Where They Stand: Senate

Thursday, October 28, AD 2010

With five days until election day, I decided to take a close look at each of the Senate races, and to offer some prognostications about how I think each will end up.

First, the lock-solid holds for each party:

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19 Responses to Where They Stand: Senate

  • Paul,
    I have been following the Senate races fairly carefully, and I agree 100% with your predictions and caveats.

  • Good analysis Paul. I differ from you in regard to California and Washington. I think the huge anti-Democrat tide will carry Fiorina to victory in the formerly Golden State, and Rossi to victory beyond the margin of fraud often used by Washington Democrats to steal state wide elections in that state. I recall in 2006 that the Democrats won all the close Senate races and I expect the Republicans to do the same this year. However, I suspect that even I underestimate the true power of the anti-Democrat tide running in this country right now, which is something unprecedented in living memory.

  • I hope you’re right Don, but my gut says Boxer hangs on. The problem is Fiorina doesn’t seem to be getting any help from the top of the ticket. And even in wave elections like this one, there are always a few races that the surging party leaves on the table, and I have a feeling this will be one. As for Rossi, he’s starting to seem like one of those perpetual candidates who always just loses. (Well, the first time around he arguably didn’t really lose, but that’s a topic for another time.)

  • An interesting look at the polls in the Rossi-Murray race.


    I think most pollsters are understating Republican strength at the polls by around 3% this year, because they are dealing with an unprecedented situation as to the anti-Democrat wave, the enthusiasm gap between the parties and the fact that independents around the country are breaking hard for the Republicans. We will soon find out, and the accuracy of the polls will be a subject I will be intensely interested in post-election. Watch many polls this weekend showing a mini-surge to the Republicans in the Senate races as pollsters hedge their bets.

  • Great analysis and predictions Paul!

    There may even be a surprise in Delaware ( I realize it is unlikely though) – http://weaselzippers.us/2010/10/27/dnc-at-defcon-1-is-christine-o%E2%80%99donnell-now-leading-in-dem-internal-polls/

  • “… there are always a few races that the surging party leaves on the table …”

    Not in 2006. Every close Senate race broke to the Dems(see, e.g, Missouri, Montana, Rhode Island, Virginia).

  • On the ground here in WA… Murray holding on to her seat is the likely scenario from my perspective. First and foremost, we are a blue state. King, Snohomish and Pierce counties make it so. The corruption in King County (think Seattle) elections makes it even more so (as you alluded to the gubernatorial race of 2004).

    What’s more, there are two different feelings among tea party folks around here. One, which is more aligned to the GOP is that we must defeat Murray at all costs. You heard this all over local talk radio after the primary when Clint Didier withheld his endorsement of Rossi (based on a lack of support for some key GOP platform issues).

    The second element in the tea party is the more libertarian leaning group, one that strongly identifies with the ideas put forth by Ron Paul (and strongly behind Didier). They feel rather disgruntled about the primary, where Rossi was a late comer, and ran something of a non-campaign saving his war chest for the general.

    We’ll see… will the third time (for a state-wide election) be the charm for Rossi? If he loses, blame will be placed squarely on the Didier die-hards for with holding their vote. One thing is for sure, if Rossi loses, it will be one more tick mark in a long string of losses by moderate Republicans in state-wide elections. This begs the question… should the WSRP court more conservative candidates?

  • I’d love to see Her Royal Senator Highness overthrown, but CA is one of those states where getting rid of an incumbent liberal is akin to Hell freezing over.

    If you wish to disagree with that assessment, fine, but don’t call me sir or RL. Call me Beloved General Field Marshall of the L homestead; I worked hard for that.

  • The just released Rasmussen poll on the Washington Senate race has Rossi up by one 48-47. Murray still being under 50% this close to election day is trouble for her.


  • A sign of the public mood:

    “According to pollster Doug Schoen, whose new poll shows vast support for the Tea Party movement among voters, the president is still liked by about half the nation. In fact, more like him personally than like his policies. Some 48 percent think he’s a nice guy, while just 42 percent approve of his job performance.
    But that personal favorability doesn’t translate into re-election support when voters are asked if Obama deserves a second term. Says Schoen: “Despite voters feelings toward Obama personally, 56 percent say he does not deserve to be re-elected, while 38 percent say he does deserve to be re-elected president.” Worse, Schoen adds, “43 percent say that Barack Obama has been a better president than George W. Bush, while 48 percent say Bush was a better president than Obama has been.”


  • In Wisconsin, I wouldn’t count Feingold out. While Johnson has been ahead in most polls, the gap’s been closing in recent weeks and Johnson hasn’t fared well in the debates. Feingold, with three terms under his belt and being a smooth debater, is still pretty popular in a purple state. Johnson may still win, but his lead is shrinking.

  • New York is a sad case. Less than a year old it looked like both Gillibrand’s seat and the governorship would easily go to Republicans. Unfortunately for Republicans, Paterson decided not to run and the GOP basically conceded the senate seat without a fight.

  • Joe, you probably have a better sense of what’s going on in Wisconsin than I do, but the polls seem to have flattened out over the past week. Feingold certainly can make it interesting, but with Johnson now consistently polling in the low 50s, I’d be surprised if he lost.

    As for 2006, there was one race the Dems lost that was considered something of a toss-up. It was the TN Senate race that Harold Ford (call me) lost to Corker by about 3 points. That said, I can’t really think of any other close race over the past 2 cycles that the Dems have lost.

  • RR –

    New York is just an embarrassment for the GOP. Rudy Giuliani could certainly have won any of the statewide races had he decided to run, but evidently he is under the delusion that he could still be President one day. And as bad as Pataki is, he certainly could have been competitive with Gillebrand. The same is true for Lazio if he had set his sights on the Senate instead of the Governor’s Mansion.

  • “whatever the party breakdown is after Tuesday is the way it will remain for the 112th Congress”

    Maybe, maybe not. If the Republicans get to 50, they’ll be throwing every deal they can think of at the most nervous-looking Democratic senator they can find. If Sestak loses badly, that could be Bob Casey.

  • New York is just an embarrassment for the GOP

    The candidate for Comptroller and the candidate for Attorney-General have both shivved the Gubernatorial candidate, refusing to endorse him and (in the latter case) even to appear at public events with him. The Onondaga County executive endorsed Andrew Cuomo. The state party chairman (Richard Nixon’s corporate lawyer son-in-law) has been a pillar of Jell-O. I keep telling you: these people lose and lose and lose because of their irredeemable inadequacies.

  • Re Kirk vs. Giannoulias in IL: I voted early a couple of weeks ago. If either candidate had been ahead by a comfortable margin (meaning my vote would probably not make any difference), or if either party were pretty much assured of taking (or keeping) control of the Senate, I would have skipped this race and not voted for either candidate.

    Kirk is about as RINO as one can be — pro-abort, pro-ESCR, voted for cap and trade before he was against it, etc. However, I went ahead and voted for him, very reluctantly, ONLY because the race is so close AND because control of the Senate may hinge on the outcome. I am not going to sit back and allow a liberal Democrat to win under those circumstances.

  • On a side note: there are some prognosticators who believe that if Harry Reid loses his seat but the Dems hold on to the Senate, the next Majority Leader will be none other than Illinois’ other (ahem) esteemed Senator, Dick Durbin, who comes up for reelection in 2014. Now THAT is a race I am looking forward to. Hopefully the GOP will come up with a much better candidate than they have had the last three Senate election cycles. Lord knows they can’t do much worse.

  • Paul, I wouldn’t disagree that Johnson looks like the winner by a nose. Interestingly, more TV spots have been run in Wisconsin than any other state. Spending at $10.8 million in the Badger state, according to the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks federal races.

Constitutional Ignorance

Tuesday, October 19, AD 2010

I see that my co-blogger MJ Andrew has already posted about the Christine O’Donnell-Chris Coons debate, and I thank him as that saves me the trouble of having to sort through a whole bunch of links.

I disagree with him, though somewhat reservedly.  Having listened to the entire clip it does seem to me that O’Donnell is questioning whether the concept of the separation of Church and State is in the First Amendment, not the Establishment Clause.  There was some crosstalk at this point in the debate, and it appears to me that she’s just repeating her question with regards to the issue of separation.  It’s debatable, though, and a candidate should do a better job clearly establishing what she’s talking about in such a setting.

That being the case,  I was more intrigued by  Coons’s own response to the question.  While O’Donnell possibly made a gaffe – an unfortunate one if indeed it was a gaffe – Coons’s response is the more troubling aspect of this exchange.

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11 Responses to Constitutional Ignorance

  • I tend to agree with those who think the Establishment Clause does not mandate a strict separation of church and state, and I think Coons gets that bit wrong.

  • Coons believes that the Supreme Court is a perpetual Constitutional Convention which may amend the Constitution as it pleases, the text of the document be hanged.

  • I agree with you, but as MJ points out not knowing at least the gist of the 14th amendment is pretty bad.

  • “I agree with you, but as MJ points out not knowing at least the gist of the 14th amendment is pretty bad.”

    Michael, outside of attorneys who do criminal defense and constitutional law cases, I think many attorneys would have a hard time saying much about the 14th amendment, not to say anything of the Byzantine case law interpreting the amendment. Of course you law school sudents being force fed all of this put us practicing attorneys to shame in this area! 🙂

  • I think many attorneys would have a hard time saying much about the 14th amendment, not to say anything of the Byzantine case law interpreting the amendment.

    It’s true that after what SCOTUS has done to the poor amendment has rendered its meaning unintelligible to all but the wisest of men (obviously those being on the Court), I think knowing that 14th guarantees due process against state infringement and that this is the avenue of incorporation would be nice to know. After all, it’s the through the 14th that SCOTUS has brought its, er, unique modern approach to constitutional interpretation.

  • Substantive due process has been the gateway to practically every dubious Court decision of the past century plus.

  • Israel and Great Britain get along passably without a formally composed Constitution. It sometimes seems ours is just an excuse for our appellate judges to be officious nuisances.

  • I learn something new about the 14th Amendment every time some judge with an expansive view of his or her self worth puts pen to paper.

  • I knew the Constitution pretty well during Con Law class and just prior to taking the bar. After that, not so much. Although I do occassionaly peruse it when a particular issue comes up. God help anyone who has to rely upon my faulty memory.

  • My keyboard quotes marks are not working.

    Meanwhile, Cornell law prof William Jacobson comments: A literal reading of O’Donnell’s comments reflects that she was correct, but of course, the press and the blogosphere don’t want a literal reading, they want a living, breathing reading which comports with their preconceived notions.”

    And, Instapundit: The Constitution stands for things that are good. The things that we want are good. Therefore, the Constitution stands for what we want. QED. How can those dumb wingnuts (like ODonnell) not understand this simple logic?

  • Good catch on Coons – most people have missed it in the frenzy to attack or defend O’Donnell. Whatever one may think of O’Donnell’s views (and I agree with them – though I think she didn’t effectively advance her correct argument), Coons is clearly of that liberal mindset which holds to “if we like it, it’s Constitutional”. On his own ground, Coons is going to be fine – as long as he’s talking to ignorant MSMers or liberal who like the current status of Constitutional law, he’s going to look like a genius…put him in a room with anyone who actually holds that laws are meant to be obeyed, and he doesn’t come off so well.

    We’ll see if O’Donnell can actually do anything with this – Delaware may not be ready, yet, to ditch its liberal Ruling Class…but O’Donnell has dented it, and that’s good enough to go on.

Of Black Magic and Bearded Marxists

Monday, September 20, AD 2010

I assume that only deaf and blind individuals in this country are unaware that GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell said on the execrable Bill Maher’s show Politically Incorrect in 1999 that as a young woman she dabbled in witchcraft.  What brought this up is that O’Donnell on the show was criticizing self-proclaimed witches and made this comment to demonstrate that she had personal experience of what she was attacking.  Her appearances on Maher’ s show were to serve as the token Christian conservative who Maher could attack.   As this essay on chastity which she wrote in 1998 indicates, O’Donnell was doing far more than making guest appearances at this time on Maher’s show, and I interpret her agreement to be on Maher’s show as an attempt to get her message across in an unfriendly venue.  She is making light of the whole stupid issue which I think is the right tack to take.

Less well known is that her opponent Chris Coons wrote an article when he was 21 for the Amherst student newspaper entitled The Making of a Bearded Marxist in which he described how his college experiences transformed him from a conservative into a leftist.  (Son of a gun, I guess there are people foolish enough to fall for the low level political indoctrination that many campuses engage in in lieu of an education.)  What do I make of this statement of Coons?  Other than that 21 year olds are apt to make fairly foolish statements, certainly I did, nothing.

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33 Responses to Of Black Magic and Bearded Marxists

  • Expecting our JournOListas to have fixed, transparent, and non-sectarian standards of conduct has turned into a utopian disposition.

  • Whatever!

    Ms. O’Donnell was not insisting that global warming is going to raise ocean levels by 20 feet; that heterosexual AIDS is a major health concern; that law-abiding Americans can’t be trusted with guns; that every nation and every culture is superior to our own; that illegal aliens and Islamic jihadists are entitled to all the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens; that providing 31 million additional people with health insurance will save us billions of dollars; that Supreme Court justices should essentially be social workers who get to wear their robes to work; that drilling for oil and digging for coal are evil endeavors; that windmills and sunbeams can supply all the energy a modern industrial nation needs; that Christian symbols should be eliminated from the national landscape; and that the redistribution of personal wealth is a moral imperative.

    She was not displaying the arrogant disdain for traditional American virtues, not to mention logic and common sense as her opponents have habitually done.

    As if anyone cared: What was the current occupier of the White House doing in high school – selling cocaine? He can’t release his Birth Certificate.

    Double standard?

  • Our chosen one in the White House did his dabbling in Christianity with the Rev. Wright for an extended time(and never remembered what was said). His personal inspiration and serious pondering came from those who prepared him for his real lifes work while with Ayers the bomb throwing Marxists and other real extremists.

  • The Coons piece looks entirely mainstream.

  • I agree with RR since “mainstream” often has a weak relationship with reality.

  • The Coons piece was done back in May RR by the internet journal Politico.

    Linked below is a google search of Coons and Bearded Marxist. With the exception of Fox, no mainstream media organ has touched it. I do not count Slate as it is internet only:


    Then we do a google search of O’Donnell and witchcraft and all the networks are represented.


    None of this comes as a surprise to conservatives. For us the media rooting for the other team is just a fact of life.

  • Don, I meant that I didn’t see anything in the Coons piece worth reporting. Did you see a shocking revelation that I missed?

  • Calling oneself a Bearded Marxist at 21 RR is as newsworthy as a candidate who is now a strong Christian mentioning 11 years ago on a talk show that she dabbled in witchcraft as a teenager. In either case I don’t think the items are very newsworthy or relevant to the campaign. However, one is trumpeted by the mainstream media and one is completely overlooked. I think the reaction of the mainstream media would be reversed if it were a liberal Democrat who engaged in Gaia worship in her teen years and a conservative Republican who in a college newspaper at 21 jokingly referred to himself as a “fascist reactionary” in commenting how his political views had become more conservative during his college years.

  • I thought liberals liked wiccans?

  • According to the article Coons’ political transformation came while on a trip to Kenya. So the shocking revelation is that he, too, is motivated by Kenyan anti-colonialism.

  • I’ll take O’Donnell’s simplicity over duplicity and evil wrapped up in a veneer of sophistication.

    Seriously, I think some people, even some Christians, would be deceived by Satan if he did no more than adopt the title “faculty chair” when presenting his arguments.

  • “I’ll take O’Donnell’s simplicity over duplicity and evil wrapped up in a veneer of sophistication.”

    She has not only gone on the air talking about lies and why they are not permitted, she has a history of lies for herself. Duplicity? Her life is full of them. When she went to ISI she made false claims about herself; when she left them, she made false claims about herself. She has a history of seeking after her own good over others, and using everyone for her own benefit. That is her history.

    And people would be interested, while talking about how people “hang out” with “bad people” in high school, it is not just in high school she hangs out with people who dabble in the occult (good or bad, it’s up to you and the voter; but it seems her sister continues to dabble in it). So acting like it is a thing of the past, when she continues to hang out with occultists is again another example of her ways. Now, I think it is good she stands by her sister, but in doing so, she should honestly reflect upon what that means for who she “hangs with.”

  • Btw, I find it amusing that people are saying O’Donnell shouldn’t be Senator from Delaware because she has made some “crazy” statements. Do they not remember Joe Biden?

  • Let’s apply the standard to Richard Blumenthal in Conn. Much worse by far.

  • The most hypocritical thing of all is Bill Maher calling his show “Politically Incorrect” – you couldn’t find a more politically correct show.

  • Yeah.
    My son used to say that Maher is to politically incorrect what MTV is to music.

  • HK: Try applying that “open and honest” standard to Barry Sotoero or Barrack Hussein Obam or whatever is that fake, phony fraud’s name . . .

  • Oh please Karlson. If it was some lefty calling for universal, tax-payer subsidized hugs and tickles who had once dabbled in witchcraft, you would be citing ecumenical decrees in their defense.

  • Joe

    Once again, your response shows no comprehension to what was said. I pointed out the issue is her lack of honesty. It had not to do with who she hung out with, or continues to do so, but how she explains it, and how this connects to her other misrepresentations, something one can find as a pattern in her life.

    If someone wants to be a witch, or hang out with them, fine. If one once was a witch, and no longer is one, fine. However, if one’s sister is still practicing practices she learned from wicca, and you hang out with her, it is clear, you hang out with such people. Why say you don’t? That is the question.

  • Destructive dem stooges and penurious propagandists in the media can’t devise answers for America’s problems: one-in-seven Americans living (hope and change!!) in poverty, unemployment at horrid levels, unprecedented federal and state deficits, foreclosures tragically up, and businesses driven to despair by unfunded mandates and ruinous regulations. So, they dig up high school silliness to misdirect voters’ sensibilities.

  • There’s a lot of old scuttlebutt surrounding Hillary Clinton and her association with New Agers Marianne Williamson, Jean Houston and Mary Catherine Bateson. It has been reported that part of Hillary’s therapy, to help her reach her full human potential, was “channeling,” including, under the guidance of these New Agers, directing Hillary to converse with the dead: Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi. I guess that one could say that Hillary Clinton dabbled in seances. At least Ms. O’Donnell has not/will not be running for the presidency.

  • After decades of “Christianity Light” everywhere in the West it is really not a great surprise to read that the one or the other, in younger years, has “experimented” with stupid things.

    Yes, this wouldn’t have happened 100 or 200 years ago; not because the teenagers of those times were less stupid, but because they were taughts more properly.

    What is more relevant and is not said, though, is that O’Donnell is, by all his faults, clearly Christian *now*, whilst you have a President of the United States clearly and wilfully omitting the Creator when reading from your Constitution. This, Obama did not as a teenager or as a child whilst attending a Muslim school, but just a few days ago.

    Some people never change.


  • “taught” and “her” fault, of course 🙁

  • Look to her sister, and look to Christine’s checkered history. Indeed, she doesn’t want to answer anything to do with that history. “Liberals” mention it, so it’s ok to dismiss legitimate concerns because liberals mention it. You got to be kidding me! She is looking out for herself, no one else, as her history shows.

  • so it’s ok to dismiss legitimate concerns because liberals mention it. You got to be kidding me! She is looking out for herself, no one else, as her history shows.

    No, her history does not show that. It shows a woman who has not succeeded at constructing and maintaining a fully adult life. That is a legitimate concern, and not merely in Delaware. (It has been a legitimate concern about Patrick Kennedy throughout his entire career in politics, just not a concern throughout all sectors of the population).

  • “so it’s ok to dismiss legitimate concerns because liberals mention it. You got to be kidding me!”

    Before I kid anyone Karlson I attempt to discern if they have a sense of humor. If you have that attribute I have failed to observe it from your postings or comments.

    As stated in the post, I view Ms. O’Donnell as a flawed candidate. However, politics is the art of comparison, and compared to either Mike Castle or Chris Coons, avatars of politics as usual, she is far and away the superior candidate. She understands that we simply cannot continue to spend money we do not have and continue to sink into an economy destroying pit of government debt. That alone is enough for me to support her. That she is right on abortion and the other moral issues is icing on the cake. That you make such strenuous efforts against her is a tribute to how wedded you are to massive government and massive government spending. Those days are drawing to a close if for no better reason than we are simply going broke. O’Donnell understands this, and Coons and those who support him do not.

  • “It has been a legitimate concern about Patrick Kennedy throughout his entire career in politics…”

    That should read: “It has been a legitimate concern abouth the Kennedys throughout their careers in politics…”

  • But since we are on the topic, it is interesting to note that the Ted Kennedy, in spite of killing an aide, committing adultery, corrupting the morals of his nephews and being one of the strongest supporters of abortion and the homosexual agenda, still managed to receive an elaborate funeral from the Church.

    I suspect O’Donnell still has a lot of work to do to equal that man.

  • Seriously, I think some people, even some Christians, would be deceived by Satan if he did no more than adopt the title “faculty chair” when presenting his arguments.

    And how often he does no more than adopt the title faculty chair … expect me not to be impressed by academic titles.

    Achievements included in their usual background (as well as in some non-titled ones) involves knowing more facts than the public. There is nothing short of an obligation to personal sanctity that could give them an over all better judgement.

  • Art

    She has a history of making things up — like her law suit; she just does whatever suits her. Some, like Donald, say politics is the art of compromise (funny how we hear that now). I have no problem with compromise; what I have a problem is someone whose record is checkered with dishonesty and manipulation for the sake of her own gain ( such as when she said she had finished undergraduate studies and was in a graduate program). Of course, I find this behind much of the Tea Party — dishonest presentation of the facts so that people can get in power and use that power for their own will, with the people who are following them often not seeing the disconnect (such as the focus on the taxes for the rich as being somehow the government is seeking to tax the middle class!)

  • “Some, like Donald, say politics is the art of compromise”

    Actually I said politics is the art of comparison. Pericles, Washington, Lincoln, Churchill, etc. are not standing for election, and therefore we have to choose between those who are, write in a candidate or stay home.

  • Ok, you said comparison; fine – that was my mistake for doing a quick skim of the responses. Nonetheless, even then, comparison ends up choosing a candidate which rarely equals our own desired candidate, and end up establishing principles which we think are more important and others of secondary importance which can be compromised. Politics still takes it. And when we do comparisons, we must not confuse the rhetoric or the image, but also the ability of the people involved in relation to our principles of choice.

  • She has a history of making things up — like her law suit; she just does whatever suits her.

    I do not find the supposed contentions of her lawsuit against ISI Press (as summarized in news reports) plausible on their face, but it is very imprudent in that sort of circumstance to accuse someone of fabricating unless you’ve considerable granular knowledge of the dispute at hand.

    Her disinclination to publish her curriculum vitae is an indication that she has an unhappy history with her employers. Bad enough.

    That should read: “It has been a legitimate concern abouth the Kennedys throughout their careers in politics…”

    Some Kennedys, not others. Joseph Kennedy, four of his nine children, and several of his 28 grand-children have transgressed in manners gross and unusual against the moral law. The ways they did so have differed from person to person. Patrick Kennedy is a much more benign figure than his father or his cousin Michael. He has suffered from a generic incompetence at the art of living that is the closest to Miss O’Donnell’s manifested troubles.