A roundup of recent political news.
1. O’Donnell-Coons race- Christine O’Donnell takes aim in the above video at the major weakness of Chris Coons in the Delaware Senate race: he does have a history of being in favor of tax increases. Saturday Night Live mocks O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” ad here. Polls show O’Donnell some 16-20 points behind Coons. In a normal election year I would assume that she had no chance, but this is far from a normal election year. Additionally Mike Castle had a substantial lead over O’Donnell in the polls until a few days before she beat him in the Delaware primary.
A debate was held between O’Donnell and Coons last night, and I thought she did quite well against Coons who came across to me as answering questions in a rote and highly programmed manner. It was O’Donnell against not only Coons but also against Wolf Blitzer and a local reporter, both of whom should have been wearing “Coons for Senate’ buttons so palpable was their bias, and she more than held her own against this 3-1 tagteam.
Unfortunately since it was broadcast only on C-Span and CNN, it was probably watched only by political junkies and people who hadn’t changed the batteries in their remotes.
Jackie Mason weighs in on criticism of O’Donnell in his own unique kvetching style:
2. GOP Will Gain 60-70 seats in the House-Now what right wing rag made that prediction? Oh, the Huffington Post!
- President Obama’s approval rating is hurting Democrats across the country. According to Real Clear Politics’ average of public polls, Obama’s approval rating now stands at approximately 45%. Our analysis of national surveys suggests that Obama’s approval rating is closer to 42-43% with likely voters. More importantly, the President’s approval rating in key swing states that Obama and fellow Democrats won in 2008 is faltering. In Colorado, for example, Obama won 54% of the vote but no recent poll shows his approval rating higher than 45% with likely voters. That is one of the reasons that incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet is in serious trouble. Or take Pennsylvania, where an average of the last five polls has Obama’s approval rating at 40%: Republican Pat Toomey leads Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak by six points. The pattern is consistent: almost every state where Obama’s approval rating is at or below 45% the GOP candidate is leading by 3-10 points.
- The GOP lead on the generic Congressional ballot is unprecedented. Republicans now lead on the generic Congressional ballot by seven points (48% to 41%) according to RCP. Our analysis of likely voter surveys taken over the last 30 days has the GOP lead at +9. As we have said before, Republicans rarely–if ever–lead on the GCB. According to Gallup, in 1994 the two parties were tied on the GCB the week before the election. Republicans picked up 54 seats that year.
- Congressional approval is catastrophically low and Democrats–not Republicans–will pay the price. Congressional approval is at 20% (according to the last Pew Poll). The last WSJ/NBC poll also had it at 20% (with 75% disapproval).
- In terms of election “engagement,” Republicans far outpace Democrats this year. According to last month’s Pew study, 79% of Republican candidate supporters say they definitely will vote for their preferred candidate, while only 66 percent of Democratic candidate supporters say the same. Just as importantly, the same poll tells us that 64% of Republicans are “giving a lot of thought” to this election, compared with only 40% of Democrats. This gives the GOP a +24 margin. To give you some perspective, in 1994 the GOP had a +9 lead on this measure (51% to 49%).
- Anger about the economy and the lack of jobs remains this election’s defining element. The LCG Anger Index is increasing as we move closer to election day. The current index stands at 261. It was 246 in May of this year, and in 1994 it was 245.
Go here to read the entire article.
3. Veteran Democrats in trouble. A number of Democrat veterans who have been in Congress for decades now find themselves in tight races:
Nervous Democrats are cognizant that many long-term incumbents up for re-election in ’94 ultimately fell, including 42-year Democratic Rep. Jack Brooks of Texas, who chaired the Judiciary Committee and outspent his GOP opponent four to one. Everyone knows House Armed Services Chair Ike Skelton (MO-04) and House Budget Chair John SprattM (SC-05) have topped the NRCC’s target lists all year, but now new GOP polls show House Transportation Chair Jim Oberstar (MN-08) and Solomon Ortiz (TX-27), dean of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, in danger.
4. George Soros and the Republican avalanche. The paymaster for various Leftist organizations, billionaire George Soros, is sitting this one out.
“I made an exception getting involved in 2004,” Mr. Soros, 80, said in a brief interview Friday at a forum sponsored by the Bretton Woods Committee, which promotes understanding of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
“And since I didn’t succeed in 2004, I remained engaged in 2006 and 2008. But I’m basically not a party man. I’d just been forced into that situation by what I considered the excesses of the Bush administration.”
Mr. Soros, a champion of liberal causes, has been directing his money to groups that work on health care and the environment, rather than electoral politics. Asked if the prospect of Republican control of one or both houses of Congress concerned him, he said: “It does, because I think they are pushing the wrong policies, but I’m not in a position to stop it. I don’t believe in standing in the way of an avalanche.”
5. Well if Joes says it-Veep and beloved national clown Biden has guaranteed that the Democrats will retain majorities in the House and the Senate. Ok Joe, I believe you, but maybe we’ll go through the motions anyway.