of the vote, then the top finishers (regardless of party) will advance to a December run-off. CD-2. Congressman Bill Jefferson (D) is in big trouble. The FBI raided Jefferson's New Orleans home and found over $90,000 cash from purported bribes hidden in the freezer. The FBI also raided Jefferson's Capitol Hill office and a top Jefferson aide already pled guilty to helping facilitate those bribes -- so it's only a matter of time before Jefferson is indicted. Based upon all of this, the state Democratic Party endorsed State Representative Karen Carter (D) in her race against Jefferson. In addition to Carter, 11 others are also running. Carter will win this race -- the only question is whether she does it outright in the primary (unlikely) or in the run-off. CD-3: Freshman Congressman Charlie Melancon (D) is facing an aggressive fight rematch from State Senator Craig Romero (R), an '04 hopeful who narrowly missed making the run-off. Despite the challenge, Melancon will win a second term. RESULTS: NO CHANGES.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 11.01.06 | Permalink |

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